Jump to content


Global Moderator
  • Posts

  • Joined

Posts posted by Slawbug

  1. 45 minutes ago, earanhart said:

    It would have until Infestation added the Unaligned path which by not having an official name in-world kind of means that for this game at least "factionless" is supportive of the Shaper Council.

    Although in metaconversations we specifically call that the Unaligned path already, and I doubt any new player would be confused by the term, excepting possibly the singular interaction there and that will be rare.


    I like "factionless"


    Infestation didn't add that.  It was present in the original.  A few more people comment on it, but it was already described by a couple of them, and it already had a different ending.

  2. Most of the practicums I'm familiar with are part of graduate programs -- it happens in undergrad but it's a lot less common.


    I suspect this conversation may be the result of differences between countries where undergrad is professionally focused on one subject, versus countries where a lot of undergrad is general or elective, and most professional programs are in grad school.

  3. I don't care if it's "neutral shaper" or "ex-shaper" or "disloyal shaper" or whatever but you guys each object to a different one.  We need something that can be used to communicate effectively in this world.


    But yes, we should use terminology that is based on what something actually is (stated as flatly as possible) rather than what one or more parties subjectively want to classify it as.  The Shaper Council would call Sharon disloyal, maybe, but that's their definition of loyalty, and not even a universal cultural judgment among Shapers, let alone anyone else.  And whether or not they were okay with the term "neutral," the Shaper Council would not object to drawing a distinction between an actual rebel shaper fighting against them, and an old shaper who basically retires to the countryside as a hermit.  I agree that "ex-shaper" is confusing for various reasons.


    "Factionless Shaper" is maybe more precise than "neutral Shaper."  If it's a factual and direct label, then for our purposes, it doesn't really matter what anybody in-world thinks about it.

  4. 1 hour ago, oceanes said:

    You know, this discussion underscores the fact that the Takers in GF1 and 2 are not so much an ideological movement, really, but an "ethnic" nationalist movement that adopted an ideology to animate their people, the nationality in question being serviles, later expanded to thinking creations as the drayks/drakons became more prominent, with the commons being bolted on as a kind of auxiliary because the movement's philosophy applies to them as well, and the Takers are smart enough to want the manpower. The same applies to the awakened to a lesser degree. The Rebellion as started by Ghaldring continues this, with the ideology becoming more and more prominent in people's thinking as more commons join, so that by GF4 we see little of the Takers' commitment in GF2 to keep Shaping purely in creation hands. There are just too many humans in the movement for that.


    Except that the ideology really did come first, just not the ideology you're talking about.  "Take our free" - in the context of the Obeyer-style thinking everyone was doing at the time - was absolutely an ideological movement.  That's the whole Taker identity.

  5. 12 hours ago, Val Ritz said:

    if we take Shaper policy and Shaper law at its word, there is no such thing as a neutral Shaper.


    2 hours ago, earanhart said:

    As for ex-Shapers, those really aren't a thing.


    Guys, this is just a terminology issue.  I don't want to spend hours going through a thesaurus to find a phrase everyone will accept.  We all know what we're talking about: Shapers who don't support the Shaper Council's attacks, or potential attacks, on free creations, but who also have not joined the Takers/Rebels.

  6. The endings aren't "canon" in the sense that they are not what happens as the series proceeds.  They are still the canonical outcome for what would happen if G2 ended with the PC supporting a given sect.  That changes the world compared to the "canonical" ending the series moves forward with, so it's not actually a given that the Ashen Isles would fall, for example.


    ...buuuuut if they did, do you really think the Shapers would be unwilling to prioritize dealing with the Rebels over the Barriered-up Awakened?

  7. 2 hours ago, Val Ritz said:

    Steering away from litigating the definition of genocide, if we take Shaper policy and Shaper law at its word, there is no such thing as a neutral Shaper. Every Shaper is expected and required to do whatever is necessary to eradicate rogue creations--whether that means feral fyora or intelligent serviles. Someone like Sharon, who just wants to live in peace without contributing to Shaper hegemony, is breaking the law by retiring. Once you learn the Shaping arts, you're in until you die. If you asked the Council, Khyryk's attitude constitutes possibly criminal negligence.


    Yes, and yet, Sharon and Khyryk exist.  Why the heck would the Takers, of all people, privilege Shaper policy over the actions of an individual?  They're willing to make an exception for defectors; there's no reason why they couldn't make the same exception for those who reject the Shaper laws, but simply don't want to be part of any war effort.  That's a choice, and there's no practical reason to make it; it's made on purely ideological grounds.


    I brought up the concept of "neutral shaper" and I wasn't referring to Shaper policy or law for the definition.  I'm not sure what this conversation gains (either in clarity or otherwise) by trying to use strict Shaper-policy-language for everything.  Relabel my "neutral shaper" as "neutral ex-shaper" if that works better for you.  The argument remains the same.  The Takers kill even neutral ex-shapers.

  8. They aren't willing to leave neutral Shapers alive, though.  Even sympathetic Shapers who stop short of actually joining the Rebellion -- see, yet again, Khyryk!  They're just making exceptions to genocide when it's convenient for them.  That's something else that's happened in historical real-world genocides.

  9. 9 hours ago, earanhart said:

    But as to the excuse of genocide? If it's truly you or me, your children or my children, morality doesn't play in. That's not even grey, it's not on the white/black spectrum. And I don't see any evidence of the Takers as a group thinking the outcome of the existence of independent Creations being anything other than the binary survival of one group or the other. And even their leaders aren't totally on the "kill all Awakened" board.

    I agree that iff it's truly you or me, there's no moral third way.  But this justification hinges on whether it is that way in reality.  I vehemently disagree that feeling that way is justification for genocide.


    And it's not truly that way -- the Awakened ending proves that.  The Shapers don't stop attacking, but this is no surprise.  Nobody is under the delusion that the Shapers can easily be dissuaded, not after the burning of Sucia.  The Awakened concept isn't "we don't need to use force with the Shapers."  It's "we don't need to kill people just because their leaders are attacking us, if they themselves are not."  And the result is that, after a little while, the Shapers put in only a token war effort.  It's not clear that there are any meaningful casualties for the Awakened at all.  This so-called "moral" approach is also a pragmatic one, because the Awakened are actually willing to take Shaper psychology into account, and that pays off.


    The problem with justifying genocide based on the feeling that "it's us or them" -- this has been the fatuous justification for plenty of real-world genocides.  (And we could use a different verb tense there, too, but let's stay away from that topic with a ten foot pole plz.)  Historical hostility is a justification for use of force, and there are times that means going on the offense.  But there's big gap between "going on the offense" and "every X must die."


    To jump ahead in the series: the justification you've presented here for Taker genocide would also apply to Taygen's genocide, wouldn't it?

  10. 1 hour ago, earanhart said:

    Let's spin your stance back into my earlier question then:


    Can a moderate make a claim to moral goodness when genocide is on the line?

    I think the problem here is calling the Awakened "moderate" in the first place.


    They are "moderate" in the sense that they aren't ideologically inclined to genocide, but that's a truly weird term to use for that.  It is absolutely clear that they are willing to fight and kill when necessary.  Look at Pinner's reasoning behind the Spy Drayk quest, as an easy example.  Culturally, they're as radical as anyone else with the changes they are basically forcing on existing society.  They might be the closest thing Geneforge has to Professor X, but they're also the closest thing Geneforge has to Magneto (who was right).


    What exactly about any of the other factions looks better via the genocide lens?

  11. Seems plausible, would love an additional connection:

    In Triola (G2) we have

    John Maynard Keynes (economist)

    JS Mill (philosopher, relevant to economics)

    Henri Wald (much less famous, but also a philosopher)

    Zyx (literary magazine) per randomizer, this was a backer-suggested name


    Suspicious - any thoughts?:

    Barzahl means roughly "cash payment" in German - this feels far too appropriate

    Shanti means "inner peace" in Sanskrit

    Zakary means "remembering/remembered by god" in various languages


    New names in G2I -

    Kieron Stoff is listed as a backer

    Gardner Dozois - I think this is new in G2I? - SF writer, not connected to anything else but plenty of SF writers elsewhere in the series

  • Create New...