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All the idiots on the Arcanan side?

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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by brnicholas   » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:11 pm

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I'm sorry for misunderstanding you. I understood your post as saying that the Arcanans' actions showed that Arcanan culture was bigoted and thus evil. That was my error. Thank you for the clarification!

I agree the absence of magic would make Sharonans especially likely to be considered "Other!" by Arcanans and would add that the absence of magic would make Arcanans as prone to assuming Sharonans are powerless primitives as Americans are to applying that description to a group which lacks agriculture.

Nicholas

PeterZ wrote:My point, Nicholas, was that the absence of magic would make Sharona's civilization phenomenally bizarre. Its members would be especially prone to be considered "Other!" by Arcanans.


brnicholas wrote:And I am inclined to think that human nature (including the prejudice against outsiders that is common to all human cultures) is sufficient to explain their behavior. Can you come up with any example from Earth's history where resistance from the rank and file of a military unit to the mistreatment of prisoners, when that mistreatment had been approved by their officers, was enough to stop the mistreatment?

If not then the prejudice you are talking about is not enough to justify the earlier claim that "Arcanans are prone to prejudice and bigotry when it comes to non-magic using peoples" at least in so far as that is a statement about Arcanans in particular instead of all humans in dealing with outsiders.

Nicholas
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:25 pm

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Leaving them to rot in a jail, not harm?
Putting them where Questioners could get to them,
Jasek & Gadrial would deem "not harm?"
(Not to mention that J&G were the only Arcanans
talking to them and getting data. Monopoly?)

If Grantyl wanted to keep them close to HG so that
they could be returned,
then that would be "not harm!"

HTM

brnicholas wrote:True, but they problem he gave them was that he wanted to lock Jathmar and Shaylar in his jail. I don't see anything that indicates he attempted to harm them.

Nicholas

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:Between Klian's Fort Rycharn and Gurthak's Fort Talon,
Jasak's crew stopped at Fort Wyvern, where IfIRC
500 Waysal Grantyl gave them some problems about
Jathmar & Shaylar which required "persuasion" to
overcome.
For What It's Worth.

HTM
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:27 pm

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I have no further argument on this point.

HTM

PeterZ wrote:Howard,

I grant the the instigators are Mythalyn bigots or amoral. They lied to all the others. All granted.

Why did all those who were lied to believe the Accords do not apply to Sharonans? Why do they accept uncorroborated reports that were expressly stipulated so as proof for justifications to ignore the Accords? Are the Accords simply gilding that ever nation tours but none follow?

Those others that believed the lie at their core accepted that known differences of the Sharonans made them different enough to justify not complying with the Accords. It wasn't until the Arcanans repatriated the prisoners that individuals began to learn the truth. Initial reactions to the truth suggested that for most their prejudice isn't bigotry.

The accepted an unsubstatiated lie and acted horribly. So horribly they accepted the breaking of their own laws if not contributing to breaking those laws. That's the sort of prejudice any human that can not share the direct experiences of others is subject to. The Arcanan response to the temptation towards prejudice is also what might be expected of humanity in general.

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:So, Peter, my reply hits a post of yours again,
instead of a nearby post by one who agrees with you.
Please don't take this reply personally;
it applies to what you all are agreeing with.

I find that I do not agree.
The "kneejerk reaction" of aggression and torture
belonged to mul Gurthak and vos Hoven, both Mythalyns,
Shevan Garlath and H Thalmyr, the stupidest ones,
and Neshok, who lacks the inhibitions of morality.

Those other Arcanans who murdered, tortured, and
otherwise broke the Kerallian Accords,
had been lied to and otherwise deceived deliberately,
by having been told that Sharonans had murdered and
tortured their prisoners, especial Halathyn.
Thus soldiers such as Senior Sword Kalcyr and Platoon
Sword Norm thought that they were retaliating in kind.
Norn was shocked and repentant when Harnak told him
the truth.

I find that the "kneejerk reaction" of Arcanan
soldiers is that of 50 Sharma, unless they are
deliberately taught otherwise, and even then those
such as Sharma can reject that bad teaching.

The First Point below, Arcanans did find much by
spying, such as the number of Sharonans defending
HG Lines (about 800).
They also learned things by diplomacy, but then
the diplomats lied.

HTM

PeterZ had written:
Is that not at its core prejudice? They were talking already. They could have secured information through diplomacy....er spying. They could have found what they needed to find out before they attacked. Their magic is unknown to these uncivilised others.

They did not. Their kneejerk reaction of treating the other without the basic considerations they would treat other Arcanans is prejudice and in many cases could well be called bigotry.

{snip - htm}

So it's possible that any foe of unknown abilities, even an Arcanan one, would be just as likely to be tortured as the Sharonians are, at least by the military. Yes, at least one of the noncoms told to stop abusing them protested that they were from a different universe, but I don't remember that being said by others. And it's very easy for people to have an "us versus them" mentality for people that are relatively alike, even inside their own country.
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Keith_w   » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:52 pm

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I would like to remind everyone that the Mythalans are plotting to discredit the leadership of the Arcanan military and have seized on the opportunity presented to encourage torture and will use that against the leadership.
--
A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:19 pm

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PeterZ wrote:Howard,

I grant the the instigators are Mythalyn bigots or amoral. They lied to all the others. All granted.

Why did all those who were lied to believe the Accords do not apply to Sharonans? Why do they accept uncorroborated reports that were expressly stipulated so as proof for justifications to ignore the Accords? Are the Accords simply gilding that ever nation tours but none follow?

Those others that believed the lie at their core accepted that known differences of the Sharonans made them different enough to justify not complying with the Accords. It wasn't until the Arcanans repatriated the prisoners that individuals began to learn the truth. Initial reactions to the truth suggested that for most their prejudice isn't bigotry.
You can argue (and I seem to recall RFC has argued) that any Rules of War are backed by at least the implicit threat of retaliation (at least against near-peer opponents). "As long as we all mostly follow these rules we'll follow the rules and keep the war from being worse than it has to be. But don't think you can gain an advantage by flouting the rules; because if you stop following them so will I"

Certainly in WWII there's evidence that the Rules against chemical weapons were honored more when there was risk of retaliatory chemical strikes. Italy using them in Ethiopia pre-war; Japan using them against China but not the US, etc)


So the Arcanans may well have thought, even subconsciously, that the difference that made the Sharonans unworthy of the protection of the accords was their reported violations of prisoners. Reports that were being presented as basically "we can't prove it but we know" from their own intel staff (which has more credibility than just an unsupported rumor between soldiers) IOW they didn't have to believe the Sharonans were less than human; merely that by their (reported) actions in violation of the rules of war meant that they should and had forfeited the protection of those rules. (You torture and execute prisoners and we'll do the same)



There's a moral higher ground argument to be made for not retaliating, but ultimately people tend to only follow rules when they see an advantage to doing so. If there's no visible downside to abusing prisoners, or using WMDs, or moving supplies on hospital ships then those things tend to happen. (Though that downside doesn't have to be retaliation by the enemy; it might be lose of prestige in the wider world community which could impact the ability to engage in the trade necessary to support the war. Or it could be moving neutrals to side with your enemy, etc)
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Keith_w   » Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:59 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
PeterZ wrote:Howard,

I grant the the instigators are Mythalyn bigots or amoral. They lied to all the others. All granted.

Why did all those who were lied to believe the Accords do not apply to Sharonans? Why do they accept uncorroborated reports that were expressly stipulated so as proof for justifications to ignore the Accords? Are the Accords simply gilding that ever nation tours but none follow?

Those others that believed the lie at their core accepted that known differences of the Sharonans made them different enough to justify not complying with the Accords. It wasn't until the Arcanans repatriated the prisoners that individuals began to learn the truth. Initial reactions to the truth suggested that for most their prejudice isn't bigotry.
You can argue (and I seem to recall RFC has argued) that any Rules of War are backed by at least the implicit threat of retaliation (at least against near-peer opponents). "As long as we all mostly follow these rules we'll follow the rules and keep the war from being worse than it has to be. But don't think you can gain an advantage by flouting the rules; because if you stop following them so will I"

Certainly in WWII there's evidence that the Rules against chemical weapons were honored more when there was risk of retaliatory chemical strikes. Italy using them in Ethiopia pre-war; Japan using them against China but not the US, etc)


So the Arcanans may well have thought, even subconsciously, that the difference that made the Sharonans unworthy of the protection of the accords was their reported violations of prisoners. Reports that were being presented as basically "we can't prove it but we know" from their own intel staff (which has more credibility than just an unsupported rumor between soldiers) IOW they didn't have to believe the Sharonans were less than human; merely that by their (reported) actions in violation of the rules of war meant that they should and had forfeited the protection of those rules. (You torture and execute prisoners and we'll do the same)



There's a moral higher ground argument to be made for not retaliating, but ultimately people tend to only follow rules when they see an advantage to doing so. If there's no visible downside to abusing prisoners, or using WMDs, or moving supplies on hospital ships then those things tend to happen. (Though that downside doesn't have to be retaliation by the enemy; it might be lose of prestige in the wider world community which could impact the ability to engage in the trade necessary to support the war. Or it could be moving neutrals to side with your enemy, etc)



The healers totally disagree with you. They were treating most of the wounded Sharonan prisoners as though they were Arcanans, the only ones they were refusing to treat were those who were being tortured, as they did not wish to support the torture of the prisoners by healing them so they could be tortured more. I am sure that was painful for them, however, they did now wish to enable further mistreatment of those individuals.
--
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by bkwormlisa   » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:19 am

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Keith_w wrote:The healers totally disagree with you. They were treating most of the wounded Sharonan prisoners as though they were Arcanans, the only ones they were refusing to treat were those who were being tortured, as they did not wish to support the torture of the prisoners by healing them so they could be tortured more. I am sure that was painful for them, however, they did now wish to enable further mistreatment of those individuals.

Healer oaths (in Arcana and Sharona as well as on Earth) are to treat anyone and everyone equally, with no regard to uniform or origin. While healers are humans and have prejudices, they have shown (on Earth) a much greater tendency to overlook that when it comes to treating the injured in pretty much any war we've had. That would probably be even more true of people that can literally feel the pain of those they treat, as Arcanan Gifted healers can. The fact that they have held to that oath says little about what the common soldiers will think and do to prisoners.
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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by brnicholas   » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:46 pm

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Can you provide some evidence that he wanted to "leave them to rot in a jail" instead of simply keeping them in his jail, like normal POWs, until the party moved on? Can you provide any evidence that Jasek and Gadrial worried that the sentries 500 Waysal Grantyl posted outside their quarters would harm them or let others harm them?

I understand the dispute between Jasek and Five Hundred Grantyl as being over rather Shylar and Jathmar would be treated as civilian member of Jasek's family traveling to New Arcana or as prisoners being transported to New Arcana. Neither designation would involve 500 Grantyl harming them and I see no evidence Jasek feared that 500 Grantyl would.

Nicholas

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:Leaving them to rot in a jail, not harm?
Putting them where Questioners could get to them,
Jasek & Gadrial would deem "not harm?"
(Not to mention that J&G were the only Arcanans
talking to them and getting data. Monopoly?)

If Grantyl wanted to keep them close to HG so that
they could be returned,
then that would be "not harm!"

HTM

brnicholas wrote:True, but they problem he gave them was that he wanted to lock Jathmar and Shaylar in his jail. I don't see anything that indicates he attempted to harm them.

Nicholas

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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:44 am

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I will have to go home and check the text,
and reply tomorrow.
(Pity you didn't post this 1/2 hour sooner. :) )

I think it more likely to find textev that J & G worried,
than that Grantyl intended harm. (We didn't read his PoV
and I am not sure we saw *him!*)

I doubt that the expression "like normal POWs" was
meaningful in Arcana's Outworlds at that time.
It had been two centuries since Arcana had a War.
The jails in the Outworld Forts were for criminals.

Treating civilians, who were captured by soldiers through
no fault of their own, as prisoners of the Law as if
they were criminals, is arguably harmful in itself.
That is an argument that I am making here.

There was also the possibility that Grantyl would
interrogate them, in person or by agent. As he was
not likely an experienced interrogator, and as he was
"upset" by what Sharona's army had just done at the
Portal as well as by what their fellows had done at
Fallen Timbers, any such interrogation might have
ended up harming them.

So I reason, but I do not at present recall the textev.

Howard "True Map-addict" Wilkins

brnicholas wrote:Can you provide some evidence that he wanted to
"leave them to rot in a jail" instead of simply
keeping them in his jail, like normal POWs,
until the party moved on? Can you provide any evidence
that Jasek and Gadrial worried that the sentries
Com-500 Waysal Grantyl posted outside their quarters
would harm them or let others harm them?

I understand the dispute between Jasek and Five Hundred Grantyl as being over rather Shylar and Jathmar would be treated as civilian member of Jasek's family traveling to New Arcana or as prisoners being transported to New Arcana. Neither designation would involve 500 Grantyl harming them and I see no evidence Jasek feared that 500 Grantyl would.

Nicholas

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:Leaving them to rot in a jail, not harm?
Putting them where Questioners could get to them,
Jasek & Gadrial would deem "not harm?"
(Not to mention that J&G were the only Arcanans
talking to them and getting data. Monopoly?)

If Grantyl wanted to keep them close to HG so that
they could be returned,
then that would be "not harm!"

HTM

"brnicholas" had written:
True, but they problem he gave them was that he wanted
to lock Jathmar and Shaylar in his jail. I don't see
anything that indicates he attempted to harm them.

Nicholas

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Re: All the idiots on the Arcanan side?
Post by PeterZ   » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:31 am

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I would add one thing to S&J's potential incarnation: coverup. The events unfolding was going in the direction a huge fisk-up. The leadership must have begun thinking CYA. Jasek and Gadrial must have recognized this possibility. Getting S&J to Arcana Prime is the best way to make sure the leadership gets the best information possible without local CYA filters getting in the way.

Even looking back at mul Guthak's actions and Harshu's defense of his actions, its easy to assume both tried to play politics. Mul Guthak wanted to offer some successes to offset the fisk-ups and verbally encouraged Harshu's adventurism yet covered his butt with the more limited written orders. Harshu took the verbal orders over the written ones because he agreed that Arcana needed gains at all costs in this conflict.

That sort of CYA mind set must be rather prevalent in a peace time military. It could also roll over two magicless civilians pretty easily.
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