The Destruction of Rakis

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Re: Chapter 47

Postby SandChigger » 06 Oct 2010 01:23

A Thing of Eternity wrote:quad-monthly (? whatever, every four months) report

Quarterly? ;)

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Re: Chapter 47

Postby Hunchback Jack » 06 Oct 2010 02:32

Thirdly, presumably.

Only 12 months in the year, last time I checked. ;)

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Re: Chapter 47

Postby SandChigger » 06 Oct 2010 02:42

D'uh. :doh:

Must have been having a blond moment as well as an Arabian Nights one. :P

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Re: Chapter 47

Postby SadisticCynic » 06 Oct 2010 07:55

(If it makes you feel better I thought of quarterly as well; or maybe that makes you feel worse!)

As to prescience, I sometimes conceived of it as being able to perceive a wavefunction (psi, from QM). This then allows you to see superpositions of these states as well (since the equation is linear, if A and B are solutions then C = A+B is also a solution). No doubt there are loads of problems with that though.
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Re: Chapter 47

Postby SandChigger » 06 Oct 2010 10:44

SadisticCynic wrote:(If it makes you feel better I thought of quarterly as well; or maybe that makes you feel worse!)

Better. Cheers. :)


I've said this before, but it seems to me that if you want to invoke Heisenberg in this context, you have to assume that prescient vision is akin to the Ancient Greek theory of vision (beams projected from the eyes) or the echolocation used by bats or dolphins. If prescience works more like regular human vision (passive reception of environmental photons), how can it affect what is "seen"? (I can stare at Polaris till my eyes cross and the sun comes up, but my action will not affect the polestar in any way.)

So if simply looking into the future changes the future, what is the prescient projecting or emitting to effect that change? What is the analog of the echolocation sound?

I still think the BG were being excessively paranoid and mistaken about the power of the Leto "pearls". I can't remember who suggested it, but someone here brought up the possibility that destroying Arrakis was more about freeing the race (and the Sisterhood) from the lingering belief that Leto still controlled things.

Also, wasn't freeing the species from dependence (on things like... the spice!), and the resultant risk of being controlled, another of Leto's goals? Wasn't ensuring the future availability of some spice more about keeping the BG around? (Maybe more as humanity's memory than as its stewards?)

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Re: Chapter 47

Postby SadisticCynic » 06 Oct 2010 13:45

A very literal interpretation of QM allows the entire universe to be described by one massive wavefunction. This (I think, I'm not certain) would technically allow large scale entanglement and thus simply by observing you could theoretically influence the structure of the wavefunction.
That's not really what I think the answer is; more like just a quick thought on how you might circumvent causality.

(Maybe more as humanity's memory than as its stewards?)


That's an interesting thought.
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby Freakzilla » 25 Aug 2012 07:14

I've moved the discussion from the last chapter of Heretics here because there were a lot of Chapterhouse spoilers. However, it's a good discussion and I thought it worth saving...
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby Freakzilla » 25 Aug 2012 07:19

I thought this bit from the chapter where Taraza dies is pertinent, it's Odrade teaching Sheeana:

"Will the whores come here?"
"I'm afraid so. They want to control the core of the Old Empire because they
see us as an easy conquest."
"Aren't you afraid they'll win?"
"They won't win, Sheeana. Depend on it. But they are good for us."
"How is that?"
Sheeana's tone echoed Taraza's own shock at hearing such words from Odrade. How
much did Odrade suspect? In the next instant, Taraza understood and she
wondered if the lesson was equally understandable to the young girl.
"The core is static, Sheeana. We have been almost at a standstill for thousands
of years. Life and movement are 'out there' with the people of the Scattering
who resist the whores. Whatever we do, we must make that resistance even
stronger."


I don't think Leto's pearls of awareness had any actual hold on humanity but people's BELIEF in them held them.
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Re: Chapter 47

Postby georgiedenbro » 17 Sep 2014 11:48

SadisticCynic wrote:A very literal interpretation of QM allows the entire universe to be described by one massive wavefunction. This (I think, I'm not certain) would technically allow large scale entanglement and thus simply by observing you could theoretically influence the structure of the wavefunction.
That's not really what I think the answer is; more like just a quick thought on how you might circumvent causality.


Actually I think this is precisely what Frank means with regard to prescience. Entanglement allows the viewer to affect distant data merely by observation, and we are only just at the tip of the iceberg in realizing the implications of this, scientifically. We can barely even comprehend yet what is meant by saying that an observer can collapse a superposition; we know what we're trying to say, but do we know yet what we're really saying? Quantum mechanics in general is so counter-intuitive that it can easily be described as defying reason, even though its properties can be calculated. I think Frank was writing about this; this was the science topic upon which he based his speculative fiction. We almost have to believe this if we're going to accept that this is a work of science fiction and doesn't include magic in it. He did call Dune a work of prediction, after all.

Tycho wrote:But the Scattering was not achieved automatically. At the moment of Leto's death, everything was set in motion, but it would still take a long time to go beyond the point of no return. Therefore Leto II needed to maintain some hold on destiny until his aim truly was achieved and no longer 'undoable.' I suppose there are some other interpretations of his 'unending dream' and its function, like perhaps to create a nexus blocking other prescients, or to influence the behavior of the worms. But the weight of evidence from the text and narrative choices just leads me to conclude that
1) prescience alone affects things in ways not understood (i mean if it was very simple the BG wouldn't be confused about it)
2) the pearls of consciousness and their 'unending dream' were a vital part of The Golden Path as they continued to influence history (not so much 'pulling the strings' like the God-Emperor, but just 'holding the strings' in place, steadily deflecting the currents of time).


Actually, the whole point of Leto II's plan was exactly that the Scattering was achieved automatically once he was ready to die. It was already a done deal, achieved; the Golden Path succeeds (at least in this respect). No pearls of consciousness or anything else were needed to make the Scattering 'hold' or keep going; 3,500 years of Leto II's management did that already.

I do think that the pearls of consciousness has a lasting effect, though, but it wasn't a question of prescient control. In this respect I think Taraza simply misunderstood what Leto II did. Just think of the worms as being metaphorical penises and the spice melange as being a metaphor for genetic variation and you get the picture. Leto II changed the nature of the worms, which translates to saying that he subtly changed the course of human genetics forever. A part of his work would always remain in the genome - namely, the Siona gene, and the recurrent application of Duncan's genes. This, I think, is what is meant by Leto II's consciousness forever being a part of the worms; he means that his imprint, his legacy, would be part of human beings forever. He's not just a historical footnote like other rulers; he really changed things on a significant scale. The first long-term planner, as I think he called himself. His Golden Plan persists - that is his pearl of consciousness. Taraza thinking she could wipe it out by destroying Rakis is ridiculous, and I'm inclined heavily to agree with Freak that it was yet another BG setup to get control of spice production for themselves.

That someone like Taraza could be so wrong about this seems natural to me, since Leto II (and Paul) intertwined government and religion so closely that it would become difficult at a later date to separate fact from myth, even for a Reverend Mother. The RM's heavy reliance on OM to help them understand others would especially make them susceptible to misunderstanding Leto II, since he was not only absent from OM, but was also unique among other historical figures. Their usual OM resources would be of no help in trying to understand Leto II, and if Scytale and Edric in DM were right, that someone with a power will tend to over-focus on that power rather than use basic logic and reasoning, then the RM's might well get all caught up in deciphering the religious meaning in Leto II's comments rather than just conducting a simple inspection of what he'd done.
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby Smiley » 12 Dec 2014 14:56

A worm brought Sheena to the priests. If it had not, would anyone know who she was or what she could do?
Would a RM have found the spice hoard and Leto's words without the worm?
Small, but definitely a sign of some influence. Destroying Rakis lessened that influence. Also if you transplant the worms to other planets those worms do not have any reference points on those planets, thus weakening their influence even more.

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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby pcqypcqy » 06 Sep 2017 21:37

SandChigger wrote:I still think the BG were being excessively paranoid and mistaken about the power of the Leto "pearls". I can't remember who suggested it, but someone here brought up the possibility that destroying Arrakis was more about freeing the race (and the Sisterhood) from the lingering belief that Leto still controlled things.


Freakzilla wrote:I don't think Leto's pearls of awareness had any actual hold on humanity but people's BELIEF in them held them.


I think these nail it.

But then, this is also quite valid:

Smiley wrote:A worm brought Sheena to the priests. If it had not, would anyone know who she was or what she could do?
Would a RM have found the spice hoard and Leto's words without the worm?
Small, but definitely a sign of some influence. Destroying Rakis lessened that influence. Also if you transplant the worms to other planets those worms do not have any reference points on those planets, thus weakening their influence even more.


What I struggle with is that Leto II, having established the GP at the end of GEoD, would knowingly set humanity on a course where his continued presence/control would somehow endanger the GP? It seems inconsistent to me. That's why I lean towards Freak's and Chigger's quotes. But even then, if Leto II had set all this in motion, but was assured the GP was secure, surely he anticipated that humans would some how cock it up? The way I read Heretics and Chapterhouse is that the BG were requried to break the GP and reset it on the correct course. It doesn't seem like this was all anticipated by the Tyrant and part of the path. It feels like by the time of Heretics, something had gone awry with the GP and it needed fixing. Something unanticipated by Leto II.

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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby georgiedenbro » 07 Sep 2017 09:56

pcqypcqy wrote:
SandChigger wrote: It doesn't seem like this was all anticipated by the Tyrant and part of the path. It feels like by the time of Heretics, something had gone awry with the GP and it needed fixing. Something unanticipated by Leto II.


I don't think the issue in Heretics is the failure of the Golden Plan. Leto II foresaw certain dangers and prevented them forever. But that doesn't, of course, mean that humanity would never face any other dangers. The galaxy could turn to crap but humanity would still survive, and that's all the GP was meant to do. I feel like Heretics was more about the BG being saved than about humanity as a whole. The reason they're important is because they were closest to potentially being posthumous allies to Leto II, so in this respect I think we're seeing the seeds not just of humanity's survival - which was already assured - but of humanity's improvement, which was theoretically always the BG plan and which was Leto II's secondary objective.

The only wrinkle in this which seems to me to be what happens at the end of Chapterhouse. Based on what M&D can do, I wonder whether all of humanity is actually safe. We're supposed to take away the instruction from these books that the only lasting law is impermanence, and that re-adaptation is always required. So even the notion of "humanity will never be wiped out" seems to fall prey to the axiom that nothing lasts forever. Even something as simple as an oracle in the future doing terrible things wouldn't be foreseen by Leto II, to say nothing of new technologies he never dreamt of.
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby pcqypcqy » 07 Sep 2017 17:28

georgiedenbro wrote:
pcqypcqy wrote:
SandChigger wrote: It doesn't seem like this was all anticipated by the Tyrant and part of the path. It feels like by the time of Heretics, something had gone awry with the GP and it needed fixing. Something unanticipated by Leto II.


I don't think the issue in Heretics is the failure of the Golden Plan. Leto II foresaw certain dangers and prevented them forever. But that doesn't, of course, mean that humanity would never face any other dangers. The galaxy could turn to crap but humanity would still survive, and that's all the GP was meant to do. I feel like Heretics was more about the BG being saved than about humanity as a whole. The reason they're important is because they were closest to potentially being posthumous allies to Leto II, so in this respect I think we're seeing the seeds not just of humanity's survival - which was already assured - but of humanity's improvement, which was theoretically always the BG plan and which was Leto II's secondary objective.

The only wrinkle in this which seems to me to be what happens at the end of Chapterhouse. Based on what M&D can do, I wonder whether all of humanity is actually safe. We're supposed to take away the instruction from these books that the only lasting law is impermanence, and that re-adaptation is always required. So even the notion of "humanity will never be wiped out" seems to fall prey to the axiom that nothing lasts forever. Even something as simple as an oracle in the future doing terrible things wouldn't be foreseen by Leto II, to say nothing of new technologies he never dreamt of.



I'm not sure I fully agree.

I never got the impression that Leto II wanted to improve humans at all. He bred to achieve Siona, and that was about it.

I always got the impression that the whole point of the BG's continued existence is that they were REQUIRED to exist in order to keep the GP going, and the action in Heretics and CH was essential for humanity's survival.

Otherwise, the BG are tinkering with the GP for their own ends, which seems shallow and pointless in the duniverse, and not very FH-like.

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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby Freakzilla » 08 Sep 2017 08:02

pcqypcqy wrote:
georgiedenbro wrote:
pcqypcqy wrote:
SandChigger wrote: It doesn't seem like this was all anticipated by the Tyrant and part of the path. It feels like by the time of Heretics, something had gone awry with the GP and it needed fixing. Something unanticipated by Leto II.


I don't think the issue in Heretics is the failure of the Golden Plan. Leto II foresaw certain dangers and prevented them forever. But that doesn't, of course, mean that humanity would never face any other dangers. The galaxy could turn to crap but humanity would still survive, and that's all the GP was meant to do. I feel like Heretics was more about the BG being saved than about humanity as a whole. The reason they're important is because they were closest to potentially being posthumous allies to Leto II, so in this respect I think we're seeing the seeds not just of humanity's survival - which was already assured - but of humanity's improvement, which was theoretically always the BG plan and which was Leto II's secondary objective.

The only wrinkle in this which seems to me to be what happens at the end of Chapterhouse. Based on what M&D can do, I wonder whether all of humanity is actually safe. We're supposed to take away the instruction from these books that the only lasting law is impermanence, and that re-adaptation is always required. So even the notion of "humanity will never be wiped out" seems to fall prey to the axiom that nothing lasts forever. Even something as simple as an oracle in the future doing terrible things wouldn't be foreseen by Leto II, to say nothing of new technologies he never dreamt of.



I'm not sure I fully agree.

I never got the impression that Leto II wanted to improve humans at all. He bred to achieve Siona, and that was about it.

I always got the impression that the whole point of the BG's continued existence is that they were REQUIRED to exist in order to keep the GP going, and the action in Heretics and CH was essential for humanity's survival.

Otherwise, the BG are tinkering with the GP for their own ends, which seems shallow and pointless in the duniverse, and not very FH-like.


I completely disagree. The INM, Scattering, Siona Gene and No-Fields ensured that no matter what happened, some humans would survive somewhere. What goes on in the Old Empire is meaningless except to those that live there.
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby georgiedenbro » 08 Sep 2017 10:04

Freakzilla wrote:What goes on in the Old Empire is meaningless except to those that live there.


I guess yeah, in terms of how it impacts the survival of humanity as a whole. But the Old Empire could certainly impact certain forces in the Scattering, potentially, and at least affect the outcome of a large proportion of humanity. As a general principle of "does any living human exist" the GP couldn't be broken, but it would still seem to me to suck if the entire infrastructure of Human civilization was destroyed and the only remnant was isolated pockets of people who buggered off to god knows where.
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby Serkanner » 08 Sep 2017 15:02

I don't think the old empire had any influence about the survival of humanity at all any more. The scattering and Golden Path showed us that. With Heretics an Chapterhouse Frank especially showed us that this was the case and that "old" factions will continu to fight each other regardless. A message that old ideas, habits et cetera will continu to exist untill we find a way to solve those differences.
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby pcqypcqy » 09 Sep 2017 05:15

Can't argue with any of that, but I maintain then that the BG's, and by extension everyone else's, actions in heretics and Chapterhouse are rather pointless and shallow then.

Are the last two books just a nice side story then? I get the feeling that Dune 7 would have revealed why these events were core to the GP, else why would FH bother?

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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby Freakzilla » 10 Sep 2017 15:09

pcqypcqy wrote:Can't argue with any of that, but I maintain then that the BG's, and by extension everyone else's, actions in heretics and Chapterhouse are rather pointless and shallow then.

Are the last two books just a nice side story then? I get the feeling that Dune 7 would have revealed why these events were core to the GP, else why would FH bother?


I've always had the feeling that the real story was the first four books and the last two were just what happened next.

georgiedenbro wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:What goes on in the Old Empire is meaningless except to those that live there.


I guess yeah, in terms of how it impacts the survival of humanity as a whole. But the Old Empire could certainly impact certain forces in the Scattering, potentially, and at least affect the outcome of a large proportion of humanity. As a general principle of "does any living human exist" the GP couldn't be broken, but it would still seem to me to suck if the entire infrastructure of Human civilization was destroyed and the only remnant was isolated pockets of people who buggered off to god knows where.


I wouldn't call the Scattering isolated pockets, they vastly outnumber the population in the old empire.
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby pcqypcqy » 10 Sep 2017 19:27

Freakzilla wrote:
pcqypcqy wrote:Can't argue with any of that, but I maintain then that the BG's, and by extension everyone else's, actions in heretics and Chapterhouse are rather pointless and shallow then.

Are the last two books just a nice side story then? I get the feeling that Dune 7 would have revealed why these events were core to the GP, else why would FH bother?


I've always had the feeling that the real story was the first four books and the last two were just what happened next.



Didn't FH publicly state he was happy with the end of GEoD, and that Hertics and CH were for the money? I'm fine with that, but I would have thought someone of FH's calibre wouldn't simply tack on some stories that didn't have the same import in the duniverse as the earlier 4. That seems more like a KJA / Brian move.



I think what Georgie was getting at was that the story suggested the forces that drove the HM's back into the old empire were perhaps potent enough to establish control over a lot of scattered humanity.

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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby georgiedenbro » 11 Sep 2017 10:54

pcqypcqy wrote:I think what Georgie was getting at was that the story suggested the forces that drove the HM's back into the old empire were perhaps potent enough to establish control over a lot of scattered humanity.


Yeah, basically. I know that it's not accurate to refer to 'scattered pockets' but I do suspect that of all the people who left in the Scattering, probably a lot of them formed new Empires or at least created extended communities for the purposes of trade and so forth, and that by being in contact with each other they'd be easily targettable by anyone wanting to destroy or conquer them due to their connections. Only people who buggered off and wanted contact with no one else would be unreachable since literally no one else would even know they existed. I'm sure there were 'a lot' of people who did this,but relatively speaking I guess in my imagination I always figured that most of Scattered humanity just created new versions of multi-planet associations and that very few of them wanted to actually be isolationists. This is total head-canon and I know that. But when I think of the threat of the HM's it always struck me as feeling more like they had significant forces among the Scattered rather than they were just a speck and were more or less irrelevant in terms of the sheer amount of habitations out there.

As to the importance of the last two books, I'm convinced they're not just a sideshow but are directly related to Frank's political philosophy and how humanity was going to move on to the next level of self-governance. I think 5-6-7 were going to be a trilogy about how, now that mankind has survived (the primary objective) we could be shown how mankind could potentially move away from senseless despotism. At least, that's my theory.1-4 were about the dangers of a stagnant ecosystem and how safety requires controlled instability. But after that there is still a question of how to govern, which is surely an important question that the books touch on but never answer.
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby Freakzilla » 12 Sep 2017 12:36

I think of them as continuously expanding, kind of a manifest destiny throughout the universe. Even the forces that forced the HM back could be relatively small.
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby georgiedenbro » 12 Sep 2017 13:21

Freakzilla wrote:I think of them as continuously expanding, kind of a manifest destiny throughout the universe. Even the forces that forced the HM back could be relatively small.


I guess my issue is, if the SFD's were only another one of many small-time forces out in that infinite sea of Scattered, why bother returning to the Old Empire? The HM's could just have gone away to wherever. The answer seems to be indicated towards the end of Chapterhouse, which is that the SFD's didn't merely threaten some minute fraction of the infinite cosmos, but actually had all space travel locked down galaxy-wide in their net. It answers what happened to all the BG ships that never returned or answered back - they never got where they were going. And this might have been going on for quite some time. I think the HM's returned to the Old Empire because they literally couldn't escape the SFD's and their only chance was to obtain a straight countermeasure, which presumably they thought they could find in the BG.

Now, since the SFD's didn't yet exist at the initial time of the Scattering we can safely conclude that the GP was safe, since whoever vanished to god-knows-where at that time would simply be gone. If they stayed put on some planet they'd never be detected. But something tells me that by the time of the SFD's, the INM would have been susceptible to detection and so any future space travel would be subject to their allowing it or not, which effectively means they were the new de facto Guild in that they could control expansion or the lack thereof. Was humanity safe? Yes, as long as isolated peoples didn't try to use space navigation. But anyone trying to fold space - caught by the net. That situation couldn't ever destroy humanity, but it could fuck it up really badly.
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby Serkanner » 12 Sep 2017 13:39

Freakzilla wrote:I think of them as continuously expanding, kind of a manifest destiny throughout the universe. Even the forces that forced the HM back could be relatively small.


I have always seen it is continuously expanding as well and as a point of measurement just used: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 ... in which every last number is always larger than the previous ones combined. To me the Scattering is numbers. The expanding humanity in an "infinite" universe will always be safe from being ruled by one power because of sheer numbers: they can never all be conquered. And as the previous books shows and is also a fact of history: no empire lasts forever.
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby pcqypcqy » 12 Sep 2017 21:36

georgiedenbro wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:I think of them as continuously expanding, kind of a manifest destiny throughout the universe. Even the forces that forced the HM back could be relatively small.


I guess my issue is, if the SFD's were only another one of many small-time forces out in that infinite sea of Scattered, why bother returning to the Old Empire? The HM's could just have gone away to wherever. The answer seems to be indicated towards the end of Chapterhouse, which is that the SFD's didn't merely threaten some minute fraction of the infinite cosmos, but actually had all space travel locked down galaxy-wide in their net. It answers what happened to all the BG ships that never returned or answered back - they never got where they were going. And this might have been going on for quite some time. I think the HM's returned to the Old Empire because they literally couldn't escape the SFD's and their only chance was to obtain a straight countermeasure, which presumably they thought they could find in the BG.

Now, since the SFD's didn't yet exist at the initial time of the Scattering we can safely conclude that the GP was safe, since whoever vanished to god-knows-where at that time would simply be gone. If they stayed put on some planet they'd never be detected. But something tells me that by the time of the SFD's, the INM would have been susceptible to detection and so any future space travel would be subject to their allowing it or not, which effectively means they were the new de facto Guild in that they could control expansion or the lack thereof. Was humanity safe? Yes, as long as isolated peoples didn't try to use space navigation. But anyone trying to fold space - caught by the net. That situation couldn't ever destroy humanity, but it could fuck it up really badly.


I know I'm not as sage as Freak, but...

This makes sense.

The end of Chapterhouse is suggestive of what you say. marty and Daniel could see Idaho and the no-ship, and were trying to capture them. M&D boast about all the masters and BG's they've absorbed.

Was it ever agreed whether Marty and Daniel were benign and reacting against HM's because they were evil, or were they actively trying to assert control over others?

Also, on the infinite numbers arguement, FH says many times that an infinite universe contains infinite possibilities. Therefore, one of these possibilities is the fact that some force or faction could gain control over all human kind. The argument runs both ways.

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Freakzilla
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Re: The Destruction of Rakis

Postby Freakzilla » 13 Sep 2017 06:33

I just don't buy it. No matter what developed IN the Scattering, they would never catch up with that ever expanding first wave. Even if the SFDs managed to control space travel humanity still survives and the GP endures. M&D don't seem bent on destroying humanity at all. Control it somewhat, maybe we don't know. They did say that they had a planet picked out for the people in the No-Ship but when they escaped they didn't seem too terribly upset about it.
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