Storms!

[OB] The Diagram is Fake

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I was actually just listening to one of the Mr. T interludes and he remarks at one point that on the day he created the diagram "He was a God on that day". At first I just assumed it was hyperbole, but what if it wasn't? what if he was so heavily invested with Cultivations power he was literally a sliver of Cultivation. It would make sense, as according to Honor, Cultivation is better at predicting the future than him. That would explain how the diagram predicts so much. Also, if Cultivations goal is to stop\kill Odium then this would be a great way to misdirect him into a position where he could fail. My only concern is that since we know so little of what cultivation actually wants, and her intent is not one we can count on to be favorable to the humans on Roshar, that we may be completely off on what she is trying to accomplish.

anyways, I agree that something is suspicious with the diagram, and its goal is not what we have seen.

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26 minutes ago, Messremb said:

 My only concern is that since we know so little of what cultivation actually wants, and her intent is not one we can count on to be favorable to the humans on Roshar, that we may be completely off on what she is trying to accomplish.

You are absolutely right. It is important to remember that this is not a war of humans v singers. It is a war of Gods v Gods. They will use any tools available

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I have actually been thinking this same thing.  At the very least, the Diagram is not what we think it is - and not what Taravangian thinks it is.  In many ways the Diagram doesn't make any sense.  No matter how intelligent you are, you cannot predict the future.  T is not simply intelligent, he seems to be Invested somehow - touched by Cultivation's magic.  The level of intelligence he reached when he created the Diagram transcends the human mental capacity. 

In addition, the Diagram seem like a psychological mind game rather than a prediction of future events.  The Diagram is self-fulling.  If you tell someone exactly what conditions need to take place in order for them to accomplish certain things in their future, it is possible they will self-fulfill that prophecy, not because it was inherently true, but because they felt compelled to follow the instructions.  

It reminds me of an episode from Avatar: The Last Airbender (the Fortuneteller, I believe the episode is called), where the main characters visit a village with a Fortuneteller woman.  She tells a man that he will meet his future wife when he is wearing a certain pair of slippers, and so every day after that he wears the same slippers, idiotically self-fulling the prophecy since he will never have the chance to meet someone without the slippers. 

I know that's kind of a lame example, but it's exactly how I think of the Diagram.  The Diagram is not a map of the future, but a carefully manipulated sequence of self-fulfilling events.  Cultivation is manipulating T to achieve her version of the future, not the version that is already predicated, the version that will best serve the people of Roshar or the version that will necessarily end well for Taravagian.  Even if T was not under the influence of Cultivation when he made the Diagram (which is unlikely considering the limits of human intelligence), it is still not as prophetic as it seems, because T and his followers are literally working every moment of their lives to ensure that its ramblings predictions are fulfilled.  

On a side note, I am a bit confused by T's motivations.  At first, when the Diagram was introduced, I thought that he was working to become the king of the world and save all of Roshar.  However at the end of Oathbringer, he settles for just saving Kharbranth.  He also seems to be allowing Odium to gain the upper hand, giving up the fight and just counting his losses when the dust has settled.  Was that philosophy always a part of the Diagram, or has T's mindset somehow changed? 

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2 minutes ago, Llarimar said:

On a side note, I am a bit confused by T's motivations.  At first, when the Diagram was introduced, I thought that he was working to become the king of the world and save all of Roshar.  However at the end of Oathbringer, he settles for just saving Kharbranth.  He also seems to be allowing Odium to gain the upper hand, giving up the fight and just counting his losses when the dust has settled.  Was that philosophy always a part of the Diagram, or has T's mindset somehow changed? 

I think this point is exactly what that Storms! was referencing in her original post. T is allowing Odium to think he has the upper hand and that T is going to be influenced and act as an agent of Odium (hence the Snape comparison). I believe T is sincere in trying to save the entire world and he is attempting to achieve that by giving the appearance he only is trying to save Kharbranth.

 

One a side note....damnation you Sanderson! Take my money...take all of it!

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7 minutes ago, Llarimar said:

On a side note, I am a bit confused by T's motivations.  At first, when the Diagram was introduced, I thought that he was working to become the king of the world and save all of Roshar.  However at the end of Oathbringer, he settles for just saving Kharbranth.  He also seems to be allowing Odium to gain the upper hand, giving up the fight and just counting his losses when the dust has settled.  Was that philosophy always a part of the Diagram, or has T's mindset somehow changed? 

Think of genius T and not genius T as two different people. Genius T (basically just Cultivation) is conning everyone, including normal T. Genius T knew that the king of the world plan wouldn't work. In order to trick Odium though, he had to make it seem like that is the real plan, which is why he took over JKeved. That was never the real plan, but he had to sell the feint.

The real plan isn't written in the Diagram. The purpose of the Diagram is just to manipulate Odium. Normal T needs to think that it is real though, so that Odium doesn't see through the lie.

No idea what the end game is, but it's not whatever the Diagram says

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1 hour ago, Storms! said:

Preface: Someone correct me if I'm breaking any rules here, as I just made my account a couple hours ago. I posted this theory on a King T discussion thread, but I'm thinking that it was a little off topic since that discussion was about T as a character and this is a theory about the Diagram. So pardon my ignorance if this is a breach of etiquette!

Theory: The Diagram is Fake

I think the Diagram itself is part of the subterfuge. As others have pointed out, the original concept of "make a deal to protect my kingdom, then become king of everything" is so simple, that I believe Odium was meant to see through it. In order for the bluff to work though, you have to make it look like you're trying, hence the takeover of JKeved.

If T was so brilliant when he made the Diagram, then it stands to reason that he was smart enough to realize that Odium would be able to read/interpret it. That is the entire point. It is a classic misdirection, just on a grand scale. It's all meant to bait Odium into certain actions, presumably to put Him in a position to be vulnerable.

It also stands to reason that genius T knew that Odium would never negotiate on one of T's smart days. So why put in the "negotiate from a position of strength" line? It's part of the misdirection. If Odium is confident that T and the Diagram are not a threat, then He is much more likely to let his guard down.

T is playing the Severus Snape role. We are going to hate him for a long time and he is going to do some awful things. In the end though, it will be his actions that ultimately make Odium vulnerable to be defeated by someone else.

 

Basically, I just don't accept the narrative of "Odium saw through the Diagram, therefore it is moot and T is now a traitor." Genius T knew that would happen and planned for it

I think you might be right.  It does seem to simple, and far to easy to see through, that the whole idea was to become king of everything, and then make Odium preserve everyone he rules.  Odium is a god, of course he's going to see through that.  

The only one though that I think knows the Diagram is a subterfuge is the man he was when he created it.  Every other version of himself believes in it, and so does everyone that is a part of it.  It's...going to be interesting to be sure.

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I do think the diagram could be a subterfuge. I'm not sure that Odium is the primary target of the subterfuge though. As Taravangian gets smarter, he loses his empathy and compassion. We've seen scenes where he orders peoples death for the most minor of slights. Now, consider when he wrote the diagram he was an order of magnitude more intelligent than even his smartest other days. If he was in such a state, I could foresee a situation where he literally stopped caring about the people of Roshar altogether, and decided the goal was worthless. So he wrote a diagram to make himself think it was a means to the stated end, but is in fact a path to a selfish acquisition of power for himself at the expense of the people of Roshar.

/end devils advocacy

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15 minutes ago, Teesh229 said:

I think this point is exactly what that Storms! was referencing in her original post. T is allowing Odium to think he has the upper hand and that T is going to be influenced and act as an agent of Odium (hence the Snape comparison). I believe T is sincere in trying to save the entire world and he is attempting to achieve that by giving the appearance he only is trying to save Kharbranth.

5 minutes ago, Storms! said:

Think of genius T and not genius T as two different people. Genius T (basically just Cultivation) is conning everyone, including normal T. Genius T knew that the king of the world plan wouldn't work. In order to trick Odium though, he had to make it seem like that is the real plan, which is why he took over JKeved. That was never the real plan, but he had to sell the feint.

The real plan isn't written in the Diagram. The purpose of the Diagram is just to manipulate Odium. Normal T needs to think that it is real though, so that Odium doesn't see through the lie.

No idea what the end game is, but it's not whatever the Diagram says

Okay, this makes a lot of sense.  I thought that Cultivation was just tricking and deluding T, but that is exactly the point - the Diagram is meant to trick everyone, including T and even Odium.  

I am still a bit confused, however, as to whether T cognitively knows that he is tricking Odium, or if he genuinely believes that he is only working to save Kharbranth and that the rest of Roshar will be sacrificed.  At what level is T manipulating Odium, and at what level is T being manipulated?  Does he realize that the whole Kharbranth cover is just a ploy, that he is actually tricking Odium while he works to save all of Roshar behind his back?  This was not imminently clear to me when I read the Taravangian chapter at the end of OB.             

 

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5 minutes ago, Llarimar said:

I am still a bit confused, however, as to whether T cognitively knows that he is tricking Odium, or if he genuinely believes that he is only working to save Kharbranth and that the rest of Roshar will be sacrificed.  At what level is T manipulating Odium, and at what level is T being manipulated?  Does he realize that the whole Kharbranth cover is just a ploy, that he is actually tricking Odium while he works to save all of Roshar behind his back?  This was not imminently clear to me when I read the Taravangian chapter at the end of OB.

This is all just my personal theory, but normal T has no idea that he is tricking Odium. If he knew, then Odium would be able to see through it. So genius T (Cultivation) is tricking normal T so that he doesn't screw up and ruin the lie.

Normal T trusts the Diagram, but the Diagram is a lie. Think of Odium as a real life lie detector for a minute. How do you beat a lie detector? By believing your own lies. It's the same concept

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2 hours ago, Khyrindor said:

I think you’re right about the Diagram being a misdirection, but I think it’s fooled Taravangian too.

The diagram comes totally from Cultivation, and she’s going to use it to take down Odium, all while mr T thinks he’s doing everything for Odium.

Yup, this was my read on the scene between Taravangian and Odium. We all know Taravangian doesn't understand the Diagram, so it's not a stretch to think it's him manipulating himself, or rather Cultivation manipulating him through his boon/curse. 

20 minutes ago, Llarimar said:

Okay, this makes a lot of sense.  I thought that Cultivation was just tricking and deluding T, but that is exactly the point - the Diagram is meant to trick everyone, including T and even Odium.  

I am still a bit confused, however, as to whether T cognitively knows that he is tricking Odium, or if he genuinely believes that he is only working to save Kharbranth and that the rest of Roshar will be sacrificed.  At what level is T manipulating Odium, and at what level is T being manipulated?  Does he realize that the whole Kharbranth cover is just a ploy, that he is actually tricking Odium while he works to save all of Roshar behind his back?  This was not imminently clear to me when I read the Taravangian chapter at the end of OB.   

He's oblivious to the full scope of the Diagram, so I don't know how he could know he's tricking Odium, or if he even believes he's tricking Odium. When we left him, he was bargaining for as much as he could. I don't see that as tricking Odium, rather capitulating and 

 

30 minutes ago, Wolven said:

The only one though that I think knows the Diagram is a subterfuge is the man he was when he created it.  Every other version of himself believes in it, and so does everyone that is a part of it.

48 minutes ago, Llarimar said:

T is not simply intelligent, he seems to be Invested somehow - touched by Cultivation's magic.  The level of intelligence he reached when he created the Diagram transcends the human mental capacity. 

On this thread, I think Taravangian might have been captial-A Ascended during that day. What is the Diagram if not a giant cultivation? Prune here at this day, then let it grow, then prune back and construct a scaffold, and it will grow thusly, and then.....

He held Culitvation's power for a day, and the result is the Diagram, which is cultivating him as much as anyone else.

We know that the Diagram is about as anti-radiant as possible (Destination before Journey), so maybe it's all pointing towards the one moment when a second Bondsmith is needed, as the purpose of the Diagram is to bring Taravangian to the point where it can be him. This would have to be after the absolute failure of the Diagram, for him to see that his work has been in vain, in order for him to internalize the Knight's oath.

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When that woman (forgot her name) comes to T with the "intelligence distribution", T remarks, regarding his Diagram day "it should never have happened" or "it should not have been possible" or something along those lines. That could very well be subtle foreshadowing by Brandon that, indeed, it never happened; rather, Cultivation did something else.

(also note that we are not actually talking about a boon/curse here, it's Cultivation that gave the power, not the Nightwatcher)

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2 hours ago, aemetha said:

As Taravangian gets smarter, he loses his empathy and compassion. We've seen scenes where he orders peoples death for the most minor of slights. Now, consider when he wrote the diagram he was an order of magnitude more intelligent than even his smartest other days. If he was in such a state, I could foresee a situation where he literally stopped caring about the people of Roshar altogether, and decided the goal was worthless. So he wrote a diagram to make himself think it was a means to the stated end, but is in fact a path to a selfish acquisition of power for himself at the expense of the people of Roshar.

Remember that super smart T = Cultivation.

Cultivation indeed has no empathy for individuals, but that doesn't mean the goal is selfish acquisition of power.  Cultivation will use whatever tools are available, including destroying or harming her own tools in whatever ways may prove useful, in order to achieve growth and change toward a desired outcome.

For instance, this winter I planted clover in my raised beds, as a cover crop to protect the soil from winter rains.  This will fix nitrogen into the soil, then start flowering in late February.  At that point I will turn the soil over, killing thousands of baby flowers, let it rot for a couple of weeks, then plant onions and carrots where they can feed on the corpses of dead clover.  I will feel no guilt for this mass slaughter - it's just the best way I know to grow big nutritious spring vegetables.

THAT's what Cultivation is.   I pity what may happen to poor T once this is all done playing out :-)

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Just now, shawnhargreaves said:

Remember that super smart T = Cultivation.

This is not confirmed at all. This is entirely supposition, which may or may not be correct.

It is in part the assumption that this is true that made me want to post my devils advocacy.

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I think parts of the Diagram are a subterfuge and what's truly important is what Odium couldn't see. I'm interested why he couldn't see it - did it have something to do with the type of surface that was used like in another novel or was it something else? And since T had the Diagram written on papers carried around shouldn't Odium be able to read it and nullify the initial effort made to conceal certain parts of the Diagram?

But I don't want to get hyped about the Diagram and what the hidden part of it might hold and mean, because Recreanse secret was pretty underwhelming, so I'd rather not expect much.

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7 hours ago, Storms! said:

It is a classic misdirection, just on a grand scale.

Quick theory: Mr. T is actually Kelsier and also a Kandra. After the events with South Scadrial, he realized that to save his planet, he needed to prevent Odium from escaping his imprisonment, so he used Hemalurgy to transfer cognitive shadow into a Mistwrath, becoming a Kandra, then worldhopped to Roshar, killed the original Mr. T during his trip to the Nightwatcher, and took his place. He then created the Diagram as an elaborate series of contingent instructions to himself and removed the spikes containing key components of his memory, causing him to believe he really was Mr. T.

His plan is to make the deal with Odium, meaning that Kharbranth will be unaffected by the Desolation. As the rest of Roshar is devastated, the value of real estate in the City of Bells will rise. As a loyal servant of Odium, Kelsier/Mr. T will advise Odium use leverage to invest in this growth market. However, Kel will have already begun engineering the sale of real estate to Thaylen investors overseas, triggering a asset valuation bubble. When the bubble bursts and Odium is left severely underwater, Kelsier will revel his true idenity, and that he'd bought up Odium's debts during the Kharbranth real estate crash. Rayse has no way of making the payments required, so Kelsier forecloses his Shard and Ascends. Again.

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The king negotiated for those born in or married to a citizen of the city to survive, that could potentially be used against odium. He is bound by his deal.

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13 hours ago, .S.A.M.K.M said:

The king negotiated for those born in or married to a citizen of the city to survive, that could potentially be used against odium. He is bound by his deal.

Maybe, but it seems like the only way to do that would be:

a) expand the bounds of the city to retroactively cover the whole world, meaning that everyone was "born" in Kharbranth

b )perform millions of polygamous marriages to marry everyone on earth to someone in Kharbranth, thus protecting everyone under the 'spouse' clause.

Both of which seem quite unlikely :P 

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23 hours ago, Storms! said:

If Odium is confident that T and the Diagram are not a threat, then He is much more likely to let his guard down.

Great post! I really loved this because the fact that part of the diagram still stood out to dumb taravangian really supports this to me.

Also Welcome! have some rep on me!

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2 hours ago, Blackhoof said:

Maybe, but it seems like the only way to do that would be:

a) expand the bounds of the city to retroactively cover the whole world, meaning that everyone was "born" in Kharbranth

b )perform millions of polygamous marriages to marry everyone on earth to someone in Kharbranth, thus protecting everyone under the 'spouse' clause.

Both of which seem quite unlikely :P 

This would be ideal, but i have a feeling that Odium would either renegotiate or put some limiters on it. like only those married before we made the deal, or only born within so many miles of the center of the city.  

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I agree with the theory that the Diagram is of Cultivation and as we have seen in Oathbringer with Dalinar she is very good at playing a discrete but effective long game to get what she wants but I just want to comment for a moment on how dumb Taravangian's 'only saving Kharbranth' idea is. It's actually a really neat bit of characterisation from Brandon given that this is meant to be one of Taravangian's stupidest (at least in an intellectual sense) and most caring days. Kharbranth is a city-state that depends for everything on there existing in the rest of Roshar a functioning economy to provide the goods and services it needs to survive. If the rest of Roshar is destroyed (which I find to be more likely in the long term than simply given over to the Singers given Odium views them as tools not as people he bears any affection for) then what will Kharbranth eat or use as building materials or any of the other things a city-state needs but cannot produce on its own. Furthermore, given Odium's endgame is to leave the Rosharan system, what is to stop the Singers if they do now control the rest of Roshar from deciding they would like to own Kharbranth as well and simply taking it given the massive strategic superiority they would enjoy.

In fact, it is such a stupid idea that I almost wonder if Brandon inserted it so that at some point in the future Taravangian can realise how stupid it is and defect away from Odium's side if that what he wants to do with the character long term.

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Haha I am picturing an alternate future with Kharbranth perched on a chunk of ground, ending three feet from the walls, floating in the void. 

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On ‎12‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 11:31 AM, MonsterMetroid said:

Great post! I really loved this because the fact that part of the diagram still stood out to dumb taravangian really supports this to me.

Also Welcome! have some rep on me!

Thanks Metroid, glad you liked the post! I've been following all things Cosmere for a while now, figured it was time to stop lurking and start contributing. Nice to have an outlet for the nerdom!

 

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One issue is that the diagram KNEW that Odium would come AFTER Dalinar ascended. The diagram didnt just allow for this, it planned for it. Smart T is okaying a long long game with us. Dalinar was never supposed to die, and for some reason Mr.T is using Renarin almost like Atium to blind Odium. 

 

Another curiousity: Odium knew nothing of the diagram - nada, squat, diddly. How on earth would Odium know so much else, but not have seen that? Is Odium blind to certain forms of fortune telling? Renaein is unique because he sees the future, and Kaladin saved Dalinar after seeing the future. It would be cunning to trick Roshar into thinking fortune telling was evil so that no human ever used that against him. 

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