Thorn

The Diagram and King T's IQ

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Moogle,

 

Wasn't he using the hospitals/patients though at the end of WoK to drain the blood to KILL them and get death rattles?  In other words, the compassionate free hospitals were a front to distract from what he was really about.  I took it as his days in front of Jasnah when she thought him inept most of the time, but caring were a reflection that he had already been to the Nightwatcher.  

 

I get that you argue he's wanting to "help" and that's his motivation.  However, I think its his excuse.  We are looking at him from HIS point of view at the end of the book.  We are seeing his rationale.  It's the law that he writes up that reasons to the people its for the "good of the city".  No it isn't.  He's doing it because he can't control the idiots like he wants too which he clearly is frustrated over.  It's for his convenience, his "good".   Of course he's going to try and justify his means and make himself look better than he is in reality esp when trying to reason a bunch of below average brains into killing themselves off.  Hence why they lock him up on smart days, lest he reveals his nature!  He only worships himself.  

 

Taravangian worshipped only one god now. it was the man he had been on that day.

 

You define psychopath and then reject it as an apt description, yet his own suggestion to slaughter half the population was an impulsive law he suggested, highly aggressive, and lacked empathy....ON A "SMART" DAY.  That clearly fits the definition you provided.  

 

If the Diagram had so much information and predictive power, well in advance, why is it interpreted by King T to justify all the mass/power killings when King T could have just used the info to walk over to the Shattered Plains and personally stop the everstorm before it ever had a chance?  He could've used Szeth to slaughter the Parshendi leadership that was pro stormform.  Why not kill all the slaves rather than his own people?  See how stupidly psychotic he is?  

 

He went to the Nightwatcher, the Nightwatcher gave him exactly what he wanted.  To be a monster.  

 

The reason he's still a psychopath even when he's on an average day, is because that's where he is at in the book.  It's an average day, and he's still carrying on his ways to slaughter everyone in the way of his goal of control/stability.  Does it make him less a psychopath if he's just killing off world leaders instead of half a population?  I don't think so.    

 

And we can know that's who King T is because he's contrasted against Dalinar, who is also trying to stop the coming desolation, but is attempting to do it without slaughtering as the means to an end.  King T tries to kill him off instead.  

Edited by Thorn
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Empathy is the result of specialized neural structures designed to model and predict the actions of others. Taravangian's intelligence overwrites those, giving him more brainpower but less empathy. Once he reaches Diagram-level, though, he's got enough brainpower that he doesn't need specialized structures for predicting humans.

 

Well empathy is really being able to sympathize from a personal point of view or experience.  As an example, you value your own life and thus would value the sanctity of others.  Once again, where is that from the book though to say he doesn't need it at the upper limit of his brain power?  How does hitting the upper limit negate the need for empathy?  

 

It's not that he doesn't need empathy at the upper limit, it's that he doesn't have it at all.  That's the curse of his granted "intelligence", but it thus also makes his predictions fallible.

 

The Diagram is a circular reflection of King T.  He was an entire monster when it was generated, and he continues to interpret it as the monster he is and has to be.     

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Wasn't he using the hospitals/patients though at the end of WoK to drain the blood to KILL them and get death rattles?  In other words, the compassionate free hospitals were a front to distract from what he was really about.  I took it as his days in front of Jasnah when she thought him inept most of the time, but caring were a reflection that he had already been to the Nightwatcher.  

 

Taravangian typically only uses the hospitals to kill terminally ill patients (though mistakes were made and sometimes the patients were not terminal maybe?). If you go in and just have a bad stomach flu, you should be fine. Though, I'm not sure if Taravangian takes homeless people off the streets to kill them, or if he take homeless people who go to his hospitals specifically and takes them, so maybe you won't be fine? Overall, 99% of people who go to T's hospitals will end up fine, and I'd argue that they do more good than bad. Yes, people would not be killed specifically by T (so there's some lives saved there), but without the hospitals, a lot more people would die to regular illnesses, particularly the poor who couldn't afford a surgeon. And, as T says, they try to stick to terminal cases.

 

The hospitals were originally built because he was compassionate, or so I assume because the hospitals were never remarked as being suddenly built five years back when T wrote the Diagram. I am assuming Taravangian built them 20 years or more prior, and had only honest intentions when he originally made them.

 

I'm getting all this from this particular quote:

“Every one of them? The people in this room?”

“We try to select only the worst cases to move here, for once they are brought to this place, we cannot let them leave if they begin to recover.” He turned to Szeth, eyes sorrowful. “Sometimes we need more bodies than the terminally sick can provide. And so we must bring the forgotten and the lowly. Those who will not be missed.”

 

In regards to your Jasnah bit, Taravangian is not stupid/inept on most days. He's average. And when he's average (like he was when he met the king of Jah Keved), he cries over what he's doing. Proof:

“What is the day’s news from home?” Taravangian asked to draw attention from the tears he wiped away.

 

When he's "normal", like he is most days, he's clearly very empathetic. I don't think Jasnah got the wrong sense of the man (except for the fact that he was inept, which he's really not).

 

I get that you argue he's wanting to "help" and that's his motivation.  However, I think its his excuse.  We are looking at him from HIS point of view at the end of the book.  We are seeing his rationale.  Of course he's going to try and justify his means and make himself look better than he is in reality.  Hence the front, hence why he doesn't tell any other leaders about his Diagram.  He only worships himself:

 

Taravangian worshipped only one god now. it was the man he had been on that day.

 

He doesn't worship "himself", he worships the man he was when he had god-like intelligence. He isn't normally like that, and he's unlikely to ever be like that again. I think you're twisting that particular passage's meaning.

 

And yes, it's a valid point that we're seeing things somewhat biased from T's point of view. He may very well be making excuses to himself to cover up a deep-seated desire to be a maniacal control freak serial killer. If that were the case though, don't you think we'd see hints of it? T made himself a prisoner. This is not the action of a control freak.

 

As to not telling other leaders about the Diagram, he likely doesn't do that because the Diagram specifically says he should not do it.

 

You define psychopath and then reject it as an apt description, yet his own suggestion to slaughter half the population was an impulsive idea he suggested, highly aggressive, and lacked empathy....ON A "SMART" DAY.  That clearly fits the definition you provided.  

 

I disagree that his suggestion to slaughter half the people was impulsive. He clearly drew up the plans (in writing), and he considered the consequences of his actions (such as wondering whether or not the people would resist). This is not impulsive. Impulsive is doing things without carefully considering the consequences of your actions.

 

I also don't think what he was doing was aggressive. He was asking people to commit suicide, he wasn't ordering the standing army of Kharbranth to slaughter half the population. I imagine he'd even say "please" during his requests to get people to commit suicide.

 

But I'll meet you quarter-way: when T's having a "smart" day (like when he wanted the city to commit suicide), he's somewhat psychopathic. On a normal, average day, though, I'd argue he's not at all, and when he's Diagram-level, I'd argue the word also doesn't quite fit. I might be able to get behind "sociopathic", but sociopathy tends to involve someone being selfish, and T is clearly doing this to help.

 

If the Diagram had so much information and predictive power, well in advance, why is it interpreted by King T to justify all the mass/power killings when King T could have just used the info to walk over to the Shattered Plains and personally stop the everstorm before it ever had a chance?  He could've used Szeth to slaughter the Parshendi leadership that was pro stormform.  Why not kill all the slaves rather than his own people?  See how stupidly psychotic he is? 

 

I don't know. Graves didn't know the listeners were Voidbringers (hence his surprise that Jasnah was right), so that is a pretty big gap. Some possibilities (beware massive speculation):

  • Mr. T determined that the Everstorm was a useful thing to have around (probably because it can charge spheres with "voidlight", like Gavilar had), so of course he wants it unleashed. Just stopping the Everstorm would probably not stop the Desolation.
  • Mr. T is not perfectly intelligent and didn't know how the Everstorm would come to be, so he was acting on incorrect information. In this case, he was still trying his best to help, he was just wrong about a few things.
  • Mr. T determined that the longer he waited for the Desolation to come, the more powerful it got, and that letting it happen right now was the most optimal time for it to occur. I also think it's likely that the Desolation was guaranteed to come anyways and nothing anyone did could delay it indefinitely.
  • Killing parshmen before he's established himself as ruler of most of the world would reveal himself too early, and would prevent him from quietly taking over the world and following the Diagram. So, he has to let it happen.

As to how stupidly psychotic he is... no, I don't see it. T was sad at having to kill his friends to make a power gap, as he says to Szeth.

“Why?” Szeth asked, voice hoarse. “Vengeance?”

“No.” Taravangian sounded very tired. “Some of those men you killed were my dear friends, Szeth-son-son-Vallano.”

“More insurance?” Szeth spat. “To keep yourself from suspicion?” “In part. And in part because their deaths were necessary.” “Why?” Szeth asked. “What could it possibly have served?”

“Stability. Those you killed were among the most powerful and influential men in Roshar.”

“How does that help stability?”

“Sometimes,” Taravangian said, “you must tear down a structure to build a new one with stronger walls.” He turned around, looking out over the ocean. “And we are going to need strong walls in the coming years. Very, very strong walls.”

 

You might be able to call him "stupid" for not doing the right thing, but we don't know if releasing the Everstorm was necessarily a bad thing yet. If you can use "voidlight" for useful things, like killing Voidbringers, then it might be worth the cost of the devastation it will cause.

 

He went to the Nightwatcher, the Nightwatcher gave him exactly what he wanted.  To be a monster. 

 

The Nightwatcher doesn't give you what you want, she gives you what you deserve. Taravangian, before the Diagram, was a strong humanitarian and opened hospitals to help all.

 

“I could phrase my request perfectly,” Baxil said.

“Doesn’t work that way,” Av said. “It’s not a game, no matter how the stories try to put it. The Nightwatcher doesn’t trick you or twist your words. You ask a boon. She gives what she feels you deserve, then gives you a curse to go along with it. Sometimes related, sometimes not.”

 

Av then proceeds to give an example of his brother asking for something stupid, and proceeding to get numb hands. Mr. T's curse is not actually that debilitating, so I think it's safe to say that the Nightwatcher thought Mr. T deserved what he got (amazing intelligence).

 

And we can know that's who King T is because he's contrasted against Dalinar, who is also trying to stop the coming desolation, but is attempting to do it without slaughtering as the means to an end.  King T tries to kill him off instead.

 

Dalinar is failing to stop the coming Desolation. He's spent months dealing with internal politics of the Alethi. He has precisely four Knights Radiant, only one of which is loyal to him and willing to work with him (Renarin) where in previous Desolations there were thousands, and each of the Radiants were trained by the Heralds (not going to happen this time!). Our protagonists barely even know how to Surgebind! Kaladin hasn't explored all he can do, Jasnah can barely Elsecall, Shallan purposefully forgot everything she found out, and Renarin is so ignorant of his powers that he thought he was cursed!

 

Half of Dalinar's army just got killed, he's going to have assassins after him for Sadeas' death, Alethkar is rioting, and he's got maybe a hundredth of the information of Taravangian. Taravangian knows how to deal with the Unmade; Dalinar does not.

 

Dalinar's attempts to win without slaughtering innocents are likely going to fail. (Well, from a meta-standpoint, the books support Dalinar's philosophy, so he's more likely to succeed, but I'm speaking from the perspective of an in-world observer). There's no Heralds, Honor is Splintered, Cultivation is too apathetic to help. There's no second chances if humanity fails here - everyone dies.

 

Given how awful things are looking for humanity's chances, I just can't support Dalinar. If Dalinar had a good chance of beating the Voidbringers, then maybe I could support him over Taravangian, but I just don't see it.

 

The most ideal situation, I think, would be for Taravangian to ally with Dalinar. But we don't know if that will mess up the Diagram.

Edited by Moogle
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Well empathy is really being able to sympathize from a personal point of view or experience.  As an example, you value your own life and thus would value the sanctity of others.  Once again, where is that from the book though to say he doesn't need it at the upper limit of his brain power?  How does hitting the upper limit negate the need for empathy?  

 

It's not that he doesn't need empathy at the upper limit, it's that he doesn't have it at all.  That's the curse of his granted "intelligence", but it thus also makes his predictions fallible.

 

The Diagram is a circular reflection of King T.  He was an entire monster when it was generated, and he continues to interpret it as the monster he is and has to be.     

Empathy is the result of being able to predict the mental processes of others. Taravangian loses out on the ability to do this as he grows smarter, because his brain gets rewired to provide computing power that can be used for anything. That overwrites the "predicting people" circuits. But once he reaches Diagram-level, he has enough flexible computing power that can predict people anyway.

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Moogle, about power-hunger

 

"He doesent want to do what he is doing"

 

That is false.

 

Average Mr T does not want to do what he is doing. You have no information saying that diagram Mr T does not want to do what he is doing. To make a comparison, I believe Diagram-T would gladly have a small, bred and mostly neutered portion of humanity simular to how the Lord Ruler kept terrismen around, and count that as having saved humanity. It would be quite simple to control that to his liking.

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Average Mr T does not want to do what he is doing. You have no information saying that diagram Mr T does not want to do what he is doing. To make a comparison, I believe Diagram-T would gladly have a small, bred and mostly neutered portion of humanity simular to how the Lord Ruler kept terrismen around, and count that as having saved humanity. It would be quite simple to control that to his liking.

 

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree here, then. We've never actually met Diagram-T, so I can't provide any quotes to refute or support your position. The only evidence I can offer is that we don't seem to find T's motivations change as he gets smarter - even when he wanted half the population to commit suicide, his reasoning was that it was "for the good of the city".

 

Also, increasing the average IQ of everyone seems to work against this idea of making people easier to control. You'd think if he wanted to control the world as puppet master that he'd want stupid people he could fool easily.

 

I think his motivations stay the same as he becomes Diagram-T. I'm not sure what else I can say on the topic.

Edited by Moogle
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I always interpreted the way Diagram-T "modeled" people as more like the way economics models people - in Aggregate.  You don't need to know how each individual would respond to know that pushing on a particular political structure will cause war, or that on average, telling people to commit suicide would incite riots.

 

But when he drops below Diagram level, then he has a small amount of empathy, but not enough computing power to do the aggregate modeling.  So he makes mistakes.

 

In aggregate, knowing a desolation is coming would indicate that radiants would start popping up all over... 

 

I think I had more of a point before I started typing, but a windspren seems to have stolen it.

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Empathy is the result of being able to predict the mental processes of others. Taravangian loses out on the ability to do this as he grows smarter, because his brain gets rewired to provide computing power that can be used for anything. That overwrites the "predicting people" circuits. But once he reaches Diagram-level, he has enough flexible computing power that can predict people anyway.

 

Once again, you do not support your final assumption that it can predict people anyway once he reaches Diagram-T.  Please show where in the text it shows that.  

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Once again, you do not support your final assumption that it can predict people anyway once he reaches Diagram-T.  Please show where in the text it shows that.  

The fact that he managed to predict, quite accurately, the events of Words of Radiance? I think that counts.

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   One major issue as of the end of the Words of Radiance is that Taravangian has barely established control over one major nation, Jah Kaved.  The nation is in a shambles and the loss of life is enormous.

 

    My impression was that his goal was to unite all the kingdoms of the world under him to establish a unified defense but Taravangian's timing seems way off.  The final desolation has come and he has effectively no authority in the other kingdoms and he has left most of them in a very poor state to respond to emergencies.  How is this supposed to help humanity to survive?

 

   Perhaps he always intended to write large portions of Roshare off.  If that is the case though wouldn't it be better if the nations had maintained strong leadership so that they could hold out longer?  How does it benefit Taravangian if those nations fall faster under the onslaught of the final desolation?  As things stand I don't even see how Taravangian is going to save Jah Kaved given the state it is in.  Could the diagram be flawed or is their some super clever strategy that it has implemented that hasn't been brought up?

 

   Taravangian's opponent in this is Odium.  An entity who we must assume has an intellect at least as great as Taravangian's on the day of the Diagram with several additional advantages and none of the disadvantages.

 

Given this I'm actually having a hard time understanding how Taravangian's plan, alone, could carry the day.   :unsure:

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You are not alone. I too do not understand.

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   One major issue as of the end of the Words of Radiance is that Taravangian has barely established control over one major nation, Jah Kaved.  The nation is in a shambles and the loss of life is enormous.

 

Actually, only the capital is in shambles as far as I recall so the loss of life should be relatively minor. A very good portion of Jah Keved consists of rural houses, like Shallan's, though I can't for the life of me recall where I got this knowledge from. Maybe I'm insane.

 

    My impression was that his goal was to unite all the kingdoms of the world under him to establish a unified defense but Taravangian's timing seems way off.  The final desolation has come and he has effectively no authority in the other kingdoms and he has left most of them in a very poor state to respond to emergencies.  How is this supposed to help humanity to survive?

 

Perhaps his plan requires that the Desolation come before he can gain power? I suspect a lot of countries would not have been willing to just let Taravangian acquire them during peace time, but when times are grim, and rumors of a great, merciful king sweep through the nations, people will be clamoring for him to take control. And in any case I don't think the Desolation will be immediately lethal. It seems like the Desolation will last somewhere on a timescale of years. Taravangian still has time, I think.

 

 

   Taravangian's opponent in this is Odium.  An entity who we must assume has an intellect at least as great as Taravangian's on the day of the Diagram with several additional advantages and none of the disadvantages.

 

Odium has several main disadvantages that Taravangian does not have:

  • His Shardic Intent severely curtails his options. Taravangian is willing to do anything to accomplish his goal, but Odium would probably have issue with allowing the entire planet to live in peace and harmony if it meant he could get free of Roshar that way. Ironically, this would make him sort of like Honor (since Odium would not believe that the ends justify the means). I could be wrong, though. Ruin was willing to create one thing if he could use it to destroy two other things. Maybe Odium is the same, though I doubt it.
  • Odium was (is?) bound by Honor and has to follow some rules (like choosing a champion), as evidenced by the fact that he hasn't already directly crushed Roshar with his power (despite there being nothing to oppose him). Odium has to work through intermediaries, it seems, and can't even directly control Voidbringers. He doesn't speak to Eshonai, who only seems to hear the voices of the Unmade (who have been established as being mostly mindless and stupid). Taravangian has (had?) the advantage of being able to directly interact with his followers.
  • Odium has failed repeatedly for probably something like 99 Desolations. He's probably incompetent. Even if he had only a 10% chance of winning any given Desolation, the odds would favor him having won already. So we can use this as evidence that Taravangian actually was smarter than Odium.
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“Each highprince sought to seize the capital. That made them converge. It was almost like the wars of some Northern savages, with a time and place appointed for the shaking of spears and chanting of threats. Only here, it depopulated a kingdom.”

 

Taravangian comments that he hopes that is an overstatement.  He does not deny Mrall's observation outright though.  I think it safe to conclude that the damage outside the capital isn't trivial.  Given historical wars it is reasonable to assume that armies that marched through other princes territories on the way to the capital probably caused a lot of death and destruction.  Especially since it appears the "thrill" was in full force.  It will realistically take months to really get everything in order and they don't have months before the everstorm hits and the voidbringers manifest.

 

Regardless of the long term effects the short term effects will be terrible.  Taravangian's actions have guaranteed every major nations response will be degraded and cause a significantly greater level of destruction as a consequence.  Maybe this is effectively a triage strategy but it seems to me that starting off the war by effectively guaranteeing that your side looses more in the initial confrontation is a poor strategic choice.

 

On the flip side.  It has been made clear that the Diagram does have sleeper agents in other kingdoms.  If indeed it has sleeper cells in other kingdoms that are in any position to help this would be an ideal time to activate them.  Have them help out in the defenses where they can.  Perhaps save lives and resources that would have been otherwise lost.  Something they would be well suited to given the diagrams information.  Where such agents are successful Taravangian would now have ideally placed advocates in position that could, down the line, lend influence when Taravangian makes a takeover bid.

 

This might also highlight why Dalinar could be such a potential problem for the Diagram.  Actually Dalinar almost certainly is a major problem since it seems that it did not predict that Dalinar would become a Radiant and a Bondsmith at that.  The consequences of that might throw a major wrench into to the Diagrams predictive ability.

 

Edit : I have this image of Taravangian saying a few choice words and rubbing his forehead from the stress after he is informed that Dalinar is now a Bondsmith.

Edited by Arondell
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T wants to unite Roshar before the Desolation and he still has time. The everstorm isn't how Desolations used to start and probably isn't his main concern. I still can't find a satisfying explanation as to how could Jasnah realize something Diagram T didn't (that Parshmen are Voidbringers).Here's what Graves knows:

 

 

The Diagram says this will probably return the Voidbringers, though.

 

The everstorm didn't seem to me like something T was particularly concerned about. Whether he was right or not to not worry, we'll see.

 

T hasn't accomplished as much as I'd expect for 6 years (he only recently got Jah Keved), but he didn't have Szeth before WoK, so there's that. Though how could he lose the Truthless he created (at least he wanted to create one according to the Diagram)? Too sloppy. So may be T didn't create Szeth then? I don't know which was first - Gavilar's assassination or the Diagram. But I agree T seems too slow unless the Diagram plans for him to acquire most of his future lands in a fast-paced manner and he was preparing all those years for a few grand moves.

Edited by Aleksiel
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I'm just thinking "out loud" here. I'll preface this by saying, with more information, all of my thoughts are subject to change. (my disclaimer for Life and yet it parallels the topic in the thread too

Some thing/power/entity via the old magic determines where Taravangian falls on the spectrum of a higher level of intelligence vs being a drooling, knuckle-dragger. (flood of mental tangents as I try to hold onto my original point)

When I read certain parts of T's story, it reminded me of spiritual possession. I suppose if there is an entity controlling whether it's smart or stupid day, that same being/force could actually implant ideas into his mind. That could be one route to take in story telling if we go to "it's all magic" with spiritual, cosmic forces that are personified. (tangent about Sanderson's meshing of intelligent design, creation, science, evolution)

We have so many quotes about the close relationship of genius and madness. I can't verify this idea, but it seems I've read the abilities/tendencies are carried on the same gene (s). /But just because I have read something online, doesn't make it true. Drat!/ Our science (IRL) addresses mental illness by manipulating chemistry.  That opens up plenty of creative opportunities to write how the beings on Roshar could be affected. (Much like the beings in the Mistborn world are affected by specific chemical reactions within the body and can seem to control them by force of will once they understand things.- grr tangent)

Semi-related tangent: Have you noticed how emotionally uninvested (eek... the word Invest seems to mean more on this site than I necessarily intend) Shallan becomes when she starts going into extreme analytical mode during a time when she might otherwise be having an intense emotional reaction to an event? It's another method to dissociate from unpleasant emotions just as when she "zones out" and loses so much time in some mental fog. Anyway, socially, it comes across as a lack of empathy. It may be something more like a short-circuit in an area of the mind that allows access to empathy. T exhibits a similar quality. We haven't begun to address that affect Ego has on all of us. When you know so many things, it's easy to become frustrated by those who do not. From there, it's a short trip to elevating your opinion of yourself so high that you become drunk on ego (or air sick!) and lose sight of some obvious, plain truths that can be in direct conflict with rational logic. (I've experienced this more than once. I see it a lot amongst the famous who believe their own hype too.) 

Or we could just simplify this and say "It's the Devil!" I mean, T is involved in some Stuff. <- vague to minimize spoilage (multiple mental tangents about the movie The Waterboy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwTADnsFrPA

Edited by Tien'sPetLurg
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From there, it's a short trip to elevating your opinion of yourself so high that you become drunk on ego (or air sick!) and lose sight of some obvious, plain truths that can be in direct conflict with rational logic. (I've experienced this more than once. I see it a lot amongst the famous who believe their own hype too.) 

What "obvious, plain truths" are in direct conflict with rational logic?

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Well I would say having a pre-determined set of people "off" themselves for the "greater good" in order to cull stupidity out of a population in order to save an intelligent remnant flies in the face of rational and logical. At least, if we are assuming these characters have similar DNA to our own...(don't we all know the smart or dumb one who doesn't fit with other DNA relatives? The savant born to low average parents? or the converse? Someone else mentioned how his idea can't account for future generations: natural selection/DNA combination/free radical damage..if that's applicable on Roshar). Or if we ignore that and look at T himself, on which day does he "make the cut" or does he get to be excused from drinking the Koolaid (or whatever) when he's below average? (Even if it's a 1 day only mass suicide, can he predict his above average intelligence days to a specific date? I thought he could not, hence the test?)

My point is just that people can become delusional about their superiority at any IQ score as long as they have a sense of self.

It is interesting that many refer to him as Diagram "smart" or diagram level intellect. The quote earlier about that version of himself being his only god... What if that mega brilliant being isn't really T's mental capability at all? What if all of that is being channeled through him? We have Dalinar with visions. His detailed memories of his wife are closed off to him. Couldn't the gate to the mind swing both ways? Syl gets to decide who sees her as well as How they perceive her form.

I think allowing for the possibility that his hand scribbling the diagram could have been separate from his own consciousness makes his "lesser" days interesting. Not saying I'm right or wrong just pondering.

It is easy for me to believe a person can disengage from empathy when considering data. It may come across as cold, but information in and of itself is not emotional. I always hope the empathy switch is turned back on before a final decision is made. :-)

He is a very interesting character.

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Well I would say having a pre-determined set of people "off" themselves for the "greater good" in order to cull stupidity out of a population in order to save an intelligent remnant flies in the face of rational and logical. At least, if we are assuming these characters have similar DNA to our own...(don't we all know the smart or dumb one who doesn't fit with other DNA relatives? The savant born to low average parents? or the converse? Someone else mentioned how his idea can't account for future generations: natural selection/DNA combination/free radical damage..if that's applicable on Roshar). Or if we ignore that and look at T himself, on which day does he "make the cut" or does he get to be excused from drinking the Koolaid (or whatever) when he's below average? (Even if it's a 1 day only mass suicide, can he predict his above average intelligence days to a specific date? I thought he could not, hence the test?)

That wasn't rational logic, it was failing to account for self-interest. Failing to account for self-interest is neither rational nor logical. The rest of your post is interesting, but I don't know enough to fully respond to it.

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The fact that he managed to predict, quite accurately, the events of Words of Radiance? I think that counts.

Well but empathy clearly isn't shown in his predictions.  He kills whomever he needs to using Szeth.  He destroys as needed to achieve his ends.  There's no empathy there.  The soldiers they heal at the end are to be reused and sacrificed as needed, not out of empathy.  His predictions can be entirely accurate on his end if they are a reflection of what he wants to do anyway to achieve his ends with the information he was given.  Empathy is not understood by the Diagram.  

And the Diagram gets less accurate the farther he moves away from that day.  It gets less accurate the more Radiants become involved esp as radiants do not neglect their empathy, but are practically born on it.  

 

He's not overly concerned with the voidbringers or everstorm, because he wants it all to happen.  He wants Dalinar dead so he can't stop it.  

 

I think King T is either selfishly bent on conquering the world for himself and using the excuse of the voidbringers coming to do it, or he's being manipulated by Odium to being with.  Especially in light of some of the other comments if Odium is restricted in some regards, why not use a King T to his advantage then to go where he can not?  

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Empathy is not understood by the Diagram.  

 

There's this bit, which is telling:

Now they cheered him for it. He forced himself to stop with one of the groups, asking after their health, seeing if there was anything he could do for them. It was important to be seen by the people as a compassionate man. The Diagram explained this in casual sterility, as if compassion were something one could measure in a cup next to a pint of blood.

 

It clearly understands that being seen as empathetic is useful because it makes people trust you more. The Diagram is not empathetic, but it does understand the concept and its uses.

 

He's not overly concerned with the voidbringers or everstorm, because he wants it all to happen.  He wants Dalinar dead so he can't stop it.  

 

I don't know where you're getting this from? Taravangian outright doesn't want the Desolation to happen and doesn't like what he has to do to save the world from it. This is repeated over and over in both WoK and WoR.

 

WoK:

“You will be forgiven,” Jasnah said. “Depending on the devotary you have chosen.”

“Forgiven? Me?” The elderly man seemed to find that amusing, and for a moment, Shallan thought she saw deep regret in his expression. “Unlikely. But that is something else entirely. Please. I stand by my questions.”

...

“We try to select only the worst cases to move here, for once they are brought to this place, we cannot let them leave if they begin to recover.” He turned to Szeth, eyes sorrowful. “Sometimes we need more bodies than the terminally sick can provide. And so we must bring the forgotten and the lowly. Those who will not be missed.”

...

“You see, Szeth-son-son-Vallano,” Taravangian said. “I did not send you to do my bloody work for me. I do it here, myself. I have personally held the knife and released the blood from the veins of many. Much like you, I know I cannot escape my sins. We are two men of one heart. This is one reason why I sought you out.”

...

“We do not know why some speak when others do not,” Taravangian said. “But the dying see something. It began seven years ago, about the time when King Gavilar was investigating the Shattered Plains for the first time.” His eyes grew distant. “It is coming, and these people see it. On that bridge between life and the endless ocean of death, they view something. Their words might save us.”

“You are a monster.”

“Yes,” Taravangian said. “But I am the monster who will save this world.”

 

WoR:

“Dova reports that the number of Death Rattles we’re finding has dropped even further. She didn’t find a single one yesterday, and only two the day before.”

“Moelach moves, then,” Taravangian said . “It is certain now. The creature must have been drawn by something westward.” What now? Did Taravangian suspend the murders? His heart yearned to— but if they could discover even one more glimmer about the future, one fact that could save hundreds of thousands, would it not be worth the lives of the few now?

...

“Did ever I tell you, Adro, what I asked for?” he whispered as he read.

“Yes.” He was barely listening.

“Capacity,” he whispered, turning a page. “Capacity to stop what was coming. The capacity to save humankind.”

Edited by Moogle
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Well but empathy clearly isn't shown in his predictions.  He kills whomever he needs to using Szeth.  He destroys as needed to achieve his ends.  There's no empathy there.  The soldiers they heal at the end are to be reused and sacrificed as needed, not out of empathy.  His predictions can be entirely accurate on his end if they are a reflection of what he wants to do anyway to achieve his ends with the information he was given.  Empathy is not understood by the Diagram.  

And the Diagram gets less accurate the farther he moves away from that day.  It gets less accurate the more Radiants become involved esp as radiants do not neglect their empathy, but are practically born on it.  

 

He's not overly concerned with the voidbringers or everstorm, because he wants it all to happen.  He wants Dalinar dead so he can't stop it.  

 

I think King T is either selfishly bent on conquering the world for himself and using the excuse of the voidbringers coming to do it, or he's being manipulated by Odium to being with.  Especially in light of some of the other comments if Odium is restricted in some regards, why not use a King T to his advantage then to go where he can not?  

If he's anyone's pawn, it's Cultivation, not Odium. As per Moogle's post above, he doesn't seem to hate anyone. But he's certainly cultivating things.

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