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Monday, March 03, 2014

A prescient parable

I am presently reading John C. Wright's The Golden Age, and all I can say is that Publisher's Weekly's praise of him was neither unmerited nor exaggerated. This part leaped out at me in particular as an unconscious, but apt parable of what we are presently seeing in the world of SF/F:
Back when there was only the White Manorial School and the Black, Hyacinth and I combined forces to create a compromise school, taking the best from both doctrines, the artistic appeal of the Black Mansions and the intellectualism and discipline of the Whites. He provided the inspiration and logic; I provided funds and determination. The mind-swap gave us each the strengths and virtues of the other. Together, we converted the skeptics and conquered a million markets. “But then when the year and a day had passed, we both claimed my property and estates. After all, both of us remembered doing the two hundred years of hard work which had gone into earning it. To settle the quarrel, we both agreed to abide by whatever the Hortators might decide.”

“You had the College of Hortators way back then when you were young?” Helion squinted with impatient humor. “Yes. It was after the invention of fire but before that newfangled wheel contraption. I should tell you about when we domesticated the dog, put a man on the moon, and solved the universal field theorem. Should I continue? I’m trying to make a point.”

“Sorry, sir. Please continue.”

“When the Hortators declared him to be the copy, he refused to accept it. He entered a dreamscape simulation that allowed him to pretend he had won the case. He rewrote his memory, and ordered his sense-filter to edit out any contrary evidence. He continued to live as Helion Prime. He did thought-for-hire and data patterning, and was able to sell his routines out in the real world. He made enough to pay for his dreamspace rental. That worked for a while. But when self-patterning overroutines became standard, his subscriptions ran out, and he was kicked out into the real world.

“But it did not end there. If the Sophotechs had only allowed someone to erase just the sections of his memory when he thought he was me, he would have been his old self, awake, oriented and sane, in a moment or two. But the Sophotechs said it could not be done without his permission. But how could he give his permission? He would not listen to anyone who tried to tell him who he was.

“Instead, he sued me again, and accused me of stealing his life. He lost again. He could not afford enough to hire a Sophotech to give him job-seeking advice, and he could not find other work. The other Hyacinthines, Quintine and Quatrine and Sistine, gave him some charity for a while, but he just spent it again to buy false memories. Eventually, to save on money, he sold his body, and downloaded entirely into a slow-process, low-rent section of the Mentality. Of course, illusions are easier for pure minds to buy, because there is no wire-to-nerve transition.”

“Wouldn’t that also have made it easier for him to find work? Pure minds can go anywhere the mentality network reaches.”
“But he didn’t find new work. He merely created the illusion that he was working. He wrote himself false memories telling himself that he was making enough to live on.”

Helion stared at the ground for a moment, brooding. He spoke softly. “Then he sold his extra lives, one after another. All seven. A Noumenal backup takes up a lot of expensive computer time.

“Then he sold his structure models. He probably figured that he did not need an imitation of a thalamus or hypothalamus any longer, since he had no glands and no dreams, probably did not need a structure to mimic the actions of pain and pleasure centers, parasympathetic reactions, sexual responses, and so on.

“Then, to save space, he began selling memory and intelligence. Every time I came on-line to speak with him, he was stupider; he had forgotten more. But he still kept altering his simulation, making himself forget that either he or anyone else had ever been smarter than the slow-witted brute he was now.”

Phaethon asked, “Father? You still went to see him … ?”

Helion wore as stern a look as Phaethon had ever seen on his face. “Of course. He was my best friend.”

“What happened.? I assume he … Did he die?”

“It dragged on and on. Toward the end, both he and the world he had made were colorless cartoons, flat, jerky, and slow. He had been so brilliant once, so high-hearted and fine. Now he was not able even to concentrate long enough to follow a simple multistructural logic-tree when I tried to reason with him. And I tried.

“But he kept telling himself that I was the one who was hallucinating, me, not him, and the reason why he could not understand me was that his thoughts were on so much higher a plane than mine. And whom else could he ask? All the black-and-white puppets he had made around him nodded and agreed with him; he had forgotten there was an outside world.

“I was there when it happened. He became more and more intermittent, and fell below threshold levels. One moment he was a living soul, closer to me than a brother. The next, he was a recording.

“Even at the end, at the very last moment, he did not know he was about to die. He still thought that he was Helion, healthy, wealthy, well-loved Helion. All the evidences of his sense, all his memories, told him how fortunate and happy his life was. He was not hungry, not in pain. How could he know or guess he was about to die? All our attempts to tell him so were blocked by his sense-filter….”

Helion’s face was gray with grief.
Well, perhaps not so much on the grief part. But the slow and gradual degradation of their fictional worlds to "colorless cartoons, flat, jerky, and slow" could not be more on target if he'd written it for critical purposes.

The Golden Age is excellent. Not good. Not good fun. It is excellent, and perhaps even better, far from predictable.

Labels:

68 Comments:

Blogger JartStar March 03, 2014 1:09 PM  

It read like a soul on a path to Hell, or in Hell, and the eventual demise into what is left being nothing like a person and truly dead.

Anonymous Josh March 03, 2014 1:19 PM  

Wikipedia informs me that he studied the great books program at St Johns. It all makes sense now.

Anonymous Don March 03, 2014 1:20 PM  

He is an amazing writer. I really enjoy his blog. Being an unapologetic Christian doesn't hurt either. That tiny story was much more touching and human than it's length should allow it to be.

Anonymous bob k. mando March 03, 2014 1:22 PM  

The Golden Age is excellent. Not good. Not good fun. It is excellent, and perhaps even better, far from predictable.


toldja so.

the major plot weakness i observed was the Nothing Sophotech being aware of Phaethon's observation of him through what would nominally be a passive, one way video feed.

also, when Phaethon confronted the marionettes it should have raised a lot of questions amongst those assembled as to why their awarenesses could not account for the physical presence of the *abandoned bots*.

but those are nitpicks and i will gladly endure them for the opportunity to read more Wright.

there are a couple of slow spots in the trilogy but Wright deals in big, BIG, FREAKING HUMONGOUS ideas.

it's actually getting to be a bit of a trope for him.

[ am now patiently waiting for the requisite atheist to show up and shit all over Wright as being a talentless hack ]

Anonymous joetexx March 03, 2014 1:41 PM  

@Don:

Wright wrote the Golden Transcendence and Chaos novels back when he was still an atheist.

He had however mastered the tools of traditional logic and philosophy in his education. He became, in so far as this is possible, an ancient Stoic sceptic in modern dress. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't read him.

Eventually the Hound of Heaven ran him down. His conversion story is floating around the Net somewhere. Warning: Marian apparition alert!

It is not surprising that a smart atheist should write a futuristic tale of self induced damnation. It's salvation that's hard to describe.

Anonymous xxx March 03, 2014 1:41 PM  

He stole his style from Jack Vance... which I appreciate.

Anonymous DaveD March 03, 2014 1:42 PM  

That section also sounds like what's going on in the country around me. Wiping out facts & forgetting history in order to claim that we are in, or nearing, the best possible world. Radical transformation, indeed.

Blogger Craig March 03, 2014 1:56 PM  

The Golden Age trilogy is a tremendous piece of work, the most successful work of far-future SF I've read in years. Decades.

It *does* practice a throw-right-in-the-deep-end technique to world introduction, so readers who aren't already pretty familiar with SF will probably bounce off it hard. Wright's ongoing Count to the Eschaton sequence is better in that respect, and I have hopes it will end up even better than the trilogy, all round.

Blogger Beau March 03, 2014 1:57 PM  

A man respected locally for climbing out of the pit observed, "I used to think I was an outdoorsman, then I realized I was just homeless." Sometimes the pain is enough to dispel the illusions.

Anonymous Sensei March 03, 2014 2:07 PM  

Jartstar - agreed, it reminded me of Lewis' Great Divorce.

It's in essence the mindset of all the godless:
"My preferred reality, in the face of any and all evidence to the contrary, forever."
In other words, "My will be done, even if I have to lock myself inside an illusion to observe it being done."

Anonymous Jack Amok March 03, 2014 2:27 PM  

Wow. Compare that to the excepts from Raising Steam a few posts back. Whatever pseudo-Pratchett wrote about the multiculti fantasy folk was trying to imply emotion and caring and tolerance, but just came off as a stuffed-shirt authoritarian boob.

Wright was full of emotion, love, true human kindness. What a difference. The smug self-satisfaction of telling others how wonderful you are vs. the pain of telling them who you really are.

Blogger JartStar March 03, 2014 2:40 PM  

Jack, you are correct. I'm reading Count to a Trillion right now and he understands the human condition and can write about it better than most authors. Even if someone were to disagree with his conclusions they can't say that he didn't tackle the tough, correct questions in a very real way, and dealt with them.

Anonymous Cap'n Katanga March 03, 2014 2:51 PM  

He's published by Tor. How's this fit into you broad brush narrative?

Anonymous Josh March 03, 2014 3:00 PM  

OSC is also published by Tor.

Your point?

Blogger Harold Carper March 03, 2014 3:02 PM  

I haven't read any of Wright's fiction, but his blog posts are not for the intellectually challenged. I expect his fiction also to be above most people's heads.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother March 03, 2014 3:05 PM  

Reading that excerpt took me back to my childhood. A childhood filled with great books, The Great Books, Heinlein etc. And Legos. Everything WAS awesome.

Anonymous Cap'n Katanga March 03, 2014 3:15 PM  

Josh; one of many relevant quotes.

”And do you really think the lunatics at places like Tor are going to harbor any interest in your story about spaceships and space battles if it lacks the requisite tri-gendered queer transcultural warrior princess who defends abortions in space from the evil Bible-misquoting raciss white Christian bigot?”

Do the books of John C. Wright, Gene Wolfe and Michael Flynn contain the requisite tri-gendered queer transcultural warrior princess who defends abortions in space from the evil Bible-misquoting raciss white Christian bigots?

Blogger El Borak March 03, 2014 3:22 PM  

...the reason why he could not understand me was that his thoughts were on so much higher a plane than mine.

That one should have been included in Correa's Internet Arguing Checklist.

Person 1: "The unintended consequences of government regulation generally harm those whom the regulation is intended to help. For example, if government demands that all apartments have air conditioning, it causes the rental contract to favor the tenant at the expense of the landlord. That was its intended consequence. But the landlord can easily recoup that loss by raising the rent. In doing so, regulation can create a situation where both the landlord and tenant suffer, but it certainly fails to create the condition it intended, a gain in benefit for the tenant at the expense of the landlord."

Liberal: "I don't understand what you're saying, so you're stupid."

Anonymous Josh March 03, 2014 3:26 PM  

Two possibilities:

1) they are the exceptions that price the rule

2) they were published by Tor before the current lunatics took over the asylum

If you sell books, publishers will generally continue to publish you. VD's advice is to those looking to break into the field, not those already established in it.

It's like looking at a company that brags about how they only hire ivy grads, pointing out three people that are not ivy grads, and being informed that those people were hired before the policy was enacted or they joined through an acquisition.

Anonymous Cap'n Katanga March 03, 2014 3:29 PM  

Only two possibilities, really?

Plus, a quick look at amazon would show you #2 is right out.

Anonymous jack March 03, 2014 3:53 PM  

Darn it all. Something else to read. I may have to live forever at this rate. Oh, wait. Maybe that's not so bad an idea. Just have so much in the reading queue that you have no choice but to repair those telomeres and keep on keeping on.

Anonymous Varenius March 03, 2014 4:14 PM  

Plus, a quick look at amazon would show you #2 is right out.

OK, Cap'n Pedant, try this on: they began being published by Tor before the current lunatics took over the asylum.

Anonymous Aeoli March 03, 2014 4:16 PM  

This is the same mind that claims to have experienced a divine revelation of the virgin Mary, which we shouldn't dismiss lightly.

Anonymous Varenius March 03, 2014 4:19 PM  

Vox: It is excellent, and perhaps even better, far from predictable.

Wait until you get to Wright's Count to the Eschaton series if you are looking for unpredictable.

Blogger JartStar March 03, 2014 4:32 PM  

This seems on topic for this author thread: Aaron Allston passed away on February 27th. I remember him most as the author of several fun and fantastic D&D source books from the Gazetteer series of Mystara in the 80s including the Dawn of the Emperors in which I based a multi-year D&D campaign on and took players from 1st level to almost 30 over a couple of years. Tonight I'll raise a small glass of Wild Turkey in his honor for granting me and my friends many hours of fun in his fantasy world.

Novelist and game designer Aaron Allston has died in…

Anonymous tex March 03, 2014 4:35 PM  

Count to a Trillion has piss poor reviews on Amazon...

Anonymous Varenius March 03, 2014 4:41 PM  

Tex: Count to a Trillion has piss poor reviews on Amazon...

It's certainly the weakest volume in the series, but the story really takes off in the following ones.

Anonymous Varenius March 03, 2014 4:52 PM  

Tex, do you mean piss poor reviews like those entitled "Misogynist and Homophobic Bigot" and "Sexist drivel"???

Blogger Tom Kratman March 03, 2014 4:58 PM  

"Plus, a quick look at amazon would show you #2 is right out."

Does that mean, CK, that you agree that TOR's been taken over by lunatics? It certainly seems to imply that.

Anonymous VD March 03, 2014 5:07 PM  

He's published by Tor. How's this fit into you broad brush narrative?

He had nothing to do with the Nielsen Haydens and the Tor New Guard. His editor is David Hartwell, who has been around since 1971.

Blogger Nate March 03, 2014 5:16 PM  

some people should never... never... attempted deduction.

Anonymous tex March 03, 2014 5:38 PM  

"Tex, do you mean piss poor reviews like those entitled "Misogynist and Homophobic Bigot" and "Sexist drivel"???

No, fanboi, I mean those that say it has a "boring, meandering non-existent plot" ...

Anonymous automatthew March 03, 2014 5:39 PM  

Wright's writing is an amalgam of the best of Chesterton and van Vogt. Plus the inventiveness of Jack Vance.

Blogger frigger611 March 03, 2014 6:14 PM  

Most of the people I work with are completely steeped in multi-culti progressive BS and this passage could describe my every reluctant conversation with them. They are, by every measure, DELUSIONAL.

"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." - Saul Bellow

Anonymous WaterBoy March 03, 2014 6:39 PM  

Tex: "No, fanboi, I mean those that say it has a "boring, meandering non-existent plot""

Any particular reason you seem predisposed to believe those reviews over the others which say things like:

"The plot truly is epic in that it celebrates the feats of a legendary or traditional hero, and in the more modern sense has a wide and deep scope. And this is not light reading, fast paced as it is."

I mean, given that the star ratings are more or less evenly distributed across the spectrum, there must be some reason you chose to weight the bad ones more heavily in your initial assessment....

Blogger Nate March 03, 2014 6:45 PM  

"I mean, given that the star ratings are more or less evenly distributed across the spectrum, there must be some reason you chose to weight the bad ones more heavily in your initial assessment...."

Because kneejerk.

Anonymous WaterBoy March 03, 2014 6:52 PM  

Or just jerk, period.

Blogger James Dixon March 03, 2014 6:57 PM  

> This is the same mind that claims to have experienced a divine revelation of the virgin Mary, which we shouldn't dismiss lightly.

I don't think there's any believer here who would deny that Mary is a saint or that she seems to still be active in this world.

Blogger Nate March 03, 2014 7:04 PM  

"I don't think there's any believer here who would deny that Mary is a saint or that she seems to still be active in this world."

I think you went to far in that statement.

Blogger James Dixon March 03, 2014 7:57 PM  

Which part would you deny? That she's a saint or that she seems to still be active in this world?

Anonymous Question March 03, 2014 8:04 PM  

I read those books too and they ended up being to me a perfect example of how libertarianism doesn't work. The government as presented is libertarian to the extreme but the pseudo-corporation social club College of Horators steps in and regulates things just as oppressively as any official government and the Horators do all of that within the law as interpreted by the ultra strict AI judges. I'd rather the a government that I at least supposedly have some say in is in control rather than some oligarchy who doesn't even have to pretend to care what I want.

Anonymous zen0 March 03, 2014 8:05 PM  

@ James Dixon

I don't think there's any believer here who would deny that Mary is a saint or that she seems to still be active in this world.

@ Nate I think you went to far in that statement.

A Bridge Too Far.

Although Mary may be a saint, as a believer like the others, she was not even an apostle, She was, however, given by Christ while he was upon to the cross to be in familial care by John, if I recall aright.

She has no special office in the kingdom beyond that of the saints, I reckon. And thats not bad, eh?

Deification of Mary is a sign of the cult of Astarte.

If the author in question actually was converted by a Mary vision, I would be careful to be cognizant of other symptoms of waywardness.

But that is just me.

Anonymous bob k. mando March 03, 2014 8:05 PM  

well, not being Catholic, we are heretics, you know.

Anonymous Varenius March 03, 2014 8:20 PM  

zenO: Deification of Mary is a sign of the cult of Astarte.

No one here has ever deified her, nor has that been a tenet of Catholicism or Orthodoxy, slanders to the contrary aside.

bob k. mando: well, not being Catholic, we are heretics, you know.

And you readily return the favor!

Anonymous dc red dogs March 03, 2014 9:06 PM  

Bible-believing Christians know that the sinful woman with a long history of a very distressing disease who merely touched the hem of Christ's garment was instantly healed (and presumably, from the moment she accepted Jesus as her Lord and the Lord of creation, was eternally saved). Undoubtedly, for that woman, when she began to believe, all the promises of the Gospels began to come true. Those promises are pretty powerful: I do not need to review them here. Moving on the Mother of God , I have heard many biblically faithful sermons from Christian preachers who are non-denominational and not a single one would dare to limit the effectiveness of the prayers, before and after her life on earth, of the person who was chosen, not just to touch the garment of Christ, but to be pregnant with him for eight or nine months and to be the only person we know of who was a loyal helper to him and a friend to him from the day of his birth to the day of his atonement on the Cross. There really is no difference in this between the non-denominational Christians and the Catholics, although the beliefs of the latter have often been misrepresented on this subject.

Blogger James Dixon March 03, 2014 9:24 PM  

> Deification of Mary is a sign of the cult of Astarte.

Well, I've hardly done that. :)

My points were very simple.

1) If any person in history deserves to be classified as a saint, it would have to be Mary.

2) Given the numerous eyewitness testimonies of people both seeing her and seeing miracles performed in her name over the centuries, she "seems" to still be active in this world.

> ...well, not being Catholic, we are heretics, you know...

So we've been told, Bob. So we've been told. Many times, in fact.

Anonymous zen0 March 03, 2014 9:25 PM  

@ Varenius

No one here has ever deified her, nor has that been a tenet of Catholicism or Orthodoxy, slanders to the contrary aside.

And I assume you will be the first to chime in if anyone does, correct?

Anonymous zen0 March 03, 2014 9:29 PM  

2) Given the numerous eyewitness testimonies of people both seeing her and seeing miracles performed in her name over the centuries, she "seems" to still be active in this world.

She seems to be ubiquitous among the saints in her appearances.
No St. Paul, no St. John, no St Peter, no St Luke, no St. Matthew, no St. Mark...............

Howcum?

Anonymous A Visitor March 03, 2014 9:53 PM  

OT:

Anyone heard that Daniel Ortega might be dead or seriously sick in Cuba? Hasn't been seen in public for ten days. Trying to verify it. The Twittersphere and some web sites are really cranking out the rumor mill.

Anonymous dc red dogs March 03, 2014 10:07 PM  

The appearances of saints who are not Mary probably occur frequently but are generally not popularized because hoi polloi does not want to be reminded more than is necessary of its sinfulness and thus prefers its celestial visitations to be from those who were sinless on this earth. You could hardly call Paul, Peter, or Matthew sinless, and John was known to the Lord, who did not call him sinless, and Luke was known to Paul, who did not refer to him as sinless.That is why, I think, a place is set for Elijah (who ascended in a chariot to heaven, presumably free of his sins) in religious Jewish homes at a holy day meal, while no place is set for any other ancient Jewish hero or saint, from Abraham on, no matter how well they finished their life on this earth. Quite often, consecrated religious societies have adopted in their name a saint who later appeared to one or more of the first or second generation of the founders; for those who like to research these things, the paintings of Guercino show many similar events from pre-modern times.

Anonymous bob k. mando March 03, 2014 10:43 PM  

Varenius March 03, 2014 8:20 PM
And you readily return the favor!



how so? the Catholics and their sorry divorce permitting offshoots the Anglicans were pretty much the only denominations to engage in church sanctioned executions for heresy.

most of the Protestants ( like Huguenots ) and the Anabaptists were just trying to keep the Catholics from murdering their families.

you want to be heretics, that's fine. shunning is how we handle things.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heretic#Protestantism



James Dixon March 03, 2014 6:57 PM
I don't think there's any believer here who would deny that Mary is a saint



according to a little book you may have heard of called the Bible, all of the saved are 'saints'. we will judge angels ... brother?

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+6%3A1-4&version=KJV

it may interest you to know that i know a Catholic ... who has participated in seances and believes wholeheartedly in reincarnation.

when i pointed out to him the likelihood that, stipulating that his visions had happened, he was being deceived by demons, his response was that he 'had personally experienced their love' and that he 'knew' that there could be no evil in them.

he became quite defensive on that point.

even after i correctly predicted that the spirits would encourage bisexuality and what the Bible would consider degenerate behavior ...


*shrugs*

oh well. none so blind as those who will not see.

just FYI, i don't think that the witch of Endor actually raised Samuel. the reason being that the vision gave a false prophecy ... but it was good enough to fool Saul.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Samuel%2028&version=KJV

Blogger James Dixon March 03, 2014 10:49 PM  

> Howcum?

I have no idea, zen0, but there are lots of possible explanations. That's why I used the word seems in my posts above.

Blogger James Dixon March 03, 2014 10:52 PM  

> ...all of the saved are 'saints'. we will judge angels

I'm not willing to rank myself on a level with most of the declared "saints", bob. :) What God does is up to him.

Anonymous Full-Fledged Fiasco March 03, 2014 11:02 PM  

O.T.: "This evening I studied until 8:30 & then went over to see Army [a friend], who argued race problems with me and showed he knew considerably more about it than I did. He half-converted me to his “extermination of the lower races” idea. I cannot see why it is wrong in principle, although, like most sound theories, it seems impossible when one thinks of the practical difficulties. I’m a theorist as long as I’m in college, and as long as possible afterwards. On with free trade and birth-control!"

Source: The Sensible Realism of a Bygone Generation: George Kennan’s Attitudes on Race, Eugenics, and Multiculturalism.

Anonymous Stg58/Animal Mother March 03, 2014 11:02 PM  

The witch of Endor raised Anakin.

Just sayin'...

Anonymous bob k. mando March 03, 2014 11:12 PM  

James Dixon March 03, 2014 10:52 PM
I'm not willing to rank myself on a level with most of the declared "saints", bob. :) What God does is up to him.




what God's book says is that all of the body of Christ are saints.

EVEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ACKNOWLEDGES THIS.

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a9p5.htm
"The communion of saints is the Church

...

"We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church. "

the extravagances of canonization are where the Prots / Baptists diverge from you.

Anonymous Varenius March 03, 2014 11:31 PM  

Bob, as has been shown on VP repeatedly, many Protestants are quite happy to label Catholics as heretics in all but name.

...the Catholics and their sorry divorce permitting offshoots the Anglicans..."

Nope, sorry, you folks have to take credit for the Anglicans, they are part of your bunch.

...[Catholics and Anglicans] were pretty much the only denominations to engage in church sanctioned executions for heresy.

Calvin's Geneva, anyone?

it may interest you to know that i know a Catholic ... who has participated in seances and believes wholeheartedly in reincarnation.

I know self-proclaimed Protestants who believe in New Agey crap too. And that proves...?

Anonymous The other skeptic March 03, 2014 11:34 PM  

Now we see the true colors of the Volokh Conspiracy.

Anonymous bob k. mando March 04, 2014 12:49 AM  

Varenius March 03, 2014 11:31 PM
And that proves...?



that not all visions are of God, no matter what 'feelings' they may induce.



Varenius March 03, 2014 11:31 PM
Nope, sorry, you folks have to take credit for the Anglicans, they are part of your bunch.


a - i'm not Prot, i'm Baptist. we predate them, they're not 'my bunch'. they're so NOT 'my bunch' that they persecuted Baptists right along with the Catholics

b - Henry 8 was excommunicated by the pope for divorcing and remarrying without permission. within a year Henry had installed himself as head of the CoE. how you think this is a basis in 'Protestantism' baffles me.

did the CoE subsequently attempt to cloak itself in Prot doctrine? sure. they were trying to cover up the FACT that their 'church' is based on the sin of their king ... and that they went along with it. you explain to me how 'pleased' God is going to be by something like that.

that doesn't do anything to establish their bonafides as any sort of real Protestant church.

which is why you get things like
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Anglicanism

honest Anglicans know they still should be part of the RCC.



Varenius March 03, 2014 11:31 PM
Calvin's Geneva, anyone?


you seriously want to compare Geneva ( perhaps a few dozen people ) to ... for instance ... how many Huguenots the Catholics murdered?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huguenot#St._Bartholomew.27s_Day_massacre

i didn't say that no Prot had ever embarrassed himself by executing heretics. but even Calvin was shamed for executing Servetus.

"Sebastian Castellio and countless others denounced this execution and became harsh critics of Calvin because of the whole affair."



Varenius March 03, 2014 11:31 PM
many Protestants are quite happy to label Catholics as heretics in all but name.



well, if you'd STOP practicing flagrantly extra-biblical doctrines ...

also, if you'd clean house in that pigsty on the Tiber:
http://video.pbs.org/video/2365187642/

fact:
John Paul knew that Marcial Maciel had violated children ... and continued to publicly fete him on visits to Mexico.

that is Satanic, there can be no discussion or prevarication on this.

Maciel violated every significant oath and principle of the Catholic priesthood ... and was never even defrocked. much less was the order that he founded ( which has to be full of those who participated with him in the violation of children / were violated as children by him ) disbanded.

Benedict made efforts to force Maciel out, but was too weak to really clean house in the Legionaries of Christ.

and Benedict made NO serious effort towards cleansing the Roman Curia and, in fact, defended malfeasance at the Bank of Rome.

Benedict cannot be considered a Bishop who was strong in Christ.

Francis is so bad, even Ann Barnhardt ( who thinks Benedict was 'strong' ) can't stand him.

you guys have serious, SERIOUS problems in the Curia and Cardinals.

but then, Rome has long been notorious for her corruption.

Anonymous Frans March 04, 2014 2:24 AM  

Cap’n Katanga, some folks at Tor, apparently, are looking for ways to eject Wright as soon as they can. As reported at Mark Shea’s place:

“Have you heard about the debacle at Tor surrounding John C. Wright’s SF series? Some kind of editorial mix-up caused them to over-order copies of The Hermetic Millennia to the point that he can’t meet his sales goals. Tor has already cancelled the rest of the series, but he can appeal if Millennia sells through.”

Mark Shea's Place

And here is part of Wright’s comment on his own site:

“What happened to me with THE HERMETIC MILLENNIA is that a staffer made a mistake and over-ordered the production — whether it was too many units or the manuscript was too long was not clear — and so I cannot make my numbers unless I sell out every single copy of the book. That is why I am pathetically begging my readers to go out and buy them all, because I have been informed the publisher will not buy the rest of the series. If the book sells through, I have some hope that they may reverse that decision.”

Wright's place

“Editorial mix-up.” “Staffer made a mistake.” Er, right. That sounds totally believable given Wright’s history of outspoken blogging, and also given some of the lunatics currently running Tor. I smell a set-up.

Exit question: Has the anonymous Tor staffer been fired?

Anonymous A. Nonymous March 04, 2014 3:17 AM  

If only Wright was not such a hardened philo-semite...

Blogger James Dixon March 04, 2014 5:52 AM  

> ...what God's book says is that all of the body of Christ are saints.

My understanding is that will be is more accurate. I could be wrong, of course.

> Nope, sorry, you folks have to take credit for the Anglicans, they are part of your bunch.

Not hardly.

And here I was trying to be nice and acknowledge a point or two of commonality between the groups. I should have known better. :(

Blogger IM2L844 March 04, 2014 8:45 AM  

Those pesky Sophotechs. Always with the niggling.

Blogger Brad Andrews March 04, 2014 8:57 AM  

I now blame VD for me staying up the other half of last night reading up until the point where the quote comes from. Lots of jargon in the book, but an interesting story.

eBooks are amazing.

It also sold a copy of Big Boys Don't Cry since it got me in a buying mode and that came up....

Anonymous On Wright's novels and on John Paul March 04, 2014 10:03 AM  

John Wright is a good writer with fascinating insights; if you read his blog, which is not edited and sometimes longwinded, you might be pleasantly surprised at the pace of his novels (which, presumably, are edited).
James Dixon, you might have pointed out, before giving up on his good faith, to the poster who says he is Baptist, that John Paul did not know that Maciel was doing those evil things in Mexico; John Paul mistakenly, and to his discredit, believed that the true accusations were propaganda, similar to the type of anti-religious propaganda the Soviets and Nazis had engaged in when he was younger. By the time the evidence was overwhelming John Paul was, in my opinion, prematurely senile from the overwhelming pain of Parkinsons, and unable to fully perform his job of ascertaining and speaking the truth.

Blogger James Dixon March 04, 2014 11:20 AM  

> James Dixon, you might have pointed out...

Not being Roman Catholic, I have no dog in that fight.

Anonymous Varenius March 04, 2014 4:35 PM  

bob k. mando:...not all visions are of God, no matter what 'feelings' they may induce.

Absolutely. But you seemed to be ascribing special significance to the fact that the person in question is Catholic. My point was that you can find this nonsense anywhere.

i'm not Prot, i'm Baptist. we predate them...

If you think you can prove that, give it a shot. Regardless, Baptism is clearly part of the Protestant world today.

that doesn't do anything to establish their bonafides as any sort of real Protestant church.

Theologically speaking, Anglicans are indeed Protestant. But in any case my argument was against your implication that wrongdoing by Anglicans should be chalked up to the RCC. Sorry, doesn't fly. That doesn't mean, though, that it should be chalked up to Protestantism at large instead -- Anglicanism is responsible for Anglicanism.

well, if you'd STOP practicing flagrantly extra-biblical doctrines ...

Thank you, you've proven my point spectacularly!!!

Anonymous Red Pike March 07, 2014 3:44 PM  

I read The Golden Age and the other books in the trilogy at around the time they were first published. I loved them then and just as much a few years later upon rereading.

On another note: Robert Charles Wilson - is he a Lefty of any stripe? I have a principle that I will not buy books penned by such types, so any advice would be appreciated.

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