Chapter 01

    Book One in the Dune Chronicles

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Postby Freakzilla » 23 Feb 2008 08:03

halcyo wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:It's the ultimate drug. If you live through it you will be able to look into both masculine and feminine pasts. That combined with Paul's prescient dreams would be powerfull.


If a male lives through it, to be specific-right!?. Tell you what would be worth ALOT of discussion is this:

- The female is terrorized to see into the "Taker" half of their ancestral memory- all of the male greed, violence, and terrible 'maleness' would overwhelm the female psyche (as later happens to Alia-among other things), right?


That's not until Chapter 45. I have't gotten that far yet with the chapter reviews, but soon...

- The Bene Gesserit training is the only thing that allows a person to live through the trance- training that can allow a person to regulate internal bodily functions to 'change the poison'.

- If those two points are true, then could ANY male who is sufficiently trained (however rare) do this? The only thing that could justify the answer NO is if almost every other male in existence, up to Paul, was not really capable of Other Memory in the first place, no matter what the drugs, right? Perhaps the male is not sensitive enough to 'listen to his cellular memory', or something to that effect?


Surviving a poison is a minor trick compared to balancing the personas of your mother and father in your mind. Not only them, but their mothers and fathers and theirs, etc....

More of this is revealed in the later books but ancestral memory is only mentioned a couple more times in Dune.

Maybe you should start a topic on Other-Memory in the Bene Gesserit forum?

So Paul is the product of a line of breeding that makes him very unlike other males in the sense that he is able to also be more feminine somehow (Giver AND Taker), as well as his extraordinary prescient/mentat (somewhat the same in this sense) abilities that allow him to decipher the paths the future will take. Another discussion for another chapter: Does Paul
dream of the future, or does he compute it?:shock:
And on top of that, the spice then amplifies both of those inherent traits to extraordinary levels. Is this a consensus?

I'm curious to know what you guys think. I'm inclined to look at Dune more realistically than fantastically, but maybe I am trying too hard to justify my realist views... To me, the series, and all of the extraordinary abilities of the characters is due to thousands of years of human evolution, not just a fantastical imaginary 'magic', but others DO view Dune as being more 'out there' sci-fi in a more fictional universe (even though Frank clearly states that it IS in our universe-somewhere).


halcyo


We need to start a Kwisatz Haderach topic in the BG forum too.

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Postby halcyo » 23 Feb 2008 10:37

Once again, I think it is important for us all to remember that Frank may not have even worked out these details as much as we have! I really think it was one of his strokes of genius that gave us this world, and all of this mystery to dissect and explore in our own imaginations, versus just flat out explaining everything to us as explicitly as other writers often do.

So my point is, there are bound to be holes in ALL of our theories, but just like the study of religion and history, sometimes the satisfaction comes from the examination all of the differing interpretations and transitions of one theory into another.

The idea of the Kwizatz Haderach is very significant, and a special thread may be called for underneath the Bene Gesserit forum. It's not really out of place here, as it is one of the MAJOR motivations of the BG in the early Dune story, but there sure is ALOT of ideas and theories to examine and expound upon.

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Postby SandChigger » 23 Feb 2008 21:07

Several things to keep in mind, as I see it....

* FH wrote the books over a period of over twenty years, so it's silly to think that he had every detail worked out beforehand AND that his conceptions did not change over time.

* IIRC he initially worked on the first three (or was it just the first two?) books at the same time, so it's not like these books at least were finished and fixed before he moved on to the next one.

* This is just Ch. 1 and bringing in issues and events from later in Dune or from the later books isn't fair to someone who may be reading the book for the first time and checking these reading group forums after they complete each chapter.
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Postby halcyo » 24 Feb 2008 00:32

Ok, I agree. We are probably getting way off topic, since we are to be discussing CHAPTER 1! How hilarious is it that all of us fanatics start going off on a tangent about the whole series while discussing the first chapter! :P

I am actually chuckling at myself right now......

Maybe we should just start over from the beginning?!

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Postby SandChigger » 24 Feb 2008 06:27

Wel...beginnings are a time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct, no? ;)
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Postby halcyo » 24 Feb 2008 10:53

SandChigger wrote:Wel...beginnings are a time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct, no? ;)



:D

Sheeeeeiiit... Our balances ain't neva' gonna' be correct... :shock:

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Postby Simon » 24 Feb 2008 17:32

Mandy wrote:I think the "being in two places at once" actually refers to his ability to look into his male and female genetic memory, not that he can physically be in two places at once.


Have to agree with Mandy on this one.

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Postby halcyo » 24 Feb 2008 19:36

Simon wrote:
Mandy wrote:I think the "being in two places at once" actually refers to his ability to look into his male and female genetic memory, not that he can physically be in two places at once.


Have to agree with Mandy on this one.



WAIT WAIT WAIT! I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!:shock: Mandy was agreeing with WHAT I SAID. WE BOTH ARE SAYING THE SAME THING! Of course I don't believe that he can physically be in two places. My post said that much of his 'divinity', and the explanation of his 'powers' is myth-making. The Fremen MAKE Paul a god. He is one very talented human being, but he does not have superpowers.

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Postby Freakzilla » 24 Feb 2008 19:45

halcyo wrote:I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!


Holding out on drugs is not allowed at Jacurutu. Pass 'em out.

I guess I should make that a rule.

:wink:

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Postby halcyo » 25 Feb 2008 10:23

:shock: :lol:

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Postby Mandy » 25 Feb 2008 11:50

halcyo wrote:
Simon wrote:
Mandy wrote:I think the "being in two places at once" actually refers to his ability to look into his male and female genetic memory, not that he can physically be in two places at once.


Have to agree with Mandy on this one.



WAIT WAIT WAIT! I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!:shock: Mandy was agreeing with WHAT I SAID. WE BOTH ARE SAYING THE SAME THING! Of course I don't believe that he can physically be in two places. My post said that much of his 'divinity', and the explanation of his 'powers' is myth-making. The Fremen MAKE Paul a god. He is one very talented human being, but he does not have superpowers.

halcyo


heehee.. I think we should keep on misinterpreting each other! Have another crazy pill!

I actually didn't think that you thought Paul could be in more than one place physically... but I don't think the Fremen believed that either. The "being in many places at once" thing was from the BG not the Fremen, and the BG knew what it meant.

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Postby The Sons of Idaho » 29 Feb 2008 12:11

Can be many places at once.

This is one of the multiple “definitions” mentioned for the Kwisatz Haderach that I've always wondered about.

There doesn’t seem to be a clear definiton of what this means, but when I first read the book, Quantum Physics came to mind. (I was still in school and this was something still fresh in my mind)

This is not explained in depth at all, just kind of hinted at, but I’ve noticed multiple ideas and themes in the Dune books that seem to definatly be inspired by quantum physics. (also another one of his books is titled “The Eyes of Heisenberg”, Heisenberg being the main pioneer of quantum mechanics).

Now quantum mechanics was not one of my strong points, but the phrase “being many places at once” definaitely brings quantum physics to mind.

Has anyone else noticed the quantum physics type themes throughout these books, or am I just sort of imagining/projecting this?
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Postby chanilover » 02 Mar 2008 06:52

halcyo wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:It's the ultimate drug. If you live through it you will be able to look into both masculine and feminine pasts. That combined with Paul's prescient dreams would be powerfull.


If a male lives through it, to be specific-right!?. Tell you what would be worth ALOT of discussion is this:

- The female is terrorized to see into the "Taker" half of their ancestral memory- all of the male greed, violence, and terrible 'maleness' would overwhelm the female psyche (as later happens to Alia-among other things), right?

- The Bene Gesserit training is the only thing that allows a person to live through the trance- training that can allow a person to regulate internal bodily functions to 'change the poison'.

- If those two points are true, then could ANY male who is sufficiently trained (however rare) do this? The only thing that could justify the answer NO is if almost every other male in existence, up to Paul, was not really capable of Other Memory in the first place, no matter what the drugs, right? Perhaps the male is not sensitive enough to 'listen to his cellular memory', or something to that effect?

So Paul is the product of a line of breeding that makes him very unlike other males in the sense that he is able to also be more feminine somehow (Giver AND Taker), as well as his extraordinary prescient/mentat (somewhat the same in this sense) abilities that allow him to decipher the paths the future will take. Another discussion for another chapter: Does Paul
dream of the future, or does he compute it?:shock:
And on top of that, the spice then amplifies both of those inherent traits to extraordinary levels. Is this a consensus?

I'm curious to know what you guys think. I'm inclined to look at Dune more realistically than fantastically, but maybe I am trying too hard to justify my realist views... To me, the series, and all of the extraordinary abilities of the characters is due to thousands of years of human evolution, not just a fantastical imaginary 'magic', but others DO view Dune as being more 'out there' sci-fi in a more fictional universe (even though Frank clearly states that it IS in our universe-somewhere).


halcyo


I think Frank's ideas of prescience were possibly based on some experiences he had. I remeber having a chat with Byron on Dunenovels about us both having dreams about events which later happened. We'd both had them and I asked Byron if he's spoken to Frank about it, but unfortunately that was one of the many things Byron never got round to asking Frank.

We were wondering if it was deja vu, but deja vu is where something happens which you feel has happened before. These dreams would be forgotten, but when the event started happening, we'd both know exactly what was going to happen for the next couple of seconds or even minutes. It was a bit strange, and I haven't had one of those dreams for a while, and I do wonder if Frank experienced something similar and was exploring the idea in his books.

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Postby orald » 14 Mar 2008 19:16

chanilover wrote:I think Frank's ideas of prescience were possibly based on some experiences he had. I remeber having a chat with Byron on Dunenovels about us both having dreams about events which later happened. We'd both had them and I asked Byron if he's spoken to Frank about it, but unfortunately that was one of the many things Byron never got round to asking Frank.

We were wondering if it was deja vu, but deja vu is where something happens which you feel has happened before. These dreams would be forgotten, but when the event started happening, we'd both know exactly what was going to happen for the next couple of seconds or even minutes. It was a bit strange, and I haven't had one of those dreams for a while, and I do wonder if Frank experienced something similar and was exploring the idea in his books.

Ooh, I've had those too since I was about 6-7 I think.
They were more frequent when I was younger(or maybe viewing them from the current position they're just "bunched up" together), but since my teens until now they've become usually about a couple of months apart.

I've always tried to change the "vision" when it came to it, but unfortunately I was never certain if I did, since in the dreams I trie to change them too, and it became a confusing cycle like the "what goblet the poison is in" conversation in The Princess Bride.
Last one I had come true was actually two days ago, while reading a story about a Chinese miner rescued alive from a collapse after 2 hours without air.

Only time I managed to change the "vision" and know it for certainty was during a conversation I had with a truck driver in the army.
We were talking about service terms in different basesand he was telling me about a friend of his(both him and the driver I've never met before) and I completed his sentence about(I think) the hours he finishes his work, to which he just kinda nodded and didn't seem to notice.

I've started a thread about it way back in Keen or Worm's...or both?
That's one of the reasons I love Dune so much, I can identify with it to some extent.

BTW, do you also have a creeped out feeling every time the "vision" comes true? I wish I could at least win the lottery with this and not just knowing trivial stuff without control.
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Postby Tyrant » 19 May 2008 09:01

well remember the truth always works best...he probably said he helped them escape...and their wasnt alot of time for duncan to ask questions
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Postby martinburo » 23 Jun 2008 16:48

SandChigger wrote:
DNA simply cannot store the type and amount of information described


Do you know the apocryphal story about the inventor of chess? That when the emperor or something he offered it to asked him what he wanted for a reward, he said: 1 grain of wheat on the first square, 2 on the second, 4 on the third, etc. The emperor SandChigger laughed: you are so modest. In fact the inventor had asked for rougly 2e19 grains of wheat.

There are 64 squares on a chess board. The haploid human genome occupies a total of just over 3 billion DNA base pairs (at two bits each).

... that was from wikipedia. It continues: and has a data size of approximately 750 Megabytes, which is slightly larger than the capacity of a standard Compact Disc. So if you store information as inefficiently as on a CD, then you couldn't fit OM on it, but if you actually used all the available information capacity...

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Postby martinburo » 23 Jun 2008 16:53

OK, I take that back. I think the mutation rate is actually not high enough to store the information at the rate at which it comes in.

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Postby SandChigger » 23 Jun 2008 18:23

That was quick. :wink:

It's more a problem of the recording device/method (experiences and memory formation, which essentially/mostly take place in the brain, being stored in the DNA of every cell throughout the body?) and the type of information that DNA stores (how to make Protein A and when, that sort of thing).

DNA can build a body and a brain but it can't put content into the brain. It can put the right pieces in the right places so that neural pathways grow that result in definite reactions to definite stimuli (=instinctive responses).

Or at least that's my understanding of things. But I am not a geneticist. :D
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 23 Jun 2008 18:29

I don't there is any possible method in the body (and by the body) to add to/change the DNA code. It may self-destruct a bit from copy to copy, but I can't think of any explanation for coherant info being added to it.

Also - What Chig said.
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Postby SandChigger » 23 Jun 2008 18:51

"Self-destruct" is a bit extreme, no? :P

Cosmic radiation knocking bits out of place every once in a great while, copy errors, exposure to terrestrial radiation sources and chemical mutagens...(anything else, B?)...those are the only sources of mutation, no?

And the fun thing about germline mutations is...you don't find out about them until the next generation...if the sperm or egg carrying the mutated DNA copy is luck enough to "make it". :)
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Postby A Thing of Eternity » 23 Jun 2008 19:03

SandChigger wrote:"Self-destruct" is a bit extreme, no? :P

Cosmic radiation knocking bits out of place every once in a great while, copy errors, exposure to terrestrial radiation sources and chemical mutagens...(anything else, B?)...those are the only sources of mutation, no?

And the fun thing about germline mutations is...you don't find out about them until the next generation...if the sperm or egg carrying the mutated DNA copy is luck enough to "make it". :)


Maybe a bit extreme :) I was refering to the copy errors.
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Postby Freakzilla » 23 Jun 2008 19:03

Isn't "instinct" genetic memories?

I realize those are hardwired through evolution but if we can be born with some instincts it may be possible, no?

A genetic blueprint for neural pathways maybe?
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Postby SandChigger » 23 Jun 2008 21:50

Freakzilla wrote:Isn't "instinct" genetic memories?

I realize those are hardwired through evolution but if we can be born with some instincts it may be possible, no?

A genetic blueprint for neural pathways maybe?

No. At least not by my understanding of it.

Let's take an example of an instinct. I recently saw a show on Discovery that tied the human infant response of grabbing a finger or object that touches the inside of its hand to the primate infant instinct to grab hold of (and hang on to) the hair of its mother. It doesn't offer much in the way of survival value to human infants (except maybe through upping the endearment factor for the parents?), so let's consider how the instinct (which is obviously very old) could have arisen in the first place. (I'm not sure how far back/down the tree it goes, so this is speculation.)

At some point WAY back, there would have been a population of animals without the instinct. Then, as the result of some mutation in the genes guiding the growth of neural pathways, an infant was born with an automatic tendency to grab anything that touched the insides of its...paws/hands. The survival advantage is obvious (the infant would be less likely to fall or be dropped by its mother; a clinging infant would require less attention from the mother, freeing her limbs and allowing her to focus more on food gathering, etc), leading to a possible spread of the genetic structure responsible throughout the population.

The spread of the instinct once it appeared was not accidental, but its origin was. Nature doesn't engineer solutions to problems. They either appear spontaneously and randomly and are improved on through later mutations, or they don't and aren't.
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Postby Omphalos » 23 Jun 2008 22:47

Freakzilla wrote:Isn't "instinct" genetic memories?

I realize those are hardwired through evolution but if we can be born with some instincts it may be possible, no?

A genetic blueprint for neural pathways maybe?


A baby's instinct to grab objects is of critical survival value, as it is not only the very first step in learning about the world outside of the womb, but it is also the very first step in learning to feed, and it is of immense bonding value too.

Maybe a better example would have been to describe the way newborn babies hold breath underwater, even as the come out of the birth canal. They just get that is what has to be done.

But I am of the mind that certain behaviors can be hard wired into the brain. The only real problem is that newborns will miss out on the experience of learning, and for us hairless apes, that seems to be at least 60% of the point. Consider, how inquisitive would we wind up being if you hard wire into a kid's brain that its unwise to touch a flame? And how many kids to you know that learned the hard way to respect a flame? Was it the actual pain of the flame, or the shock to the expectations that the kid has when it touches a flame, expecting it to be something other than a lesson in pain. Consider the pain box too. Do you think that was all about testing Paul? Nope. It was also about teaching (well, maybe reinforcing in him) what he really is. And the value of that lesson would have been lost if he had just known it from birth.

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Postby Dune Nerd » 24 Jun 2008 00:05

SandChigger wrote:
Let's take an example of an instinct. I recently saw a show on Discovery that tied the human infant response of grabbing a finger or object that touches the inside of its hand to the primate infant instinct to grab hold of (and hang on to) the hair of its mother. It doesn't offer much in the way of survival value to human infants (except maybe through upping the endearment factor for the parents?),


If you watch a newborn while it is sleeping, they do dream of falling. They have a jump type reaction and reach out to grab something, if you are holding the newborn they will grab on to you. My theory is that this is a physical manifestation of their need to be supported. I don't think that it is just an endearment thing, I think that they emotionally need to know that someone will be there to hold on to them.

Hence the problems that arise out of some newborn orphans and having 'emotional dependence issues'

I generally don't buy into psychobabble and I hope that this doesn't sound like I do, however it is something that I have been watching recently and seeing first hand. This is just my opinion, it may have evolved differently but today the manifestation is not just something to be blown off as a thing to impress new parents.