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Everything posted by OlwenaSedai

  1. Do you have any really controversial opinions? If so, which ones? And why? (Advance warning: as this is about controversial opinions, you can safely assume some people will find some of the opinions triggering. I do hope people can stay calm amd follow the rules. Admins, I hope you allow this thread, as I think it will be an interesting one.)
  2. What is your most controversial opinion?

    Why not? Fairness should be what we strive for as a society. If everyone had the same opportunities throughout life, I wouldn't really have that much of a problem with wealth differences, but that's not the case. People are born into wealth or poverty, and that's just not fair.
  3. What is your most controversial opinion?

    It is not immigration, but increasing pressure from neoliberal interests that threaten our welfare systems. They constantly look for new venues for profit, and the welfare industries must in their eyes be a potential gold mine. I have firm belief the welfare system will last, that people will see that personal greed is not even in their own interest. (There is STRONG resistance in Denmark aswell to the far-right agenda, I don't think the right will win the next election. The far left has been growing there, the ultra-socialist Enhedslisten has gotten between 8 and 12 percent in the last elections. They used to be less than half that.) And we still have really strong unions here. The unions are really who insured our wealth was used to the good of all, not just the good of few, and fought for all the rights we enjoy today. You are of course free to disagree. My point was either way that you claim a system like ours is only possible with a sovereign wealth fund, and I pointed out other countries have the same system and they don't have that. Most, if not all, of Europe have partly the same system. Universal health care for example is a given throughout virtually all of Europe. I also think it is unfair if where you are born in life should determine your chances. In effect, we say their lives are worth less than ours. They die from bombs, malnutrition or diseases while we sit safe and sound in our "castles". Where I was born is an utter coincidence. I was extremely lucky, to be born in what is arguably one of the best countries in the world to grow up in and live in. I could just as easily have been born in the slums of Bombay or the Afghani countryside. To say that we somehow deserve this wealth and safety better than others, and thus should keep them away from our countries, is morally wrong in every aspect of the word. What did you do to "deserve" to be born in the US? Nothing. You just were. But, back on topic. I have a WoT-related controversial opinion: I really dislike Mat... (Although I like him a bit better now than when I first begun reading the series as a preteen.)
  4. What is your most controversial opinion?

    The problem with your argument is that Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland have the same kind of system. And they have no gigantic oil fund.
  5. The Warder Field Trip

    Okay, I am checking in on my field trip tour as an aspie! I don't really understand if I should post just in this one, or in threads for each discipline, but still :) I always liked the Warders of the book, wish we got to know them a bit better. There was always so much focus on them being strong and agile, but we never learnt much about their thinking and motivations, except in some of Gawyn's chapter and certain parts with Lan. They do have a very special relationship with their Aes Sedai, but also with each other. They are often viewed with the same reverence AND fear as the AS, and don't really have any social contacts outside their own groups. Some of the AS only see them as tools and not as equals, which I find sad.
  6. What is your most controversial opinion?

    I have never been greedy, and that might be why I have problems understanding that as a motivation. As long as I have enough to get by, and a little extra so I can also afford some fun, I'm happy (as a salmon, which we say here in Norway). I think the key is to make the greater good, YOUR good. Iow., if you profit off the society being fair, then you will work to that end. The Scandinavian countries, one of which I live in, are good examples of this, I think. If you work and pay taxes, you get in return health care when you and your family need it, an ensured education for your children, and so forth. That means that you benefit from what benefits the public. The exception, of course, is for the very rich who can afford that stuff anyways, but luckily we 1) don't have that many people of that caliber in Norway and 2) some of our super rich are also social democrats, and support the welfare system that we have. Cubarey, I think capitalism is only really a good system in a world where everyone starts out the same, and thus have the same opportunities for success. You and other proponents of it like to portray it as fair and "if you work hard, you will get rich", but he truth is that f. ex. the US has a very low social mobility. Most people stay in the socioeconomic classes they're born into all through their life. Regardless of whether they have 3 jobs and work 15 hours a day, or not. There is a saying that "if hard work made you rich, the women of Africa would be millionaires", and although this is somewhat simplistic, there is some truth to it. Capitalism looks like a great system if you've got the long end of the stick. And of course, our society is so indoctrinated with it that also poor people believe this system works for them, when really it's mainly there to ensure the rich and elites keep (and add to) their wealth. If you are already rich, becoming richer is easy. If you are very poor, it is almost impossible. It happens, from time to time, and those "success stories" are repeated to eternity and back to keep people believing in the system. The richest are rich by inheritance. IOW., they did nothing for that money except being born. And their parents usually gained money either by 1) finacial speculation / shares or 2) owning or being the boss of a company. It's the employees' work that build the company and makes their bosses and owners rich. Our system rewards ownership, not work. The people owning Wal-Mart get rich, not the people working there, ensuring the wealth of the Wal-Mart owners. I've never understood how anyone can call this exploitation fair and portray it as a road to success for the everyday Joe. Re: shithole countries - I mainly think it's an extremely rude and undiplomatic thing to say. And I also think the US are not the ones to talk, the country was responsible for f. ex. the chaos during the civil war in El Salvador, supporting the militia which killed tens of thousands. And colonized Haiti for the first time in 1915. I'd say you have special responsibilities concerning those countries. (As for the rest of his statement - most Norwegians just laugh at it, why would we go to the US? Many, like me, don't even want to visit on vacation as long as Mr. Orange Head is in office.)
  7. What is your most controversial opinion?

    Yes, it is. But laws can be changed :) I find it odd that an individual's right to stockpile loads of money is apparently a stronger right than an individual's right to not starve, to not live in poverty and not die of preventable diseases because they couldn't afford vaccination. The right to wealth accumulation is so strong that we let it trumph anything else.
  8. What is your most controversial opinion?

    Okay, I'll start. 1. I don't think whale hunting is any worse than any other kind of hunting. It seems to me the resistance against is based on little knowledge of the method, emotional arguments and flawed logic (for example: "oh, but whales are so intelligent!" Yes, well, so are pigs. They are on the level of a toddler in terms of intelligence.) I'll actually be having whale next weekend. Yummy! 2. I have serious problems understanding why anyone is religious. To me, it's as absurd as someone saying the moon is made of cheese, or the sky is yellow. I can understand some of the motivation behind it (it is comforting, to for example believe you will live on after death), but that's it, really. What I find most fascinating is that people dismiss old religions or other cultures' religions out of hand, like they're fairytales and completely silly. Yet, they are so sure their own is correct, and don't realize that in 2000 years, people will look at their religion as they themselves look at Roman mythology now. 3. I think wealth should be forcibly distributed. Today's system allows people to be born into extreme wealth or extreme poverty. Hard work is not what is rewarded, it's much based on your standing at birth whether you end up wealthy. I think there should be a "cap" to how much any one person was allowed to cumulate, in terms of personal wealth. The question of course would be who would do this distribution, and how would we make sure it didn't turn corrupt. I don't have these answers, but this is mainly a rhetorical excercise anyway, so...
  9. Westworld S01 [No Spoilers]

    I think Westworld is the best series I have ever watched. Wonderful show, and so philosophical at its root (what does it mean to be human, how do humans act when we believe we can get away with anything / when we can lord over powerless people, does free will exist, etc.). I think the most interesting aspect to discuss, is
  10. You know what's better than GoT?

    Rick & Morty is overrated. The Pickle Rick episode, which people think is the most hilarious thing ever created for TV, is okay. Nothing more, nothing less :P
  11. Doctor Who Season 9

    Yep, this last season was really great. Haven't watched the Christmas special and the "arrival" of the 13th Doctor yet, because I am re-watching the whole New Who series!
  12. I agree with solarz. That's all there is to it. Not everyone needs the extremely interesting backstory. His birth mother is a different story - the "lost princess" turned Aiel.
  13. Of course, that's also one of the strengths of him as a character - he is unlikeable at some points of the story, but at the same time, your heart aches for him because of what the world has forced him to become, and what he thinks he has to be. Characters that never do anything you disagree with or stay likeable all the time, are less interesting (that's also one of the reasons why the fifth Harry Potter book is my favourite - Harry is really quite an arse for a lot of the book, but that's HUMAN. No one is all nice all the time, we all have thoughts we are not proud of, we all rage at the world sometimes).
  14. Egwene is one of my, if not the definitive, favourite characters. I also liked her chapters way better than, let's say, Mat's (I know he is a fan favourite, so I'm not going to go into that debate right now) or Perrin's (all he thinks about is wolves, wolves, wolves then Faile, Faile, Faile). She adapts to her surroundings, she learns from them, and she uses that knowledge. She understands the Aiel when the Aes Sedai don't even want to bother to do so. She understands the Windfinders' culture better than most, even Elayne, with her posh diplomacy classes. She sees the Kin not as a threat but as an opportunity and potential allies with the Aes Sedai. She is motivated to learn and to try to excel in whatever she does. This makes Egwene a stayer, a survivor. She doesn't automatically think she has all the answers, but she is stubborn when needed be. She adapts to new situations and try to learn from them. She is curious and observant. I don't agree that her personality doesn't change all that much. She starts out as this sweet, naive and, yes, a bit dull village girl, and grows to take on one of the most important roles in the world, and she takes it on well. Along the way she learns talents believed to be forgotten, learns to live in other cultures and learn from them, she travels the world and she makes up her mind about how she thinks she can improve. She is not perfect as an Amyrlin, but at least she has some new thoughts, knowing the institution has to change (and adapt - like her) or it will die. When it comes to her views on Rand: she barely sees him throughout the series. They separate quite early on, for several books they are far away from each other. She only hears about what he does. What is she to think? She tries to "spy" on his thoughts, but he keeps her out. She and Rand need each other because Rand has the raw force and she has the right thoughts on how to use it, but I can understand that based on what she hears about him during the books, she doesn't trust him. We see Rand through the omnipotent reader's mind, but if we see him through the characters, we can understand why people think he's mad, are afraid of him, dislike him etc. And let's be honest, Rand isn't polite. He bullies everyone around because he thinks he has to. I remember well that scene where Aviendha thinks about him being so ignorant as to how difficult it is to keep the Aiel rallied around him, because he completely disregards their cultural customs (which, btw, Egwene would never do) and he demands unreasonable things and gets mad when they can't deliver. If you think Egwene has tunnel vision, well, it's nothing on Rand's...
  15. Locations

    La Sagrada Familia - looks like something Ogier-built. :P The Spanish steps in Rome, maybe as the "entrance" to the White tower?
  16. I am on book 12 now, and I have to say, I don't really see what everyone hates about book 7-11. A lot of important things happen in those books: Egwene becoming Amyrlin, the battles against the Seanchan really kicking off, the cleanse of the taint, the weather thing... I didn't really find them slowpaced. The prologue to 12 was maybe the worst this far for me :P (also because transitioning to Sanderson's writing did take some time). Sure, there were parts that could've been cut in all those books, but that's true of all the books.
  17. Economic Stagnation?

    My two cents about the White Tower: - As others have mentioned, they are a conservative institution. And they are NOT interested in enlightening the people. They are perfectly happy with being an intellectual elite. Hell, they don't even want all the sisters to know what there is to know. If they had started schools and shared their knowledge, society would be much more progressive and "further along". But they don't want to. - People forget that human society was basically the same from ancient times until the late 1700s. Of course, this is simplified. But from the moment humans started to settle down in cities and grow the land, their society developed a lot compared to the hunter/gatherer variety they used to live in, but not all that much until the next technological revolution. Which took thousands of years. Of course, it wasn't like society didn't develop at all in this interim. But if you really look at it, there wasn't really that much separating ancient Rome from 17th-century France (except that Rome's military actually was pretty good for a while). The introduction of Christianity and Islam, which united societies that had previously been divided between various small pagan religions, was of course also important for the development of larger societies - much like the Seanchan managed to rule a whole continent through a combo of military force and religious control. - The White Tower know that their airs of mystics and manipulation is what gives them the position they have. If they gave this up to try to work together to create a better society, they would lose a lot of their power. - They have also stagnated. If you look at their records, the WT used to be much more powerful. At the start of the series, their numbers have dwindled and they are essentially "dying" as an institution. Less channeling people in the gene pool because of the Red Ajah's culling, growing distrust of the WT which led to many people avoiding to send their channelers there, and internal conservatism which prevented new thoughts (like Egwene's thought of letting everyone who can channel join, regardless of age or "race") were some of the reasons. Most of the AS alive don't know about their rich history. They have forgotten what a force the AS used to be. Not even everyone in the Brown Ajah knows about some of the feats (and failures) of the tower. The secrecy also shrouds the tower itself. As fewer and fewe AS know about this stuff, fewer and fewer also pass the knowlegde on. As for the rest of society: well, Ishamael, and the nobility's wish to keep their positions were essential. They knew if they let people go about their lives and made sure the poorest also stood a chance to get something to eat, people wouldn't really care about who was in control.
  18. The DNC in 2016

    I am not American and thus doesn't have as deep an understanding of the system as some of you, but the system you have is inherently flawed. It makes it virtually impossible for an outsider to actually stand a chance, and strengthens power for the elite. (As far as I know, some of the point of it was also to ensure the "masses" didn't get too much power.) I do believe Cubarey etc. is right about what it takes to change it, though. The only way you would get a more functional and fair system was if some outsider could just decree "let's change to this system", for example a more representative system with several electorates from each legislative area, etc., but that won't happen. So I think you're stuck with trying to make the system you have, better. The DNC has a more radical wing, with Bernie and Elizabeth Warren as main figures, but the DNC will not just say "okay, you guys try, then" - because a large portion of the party seem to be more moderate and disagree with the policies Sanders and Warren would put forth. (I dig Sanders, though, he is sort of the Jeremy Corbyn of the US.)
  19. IQ tests

    They have a more math-focused education system, all the way from elementary. Is their education level taken into account? It is becoming rare these days to find someone who never ever went to school.
  20. Cats are better pets than dogs

    I'm unfortunately allergic to both cats and dogs. But I definitely prefer cats. They are more intelligent and independent. They live their life, you live yours. It just happens to be in the same place. Having a dog seems like having a baby that never grows past the diaper stage. They're needy, nagging, helpless and really don't understand when to leave you alone. They're very cute, though. But that doesn't make up for it. :P I understand why some people love dogs, it must be an ego booster, it's unconditional love. But I honestly don't think I'm cut out to be a dog owner, or owner of any other pet that requires almost constant attention, for that matter.
  21. None of these are problems. People aren't morally obligated to have children. (It is very easy for a man to say "women should get more children" - well, tough luck. Figure out how to grow them in a lab, or STFU.) And the planet is NOT overpopulated. Most likely, the population growth will start to even out somewhere between 9 and 12 billion. The problem is bad resource management and distribution. Netherlands is way more "overpopulated" in terms of population density than for example most African countries, yet people talk about overpopulation as though it only affects the non-Western world. What they really mean is "too many poor people", not "too many people". Poverty is a political and societal problem, it can be solved. The problem is that we don't dare to do so, and let the world remain unfair instead. And blame poor people for having children instead of pointing at the uneven distribution of wealth and resources.
  22. IQ tests

    Sorry for barging in in the middle of an ongoing discussion. But Cubarey, your main problem seems to be that you don't realize those tests would only be "working" in a controlled environment, where the subjects have the same knowledge, received the same education, etc. You can say that "they get the same results when they take these tests in non-Western countries" - well, their education system is completely different. The fact that people from, let's say, rural Zambia do bad on an IQ test, doesn't mean Africans are stupid. It means that 1) a lot of them didn't recieve the same level of education as in certain Western countries and 2) their system of learning is wired differently. If a white person in rural Zambia does great on the same test - that person probably did not live all their life there in a low-income/farming family, go to the same schools, have the same socioeconomic background etc. Thus the difference becomes irrelevant. IQ only works in a "perfect" world where everyone starts out the same. As long as they don't, the only thing it really measures is your level of education and/or understanding of logical concepts as you've been taught.
  23. Natalie Dormer. I imagine her mainly as Egwene in some ways, actually, but as a blonde girl she looks more like Elayne or Birgitte. I think she could play both of those.
  24. Mat (stubborn or not)

    I think some of that criticism is deserved - the main problem is that all his female characters are very similiar - proud, angry, independent, but good-hearted. There are some variations to this, but this is the block they were all chiseled from. It's just that I identify with that sort of archetype, at least partly (the women can annoy me a lot aswell, they are too proud for their own good sometimes, not wanting to admit there are some things they need advice or help with). I don't think Mat is untrustworthy - he keeps his promises. I just think he has a slight hero complex, for all his complaining about not wanting to do any of the stuff he does, he sure seems to think that he's the only capable one and everyone needs his help, too.
  25. Seanchan BS? *Spoilers*

    First, about trains and (steam) technology: In addition to what everyone has said, about channeling abilities dwindling over time (magic and technology almost never coexist, Randland was an exception in AoL, but as you point out - who needs technology when there's magic? Without magic, though, tech becomes necessary), you also forgot something important about travelling. You have to know the place you are travelling to. The lands across the Aiel waste, are fairly unknown. Jain is one of the few who have been there, and some of the Aiel and Tuath'an. Of course, this likely changes over time, but at the time when we learn about the world, there is a lot they do not know about Shara and the other lands across the Waste. They could start building the railroad without knowing everything that lay ahead of them. Travelling is more difficult, and rare - not all channelers are very good at it. Secondly, about the Seanchan. I think they are often exaggarated as a power. Strength is their only strength, to put it blatantly. What was said about channeling innovation, holds true. The Seanchan channelers will NEVER be as skilled as the Randland ones, simply because they are too afraid of the power. They see it as something dangerous that has to be controlled, and only should be used in battle situations. They don't seem to know how to weave the weather, or most of the other talents we see throughout the book, barely even healing. It was an Aes Sedai that made the a'dam, and that in itself shows this: the Seanchan need someone not afraid to explore the power, to investigate it and experiment with it, to be able to develop things like that. Randland have for centuries had female - and now also male - channelers willing to, even encouraged to, experiment and find out as much as they can about the power and its many uses. Making angreals, ter'angreals and sa'angreals, just to mention a few. Inventing weaves, inverting weaves, discovering Talents. They are much more skilled and creative with the power than the Seanchan, and this will always be so until the Seanchan start seeing the power as something else than a weapon and a threat. They are also extremely arrogant and ignorant of other people's ways. It is said that Rand would've lost if he hadn't learned to adapt and to understand other cultures, the Seanchan haven't really done this. They keep trying to suppress things that go against their cultural norms, even though they pretend to be quite tolerant rulers. They are horrified at some of the customs they see, AND extremely set in their ways and beliefs. Their superstitions affect everything they do, and their almost religious reverance for their rulers... Well, none of these things are very good in socities developing and adapting. If you can't adapt to new situations and environments, you die out. It's basic evolution. And it goes for civilizations aswell as organisms.