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How WoT and RJ stacks up against the competition


Wheel of Time vs Song of Ice and Fire  

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  1. 1. If you were creating an all-time top fantasy series list, which would you rank higher?

    • Wheel of Time
    • Song of Ice and Fire


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"2" is a construct. So is "Pi" So yes, if everyone agreed that 2+2=Pi, then 2+2=Pi.

:wub: Someone understands what I mean. Make me feel I´m not crazy =P

 

No you're just both wrong. Pi is a name for a number, so unless we're all deciding that Pi = 4 in your example, you cannot decide that 2+2 is anything but 4. That's the whole point of math being the universal language. If we met aliens, they would also agree that 2+2=4. They would just have different ways of writing it, or I guess "expressing" it. That doesn't, however, change the fact that 2+2 _always_ equals 4.

 

Look up the definition of "construct."

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"2" is a construct. So is "Pi" So yes, if everyone agreed that 2+2=Pi, then 2+2=Pi.

:wub: Someone understands what I mean. Make me feel I´m not crazy =P

 

No you're just both wrong. Pi is a name for a number, so unless we're all deciding that Pi = 4 in your example, you cannot decide that 2+2 is anything but 4. That's the whole point of math being the universal language. If we met aliens, they would also agree that 2+2=4. They would just have different ways of writing it, or I guess "expressing" it. That doesn't, however, change the fact that 2+2 _always_ equals 4.

 

Look up the definition of "construct."

 

Omg, you're so smart cause you're so arrogant. But obviously one of us certainly needs to look it up, so I'll do it.

 

1: something constructed by the mind: as

a : a theoretical entity <the deductive study of abstract constructs — D. J. Boorstin>

b : a working hypothesis or concept <the unconscious was a construct that came from the daily effort to understand patients>

2: a product of ideology, history, or social circumstances

 

As I was saying, math is constant across everything that exists, and is not something "constructed by the mind". And it's certainly not ideology, history, or social circumstance. So I'll just stick to my point that 2+2 is always 4 and that we cannot just decide otherwise.

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"2" is a construct. So is "Pi" So yes, if everyone agreed that 2+2=Pi, then 2+2=Pi.

:wub: Someone understands what I mean. Make me feel I´m not crazy =P

 

No you're just both wrong. Pi is a name for a number, so unless we're all deciding that Pi = 4 in your example, you cannot decide that 2+2 is anything but 4. That's the whole point of math being the universal language. If we met aliens, they would also agree that 2+2=4. They would just have different ways of writing it, or I guess "expressing" it. That doesn't, however, change the fact that 2+2 _always_ equals 4.

 

Look up the definition of "construct."

 

Omg, you're so smart cause you're so arrogant. But obviously one of us certainly needs to look it up, so I'll do it.

 

1: something constructed by the mind: as

a : a theoretical entity <the deductive study of abstract constructs — D. J. Boorstin>

b : a working hypothesis or concept <the unconscious was a construct that came from the daily effort to understand patients>

2: a product of ideology, history, or social circumstances

 

As I was saying, math is constant across everything that exists, and is not something "constructed by the mind". And it's certainly not ideology, history, or social circumstance. So I'll just stick to my point that 2+2 is always 4 and that we cannot just decide otherwise.

 

*sigh*

 

We can decide what the symbol "2" means. We can decide what "Pi" means. They are, in fact, constructs ("theoretical entities"). Which is exactly what Logains Pet was saying, and she is exactly correct.

 

You even inadvertently acknowledge that fact in the caveats in your initial statement. "unless we're all deciding that Pi = 4 in your example" = "So yes, if everyone agreed that 2+2=Pi, then 2+2=Pi."

 

See how that works?

 

Enough. You bore me.

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That's fine. But just as you were defending Logain, I was defending Grape_Ape. Who, because we are using "western" writing conventions, had to use our number system to make his point. Those "constructs" are the only convenient way to represent the absolute, universal truth that two, the external entity, plus two, can never equal Pi, the external, irrational entity, simply by having enough people believe hard enough.

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Guest PiotrekS

By all means people, discuss the philosophy of mathematics - maybe, just maybe, it hasn't yet been done on WOT boards :tongue:

 

Grape_Ape, I see your point. Generally you say that having an idea (and talent) is not enough and you need the craft. And this craft can be more or less objectively judged. I agree.

 

But, to quote from your post:

 

I personally don't believe that comparisons between two artists are particularly useful. They serve little purpose outside of teaching. What and why a person likes a thing is, without question, subjective

 

That's the original discussion topic in this thread - you can't objectively decide whether Martin is better than Jordan or vice versa,the same with Bach and Mozart. The whole "better" concept in this context is pretty useless IMHO.

 

And I'll do something very bad, but I can't stop myself :darkone:

 

When you said:

You have just done something very wrong...very ham-fisted
did you mean that he had written Egwene's arc? :tongue: Edited by PiotrekS
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That's fine. But just as you were defending Logain, I was defending Grape_Ape. Who, because we are using "western" writing conventions, had to use our number system to make his point. Those "constructs" are the only convenient way to represent the absolute, universal truth that two, the external entity, plus two, can never equal Pi, the external, irrational entity, simply by having enough people believe hard enough.

 

Logain´s Pet is my name. Pet you can call me. =) Umm.. I dk what western writing conventions have anything to do with this so Ima be silent on that.

We dk that pi is an external irrational entity, it´s what we believe to be the absolute, universal truth in our realm/plane of existence aka Earth... possibly it´s surroundings also. Numbers are constructs of our minds, as is math, and almost everything around us. Just because it fits together doesn´t mean it´s not a construct. Just a clever, beautiful one. I for one believe that there are only a couple of univeral truths out there, but no need to post them here, cause you´ll think I´m more crazy then I appear to be now. Hmm... all of this makes me wanna start a philosophy thread...

 

Oh.. and arrogance doesn´t equal smartness. But randsc is smart...and arrogant. :wub: =P

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just a few random thoughts of no importance.

 

1 - music is not literature. much more a subjective thing, much less mathematical.

 

2 - imo, neither RJ nor GRRM wrote masterpieces in the classical sense. sorry, i know we don't all agree there. i think they wrote masterpieces for the genre maybe, but for "great literature," not so much. imo (am i saying that enough? cause i want to be on the record that i understand that my opinion is neither fact, nor even educated, and is of little value to anyone but myself), imo, imo. . . they're just good fantasy authors. and i don't think there's enough difference in "objective quality" to quantify a significant difference in merit between the two.

 

3 - i do agree that popularity does not equate to quality if only because the number one most popular comedy of all time was, for many years, home alone. true fact.

 

and while a tree falling in the forest with noone to hear it makes no sound (cause, well, just look it up in a sensory perception text, it's too off topic to get into, and we've already written a math book), a hermit playing a violin, or writing a book, or painting the wall in a cave may very well produce the finest work of music, literature, or art ever created, though none but he may ever know. (and he counts as a receiver, so the tree in the forest thing doesn't hold true for him; ah, skip it).

 

 

ok, now i'll try not to look while you say mean things about me and my silly post. have a nice day.

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Again, your own cited source disagrees with your interpretation.

 

assign instruments to carry the line outside of their useful registers

 

Possibly objectively provable.

 

while providing accompaniment material that is overkill from a dynamic standpoint

 

Subjective.

 

As for your defense of the OP, I suggest you review his posting history, including his posts in the threads that inspired this one, before determining who exactly is doing the "bashing" and which posters want "to open an intelligent discussion."

 

Finally, if you review my posts, you will see that I mention the existence of certain objective measures, for example measures of sentence complexity and vocabulary. Using those measures, do you seriously suggest that Jordan would grade-out higher than Martin? Really? In any case, those measures most emphatically DO NOT add up to the measure of the overall artistic merit of a work of litertaure. They CANNOT do so, as the context you are so enamoured with includes the way in which a work is experienced BY THE READER.

 

Anyway, Dickens wrote some God-awful sentences. What should we take from that?

 

 

Possibly objectively provable? No, not possibly. Definitely. Here is your proof. If you assign a line to an instrument with the idea that it should be audible, and then you proceed to place it in a register of the instrument that has difficulty competing in volume, or possess a timbre sympathetic to another instrument (see the harmonic series again for the math and physics of it), or if you create a volume imbalance in the accompaniment (overkill, see the next point) it becomes very provable and objective. What you don't seem to understand is that this has meaning and a consequent impact on the value. If you don't believe me, go and score a melody for flute in it's first octave only. Assign the accompaniment to the brass at a forte dynamic and see what happens to your flute in the concert hall.

 

 

Subjective on the next point? Care to back it up with something factual? You are incorrect and clearly out of your depth on comp/orch. Here is the proof. At a given decibel level the volume (the dynamic) of the accompaniment will overtake the volume of the instrument carrying the melodic line, rendering it inaudible - overkill. That is not opinion. It is FACT. Come on, it's grade-school science! This is bad orchestration - a flaw - because you are doing something that runs counter to your goal. And it's based on science as much as it is on artistic principles. Is it really that difficult to understand? Funny how I keep offering up facts I can prove and you keep offering up blanket statements - the very thing you maligned the OP for.

 

 

In fairness to you, I only read the opening volley of posts. You stepped in right quick and, in my subjective opinion, not very positively. If it turned bad after that on his part then you have my apologies for not following the entire thing.

 

For the record, I never suggested one author was better than the other. I actually stated that I don't believe comparisons between artists serve much purpose outside of teaching. I never suggested that all of the value of a work falls solely on it's technical execution. I said it's a big part. And if that part is done poorly enough it CAN impact the value, and there ARE methods for objectively determining if something is botched. Are they less effective or non-existent in literature? Maybe. I suggested earlier that somebody who teaches it weigh in because I really don't know. It's why I've refrained from commenting on it. I'm not a writer so I don't pretend I know how creative writing is taught. I could guess at the parameters (and probably well) but I don't have the expertise to back it up. Sort of like you commenting on the specifics of orchestration and composition, maybe?

 

You also seem to think that I call this in black and white. Far from it. It's a spectrum. In most cases the occurrence of said flaw is clear cut. Where it becomes subjective is in assessing how much value a flaw is taking away from the work. There, at least, we do not disagree.

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By all means people, discuss the philosophy of mathematics - maybe, just maybe, it hasn't yet been done on WOT boards :tongue:

 

Grape_Ape, I see your point. Generally you say that having an idea (and talent) is not enough and you need the craft. And this craft can be more or less objectively judged. I agree.

 

But, to quote from your post:

 

I personally don't believe that comparisons between two artists are particularly useful. They serve little purpose outside of teaching. What and why a person likes a thing is, without question, subjective

 

That's the original discussion topic in this thread - you can't objectively decide whether Martin is better than Jordan or vice versa,the same with Bach and Mozart. The whole "better" concept in this context is pretty useless IMHO.

 

 

 

Right, PiotrekS. But the reasons for "something" being liked by people are different. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with whether or not that "something" is artistically solid. I really don't think the comparisons are very practical. What initially raised my hackles was the "everything is subjective" cry. Because, brutha, that it ain't. :biggrin:

 

Edit: I can't lie. Your Egwene quip was really funny. I lolzed.

Edited by Grape_Ape
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The word "overkill", unless it is some sort of term of art in music, is a word in common usage. It means greater than that which is called for or appropriate. Appropriateness is subjective.

 

Look, no one is attacking your own little field of expertise, or for that matter, denying that there is such a thing as technical competetence, and that that competence can be measured.

 

You want to define artistic merit as technical competence. Many technicians do. That is not a universally accepted standard. For an example from another field, there are remarkable copyists who are not remarkable artists.

 

Everything isn't subjective. But art is. Deal.

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just a few random thoughts of no importance.

 

1 - music is not literature. much more a subjective thing, much less mathematical.

 

2 - imo, neither RJ nor GRRM wrote masterpieces in the classical sense. sorry, i know we don't all agree there. i think they wrote masterpieces for the genre maybe, but for "great literature," not so much. imo (am i saying that enough? cause i want to be on the record that i understand that my opinion is neither fact, nor even educated, and is of little value to anyone but myself), imo, imo. . . they're just good fantasy authors. and i don't think there's enough difference in "objective quality" to quantify a significant difference in merit between the two.

 

3 - i do agree that popularity does not equate to quality if only because the number one most popular comedy of all time was, for many years, home alone. true fact.

 

and while a tree falling in the forest with noone to hear it makes no sound (cause, well, just look it up in a sensory perception text, it's too off topic to get into, and we've already written a math book), a hermit playing a violin, or writing a book, or painting the wall in a cave may very well produce the finest work of music, literature, or art ever created, though none but he may ever know. (and he counts as a receiver, so the tree in the forest thing doesn't hold true for him; ah, skip it).

 

 

ok, now i'll try not to look while you say mean things about me and my silly post. have a nice day.

 

 

I def don't agree with you on the music point. Growing up in the family of trained classical musicians (and almost all family friends being musicians as well) I have to say that music is most definitely very much mathematical discipline. Any musician can confirm this as a common fact.

 

On the point of the masterpieces - The Tale of Two Cities was not thought of as a master pieces at some point either (I personally still don't like Dickinson, but that's besides the point). My point is that we don't know what will be considered master piece with time, LoTR was taken in different light at first as well for example.

 

 

 

 

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Netslider, cindy is saying that literature is less mathematical than music.

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(thanks, randsc, i lose energy for these things after the first couple of exchanges. i do see where my poorly structured sentence could have led him to the wrong assumption, but being a non mathematical kind of person, i often turn things around backwards in my head without realizing it; and i'll just skip the "Dickinson," too, 'cause maybe that's a joke i don't get.)

Edited by cindy
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(thanks, randsc, i lose energy for these things after the first couple of exchanges. i do see where my poorly structured sentence could have led him to the wrong assumption, but being a non mathematical kind of person, i often turn things around backwards in my head without realizing it; and i'll just skip the "Dickinson," too, 'cause maybe that's a joke i don't get.)

 

Yeah, I didn't really know whether to say that Tale of Two Cities is perhaps the least of his works, or ask if she ever found that guinea in the sand. But I figured it was an honest mistake, and I don't really disagree with his point about needing distance to determine whether a work is a classic.

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Guest PiotrekS

oh, PiotrekS. . . please, for your own sake, forgive him for that one.

 

You mean my little joke? I guess I should follow your advice :smile:

Edit: I can't lie. Your Egwene quip was really funny. I lolzed.

Thanks :smile: At least somebody shares my wicked sense of humour...

 

And re: what Cindy said. I have a very liberal definition of masterpiece for my personal use. I deem every good book -one that moves me or amazes me somehow - to be a masterpiece or at least something close to it. Because it is so bloody difficult to write a good book, and it is infinitely more difficult to write a lot of good books. So while I may agree that maybe the original and correct meaning of masterpiece is different and maybe RJ won't sit on the same shelve as Conrad, Mann, Austen and Bulgakov (what a weird way to write his surname by the way), I still consider WOT to be a masterpiece in my own, crazy head - it is somehing unique, filled with creativity and some classic, simply good storytelling.

 

It is without question that WOT is a must if you want to build a long list of fantasy "canon", just the same as aSoIaF is. The canon would contain works that are important for the genre, either because of their artistic merit, or popularity, or influence on other works etc.

Edited by PiotrekS
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Guest PiotrekS

oh, ya, i just mean they won't make you read it in high school :smile:

 

True :smile:

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Oh yeah, so this thread has been bogged down in a war of time and songs, and that's silly. There are a lot of other fantasy works to compare Wheel of Time to. I recommend "His Dark Materials". It's definitely not like "Wheel of Time", but it has a nice touch of its own, is very original, and has no problem with getting controversial, although I think the controversy element is overrated as I didn't personally find it controversial. In particular, "The Amber Spyglass" is a magnificent novel. So far, as individual novels go, none of the "Wheel of Time" books were as good as "The Amber Spyglass", but as a whole, "The Wheel of Time" is better than "His Dark Materials." I recommend it to fantasy lovers.

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The word "overkill", unless it is some sort of term of art in music, is a word in common usage. It means greater than that which is called for or appropriate. Appropriateness is subjective.

 

Look, no one is attacking your own little field of expertise, or for that matter, denying that there is such a thing as technical competetence, and that that competence can be measured.

 

You want to define artistic merit as technical competence. Many technicians do. That is not a universally accepted standard. For an example from another field, there are remarkable copyists who are not remarkable artists.

 

Everything isn't subjective. But art is. Deal.

 

Wow. Op was right, reading comprehension really is a problem for you. I never defined it solely as technical competence. Never once. If you're going to try and counter my arguments at least get them right. If you want to be pedantic about overkill, be my guest. Pick another word that suits you that means "the dB level of Y is greater then the dB level of X; such that no human ear can perceive X." It still doesn't invalidate the argument.

 

The facts are there whether you choose to believe them or not. The science is intertwined with this art whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. And, if you actually understood anything about the variety of processes through which composition happens, you would understand the meaning and ramifications of that union. But you don't, so you can't see it. And you hate that it doesn't jive with your little philosophy, so you refuse to acknowledge it.

 

The fact is you are unable to provide a rebuttal backed by fact to the two points of evidence I provided. Factual proof that supports my argument. What supports yours? A few inaccurate guesses at how my profession works? Oh, wait. You chose to counter by nitpicking a word choice and you didn't follow it by addressing the point. Nice deflection attempt. Resorting to that tactic pretty much tells me all I need to know.

 

If you're going to form an "academic" opinion about the details of my profession, you need to actually learn how those details operate first. Until you do that, you are guessing and assuming. Sorry if that upsets your little "I have all the answers" apple cart. I'd say deal, but I get the feeling you don't really know how.

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Awww, did somebody get his feelings hurt? It's OK, not everyone can be an artist, the world needs technicians, too.

 

I have no interest in debating your profession with you. This thread is about two works of literature, not two musical compositions.

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Awww, did somebody get his feelings hurt? It's OK, not everyone can be an artist, the world needs technicians, too.

 

I have no interest in debating your profession with you. This thread is about two works of literature, not two musical compositions.

 

Indeed, even within the realm of music(especially rocknroll) there are numerous examples of artists with little "technical" skill that have gained much critical acclaim. You can be a skilled "technician" and never create good art.

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I've finished all the aSoIaF books. I'm eagerly looking forward to a Dance with Dragons. That said the books did not capture me the way WoT did. I really like the grandeur of WoT and am fully committed to the characters. On the other hand it's pretty clear which characters Martin intends to kill through obvious foreshadowing so the tension and tragedy others find isn't present for me.

 

On other series, I really liked Terry Brooks latest "Genius of Shanara" series. I found the POV of each of the heroic characters moving and their awesomeness inspiring :-) I read every Feist book as they appear and although he is far shallower than WoT, his book "Into a Dark Realm" was a very interesting read. It left me with black moods for weeks afterwards as I pondered what the world would be like if evil did win. Feist's first 4 books ending with a "Darkness in Sethanon" were glorious. After that he has kind of recycled his ideas. I can't stop reading him though. I love to learn more about Midkima :-)

 

OK that's my 2 cents, WoT is easily my favourite.

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This is a Wheel of Time discussion forum. Not a "Debate whether art can be judged subjectively or objectively and call each other names" forum.

 

Besides, you can't seriously expect that a Wheel of Time fan forum, packed with Wheel of Time fans, will be able to debate the merits of various fantasy series objectively. You have to think WoT is pretty awesome to even find this place, much less register an account and participate in the forums. I know WoT fans are feeling a little left out right now because we don't have a kick ass HBO series filled with naked hookers and a new book coming out this summer like the ASOIAF fans do, but that doesn't mean we need to start threads "proving" that one thing is better than another thing. Some people like WoT, some people like ASOIAF, some people even like both.

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