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Schwarzwald
Jul 27, 2004

Don't Blink


PeterWeller posted:

I think it's more the opposite, that, in keeping with Herbert's affinity for New Age mysticism in general and General Semantics in particular, humans can and should make machines unnecessary. It's open your third eye, tap into your untapped potentials, and all that jazz.

That's another irony of the setting. The attempt to subvert "machine thinking" through pursuing personal enlightenment only succeeded in establishing a different form of enslavement.

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Hashtag Banterzone
Dec 8, 2005


Lifetime Winner of the willkill4food Honorary Bad Posting Award in PWM

Maxwell Lord posted:

The actual Luddites were, it's important to remember, more concerned with the rights of workers than with the evils of machinery- the machinery was being used to exploit them, was the problem. I can't imagine a revolt and crusade actually getting underway just because people get lazier, there has to be some kind of catalyst.

That's my thinking as well.

Also I sorta saw the "society is better this way" statements in dune as a bit of an after the fact rationalization. Of course everyone is going to think that society is better off without thinking machines, it's pretty much the first commandment of the bible and has been for 10,000 years.

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.



Schwarzwald posted:

It's a point of irony that the characters do not draw that connection. Most of the institutions in Dune are explicitly dominating, with state-sponsored terrorism, political assassination, and even explicit mind control all being relatively routine. But! At least they took care of that thinking machine problem some time back! otherwise humans might be enslaved! The Butlerian Jihad itself is a tool of human control, and by saying "one needs to be skeptical of heroes, demagogues, propaganda and legends" only to follow that up with "that's not 'programming;' that's persuasion," it to buy into the very propaganda the story wants you to be skeptical of.

Thinking machines and machine thinking are bad, but Mentats and propaganda corps are good, how else would you run an empire/control the humans?

(Again, part of Leto 2's golden path involves overcoming the cultural fear of thinking machines and promoting their development. Thinking-machines were never the problem.)

So no, the Mother Superior wouldn't ask if Paul was a machine. Her ideological blindspots are such that she wouldn't think to make such a comparison, because it she could she'd be forced to confront hard questions about herself.

Take the Bene Gesserit's view of Jessica. She most strongly asserts her humanity when she places her love of Duke Leto over her Bene Gesserit conditioning, but the Bene Gesserit ó despite professing a great love of humanness ó celebrate Jessica for coming back into the fold in her later life. Humans do have agency and choice, and the Bene Gesserit ultimately view that as a problem. They want humans (including themselves!) to be as controllable as if they were machines, even if most would never phrase it in those terms. The ideal Bene Gesserit is as enslaved to their heterodoxy as much as the ideal non-Bene Gesserit is enslaved to them.

There's also a point of irony in the Gom Jabbar scene. In proving Paul "human," the Mother Superior places the Bene Gesserit in the role of the trapper. And in submitting to becoming the Kwisatz Haderach, Paul and Leto would go on to coopt and break the power of the Bene Gesserit just as they would every other prominent institution, removing a threat to human kind.

Having explicitly dominating systems of power doesn't equate humans with machines. It acknowledges that humans have ways and means of dominating each other with or without machines. Acknowledging the power of persuasion isn't buying into propaganda. It's acknowledging that propaganda can be powerful. Dune isn't saying, these aren't real powers, don't worry about them. It's saying, these are real powers, be wary of them. That's why it foregrounds them as frightening superpowers.

Leto tells Siona, "Do not fear the Ixians ... They can make the machines, but they can no longer make Arafel. I know. I was there." That's not Leto telling her to overcome her fear of thinking machines because they were never a real threat. That's Leto telling her to overcome her fear of thinking machines because they are no longer a threat, meaning the threat was real, an existential threat according to Siona's vision and the whole concept of Arafel.

The Bene Gesserit are like Robert Moses and other modernist social engineers in that they express a deep love of humanity as a whole, but also a deep distaste of humans as individuals. Jessica betrays the order out of love for Leto I and returns to them out of fear of Alia, both explicitly emotional and personal (and even intimate) reasons. We should note that her fear of Alia stems from Alia being an abomination, an inhuman person possibly under the control of her ancestral memories. We should also note that Alia fights against that control and ultimately chooses to kill herself rather than let herself be controlled.

You can certainly argue that the Bene Gesserit wish to control humans as if they were machines, but the novels don't endorse that goal or state it in those terms. And as you note with Paul and Leto (and could further note with Teg, Duncan, and Sheeana, and Murbella), the novels show that goal is ultimately impossible. An irony you're not addressing is that Leto takes over the Bene Gesserit breeding program to create humans that cannot be presciently predicted, monitored, and controlled.

Schwarzwald posted:

That's another irony of the setting. The attempt to subvert "machine thinking" through pursuing personal enlightenment only succeeded in establishing a different form of enslavement.

The pursuit of personal enlightenment in the series isn't an attempt to subvert "machine thinking." It's something that emerges in the vacuum left by destroying humans' reliance on machines. And yeah, the novels present it as something that can and does lead to tyranny, but that's because they want to you be wary of human powers.

Schwarzwald
Jul 27, 2004

Don't Blink


PeterWeller posted:

Having explicitly dominating systems of power doesn't equate humans with machines. It acknowledges that humans have ways and means of dominating each other with or without machines.

Exactly. The machines aren't the problem.

PeterWeller posted:

You can certainly argue that the Bene Gesserit wish to control humans as if they were machines, but the novels don't endorse that goal or state it in those terms.

I disagree. The novel is presented as a semi-historical document, and so the characters and implied historians (such as Princess Irulan) do not state it in those terms. However, the conceit of a historical Butlerian Jihad exists precisely to highlight the ways the institutions (not just the Bene Gesserit, but the Guild, the Ixians, the Tleilaxu, the Padishah Empire, etc.) in the setting are machine-like and the ways certain characters exhibit "machine-thinking." The Butlerian Jihad is the novel stating that in those terms.

Schwarzwald fucked around with this message at 21:50 on Nov 12, 2020

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.



Schwarzwald posted:

Exactly. The machines aren't the problem.

Except that the novels explicitly state the machines are an existential problem, one forestalled by the Butlerian Jihad and ultimately solved by the Golden Path and Siona's gene.

quote:

I disagree. The novel is presented as a semi-historical document, and so the characters and implied historians (such as Princess Irulan) do not state it in those terms. However, the conceit of a historical Butlerian Jihad exists precisely to highlight the ways the institutions (not just the Bene Gesserit, but the Guild, the Ixians, the Tleilaxu, the Padishah Empire, etc.) in the setting are machine-like and the ways certain characters exhibit "machine-thinking." The Butlerian Jihad is the novel stating that in those terms.

I've already explained why I think the Butlerian Jihad exists as a historical event in the novels, and I don't think it's meant to highlight how the institutions are machine-like. You just agreed with me saying dominating systems of power do not equate humans with machines.

Ultimately, I think you're putting too much weight on this humans-machines analogy. And to support it, you're eliding a lot of what the text explicitly states about humans and machines.

phasmid
Jan 16, 2015

Booty Shaker
SILENT MAJORITY


Wow, had to catch up to the last page. A lot of good points.

However, if we're going to bring God Emperor into the mix (written about 20 years later, Herbert might've rethought some stuff) we also have to point out that Leto's reaction to A.I. is that it's hogwash. He is visibly amused that the Bene Gesserit are afraid of the possibilities of "computers with human minds". Maybe this indicates that the machines of the past were not so advanced as all that (sometime truth-teller Piter de Vries called them "toys"). Even if they weren't roombas and drones, who's to say that the "conscious robots" were physical antagonists? Maybe they were in charge of planning and made mistakes (per the Dune Encyclopedia). Maybe they were cyborg augmentations with drawbacks that humans had to rid themselves of with social pressures, not excluding war?

To be honest, it always seemed like Herbert wasn't totally committed to the idea one way or another (the part about Siona running from seeking machines bugged me, because it didn't sound like he was trying to evoke hunter-seekers). Maybe as PeterWeller says they're mainly a plot device to springboard human potential.

Here's about where I am on the Jihad:

Not to get political (lol) but we see right now in our world people who get all their news from a single source. That's debilitating. They also interact with their media in a lot of ways. So to extrapolate: Now you've got a "house bulter" (lol unintentional) that cooks your eggs, tells you the humidity, wipes your rear end. It feeds you incalculable amounts of data and picks up plenty too. The time before the Jihad is basically "what if your robobutler gets hacked?" But on most populated planets instead of just one household.



But one thing that's inarguable, the son completely missed the point of the thing to make a campy Star Wars knockoff with - of all things - a Star Wars knockoff careerist.

Schwarzwald
Jul 27, 2004

Don't Blink


PeterWeller posted:

I've already explained why I think the Butlerian Jihad exists as a historical event in the novels

Sure, but why is it a historical event? What function does it serve in the story? It's not relevant to the plot, and as far as excuses for the aesthetic any number of other conceits would have worked as well. But when you add in the intergalactic feudalism, suddenly it has this thematic significance. Now you have "thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind" coexisting with these humans emulating computer data processors and "humanity had allowed itself to be enslaved by machines" alongside humans plotting to maintain and expand dominion.

phasmid posted:

However, if we're going to bring God Emperor into the mix (written about 20 years later, Herbert might've rethought some stuff) we also have to point out that Leto's reaction to A.I. is that it's hogwash. He is visibly amused that the Bene Gesserit are afraid of the possibilities of "computers with human minds". Maybe this indicates that the machines of the past were not so advanced as all that (sometime truth-teller Piter de Vries called them "toys").

Leto's talk with Siona is illustrative. He doesn't say "do not fear machines" but "do not fear the Ixians." Siona's seeking machines, were they to exist, would be an existential problem only in the sense that planet busting nukes are (which do exist in the setting, but which no one loses sleep over). They're a weapon which someone has to design, build, and set lose, which would makes the Ixian the danger (if Leto hadn't defanged them). Siona misidentified the real threat.

(Although Siona's vision of humanity in danger from inhuman psychic destroyers could easily be interpreted to mean Leto.)

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.



phasmid posted:

Wow, had to catch up to the last page. A lot of good points.

However, if we're going to bring God Emperor into the mix (written about 20 years later, Herbert might've rethought some stuff) we also have to point out that Leto's reaction to A.I. is that it's hogwash. He is visibly amused that the Bene Gesserit are afraid of the possibilities of "computers with human minds". Maybe this indicates that the machines of the past were not so advanced as all that (sometime truth-teller Piter de Vries called them "toys"). Even if they weren't roombas and drones, who's to say that the "conscious robots" were physical antagonists? Maybe they were in charge of planning and made mistakes (per the Dune Encyclopedia). Maybe they were cyborg augmentations with drawbacks that humans had to rid themselves of with social pressures, not excluding war?

To be honest, it always seemed like Herbert wasn't totally committed to the idea one way or another (the part about Siona running from seeking machines bugged me, because it didn't sound like he was trying to evoke hunter-seekers). Maybe as PeterWeller says they're mainly a plot device to springboard human potential.

Here's about where I am on the Jihad:

Not to get political (lol) but we see right now in our world people who get all their news from a single source. That's debilitating. They also interact with their media in a lot of ways. So to extrapolate: Now you've got a "house bulter" (lol unintentional) that cooks your eggs, tells you the humidity, wipes your rear end. It feeds you incalculable amounts of data and picks up plenty too. The time before the Jihad is basically "what if your robobutler gets hacked?" But on most populated planets instead of just one household.



But one thing that's inarguable, the son completely missed the point of the thing to make a campy Star Wars knockoff with - of all things - a Star Wars knockoff careerist.

Yeah, he's definitely rethinking stuff as the series goes along. Recall that the original idea is an entire trilogy in one book. Then he writes a serialized sequel that gets collected as a book. Then he writes what he says is the conclusion to a trilogy. Then five years later, he writes God Emperor. Then he embarks on a second trilogy that he doesn't finish.

We should note that Leto's reaction to the BG's fears of thinking machines comes after he's already completed the goal of his breeding program, though. So he may just be amused because he's already overcome the problem they're so afraid of. That's totally in keeping with his character.

But I also think you're correct to think that Herbert isn't really interested in the specifics of the idea. I think that's why I'm so resistant to the whole "machine thinking" reading. Despite spending the last few pages talking about the machines, I don't think they're all that important to the story beyond marking the beginning and a possible end to the setting. Dune introduces the machines as part of the Butlerian Jihad to justify why such a far flung future is so technologically anachronistic and so focused on developing superpowers. God-Emperor reintroduces them as an ultimate existential threat that makes good shorthand for the significance of Siona's gene and why it's essential she survives and passes on her gene.

Schwarzwald posted:

Sure, but why is it a historical event? What function does it serve in the story? It's not relevant to the plot, and as far as excuses for the aesthetic any number of other conceits would have worked as well. But when you add in the intergalactic feudalism, suddenly it has this thematic significance. Now you have "thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind" coexisting with these humans emulating computer data processors and "humanity had allowed itself to be enslaved by machines" alongside humans plotting to maintain and expand dominion.


Leto's talk with Siona is illustrative. He doesn't say "do not fear machines" but "do not fear the Ixians." Siona's seeking machines, were they to exist, would be an existential problem only in the sense that planet busting nukes are (which do exist in the setting, but which no one loses sleep over). They're a weapon which someone has to design, build, and set lose, which would makes the Ixian the danger (if Leto hadn't defanged them). Siona misidentified the real threat.

(Although Siona's vision of humanity in danger from inhuman psychic destroyers could easily be interpreted to mean Leto.)

I've answered these questions. Its function is to remove high technology from a science fiction setting that is focused on super-humans and the damage they leave in their wake. You have "thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind" to establish a setting in which humans expand their own abilities to process and collate data. Also, the Mentat human computers are rash and make very notable mistakes in their reasoning. Again, even if you want to follow through on this comparison, the conclusion is Dune and its sequels are saying humans are not like machines. You've already agreed with me that humans trying to dominate humans doesn't equate to humans being like machines.

Leto tells Siona not to fear the Ixians because they're the people who will make the machines, but now, thanks to her gene, they will not make Arafel. Let's look at the context: Siona has successfully assassinated Leto. She has learned the location of his spice hoard and has the loyalty of the Fish Speakers through Duncan. She is queen of the galaxy. Leto tells her not to fear the Ixians because he's asking her to not wipe them out. Now that they no longer represent the possibility of an existential threat to humanity, they should be left alone to grow and expand as part of the scattering.

And planet busting nukes aren't the same threat as robots programmed--for whatever reason, it doesn't really matter--to seek out and murder humanity. The former requires a human agent to seek out and destroy all the rest of humanity and then destroy themselves. The latter just needs humanity to get it started. The point of Siona's vision is to show that the end of the Golden Path and the advent of her gene mean that the resulting Scattering will ensure humanity's survival no matter the threat, even if it's seeker robots programmed to hunt down and destroy humanity. It's the last piece in his puzzle to ensure humanity's future.

Siona doesn't see inhuman psychic destroyers. She sees "seeker robots." And "mechanical movement" doesn't describe Leto or his cart.

Fly Molo
May 7, 2007




Alchenar posted:

I don't think 'men tried to use machines to dominate others, it all got out of hand and the machines tried to take over' is inconsistent with the vision (really the main thing is that Herbert just wants to clear advanced computers and the implications out of his setting), but not having the Jihad be a struggle against stagnation and 'programming' of people really missed the point of what this story is about.

IMO itís more about the use of machines as crutches, until the users become blind to their limitations. Modern political polling is a good example: it started in order to answer specific questions- who can win, what bill is popular, etc. But the people using that tool molded themselves to the tool, and nowadays lots politicians are just weather vanes, without understanding or agency. Welp, we canít support X, it doesnít poll well. Is poll Y accurate? We have concerns, but polls are accurate so we need to trust the polls. The process grows in peoplesí imaginations, until they canít imagine using any other metric, or questioning the process when it begins to break down (ie. how badly political polling has poo poo the bed in recent years). People build machines to automate their lives, then enslave themselves to those machines through habit, momentum, and standardization.

The Butlerian Jihad was akin to the Cultural Revolution- a reaction against that process of consolidation and fossilization, in an attempt to pursue continuous change and revitalization.

Fly Molo
May 7, 2007




tl;dr: Dune is the story of some very angry people burning Facebook to the ground in a quest to stop Big Data.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

I gravitated towards the Greens, eventually even joining the party itself.

The Linke is a party I grudgingly accept exists, but I've learned enough about DDR-history I can't bring myself to trust a party that was once the SED, a party leading the corrupt state apparatus ...


Grimey Drawer

This entire discussion is confusing the hell out of me, because intelligent machines are a thing in Dune, not just a metaphor. Hell, in the end the seeker machines even show up, and the story finally ends when machines and humans join together.

As far as I can see, this basically invalidates the entire thing of things like this:


Fly Molo posted:

The Butlerian Jihad was akin to the Cultural Revolution- a reaction against that process of consolidation and fossilization, in an attempt to pursue continuous change and revitalization.

The books themselves say the exact opposite of this! :psyduck:

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by

So I think both things we're talking about can be true (as long as you ignore Brian's books).

Regardless of how the machines came about, the literal events of the Jihad in the fictional history of Dune probably look like Terminator. Sentient machines are made and they cause an event so traumatic that humanity scours the whole galaxy of them and then literally rewrites the Bible so that the first commandment is 'don't make AI'. That didn't happen because space-Zuckerberg was sending uncomfortably good targeted advertising.

This clears AI from the deck of the setting, but thematically the irony is important as well - the proponents of the Jihad thought they were freeing humanity but in reality they were setting up another control system. I don't think Leto scoffs at the fear of AI because AI isn't a threat, he scoffs because he's omniscient and he knows that the much bigger problem is that out of all possible futures there's only one that doesn't result in one form of control and threat being replaced with another and humanity's inevitable extinction.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

A bracing glass of carrot juice!


Libluini posted:

This entire discussion is confusing the hell out of me, because intelligent machines are a thing in Dune, not just a metaphor. Hell, in the end the seeker machines even show up, and the story finally ends when machines and humans join together.

As far as I can see, this basically invalidates the entire thing of things like this:


The books themselves say the exact opposite of this! :psyduck:

Do you present a Dune podcast

Libluini
May 18, 2012

I gravitated towards the Greens, eventually even joining the party itself.

The Linke is a party I grudgingly accept exists, but I've learned enough about DDR-history I can't bring myself to trust a party that was once the SED, a party leading the corrupt state apparatus ...


Grimey Drawer

MrL_JaKiri posted:

Do you present a Dune podcast

I think it's on place 69 of my list of things to do in the future

Schwarzwald
Jul 27, 2004

Don't Blink


Libluini posted:

The books themselves say the exact opposite of this! :psyduck:

The books provide very little evidence on what the Butlerian Jihad entailed, we only get snippets retold through a different cultural context thousands of years after the fact. On top of that, the books are presented as fictional historical documents, and while not necessarily misleading they should be taken as a biased account. This means everything about the Butlerian Jihad is a second hand account filtered through an foreign culture of a second hand account filtered through a different foreign culture.

Whatever the Butlerian Jihad was (or was brought about by) was certainly a tremendously traumatic event for human kind, but the very fact of that trauma brings into question their responce!

So we have these traumatized people of a deeply stagnant, stratified, unsafe and unfree society, who believe that this framework is none-the-less necessary because the technology they'd have to implement to improve things would enslave them. And all the meanwhile, spice, the "safe" alternative to technology, is being sought by everyone as a tool to enslave everyone else. It's not that dangerous machines couldn't or didn't exist, but that humanity failed to take away the right lessons from overcoming that danger.

(This is also a setting where people regularly strap atomic bombs to themselves because otherwise they might be shot by a bullet.)

Notice how often Paul superpowers frequently measure out less as a prediction of the future so much as a more objective assessment of the present. The power of the divine the Bene Gesserit spent eons trying to bring about is "better threat assessment."

And the ultimate expression of that power, Super Space God King Leto #2, thinks machines are basically fine.

Schwarzwald fucked around with this message at 13:54 on Nov 16, 2020

Groovelord Neato
Dec 6, 2014




Libluini posted:

This entire discussion is confusing the hell out of me, because intelligent machines are a thing in Dune, not just a metaphor. Hell, in the end the seeker machines even show up, and the story finally ends when machines and humans join together.

As far as I can see, this basically invalidates the entire thing of things like this:


The books themselves say the exact opposite of this! :psyduck:

The son books aren't canon and the things you mention are a big reason that it's clear the son didn't understand his pa's work.

MrL_JaKiri posted:

Do you present a Dune podcast

Groovelord Neato fucked around with this message at 16:25 on Nov 13, 2020

Libluini
May 18, 2012

I gravitated towards the Greens, eventually even joining the party itself.

The Linke is a party I grudgingly accept exists, but I've learned enough about DDR-history I can't bring myself to trust a party that was once the SED, a party leading the corrupt state apparatus ...


Grimey Drawer

Groovelord Neato posted:

The son books aren't canon and the things you mention are a big reason that it's clear the son didn't understand his pa's work.

Is there some kind of Council of SF that determined this? As far as I concerned, they're canon. And it's kind of weird to claim the son "didn't understand his work" when he was using notes from his father. But I guess as he was writing stuff you don't like, that must mean he is lying, right?

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by

The whole notion of 'canon' is bullshit, Frank Herbert is a guy who wrote some books and I'm interested in discussing what he had to say in those books. What someone else decided to do with the setting is irrelevant.

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.



Princess Irulan, Harq-al-Ada, and all the other fictional paratextual authors who lived thousands of years after the Butlerian Jihad aren't traumatized by it. If it looms so large over their interpretation and understanding of the times they are writing about, we'd get more than just snippets about it.

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

A bracing glass of carrot juice!


Libluini posted:

Is there some kind of Council of SF that determined this? As far as I concerned, they're canon. And it's kind of weird to claim the son "didn't understand his work" when he was using notes from his father

If you consider them "canon" go wild, but that doesn't have an impact on a discussion based around only the works of Frank.

It's also entirely possible a) not to understand a work despite having notes on it (or indeed despite having the work as a whole, otherwise Eng Lit would be a much easier course) and b) for the quantity and depth of said notes to be exaggerated.

PeterWeller posted:

Princess Irulan, Harq-al-Ada, and all the other fictional paratextual authors who lived thousands of years after the Butlerian Jihad aren't traumatized by it. If it looms so large over their interpretation and understanding of the times they are writing about, we'd get more than just snippets about it.

This isn't necessarily the case - if the trauma of the BJ is culturally universal, why talk about it?

(This is a real problem historians have, people didn't write stuff about their society down because it was really obvious to them at the time)

Groovelord Neato
Dec 6, 2014




Libluini posted:

Is there some kind of Council of SF that determined this? As far as I concerned, they're canon. And it's kind of weird to claim the son "didn't understand his work" when he was using notes from his father. But I guess as he was writing stuff you don't like, that must mean he is lying, right?

The notes don't exist.

The prequels make it patently obvious he didn't understand his dad's books if the sequels hadn't already.

Schwarzwald
Jul 27, 2004

Don't Blink


MrL_JaKiri posted:

This isn't necessarily the case - if the trauma of the BJ is culturally universal, why talk about it?

(This is a real problem historians have, people didn't write stuff about their society down because it was really obvious to them at the time)

Additionally, trauma on a societal level is very different than on an individual level.

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.



MrL_JaKiri posted:

This isn't necessarily the case - if the trauma of the BJ is culturally universal, why talk about it?

(This is a real problem historians have, people didn't write stuff about their society down because it was really obvious to them at the time)

They're talking a lot about culturally universal traumas like the destruction of the Padishah Empire, Paul's Jihad, and Leto's Peace. Irulan and Harq are historians who are married to people who can tap into their inner memories and just tell them whatever they want to know.

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by

The Ixians keep their research into thinking machines secret because they know that it becoming public knowledge would get them all killed. That's how much Bulterlian thinking has permeated humanity at the point of the books.

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.



Yes, the injunction against technology still exists. The Ixian's secret research isn't that secret. The Guild knows about it. They tell the Emperor about it. The Ixians sell technology to the other powers. That doesn't indicate some deep unexamined millennia-old trauma. That speaks to the contemporary balance of power.

Schwarzwald
Jul 27, 2004

Don't Blink


The empire and the great houses pay extravagant sums to hire psychic drug addicts to steer their space boats because using MATLAB would be taboo.

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.



Yes, the injunction against technology still exists. Because of it, MATLAB does not exist. The empire, great houses, and the Guild (and other powers) are all intertwined in a galaxy-spanning corporation called CHOAM. Again, this speaks more to the balance of power than some deep unexamined cultural trauma.

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by

Everyone in this universe is a massive hypocrite and there is a huge difference between what everyone knows everyone else is up to and what is public knowledge about what everyone is up to. The reason everyone is engaged in this masquerade is because if these things became public truths then people would be compelled to act.

Judakel
Jul 29, 2004
Probation
Can't post for 4070 days!


Grandpa Palpatine posted:

lol Tenet is on its way to making its money back

it's gonna be in theaters for like a year. just like titanic except it's actually good

Apparently not. https://observer.com/2020/11/tenet-box-office-will-be-boosted-vod-sales/

Yadoppsi
May 10, 2009


Libluini posted:

Is there some kind of Council of SF that determined this? As far as I concerned, they're canon. And it's kind of weird to claim the son "didn't understand his work" when he was using notes from his father. But I guess as he was writing stuff you don't like, that must mean he is lying, right?

Amazing. Its like someone coming into a discussion of the OG Star Wars trilogy and trying to make the argument the EU is thematically consistent and of one body with the movies.

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by

I would genuinely like to know if there's any actual academic school of artistic interpretation that considers 'canon' to be a real thing (other than where films are expressly assuming that you are familiar with other work a-la Rogue One) or if it's just an invention of fandom.

Bonus points if it turns out the origin of the term is mocking the tendency of fandom to have religious reverence for the object of their attention.

moths
Aug 25, 2004

I would also still appreciate some danger.





My understanding is that the idea goes as far back to the Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

I mean, also the bible, but yeah.

PeterWeller
Apr 20, 2003

I told you that story so I could tell you this one.



When academics talk about canon, it's usually in terms of stuff like, "do we need to read Thomas Hardy in this Brit Lit survey?"

As far as I know, the idea of canonicity with regard to popular fiction arises with Avellaneda's sequel to Quixote and Cervantes' condemnation of it.

Yadoppsi
May 10, 2009


Alchenar posted:

I would genuinely like to know if there's any actual academic school of artistic interpretation that considers 'canon' to be a real thing (other than where films are expressly assuming that you are familiar with other work a-la Rogue One) or if it's just an invention of fandom.

Herbert truly cared about the environment and he sincerely feared where people could be led by a charismatic leader; he poured those passions into his work which is why a close reading of Dune is so rewarding. Contrast that to the half-ghostwritten cashgrab the son puts out. The word Canon doesn't even have to come into the conversation not when you can use:

Actual Art Degree posted:

Trite, contrived, mediocre, milquetoast, amateurish, infantile, cliche-and-gonorrhea-ridden paean to conformism, eye-hosed me, affront to humanity, war crime, should *literally* be tried for war crimes, resolutely poo poo, lacking in imagination, uninformed reimagining of, limp-wristed, premature, ill-informed attempt at, talentless fuckfest, recidivistic shitpeddler, pedantic, listless, savagely boring, just one repulsive laugh after another.

David D. Davidson
Nov 17, 2012

Orca lady?

Well you can fit cannon into a discussion of the Brian KJA novels. In that they should be fired out of one.

phasmid
Jan 16, 2015

Booty Shaker
SILENT MAJORITY


ITT Getting gulled by a pair of hack writers because "they found some hidden notes!"

Just like every con artist that ever wrote or started a cult. :lol:

Libluini
May 18, 2012

I gravitated towards the Greens, eventually even joining the party itself.

The Linke is a party I grudgingly accept exists, but I've learned enough about DDR-history I can't bring myself to trust a party that was once the SED, a party leading the corrupt state apparatus ...


Grimey Drawer

Groovelord Neato posted:

The notes don't exist.

The prequels make it patently obvious he didn't understand his dad's books if the sequels hadn't already.

You realize by claiming something extraordinary, you also need extraordinary proof. So, where is your proof? Right now, this reads like pure-strained delusion to me.



phasmid posted:

ITT Getting gulled by a pair of hack writers because "they found some hidden notes!"

Just like every con artist that ever wrote or started a cult. :lol:

Even funnier: Groovelord Neato thinking because he doesn't like something it must obviously mean it does not exist. That's a level of mental disfunction that's amazing! Do you think he will start or join a cult soon? :allears:

MrL_JaKiri
Sep 23, 2003

A bracing glass of carrot juice!


Libluini posted:

You realize by claiming something extraordinary, you also need extraordinary proof. So, where is your proof? Right now, this reads like pure-strained delusion to me.

Even funnier: Groovelord Neato thinking because he doesn't like something it must obviously mean it does not exist. That's a level of mental disfunction that's amazing! Do you think he will start or join a cult soon? :allears:

Death of the Author, but make it so the author died 20 years before the book was written

Fly Molo
May 7, 2007




Libluini posted:

You realize by claiming something extraordinary, you also need extraordinary proof. So, where is your proof? Right now, this reads like pure-strained delusion to me.


Even funnier: Groovelord Neato thinking because he doesn't like something it must obviously mean it does not exist. That's a level of mental disfunction that's amazing! Do you think he will start or join a cult soon? :allears:

an Ďextraordinaryí claim like a failson claiming to have found his dadís secret notes 20+ years later? but nobody else can see the notes?

are you a mormon :confused:

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Strom Cuzewon
Jul 1, 2010



The Brian Herbert novels have someone stumble on the corpses of some BGs that the HMs have tortured to death, even though there was a sizable plot thread in Heretics about how you can't do that.

Also Scytale entertains baby-Baron by farting, which is a result of his weird and unclean Tleilaxu biology. Even though the Tleilaxu are fastidiously clean, and just spread the myth of their weird and unclean behaviours to gently caress with people.

So on a basic plot level they clearly missed some of what was going on, which doesn't speak well to them grasping any of his themes and ideas.

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