The Duncans

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Apjak
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Re: The Duncans

Postby Apjak » 05 Aug 2011 08:30

Okay, the Duncan-ghola's memories of all his former selves were not and could not be genetic memory. This much is directly demonstrated in the text. However a less than mystical answer is rather obvious when one takes into account FH's overarching themes of consiousness and human potential. Duncan's memories were a meta-conciousness, a kind of self localized reverse of the prescience that was characteristic of the first trilogy; this can also be demonstrated by the fact that this hyper-conciousness was triggered by stress (a recurring motif of FH's) and that at the same time he was awakened to Daniel, Marty and the tachyon net.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby SandChigger » 05 Aug 2011 08:46

You have to keep in mind (as has been pointed out already) the level of DNA & genetics research at the time FH began writing the books and how far it progressed over the two decades while he was writing them, along with the influence of all that Jungian archetype nonsense et al.

Obviously he was going somewhere weird (and hopefully, interesting) with the Duncan stuff. But as for me, I don't need no steenkeeng souls in my Dune. ;)

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Re: The Duncans

Postby Freakzilla » 05 Aug 2011 08:49

We know that FH was very well read on the subjects that he wrote about. I think to really come close to figure out where he was going with this, a knowledge of the very latest in technology at the time he was writing this might help.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby SandChigger » 05 Aug 2011 09:16

That makes sense.

(I'll have to look up the reference again, but that guy who published his book on that blog... did you read his interpretation? About each individual's genetic code just being a key to some archetypal Universal Memory, with the actual information being stored... out there somewhere? Something like that. I know I wasn't entirely convinced that's where FH was going. It's similar to an idea used by Simmons in his Hyperion books....)

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Re: The Duncans

Postby Freakzilla » 05 Aug 2011 10:26

I remember reading that somewhere. I wouldn't be suprised if somehow FH was headed in a similar direction but he would have had to put his own unique stamp on it.

They say information is never lost, even when it falls into a black hole the data is smeared evenly across the event horizon.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby SadisticCynic » 05 Aug 2011 11:11

Remember Hameroff (quantum consciousness)? I think part of his ideas involve 'platonic' forms existing physically down at the Planck scale of space/time.

They say information is never lost...


:think: I have a feeling that would contradict entropy, but I'm not paticularly well informed on that topic.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby JustSomeGuy » 05 Aug 2011 12:20

I'm not saying I'm for the soul theory. I had never even heard about it until I saw it mentioned earlier in this thread.
Frank Herbert mentioned a "plastic memory." I know Paul was talking about government at the time and it's not something that was a given, but why couldn't other memory be something like that. A Duncan is a Duncan, and our Duncan was able to "open" his eyes and see who he really was- to the extent that he remembered past lives. Something like that. If he were a Kwisatz Haderach, he'd be able to remember all his past lives and also those of his ancestors. Eventually, somewhere down the road in this fictional universe, someone would know everything about everyone both living and dead. That's just an idea I have.
Why this aversion to the soul theory? It's a possibility. So is this meta-consciousness thing.
The "theory" of evolution is a possibility. Oh! :P
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Re: The Duncans

Postby JustSomeGuy » 05 Aug 2011 12:21

I finally got to use the razz smiley. :lol:
I think that's how you're supposed to use it. :think:
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Re: The Duncans

Postby reverendmotherQ. » 07 Aug 2011 22:53

JustSomeGuy wrote:
Why this aversion to the soul theory?


I have an aversion to anything overly supernatural in explanation. If soul could be quantified by all of the memories that have comprised each incarnation of Duncan Idaho - then that could be something I would understand. But if its some sort of whacked out explanation for life, what makes us human and where we come from - then I have an issue with it because then the word god enters the picture. I doubt that is what Herbert had in mind, because every bit of his work that I have read seems to indicate that it was not a direction he would have considered. Soul is a very tainted word and I think using it would entail all of these religious connotations that he wanted to keep away from.

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Re: The Duncans

Postby merkin muffley » 07 Aug 2011 23:16

:text-yeahthat:
reverendmotherQ. wrote:If soul could be quantified by all of the memories that have comprised each incarnation of Duncan Idaho - then that could be something I would understand


I think that is the idea. Ideas like that are why I'm so interested in Frank Herbert.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby Zedwardson » 23 Dec 2011 14:19

I always had the impression that Hayt was regrown from the body, and the other Duncans where grown from cells...
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Re: The Duncans

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 23 Dec 2011 14:27

Zedwardson wrote:I always had the impression that Hayt was regrown from the body, and the other Duncans where grown from cells...


This is correct.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby harqalada » 09 Jul 2012 15:40

I'm interested in how the gholas intersect the wider family tree of the full span of the Chronicles. Isn't it pretty likely that lots of people running around by the time of Heretics are related independently to multiple different gholas? Could that conceivably unlock the possibility for death memories in Reverend Mothers' OM?

Also, someone else was saying/asking about this earlier - I was under the impression that all Duncan gholas up to the line appearing in Heretics are "pure" or "baseline" copies of the first Duncan, but that all the various new genetic lines/elements/innovations that had been developed between Children of Dune and Heretics had been added into the BG's gholas. Help?
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Re: The Duncans

Postby Freakzilla » 09 Jul 2012 16:14

The BG gholas were updated to match present day humans and at least the last one was modified by the BT to trap his imprinter. He was also a composite of all the gholas.

Leto's were clones.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby D Pope » 09 Jul 2012 16:27

harqalada wrote:I'm interested in how the gholas intersect the wider family tree of the full span of the Chronicles. Isn't it pretty likely that lots of people running around by the time of Heretics are related independently to multiple different gholas? Could that conceivably unlock the possibility for death memories in Reverend Mothers' OM?

I guess it's there & possible to access if they could ever figure out how to unlock 'the place where they cannot look.' "Only feminine memories," right?
But yeah, there's probably a considerable percentage of Duncan progeny in the BG.

I never looked too hard at the breeding programme under Leto II, he had his stock & a goal & the resources of BT.
I'm sure he did what was needed...
Rich territory for fan fiction, exploring mistakes and successes for that many generations.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby SadisticCynic » 09 Jul 2012 16:41

D Pope wrote:But yeah, there's probably a considerable percentage of Duncan progeny in the BG.


All of the BG on Chapterhouse have the Siona gene, for example.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby Freakzilla » 09 Jul 2012 16:43

I don't know what you mean about death memories, but Leto often used Duncan in his breeding program. The one that killed him, had numerous children with Siona and nearly all the latter day BG are descended from them.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby harqalada » 09 Jul 2012 16:58

By "death memories" I just mean the memories of each of his deaths.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby Freakzilla » 09 Jul 2012 17:44

harqalada wrote:By "death memories" I just mean the memories of each of his deaths.


The Idaho ghola sample cells are taken after death, a BG RM's/KH's are genetic so they end with separation from the parents.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby ULFsurfer » 09 Jul 2012 18:32

Freakzilla wrote:
harqalada wrote:By "death memories" I just mean the memories of each of his deaths.


The Idaho ghola sample cells are taken after death, a BG RM's/KH's are genetic so they end with separation from the parents.


But weren't all the previous memories intact for each new ghola? Consequently all those deaths were stored in OM and passed on with the survived Duncan's descendants. Even the newest Duncan in Heretics and Chapterhouse remembered everything, right?

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Re: The Duncans

Postby Freakzilla » 09 Jul 2012 19:40

ULFsurfer wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
harqalada wrote:By "death memories" I just mean the memories of each of his deaths.


The Idaho ghola sample cells are taken after death, a BG RM's/KH's are genetic so they end with separation from the parents.


But weren't all the previous memories intact for each new ghola? Consequently all those deaths were stored in OM and passed on with the survived Duncan's descendants. Even the newest Duncan in Heretics and Chapterhouse remembered everything, right?


Like I said, he was a composite.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby gurensan » 09 Jul 2012 20:38

It's been my understanding that clones cannot have death memories, only gholas can.

That's why I always thought of Leto's Duncans as gholas, because they all remember that original death, indicting they were created from previously dead samples, which is the very definition of a ghola as I understand it. If Leto's Duncans were clones they couldn't have that.. they were original gholas, not clones of other gholas. If the gholas were serial gholas created from material that had never been dead, they'd be clones.

I can't explain how he could have had any memories of Paul as Muad'Dib, as mentioned on the first page of this here topic. Did he? If he did then that's an inconsistency.. he'd be a ghola of Hayt, and not the original Duncan, and as previously mentioned the Fremen weren't keen on selling their dead to the Tleilaxu. But would the blood-stained clothing / cleaning rags be enough? Would it have been as important, given the sudden rush of activity and the subsequent flight from Sietch Tabr, for the clothing to have accompanied the bodies to the deathstill?

I'm inclined to not care about the potential inconsistency and proclaim them multiple original gholas. The Tleilaxu would have TONS of original material if they had the original corpse at any point... which they did. Enough cellular material for thousands of years' worth of original Duncan gholas. I think that was Frank's original intent.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby Freakzilla » 09 Jul 2012 21:57

I all depends on when the cell sample was taken.

A ghola is a reanimated corpse, a clone is grown from a cell sample.

Hayt was the only actual ghola.
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Re: The Duncans

Postby Kralizec » 21 Jul 2012 16:21

RedHeadKevin wrote:A simple question: Were the Duncan Idahos, after Hayt, gholas of the original Duncan, or of Hayt? I can find a lot of evidence to support either.

Questions about matters of detail, such as this one, seem important to me when the literary interpretation seems to depend on the details. My questions are more like, "What points was Herbert trying to make, or what problems was he trying to pose, using his stories of the Duncan Idahos?" In a related matter, it's true, as some have already said, that FH makes at least one of his characters voice a distinction between "gholas" and "clones." Here again, I want to go to the problems FH may have been trying to pose. If I recall correctly, for the one who gets decanted (whether he is a "ghola" or a "clone"), the important difference is whether he remembers dying or not. A ghola has a memory of having lived and having died. A clone has a memory of having lived, but not of having died.

I propose that gholas' memories represent what we naturally "recollect" in some sense, because of our nature. If that is so, it helps to make sense of the circumstance that FH drew so much attention to the distinction between the gholas who have a memory of dying and the clones who do not. On an evolutionary assumption, it seems to be a severe limitation of our evolved nature, that we have a "memory" of living, but not a "memory" of dying, so to speak. That is, we're the direct result of the successes of our ancestors, not of the failures of our ancestors' kin who failed ever to reproduce. One reason we blunder along in our lives so badly, damn it, is that we have so little sense of the many ways in which our sometimes-successful nature can lead us into failure.

Along the same line, in God-Emperor of Dune, when Duncan Idaho asks what he should know, that his predecessor failed to learn, I want to grab him by the shoulders and say, "What your predecessors failed to learn was the importance of getting a message to their successors!"

Frank Herbert did not suffer this defect, but he remains dependent on his successors to read the messages he, our predecessor, left for us. In fact, his overt messages fairly scream at us, "Look for the ways to read my overt messages and find my covert messages!" However, it rarely seems to occur to anyone that an author who spent all his time writing about techniques of covert communication would have used any such techniques himself.

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Re: The Duncans

Postby SadisticCynic » 21 Jul 2012 18:51

Along the same line, in God-Emperor of Dune, when Duncan Idaho asks what he should know, that his predecessor failed to learn, I want to grab him by the shoulders and say, "What your predecessors failed to learn was the importance of getting a message to their successors!"


Oh! I really like the idea of a Duncan trying to send messages his successor! :)

However, it rarely seems to occur to anyone that an author who spent all his time writing about techniques of covert communication would have used any such techniques himself.


On the other hand, communication requires both the sender and receiver to be able to decrypt (so to speak) the message, so FH putting covert communications (other than the usual reading between the lines one does with literature) might be a fruitless endeavor on his part.
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