inactive

Am I the only one who feels uncomfortable with the idea of Autonomy being the big bad

42 posts in this topic

I, personally, don't think there is a "Cosmere big bad." I definitely think Autonomy is an antagonist, and Trell is a part of that... 

I feel like with the things that Brandon has said, the ending is going to more conflict between worlds and cultures than a direct contest of Shards. The Shards (whichever are still whole at least) will definitely have a role to play, but I very strongly doubt that the end is going to be everyone teaming up against "the one true evil." 

4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Calderis said:

I, personally, don't think there is a "Cosmere big bad." I definitely think Autonomy is an antagonist, and Trell is a part of that... 

I feel like with the things that Brandon has said, the ending is going to more conflict between worlds and cultures than a direct contest of Shards. The Shards (whichever are still whole at least) will definitely have a role to play, but I very strongly doubt that the end is going to be everyone teaming up against "the one true evil." 

You know that is an interesting idea, are we going to get to a point where people can control even shards?

Edited by Frustration
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/22/2020 at 2:28 PM, Frustration said:

You know that is an interesting idea, are we going to get to a point where people can control even shards?

the ultimate no u situation of Ruin and Marsh.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/14/2020 at 9:52 PM, Yezrien said:

Maybe someday we'll learn that "Autonomy" is like "Passion." It's just Bavadin's way of putting a good spin things, and the shard's true (or at least more accurate) name is something a bit more sinister, like "Exclusion" or "Sovereignty."

Sovereignty is probably Dominion. They’re synonyms. And isn’t a bad thing. Dominion+Devotion would probably be Kingship, corresponding to the concept of Malchius.

Odium is probably God’s Divine wrath (Judgement), and should be paired with Honor and Devotion/Mercy for Justice.

Preservation is actually the enemy in Mistborn TFE, lol. Ruin, Preservation and Cultivation have been stated to create a stable triad, which makes sense. 

Endowment is Glory, Shechina

Autonomy seems like it should correspond to Yichidus; God as the Singular, ironic considering how Autonomy has been shown.

I’m not entirely certain what Ambition would correspond to.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Sovereignty is probably Dominion. They’re synonyms.

I see what you're saying, but sovereignty also has a slightly different meaning, related to independence. It can mean rule over others, like dominion, but also self-rule. When one people is ruled by another, they have been deprived of sovereignty: self-determination, and freedom from the wills of others. The American Revolution and the Irish War of Independence, for instance, were fights for sovereignty. Not just to remove British sovereignty, but to acquire their own.

To have sovereignty is not necessarily to rule over others, as a sovereign. When we use the word today to refer to "sovereign states," it simply means autonomous.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Yezrien said:

I see what you're saying, but sovereignty also has a slightly different meaning, related to independence. It can mean rule over others, like dominion, but also self-rule. When one people is ruled by another, they have been deprived of sovereignty: self-determination, and freedom from the wills of others. The American Revolution and the Irish War of Independence, for instance, were fights for sovereignty. Not just to remove British sovereignty, but to acquire their own.

To have sovereignty is not necessarily to rule over others, as a sovereign. When we use the word today to refer to "sovereign states," it simply means autonomous.

Both dominion and sovereignty are connected to land. Also, one can seek personal dominion, ie. Self-mastery.

 

But it’s more that I think the Shards are meant to parallel certain concepts of the divine in RL. In that sense Dominion would be sovereignty.

Ambition would be God as the Actor (not in the theatrical sense.)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you should not look at it like that. One can easily make one of these concepts look bad. Preservation, for instance, can be twisted into deciding it must preserve itself at all costs, which could end up making him decide to destroy everything else (Probably indirectly, seeing as Preservation's intention seems to prevent him from doing so, but the vessle's view of the sard can change it, so maybe if that's how you viewed preservation you could?) Cultivation could be made that she wants to weed out the weak and let the strong grow, survival of the fittest and all. So autonomy being the big bad isn't as odd as it seems. you can turn any of these concepts into a villain in the right circumstances and view. (Except maybe Harmony.)

Edited by Aspiring Writer
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Aspiring Writer said:

I think you should not look at it like that. One can easily make one of these concepts look bad. Preservation, for instance, can be twisted into deciding it must preserve itself at all costs, which could end up making him decide to destroy everything else

Cultivation could be made that she wants to weed out the weak and let the strong grow, survival of the fittest and all. So autonomy being the big bad isn't as odd as it seems. you can turn any of these concepts into a villain in the right circumstances and view. (Except maybe Harmony.)

Tying into your thoughts, Brandon has stated that he doesn't consider any of the Shards to be 'good' or 'evil'. Trimmed somewhat to focus on the relevant bit:

Quote

Blightsong

Can honorspren, or any other type of Knight Radiant spren, be evil despite their relationship to Tanavast or Cultivation?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, because I don't call the Shards good and evil. There are no good and evil Shards in my opinion, like and so, what's evil and what's not evil- you can totally have spren that are of Honor that you would consider evil.

OdysseyCon 2016 (April 8, 2016)

We actually do have a strong suggestion for how Preservation could have become a big bad-type entity under other situations, from Secret History. True, it's coming from Ati who's not exactly unbiased but he claims that if Preservation had its way nothing would change, ever, instead you'd have everything frozen in one 'perfect' moment.

Quote

“As if he could harm even me. You realize that if he were in control, nobody would age? Nobody would think or live? If he had his way you’d all be frozen in time, unable to act lest you harm one another.”

Leras himself might never have reached that level of monomania but it's not impossible to imagine another Vessel who could. And yeah, Cultivation could be imagined as something pretty evil (at least from the perspective of the people living under its influence) in the right/wrong hands. Even Harmony could, insofar as Brandon has said that if someone with a different mindset took up Preservation and Ruin the result might have been Discord instead and it's theoretically possible for Harmony to become Discord while Sazed is holding it.

On 9/22/2020 at 2:50 PM, Kingsdaughter613 said:

Ambition would be God as the Actor (not in the theatrical sense.)

I like your thoughts on the general classification of Shards with divine attributes but this one seems like it doesn't fit based on a comment Brandon made about Magic the Gathering and the Shards, in which he labeled Ambition as mono-black. Calderis made a comment on this here and the topic as a whole is a good read on the subject. Black alignment isn't inherently 'evil' but there's a definite 'I'm doing things my way' mindset which kind of leans towards the evil end of the morality spectrum in many instances. Nietzsche's philosophy would be pretty black-aligned with some blue mixed in, for an example. See the imagery of 'Thou Shall' versus 'I Will' from Zarathustra. The big takeaway to me is that there's got to be another dimension to the shard than just 'God the Actor' in terms of divine attributes.

Related aside, Brandon mentions that he wrote a black-aligned protagonist for Children of the Nameless in part because he wanted to show a different and more pragmatic form of the usual 'black as ambition' relationship.

Edited by Weltall
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Weltall said:

Tying into your thoughts, Brandon has stated that he doesn't consider any of the Shards to be 'good' or 'evil'. Trimmed somewhat to focus on the relevant bit:

We actually do have a strong suggestion for how Preservation could have become a big bad-type entity under other situations, from Secret History. True, it's coming from Ati who's not exactly unbiased but he claims that if Preservation had its way nothing would change, ever, instead you'd have everything frozen in one 'perfect' moment.

Leras himself might never have reached that level of monomania but it's not impossible to imagine another Vessel who could. And yeah, Cultivation could be imagined as something pretty evil (at least from the perspective of the people living under its influence) in the right/wrong hands. Even Harmony could, insofar as Brandon has said that if someone with a different mindset took up Preservation and Ruin the result might have been Discord instead and it's theoretically possible for Harmony to become Discord while Sazed is holding it.

I like your thoughts on the general classification of Shards with divine attributes but this one seems like it doesn't fit based on a comment Brandon made about Magic the Gathering and the Shards, in which he labeled Ambition as mono-black. Calderis made a comment on this here and the topic as a whole is a good read on the subject. Black alignment isn't inherently 'evil' but there's a definite 'I'm doing things my way' mindset which kind of leans towards the evil end of the morality spectrum in many instances. Nietzsche's philosophy would be pretty black-aligned with some blue mixed in, for an example. See the imagery of 'Thou Shall' versus 'I Will' from Zarathustra. The big takeaway to me is that there's got to be another dimension to the shard than just 'God the Actor' in terms of divine attributes.

Related aside, Brandon mentions that he wrote a black-aligned protagonist for Children of the Nameless in part because he wanted to show a different and more pragmatic form of the usual 'black as ambition' relationship.

 

My entire people is described, to my mind lovingly, as ‘stiff-necked.’ Our entire history can be boiled down to ‘we are doing things our own way, no matter who says otherwise.’
 

That’s not a flaw. It means that you know your own mind - it means you HAVE your own mind! You have goals, you know where you are and where you want to be headed, and you’re ready and willing to take the steps necessary to do so, and are willing to accept the sacrifices such a course may entail. Good or not is up to how that ambition is utilized, but it’s an amazingly powerful force for good and bad.

 

I found this on an MTG wiki, which interesting because it seems closer to the idea of personal autonomy...

  • Do what you want because YOU want it. Not out of duty, or obligation, or because someone else told you. Be your OWN advocate. Define your OWN values."
  • "Above all else have power. If you do not have power. You will lose all that you value. Because other people DO have power. And they will not hesitate to use that against you.
  • Beyond that, Black is free to be as kind and cruel as it wishes. It is, after all, the color of individual choice and self-determination. Why should it force its users to act in a specific way?

 

Also, people should be careful about using ambition in the negative as that association often has anti-Semitic roots. Avoiding being accidentally anti-Semitic can be quite tricky, due to how pervasive those negative stereotypes can be.

It seems Brandon’s interpretation takes the neutral path, which I like. But none of it contradicts God as the Actor. What part specifically do you think it contradicts?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

 

 

Also, people should be careful about using ambition in the negative as that association often has anti-Semitic roots. Avoiding being accidentally anti-Semitic can be quite tricky, due to how pervasive those negative stereotypes can be.

 

You know, Id like to know if this. I see that ambition is good in some moderation but when someone is too ambitious, I tie it to the Slytherin house. You have people that aspire to meet goals that sometimes takes them too far. They will achieve it at all cost. Personal fulfillment over the safety or joy of others.

What are the ways that ambition can be interpreted in a negative light, particularly anti-semeticly? 
 

also there are other parts with the whole mono-black analogy. black is the death color in mtg. It has two parts. Killing things, and reviving them. 
 

Black decks base themselves (usually) on pushing other’s decks down to boost your deck up. It is really fun to play, but when applied to life, it is a bad moral standpoint to hold. 
 

the second part is reanimation. That one is fun. Yo killed my creature? Fine with me! I’ll bring it back, and benefit from it in the process! It is great to know that your things are not going to stay dead. 
 

that combo combined creates an interesting play style. You kill the other player’s creatures to stop their deck’s engine, then you keep yours alive. This is dangerous and a cruel way of playing. That is what ambition can become, and that is how Bavadin became.

 

side note: not hating on mono-black here. I love playing it. I just know that it is not fun to play against.

 

Edited by Koloss17
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Koloss17 said:

You know, Id like to know if this. I see that ambition is good in some moderation but when someone is too ambitious, I tie it to the Slytherin house. You have people that aspire to meet goals that sometimes takes them too far. They will achieve it at all cost. Personal fulfillment over the safety or joy of others.

What are the ways that ambition can be interpreted in a negative light, particularly anti-semeticly? 
 

also there are other parts with the whole mono-black analogy. black is the death color in mtg. It has two parts. Killing things, and reviving them. 
 

Black decks base themselves (usually) on pushing other’s decks down to boost your deck up. It is really fun to play, but when applied to life, it is a bad moral standpoint to hold. 
 

the second part is reanimation. That one is fun. Yo killed my creature? Fine with me! I’ll bring it back, and benefit from it in the process! It is great to know that your things are not going to stay dead. 
 

that combo combined creates an interesting play style. You kill the other player’s creatures to stop their deck’s engine, then you keep yours alive. This is dangerous and a cruel way of playing. That is what ambition can become, and that is how Bavadin became.

 

side note: not hating on mono-black here. I love playing it. I just know that it is not fun to play against.

 

To start with... Slytherin house is so full of anti-Semitic stereotypes that it’s really hard to ignore if you know Jewish history. Or: cunning, ambitious, wealthy, insular, conspiring to control/overturn the government, practice black magic, inbred, associated with snakes. Later on they control the media. Snape is described as sallow faced and hook nosed, Slytherin as monkey faced with a long goatee, Crabbe and Goyle as gorilla-ish, and Tom Riddle as alluringly handsome. Every. Single. One. is an anti-Semitic stereotype. Every. One. Especially together.

You also may be beginning to see the issue... especially when you consider that the only way to make it worse would have been if Malfoy was a banker or merchant. He was already hiding contraband under his floorboards.

She even got the ‘seduces innocent Christian maid’ one in book 2.

Oh, and when Snape turns out to be good... it’s implied it’s because he never should have been a Slytherin to begin with. (Though, to JKR’s credit, Snape takes this as an offense - which it is.)

 

Note: She did NOT do this on purpose. JKR was drawing heavily on classical European tropes for her houses, and was directly inspired by Oliver Twist. That book  includes Fagin, who was written in a very anti-Semitic way. 
 

The fact that you associate negative ambition with Slytherin house is very problematic, as that reinforces anti-Semitic stereotypes...
 

Basically: ANY and EVERY classically negative mental and physical trait in European literature is anti-Semitic. THAT is how pervasive the hatred was. So be very, very cautious when using any classical negative traits. Particularly ambition and cunning and greed. Never put all three together. 
 

I think Brandon was referring to the color’s traits, not how players play.

Edited by Kingsdaughter613
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

It seems Brandon’s interpretation takes the neutral path, which I like. But none of it contradicts God as the Actor. What part specifically do you think it contradicts?

Actually, it might be my understanding of the concept that's at issue here so if you wouldn't mind giving me a quick summary, that would help. I was thinking in terms of 'God manifesting his will through one or more specific acts' while ambition is more 'the motivation behind the action'. But the theology here isn't something I know a lot about so if I'm off-base, please correct me.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Weltall said:

Actually, it might be my understanding of the concept that's at issue here so if you wouldn't mind giving me a quick summary, that would help. I was thinking in terms of 'God manifesting his will through one or more specific acts' while ambition is more 'the motivation behind the action'. But the theology here isn't something I know a lot about so if I'm off-base, please correct me.

God as the Actor refers to the concept of God as the one who performs acts. It’s not the action, so much ‘one who does actions.’
 

Other names specify acts. For example: God the Redeemer obviously references redemption. God as the Creator. The Avenging God. The Merciful God etc.

 

God as the Actor is the acknowledgment that God performs action, without specifying any acts. He is the source of deeds.

 

Ambition is generally the drive to act. God as the Actor refers to God as both the one acting and the source of action. And actions are the way we manifest ambition, bringing it full circle. If that makes any sense.

Old Hebrew has seven tenses. This would be the future potential action, I think, which doesn’t really exist in English.

Edited by Kingsdaughter613
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Kingsdaughter613 said:

To start with... Slytherin house is so full of anti-Semitic stereotypes that it’s really hard to ignore if you know Jewish history. Or: cunning, ambitious, wealthy, insular, conspiring to control/overturn the government, practice black magic, inbred, associated with snakes. Later on they control the media. Snape is described as sallow faced and hook nosed, Slytherin as monkey faced with a long goatee, Crabbe and Goyle as gorilla-ish, and Tom Riddle as alluringly handsome. Every. Single. One. is an anti-Semitic stereotype. Every. One. Especially together.

You also may be beginning to see the issue... especially when you consider that the only way to make it worse would have been if Malfoy was a banker or merchant. He was already hiding contraband under his floorboards.

She even got the ‘seduces innocent Christian maid’ one in book 2.

Oh, and when Snape turns out to be good... it’s implied it’s because he never should have been a Slytherin to begin with. (Though, to JKR’s credit, Snape takes this as an offense - which it is.)

 

Note: She did NOT do this on purpose. JKR was drawing heavily on classical European tropes for her houses, and was directly inspired by Oliver Twist. That book  includes Fagin, who was written in a very anti-Semitic way. 
 

The fact that you associate negative ambition with Slytherin house is very problematic, as that reinforces anti-Semitic stereotypes...
 

Basically: ANY and EVERY classically negative mental and physical trait in European literature is anti-Semitic. THAT is how pervasive the hatred was. So be very, very cautious when using any classical negative traits. Particularly ambition and cunning and greed. Never put all three together. 
 

I think Brandon was referring to the color’s traits, not how players play.

You know, that’s pretty insightful. I learned a lot. I personally think cunning is a good trait, but insightful nonetheless.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Koloss17 said:

You know, that’s pretty insightful. I learned a lot. I personally think cunning is a good trait, but insightful nonetheless.

Cunning can definitely be a good trait. Classically though, it was viewed as negative and specifically ascribed to the Jewish people, often in conjunction with greed and ambition. That’s why you have to be careful.

 

Positive portrayal is usually not an issue unless a) the character is distinctly Jewish and b: it is the sole or defining trait of that character.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... Slytherin is coded WASPy as heck. Snape I'll definitely give you, but Lucius Malfoy?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.