Sorceresses of Rossak

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    One of the two remaining Great Schools tasked with mentoring humanity

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Hunchback Jack
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Postby Hunchback Jack » 05 Jun 2008 18:08

Mine, too. But I do think that sufficiently advanced science will be able to explain what today appears to be magic. Or "weird shit", if you prefer.

With apologies to Arthur C. Clarke, may he rest in peace.

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Omphalos
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Postby Omphalos » 05 Jun 2008 18:53

If we have scientific explanations for phenomena, than by definition it is no longer the result of "magic." but in any event, that word is too subjective to nail down anyway, and you are really trying to prove a negative, so good luck getting the dolts to believe you.

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A Thing of Eternity
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 05 Jun 2008 18:59

Human denial is a powerful, powerful thing. Doesn't matter how many times you explain that the world is billions of years old, that it is a sphere, that people have landed on the moon; there will always be someone who refuses to believe it.

I agree with you HBJ, personally though, I don't think there is much magic left to be explained.
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Postby Tleilax Master B » 05 Jun 2008 19:10

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Human denial is a powerful, powerful thing. Doesn't matter how many times you explain that the world is billions of years old, that it is a sphere, that people have landed on the moon; there will always be someone who refuses to believe it.

I agree with you HBJ, personally though, I don't think there is much magic left to be explained.


Ugh, tell me about it. As an anthropologist I am continually amazed at the facts that people refuse to accept (such as evolution). IMHO, science will eventually prove any and all phenomena. There is always an explanation.

(P.S. Its the aliens!!!)
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A Thing of Eternity
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 05 Jun 2008 19:34

It's the ol' "Logic Switch" as I've taken to calling it. Might do an essay on it one day, or just bury it in a story. Everyone has it and everyone uses it, on little things and big things. It's what allows people to be religious, or Athiest, allows us to go buy things at walmart and burn gasoline (no I'm not a treehugger!).
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Mandy
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Postby Mandy » 05 Jun 2008 19:43

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Human denial is a powerful, powerful thing. Doesn't matter how many times you explain that the world is billions of years old, that it is a sphere, that people have landed on the moon; there will always be someone who refuses to believe it.

I agree with you HBJ, personally though, I don't think there is much magic left to be explained.


Prove that it's a sphere! :)

lol, I'm a member of the Flat Earth Society.. don't worry it's supposed to be a joke and debate practice.

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Phaedrus
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Postby Phaedrus » 05 Jun 2008 20:38

A Thing of Eternity wrote:It's the ol' "Logic Switch" as I've taken to calling it. Might do an essay on it one day, or just bury it in a story. Everyone has it and everyone uses it, on little things and big things. It's what allows people to be religious, or Athiest, allows us to go buy things at walmart and burn gasoline (no I'm not a treehugger!).


I think Stephen Colbert calls that "Truthiness."
You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

JabbaMustDie
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Postby JabbaMustDie » 06 Jun 2008 10:00

There was some line in the appendix about the sorceresses, something about real evidence of their power is that they never explained how they grasped the firebrand, or some such line.



First rule of Fight Club, you do not talk about Fight Club.

And never shout fire in a crowded theater.

And never ever claim to have any abnormal experience, or do so only with those receptive to such things! :P



(I believe thus: any un-natural event is actually nature without limit. And in time, knowledge will increase our understanding indeed, whether it's science, personal training or development, an evolution of the human being, or what-not, and reveal that what was once thought of as super-natural is only a natural state of affairs.)

I just don't think that those early witches had it like Dumb and Dumber made them out to be...!

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Tleilax Master B
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Postby Tleilax Master B » 06 Jun 2008 10:46

^^ Hehe, "dumb and dumber", I love seeing you converted over to an OH :D
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JabbaMustDie
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Postby JabbaMustDie » 07 Jun 2008 09:24

I got to watch myself and not be so ready to heap it on....It wasn't that bad of a movie. 8)

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Postby EsperandoAGodot » 09 Nov 2008 10:00

SandChigger wrote:Mark my words: there will be retcons coming for these things!

Dammit, that's what I've been calling for!

Anyway, I always read the bit about "never boasting how they grasped the firebrand" as a comment on primitive cultures. They did something people didn't understand, and because they never explained it, simple people chalked it up to magic. "Grasping the firebrand" sounds like walking on coals or swallowing swords or placing your hands in "boiling oil" - in other words, simple magic tricks, shamanistic crap. The art of these sorceresses seems to have been in their understanding of how the semblance of having otherworldly power would bring them real, worldly power.

Oh yeah, and telekinesis. :roll:
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Tleszer
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Postby Tleszer » 09 Nov 2008 14:09

EsperandoAGodot wrote:
SandChigger wrote:Mark my words: there will be retcons coming for these things!

Dammit, that's what I've been calling for!

Anyway, I always read the bit about "never boasting how they grasped the firebrand" as a comment on primitive cultures. They did something people didn't understand, and because they never explained it, simple people chalked it up to magic. "Grasping the firebrand" sounds like walking on coals or swallowing swords or placing your hands in "boiling oil" - in other words, simple magic tricks, shamanistic crap. The art of these sorceresses seems to have been in their understanding of how the semblance of having otherworldly power would bring them real, worldly power.

Oh yeah, and telekinesis. :roll:


An interesting idea, but the fact of the matter is that some simple people (I don't think I need to name names) chalked it up to telekinesis. And as telekinesis is now canon, I must now believe it to be true. :roll:
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Postby SandChigger » 09 Nov 2008 16:03

Strange, I seem to remember having explained this before somewhere... :roll:

A firebrand (a piece of burning wood) is HOT. You have to have real nerve or be crazy to grab one in your hand. "Grasping the firebrand" means to take resolute and radical action. Has NOTHING to do with magic or "otherworldy power" or walking on coals.

Nothing at all.

And by the way, retcons aren't necessarily good things.
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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EsperandoAGodot
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Postby EsperandoAGodot » 09 Nov 2008 20:20

SandChigger wrote:Strange, I seem to remember having explained this before somewhere... :roll:

Congratulations. I just joined today. "Explain" also implies truth. What you've posited is more of intepretation...
SandChigger wrote:A firebrand (a piece of burning wood) is HOT. You have to have real nerve or be crazy to grab one in your hand. "Grasping the firebrand" means to take resolute and radical action. Has NOTHING to do with magic or "otherworldy power" or walking on coals.

Nothing at all.

...and it's an interesting interpretation, one that hadn't occurred to me before. It's not the only possible one, though. A few things:

1) Social agitators are referred to as firebrands, not as people who take them up.
2) To say that firebrands have nothing to do with magic or otherworldly power is somewhat fallacious, considering the importance of bonfires and firebrands in pagan and other rituals. Often these rituals involved - gasp! - grasping a firebrand fand performing some action with it, sometimes taking it home to bring good luck or banging it against something to make sparks.

Seeing as the passage in question is referring to sorceresses that have been serving as priestesses, and their impact on religion - in an appendix specifically about how the religions and superstitions of the past end up influencing the religions of "modern" Dune - the association becomes stronger. When we discuss the preceding sentence, the argument that reading magic into it is silly sort of falls apart.
3) The BG are referred to as witches and are regarded with superstition by those who don't understand their ways. As these women are referred to as Sorceresses, the similarity is implicit.
4) The quote itself is pretty cut and dry: "It was a time of sorceresses whose powers were real." To read the sentence as using the word "powers" to mean worldly influence and impact seems nonsensical, in context. Either this means real powers and magic - which I think we'd both agree it can't - or it means that their powers were perceived to be real by their followers. While the next sentence - "The measure of them is seen..." - can be read as unrelated to the sentence that precedes it, it can also be read to mean, "The way in which the aforementioned powers were measured/verified."

Hell, even if the sentence about the firebrand means what you think it does, the sentence preceding it unequivocally means that the Sorceresses were perceived by others to have powers beyond normal human capability.

There should be a limit on how many :rolls: you can use.
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Postby SandChigger » 09 Nov 2008 22:47

:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

Like KJA's SFX budget, my rolling-eye budget is unlimited.

I believe my "truth" was proclaimed over on Dumb Novels, where you've been for a while before coming here. Whether it's still there or not, I have no idea.

The Sorceresses had only to be like the Bene Gesserit with their Other Memory and prana-bindu and weirding way to have REAL powers "beyond normal human capacity".

MY Duniverse is simple: no FTL and no magic. There's T-P (telepathy) because FH said there was, but no T-K.

Therefore there cannot have been any head-exploding Sorceress bimbombs as in the Legends books, nor any Holy Blessed Goddess Norma Cenva.

(And by the way, ALL the Dune appendices are in-universe documents. To be taken cum grano salis.)
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby TheDukester » 09 Nov 2008 23:08

SandChigger wrote:Like KJA's SFX budget, my rolling-eye budget is unlimited.

Lawl! Saw that one coming ... :)

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Postby EsperandoAGodot » 09 Nov 2008 23:10

SandChigger wrote:I believe my "truth" was proclaimed over on Dumb Novels, where you've been for a while before coming here. Whether it's still there or not, I have no idea.

I was only there for about a week or two, IIRC. Must have missed your explanation.
SandChigger wrote:The Sorceresses had only to be like the Bene Gesserit with their Other Memory and prana-bindu and weirding way to have REAL powers "beyond normal human capacity".

Agreed. I don't think you read my posts.
SandChigger wrote:MY Duniverse is simple: no FTL and no magic. There's T-P (telepathy) because FH said there was, but no T-K.

Which is why I leaned on the concept of perception, and pointed out shamanistic parlor tricks.
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Postby SandChigger » 10 Nov 2008 01:23

EsperandoAGodot wrote:Agreed. I don't think you read my posts.

Which did you mean there, present or past tense "read"?

Personally, I feel myself slipping towards a habitual present.
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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EsperandoAGodot
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Postby EsperandoAGodot » 10 Nov 2008 10:59

SandChigger wrote:Personally, I feel myself slipping towards a habitual present.

I can tell.
BobaMatt wrote:3) The BG are referred to as witches and are regarded with superstition by those who don't understand their ways. As these women are referred to as Sorceresses, the similarity is implicit.
4) The quote itself is pretty cut and dry: "It was a time of sorceresses whose powers were real." To read the sentence as using the word "powers" to mean worldly influence and impact seems nonsensical, in context. Either this means real powers and magic - which I think we'd both agree it can't - or it means that their powers were perceived to be real by their followers. While the next sentence - "The measure of them is seen..." - can be read as unrelated to the sentence that precedes it, it can also be read to mean, "The way in which the aforementioned powers were measured/verified."

SandChigger wrote:The Sorceresses had only to be like the Bene Gesserit with their Other Memory and prana-bindu and weirding way to have REAL powers "beyond normal human capacity".

MY Duniverse is simple: no FTL and no magic. There's T-P (telepathy) because FH said there was, but no T-K.

Forwarding as a point of contention something it's clear we agree on is a sign of skimming and making arguments based on preconceived notions. You're arguing againt what you think I'm saying before even reading my post.
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Postby SandRider » 10 Nov 2008 11:08

What you are getting is a "Responding to Tone" response ....
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EsperandoAGodot
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Postby EsperandoAGodot » 10 Nov 2008 12:57

Well, if by "responding to tone" you mean that he's commenting on my tone in the argument rather than the content, I don't think that's necessarily it.

If you mean that he's offended by my tone and is then reacting defensively against that, well, to be fair, that's a possibility, and I'm sorry for it if it's true. On the other hand, my tone came as a reaction to all the eye-rolling, patronization, and glib dimissiveness, but I was still able to respond to what he said.
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Postby moreh_yeladim » 10 Nov 2008 18:14

SandChigger, why no faster-than-light travel? I thought Frank Herbert pretty damn clearly stated that the Guild ships and no-ships used space-folding as a method of bypassing the speed-of-light limit and moving between star systems in times less than generations.

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Postby SandChigger » 10 Nov 2008 19:24

:shock:

Congratulations for repeating a Byron-level counter-argument. :roll:

Addressed and answered already in another thread (oddly enough, the Jessica of Dune one), just the other day in fact.

Yes, space-folding is in effect FTL travel (because you cross a distance faster than light itself could) but in that (in its final version in the later books) it does not (seem to) involve acceleration or other motion, I don't think of it as "FTL" as commonly used in the genre.
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA

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Postby moreh_yeladim » 10 Nov 2008 20:22

SandChigger wrote::shock:

Congratulations for repeating a Byron-level counter-argument. :roll:

Addressed and answered already in another thread (oddly enough, the Jessica of Dune one), just the other day in fact.

Yes, space-folding is in effect FTL travel (because you cross a distance faster than light itself could) but in that (in its final version in the later books) it does not (seem to) involve acceleration or other motion, I don't think of it as "FTL" as commonly used in the genre.

OK, so it's just hyperspace rather than FTL travel. How nerdy do we want to get over this?

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Postby SandChigger » 10 Nov 2008 21:10

Until it hurts. ;)
I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA


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