Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Confused

Origin and Properties of Shard Mandates (Intents)

7 posts in this topic

This post is another in my periodic series, “A Theory of Cosmere Magic.” As with all my posts, please preface each statement with “In my opinion….”

SUMMARY

1. The Powers originally lacked “thoughts and personalities.” (HoA, Chapter 55 Epigraph.) I interpret Sazed’s comment to mean “Adonalsium” lacked thoughts and personalities.

2. The Vessels did have “thoughts and personalities.” When the Vessels Ascended, the Powers had to accommodate themselves to their new directing minds. That created Mandates.

3. Mandate “permanence” and Mandate “compulsion” help the Powers maintain their efficiency. These Mandate properties imprint and widen the Internal Connection between the Vessel’s mind and the Powers (that is, between its Cognitive and Spiritual Realm aspects).

THE MEANING OF MANDATES

Sixteen Colored Lenses. In Preservation’s metaphor of the Realms (M:SH), the Cognitive Realm distorts the Spiritual Realm’s perfection on its way to the Physical Realm. Pre-Shattering, there was no distortion – Adonalsium had a clear lens, allowing the perfect “white” light of the Powers to shine through to the Physical Realm. The Shattering replaced Adonalsium’s perfect white light with 16 different colored lenses.

Doesn’t Affect Powers. The Powers themselves are still “perfect,” though divided into 16 originally equal Spiritual Realm parts. As Spiritual Realm Investiture, the Powers are “consistent” regardless of their Mandate. Post-Shattering the Powers pass through a Mandated Cognitive lens that “colors” the magic on its way to the Physical Realm – a “color” caused by the Vessel’s dominant character trait at the moment of Ascension. Mandates affect only the use of the Powers, not their Spiritual Realm perfection: “The means of getting powers…are related to the Shards, but not the powers themselves.” Similarly, “The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do.”

ORIGIN OF MANDATES

Connection to Vessel’s Soul. The Shattering created Mandates. They arose because, unlike Adonalsium, each Vessel already had a Spiritweb and was part of “Creation” (the sum of all Spiritwebs and their corresponding aspects). That meant the Powers had to Connect to the Vessels’ souls. Evidence of this Powers-Vessel Connection: Vin, Leras and Ati’s bodies re-materialized after their deaths.

Cognitive Connection. The Powers Internally Connected to their Vessel’s mind and vaporized their Vessel’s body. The Powers took each Vessel’s mind as it was. This imprinted the Shard with the Vessel’s dominant character trait – Brandon says the Shattering could have spawned different Mandates, different Cognitive filters. Each Vessel became the Shard of that dominant trait: Ambition, Autonomy, Cultivation, Devotion, Dominion, Endowment, Honor, Odium, Preservation and Ruin.

Example: Preservation tells Kelsier in M:SH that "Everything passes, nothing is eternal. That is what Ati always claimed. [Emphasis added.]” Ati “always” saw things through that prism, always identified with Ruin, even before his Ascension. He may have been a “kind and generous man,” but he believed in decay, in the inevitable destruction of all things. This example highlights the difference between “personality” (Ati’s kindness) and character (Ati’s strong belief in “decay” that became Ruin’s Mandate).

In a description of cognitive shadows, Brandon says,

Quote

A mind (cognitive aspect of a person) can become infused with Investiture. This acts a little like minerals with petrified wood, replacing the mind and personality with investiture.

Cognitive shadows are not Shards, and their creation process is not the same. But Brandon’s description of cognitive shadows seems to apply to the Ascension of Vessels: Ascension results in a mind “infused with Investiture.” This infusion permanently imprints a Shard with its Vessel’s pre-Ascension character “like minerals with petrified wood.”

PROPERTIES OF MANDATES

Mandate Permanence. The imprint on the Powers of each Vessel’s dominant character trait at the moment of Ascension became that Shard’s permanent Mandate. The Vessel’s character seems to attune the Powers, allowing them to be held or used only by someone with precisely the same character:

Examples: Kelsier, Vin and Sazed all held the Powers. Kelsier couldn’t fully use Preservation’s Powers because he was too Connected to Ruin and didn’t match Leras’ character, as the Preservation Shard required. Vin could fully absorb Preservation’s Powers after her “attuning” at the Well. Sazed’s balanced character had no trouble picking up both Preservation and Ruin.

Mandate Compulsion. Mandates initially don’t affect the personal behavior of Shards, their “personalities.” But the Powers WANT to be used with their full force, with little resistance. They push to widen the Connection between the Shard’s Cognitive and Spiritual Realm aspects. Eventually the Powers may widen this Connection until the Mandate overwhelms the Shard’s personality, aligning it with the Mandate. This happened with Ati.

Brandon suggests some Vessels resist the Mandate’s compulsion better than others. Harmony himself distinguishes between personality and Mandate (SoS, Kindle, p. 134):

Quote

I – the personality you speak to – agree with your indignation. But the powers that I am, the essence of my self, cannot allow me to take sides.

Mandate compulsion resembles a Knight Radiant’s Nahel bond (though the mechanism is different). The Nahel bond strengthens as the Knight and its spren come into closer alignment through the Knight’s expression of his/her ideals. The strengthened bond increases the Power a Knight Radiant can wield. The Shard likewise can more forcefully assert the Powers as the Vessel’s personality and the Shard’s Mandate align.

Relationship Between Mandate Permanence and Compulsion. Together, Mandate permanence and compulsion increase the Shard’s Power efficiency. They create one wide permanent pipeline for the Powers. Mandate compulsion widens the Internal Connection between a Vessel’s mind and the Powers by aligning “personality” to Mandate. Mandate permanence locks in that Connection. Otherwise, changes to the Vessel’s character or the Ascension of a new Vessel for that Shard would alter the Connection, defeating the effects of Mandate compulsion.

Edited by Confused
Clean up.
3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a large scale, I take issue with the interpretation of Mandates as primarily personal characteristics imposed on the Shards. I see elements of deity (especially with Odium and Honor) in the actions of the Shards we've seen. The clearest description we've had of a Mandate is from the Second Letter, where Frost refers to Odium as "God's own divine hatred, separated from the virtues that gave it context." If the Mandate of the Shard arose from Rayse's mind at the time of the Shattering, then who is the God that Frost is referring to? If Adonalsium had no mind, no hatred, then whose was it?

That being said, I do like how you connected Ati's beliefs to the Shard he wound up taking. I don't think I'd noticed that implications of that particular passage before. But I do not like your approach to how Vessel's fight their Mandates (if the Mandate came from the Vessel's original character, then how is it later in conflict with their character?), but I can't fault your explanation, either, only say that I cannot subscribe to it. Going back to deific understanding, I do think there is a correlation there, that each Vessel took a piece of God that they were compatible with (much like the Ascenscions we witnessed throughout Mistborn).

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically more of what @Pagerunner said. I fully subscribe to the Mandates being pieces of a full personality of a deity. The main issue with the idea of the original Vessels imprinting the Shards is that then you would expect duplicates, or at least more overlap. I don't buy the idea that 16 completely different people got together and killed Mr A. There had to be some of them with similar ideologies and/or personalities. At least close enough that their 'dominant characteristics' would match up closely enough to have the same or very similar Shards.

Now, that doesn't mean I'm excluding the possibility of the original Vessels affecting how Mr A broke. Perhaps the way he/she/it broke was partially determined to be closer to the people who were breaking he/she/it. This could be completely unintentional on the part of the Vessels, just a residual effect of destroying a god.

I still disagree that Mr A didn't have thoughts or personality. How could something like that create worlds? I think that epigraph isn't the best evidence in the first place, since it is coming from someone in world who is frankly new to it all at the time. Sazed presumably didn't know anything about Adonalsium. He just knows there are 16 Shards, and that they (the Shards) didn't originally have minds attached to them. Which is of course the case after the Vessels killed Adonalsium regardless of the nature of Adonalsium. I could accept Adonalsium not having a Vessel and just being a super massive spren, but there is no way I can accept it being just a chunk of raw power that far exceeds the threshold for gaining sentience on its own without it actually doing so.

Quote

[Ruin and Preservation’s] minds were, of course, independent of the raw force of their powers. Actually, I am uncertain of how thoughts and personalities came to be attached to the powers in the first place—but I believe they were not there originally. For both powers could be detached from the minds that ruled them.

I guess I really need to state explicitly how I parsed this epigraph that you reference, which I quoted for convenience. 'Their minds were independent of their power (their Shard). I don't know how the minds got attached to the Shards in the first place, but they can be separated.' That is how I read it. Semantically and grammatically, it makes sense. It makes even more sense if you ignore one of the Shards and consequently make some things in the paragraph singular. That way, it might read something like, 'Preservation's mind was, of course, independent of the raw force of its power. Actually, I am uncertain of how thoughts and personality came to be attached to the power in the first place—but I believe they were not there originally. For the power could be detached from the mind that ruled it.' That reads according to my understanding much more smoothly, and all I had to do was remove some plurals. I don't see a good reason to think that Sazed switched from talking about the Shards in the first sentence and then about Adonalsium in the second sentence, especially since he is clearly talking about the Shards again in the third sentence. That would be pretty bad writing. Also, he uses the same word "powers" in the sentences, which should imply that he is still talking about the same thing. I'm no linguist, so if one of you sees this and groans at my terminology (or lack thereof), sorry, I don't know the right words. Those things combine to make me think your interpretation is stretching, which we have discussed before.

It feels good to finally explain why I feel that way on that particular point so explicitly >.>   Words are hard. Putting them together is harder.

You also give no explanation for why the Mandate impression would be permanent, and Pagerunner made the excellent point about future conflict. I see no reason for it to be permanent if it came from the Vessels other than hand waving it. If they come from aspects of a deity, I would fully expect them to be permanent.

And as for Preservation's explanation of the Realms, I understood that to mean that the minds of everything, not just the Shards, affects how thing manifest in the Physical Realm. We know that the way humans think about stuff affects what types of spren there are. We know that cognitive intent makes a big difference in certain magics like awakening. I do like the idea though, and can easily compromise and say that the Shards have more influence than your average Joe on how the PR manifests, they just aren't the only filter.

As usual, I mostly disagree with you, but there really isn't anything wrong with that. You did bring up some good things for me to consider.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Pagerunner, thank you for your post. You raise important points. Thank you also for your thoughtfulness and civility.

Quote

On a large scale, I take issue with the interpretation of Mandates as primarily personal characteristics imposed on the Shards. I see elements of deity (especially with Odium and Honor) in the actions of the Shards we've seen. The clearest description we've had of a Mandate is from the Second Letter, where Frost refers to Odium as "God's own divine hatred, separated from the virtues that gave it context." If the Mandate of the Shard arose from Rayse's mind at the time of the Shattering, then who is the God that Frost is referring to? If Adonalsium had no mind, no hatred, then whose was it?

I agree that the Second Letter is the strongest contrary evidence to my theory. Before addressing that, let’s discuss the idea of “elements of deity.” I’ve always thought it presumptuous (and contrary to faith) for humans to think they understand God and his “elements.” (That’s a general statement, not directed at you.) “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan / The proper study of Mankind is Man.” (A. Pope, An Essay on Man,” Book 2, lines 1-2.) It’s a topic that continues to confuse theologians and philosophers, and answers vary. Brandon acknowledges the confusion in Mistborn, through Sazed. I’m not bold enough to address deific elements.

Philosophical questions aside, there are “in-world” reasons to equate “elements of deity” with “personal characteristics.” Brandon’s main cosmere theme questions what mortals do when they become gods. In Brandon’s cosmere, “personal characteristics” like human character are “elements of deity.” The fallible Shards are all “Gods.”

Mandates have magical meaning, not theological meaning. This is key to understanding Mandates. The Shards are not “good” or “evil,” which Khriss confirms (AU, Kindle p. 17). They’re simply representations of the Powers filtered through their Mandate. Brandon discourages attempts to impose theological meaning on the cosmere. He says terms like the “God Beyond” reflect people’s perceptions, not necessarily a cosmere “truth.”

I think “God’s own divine hatred” is an ambiguous phrase. Each Shard is a “God” in its own right. Every God’s Mandate “is separated from the virtues that gave it context.” Frost may not have been referring to Adonalsium as you suggest.

That phrase also conflicts with Sazed’s statement that the Powers originally had no “thoughts and personalities.” Adonalsium did have a mind, since he could direct the Powers. That doesn’t mean “God” had emotions like “hatred.”

And even if I’ve read this wrong, as you and Djarskublar believe, Adonalsium was dead before the Shattering occurred: “He Shattered because he was killed.” The Shards couldn’t have received their Mandates from Adonalsium unless the Mandates inhered in the Powers themselves.

That can’t be the case because the Powers are independent of their Mandates. This is confirmed by two WoBs I quote in the OP. Brandon also says Investiture is “consistent” in the Spiritual Realm. The Powers cannot be independent of Mandates and “consistent” if Odium’s and Honor’s Spiritual Realm Powers differ from one another. The difference must instead arise in the Cognitive Realm, where each Vessel’s mind modifies how the Powers manifest. Mandates have the same effect on the Powers as Kaladin’s self-perception has on his ability to heal his slave brand. The Vessel’s mind determines the Shard’s magical effects, but the Powers remain consistent from Shard to Shard.

Quote

That being said, I do like how you connected Ati's beliefs to the Shard he wound up taking. I don't think I'd noticed that implications of that particular passage before. But I do not like your approach to how Vessel's fight their Mandates (if the Mandate came from the Vessel's original character, then how is it later in conflict with their character?), but I can't fault your explanation, either, only say that I cannot subscribe to it. Going back to deific understanding, I do think there is a correlation there, that each Vessel took a piece of God that they were compatible with (much like the Ascensions we witnessed throughout Mistborn).

The OP states Mandates arise from a Vessel’s dominant character trait. A dominant trait is not a person’s sole trait. I posit that Mandate compulsion over time squeezes out the Vessel’s personality and all other traits except that dominant trait. In your words, the “conflict with their character” is between two different aspects of their character – their dominant trait versus all the others.

You say, “each Vessel took a piece of God that they were compatible with (much like the Ascensions we witnessed throughout Mistborn).” First, the Mistborn Ascensions occurred after each Shard had already been imprinted with its Mandate. That’s different from the initial imprinting. These “secondary” Ascensions are examples of taking the piece of God a Vessel is compatible with.

But the initial imprinting had to come from the Vessel. As I said above, Adonalsium lacked “thoughts and personalities” either because he never had them or because he died before the Vessels assumed his Powers. The Powers themselves couldn’t have conveyed “compatible pieces of God” because they are “consistent” and exist independently of their Mandates’ Cognitive filters.

@Djarskublar, thank you also for your civility. I think I addressed most of your questions in my response to Pagerunner and will address the others below.

The most interesting issue you raise is how sixteen individuals each became a different Shard with a different Mandate. It doesn’t seem that hard to find sixteen people of divergent character on an entire planet. And some of the Shards do match somewhat with others, like Ruin and Odium, at least in their destructive magical effect. I think it would be much harder to find sixteen people who will be “compatible” with sixteen separate “pieces of God.” How would you even know what “God’s pieces” are, let alone match those pieces with mortals? And if you match them based on “Ambition,” “Honor,” etc., then what’s the difference between your and Pagerunner’s idea and mine?

Some odds and ends:

1. Sazed only has hints of Adonalsium and doesn’t yet know there are 16 Shards. He doesn’t know what the “red haze” is or where it came from.

2. The OP does explain why Mandates are permanent:

Quote

Mandate compulsion widens the Internal Connection between a Vessel’s mind and the Powers by aligning “personality” to Mandate. Mandate permanence locks in that Connection. Otherwise, changes to the Vessel’s character or the Ascension of a new Vessel for that Shard would alter the Connection, defeating the effects of Mandate compulsion.

3. Leras’ metaphor explains how magic works in the three Realms. Why would non-magical mortal minds affect how objects appear in the Physical Realm? How is that any different from what you and I can do on earth? Roshar’s non-magical humans collectively do affect (certain) spren, but that’s just Roshar’s unique magic system.

Again, thank you both for your courtesy and civility. Regards!

Edited by Confused
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me just say, I have only disagreed with someone more completely once in my entire life than I have with you over this whole thing. It has been an enlightening experience.

On 5/10/2017 at 3:43 AM, Confused said:

In Brandon’s cosmere, “personal characteristics” like human character are “elements of deity.”

You do realize this is what we are telling you? Adonalsium had thoughts and personality, and you did not address my highly specific deconstruction of that WoB, which literally everything I have seen you theorize to date is based on in the end. If you are wrong about your reading of that WoB, then your theory of how magic works falls apart, and all your other theories based on that fall apart as well. If Adonalsium did have personality, then it is likely that the Shards Mandate's came from there. If Mandates come from a source other than the Vessel, then Investiture has a different nature than you describe. If Investiture is different from what you describe, then all of your theorizing about specific and general magic systems largely gets thrown out. That is what I meant when I described your theories as a house of cards in the past. Your interpretations are largely based on 'well maybe he actually meant it this way,' and if even one or two of those maybes aren't right, then the rest of them are pretty much shoe-ins for not being right either. The nature of your theory is that it is either all right or mostly wrong.

What you likely forgot or overlooked while thinking about how the Shattering went down is that it could have shattered in different ways. Not that the Shards could have ended up different, that it could have broken different ways. Now, I'm not precluding the possibility that the 16 present could have had some influence on how it broke in one way or another, but it had to do directly with Adonalsium his/her/itself. In fact, I think it likely that they influenced how it Shattered because of your point that they aren't likely to match up to the 16 Shards like they did. There are other possible explanations that I like as well, such as that their Connection to Adonalsium gave them a free pass to take any of the pieces of him.

What I was trying to say with some of what I said is that I think it unlikely that there would be 16 different Shards under your model because I don't think the Vessels were that diverse. I am fine with them being diverse, but not perfectly so. Especially since your theory is that it is the dominant characteristic that determines Mandate, of which there can only be so many. Put it this way, the number of people necessary to have a 50% chance of at least one pair having the same birthday is something like 23. Each successive person you add to the group has to be different from all the other members you have already added, so it quickly becomes unlikely that there won't be a pair. I don't think you could name 365 potential dominant character traits. I would be surprised if you could reach 100 without entering very close synonym territory. If you could come up with 100 traits, given 16 people, you only have ~24% chance of there not being an exact duplicate, let alone something highly similar. This also assumes that the trait they mainly exhibit is completely random. If they are a group working together to achieve the same thing, I would bet it is more likely that you would get repeat traits. It isn't necessarily the case, but it should be more likely.

I also think that things you see as similar like Odium and Ruin aren't really similar. Ruin is just entropy incarnate, there is no emotion attached. Odium is pure hatred-- an extremely powerful emotion. As we see with how Allomancy works, you can't associate a Mandate with its effects, but its method, so just because they both destroy things doesn't make them similar. Another example is Cultivation and Endowment. The end result for both is similar, but they are completely different concepts. Cultivation is about growth and nurturing, while endowment is essentially generosity and giving. One occurs over time, the other is immediate. Their methods are also completely different. I think it is safe to say that we haven't seen any overlap with the Shards we know about, and I have no reason to believe we will.

On 5/10/2017 at 3:43 AM, Confused said:

The Powers themselves couldn’t have conveyed “compatible pieces of God” because they are “consistent” and exist independently of their Mandates’ Cognitive filters.

Could you explain your reasoning that Mandate is a cognitive filter more clearly? I don't see how the Shards not changing means that they didn't come from one personality. I think that Mandate is a Spiritual aspect of Investiture, and then the mind of the Vessel tries to direct it in some way. I also theorize that individual quanta of Investiture have individual, slightly varying Mandates that sum to the Mandate we see, but I'm not terribly attached to it since it's pretty speculative. They Shards are all still pure power, they just 'want' to be used a certain way or for a certain purpose. I compare Investiture to electricity. Mandate is what determines the path of least resistance for Investiture, in other words, how the power can be used. Preservation's power is used to Preserve the user's strength while causing some effect. It is like saying electricity flows better through things that conduct it well. When you burn metals, you Preserve yourself and close a circuit to power. You can use different Investiture to power other magics, just like you can use different voltage batteries to power things, you just have to jump through some hoops first.

On 5/10/2017 at 3:43 AM, Confused said:

Mandates have magical meaning, not theological meaning. This is key to understanding Mandates. The Shards are not “good” or “evil,” which Khriss confirms (AU, Kindle p. 17). They’re simply representations of the Powers filtered through their Mandate. Brandon discourages attempts to impose theological meaning on the cosmere. He says terms like the “God Beyond” reflect people’s perceptions, not necessarily a cosmere “truth.”

I think “God’s own divine hatred” is an ambiguous phrase. Each Shard is a “God” in its own right. Every God’s Mandate “is separated from the virtues that gave it context.” Frost may not have been referring to Adonalsium as you suggest.

Agreed that they are magical. On the other hand, you can't confuse the God Beyond with anything we are discussing. That's the real afterlife, which he leaves to the interpretation of the reader so he doesn't step on any toes. It is still a cosmere truth. He has said that he does know what is Beyond, but he will never tell us. He may not impose theological meaning, but he is definitely imposing moralistic meaning. And Mandates tie in nicely to that. They may not be good or evil, but they can certainly act morally or immorally. Also, the previous paragraph about not understanding God isn't evidence for any case except that we don't fully understand God.

As for the second paragraph, well... Yes, of course all the Mandates are separate from a virtuous context because you need 15 others to make a complete balanced personality. On the other hand, I absolutely disagree that Frost isn't referring to Adonalsium. He wouldn't see them as Gods. As Hoid said, Tanavast was a decent enough fellow, but he was not God. Frost almost certainly knows what was going on with the Shattering and subsequent Ascensions. He may even have participated in some manner, so I find it doubtful at best that he would think of the Shards as Gods. I could maybe see him thinking of them as little 'g' gods, but that isn't what is in the Letter. If, as you state, each Shard was a God to Frost and he was referring to them, then he would have said 'a God's own divine hatred' or 'the God of hatred.' Considering that it is singular and that Frost knows about Adonalsium, it is clearly referring to Mr A, not the Shards.

If Odium was actually Anxiety (which incidentally could be extremely amusing/interesting), then with it being separated from context, it would literally be the god of general anxiety disorder. They are both potent emotions, so they are fairly similar for my purposes. On the other hand, with all of the other Mandates as part of you, it gives context to the anxiety, and instead of general anxiety you are anxious about those pesky people that aren't doing what you want them to. This can clearly be seen with Ruin/Preservation. Individually they aren't very useful, but with the context and balancing that they give each other they allow constructive action. Some things need to be preserved and others need to reach an end. They are both aspects of a person. It makes complete sense that you can mix the exact divided personality traits of a balanced person and get a similar balanced person. This is where the theory of reconstructing Adonalsium comes from (even though I personally dislike it).

On 5/10/2017 at 3:43 AM, Confused said:

3. Leras’ metaphor explains how magic works in the three Realms. Why would non-magical mortal minds affect how objects appear in the Physical Realm? How is that any different from what you and I can do on earth? Roshar’s non-magical humans collectively do affect (certain) spren, but that’s just Roshar’s unique magic system.

Because the CR is a collective filter, with everything influencing everything around it. Forging is proof of this. How regular folks see an object affects how it thinks of itself, and therefor how it can be affected magically. And I would argue that all things are magical to an extent, since everything is composed of Investiture, and people have innate Investiture on top of that. Awakening is another good example. How precise and clear the mental component of your Commands are directly affects how an awakened object physically acts. Perception is reality, so to speak.

Now, the following stuff is comments on your theory writing itself. It may come across as pretty harsh, I'm not sure, but I think it needs to be said before I can let this whole thing go. It could also be informative for others when reading your other theories, so I'll put it here rather than a PM. Plus I'm too lazy since I already wrote it here.

In the end, the vibe I get from your series of posts is that you are trying to force facts to fit your interpretations. Like, you have your interpretations and ideas on a few things, and try to explain away other stuff that doesn't quite fit (which I feel there is a lot of), rather than analyzing the facts and drawing conclusions. Very similar how heliocentrism almost fits what you can observe, but not quite. Now, this isn't to say that's what you have done, but that is how it came across to me, which is part of why I keep coming back to it. The feeling irks me. Your posts seem to read 1. Sources (props for including them, btw) 2. Interpretations of sources (3. Defense against attacks we have made on interpretations if relevant) 4. Predictions/models based on interpretations. 5. Predictions/models based on predictions/models. 6. Repeat 5 as much as you like. I feel like my arguments are structured more like 1 Sources (sometimes :ph34r:) 2. Note similarities and interactions with other stuff 3. Interpretations. 4. Present a model that fits those interpretations and can hopefully bear up with only minor changes if particular aspects are wrong. 5. Note how it fits with previous models. 6. Make predictions based on that model.

Now, some of my posts are speculation on speculation on speculation, but I try to present them as such. Particularly things where I speculate on goofy hacks with magic, like a gold/gold twinborn being able to manufacture spren (wrong, but apparently they potentially could with the help of a Surgebinder). Even then, Spool yells at me for being too out there sometimes ;). I try to base my ideas on a variety of input and sources and modify them heavily based on further input. I build on rigorously discussed and modified theories, which is really all we have to go on for many things. On the other hand, your further theories beyond the nature of Adonalsium are based on themselves in a chain. That is why I agree that your theories are valid, but I refuse to espouse them. This particular theory in the OP, for example, is completely pointless if you are incorrect about the nature of Investiture, which is practically guaranteed if you are wrong about Adonalsium. Your theory on how Selish magic works is based on your general model for how magic works, which is based on your theory on the nature of Investiture, etc. The theories don't have disclaimers on them that they are based on a whole bunch of speculation that you haven't gotten direct WoB on. I wouldn't mind it as much if you had a whole bunch of completely separate theories and brought them together to make another theory. Like maybe a, maybe b, and maybe c, therefor maybe d. Where a, b, and c don't reference each other. If you have multiple theory 'd's, then it might be justified making theory e based on them. The trend of the site has been to have that, and as we get a, b, and c confirmed or denied by WoB, we change d. Over the years it has moved beyond that to confirming 'd' theories and 'e' theories, and on and on.

Basically, it boils down to your presentation. Each of your theories takes for granted that everything that it's based on is true, rather than saying 'given that all this other stuff is right, this also might be the case.' That bothers me on a fundamental level, and I have to admit I've gotten really wordy about why.

I've had a terrible week and I'm really touchy right now, so if this comes across badly, I'm really sorry. I really like that you are trying so hard, since not many do. Peace. This turned out really long. Ugh.

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/12/2017 at 2:41 AM, Djarskublar said:

Let me just say, I have only disagreed with someone more completely once in my entire life than I have with you over this whole thing.

Ha! At least I’m engaging you! You might consider this Mark Twain quote:

Quote

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

The irony is, we’re not disagreeing that much. For example, I think I HAVE misinterpreted the “no thoughts and personalities” epigraph. On reflection, “originally” may refer to the brief period between Adonalsium’s death and the Vessel’s ascension. During that period, when no one held the Powers and no mind directed them, they lacked “thoughts and personalities.”

I assume you agree that a dead “person” has no “thoughts and personalities.” (I suppose you could argue Adonalsium was a cognitive shadow…) If you do agree that dead people don’t think or have personality, then Adonalsium cannot be the source of Mandates. That moots most of your comments.

On 5/12/2017 at 2:41 AM, Djarskublar said:

Could you explain your reasoning that Mandate is a cognitive filter more clearly? I don't see how the Shards not changing means that they didn't come from one personality. I think that Mandate is a Spiritual aspect of Investiture...

The OP cites two WoBs where Brandon distinguishes between Mandates and the Powers. Here they are again: “The means of getting powers…are related to the Shards, but not the powers themselves.” That same WoB says, “the powers granted by all of the metals—even the two divine ones—are not themselves of either Shard. They are simply tools.” The second WoB says, “The 'role' of the Shard has to do with the WAY the magic is obtained, not what it can do.

The Powers are not “related to the Shards…They are simply tools.” Brandon also says Spiritual Realm Investiture is “consistent.” If the Powers are unrelated to the Shards and are consistent, then Mandates aren’t a “Spiritual aspect of Investiture.” Your interpretation would mean each Shard’s Powers intrinsically differ. But that would “relate [the Powers] to the Shards,” contradicting the quoted WoB.

That leaves the Cognitive Realm as the place that imposes Mandates. Since we know Mandates eventually overwhelm personality, that makes sense. The mind determines how the Powers are exercised. In broad brush, Mandates affect the Powers in the same way Kaladin’s self-perception affects his healing. Mandates are cognitive filters, not intrinsic to the Powers.

On 5/12/2017 at 2:41 AM, Djarskublar said:

In the end, the vibe I get from your series of posts is that you are trying to force facts to fit your interpretations. Like, you have your interpretations and ideas on a few things, and try to explain away other stuff that doesn't quite fit (which I feel there is a lot of), rather than analyzing the facts and drawing conclusions.... The feeling irks me.

@Djarskublar, you’re entitled to your feelings. I feel differently. I feel I’m trying to build a coherent, cosmere-wide theory from the ground up. I study text and WoBs to develop magical hypotheses and then re-read text and WoBs to find support. I honestly feel my theories are grounded in more textual, subtextual and WoB evidence than most. No theory is perfect or should be expected to account for all evidence. Otherwise it would be "law" (like thermodynamics) not theory. Brandon himself is inconsistent and ambiguous. What you say is conflicting evidence is often just ambiguous evidence or leads to an interpretation you disagree with.

I feel I take fresh looks at things. Fresh ideas are a good thing regardless of whether people agree. They lead to a re-evaluation of “received wisdom” and “group think.”

I feel I do change my theories based on comments. In this thread alone, I change my interpretation of what “no thoughts or personalities” means. I feel you help in this process, not only on this thread, but also in how I think about Preservation’s Connection to Allomancers and my understanding of Adonalsium. Others also help refine my theory. @The One Who Connects, for example, has pointed out some factual errors I made.

I feel my theory sustains itself despite these changes. You point out some apparent inconsistencies and feel the whole must suffer the fate of the few. I feel I remodel a house whose structure is sound.

I feel my theory has two pillars. The first is the distinction between the Powers and Unique Investiture and their different magical effects. I edited that post to get past our nomenclature debate. Beyond some disputes about thermodynamics and other extraneous matters, and some disagreements on specific examples, I feel the central premise of this pillar stands.

The second pillar is the role of Adonalsium’s Investiture in current magic systems. I feel I’ve proved Adonalsium’s Investiture is “inherent” on every planet and remains there post-Shattering mixed with Shard Investiture. I feel I’ve found lots of support that Adonalsium’s inherent Investiture is the “catalyst” – the consumed Investiture – in non-Scadrian magic systems that Connect to the Powers.

I feel everything other than these two pillars is helpful, important, and worthy of attention; but are corollaries unnecessary to the central theory. If you are right that Mandates are part of the Powers’ Spiritual aspect, for example, it doesn’t change the theory’s main thrust. Mandates still exist and act as they do, regardless of their source. If you and @Yata are right about how cosmere thermodynamics works, the theory still holds.

On 5/12/2017 at 2:41 AM, Djarskublar said:

Basically, it boils down to your presentation. Each of your theories takes for granted that everything that it's based on is true, rather than saying 'given that all this other stuff is right, this also might be the case.' That bothers me on a fundamental level, and I have to admit I've gotten really wordy about why.

I state in the OP’s first paragraph the post is “my opinion.” In a forum entitled “Cosmere Theories,” I feel it’s odd the statement is necessary. I feel everyone’s posts are their opinion, with different interpretations of both WoB and text.

I feel I do distinguish between “theory” and “speculation.” My “theories” cite numerous sources. I feel I mark the places I lack evidence with verbs like “speculate,” and “suspect” and “suspicion.” If I continue to engage you going forward – and I hope I do because you add a lot to the conversation – please note this usage.

Regards and thanks for you ongoing contributions!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So leaving aside meta comments, I want to address your misunderstanding of that WoB. 

The thing with it is that it uses powers to describe everything... from Shards to manifestations of Investiture to Investiture itself. It is almost a decade old, so we didn't have a lot of terminology to rely on, and Brandon was probably wary of using what is essentially cosmere jargon in his answer. It was talking about why Preservation couldn't give Atium to Elend. The short answer is that Atium is from Ati, so it wasn't possible, but she could have maybe figured out a way to give him that power by mimicking it some other way.

I think restating it in the context of Roshar with proper terms will clear it up. How you gain access to Surges is related to the Shard, but the Surges aren't related to the Shards themselves. The powers of Allomancy don't come from Preservation. They are tools that Preservation grants access to.

The second one is saying that it doesn't matter what the power does. Any Shard could theoretically grant any power. The difference is how the power is obtained.

The Surges are forces, not powers. Manipulating the Surges in certain ways are the powers. The way you gain access to a way to manipulate them is related to the Shard, but not to how you can manipulate them. Depending on the world, the way you gain access to Investiture can also be related to the Shard.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.