Off-Topic Thread vol. 2

Mm. You can see it all that way, sure, if that’s the way you see it-- as I’d expect from someone who insistently believes (or is convinced that she has to believe, or else) in free will.

Perspective tricks, surrounding complex interactions and beings. The dynamics are fractal. Are you encouraging a choice or hammering something (someone) into shape?

Arrendis, over a lot of years I’ve learned that talking about this stuff with someone who won’t entertain the possibility is pretty useless. You and I have had this conversation before, to a similar impasse, and I’m discussing it with you now for two reasons: first, you literally asked; second, there is this.

Entertaining that possibility, even briefly, is the farthest you’ve ever gone on this.

It’s encouraging, but constant blanket denials and “you can’t honestly believe” what I believe are just … boring. Once we get to this point, where you insist on clinging to your perspective and denying me mine, I don’t really see a point in continuing. If you need a punching bag Ms. Remilia is right over there talking like she really cares about the Caldari State.

I’ll see you next time.

1 Like

So, you know how, whenever we have these discussions, we get to a point where I tell you that you’re misrepresenting what I’m saying?

You’re misrepresenting what I’m saying. You’re implying, with what you just said, that I’m engaging in blanket denials of the possibility that the universe is deterministic. You reference my willingness to entertain the possibility that the universe is deterministic. You then specifically point out that you’re talking about me entertaining the possibility that the universe is deterministic. Then you invoke ‘blanket denials’ without any further qualifiers or descriptors. So hopefully, you see where my takeaway there is that you’re saying I’m issuing blanket denials of the possibility that the universe is deterministic.

Now, maybe that’s not what you meant. I’m sure you’ll insist, despite me telling you otherwise, ‘you know what I meant’, but if it’s not? Then no, I really don’t.

So, if you are trying to say that I’m issuing blanket denials of the possibility that the universe is deterministic… you’re misrepresenting what I’ve said. After all:

None of my statements have said the universe isn’t deterministic. I’ve said the examples you’ve provided don’t show any determinism—instead, they show consistent intention to invoke or influence choice. Your examples being flawed doesn’t mean the universe isn’t deterministic. It just means your examples are flawed.

Your examples fit a society that has decided, within the current generation or two, to treat the universe as deterministic. They still show the need to persuade, to “encourage”—your word, originally. You’ll never get a society to truly believe a thing, uniformly and universally, without doubt, in that kind of time-frame.

They won’t have the centuries of philosophy that shape and guide the society along that path, either. When you start to look at a truly deterministic society, you have to look beyond questions like ‘do they have a concept of morality’? Because of course they don’t. But they’ll also lose concepts like persuasion, or punishment, because they’re dependent on choice. Why would such a society see any use in encouragement? Why would they think in terms of encouragement? If there’s no true choice to be made, there’s no encouraging.

Language and entire modes of thought change, with that kind of belief. Why think about what might have been, when nothing was ever possible except exactly what is? They’d lose concepts like pejoratives, too. There’s no ‘lazy’ because being lazy requires choosing not to apply yourself, just as being industrious means you’ve chosen to apply yourself. Without choice, an idle individual is just idle. An active, productive individual is just productive. There’s no value judgment involved, because a value judgment is based on ‘it could have been different’.

Desires, wants, these would, of course, remain, because emotional reactions don’t obey rational belief structures. But would attempts to modulate them remain? After all, if someone is going to modulate their anger, or their lust, or their hunger, or their jealousy, then they’ll do that. If someone else is going to provide the stimulus needed to modulate the emotional response, they’ll do it. But why would they? In a purely deterministic worldview, is ‘why’ even a relevant question? It happens because it happens, and understanding the mechanisms will only happen if it will happen.

Now, does any of that mean determinism’s impossible? Not at all. It’s completely possible. But, again based purely on an awareness of emotional responses and their lack of willingness to conform to rational belief, true acceptance of a deterministic reality may not be. To truly accept determinism at more than a conscious level—which, as we’ve both described, is itself a shallow, illusory, superficial level in the first place—it seems like it would mean losing the fight/flight, anger/fear response.

But, again, none of that means the universe being deterministic is impossible. I’ve issued no blanket denials of that, because after all, not only do I not know, I probably can’t know. And ‘denial’ is just an assertion of active belief in the negation, which is not a position I’m anywhere near taking on the fundamental nature of reality.

I appreciate the invitation to discussion, even if it comes with a little shade. For one, I’m not “supporting a position [I] know others oppose.” Ms. Rhiannon invited comment specifically asking “what does it say to you?” I simply answered the question. Moreover, I only offered my interpretation because Ms. Rhiannon explicitly solicited it. If you thought me a Kybernaut evangelist, no doubt you mistook me for someone else. :wink: I prefer “open door” evangelism; by which I mean, my door is always open and anyone with a desire to learn our culture has no shortage of paths to reach it.

In any case! . . . I had originally planned to respond with a much lengthier reply leaning on my expertise in critical theory of literature,(1) but then:

(A) The trumpets of warfare sounded in Wirashoda and required my complete, and undivided attention; and

(B) A far more interesting discussion evolved in this space re: determinism v. free will, and so whatever I might have said about the extent of context, subtext, text-text & etc. was no longer particularly appealing.

And so, that was that. How many tens of thousands of years have humans had the debate over free will? I do not know, but marvel that it remains a compelling subject even now.

(1) God, if the conservative wing of the Hedion University faculty saw me use the word “literature” in reference to a Matari text, they’d probably file petition to revoke my degrees. Hah!

I can confirm, I literally landed in the structure and got an appointment. It’s that easy.

1 Like

I did indeed and just to be clear, I appreciate all answers.

In case it is of interest, my clan and allied clans operate on cohorts too. My closest family are my cohort sisters and brothers I grew up with and took the Voluval with and studied together with, and well yes, trained for the local defense forces with even if we’re hardly military.


Hey @Arrendis look what I found on the Galnet.

I like how the statue apparently of Arrendis is placed so that the plinth obstructs the pathway, thereby commentating on her occasionally obstructive nature.

1 Like

Yeah, I got contacted by someone who wouldn’t give any real details about who/where things were being done. I figured it was something like this, but you know, if people want to waste their money making some weird statement intended to misrepresent me, well, whatever.

Honestly, I half expected it was going to turn out to be some weird sex thing.

1 Like

Arrendis darling, our monument to the brave men and women leaders of Goonswarm Federation who stood side by side with the Kybernauts to conquer Niarja was–brace yourself for a SHOCK!–not really about you.

Sadly Stribog leadership opted on the side of completeness over merit when deciding which GSF leaders to so honor. Worse, I had no control over the hiring of the photographer nor the drafting of the announcement. Had I such, I would have ensured the documentation focus entirely on the spectacular craftsmanship of the Dave Archer, Luke Toir, and Alterari Phoenix statutes, which eclipse yours in every possible way.

(Also, pay no mind to the latter’s complaints that his statue lacks scantily-clad women companions that he would have preferred the artist also include.)

I didn’t say the entirety of the monument was about me. But including me in it is definitely a misrepresentation, since I flew for EDENCOM during the invasion.


Thank you, but we have had already once an incident with scantilly-clad statues that were even showing off nipples. They were men companions, though, which makes it even worse. Such outrageous indecency must not be allowed!

On the subject of plagiarism, I wonder perhaps if there is some small advantage to teaching in a Sani Sabik culture.

I mean, I can always threaten the students with being sacrificed to the Red God if they plagiarise when submitting essays and so on.

We usually start the academic year with that kind of thing. It’s only after the students graduate that we tell them it was only a dummy on the altar. The Engineering Faculty come up with some really convincing models.

What a jolly jape.

Honestly, it just sounds like to me someone was bitter and wanting to throw a public tantrum.

Well there’s only one way to find out the truth.

Mud wrestling!. Or mud substitute for the mud intolerant.

Contestants should supply their own safety goggles.

As I have asked yesterday in the NeoCom counterpart of these forums…
What’s the meaning with all these unhealthy tendencies to fight in slimy substances?!
That sounds SO unprofessional!
Why not fight in a boxing ring instead? On a solid not slippery surface?

1 Like

The purpose of the mud is to add a degree of technical difficulty to the contest. A slippery opponent and contest surface requires a much different technique than dry surface wrestling. It is more dependent on balance and flexibility than on strength or speed, making for a significantly different sporting test between the contestants.

I would disagree with that. Fighting in a resistant surface will mean you will have to rely more on your physical strength rather than on your maneuvers and reflexes.

Hits in viscous matter will be way less hard.

Movements will be way slower.

So you’re agreeing with my point. The presence of the mud changes the nature of the contest, and thus which attributes of the contestants are most important to achieve victory.

That is correct