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Rand the Plumber

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  1. I think you're both probably right about it being custom and tradition (the reason for the custom and tradition having been established is open to debate). It's a pity, really, because the concept of attuned angreal fits very nicely within the greater concept of each person wielding the OP in a slightly different way.
  2. Ok, so this has been nagging at me for a while. We have at least one reference (the healing of Mat) to Aes Sedai choosing one angreal from among several. In this particular case, Siuan selected Vora's Sa'angreal, the most powerful one in the tower. Her thought process indicates to me that she had at least considered using one of lesser strength. The question is why? Surely, for any job requiring augmentation, the logical thing to do is simply pick up the most powerful *angreal available, do the job, then put it back? I have been pondering the reasons, and I've come up with: 1) Angreal are more closely attuned to some channellers than others. Perhaps in order to get the best performance from an angreal it needs to be used by someone who shares the temperament/Talents of the maker? 2) Angreal are more closely attuned to some powers than other. An angreal might be very powerful indeed when working with flows of water, but much less effective with fire. Perhaps again, this relates to the relative strengths of the maker? 3) Custom and tradition require an Aes Sedai to choose precisely the correct tool for the job - one that provides neither too little power, nor too much. Similar to the way an advocate in court will be judged by his or her peers on the ability to make a clear, compelling and comprehensive argument in as few words as possible. (Honest!) 4) I'm reading too much into it, and should get a life. I'm wondering which theory has the best in-book support, if any, or whether there is another reason that I haven't considered. What say ye?
  3. The point about Fain is well-made. From a story perspective, Fain being treated to an ignominious and unfair death is delicious. Rar for that. The problem, to my eyes anyway, is that the Fain denouement appears to be - from a writing perspective - an afterthought. He is portrayed as being augmented since last we saw him - he has a new name and everything! And yet all of his mystery falls flat because of the peremptoriness of his dispatch. I'm not sure how I feel about Mat being immune from Mashadar. I think that I don't like it, but I'm not sure. The saddest part for me is, having just finished re-reading (a feat which I had to force to completion), I have no desire to pick the book up again and read it for a third time. Perhaps in a few months or years. Two pages to deal with Fain? Fine, serves him right. Just not those two pages.
  4. I'm a Mason, and have been for over 20 years. My father is a senior Mason, as was his father. On my maternal side, my grandfather was a very senior mason indeed, and my great grandfather was also a Mason. (I don't think that my parents' marriage was masonically-arranged, though, as my mother tells me that her father detested my father on sight, and it took two years of hard work on my father's part to change his mind.) I can see some of the parallels in the article, but to be honest most of them seem to be a bit of a stretch, and could apply just as easily to several other organisations. Having experienced English, Scottish and American Freemasonry, I would say that the American style tends to be structurally much closer to the Scottish than the English - so maybe I miss some of the symbolism. The ring-thing, for example, is reminiscent of the ring that a bishop wears as a symbol of his authority. Rings are not a feature of English Freemasonry, as far as I have ever seen. The "Eye in the Pyramid", similarly, is not an English (or Scottish) symbol; the "Eye in the Triangle" is, but that is specifically a triangle, with a specific meaning that would be destroyed were the triangle turned into a pyramid. World Freemasonry is much more varied than many people think.
  5. Perhaps consensus has been achieved. I also agree on this point. I would even go so far as to say that Jordan's prose (insofar as we know which bits he wrote) is also less polished than the works published in his lifetime, and understandably so. Even if were it the case that Sanderson's prose was generally agreed to be of the very highest quality, I think that there might still be arguments over whether Jordan's work was as good as it could be. We know that he spent a lot of time rewriting and reworking until he was completely satisfied. Sanderson simply could not (objectively!) do this to Jordan's prose to the same degree, without it ceasing to be Jordan's writing. Not only that but he might (subjectively!) have a bias against doing as much polishing as he might do on his own prose, for the precisely the same reason. I think I've veered off into metaconjecture. It might be time for bed.
  6. Ah, Strunk and White. I had a copy of that once, and it repaid my investment many times over. Extremely persuasive and even common sense. Eminently reasonable. A common standard, perhaps. But objective? What about its controversial points, are they also objective? How much disagreement must there be for a point to be deemed controversial, and who deems it so? I realise that I'm quibbling here, but I have a bee(hive? farm?) in my bonnet about subjectivity. On the subject of "polish", if we could agree that "a reasonable person would find this prose unpolished" rather than "this prose is objectively unpolished", then I'd be quite happy (not that I'm expecting anyone to agree with me just to make me happy, I hasten to add).
  7. And I'm afraid that's the part I don't understand (which I am prepared to concede may be due to my lack of education in the area of literary criticism). What is the objective standard for polish?
  8. This seems to me to be an excellent definition of subjectivity! Each Pulitzer Prize is awarded by a panel of judges by majority vote. Now the opinion of such a panel is one which carries a great deal of authority and worthy of the greatest respect - but without an unvarying standard against which to measure, it is still subjective.
  9. Heh. I, too, am a liarlawyer (barrister), and I am intimately involved with the concepts of objective, subjective and relative truth, as well as outright fibbing :)
  10. @Suttree: I think I'm pretty much in agreement with you, but I'm a bit confused about the blunt/unpolished prose. I really can't see how this can be an objective standard. What is the test for "polish"? How much is too much? At what (ahem) point does prose cease to be blunt?
  11. Maybe it is something taught only to warders, in the grim initiation rites to which they must submit after bondage, I mean bonding. It would explain why they are so grim.
  12. Bela. Or is that covered by "Creator-avatar"? Seriously, I can make neither head nor tail of Nakomi. I resented her from her first appearance and I had hoped for her to be explained away briefly somewhere near the beginning of AMoL. None of the options available seem in any way satisfactory.
  13. Of all the major character arcs, I was most satisfied with Mat's. Ok, so his voice was still a bit "off" in places, and some scenes jarred, but these were minor niggles in an arc that I found thoroughly enjoyable. I particularly liked his interaction with [For]Tuon[a] (maysheliveforever), and I think we started to see much more of 'Tuona's inner self, which was also good. I agree that her development was disappointing in many ways, particularly because she is a character with so much potential, but given the lateness of her introduction, I'm not sure how she could have been substantially developed without adding another book or three to the series. I wonder if RJ was aware that she was not being fully exploited, and had plans to remedy this in one of the outriggers. We will never know. I didn't like Olver, but then, I've never liked Olver. I am allergic to small children. I could have lived with less of him.
  14. Oh. I didn't pick up on this. How... convenient.
  15. Oh. I didn't pick up on this. How... convenient.
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