April 25, 2017, 03:52:07 AM

Author Topic: Grimdark? Nah. THIS is grimdark.  (Read 466 times)

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Grimdark? Nah. THIS is grimdark.
« on: January 06, 2017, 08:57:04 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IESYMFtLIis" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IESYMFtLIis</a>

This (depressing!) TED Talk, presented by the author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, is a lot faster than his book(s). This is an excellent, if unconventional resource, if you want to create a dark world under stress. Some of the clues are subtle and require some imagination, but only a little.

Best part is about the 10:00 mark - the failures to solve or even attempt to address problems... this is the scary part.

This discussion of the Viking colonies, wasting away, unable/unwilling to change their culture and ways, is a particularly interesting example of a people failing. And the imagination element is where you think of those kings and their people, and how they dealt with that pressure.

Tossing in a Joffrey (or almost any noblemen of any period and culture) into the kinds of situations he's discussing seems an interesting way to present a people prime for dramatic conflict.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 10:56:56 PM by The Gem Cutter »
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Grimdark? Nah. THIS is grimdark.
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 09:34:07 PM »
pssst.

*whispers* which ted talk?

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Grimdark? Nah. THIS is grimdark.
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2017, 10:57:20 PM »
Ha! I'm not distracted at ALL today
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Grimdark? Nah. THIS is grimdark.
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2017, 11:46:12 PM »
wow.  that dude's combover is pretty grimdark, too.

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Grimdark? Nah. THIS is grimdark.
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2017, 04:54:13 AM »
Yeah, whenever I do a scholarly analysis of multiple, actual sources of coming apocalypses, the first thing I do is check my 'do.  ::)
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline Mehman

Re: Grimdark? Nah. THIS is grimdark.
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2017, 06:44:23 PM »
I really enjoyed that video. Well, enjoyed may be the wrong word. I think 'appreciated' would be the correct word to use. I've read his Guns, Germs, and Steel and have his book where he talks about Western Europe finding all the little islands in the Pacific. The man is brilliant.

Anyway, I could see how his talk (and books) could lend itself to the grimdark author. I like the societal aspects of a doomed culture, which he touched upon briefly, for a reason why human cultures fail. Resource exhaustion is one thing - being blind or willfully ignorant of it is another.

Offline Bradley Darewood

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Re: Grimdark? Nah. THIS is grimdark.
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2017, 01:52:51 AM »
So Jared Diamond has a huge popular following, but anthropologists find him a bit... overly deterministic.  He's essentially a socio-biologist, treating humans (and culture itself) like ants adapting to environmental stimuli. Sociobiology is a rich field-- not one I'd choose personally-- and once you obsess over structures in play, I can see how it's easy to erase human agency from the equation.  That said, JD's evidence is a bit thin.  I don't hate him as passionately as my fellow anthropologists do (I see what he's trying to do and find it somewhat commendable if inaccurate)


But here's some articles:

NPR on why JD pisses off anthropologists
http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2013/01/14/169374400/why-does-jared-diamond-make-anthropologists-so-mad

Here's a survey of anti-JD articles (with links) on Reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskAnthropology/comments/1rzm07/what_are_some_of_the_main_anthropological/

There's plenty on other factors in the literature he just ignores, but here's my favorite quote:
"What Diamond glosses over is that just because you have guns and steel does not mean you should use them for colonial and imperial purposes. Or handing out smallpox-infested blankets from sick wards...Second, Diamond’s account seriously underplays the alliances with native groups that enabled European forces to conquer and rule...The Jared Diamond of Guns, Germs, and Steel has almost no role for human agency–the ability people have to make decisions and influence outcomes. Europeans become inadvertent, accidental conquerors. Natives succumb passively to their fate."

That quote comes from this article "Real History vs. Guns, Germs and Steel":

http://www.livinganthropologically.com/anthropology/guns-germs-and-steel/


I'm actually a lot more sympathetic to JD than any of these guys, but I thought I should just make you all aware of the opposition.


PS-- speaking of eco-dystopia have any of you watched the 100? I think I'm gonna make a post on it rn, this grimdark JD stuff has inspired me to do that.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 01:55:16 AM by Bradley Darewood »

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Grimdark? Nah. THIS is grimdark.
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2017, 02:23:16 AM »
So Jared Diamond has a huge popular following, but anthropologists find him a bit... overly deterministic.  He's essentially a socio-biologist, treating humans (and culture itself) like ants adapting to environmental stimuli. Sociobiology is a rich field-- not one I'd choose personally-- and once you obsess over structures in play, I can see how it's easy to erase human agency from the equation.
Paraphrasing Captain Willard from Apocalypse Now: "I don't see any agency at all, sir."
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

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