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    Siona and the Golden Path

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    Is Siona the key for the GP?

    Yes
    17
    63%
    No
    7
    26%
    What?
    3
    11%
     
    Total votes : 27

    Siona and the Golden Path

    Postby mrpsbrk » 22 Jan 2009 18:13

    In searching a quote for another topic, i found that:

    "I have seen the report on Siona," Moneo said.

    Leto's smile widened. (...) From his own traverse through a similar evolution, Moneo knew with precision the delicate nature of Siona's present fortunes.

    "Have I not created her, Moneo?" Leto asked. "Have I not controlled the conditions of her ancestry and her upbringing?"

    "She is my only daughter, my only child, Lord."

    "In a way, she reminds me of Harq al-Ada," Leto said. "There doesn't appear to be much of Ghani in her, although that has to be there. Perhaps she harks back to our ancestors in the Sisterhood's breeding program."

    "Why do you say that, Lord?"

    Leto reflected. Was there need for Moneo to know this peculiar thing about his daughter? Siona could fade from the prescient view at times. The Golden Path remained, but Siona faded. Yet ...she was not prescient. She was a unique phenomenon... and if she survived... Leto decided he would not cloud Moneo's efficiency with unnecessary information.


    That raises so many questions i do not know where to begin. First of all, it seems that, at this time (it is fairly in the beginning of the book), Siona is still not completely invisible to prescience but just, like, developing the trait.

    Also, it pretty much spells out that no, prescience-invisibility was not part of the plan, it was not imagined beforehand nor wanted. It happened and Leto was very happy about it, but that seems to be it.

    So: how much can Siona be the main point of the GP as some (myself included, for sure) have come to presume?

    Was it, like, Leto guessed there should be something against prescience but was not sure what? And then comes Siona and finito? Might be, but i am not completely sure.

    On the other hand, He states with all possible clarity: "have I not created her?" but i dunno, it could be said equally of Moneo and He was not very excited about Moneo...

    The passage about He seeing Harq-al-Ada and not Ghanima in Siona puzzles me, since Siona will be in the future taken as "archetypal Atreides", and that would mean that she has not that much Atreides in her... But it also could mean that He does not see the "Atreides part" of Siona, that a part of her is completely invisible even if she's got the military (Sardaukar, belligerant, self-destructive) side of the family too.

    {Maybe there's more in the context there, the whole preaching-against military thing... (or not so much against but sideways) I quoted what seemed relevant, but the whole chapter seems connected in ways i do not understand completely...}

    So: is Siona the key of the Golden Path? Or no?
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    Postby mrpsbrk » 22 Jan 2009 18:15

    There's also the whole thing against "the sameness and boredom which could break the Golden Path" -- which, again, Siona at the same time seems a contrary example but also she "remembers him of"...
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    Re: Siona and the Golden Path

    Postby Lundse » 22 Jan 2009 18:30

    mrpsbrk wrote:So: is Siona the key of the Golden Path? Or no?


    I voted yes because:

    Though Leto did not necessarily plan for her specifically, or her trait, he knew that mankind must, at some point, break out of his stranglehold.

    The GP was about the Scattering, that much is obvious, and obviously planned. And I think Leto II must have counted on 'solution' to the problem of prescience - otherwise, a powerful enough individual like himself would be able to 'put all the eggs back in one basket'.

    I do not see from the quote you provided that the invisibility trait is necessarily not planned (just not planned to occur in her), though that is a valid interpretation. Either way, I believe this is a victory for Leto's strategy of becoming a predator and see what evolves to counter him (and mixing all the age-old BG-created genetic strains together once again) - if the predator is prescient, the prey becomes invisible to that, after some time.


    PS: I still have this theory that the Siona gene is latent prescience. What hides Siona is the remote possibility that she might have a prescient vision - making her actions unforeseeable... (Odrade left some hings that she had something bordering on prescience, relating it to the Siona gene, IIRC).
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    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 22 Jan 2009 18:55

    I put yes, because dispite the fact that the quote given does suggest that maybe this trait was unforseen, it doesn't actually state that clearly. It just says that she is unique (no surprise) and that the GP goes on when she dissapears from prescience - which, since the whole point of the GP is to Scatter humanity and make them untracable, makes perfect sense.

    What else was he breeding them (Atreides) for 3500 years if not for the ability to be invisible to prescience? It's so central to the GP suceeding that I can't see how Leto would have overlooked t and not planned for it (by breeding into existance the Siona gene).

    Also, it pretty much spells out that no, prescience-invisibility was not part of the plan, it was not imagined beforehand nor wanted. It happened and Leto was very happy about it, but that seems to be it.


    I agree that someone could see it that way, but it really doesn't "spell it out" at all in my opinion. It just says that the GP isn't damaged by the Siona gene.

    EDIT: nice to be discussing DUNE again! :lol: I forgot what it's like. (not that I hate bashing pinky and the brian)
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    Postby Mandy » 22 Jan 2009 19:37

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:.

    What else was he breeding them (Atreides) for 3500 years if not for the ability to be invisible to prescience? It's so central to the GP suceeding that I can't see how Leto would have overlooked t and not planned for it (by breeding into existance the Siona gene).



    That's exactly what I was thinking. He didn't have a breeding program for nothing.
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    Postby A Thing of Eternity » 22 Jan 2009 19:41

    Mandy wrote:
    A Thing of Eternity wrote:.

    What else was he breeding them (Atreides) for 3500 years if not for the ability to be invisible to prescience? It's so central to the GP suceeding that I can't see how Leto would have overlooked t and not planned for it (by breeding into existance the Siona gene).



    That's exactly what I was thinking. He didn't have a breeding program for nothing.


    I like your new title. :D
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    Postby Mandy » 22 Jan 2009 19:44

    I didn't even see it! :D
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    Postby Freakzilla » 23 Jan 2009 10:01

    :D

    I voted no. The Siona Gene and No-field technology were only to keep the Atriedes/Bene Gesserit hidden until The Scattering became large enough.

    However, it was A key.

    I think the Ixian Navigation Machine was more important. It broke the reliance on spice and the guild and enabled the Scattering.

    With a no-ship you can outrun prescience.

    The Siona Gene and No-Tech IMO would be obsolete once the BG breed for Teg's talents.
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    Postby Spicelon » 23 Jan 2009 10:16

    I voted What? although I probably should have voted No. As important as
    Siona is/was, The GP doesn't necessarily need her. She is certainly, as
    Freak said, A Big Key to it, or at least she turned out to be.
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    Postby Freakzilla » 23 Jan 2009 10:53

    She may have been important in keeping the Old Empire intact with Duncan as The Scattering was taking place but I think The Scattering really started with RM Anteac's raid on IX, which scattered the INM and No-tech.

    I think No-Tech and the Siona Gene were essentially the same thing. The GP would have succeeded with either one. But the INM was more critical.
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    Postby SandChigger » 23 Jan 2009 13:07

    Ahp. It meant people could go places without a Guild Navigator to take them while the no-ships meant that a Guild Navigator couldn't find them. :)
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    Postby Freakzilla » 23 Jan 2009 13:10

    SandChigger wrote:Ahp. It meant people could go places without a Guild Navigator to take them while the no-ships meant that a Guild Navigator couldn't find them. :)


    Right, but keep in mind: no-ship = INM + no-field. Without one you're lost, without the other, you're found.

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    Postby SandChigger » 23 Jan 2009 13:14

    "It" =ed INM. ;)
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    Postby mrpsbrk » 24 Jan 2009 13:38

    Freakzilla wrote:Right, but keep in mind: no-ship = INM + no-field. Without one you're lost, without the other, you're found.


    LOL
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    Postby mrpsbrk » 24 Jan 2009 14:09

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:I put yes, because dispite the fact that the quote given does suggest that maybe this trait was unforseen, it doesn't actually state that clearly. It just says that she is unique (no surprise) and that the GP goes on when she dissapears from prescience - which, since the whole point of the GP is to Scatter humanity and make them untracable, makes perfect sense.


    It states that the GP goes on even though she disappears -- but if the whole point of the GP was making humanity untraceable Siona's disappearance would be synonymous with the GP. In other words, if untraceability was really what Leto had in mind, he wouldn't have even tried to check Siona's future with prescience, he would be testing it, like trying to find her through prescience to make really sure he couldn't.

    I just remembered that GEoD begins with the "announcement of the discovery of Dar-es-Balat", which is a bunch of data inside a no-room. This seems contrary to my thesis, saying that no-tech was really important, as it's the very beginning of the book, but there's the thing: the guy who makes the announcement says that the technology is just "absorbing outside radiation and reflecting it" and also that it "could be done with such primitive mechanics".

    By the time Siona comes along, the Dar-es-Balat No-Chamber has existed for quite some time -- time enough for the "Hidden Journals" to have swelled to a huge size. Can anyone find a quote about when do Leto II begin his journals, how many years before what goes on in GEoD?

    If this technology is so central, why didn't Leto take the shortcut and just kinda gave it away? Is it because he was having so much fun with his Worm body?

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:
    Also, it pretty much spells out that no, prescience-invisibility was not part of the plan, it was not imagined beforehand nor wanted. It happened and Leto was very happy about it, but that seems to be it.


    I agree that someone could see it that way, but it really doesn't "spell it out" at all in my opinion. It just says that the GP isn't damaged by the Siona gene.


    As i said above, with the No-Room on Dar-es-Balat being the opening of GEoD, i recanted on no-tech being a sideline, but i stand for the thing about no-people (AKA the Siona Gene) being so.

    Again, if untraceabiliy was the goal, it would be nonsense saying that "the Siona Gene does not damage the GP" as it would be the very-direct-and-final manifestation of it.

    A Thing of Eternity wrote:What else was he breeding them (Atreides) for 3500 years if not for the ability to be invisible to prescience? It's so central to the GP suceeding that I can't see how Leto would have overlooked t and not planned for it (by breeding into existance the Siona gene).


    Speed, strength, smarts, longevity... What else? Don't you remember Moneo's remark about Duncan being "just an older model"?

    It is so central to the GP that Leto would have been foolish not to think of it IF the GP is just producing the scattering. Which is exactly what i have come to suspect it isn't after carefully considering the above passage.
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    Postby mrpsbrk » 24 Jan 2009 14:19

    Freakzilla wrote:She may have been important in keeping the Old Empire intact with Duncan as The Scattering was taking place but I think The Scattering really started with RM Anteac's raid on IX, which scattered the INM and No-tech.

    I think No-Tech and the Siona Gene were essentially the same thing. The GP would have succeeded with either one. But the INM was more critical.


    But, Freak, wasn't humanity in this universe doing the go-out-to-the-stars trick before finding melange? Spice, as i recall, was just a safer way of exploring, not the only way, even before Paul.

    If GP = Scattering, the only new ingredient Leto would have to add to the boil was people wanting to scatter, which arguably he could have done in less than 3,500 years since this is way more than any single individual timespan and by Siona's time already had had for aeons control enough over the environment to produce a longing for the stars...

    Heck, if GP = Scattering, Leto could have just skipped the whole symbiosis thing, packed some 2 or 3 Fremem Legions, ransacked the Guild, and then said to each of his soldiers: RUN and do not EVER look back.

    No, Leto had to teach some lessons before, and without those lessons a scattered humanity is just a scattered humanity, not a "golden" one.
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    Postby SandChigger » 24 Jan 2009 20:36

    mrpsbrk wrote:I just remembered that GEoD begins with the "announcement of the discovery of Dar-es-Balat", which is a bunch of data inside a no-room. This seems contrary to my thesis, saying that no-tech was really important, as it's the very beginning of the book, but there's the thing: the guy who makes the announcement says that the technology is just "absorbing outside radiation and reflecting it" and also that it "could be done with such primitive mechanics".

    If you're going to quote, then quote correctly:

    FH in GEoD wrote:...it emitted radiation and absorbed radiation to simulate the natural character of its surroundings, a mechanical mimesis which is not surprising of itself. What has surprised our engineers, however, is the way this was done with the most rudimentary and truly primitive mechanical skills.

    He's not dismissing it in any way there. He's saying it was amazing that the early engineers where able to achieve the effect using such simple methods.

    Either way, I don't get where you're going here. The no-tech used to conceal Dar-es-Balat has nothing to do with no-tech's role in The Scattering.

    By the time Siona comes along, the Dar-es-Balat No-Chamber has existed for quite some time -- time enough for the "Hidden Journals" to have swelled to a huge size. Can anyone find a quote about when do Leto II begin his journals, how many years before what goes on in GEoD?

    FH in GEoD wrote:I began this account in the first year of my stewardship, in the first throes of my metamorphosis when I was still mostly human, even visibly so.

    He began the journals as soon as he ascended the throne. (Not in the same form as at the end, of course, since he probably wouldn't have had all the fancy Ixian thought-recording technology then.) So it's about 3,000 years.

    The Dar-es-Balat complex was probably built sometime before or around 500 years into Leto's reign. (I've outlined my calculations on this elsewhere here.)

    I don't get what point you're trying to make by pointing out that the Dar-es-Balat references occur at the beginning of GEoD.

    I agree that someone could see it that way, but it really doesn't "spell it out" at all in my opinion. It just says that the GP isn't damaged by the Siona gene.

    Again, if untraceabiliy was the goal, it would be nonsense saying that "the Siona Gene does not damage the GP" as it would be the very-direct-and-final manifestation of it.

    How about the possibility that Leto foresaw the "big picture" of the GP when he first undertook it but did not clearly see all the individual elements leading to it? That way Siona would have come as a surprise to him when she finally arrived. Something unforeseen, she could, for all he knew, have been a threat to the GP he would need to eliminate. As it turned out, she was a part of the GP, just one not visible at first. That's why the GP was not "damaged" by her.

    He could have been breeding for invisibility to prescience without being able to see when he succeeded. (In fact, how could he?)
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    Postby mrpsbrk » 25 Jan 2009 00:44

    SandChigger wrote:He's not dismissing it in any way there. He's saying it was amazing that the early engineers where able to achieve the effect using such simple methods.

    Either way, I don't get where you're going here. The no-tech used to conceal Dar-es-Balat has nothing to do with no-tech's role in The Scattering.


    Did i say he was dismissing anything? Also, he is not He, as in Benoto not Leto. I did say that no-tech was probably important indeed. The importance of it being in the beginning of the book is, assuming FH was a preacher and had didactic intentions (like, he did not WANT to get us readers lost, he really wanted someone to understand what he said), it would be a reasonably good debating technique to introduce a very important topic early in the argument.

    What i am saying is that, if untraceability was THE KEY TO GP he would not have had to wait 3,500 years, just 500 (according to your Maths). Assuming Leto is sincere in the MULTIPLE times he says living that long sucked, it is conceivable that, as soon as he could make the GP done, he would.

    If untraceability (either as no-tech or as Siona-gene) was all there was to it, why wait 3,000 years after you already have no-tech (as in Dar-es-Balat) to send a RM to Ix and spread the thing? Leto didn't have any difficulty about fabricating excuses...
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    Postby SandChigger » 25 Jan 2009 02:04

    mrpsbrk wrote:Also, he is not He, as in Benoto not Leto.

    No shit. Who was confusing them, Sherlock?

    You're the one who's hung up on finding THE ONE KEY. It was a dual deal. Invisibility to prescience ("untraceability") was one key. Physical dispersion (Scattering all over creation and back) was the other.

    And the Scattering couldn't begin until the Ixians had created the INMs.
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    Postby SandRider » 25 Jan 2009 02:51

    I'm smellin' more Jesuit 'round here ......
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    Postby Mandy » 25 Jan 2009 12:37

    Leto didn't have to have all the information about a person to know if they were important or not. If he could cause the GP to wink in and out of existence by thinking about killing himself, then I believe he could do the same thing regarding other people, and programs.. all kinds of things. He probably saw his breeding program as one of the necessary factors in the continuation of the GP (I only say probably because it wasn't spelled out). Also, when I voted yes in the poll, I think I overlooked the word "key", which has since been pointed out that Siona was a and not the key. The ability to hide from prescience was most likely very important in the beginning.

    I don't know why I said all that.. most of it has already been said in the thread, it's just this thread is a little confusing.
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    Postby dunepunk » 26 Jan 2009 00:49

    I think the GP was a really broad scope. Compared to the possible futures in which the GP does not continue, it probably looks pretty small, but it's not a straight-line kind of path. I think Leto wanted to teach people by example. I don't think he taught any lessons that hadn't been taught previously, but he taught the old lessons in a way that would leave an impact. I think another goal of the GP was to ensure that an empire such as his would never exist again. He noticed the stagnation that occurred, and so, through his enforced stagnation, he taught mankind as a whole the dangers of this. So the GP would have to include a universe where no single force could ever control all of mankind again, and mankind would have to be dynamical and avoid stagnation.

    So, that said, I voted "no." There's no single key to the Golden Path. It allows for wide variability. As Leto said (in slightly different words, I don't have a quotation within easy reach) "It's alright if any one person dies, it's just that they can't all die." I think this includes Siona. If she had died before having children, the GP would continue, just slightly differently.
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    Postby mrpsbrk » 26 Jan 2009 00:55

    dunepunk wrote:I don't think he taught any lessons that hadn't been taught previously, but he taught the old lessons in a way that would leave an impact.


    Damn, i strongly disagree with you on that, even if on most other aspects we seem to share the same mind...
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    Postby mrpsbrk » 26 Jan 2009 00:56

    SandRider wrote:I'm smellin' more Jesuit 'round here ......


    Is this an inside joke? I do not understand what you mean...
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    Postby SandRider » 26 Jan 2009 01:04

    I'm detecting a Jesuit-training influence in the way you are
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