ND103

WoR reread - just lost my respect for Kal

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I decided on a reread of WoR, and just when we get to the point where he gets arrested after the magnificent battle between 6 shard bearers, I lost respect for Kaladin. 

Controversial opinion perhaps, but he accepts getting arrested. He backs down from his otherwise accurate accusations against Amaram. When Dalinar challenges him to follow orders, he goes along with it. 

As I read that section again, about 6 years after I first read it, I couldn't help but think no. That the world doesn't accept that you're right it's their problem. You know you're right. You know that Amaram is lying. You know that he doesn't deserve the position he's at. Arguably you also know that being where he is and who he is, he'll likely influence things in a way that goes poorly. 

At that point he could easily have said you know what - if you think I'm lying, punish me for slander against Amaram, and enjoy the consequences that'll surely come. Or if you think I'm being honest, then do the right thing, and banish that cremling. Cuz if I go along with this, if I accept punishment for what I know is wrong, them whatever victory we get ultimately will lead to a society that's arguably no better than this one. And I'm not playing that game. 

Now no one knows what ramifications this could've had, but given he went along with it I just kinda lost respect for him. Especially since a few days later he says I want the lives of people like me to change cuz that's right not cuz I'm part of the aristocracy now. 

Anywho.. didn't really have a point besides maybe challenging some opinions about what I thought was otherwise one of the leading characters in the series so far. 

 

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Hmm, I think I have a few counter arguments for this, that may ore may not hold any real weight.  The first is that I dont hold it against Kaladin for choosing to trust Dalinar and not go full open-rebel-Darkeyes. At that point would not have accomplished anything; Kaladin thought his victory would give him an opportunity to make his accusation, but seemed aware enough to realize it when he was incorrect. Another aspect is that the lives of all those Bridgemen are in his hands; he's been given a shocking amount of trust and responsibility for a former slave, and if he flaunts the law in that public and formal a setting, it's going to go very bad for the other bridgemen.  And at the end of the day, I think Dalinar did the right thing: he had two people who's word he trusted calling each other a a liar, so he devised a plan to flush out the truth which ultimately outed Amaram.  And when the time came Dalinar did not hesitate to call Amaram on his crem dung regardless of the political fallout.  

Edited by Quantus
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1 hour ago, ND103 said:

I decided on a reread of WoR, and just when we get to the point where he gets arrested after the magnificent battle between 6 shard bearers, I lost respect for Kaladin. 

Controversial opinion perhaps, but he accepts getting arrested. He backs down from his otherwise accurate accusations against Amaram. When Dalinar challenges him to follow orders, he goes along with it. 

As I read that section again, about 6 years after I first read it, I couldn't help but think no. That the world doesn't accept that you're right it's their problem. You know you're right. You know that Amaram is lying. You know that he doesn't deserve the position he's at. Arguably you also know that being where he is and who he is, he'll likely influence things in a way that goes poorly. 

At that point he could easily have said you know what - if you think I'm lying, punish me for slander against Amaram, and enjoy the consequences that'll surely come. Or if you think I'm being honest, then do the right thing, and banish that cremling. Cuz if I go along with this, if I accept punishment for what I know is wrong, them whatever victory we get ultimately will lead to a society that's arguably no better than this one. And I'm not playing that game. 

Now no one knows what ramifications this could've had, but given he went along with it I just kinda lost respect for him. Especially since a few days later he says I want the lives of people like me to change cuz that's right not cuz I'm part of the aristocracy now. 

Anywho.. didn't really have a point besides maybe challenging some opinions about what I thought was otherwise one of the leading characters in the series so far. 

 

I think what you are discounting is the end results.  Kaladin could have chosen to make a huge fuss, he could have chosen to go into rebellion over this.  And you could argue that he would be more true to his own values and beliefs by doing it.  But that analysis doesn't consider what the end result of doing any of those things would be and what action would have had the best end result.  Let's look at what the results might be, positive and negative of taking a hardline stance.

Pros:

Kaladin remains firm in his principles.

Amaram may have been punished.

Nobles/Lighteyes may have been held accountable for crimes more often.

Cons:

Kaladin alienates Dalinar and Adolin, his only powerful allies

Kaladin likely further destabilizes an already unsteady Alethi government by creating a division among nobles over Amaram and his possible punishment

Amaram may not have been punished - he still has a lot of allies and the upper class will probably stick together to protect him even if they don't like him

Nobles/Lighteyes may not be held accountable for crimes more often - if Kaladin's brash actions are viewed negatively the Lighteyes may double down and go into reactionary crackdown mode.  This seems pretty likely, considering how all the people in power reacted to any other societal changes that Dalinar tried to implement through proper channels.  Dalinar was only able to find success by continually and consistently pointing out the economic and moral benefits of his reforms and implementing the changes he could himself to lead by example.  If Dalinar as a High Prince can't get people to consider reform in a reasonable amount of time when going through proper channels, I don't think Kaladin is likely to be successful trying to force it through as a person with much lower status.

 

The point is, I think if you consider the entire situation and context Kaladin would have made things worse for his cause by trying to force it.  If he really wants to force a change, then he should keep his head down, get out to the countryside and try to raise up a rebellion.  At that point, he might have at least some small chance of success.  Otherwise, he should try to support Dalinar's efforts to create reform from within.

 

 

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I think there's a difference between being true to your ideals and being downright foolish. Had Kaladin done something there, most likely nothing would have changed, save for his punishment being worse and probably him dying. When you know your efforts will most likely fail, living to fight another day is always the better option.

Besides, Dalinar said it himself, change won't come if all you do is demand it, it may sound wrong but you have to earn it. He may be right and all but him rebelling at the arena, in the eyes of everyone present would have looked like a child throwing a tantrum. it's far more efective (and far more satisfying) when you play smart and take the time to prove them wrong instead of just yelling it at their faces.

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Personally, that was the moment I lost respect for Dalinar. And then the situation with having Amaram as the head of the new Knights Radiant... oof. He eventually made good but I felt as betrayed as Kaladin. Also after that moment cemented my dislike of Elhokar. Instant reaction: execution! But Adolin's show of solidarity after that scene was what made me attached to him as a character.

It didn't make me loose my faith in Kaladin. Just made me feel more distant to him, he is so... defeated. That was a bigger show of vulnerability than the entire WoK on his part, imo. So that really enriched his character for me.

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Elhokar is hilarious!! It is almost funny (if it did not make me so mad at him first) how much of a brat he is!! 

I loved adolin here. Such a gesture, I had not expected from him. Could not dalinar tell kal about it!!? He really wanted to teach kal a lesson and did not want to take away the bite. 

I actually respect that kal had enough sense here to not overreact. 

Defiance for the mere sake of defiance is nothing more than a temper tantrum

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1 hour ago, The traveller said:

Elhokar is hilarious!! It is almost funny (if it did not make me so mad at him first) how much of a brat he is!! 

I loved adolin here. Such a gesture, I had not expected from him. Could not dalinar tell kal about it!!? He really wanted to teach kal a lesson and did not want to take away the bite. 

I actually respect that kal had enough sense here to not overreact. 

Defiance for the mere sake of defiance is nothing more than a temper tantrum

For the last line one could be testing authority merely to keep that power in check not saying I agree but felt I had to point it out.

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43 minutes ago, Booknerd said:

For the last line one could be testing authority merely to keep that power in check not saying I agree but felt I had to point it out.

Well articulated, @Booknerd, I agree.

The only thing that helps not worsen my perspective of that topic is the fact that lighteyes have so much political power that what happened was literally within Elhokar's and Amaram's legal rights even if Kaladin was proven right. Dalinar was way ahead of his time in handling that situation.

This level of disparity is later proven (even more) true in Oathbringer, during Kaladin's return to Hearthstone, where someone speculates that the Shash Nahn brand was given to Kaladin for hitting a lighteyes! That's messed up!

 

That reminds me how much worse the skaa had it in Mistborn era 1... plantations under the ashen sky, no pay, child killed for spoiling a party, teatime and decapitations by the fountain,... 

Edited by Honorless
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I think Dalinar handled things intelligently.  He suspended judgement long enough to see the fallout.  Weighed his options.  Came up with a good plan.  Then put it into execution.  This is exactly what you should do when things go off the rails.

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On 10/16/2019 at 0:04 PM, Karger said:

I think Dalinar handled things intelligently.  He suspended judgement long enough to see the fallout.  Weighed his options.  Came up with a good plan.  Then put it into execution.  This is exactly what you should do when things go off the rails.

As opposed to elhokar!! Execution because he dared challenge a light eyes !! 

 

On 10/16/2019 at 10:48 AM, Booknerd said:

For the last line one could be testing authority merely to keep that power in check not saying I agree but felt I had to point it out.

Yup but does not apply in this particular situation 

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1 hour ago, The traveller said:

As opposed to elhokar!! Execution because he dared challenge a light eyes !! 

Basically. 

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     I can not say how ironic it is that I would have lost all respect for Kaladin should he have disobeyed orders from his general, Dalinar. The king ordered Kaladin to be punished, Dalinar there was doing the best possible thing he could've in his situation. I was kind of irratated with his decision to support Elhokar's assassins for a few chapters after that too. Overall he is still one of my favorite cosmere characters.

     Of course, I am one to talk, since I wanted Shallan to assassinate Amaram and soulcast his dead body to hide evidence throughout that entire book. It would however be quite out of character for her, I know. 

Edited by Elend Venture
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Looks like I'm the only anti authority rebel here. 

I'm very much of the persuasion that if you want change, you have to take it. Historically, literally no one has said oh you've been such a good boy, here have some rights. Have some freedom. 

You fight for it. You challenge every slight. You demand an unreasonable standard. And maybe, if you're lucky, you get a reasonable change. 

Certainly complying with authority that's oppressive without cause, compromising with - not today, never gets you anywhere. 

It's an extreme approach. That's true. But you don't get a revolution with peace. 

Even Gandhi won freedom for India on the backs of much more extreme revolutionaries. For one Gandhi, India had about fifty who were happy to lead violent protests. If I had to pick one of those two, I'd never back Gandhi alone. But the guy who raised an army in Singapore (Subhash Chandra Bose iirc), him I'd back. 

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19 minutes ago, ND103 said:

Even Gandhi won freedom for India on the backs of much more extreme revolutionaries. For one Gandhi, India had about fifty who were happy to lead violent protests. If I had to pick one of those two, I'd never back Gandhi alone. But the guy who raised an army in Singapore (Subhash Chandra Bose iirc), him I'd back. 

I would disagree with this assessment of Indian freedom struggle which has remained for a large part non violent and followed principles of civil disobedience and boycott of exported items. Care to name 50 such extremist revolutionaries ? And none of them were pivotal in winning the freedom. 

More to the point at hand, I think a successful revolutionary always knows which battles to fight and which to drop. Kal had already defied authority and challenged light eyes oppression by demanding a duel with amaram but to oppose against his arrest by fighting, he could have got killed. He would have exposed himself pre-maturely, he had exhausted his stormlight and he at that time, was not advanced enough and trained enough in his powers, that he could fight all the soldiers and nobility present there. 

By behaving like that he would have provided an opportunity to others eg sadeas, elhokar etc to claim that dalinar was wrong in placing so much trust and in giving such power to a bunch of former enslaved “darkeyes”

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Off the top of my head - Bharat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad, rajguru, batukeshwar datt, sukhdev thapar and their associates who assassinated Captain Saunders and blew up reasons among other things, Subhash Chandra Bose, Rash behari Bose, Mohan Singh (those two foundedd the Indian national army, and SC Bose led it), gurbaksh Singh dhillon,giani Pritam Singh dhillon, not the mention the other forty thousand odd members of the Indian national army in the forties....

That's ten off the top of my head, from the last twenty years of the British empire in India, without using Google but I can find the next forty... These are just the prominent ones btw, they had support from others in things like planning and so on. 

I don't deny that the peaceful movement led by Gandhi was useful. But these guys were at least equally important. And if you go back to the first war for Indian independence in 1857, there were a bunch more starting with the likes of tipu sultan who died waiting for reinforcements from Napoleon, Rani Lakshmi Bai, tantya tope, Nana Sahib peshwa, Rao Tula ram, umrao Jaan, Bahadur Shah Zafar who died in exile, bhakt Singh. 

That's 18 if you're counting. 

Their contribution was at the least as important as Gandhi's. Some might argue more. 

There's no denying things wouldn't go well for the bridgemen if kal rebelled at that point. And it worked out. But at that point, I just lost what respect I had for the man. I don't doubt that any other action would've been 'dishonorable' per the code the books seem to follow. I don't doubt that any other action would've led to pain and trouble for all involved. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't want him to do it anyway and storm the consequences. 

Edited by ND103
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1 hour ago, ND103 said:

Off the top of my head - Bharat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad, rajguru, batukeshwar datt, sukhdev thapar and their associates who assassinated Captain Saunders and blew up reasons among other things, Subhash Chandra Bose, Rash behari Bose, Mohan Singh (those two foundedd the Indian national army, and SC Bose led it), gurbaksh Singh dhillon,giani Pritam Singh dhillon, not the mention the other forty thousand odd members of the Indian national army in the forties....

That's ten off the top of my head, from the last twenty years of the British empire in India, without using Google but I can find the next forty... These are just the prominent ones btw, they had support from others in things like planning and so on. 

I don't deny that the peaceful movement led by Gandhi was useful. But these guys were at least equally important. And if you go back to the first war for Indian independence in 1857, there were a bunch more starting with the likes of tipu sultan who died waiting for reinforcements from Napoleon, Rani Lakshmi Bai, tantya tope, Nana Sahib peshwa, Rao Tula ram, umrao Jaan, Bahadur Shah Zafar who died in exile, bhakt Singh. 

That's 18 if you're counting. 

Their contribution was at the least as important as Gandhi's. Some might argue more. 

There's no denying things wouldn't go well for the bridgemen if kal rebelled at that point. And it worked out. But at that point, I just lost what respect I had for the man. I don't doubt that any other action would've been 'dishonorable' per the code the books seem to follow. I don't doubt that any other action would've led to pain and trouble for all involved. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't want him to do it anyway and storm the consequences. 

Are u from India? Mainly asked you to count the revolutionaries to know how much you know about Indian freedom struggle. :)

You know a lot. I am impressed. :) Obviously there were plenty of extremist revolutionaries but Gandhi was also not alone. There were plenty of leaders following the same philosophy before and after his arrival on the scene. Also, these were short lived mutinies which carried the momentum of freedom struggle during lull periods but all the major breakthroughs have been achieved by the non violent nationalist movements like swadeshi movement and civil disobedience movement etc. and also note that all the revolutionaries including INA were short lived because they were brutally curbed by the imperialist regime. 

The beauty of the non violent measures lied in that if they were curbed,  ppl cried oppression and if they were not curbed, the regime was deemed weak, consistently forcing the then regime to negotiate and give more and more in the process which then was anyway seen as a success. 

work the system from within the system kind of way. Kind of how b4 has done. They did it much more quickly coz well they have magic but still. 

And I think don’t judge kaladin too harshly. Sometimes when he is heart broken, he can go into a depressed state where he is so overwhelmed by his emotions, he finds it difficult to act. Like he did in Kholinar in OB. Besides I really think he had run out of stormlight by that point and also he did not want to reveal his radiant nature to anyone. He was not ready. 

And also I think we sometimes forget that he was a trained soldier in amaram ‘s army. The ideas like you follow direct orders given to you by your superior officers, even if he disagrees. were well ingrained in him too. I don’t think that in the arena, the very notion of refusing to let them arrest him, did not form in his head. 

In that moment he must have felt so dejected and betrayed, every single time he has taken a leap of faith and jumped into danger to save a light eyes life, instead of being rewarded, he has been betrayed, it Was such a déjà vu for Kal, he just could not act. 

Edited by The traveller
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So instead of kaladin following the extremist footsteps of Bhagat Singh and Azad, Adolin totally followed gandhi’s jail Bharo aandolan, and thus passively put pressure on elhokar, to release kal soon, since we all know he has a tendency to lock ppl up and forget about them

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Well since you bring up civil disobedience and so on. Here's something Gandhi did believe in. Non compliance. He didn't fight the English but he didn't just go along quietly to jail either. And in jail he still refused to shut up about it. As for the violent ones not having any impact or all being short-lived, their deaths actually had a very strong nationalistic and patriotic impact on the population at the time. They were definitely an equal part of that struggle as anyone else. 

I'm not saying Kal fighting his way out of there was the answer. But there were plenty of ways to not cooperate. Could've just said if you want to arrest me feel free but here's my resignation. And I imagine those thousand former slaves I've been training will join so... We'll have that offer of a purse and a chance to walk away now. Enjoy your struggles with the parsh, and the coming desolation. ciao! 
The Gandhian thing in that scenario would've been to say ok. You arrest me but I still ain't gonna change what I'm saying. And I'm definitely not working for you if I ever get out. And I'll be going on a hunger strike (which would've felt weird in this universe, but well). 
 

Now that I am actually sitting down and reading this thread again, I didn't even mean to imply the violent option should've been taken. But my annoyance mostly was with the complaince. In my mind, if you are going to risk your life in this situation to guard that of someone else, and that someone would jail you for the truth, you don't serve them. You simply don't. 

 

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3 hours ago, ND103 said:

Looks like I'm the only anti authority rebel here. 

I'm very much of the persuasion that if you want change, you have to take it. Historically, literally no one has said oh you've been such a good boy, here have some rights. Have some freedom. 

You fight for it. You challenge every slight. You demand an unreasonable standard. And maybe, if you're lucky, you get a reasonable change. 

Certainly complying with authority that's oppressive without cause, compromising with - not today, never gets you anywhere. 

 And then you usually get Communism. Yay!

    Jokes aside, authority is important, particularly in the military, to maintain, order and chain of command. That is what the army is all about. On the other hand, if there is an evil tyrant, you assassinate him. So you certainly have a point there. I just don't belive in breaking up chain of command in the middle of a war, particularly a war that would have been lost without Dalinar.

 

Edited by Elend Venture
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I mean... Irl I'm a pacifist and I'd happily disband all armies if they'd let me? So... Not a fan of military chains of command. 

Which has nothing to do with me enjoying violent revolutions in my stories, and wanting at least some disobedience of authority from the characters so...

 

Also maybe if Dalinar didn't want the military chain of command to be broken he should've (and I quote lift) fed his armies more. Or you know. Trusted that the man who twice did the impossible to save him and his family wasn't lying. Trusted him enough to not throw him in jail for the truth. 

That's kinda my problem with an absolute chain of command. The onus is on the lower ranks to follow. Not the top of the chain to lead. 

Edited by ND103
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1 hour ago, ND103 said:

They were definitely an equal part of that struggle as anyone else. 

They had an impact but we will have to agree to disagree that the impact was equal as in 50/50 

and kal is not serving elhokar, that is the line of thinking that made him join Moash, his job is to protect him and since he was planning his assassination with diagramists, u can say that was Kals way of saying I m not working for u anymore. Bbye

in fact he did more than say goodbye, he planned to let him die

i can’t see it as full cooperation on kals part either

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1 hour ago, ND103 said:

I mean... Irl I'm a pacifist and I'd happily disband all armies if they'd let me? So... Not a fan of military chains of command. 

Which has nothing to do with me enjoying violent revolutions in my stories, and wanting at least some disobedience of authority from the characters so...

 

Also maybe if Dalinar didn't want the military chain of command to be broken he should've (and I quote lift) fed his armies more. Or you know. Trusted that the man who twice did the impossible to save him and his family wasn't lying. Trusted him enough to not throw him in jail for the truth. 

That's kinda my problem with an absolute chain of command. The onus is on the lower ranks to follow. Not the top of the chain to lead.

     So, how to put this. If you had an old friend, who seemed like the best man you knew, and he had a reputation for being honest, how would you stack his word (and the word of 19 other individuals) against one man with a reputation for honesty who you didn't know? Dalinar is uncertain, and you can see that in the chapters with his narrative. The punishment is childish Elhokar's fault. Dalinar did all in his power to lessen it.

     Without a chain of command any large force would be chaotic and ineffective at best. When the violent revolutionary force rose up it would lack order and get flattened by any organized millitant group, would it not?

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5 minutes ago, Elend Venture said:

     So, how to put this. If you had an old friend, who seemed like the best man you knew, and he had a reputation for being honest, how would you stack his word (and the word of 19 other individuals) against one man with a reputation for honesty who you didn't know? Dalinar is uncertain, and you can see that in the chapters with his narrative. The punishment is childish Elhokar's fault. Dalinar did all in his power to lessen it.

     Without a chain of command any large force would be chaotic and ineffective at best. When the violent revolutionary force rose up it would lack order and get flattened by any organized millitant group, would it not?

And if Dalinar hadn't actively broken that chain of command, Kal would have been executed. 

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1 minute ago, Calderis said:

And if Dalinar hadn't actively broken that chain of command, Kal would have been executed. 

     Good point, that's why a non absolute chain of command is ideal, so that one can bend it in dire situations without threat of execution. However a non absolute chain of command is still quite different from anarchy.

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@TheTraveler that's fair if you don't see it as full cooperation.. agree to disagree?

@Elend Venture - you, sir, are baiting me with all the right words there. 

That's kinda the problem with any absolutes innit.. you have to apply some things consistently no matter how ridiculous they become in any given context. 

Now I don't know how I'd react if one person I trusted gave me one version of events and another have me a different one. But if one of those had just done the impossible for my sons (which I don't actually have come to think of it), they're not going to prison. And if the other one flatly refused to even help, stood by and watched. Well actions speak louder than words. 

But again, I don't know till I'm in that position right? And it's unlikely to come up in my life. 

Since you mention non-absolute chains of command, one of the earlier examples of that in 'modern' military history would be one Napoleon. That went well didn't it?

Without organisation large organisations would be ineffective at best. Of course if you disband all the armies, and disband all large organisations entirely, that wouldn't be a problem would it? There's that word you used, anarchy:P

Now I'm not saying that will happen irl. Or that it should. Nor am I saying I live my life trying to make that happen.. of course I don't, I'd have the teeth kicked out of me, and I don't even believe in physically fighting back. But much like Kal, there's a lot more to me than my anti authoritarian stance. So I try not to live by any 'absolutes' and instead make up my mind on individual incidents and people and characters as they happen. 

In this instance, I decided that Dal, whom I'd never really had that much respect for, was just not a leader I would follow. And I decided that Kal, who until then I'd had respect for, I didn't anymore cuz he would give in to that chain of command and accept whatever even though he knew what he was saying was the truth. 

The exact same 'high level' things could happen very differently in a different context and I might choose to make a very different call that appeals under that different context. And these characters could go on to do something else which makes change my mind about respecting them too. And all I really have to do is analyse every event for itself, consider it's context and decide what makes sense as a response in that event. I'd be highly inconsistent, to an outside observer, but I'd be true to myself (shrug).

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