Re: Mossy Character's "absurdly long last culture post"

1

I guess the fold isn't a thing any more.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 4:26 AM
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It requires a Mind to create a fold.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 5:48 AM
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Philosophically, the Culture accepts, generally, that questions such as 'What is the meaning of life?' are themselves meaningless. The question implies - indeed an answer to it would demand - a moral framework beyond the only moral framework we can comprehend without resorting to superstition [...]

Yes, exactly. I suspect Douglas Adams would also have agreed.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 5:54 AM
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One thing I like about science fiction is that it is rarely explicitly allegorical. Story elements are inspired by the real world, but they can be mashed up in new ways.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 6:05 AM
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The Name box wins again.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 6:05 AM
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This is a great post, Mossy. Thanks.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 6:43 AM
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Yes, all of these have been great. I'm going to not read any books until I've first ruled-out the idea that somebody here might read it for me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 6:52 AM
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Passages throughout the series suggest that the Idiran War was the Culture's great crisis of conscience (which makes the WWII parallels of that war especially interesting).

This is backed up, I think, by the tone of we-were-right sanctimony in which they memorialize the Idiran War in Look to Windward.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 8:01 AM
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Does that make the Chelgrians the Japanese, and the Culture's massive destruction of them Hiroshima and Nagasaki?


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 9:46 AM
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I don't think the Chelgrian civil war was related to the Idiran War. Timelines don't match; LTW is set six hundred years after the Idiran War, and the Chelgrian civil war is still in living memory.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 9:57 AM
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6: Thanks.
Ajay is right on the timelines. The Chelgrians aren't destroyed by the Culture, they destroy themselves, partly in consequence of a misjudged Contact intervention. AFAICR the Chelgrian War most resembles the Rwandan genocide; the intervention component does't really resemble anything I know of. Maybe the Shah and the Iranian revolution, but that's a very long stretch.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 10:01 AM
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It could be Burma, given the amount of pressure we put on the generals to put Aung San Suu Kyi in charge.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 10:03 AM
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Banks's rejection of metaphysics possibly also is mirrored in Look to Windward in that the plot is driven by the demands of the Ascended Chelgrians for revenge; the same more straightforwardly in Surface Detail in opposition to the Hells.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 10:12 AM
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I'm okay seeing parallels to WWII because it looms so large for ooks and oosians alike, but I suspect it's a wild goose chase looking for parallels elsewhere.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 10:20 AM
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Great article. I agree with Walt; Banks is free enough with picking bits and pieces of historical events that his works are of limited allegorical potential.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 11:23 AM
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10 & 11. Ah, well, I've got to learn to read more slowly, I guess.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 03-12-18 4:11 PM
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No doubt 14 and 15 are basically right, but OTOH these are definitely political books. In Excession we're told that there was a faction that wanted to destroy the Affront immediately after the Idiran War; similarly there were a few westerners who wanted to destroy the USSR immediately after WWII (and indeed WWI), and many more who wanted to overthrow Saddam Hussein in 1991. Look to Windward* was written shortly after the Rwandan and Yugoslav genocides, Excession around the same time as the British interventions in Sierra Leone and Kosovo. I seriously doubt those are mere coincidences.
*Dedicated, wiki reminds me, to "the Gulf War veterans".


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 03-13-18 12:43 AM
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All of them or just the not-Saddam side?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-13-18 5:39 AM
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I can't parse 18.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 03-13-18 5:45 AM
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Is the book dedicated to Iraqi soldiers as well?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-13-18 5:47 AM
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It was more of a joke than a serious question, but now it just seems pointless.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-13-18 5:48 AM
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Oh. No idea, I don't have a copy.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 03-13-18 5:49 AM
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It can be heavily political and referential without being a mappable allegory.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-13-18 6:00 AM
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17. "For the Gulf War veterans"


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 03-13-18 6:06 AM
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In summary, we make our own meanings, whether we like it or not.
This is how I think about things generally and in some ways a good summation of the reading group. Thanks for writing all of these!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-14-18 10:25 AM
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A twitter account for Culture ship names.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-15-18 8:58 AM
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27

Hurrah!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-15-18 9:16 AM
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Let me be the first to say thanks to all who wrote these. Sincerely, not like when I usually say "thanks."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-18 9:17 AM
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26: That's a good follow. When I first signed up on Steam, I realized that the character count limit was very long, so I've been using a Ship name there for the last decade. Very Little Gravitas Indeed, to be specific.

|| This true story is somewhere between a Coen brothers movie and The Onion. Just a bit on the nose.|>


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-15-18 1:30 PM
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Please look in the "Medicine" thread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-18 1:33 PM
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Ah, I should have known. I usually don't bother checking threads that have scrolled off the front page.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 03-15-18 1:55 PM
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It's really an irresistible story, unless you like having any respect for humanity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-15-18 2:30 PM
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