Making Money Discussion *Spoilers*

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Postby raisindot » Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:46 pm

poohcarrot wrote:
raisindot wrote:We never really know what's in the golden golems' "armband orders."
J-I-B

It's not just me who thought they were "golden". :lol:


I knew they weren't golden, contest-rules-breaker. I just didn't know what else to call them--golem army? Adora's golems? Moist's minions? Besides, in all fact, by 'golden' I was referring to the ancient Omnian meaning of the word as "thousands."

:D

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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:00 pm

There's just so much of this book that doesn't appear to make sense - and that's the reason I dislike it so much. I actually find myself getting annoyed when I read it and no other Pratchett book does that to me. :(

I agree that in the earlier books we have seen a sort of breaking of the bonds of slavery regarding the golems. But then, with this book, we seem to take a huge step backwards. It's as if the black slaves in the US were freed and eventually got equal rights with everyone else and then along came a new race and everyone thought it would be a good idea to bring back slavery.

The whole thing with Moist controlling the golems because of his suit seems somewhat slapdash. He couldn't have known that that would work and it doesn't make things right by getting Vetinari to say that he knew the golden suit would work either. I just don't buy that explanation.

It seems as if the golem horses and at least some of the new golems are going to be put into service and no one is mentioning paying them. Will the city golems buy them out of servitude? Somehow I don't think so. It's like the new golems have become the acceptable face of slavery. :shock: The new currency is being based on the fact that the city is now a slavocracy.

This whole book is just a mess of ideas that do not come together properly. It's a most unsatisfying read and, in my opinion, the worst book Terry has written.

Honestly, if Raising Taxes ever does get written, I'm going to seriously consider not buying it. :(
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Postby raisindot » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:06 pm

Moist wanted to get rid of coins entirely, not because they cost so much but because he lives to get rid society of outmoded ideas and replace them with ideas of his own making, whether they're envelope-affixed stamps or paper money. The only coins I remember him saying he would continue to mint were commemorative coins (to keep the outsourcers employed). Did he also mention the lower denomination coins as well?

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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:09 pm

My understanding was that they would just replace the Dollar with notes and bring in higher denominations as well. A bit like the opposite to what we did in the UK when we replaced Pound Notes with coins.

The coins might cost more to make than their face value, but they generally last longer than notes.
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Postby raisindot » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:13 pm

Tony--

While I don't agree with you that MM is the worst DW book (we all know which ones I think are the worst and won't bring that up again), it does have an unusual number of problems.

I don't have any problem with Moist understanding how to get the golden (not real gold) golems to obey him. He is a master of reading people (and thinks) and understanding how to use showmanship to get his eyes. Remember when he got the killer dogs to obey him during the postman's test in GP because he knows that they're the same kinds of dogs he grew up with in Uberwald? Then he finds out after the test is over that the dogs, although the same species, were not from Uberwald at all and therefore would never have been trained to respond to the words Moist used. He succeeded because he has an innate ability to get most living things to believe him and follow his commands.

He could infer that the golden(not real gold) golems would obey him because he knew that it took, as Professor Fleed said, the right person, saying the right word at the right time. He knew how Omnian priests dressed, and when he saw the lead golem's eyes following him he knew that he met the condition of the 'right person at the right time'--all he was missing were the right words. There's no reason why Vetinari, a study of all things historical, wouldn't have known this as well. But, presumably, Vetinari didn't know ancient Omnian and probably would never have dared to lower his dignity by wearing a golden suit. Besides, if Vetinari had done all this and failed, he would have been a laughingstock. Better to let Moist do this for him, since he knew that Moist would never use the golems for hostile purposes.

I think the discomfort most of us feel about the way these golden(NRG) golems were treated reflects our own feelings about how humans or humanoids should be treated. After all, if the entire golem army consisted solely of golem horses or golem cows or golem sheep would you have felt the same level of discomfort of having them treated as property? If you do feel this level of comfort, does this now make you feel that you'll never eat a hamburger or mutton or ride a horse or take a horse-drawn carriage ride again?

It's because most of these golems are in the shape of human beings that we feel uncomfortable, since we've been conditioned by decades of books about robots and other humanoid-type machines into thinking that if it looks human there must be some kind of humanity in there somewhere. And, since Feet of Clay, PTerry has fostered this idea by 'humanizing' the golems in Feet of Clay and subsequent books.

And then, once we all feel that all goblems have intelligence and self-awareness and are thus capable of being free and self-actualized, he subverts this whole idea by forcing Ankh-Morpork (and us) with golems that probably can't be self aware of truly sentient or self-actualized. Essentially, they are the same as real cattle or horses--maybe even less so, since they seem to have no sense of independent action (other than crying out for company, which a dog might do as well). They're beasts of burden. Moist, Vetinari, and even Adora Belle recognize this, and treat them accordingly--as tools to do work, but to be treated with care, like pack animals.

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Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:34 pm

Aren't the Golems Umnian not Omnian?
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Postby poohcarrot » Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:22 pm

I'm sure he does it on purpose. :lol:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:32 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:I think also this book's possibly a casualty to RL darkness for Terry - would he have been writing this around the time that his father was terminally ill with cancer? Or perhaps when he wasn't in the best of undiagnosed health himself either, although I think it may have been written before he was noticing symptoms, but it was in production or just published around the time he had his suspected stroke?

For me it's just too derivative, even of his own work, despite all the excellent satire and pace so it comes over as a fob off in the end. :(

So what do people think about the timing of this book in relation to Terry's RL situation around the time he was writing/publishing this book? I'm beginning I think that perhaps there's a smidgeon of support for this reasoning :cry:

But the good thing is that with his way of working through all these setbacks and sorrows, especially with his voice-activated software, is that he's back on form so no need to worry about Snuff certainly, although I too don't hold out too much hope for Raising Taxes although there's no question that I'll buy it :?
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:41 pm

Golems aren't technically living things until they're freed and even then they're very stolid and honourable - look how 'successful' Moist was at manipulating Mr Pump :roll:

The NRG Golems obeyed him because he took the advice of the filthy old goat wizard and got into his golden suit etc - he didn't 'read' them in any way because you simply can't. They do what their sealed chem tells them to do period. Once you know what that is and have their terms of address then you've cracked them. :lol:
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Postby raisindot » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:09 am

Jan Van Quirm wrote:Golems aren't technically living things until they're freed and even then they're very stolid and honourable - look how 'successful' Moist was at manipulating Mr Pump :roll:

The NRG Golems obeyed him because he took the advice of the filthy old goat wizard and got into his golden suit etc - he didn't 'read' them in any way because you simply can't. They do what their sealed chem tells them to do period. Once you know what that is and have their terms of address then you've cracked them. :lol:


But he WAS successful at manipulating Mr. Pump. So much so that at the end of GP the golem, who admitted that he wasn't sure what emotions were, still said that he was happy to have met him and that it was a pleasure working with him.

And while Professor Flead suggested the overall solution for the gold (NRG) golems without understanding the specifics, it took Moist--the master of using appearances to get beings of all kinds to do his bidding--to figure the critical part of the solution, during the part when everyone was at the palace arguing about what to do with the golden (NRG) golem army. He confirmed that this intuition was correct when he had a moment of 'alone time' with the lead gold (NRG) golem, whose gaze followed him as he moved.

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Postby swreader » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:26 am

I'm not sure exactly what you are referring to, Jan, about Moist "manipulating Mr. Pump" - unless you're referring to his getting him to go through the ritual of the postmen. But I think you're right about the golems, generally.

I agree with Tony about the book as a whole. There are so many things wrong and/or disconnected and contradictory in this book that it seems possible that something (his father's death, his own health or whatever) kept Terry from necessary re-writes. I was relieved, somewhat, with UA, and found Midnight excellent, so he seems to have recovered from whatever it was.

Jeff, I don't know what book you are reading--but you seem to be reading a different one than the rest of us. I think you've gotten so caught up in your socioeconomic theory, that it has pushed you over the edge into making up examples to support your claims. A great many things in your post (such as " when he saw the lead golem's eyes following him") simply are not in the book. Terry contradicts himself numerous times about these golems, there usefulness, whether or not they have chems, etc.. and who's going to do what with them. As I said previously, the only real function of the Umnian (not Omnian or Golden) golems has to do with getting Adora Belle out of the city leaving Moist free to have adventures. Furthermore, Terry doesn't even do a very good job (or a consistent one) of describing how the golems are to be used. For example, at one point there is a comment about using a golem (not clear whether human shaped or horse shaped) to "power the clacks towers"--a requirement that has never been mentioned before. But it's not mentioned later.

Another badly annoying part of the book, in my opnion is the inordinate amount of time that Terry spent on the Cosmo plot. Cosmo is clearly insane from the first time we meet him, but Terry keeps giving us more and more outlandish examples, each of which requires killing off one or more people. I guess this is supposed to be funny, but I found it intrusive and boring. Perhaps Terry thought Cosmo would be as funny in the way that Pucci's attempt to "expose" Moist as a fraud by saying that the paper notes are valueless is (only to find people bidding far more than face value for them). But we could have done without the Lavishes. They are not the kind of strong, challenging villains that Terry can write. And they're certainly not funny.
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:22 am

One of the most important questions this book raises is one that has been overlooked by everyone so far. I'm talking about LURVE. Is Spike the right man for Moist (and vica versa)? :?

It seems that when Spike is with Moist, she stifles him and makes him boring. When she's not there, he seems to have more fun. Moist doesn't approve of her smoking because he's always making comments about it. He thinks she's obsessive about the golems. She's prone to violence while Moist isn't. Is he only staying with her because he feels guilty about being responsible for her losing her job in the bank (Going Postal)? :shock:

As far as I can see, it'll end in tears. :cry:

I think Moist would be better off with Sachrissa (the newspaper woman and the name is probably spelled wrongly :roll: ). There's definitely some chemistry there and Moist seems to act more like Moist when he's with her. With Spike he acts most "un-Moist-like" eg; by getting jealous about a dead wizard. :D
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Postby pandasthumb » Tue Nov 09, 2010 8:59 am

I had always thought of the Golems as being akin to the 'Golem of Prague' type Golems rather than robots - but I think that it is something to think about. Doesn't the word 'robot' come from a word that means 'slave'?
Who are the slaves here and who has the freedom to create their own destiny?

Is there anyone really free in the novel? Possibly Gladys and she has made a choice to be a she?
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:25 pm

swreader wrote:I'm not sure exactly what you are referring to, Jan, about Moist "manipulating Mr. Pump" - unless you're referring to his getting him to go through the ritual of the postmen. But I think you're right about the golems, generally.

I was being ironic SW - :wink: My view is that he didn't manipulate Mr. Pump in any way (you are a real wally sometimes Jeff :twisted: ) from his core instruction of not letting Moist escape his punishment/parole conditions. Yes, Moist turned it to his favour using Mr P as body guard but there the golem was still adhering like a limpet to his duties in his chem which were to keep Moist in AM working for the post office. His ride to Sto Lat or wherever the hell it was (don't know don't care) was on PO biz so that was fine
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Nov 09, 2010 12:50 pm

J-I-B wrote:And while Professor Flead suggested the overall solution for the gold (NRG) golems without understanding the specifics, it took Moist--the master of using appearances to get beings of all kinds to do his bidding--to figure the critical part of the solution, during the part when everyone was at the palace arguing about what to do with the golden (NRG) golem army. He confirmed that this intuition was correct when he had a moment of 'alone time' with the lead gold (NRG) golem, whose gaze followed him as he moved.

Codswallop! :lol:

He used his 'reading' skills to make the connection that someone would have made eventually - not so fast maybe, but that has nothing to do with him reading the NRG golems. Noticing the eyes moving is simply akin to deciphering someone's 'tells' when they're playing poker (and I grant you that Moist is a consummate gambler not to mention bluffer and blusterer :P ).

The NRGs are unable to transcend their programming - they are proto-Golems and so are incapable of cognitive self-determination unlike the ones we've encountered in AM and elsewhere so the robot analogy stands until they find a way to communicate with them reliably - possibly through the regular Golems who are as we've seen deep thinkers and disinclined to endanger life - it's significant I think that the Dorfl's and Mr Pump's all had original chems that didn't have them doing anything remotely aggressive towards sentient beings, even if they worked in the abbatoir, until they made Meshugah. When they knew how badly they'd fouled up with him, they immediately tried to make amends even though they couldn't speak. Normal Golems are mostly peaceful, law-abiding creatures.

The NRGs are the worst sort of soldiers yes (they ALWAYS do as they're told), but what does that tell us about their makers? They didn't USE them. They rendered them useless and now AM's done the same, except inevitably they've given that a commercial slant (we can rule you wholesale... :wink: ). The horses are useful as carriers - as for the rest... they're essentially a non-entity again like the Banks gold was before - except they are their own built-in alarm system because nobody'll be able to steal them without anyone noticing... :lol:
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