I'm trying to stop Carl too.

From: Alex Ferguson (abf@interzone.ucc.ie)
Date: Mon 19 May 1997 - 18:04:50 EEST


Apologies to those whose page-down button is getting worn out by my
rants on this topic. I'll attempt to reach some sort of "closure"
of the main threads, in the completely futile hope that the whole
topic won't just resurface unmodified in the depressingly near future.

Carl Fink on 15 years of heresy:
> Distortion. You're assuming, oddly, that nothing could have been
> written except what *was* written.

I'm assuming, in the first instance, merely that it _has_ been written.
What do you suggest we do about this troublesome fact? Besides complain,
that is.

> >1. What's the "primacy of logic", anyway?

> The idea that, where it applies, you use logic rather than, say,
> political power to decide which position is correct.

OK, I'll agree to that. (It seems vague enough to be harmless.)

> >3. What makes you thing logic is the most useful tool for describing
> > roleplaying games, the world, much less myth?

> I think discussion of why logic is a good tool for describing the
> world is WAY off topic here . . .

I thought it _was_ the topic. You're outraged because a (ficticious)
world appears to not be well-described by (your take on) logic.

There are many reasons to question why you should assume this was
a reasonable thing to expect.

> and you've answered my original
> question, that you don't recognize the authority of logic.

I don't? I thought I was questioning whether it "applied" to the
question in hand, which if you ask any logician, AI person or
philosopher, is not necessarily a straightforward matter.

If, for example, I said that logic might not be the best way to
axiomatise all of mathemathics, decide what to have for lunch today,
or write a haiku about the British election result, does that mean
I don't "recognise the authority of logic" -- whatever that actually
_does_ mean.

> In Glorantha, again, you can't separate "the world" from "myth", or at
> least that's my feeling.

Not in a hard and fast way, but the distinction, while vague, isn't
useless. That's why people speak of "the HeroPlane" etc., after all.

> >4. What do you mean by a myth being "wrong"? Do you mean that:
> a) It's not correct "history";

> Yes.

Then you're right, of course, for the conventional meaning of "history";
some or all myths are "wrong". Note that RQ2 explicitly rejects the
idea of a pre-Dawn "history", and Theyalan mythology doesn't believe
even that it's _own_ stories are internally "consistent" in that sense,
never mind consistent with anyone else's. Nor do I think anyone
could really mistake the Jrusteli Monomyth for "history" in that sense.
It may be "right" in several respects, but not in that "historically"
the universe had four different origins, and humanity several dozen.

And of course HeroQuesting means that's necessarily the case anyway, as
I noted elsewhere. I know you suggested it be dumped, along with
Divination (in rapid alternation with asserting that it should be able
to tell everyone everything), but I don't think many people will find
that a viable option.

> > . . . as early as 1981 Greg
> >was writing that the Mystics regarded deities as a "misconception"
> >of reality. (CoT p11)

> Language.

Is a virus from outer space? Are you telling me that:

| Mystics say that since the deities were the first misconceptions
| concerning reality, they set the pattern for misunderstanding
| existence.

means something consistent with:

> My reading of the Mystics is not that they deny the
> reality of the gods, just that they don't consider them of vital
> importance.

If something is a "misconception of reality", then it certainly isn't
"real" in the sense you elsewhere assert it must be to placate you,
i.e., demonstrably, repeatably, pan-culturally observable to be true.
Or is this just another repugnant source you wish to repudiate?

> This is, for instance, the position of many Buddhists.

Most Buddhists are far from being "pure mystics", and are really part-
time "theists". (This may be true of many Kralori, too, of course,
which is beside the point.)

> >In the above terms, almost every currently
> >accepted scientific theory _is_ "wrong".

> Well . . . yes. And your point is? [... and elsewhere ...]
> Heisenberg did NOT demonstrate that truth is unknowable. [...]
> but what old Werner demonstrated was that *certain particular bits of
> information* can't be found out in *certain circumstances*.

The "certain particular bits of information" are the position and
momentum of a particle; the certain circumstances are "all the time".
This means that _every_ observation of the world one makes is
_necessarily_ at least infinitesimally "wrong".

What I'm getting at is that in RW physics (never mind RW myth), reality
is hard to pin down as "objectively knowable", as our best descriptions
of it are known both to be "wrong", and to impose limits on
what can _ever_ be known. Do you spend your spare time posting to
sci.misc about how "repugnant" this is, or do you just have higher
standards of truth for fictional mythologies than for real reality?

> We have a different perspective from a Gloranthan. I don't think
> anyone claims that *Gloranthans* are troubled by these issues, except
> maybe a few scholars in weird settings.

Gloranthans have essentially the same "evidence" about their reality
as we do, albeit typically in "editted highlights". The ultimate
"solution" to these alleged problems is to game, write, and create
from as Gloranthan a perspective as we can manage, rather than try
to force Glorantha to suit our own RW agendas, preconceptions and
philosophical preferences. I have plenty of these myself, but I don't
see the percentage in expecting Glorantha to pander to them.

Trying to create a "real" Glorantha which we can know better than any
Gloranthans, jointly or severally, seems to me to be an essentially
empty exercise. Theorising that there _is_ one is both easier and
more benign, I'll admit.

Slainte,
Alex.

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End of Glorantha Digest V4 #411
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