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Can any thing be VARELSE?

 
 
Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 01:59 pm
I cant imagine any thing being varelse. can you?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 1,636 • Replies: 18
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contrex
 
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Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 02:19 pm
I can imagine something being a varelse (noun). In Swedish it means "a creature, a being; especially of mythological origin", but I think you probably mean the concept of utter deadly alien-ness developed by Orson Scott Card in "Ender's Game" and "Speaker of the Dead". In general I don't waste much time thinking about funny words out of science fiction novels, I remember a very tedious half-hour having the word "grok" explained to me while I was tripping in 1970. However, I can easily imagine xenophobes e.g. Islamophobes finding the concept useful.
hamilton
 
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Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 02:22 pm
@contrex,
well, yes, i mean the Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead ones.
contrex
 
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Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 02:44 pm
@hamilton,
I think that trying to imagine what is, by definition, unimaginable, is a kind of futile exercise save for the extent to which it leads to a consideration of the limits of the human ability to conceptualise - where they lie, whether or not they are fixed, whether they apply to everyone, who it is who alleges that they know their location, etc. In this particular context, where the fictional invented quality of being "varelse" is supposed to be a complete justification for all-out war, I would be especially careful and critical.

Fil Albuquerque
 
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Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 02:51 pm
@contrex,
...and just what is by definition unimaginable if what is unimaginable cannot be reasoned, to state it in the first place ?
...spare me guigus squared circles...that is just an expression meaning nothing at all, nonsense !
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 03:37 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:
...and just what is by definition unimaginable


Don't shoot the messenger. "Varelse" is a concept developed by Orson Scott Card in his science fiction novels Ender's Game and Speaker of the Dead. By definition, varelse is someone [something] so alien and dangerous that you can't know them and can't reach an understanding with them and the only alternative is war.

Fil Albuquerque
 
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Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 04:10 pm
@contrex,
...yeah...I see your point, though war still is a form of engagement and "closeness" sort to speak...
(there is agreement on what to disagree) Wink
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 04:20 pm
@contrex,
What I dislike about most science fiction (especially the kind we see on film) is that they reveal a lack of ability to portray or imagine creatures that are hyperexotic. Startrek and its ilk show "people" of far off galaxies, not only speaking English (that's not so bad since they often have mechanical "universal translators"), but I mean they speak middle-class American English and talk about matters that are current in our time and place. They may be purple hominoids with three fingers and bumps on their foreheads but they practically share our culture--not to mention their orientation toward "technology".
I've said this before somewhere else. But the idea that if someone is too different we are left with no alternative but to destroy them is absurd. What a notion! The most extreme adaptation to such a species is total mutual avoidance, unless, of course, there is an inescapable competition for some essential resource in a zero-sum context.
I'd just love to see a science fiction movie in which an alien species is intelligent but SO different that we can't communicate except very minimally. I stress their intelligence to make the effort at communication meaningful/possible, otherwise we'd have to ignore them as we do starfish and manta rays.
By the way, their intellence cannot--if I'm going to enjoy the movie--be influenced by Plato, Descartes, and Newton. And I would be annoyed if their technology was based on a capitalist economy and reflected an Industrial Revolution similar to ours.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 04:30 pm
@JLNobody,
Star Trek has a human target audience settled in middle-class... Wink
(I love star trek cheesy and all but of course you are right)
JLNobody
 
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Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 04:35 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
I like it too. I suspend judgement and become as stupid as required--temporarily at least.
Fil Albuquerque
 
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Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 04:37 pm
@JLNobody,
...good ! Very Happy ( I did start seeing it when I barely was 6...)
I have the entire collection in my hard drive.
Spock fascinated me when young...very much my first role model...how funny is that ?
JLNobody
 
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Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 07:40 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Not funny and not surprising. Ha ha anyway.
At that age my role model was Batman. I didn't know he was psychotic then.
George
 
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Reply Sun 4 Sep, 2011 07:44 pm
@JLNobody,
<snort>
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
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Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2011 04:22 am
@JLNobody,
Yes, Star Trek is fun! But I very much agree with your opinion about the boring aliens.

Then I much prefer some of the aliens in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. They are known as hyperintelligent shades of blue who live in a transdimentional realm. When they enter our realm they manifest as little white mice. They are the most intelligent species living on our planet (and through the story you learn that the earth is in reality a supercomputer commissioned by these mice to find the question to the ultimate answer). That answer is 42, but no one remembers what the question was. Senseless and fun, but a bit tiresome with the ongoing british humor.

Incidentally, humans are only the third most intelligent species on earth, the most intelligent being the white mice and the second being the dolphins.
Humans think they are more intelligent than dolphins because they have technology, houses, jobs and responsibilities while the dolphins just swim around in the sea all day. The dolphins think they are more intelligent for precisely the same reason.. Smile
JLNobody
 
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Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2011 09:05 am
@Cyracuz,
And perhaps dolphins can claim superior intellence BECAUSE they don't need technology, houses, jobs and (our kind of) responsibilities.
contrex
 
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Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2011 10:29 am
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:
a bit tiresome with the ongoing british humor.


You think it's a bit tiresome... you should try being a Brit and living there! One is surrounded by it on every hand... every damned fool you meet thinks he's a comedian... on the other hand it's the Yanks who will insist on keeping Monty Python alive.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Sep, 2011 10:32 am
@JLNobody,
Yep, that's what I meant. Humans think they are more intelligent because they have all these things, dolphins because they don't have them.
0 Replies
 
wayne
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2011 04:25 am
@contrex,
Quote:
varelse is someone [something] so alien and dangerous that you can't know them and can't reach an understanding with them and the only alternative is war.


Kinda sounds like white men in the eyes of the plains Indians.
Cyracuz
 
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Reply Tue 6 Sep, 2011 05:40 am
@wayne,
The only ones who are so alien and dangerous that you can't know them and can't reach an understanding with them are the ones who believe that someone are so alien and dangerous that they can't know them and can't reach an understanding with them.
0 Replies
 
 

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