The Bene Gesserit in public opinion

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Mandy
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Postby Mandy » 23 Feb 2008 13:36

What disgusts me about KJA & BH is their apparent need to destroy all the mysteries of Dune. The mysteriousness of the BG is one of the BEST things about them.

How is it that Other Memory can hide information from the person who possesses it? Wouldn't they be able to seek it out and find it if they spent enough time and asked the right questions? I imagine some RMs are more inclined than others to study their own serial memories but if they wanted to it's right there waiting for them. At least that is the impression I always had.

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Postby SandChigger » 23 Feb 2008 20:38

PLUS...the BG also had external methods of information storage. (Illicit computers, anyone?) The implication that there wouldn't have been voluminous records on the breeding program is silly.
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 halcyo » 24 Feb 2008 00:44

SandChigger wrote:PLUS...the BG also had external methods of information storage. (Illicit computers, anyone?) The implication that there wouldn't have been voluminous records on the breeding program is silly.


Well, I'm not sure that an 'information recorder' breaks the rules. It seems to me that what was shunned and 'outlawed' were machines that attempted to simulate or replace the human mind.

Recall the devices that Paul uses to do his lessons with, and the filmbooks and such that Dr. Yueh mentions, as well as that fancy 'very old' mini Orange Catholic Bible thingy that Yueh gives him. I would hardly call some kind of recorder with some kind of 'giant breeding program spreadsheet' would violate that per se, but perhaps the BG did have 'illicit computers'.

Honestly though, that theory doesn't have much of any evidence to back it up...I believe that in Heretics and Chapterhouse, they refer to 'Archives' and the sisters who manage the systems, which vaguely seem to be described as machines, but not 'computing machines' (and certainly not any kind of artificial intelligence). Odrade even mentions that she thinks that this is one of the weaknesses of the Archives, is that the machines could be tampered with....a quote would be nice, but I'm feeling lazy this evening.

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Postby Crysknife » 24 Feb 2008 03:38

halcyo, what type of computer doesn't simulate the human mind? A calculator does the work for you...the very thing the Butlerians were trying to get rid of. Do you ever see a simple calculator in the Dune books? No, because humans are taught to do simple things like math in their heads, and some were taught to outperform anything we have today(mentats).

The BG kept computers, which went against the tenets of the B Jihad. Leto's dictation device was also outlawed, and all that did was record his thoughts. Even the practice drone used by Alia was outlawed. It wasn't just AI, but anything that made us weaker by doing the work for us.

In the case of the BG, computers were used to store, record, cross-reference, and retrieve information at a command, thus creating dependency and addiction. But the BG were smart enough to keep a useful tool when needed.
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Postby SandChigger » 24 Feb 2008 05:50

FH in Heretics of Dune wrote: Opposition arguments could not be shuffled away into Archival dust. Damn this dependency on computers! The Sisterhood had carried its main lines in computers even back in the Forbidden Days after the Butlerian Jihad's wild smashing of "the thinking machines." In these "more enlightened" days, one tended not to question the unconscious motives behind that ancient orgy of destruction.

The second emphasized sentence shows that the BG kept their computers even after the Jihad. The first that they are still using them at the time of Heretics. Therefore they were probably still using them at the time of Dune.

Anyway, this was not important to what I was trying to say. The BG would have also had written records, on paper, at the time in question. The implication that one RM knew more than anyone else because of her OM seems silly.
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 halcyo » 24 Feb 2008 11:08

SandChigger wrote:
FH in Heretics of Dune wrote: Opposition arguments could not be shuffled away into Archival dust. Damn this dependency on computers! The Sisterhood had carried its main lines in computers even back in the Forbidden Days after the Butlerian Jihad's wild smashing of "the thinking machines." In these "more enlightened" days, one tended not to question the unconscious motives behind that ancient orgy of destruction.


Well, I suppose I will have to concede my un-researched opinion. That quote basically kills my theory!

It's interesting that it is referred to an an 'ancient orgy of destruction', almost as if it is being thought of as overkill in the first place.

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Postby Mandy » 24 Feb 2008 12:34

I imagine the BG were pretty disdainful of the Butlerian Jihad. They are manipulators of religion themselves, so to see that kind of religious fervor probably gets an eye roll from them. Not to mention the lives lost in the process.

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Postby halcyo » 24 Feb 2008 19:40

It's pretty clear that the Bene Gesserit consider themselves an exception to many of the beliefs they have about human nature and society in general. Admittedly, they probably ARE capable of bending many 'rules' without consequence, as a result of their intense training against 'losing their humanity' in the process.


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Postby Freakzilla » 24 Feb 2008 19:49

I think the BG understood the futility of going to extremes as in the Butlerian Jihad. They seemed to tollerate most things in moderation, even the dreaded Love.

You'd pretty much have to have a computer to keep track of 10,000+ years of breeding records.

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Postby halcyo » 25 Feb 2008 10:18

Freakzilla wrote:You'd pretty much have to have a computer to keep track of 10,000+ years of breeding records.


Well, I suppose they could just have printed records, and a whole team of archivists to upkeep, manage, backup, and manage all of 'em. It could certainly be done without a computer. With some kind of 'library' organization, and a team of mentats to file and retrieve info, it wouldn't be too much of a problem.


But obviously, thanks to the recent citation, we know that they have been using computers the whole time.

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Postby Freakzilla » 25 Feb 2008 21:28

halcyo wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:You'd pretty much have to have a computer to keep track of 10,000+ years of breeding records.


Well, I suppose they could just have printed records, and a whole team of archivists to upkeep, manage, backup, and manage all of 'em. It could certainly be done without a computer. With some kind of 'library' organization, and a team of mentats to file and retrieve info, it wouldn't be too much of a problem.


But obviously, thanks to the recent citation, we know that they have been using computers the whole time.

halcyo


I'm sure it could be done, but it would take a massive amount of resources, which the BG didn't have durring Leto's reign and while being hunted by the HM.

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Postby Rakis » 25 Feb 2008 23:27

Freakzilla wrote:
halcyo wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:You'd pretty much have to have a computer to keep track of 10,000+ years of breeding records.


Well, I suppose they could just have printed records, and a whole team of archivists to upkeep, manage, backup, and manage all of 'em. It could certainly be done without a computer. With some kind of 'library' organization, and a team of mentats to file and retrieve info, it wouldn't be too much of a problem.


But obviously, thanks to the recent citation, we know that they have been using computers the whole time.

halcyo


I'm sure it could be done, but it would take a massive amount of resources, which the BG didn't have durring Leto's reign and while being hunted by the HM.


Well, if Lucilla could have 7 millions or so BG in her head in Chapterhouse, i don't see the problem of having the info stored in several people, who shared the info with others. Maybe the library on Lampadas played such a role ? :|
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Postby Phaedrus » 26 Feb 2008 13:07

Rakis wrote:Well, if Lucilla could have 7 millions or so BG in her head in Chapterhouse, i don't see the problem of having the info stored in several people, who shared the info with others. Maybe the library on Lampadas played such a role ? :|


But all that information isn't instantly accessible to the RM in question. RMs aren't like Leto, they can't just pick data out of OM. Lucilla didn't know everything that those 7 million BG knew, but they advised her and helped her out with their knowledge. RMs like Odrade have more access to OM, but they're extremely rare, and probably still wouldn't have access to all the individual data that the BG need for their breeding programs and things.

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Postby halcyo » 26 Feb 2008 13:36

It seems like a group of women who have trained their minds over thousands of years to be able to recall the memories of a ridiculous amount of their ancestors, as well as regulate internal metabolism to the point of stopping the aging process would have the mental prowess to keep records without the aid of machines. But apparently, according to the books, they do. I guess they are into backing up their data!


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Postby SandChigger » 26 Feb 2008 13:38

Guilty confession...I sometimes fantasize about Lucilla screaming at the Horde, "YOU'RE TEARING ME APART!" And her head exploding Scanners-style.... :shock:
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 Phaedrus » 03 Mar 2008 12:34

SandChigger wrote:Guilty confession...I sometimes fantasize about Lucilla screaming at the Horde, "YOU'RE TEARING ME APART!" And her head exploding Scanners-style.... :shock:


I sometimes fantasize about Lucilla screaming, "FOR THE HORDE!!!" and leaping at the Great Honored Matre with the intent to kill, only to have her head swiftly kicked off.
You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

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Postby SandChigger » 03 Mar 2008 13:22

And...and...it lands among the GHM's attendants and...and...they start playing soccer with it!

YESSSSSS! :D
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 Tyrant » 03 Mar 2008 15:18

Phaedrus wrote:
SandChigger wrote:Guilty confession...I sometimes fantasize about Lucilla screaming at the Horde, "YOU'RE TEARING ME APART!" And her head exploding Scanners-style.... :shock:


I sometimes fantasize about Lucilla screaming, "FOR THE HORDE!!!" and leaping at the Great Honored Matre with the intent to kill, only to have her head swiftly kicked off.



do u play wow?
Your friendly neighborhood Tyrant!!!

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Postby halcyo » 03 Mar 2008 20:22

....you guys are weird.... :?

I guess I don't get it? I don't want Lucilla to die.... :(



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Postby Rakis » 03 Mar 2008 22:38

I sometimes fantasize about Lucilla...period :oops:
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Postby SandChigger » 04 Mar 2008 01:25

I'm more curious about, like, what was going on in the dark with Dama and the futar. ;)
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 Omphalos » 04 Mar 2008 02:02

Rakis wrote:I sometimes fantasize about Lucilla...period :oops:


Gross.

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Postby Nekhrun » 04 Mar 2008 09:35

That's what towels are for. 8)

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Postby halcyo » 04 Mar 2008 10:52

Rakis wrote:I sometimes fantasize about Lucilla...period :oops:


Imagine how unbelievably sexy Lucilla must have been as someone who is literally bred to be able to control men through her sex and sensuality. Imagine casting her in a movie!

I'm not at home, so maybe someone could dig up that physical description of Lucilla by Taraza, early in the Heretics? Sounds yummy as hell.


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Postby orald » 04 Mar 2008 20:53

Schwangyu had seen the holos of this Lucilla but the woman in the flesh was more disconcerting. An Imprinter of the best training, no doubt of it. Blue-in-blue eyes uncorrected by any lens gave Lucilla a piercing expression that went with her long oval face. With the hood of her black aba robe thrown back as it was now, brown hair was revealed, drawn into a tight barette and then cascading down her back. Not even the stiffest robe could completely hide Lucilla's ample breasts. She was from a genetic line famous for its motherly nature and she already had borne three children for the Sisterhood, two by the same sire. Yes -- a brown-haired charmer with full breasts and a motherly disposition.

Yummy yummy, me likey! :D

The BG can't draw from the OM just like that- going through the OM is dangerous and they restrict themselves alot.
They can be easily lost inside, wandering through memories, and only their lifetime of training protects them.

Only Leto does any serious wandering, and that's because he has all the good OM's backing his individuality up.

Teg's experience in the mentat's "Hall of Mirros" is somewhat akin to this. Notice one can become lost inside:
"Oh, yes. And I found myself in the famous 'Hall of Mirrors' they described and warned us to flee."
"So you remembered how to get out and . . ."
"Remembered? You've obviously been there. Did memory get you out?"
"It helped."
"Despite the warnings, I lingered, seeing my 'self of selves' and infinite permutations. Reflections of reflections ad infinitum."
"Fascination of the 'ego core.' Damn few ever escape from that depth. You were lucky."
[...]
As though he heard the dangerous question, Teg said: " I was caught and knew it. I could visualize myself as a bedridden vegetable but I didn't care. The mirrors were everything until, like something floating up out of water, I saw my mother. She looked more or less the way she had just before she died."
Idaho inhaled a trembling breath. Didn't Teg know what he had just said for the comeyes to record?
"The Sisters will now imagine I'm at least a potential Kwisatz Haderach," Teg said. "Another Muad'Dib. Bullcrap! As you're so fond of saying, Duncan. Neither of us would risk that. We know what he created and we're not stupid!"
Idaho could not swallow. Would they accept Teg's words? He spoke the truth but still . . .
"She took my hand," Teg said. "I could feel it! And she led me right out of
the Hall. I expected her to be with me when I felt myself seated at the table. My hand still tingled from her touch but she was gone. I knew that. I just brought myself to attention and took over. The Sisterhood had important advantages to gain there and I gained them."
"Something your mother planted in --"
"No! I saw her the same way Reverend Mothers see Other Memory. It was her way of saying: 'Why the hell are you wasting time here when there's work to do?' She has never left me, Duncan. The past never leaves any of us."
Idaho abruptly saw the purpose behind Teg's recital. Honesty and candor,
indeed!
"You have Other Memory!"
"No! Except what anyone has in emergencies. The Hall of Mirrors was an emergency and it also let me see and feel the source of help. But I'm not going back there!"
Idaho accepted this. Most Mentats risked one dip into Infinity and learned the transient nature of names and titles but Teg's account was much more than a statement about Time as flow and tableau.
In memory of Perach, who suffered and died needlessly.

I wish I could have been with you that one last time.


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