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TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd wrote:
wayfriend wrote:


No, the Occam's Razor suggests a simpler explanation: he's not interfering for the sake of not interfering.


Occam's Razor doesn't suggest things. It is a rule stating that the simplest (or perhaps better) least complicated scientific hypothesis is likely to be the correct one.

It is a rule of thumb used by scientists to avoid errors of those such as, for example, Ptolemy who kept adding epicycles to his system of cosmology to explain away discrepancies in celestial observations.

On the other hand, the Chrons is not bound to the rules used by scientists, its limits are set only by Donaldson's vast imagination.

Ah, very good point. I missed that. Using Occam's Razor on the Chrons would be like using it to deduce things about Ptolemy's epicycles. It makes no sense when applied to human inventions, human fictions. In fact, it would probably be more accurate to assume the opposite about human fictions, namely that they tend to be overly complicated, contrived. Otherwise, there would be no need for scientists to sound this warning about unnecessary complication in their hypotheses in the first place.


I could use it to deduce something about Ptolemy's epicycles. After about maybe the 10th epicycle I would suggest finding a better hypothesis about the cosmos.

But that's the point. Occam's Razor was intended for such situations. My other point was to give the limitation of the Razor itself: that it cannot always be used to find the least complicated hypothesis or theory whenever there are times when more than one may fit the rule.

So in the context of the Chrons, it seems to be very good at knocking down the opposition's speculations - even though it really doesn't apply to fiction - but not very good at finding out anything positive because there are so many simple explanations that fit the rule.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dumbing down Occam's Razor one comes up with the formula about a simpler hypothesis. But what it actually says is that one should not multiply ideas beyond necessity.
There is a point where we should say "this is sufficient evidence."
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first I ever heard of Occum's Razor was in the movie Contact. I watched the film again, last week. I thought it was interesting to hear during Ellie's public interogation Kitz (James Woods) accuse Ellie of having SRD - self reinforcing delusions.

Which just makes me wonder like crazy about the late Mr.Sagan the author, as opposed to the astronomer. I'd like to read his books one of these days.

just thoughts for nought -
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Krazy Kat wrote:
The first I ever heard of Occum's Razor was in the movie Contact. I watched the film again, last week. I thought it was interesting to hear during Ellie's public interogation Kitz (James Woods) accuse Ellie of having SRD - self reinforcing delusions.

Which just makes me wonder like crazy about the late Mr.Sagan the author, as opposed to the astronomer. I'd like to read his books one of these days.

just thoughts for nought -


I've read gobs, scads, and oodles of philosophy in my time so for me Occam's Razor is like adding 2 and 2.

Carl Sagan = pop astronomy. But I used to watch Cosmos on PBS. "Bill-yuns and bill-yuns." Never read anything by him.

Contact was pretty good, although some of the sfx were goofy.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd wrote:
Occam's Razor doesn't suggest things. It is a rule stating that the simplest (or perhaps better) least complicated scientific hypothesis is likely to be the correct one.

Well, if the consensus is that I shouldn't use it, I won't use it henceforth.

Still, it seems to me that there are simple hypotheses based directly on profound evidence, and that there are complex and laborious hypothesis based on large set of earlier hypotheses, ad infinitum.

And there are hypotheses that work with the rest of what you know and believe, and ones that, to presume them true, entail you to believe other unlikely things, and believing those entail beliving yet other unlikely things, ad infinitum.

Sure, given that it's an author's work and not reality, the complex situation may or may not be as likely as a simple one.

Still, when there's nothing else to go on, I put my trust in the simpler explanation with the least ramifications.

In the case at hand, Z's theory requires believing that the old man would put Jeremiah in harms way in order to get Linden to the Land, and that he would respond to Linden's feelings on the matter by acting in a way that circumvents her choices rather than encourages them.

And there are many other plausible and simpler explanations.

Z may very well be right. I'll be right there to say well done if so.

I'm just pointing out why I don't subscribe to his theory.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend, I don't see how my theory implies that the old man put Jeremiah in harm's way. Whatever his reasons are, I didn't make up the fact that he didn't warn Linden. It's not my theory that put Jeremiah in harm's way, but rather Donaldson's own story construction. Whether the old man refrained from appearing to Linden for the reason I theorized, or for some other reason, there's no escaping the fact that Jeremiah was put in harm's way.

Nor do I see how my theory implies that he responded to Linden's feelings by acting in a way that circumvents her choices. She is entirely free to do as she wishes at any time. If the old man appeared to her--knowing which way she would have chosen (i.e. Jeremiah over the Land)--then his appearance would have been more a case of circumventing her freedom, because he would have forced her ultimatum. That would have "encouraged" her to run.



wayfriend wrote:
And there are many other plausible and simpler explanations.
But these other explanations must represent massive spoilers (unless SRD has misled us on this point), and they must also explain why SRD wrote what he wrote about Linden. Perhaps there is a better and/or simpler reason for the old man's absence, but is there a better reason for SRD writing the numerous quotes I gave in my long post? He made the issue of the missing harbinger vital to Linden's thought processes and her actions. These actions just happen to lead her back to the Land (something that had to happen in order to have a story). And they comprise her central dilemma as a character. Even if the old man himself didn't appear to her for these reasons, I think it's clear that this is the reason why Donaldson refrained from having the Harbinger appear to her. While it's true that we can't equate the creator of the Chrons with the Creator of the Chrons, I don't think it's much of a leap to suppose that SRD's purposes for these charcters are in fact quite similar. I certainly wouldn't expect this author to treat his characters worse than they treat each other (especially these two).

wayfriend wrote:
Z may very well be right. I'll be right there to say well done if so.

I'm just pointing out why I don't subscribe to his theory.
Fair enough. It will be fun to compare all our thoughts/predictions once this is over. It's been a fun ride.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Wayfriend, I don't see how my theory implies that the old man put Jeremiah in harm's way.

Well, if what you say is true, then had the old man provided the warning Linden expected, then Linden would have fled with Jeremiah, and Jeremiah would not have been shot dead. So, by his inaction, Jeremiah was shot.

You asked me how I can see it, that's how I can see it.

Yes, maybe Jeremiah's not dead. Maybe what happened is somehow to his benefit. I am aware that it's plausible. But you have to tack on these extra assumptions to make it so.

Zarathustra wrote:
Nor do I see how my theory implies that he responded to Linden's feelings by acting in a way that circumvents her choices.

If the old man trusted Linden, then he would have trusted her with all the information, and to make the right choice based on that. According to your theory, information was withheld, leading to Linden making a different choice than she would have.

You asked me how I can see it, that's how I can see it.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:


In a fantasy world, she had become a person who could heal an entire continent with magic, but in the real world couldn't even heal a sick lady or a sick boy. Her impotence, contrasted with her fantasy life, has made her the kind of woman who would choose to flee with her son--no matter how many people died or how much beauty was destroyed--if she was faced with that choice.

Luckily, the Harbinger never appeared, so she could never act on that choice. His absence forced her into a position where choosing her son was also a de facto choice to return to the Land.


I can see now where wayfriend would conclude the way he did. But it is not as if the old man purposefully forced Linden's choice. Right? That old man, if he really is the Creator, would not Choose Linden because he would not put himself in the position of being the cause of his own downfall and that of the Earth he created. Nor would he try to warn Linden (assuming he can) because Linden would just ignore him. Roger's kidnapping of Jeremiah was more important than anything else, even the Land's desecration.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:

You asked me how I can see it, that's how I can see it.

You asked me how I can see it, that's how I can see it.
You don't need my permission to post here. I have appreciated your contribution, your time, and your consideration.

wayfriend wrote:
Well, if what you say is true, then had the old man provided the warning Linden expected, then Linden would have fled with Jeremiah, and Jeremiah would not have been shot dead. So, by his inaction, Jeremiah was shot.
Yes, but that's true even if what I theorize isn't true. That's what happened. My analysis doesn't change that.

wayfriend wrote:
If the old man trusted Linden, then he would have trusted her with all the information, and to make the right choice based on that.
I'm not so sure he trusted Linden. That's the point. Maybe he didn't trust her to do the right thing (knowing how she wouldn't care how many people died or how much beauty was destroyed). Or at least not at this time. Maybe he realized that she needed to go back to the Land because of what she had let herself become. So not only does she have a chance to save the Land (by his inaction "pushing" her to returning) but she also has a chance to save herself.

wayfriend wrote:
According to your theory, information was withheld, leading to Linden making a different choice than she would have.
Yes. But that's true in the 2nd Chrons, too. Did the old man tell her she was about to be sent into a fantasy land? No. He withheld that information. Perhaps she would have made a different choice had she known.

Or maybe she wouldn't have believed him, even if he did tell her. The point is that there is nothing out of character with the old man trying to influence people. He has always tried to encourage people to do the right thing--even if that puts them in danger.

Does anyone ever *choose* to go to the Land? No, it is something thrust upon them. They can refuse it, apparently (if the summoner is honest and noble, like LM), but going to the Land is a complex act that isn't at first glance a free choice.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:

If the old man trusted Linden, then he would have trusted her with all the information, and to make the right choice based on that. According to your theory, information was withheld, leading to Linden making a different choice than she would have.


Since when have such beings as the Creator (or the old man), or the Dead, been free with information? "Withholding information" is what they do, when they choose to communicate which is rarely. Preferring a very brief and obscure style of communication is always the rule. ("Be true." "Find me.") The giving of information, on the other hand, has always been correlated with a limiting of choice thus free-will. Linden must be free to make choices, even the wrong ones. Withholding information does not limit her choices, it frees her to think for herself and use her own free-will, making personal growth, autonomy, and authenticity possible. The giving of information would render these three values false, and all her victories hollow ones.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:


Or maybe she wouldn't have believed him, even if he did tell her. The point is that there is nothing out of character with the old man trying to influence people. He has always tried to encourage people to do the right thing--even if that puts them in danger.

Does anyone ever *choose* to go to the Land? No, it is something thrust upon them. They can refuse it, apparently (if the summoner is honest and noble, like LM), but going to the Land is a complex act that isn't at first glance a free choice.


No, but all choices made thereafter are free. That is why the Creator or old man withholds information, for example, keeping to obscure pronouncements about some mysterious "he" rather than naming the evil. This freedom of choice and action are all-important here.

There is a difference between encouraging and influencing. The old man would not stoop to influencing, thus limiting one's freedom of choice and action. He may encourage, although in obscure terms whose meaning only becomes clear later on.

If the old man were some kind of influencer, even for benevolent purposes, he would be no better than Lord Foul and the latter's victory would be certain.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you guys got me all into this now... has anyone explored the clue Donaldson provided. The context of Donaldson's quote is:

Quote:
We've entered a realm of rather abstruse theological speculation. After all, what do *we* know about how gods think or feel? But I'm inclined to believe that benign beings generally are more likely than malign beings to accept the possibility (the necessity?) of their own ending. Benign beings can accomodate the notion that The Greater Good may require their dissolution: malign beings cannot see any Greater Good than themselves.

If any of that is true, the Despiser could never acquiesce in his own destruction: the Creator might conceivably do so. (What? Did you think it was an *accident* that no one appeared to warn Linden before she entered the Land for "The Last Chronicles"? <malign grin>)

(09/28/2007)

Donalson seems to be implying that the reason for the lack of a warning has to do with the Creator acquiescing to his own destruction. Or at least a connection of some sort. Unless he's being really evil.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Since you guys got me all into this now... has anyone explored the clue Donaldson provided. The context of Donaldson's quote is:

Quote:
We've entered a realm of rather abstruse theological speculation. After all, what do *we* know about how gods think or feel? But I'm inclined to believe that benign beings generally are more likely than malign beings to accept the possibility (the necessity?) of their own ending. Benign beings can accomodate the notion that The Greater Good may require their dissolution: malign beings cannot see any Greater Good than themselves.

If any of that is true, the Despiser could never acquiesce in his own destruction: the Creator might conceivably do so. (What? Did you think it was an *accident* that no one appeared to warn Linden before she entered the Land for "The Last Chronicles"? <malign grin>)

(09/28/2007)

Donalson seems to be implying that the reason for the lack of a warning has to do with the Creator acquiescing to his own destruction. Or at least a connection of some sort. Unless he's being really evil.


Going back to SRD sure sheds some light on this matter. A rather dark light though...
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:

Donalson seems to be implying that the reason for the lack of a warning has to do with the Creator acquiescing to his own destruction.


This is part of what I meant when I said the the creator [however Linden feels about it/whatever deduces from it] has chosen his people, and will abide the outcome...whether he/the world lives or dies.
Also, part of my thinking connects to what Worm said recently about difference between encouragement and influence: if he appears to Linden in her current state it could [I think WILL, Z quoted the line that makes me think that] be actual influence, she'll try to avoid the journey to the Land...and if she can't [highly likely...LF will manipulate a way], his [the creator's] influence might be enough to make her just his tool: either ineffective, or an extension of himself that brings down the Arch just by going.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm...I just assumed it was as Linden herself surmised at one, Covenant only got 1 visit in his 4 trips to the land, why should Linden get more than 1 visit in her 2 trips there?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's still very valid sindatur. The question then becomes, why hasn't he appeared to someone else?

I postulated elsewhere that it may be because the Land isn't getting saved this time. So he's not picking someone to save it. Saying that would certainly be the most significant of spoilers, and seems to correspond to some degree that the Creator is acquiescing to his fate.

It may be that the destruction of the Land, which may involve somehow the demise of the Creator, somehow accomplishes some larger good in the resolution of Lord Foul. As I also said, the end of the Final Chronicles will also be triumphant.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
That's still very valid sindatur. The question then becomes, why hasn't he appeared to someone else?

I postulated elsewhere that it may be because the Land isn't getting saved this time. So he's not picking someone to save it. Saying that would certainly be the most significant of spoilers, and seems to correspond to some degree that the Creator is acquiescing to his fate.

It may be that the destruction of the Land, which may involve somehow the demise of the Creator, somehow accomplishes some larger good in the resolution of Lord Foul. As I also said, the end of the Final Chronicles will also be triumphant.
He very well may have appeared to Jeremiah (and maybe this is partially Jeremiah's reason for the constructs of the Land). Maybe Jeremiah is supposed to build a cage for Foul? Or he could have appeared to Roger, hoping to encourage him to do the right thing in the end
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:

I postulated elsewhere that it may be because the Land isn't getting saved this time. So he's not picking someone to save it. Saying that would certainly be the most significant of spoilers, and seems to correspond to some degree that the Creator is acquiescing to his fate.

It may be that the destruction of the Land, which may involve somehow the demise of the Creator, somehow accomplishes some larger good in the resolution of Lord Foul. As I also said, the end of the Final Chronicles will also be triumphant.
As far as the Creator acquiescing to his fate (presumably his death), why would he do this if it didn't achieve some larger goal like saving the Land? Covenant did something very similar at the end of WGW, but it was to save the Land. I agree that killing Lord Foul would be a tremendous benefit, but if he's willing to destroy his own world to do that, he could have saved all the trouble these past millennia and entered his world himself, breaking the Arch, destroying his world, and battled Lord Foul himself.

Therefore, I don't think it makes sense to say that the Creator failed to appear to Linden because he doesn't want anyone to save the Land, and he's willing to die. If both He and His creation are sacrificed, what would be the good of that?

The only possible good I could imagine is if Thomas Covenant, Linden, and Jeremiah are somehow brought back to life in the real world by this massive sacrifice. But I don't see how the destruction of an entire world and its inhabitants could possibly justify that ... unless SRD admits that they were never real to begin with.

All of that would indeed be massive spoilers.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Creator might be willing to die for his creation (assuming an immortal being can die!), but in this case I believe he is out to preserve himself and his creation. Although he dares not reach through the Arch, since the Arch now has cracks he can send something else through to attack Foul.
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The shadow of the axe hangs over every joy.

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Ranyhyn
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember that this is the creator we are talking about and just because he is the creator doesnt mean that he wont do things that dont seem altruistic on the surface.

Quote:
"Then take peace in your other innocence," said a voice out of the darkness. "You did not choose this task. You did not undertake it of your own free will. It was thrust upon you. Blame belongs to the chooser, and this choice was made by one who elected you without your knowledge or consent."


And he gives those chosen the power of choice:

"Ah, but you were-free of my suasion, my power, my wish to make you my tool. Have I not said that the risk was great? Choiceless, you were given the power of choice. I elected you for the Land but did not compel you to serve my purpose in the Land. You were free to damn Land and Earth and Time and all, if you chose. Only through such a risk could I hope to preserve the rectitude of my creation."
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"He torments himself sufficiently."

My 5 year old nephew Eli
Eli: Dammit!
His mom: Eli, that is not a nice word. We need to find another word to use.
Eli: I am a bad guy mom. I use bad words and fight with my lasers. Dammit!


"All of the above is my opinion and thus shouldnt need to be supported by anything other than more of my opinions. twocents "

We miss you Tracie but your Spirit will always shine brightly on the Watch
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