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    TBJ

    Postby Omphalos » 09 Feb 2008 17:45

    Well, anyone care to get started with the age old discussion? Still seems to be relevant. Was this a war of men vs. men with machines as tools over the right to decide the future path of the species, or was it a war of men vs. machines over the right to exist? I still think its silly for anyone to posit a war of men vs. machines over the right to exist. I think it would be much easier for sentient machines in that situation to adapt themselves to environments that men could not live in. That would accomplish the goal of separation, at least for a time until one group or the other encountered scarcity and needed to go to the other's territory.

    Or hell, just go to a psychiatrist and get old Omnius over his "fear of flying" as it were, and plop his ass in a heighliner for a ride to the other side of the universe. Seems much easier than a war, doesnt it? I mean, what link could a bunch of robots possibly have to particular planets?
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    Postby Simon » 09 Feb 2008 18:22

    I'd actually thought that it was a man vs. machines situation kicked off by greedy humans before TBJ came out. I guess maybe it had to do with the almost racist hatred humans feel towards the thinking machines, seemed like a hatred like that would emerge out of a war for existance, or a desire to be free of bondage.

    I think Omnius's problem was that desire to dominate implanted in him by Barbossa. I think that initial human trait lead to the corruption of his logic (where logic would have dictated, go where there is no air or food, problem solved).
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    Postby Omphalos » 09 Feb 2008 23:37

    Are you saying that human personality traits got into the machines?
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    Postby Simon » 10 Feb 2008 00:10

    Yeah, it says so in the first Legends book I'm pretty sure... that or the second. It's in the part(s) that sort of flash back to the Titans origins.
    Of course I'm aware that you find the source somewhat spurious but yup in the Legends series it makes mention of the Titan's need to make the machines less docile and Barbarossa being the computer wiz of the group gave them the need/program too dominate.
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    Postby Omphalos » 10 Feb 2008 01:14

    Pardon? It says it where? I know not of what you speak, son. :wink:
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    Postby Simon » 10 Feb 2008 01:16

    HAL!? HAL?!

    OPEN THE AIR LOCK HAL!!
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    Postby Omphalos » 10 Feb 2008 01:20

    There ya go, Daisy! Happy landings!
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    Postby SandChigger » 10 Feb 2008 01:32

    KJA & BH in TBJ wrote:These two [=Agamemnon and Juno] recruited the programming expert Barbarossa, who devised a scheme to convert the Empire's ubiquitous servile machines into fearless aggressors by giving their AI brains certain human characteristics, including the ambition to conquer.

    What I find extremely implausible about the whole thing is their (very limited) conception of what computers and AI could be like in 11,000 years.

    FoI. Failure of Imagination. :roll:
    I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

    I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

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    Postby Simon » 10 Feb 2008 16:56

    I see it as a difference in taste. I think sci-fi authors (any of 'em) have a fine line to walk. They want to give you enough identifiable stuff as a point of refrence and at the same time must come up with strange alien races/technology/concepts.

    If it's to familiar you have a bland read and if it's to "alien" it becomes vauge and more like reading a manual (as the author has to brief you on the technology if his story has a prayer of bringing you in) and some times they go to much into the tech aspect and neglect the rest of the story.

    I've always thought that FH really had a hold on that balance as his stuff relies on alien (not literally Alien) techs and concepts but without going overboard.
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    Postby Omphalos » 10 Feb 2008 18:05

    A matter of taste? As in there is good taste and bad taste? Well, youre entitled to that opinion, but the fact of the matter is that world building technology development for literary uses has in fact been reduced to a science, and those concepts are frequently taught by authors in classroom settings to anyone interested. These two hacks have ignored those two literary tools that are very important to the genre. Come on! They come up with an AI that is afraid of flying? What the fuck is that about? They dropped the ball, pure and simple.
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    Postby Mandy » 10 Feb 2008 19:03

    I've always thought it was men vs men. I never would have dreamed FH meant that there were sentient computers trying to enslave humanity. I believe he meant that humans were becoming too dependent on technology.

    I think KJA stole the idea from Star Trek. Last night I watched The Ultimate Computer and immediately thought about this argument when Daystrom explained how he impressed his engrams into M-5. Then at the end M-5 tried to commit suicide.. lol, an emo computer.
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    Postby Omphalos » 10 Feb 2008 20:32

    :lol:
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    Postby SimonH » 10 Feb 2008 20:52

    My idea of the BJ is probably a bit simplistic..

    I imagined a similar Jihad to that which Paul caused late in Dune. Armies moving from planet to planet enforcing a change in the way of life. In Dune it involved the destruction of other religions and the recognition of Paul as emperor and religious figurehead. The BJ (to me) was a similar process, with the removal of reliance on machines and the introduction of mentats etc (i.e. a return to more humanistic methods) as the replacement.
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    Postby SandChigger » 10 Feb 2008 22:08

    The bit about Omnius being afraid of spacefolding made absolutely no sense at all in-story. They told us that via the tachyon net Omnius was simulataneously on all of the machine ships (or something like that), but presumably its core presence was in the hardware on Synchrony. The loss of a few (or even many) ships would not have harmed it. (Unlike Erasmus, who is portrayed as being "inside" a flowmetal body.)

    No, the authors realized that the use of foldspace with millions and millions of ships would have allowed the machines to simultaneously surround millions and millions of human planets and wipe them out in one swell foop. Game (and book) over.

    Returning to a more fundamental problem: the programming that prevented Omnius from killing the Titans.

    I could almost buy an AI trapped by its original programming IF that AI had no access to external means of manipulating physical objects. But with such access, which Omnius had, what's to keep the AI from altering its own code and rebooting? (If we're sticking to concepts limited by our own primitive computers.) Nothing that I can see.

    There's also the problem of the spread of Omnius' control off its initial planet. Did Barbarossa also do away completely with the concept of firewalls and security? (Also relevant to the question of how he was able to reprogram all the Empire's "servile machines", no?)

    After nearly 10,000 years, you would also think that humanity would have had experience and know how to deal with a rogue AI. Barbarossa must not have been all that on the ball if he left things so that Xerxes could muck around with his AI and screw things up so badly.

    It's just silly to anyone who knows even as little about computers as I do. (Having started out as a CIS major in the Engineering Department at OSU, I maybe know a little bit more about the basics than some.)
    I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

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    Postby Simon » 11 Feb 2008 06:25

    Omphalos wrote:A matter of taste? As in there is good taste and bad taste? .


    No, just personal prefrences, I think we the fans ultimately decide individually whats "in good or bad" taste.

    Omphalos wrote: They come up with an AI that is afraid of flying? What the fuck is that about? They dropped the ball, pure and simple.


    That would be an opinion. I agree that there are slow points or odd points but that can be said of any book (except DUNE the one and only). For me the good far out weighed the bad. I think Legends was really great for the reasons you can't stand it. I liked that they tried to really make it their own and went out on a limb with some concepts (BG evolution, etc..).
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    Postby Phaedrus » 11 Feb 2008 06:50

    I don't think the Butlerian Jihad should properly be called a "war" at all. It was a religious movement, at its heart, and such a movement wouldn't come from a war for survival. Think about it. Did World War II start a religious hatred for Nazis? Has any war in history ever sparked a religious fervor that lasted for centuries? No, not really. In war, hatred of the enemy is enough fuel for the fire. The need for survival comes before religious commandments(usually).

    "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of man's mind."

    That kind of commandment, embedded as deeply as it is in the minds of humans in Dune, that doesn't come from a war for survival. It comes from centuries of repression and deep, deep loathing for machines, which could only happen if(as stated in Dune) the computers were being used as tools by men to subjugate other men.

    A religious war between humans and computers just doesn't make as much sense. It simply can't explain the complexities of the universe we see in Dune. In a war, people would have used computers(friendly AI's and non-intelligent computers) to fight the enemy, and they wouldn't have been eliminated in the aftermath. Even if it WERE a situation like the Omnius thing in the prequels, humans would have made new AIs subject to their will, and independent AI's like Erasmus would have rebelled. "Human" and "Machine" as dividing lines in a war don't really make sense. Some of the machines will side with the humans. Some humans will be for the destruction of all machines, but not nearly enough to create such insane religious strictures.
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    Postby GodEmperorJason » 12 Feb 2008 15:38

    I always saw the BJ as more of a rebellion than a two-sided, battle lines style war. I think the DE captures my feelings on it better than the Legends do. I think that machines began to corrupt human civilization, and that by the time that humanity realized that they had relied too much on machines to the detriment of their own minds and bodies, it was almost too late. This btw is a hallmark of many civilizations, which become lazy with excess and fall from either internal rot or outside attack. In this case, I think the internal rot came from machines, either a group of humans who used the machines that the ruling class and mass populous depended on, or machines themselves as AI, in my mind the point is irrelavent. What is relevant is the lesson that humanity was to learn. Not that machines are bad, but that humanity must remain prime and that we must continue to further ourselves, not fall into stagnation. That is where the BJ failed, we replaced machines with the Guild, BGs, Mentats, which were what? humans that had advanced their minds and bodies, but then this too, as with the machines, led to the stagnation of humanity by Paul's time, a feudal society that was manipulated by these groups no less than the machines (or humans through machines) did pre-jihad to that stagnant populous. We replaced the machine culture we relyed upon with the feudal order we relyed upon and then replaced that with Paul and his Qizarate. Leto ultimately rectified this by making them rely on him for everything, to the point where humanity had learned its lesson and sought out on its own, free from control into the scattering.

    Just my take
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    Postby Tleilax Master B » 13 Feb 2008 12:46

    GodEmperorJason wrote:That is where the BJ failed, we replaced machines with the Guild, BGs, Mentats, which were what? humans that had advanced their minds and bodies, but then this too, as with the machines, led to the stagnation of humanity by Paul's time, a feudal society that was manipulated by these groups no less than the machines (or humans through machines) did pre-jihad to that stagnant populous. We replaced the machine culture we relyed upon with the feudal order we relyed upon and then replaced that with Paul and his Qizarate. Leto ultimately rectified this by making them rely on him for everything, to the point where humanity had learned its lesson and sought out on its own, free from control into the scattering.


    That's really the way I see it also. I think you summed it up nicely. Its a natural progression, and eventually the God Emperor sought to break humanity out of that cycle.

    I saw human reliance on machines becoming increasingly common. As this happens it becomes easier for those humans seeking power to manipulate machines in society. Eventually, machines are doing all the "thinking" for humans and they are becoming progressively more complacent and stop questioning the choices that are made for them. Then something like a machine deciding what baby lives or dies comes to light, and it wakes people up to what their society has become. Religion is used as a powerful catalyst to turn people against the machine way of life. Those who have used the machines for their own gain, preying on the complacent, become victims of the Jihad. As Leto II says "machines condition humans to treat other humans like machines." THAT is what I think was meant by the "machine attitude." In the end, machines are smashed and a new philosphy arises "thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind"

    It was NEVER IMHO about machine armies, rogue AIs, brains-in-jars in insect robot bodies with missiles, flow metal terminator II robots, etc. It was about HUMANS, if there is one common theme in every single one of Frank's Dune books its about HUMANS; I fail to see how the B JIhad, had he written it, would have been any different......
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    Postby Omphalos » 13 Feb 2008 12:51

    Tleilax Master B wrote:
    GodEmperorJason wrote:That is where the BJ failed, we replaced machines with the Guild, BGs, Mentats, which were what? humans that had advanced their minds and bodies, but then this too, as with the machines, led to the stagnation of humanity by Paul's time, a feudal society that was manipulated by these groups no less than the machines (or humans through machines) did pre-jihad to that stagnant populous. We replaced the machine culture we relyed upon with the feudal order we relyed upon and then replaced that with Paul and his Qizarate. Leto ultimately rectified this by making them rely on him for everything, to the point where humanity had learned its lesson and sought out on its own, free from control into the scattering.


    That's really the way I see it also. I think you summed it up nicely. Its a natural progression, and eventually the God Emperor sought to break humanity out of that cycle.


    Me too. Leto was trying to break the cycles of reliance on something other than the skills humans had. His point, I think, is that we are all capable of managing things with our skills alone (though i do think he would have allowed for some mechanical help with some issues, sometimes).
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    Postby SandChigger » 13 Feb 2008 18:03

    Yes...I should imagine getting from planet to planet would be a biatch without a ship of some sort. And that presupposes the industrial and technological base to construct the ships, etc. etc.


    Unless the BT return and create biological ships like leviathans (or Brian Herbert's rip-off podships?). Or everyone learns to freecast. ;)
    I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

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    Postby chanilover » 18 Feb 2008 15:55

    Well, I started to read Dune again today, this is the second time I'll be reading the books. I'm planning on reading Frank's books and I might re-read Hunters and then Sandworms for the first time, although we'll just have to see about that.

    One thing I noticed in the Terminology section of Dune is the following -

    Jihad, Butlerian - the crusade against computers, thinking machines and conscious robots begun in 201BG and concluded in 108 BG

    Corrin, Battle of - the battle fought near Sigma Draconis in the year 88BG

    So the Battle of Corrin took place 20 years after the BJ was concluded. Unless Anderson has managed to re-write the dictionary, whoever the combatants in the Battle of Corrin were, the battle did not form part of the Jihad, which was concluded 20 years before. I remember some drivel in the Legends books about the BJ being declared officially over even though the demented queens Erasmus and Omnius were trapped on Corrin, but "being declared officially over" does not mean "concluded". Concluded means "completed, finished", it doesn't mean "nearly but not quite completed".

    By the way, I was just going to cut and paste the definitions from Wikipedia, thinking they would just be the same as the definitions in the book, but they're not. The Wiki article includes Anderson creations such as Cymeks, which is fair enough, for the sake of completeness. The stragne thing about the Wiki article is that it omits the definitions from Dune which conflict with the Anderson shit. The definitions of the Butlerian Jihad and the Battle of Corrin from Dune have been left out of the Wiki article. Disgraceful.
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    Postby SandChigger » 18 Feb 2008 23:03

    I'll have a look at them later. They're all on my watchlist.
    I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

    I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

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    Postby SandChigger » 20 Feb 2008 12:53

    I think I found the problem: there are two articles, one about the (cough cough) book and one about the event.

    The latter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butlerian_Jihad) clearly separates the information given in the original series, the Pre-Preekwhales, and The Dune Encyclopedia. :wink:
    I have heard of only one mistake that doesn’t have an explanation for a careful reader...with an open mind. (And, no, I’m not going to tell you what it is!) —KJA

    I don't like every writer's style; for instance, I have never been able to get through Ursula LeGuin, China Mieville, or Iain Banks, all of whom are critical darlings. —KJA

    I...had written a bunch of Star Wars and X-Files books...that proved not just that I'm a hack, but that I could write in somebody else's universe... —KJA
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    Postby Tleilax Master B » 11 Apr 2008 11:10

    *BUMP*

    Sometime ago I (and others) had noted the remarkable similarities between prequels and the DE as far as the impetus for the BJihad. Both have female Butlers having their babies killed by machines, which sparks the whole Jihad. I asked Byron to ask the authors what, if any, influence the Dune Encyclopedia had on their books and if they used any of that material--I mean, come on, the similarities are uncanny there. Byron got a response from the authors for me today, they said:

    "We did not use any of the material in the DUNE ENCYCLOPEDIA. The background of the story was based on information from Frank Herbert.”

    Hmmmm :? That either means they are outright lying or that this storyline was in Frank's "notes" and the DE basically had it right. Hmmmm :?
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    Postby orald » 11 Apr 2008 11:27

    It could be the DE was based somewhat on FH's ideas, as WM was a close friend, but still seems fishy.
    Is WM still alive to be asked if that part of the DE was actually based on his knowledge gained from FH?
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