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eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>

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eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by NHBL   » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:22 pm

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I see a serious problem with the upcoming erosion of the proscriptions. Charis was able to insure that the advances were all things that the Rakuri shouldn't detect. But, with other "churches" out there, and dispensations available, how long until someone does start playing with electricity?

If I were setting up the system to stop tech, I'd have a step before the Rakuri comes to call. Perhaps a mystic vision (hologram) appears, describing a great abomination, and warning that it must be stopped. Step X would be Rakuri, if the abomination isn't stopped. Not sure if there would be an intermediate step.
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:29 pm

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From what David Weber has said about "electricity", I think there's enough social backing for the proscription against electricity that it will be the "last proscription" to be violated.

IE Electricity will only come into use after the "Great Secret" has been revealed and the Orbital Weapons platforms have be deactivated.


NHBL wrote:Possible
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I see a serious problem with the upcoming erosion of the proscriptions. Charis was able to insure that the advances were all things that the Rakuri shouldn't detect. But, with other "churches" out there, and dispensations available, how long until someone does start playing with electricity?

If I were setting up the system to stop tech, I'd have a step before the Rakuri comes to call. Perhaps a mystic vision (hologram) appears, describing a great abomination, and warning that it must be stopped. Step X would be Rakuri, if the abomination isn't stopped. Not sure if there would be an intermediate step.
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Paul Howard (Alias Drak Bibliophile)
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Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by NHBL   » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:48 pm

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Perhaps...but all it takes is one cynical church official to say, "This is a sign that the archangles favor our church" and that chocks are merely warning that you're doing something in a way they do not like.
Magical thinking is a part of life...so perhaps they see varnish or rubber as blessed substances, just like there's rituals to ward off sickness.
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by noblehunter   » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:21 pm

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If it were just the OBS, I could see Merlin setting up a sufficiently remote testing platform to see what triggered it. There should be a few spots far enough away from inhabitation or trade routes to avoid witnesses.

The real problem is that something in the Temple, or under it, might sit up and take notice. Not much point in avoiding witnesses of the big boom if an alarm goes on in the temple warning of "demonic activity."
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by thanatos   » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:37 pm

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Weber has been purposefully vague about what's under the temple yet we the readers only know as much as Merlin and the Inner Circle. They have no easy route to electricity and the Proscriptions have a great many warnings about electricity and its use, complete with the sanctification of Safeholdian analogues of electric eels and descriptions of static electricity. All of these are intended to make it clear that electricity is prohibited and not even Clyntahn would have dared go there.

No, the erosion that Merlin speaks of is much deeper than merely finding some legal loophole or "logic chopping arguments" that Inquisitors had used previously (usually in return for a "personal gift") to make electricity permissible. It's the erosion of the mindset that has Safeholdians and their secular rulers constantly deferring to the church on the pursuit of research and experimentation on a given issue and the ability to think critically on those issues regardless of what the church says or teaches. In other words, Langhorne and his cronies had thought they'd short circuited the "innovation bug" by handing Safeholdians all the answers they would ever need for the natural world and created the Church to quash any attempt to step beyond these limitations. When everything you would ever need to know to survive in an alien planetary environment is handed to you in a big book, with powerful clerics teaching it to you for childhood and suppressing any attempt to think beyond the confines of the permissible, you get the almost seamless system that worked for Langhorne for close to a millennium.

But now that Charis and Siddarmark are politically independent of the Church, now that they've been forced to innovate a lot to survive the Jihad and have encouraged their citizens to think critically of the universe and come up with new ideas, and now that the CoGA political control of most Safeholdian realms in tenuous and is therefore unable to suppress innovation as before, innovation cannot be stopped. And with the military power that comes from that innovation, primarily in the form of the King Haarahld class battleships, no Safeholdian realm would have a chance in hell of standing up to Charis or Siddarmark at sea or on land without embracing that innovation in full. The next 15-20 years are going to become an arms race, with every realm besides Charis not only needing to recover from the ravages of the Jihad but also try and match Charis' military and economic power. Even Siddarmark will have to do this, if only to make sure that Charis doesn't get revanchist a few years down the line. And Grand Vicar Rhobair will have no choice but to allow this innovation, even in the Temple Lands because if he doesn't, the Church will be powerless to stop Charis and Siddarmark.
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by evilauthor   » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:08 am

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thanatos wrote:Weber has been purposefully vague about what's under the temple yet we the readers only know as much as Merlin and the Inner Circle. They have no easy route to electricity and the Proscriptions have a great many warnings about electricity and its use, complete with the sanctification of Safeholdian analogues of electric eels and descriptions of static electricity. All of these are intended to make it clear that electricity is prohibited and not even Clyntahn would have dared go there.

No, the erosion that Merlin speaks of is much deeper than merely finding some legal loophole or "logic chopping arguments" that Inquisitors had used previously (usually in return for a "personal gift") to make electricity permissible. It's the erosion of the mindset that has Safeholdians and their secular rulers constantly deferring to the church on the pursuit of research and experimentation on a given issue and the ability to think critically on those issues regardless of what the church says or teaches. In other words, Langhorne and his cronies had thought they'd short circuited the "innovation bug" by handing Safeholdians all the answers they would ever need for the natural world and created the Church to quash any attempt to step beyond these limitations. When everything you would ever need to know to survive in an alien planetary environment is handed to you in a big book, with powerful clerics teaching it to you for childhood and suppressing any attempt to think beyond the confines of the permissible, you get the almost seamless system that worked for Langhorne for close to a millennium.

But now that Charis and Siddarmark are politically independent of the Church, now that they've been forced to innovate a lot to survive the Jihad and have encouraged their citizens to think critically of the universe and come up with new ideas, and now that the CoGA political control of most Safeholdian realms in tenuous and is therefore unable to suppress innovation as before, innovation cannot be stopped. And with the military power that comes from that innovation, primarily in the form of the King Haarahld class battleships, no Safeholdian realm would have a chance in hell of standing up to Charis or Siddarmark at sea or on land without embracing that innovation in full. The next 15-20 years are going to become an arms race, with every realm besides Charis not only needing to recover from the ravages of the Jihad but also try and match Charis' military and economic power. Even Siddarmark will have to do this, if only to make sure that Charis doesn't get revanchist a few years down the line. And Grand Vicar Rhobair will have no choice but to allow this innovation, even in the Temple Lands because if he doesn't, the Church will be powerless to stop Charis and Siddarmark.


Very true. But even under these circumstances, I seriously doubt any independent researcher is going to touch electricity, and certainly no priest is going to allow it. They might talk about it, but they're not going to do actual research. Not in the next 15-20 years anyway.

Or if someone does investigate it, they'd likely be an extreme radical as far as Safehold society goes, a mad genius inventor type.

I think this precisely because of how explicit the Writ is about proscribing electricity. Logic chopping may have allowed steam power and explosives to be used, but the Proscriptions' explicitness in describing electricity makes logic chopping difficult to impossible.

And of course because of the OBS, Charis isn't really interested in logic chopping around the Proscriptions in order to use electricity anyway.
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by n7axw   » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:17 pm

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It would be interesting to see Merlin go out to the Castaway islands to set up an electric grid and see if there is a response.

That there is a risk in doing so is true, but it is the same risk Merlin run with testing steam which was also deemed outside of the proscriptions.

I agree that the social and political situation makes it impossible to do publically.

Don

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When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by SYED   » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:03 pm

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I wonder if the temple is exempted from being fired upon. It makes sense that the seat of angelic power is protected from sabotage.

Test the extremes of the system. There is a very thin land bridge between haven and Howard. The thing is that it is very mountainous apparently. If these mountains were hit, a new and shorter canal could be created. It could be called a gift from the Angels.

Imagine if lake Pei was hit in the dead of winter when frozen solid. It might make it very isolated even more.
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:23 pm

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n7axw wrote:It would be interesting to see Merlin go out to the Castaway islands to set up an electric grid and see if there is a response.

That there is a risk in doing so is true, but it is the same risk Merlin run with testing steam which was also deemed outside of the proscriptions.

I agree that the social and political situation makes it impossible to do publically.

Don

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I need to reread the rest of the books, so I'm a little fuzzy on timing... But wasn't the steam trial made before Merlin learned of the prophecy that the Archangles would return in 1000 years?

I thought that knowledge that there was now known to be something under the Temple scheduled to come back that also made the Inner Circle concerned about it being woken early should the Orbital system get tripped.

(Or am I mixing things up?)
Last edited by Jonathan_S on Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: eroding the proscriptions and BOOM! <spoiler warning>
Post by SYED   » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:07 pm

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The church has been controlling innovations, so I wonder if they might release their records now. In an effort to maintain superiority. Stuff that might actually break the proscriptions, once they do, charis can simply copy them.
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