Thief of Time Discussion *Spoilers*

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Postby kakaze » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:43 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:But that's what Darwin did do effectively


Not really, what Darwin did was come up with evidence to support the theory of evolution. Evolution is the process, DNA is the mechanisim. And, in fact, Darwin didn't really do all that much either. He was just a passanger on the Beagle to keep captain FitzRoy from getting bored from having to talk to a bunch of stupid sailors for five years. The "observation" at the islands was actually just a hunting trip. He actually threw the turtle shells overboard (after eating the turtles) didn't even label the birds (he even had to consult with captain FitzRoy in order to remember were, exactly, they got the birds).

Tonyblack wrote:Kakaze, there is no reason to believe that Time (as the Mother) cannot see immortal figures. In fact, DEATH does, at times, see other immortals (as in Hogswatch). This is part of the narrative causality; it gives a reason for DEATH to bring Susan in to help him.


Death in Thief of Time wrote:HE IS LU-TZE, A HISTORY MONK. EIGHT HUNDRED YEARS OLD. HE HAS AN APPRENTICE. I HAVE LEARNED THIS. BUT I CANNOT FEEL HIM, I CANNOT SEE HIM. HE IS THE ONE. BINKY WILL TAKE YOU TO THE MONK, YOU WILL FIND THE CHILD.


I seem to remember another scene where Time wanders from room to room crying because she has a son out in the world that she can't touch.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:25 pm

kakaze wrote:
Jan Van Quirm wrote:But that's what Darwin did do effectively

Not really, what Darwin did was come up with evidence to support the theory of evolution. Evolution is the process, DNA is the mechanisim. And, in fact, Darwin didn't really do all that much either. He was just a passanger on the Beagle to keep captain FitzRoy from getting bored from having to talk to a bunch of stupid sailors for five years. The "observation" at the islands was actually just a hunting trip. He actually threw the turtle shells overboard (after eating the turtles) didn't even label the birds (he even had to consult with captain FitzRoy in order to remember were, exactly, they got the birds).

Don't make the mistake of thinking that the 2nd voyage of the Beagle was the be all and end all of Darwin's work on his theories. When he joined the ship he was not long out of a very lack-lustre university career and took the voyage as a kind of super-elongated gap year after which he was intending to join the clergy and marry. He had studied natural history and at this stage was primarily interested in geology and botany not animal life. Yes Fitzroy wanted a 'passenger' who was a naturalist/geologist who could assist his own studies, but this was because he needed someone with a scientific background who could not only work with him, but pay their own way as the Admiralty were keeping a tight rein on the budget. He was there to work as well as keep Fitzroy amused in the evenings :roll: There was a more personal and very practical reason for needing a metaphorical Igor on this trip - a previous captain of the Beagle had become seriously depressed and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a manic phase and other officers also had similar symptoms because Tierra del Fuego is such a rotten miserable place to live, even for short periods... :shock:

The Galapagos were only a small part of that journey - of which Darwin kept copious notes and made sketches throughout. With all of those trophy corpses (destined for the Natural History Museum in London - who still have them and are occasionally on display in Darwin's lifelong home at Downe House, Kent) he made a detailed study of the finches in particular, which eventually fuelled his own studies at Downe with pigeons and worms amongst other things. The main focus of the voyage was in fact to survey the Southern Ocean around Tierra del Fuego primarily and then on to New Zealand so the Galapagos were in fact an unexpected 'bonus' in the onward journey and it was a wholly scientific trip chiefly involved in mapping and studying the climate of the extreme tip and waters of S. America and of the South Island in NZ and so Darwin's biological studies were an additional fillip garnered from the trip and not in fact Fitzroy's prime concern. The rest of Darwin's life was dedicated to study to the theory of evolution (through natural selection) to which the Galapagos was crucial in that they had been able to see a unqiue 'virgin' environment where the hand of man had not been tinkering until that point (and they were Late Georgians so yes they hunted, shot and ate a lot of everything - that was just what they did in those days as they were scientists, not conservationists.).

No, they didn't know zip about DNA, but they started the ball rolling towards the genetic sciences, with Darwin's refined and persistent studies and experiments in Kent contributing the bulk of evidence that he was able to present the Royal College in the form of The Origin of Species and the Descent of Man amongst other work, including human sexual selection, also featured (he studied that very well indeed fathering numerous children :wink: )

How did we get onto Darwin and DNA here? *looks Kakaze-wards - which makes a nice change...* :lol:

kakaze wrote:I seem to remember another scene where Time wanders from room to room crying because she has a son out in the world that she can't touch.

Can't touch, yes. She could still 'see' an outcome but do nothing to help or interfere on behalf of her son - isn't that enough to make any mother cry? :wink:
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Postby poohcarrot » Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:36 pm

Lobsang and Jeremy were theoretically born about a week before time stopped. Yet they were both adults when time stopped. Why were they sent back in time to be brought up, if not to defeat the auditors? :D
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Postby kakaze » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:33 pm

Mothers cry all the time, sometimes for no particular reason that I can see.

Time couldn't have had a son in order to stop the auditors, because Jeremy was required for the auditors' plan to work. Therefore, by having son(s), Time was both causing and preventing the event. For that same reason, the event would happen when her son(s) were young adults, whenever they were sent back in time.
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Postby bikkit » Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:21 pm

He look: Jeremy Clockson
Jeremy Clarkson :shock:
Image

I'm going to need a swat team, ready to mobilize, street maps covering the whole of florida, a pot of coffee, 12 jammy dodgers and A FEZ.
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Postby swreader » Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:33 pm

Pooh & Kakaze, your questions and comments don't make sense because you persist in treating this as a description of real events. Only if you see it in this way does Pooh's question
Lobsang and Jeremy were theoretically born about a week before time stopped. Yet they were both adults when time stopped. Why were they sent back in time to be brought up, if not to defeat the auditors?
become meaningful. And it leads to further tangles in that since DEATH couldn't foresee the Auditors plan to destroy the world, than what makes you think Time could either?

It follows that Kakaze's reply
Time couldn't have had a son in order to stop the auditors, because Jeremy was required for the auditors' plan to work. Therefore, by having son(s), Time was both causing and preventing the event. For that same reason, the event would happen when her son(s) were young adults, whenever they were sent back in time.
is equally irrelevant.

The questions you need to be asking have to do with why Pratchett has characters acting in a given way, keeping in mind that he at times has them act in contradictory ways throughout a book. Thus, the real important question is why is Pratchett writing about a "race" of "devils" whose ideal world is one of complete stasis? What, in the actions of humanity, might he be parodying. Remember the book was published in 2001, when we had just gone through the madness of Y2K and what would happen if Time stopped at 2000.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:47 pm

swreader wrote: ....... it leads to further tangles in that since DEATH couldn't foresee the Auditors plan to destroy the world, than what makes you think Time could either?

Just an observation - Time isn't DEATH so she can move through any or all iterations of past, future and present events and so 'knows' what is happening either rationally or by instinct by virtue of her being TIME and so it's always happening, potentially happening, or has happened, through her, in her 'natural' state and not in her antropomorphic manifestation/incarnation. In theory at least.

With Jeremy and Lobsang we know that Nanny delivered one child twice last week, but that she had also been approached when she was 15 etc etc by Wen slicing time like mad presumably through about 10 minutes, hours or seconds? :shock: So it then follows that the two boys were then taken from last week, back to 16 years earlier or whatever and (maybe in some kind of parallel reality / time-phase / wormhole / wrong trouser legs) were left simultaneously at the Thieves and the Clockmaker's guilds and then both left to grow naturally into the present where Time is 'gone'.

DEATH is only concerned with Time (as a whole), in relation to the life-timers which he always uses in the 'present' in that it is always the present of someone's death. In some cases he must be there personally to sever the soul from the body and so between having Binky and the life-timers (both of which are his version of mobile Procrastinators in a way) he also is able to 'slice' in a dedicated way to be everywhere at once where necessary.... As does the Hogfather... As does... :roll: I think I need to lie down.

The anthropomorphic wotsits are all at it in other words, which is why it's left to the superhuman qualities of Susan and Jeremy/Lobsang to 'control' the event of real time being stopped in that it has to happen in order for it to be prevented / negated... How the bloody hell did Einstein ever get to sleep of a night? :lol:

Slight digression back to why the other Auditors didn't show up in the black desert - they can't go there unless they existed and they didn't 'cos time wasn't working so they could never have incarnated (Mr. Black/White and Co were only briefly incarnate before time was stopped so presumably not long enough) - Unity did because she existed before the event and had accepted her body :twisted: I think I may be getting the hang of this... :lol:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:35 pm

Afterthought from above - Time, the anthropomorphic thingummy thereof doesn't have to see the Auditors, she just sees a future with no time or perhaps a dead end where there shouldn't be one all of a sudden.

And a flashback to something someone said earlier on (sorry whoever it was) about Ronnie Soak/Chaos (not Kaos the wilder original edition :twisted: ). He is necessary to the storyline as he's the antithesis of the Auditors as the collective Order of the Universe. Without him as their Fifth the Four cannot defeat the Auditors in pitched battle as they have to play by the rules. Ronnie's the wild card that means the rules can be smashed... :lol:
Last edited by Jan Van Quirm on Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Tina a.k.a.SusanSto.Helit » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:46 pm

" 'Cause of Quantum!!"

Nice Digressions tho. :wink:

Jan is right about Ronnie... :lol:
Aha! So, Bob's yer uncle... very clever.
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Postby poohcarrot » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:01 pm

Jan is usually right about things, apart from when she's wrong, which usually happens. :lol:
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:11 pm

Keeps me occupied and you amused anyway smartypants - or should that be the other way around? :wink:
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Postby kakaze » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:07 am

I was just trying to point out that Time having Lobsang to stop the Auditors would be paradoxial because she would be having Jeremy at the same time, giving the Auditors the means to succeed in their plans.

As far as acting contradictory, real people do that all the time. ;)

Death can travel back in time too, didn't he go back and talk to Susan at the event of her parents' deaths, 16 years before she briefly became Death?

If you've got Auditors, you must have something like Ronnie Soak; everything needs its antithesis. Just like me and my wife!

So why is Kaos's sword so cold?

If Kaos is the antithesis of order, why is he in the dairy business. This type of business would require good organization and a regular timetable/schedule (Ronnie's famous for always being on time), and, to top it off, the who process of turning milk into cheese is a case of self-organizing order, isn't it?

If you justify Jeremy/Lobsang's age on Wen's first appearence at Nanny Ogg's house, then he should be the same age as Nanny, which is isn't. They were obviously just dumped into the time-stream.

And as long as we're on characters' ages, just how old is Quoth the raven? We met him when Susan was a teenager, and if I remember correctly, he was already pretty bedraggled at that time, and now we see him again when Susan has become an adult and school-teacher.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:02 am

kakaze wrote:I was just trying to point out that Time having Lobsang to stop the Auditors would be paradoxial because she would be having Jeremy at the same time, giving the Auditors the means to succeed in their plans.

Jeremy is Lobsang and Lobsang is Jeremy - they're not twins but the same person so he/they are a polarity not a paradox. By virtue of Time being their mother and Wen being an adept of existing forever through sliced time (in her disembodied state which BTW sets up a completely different connotation for 'slicing' Time :wink: ) they are a balance of physical time (Lobsang) and conceptual/cerebral/perceived time (Jeremy) set in a polarised time niche by their parent so their singular but separated actualities can exist in the same place (the Disc) at exactly same time.

They've been separated to make/end the paradox that the Auditors want to create to destroy time so they are the balancing factors to achieve the removal of the time anomaly (the glass clock) as though it had never happened (and yes it's fiction so this can be done however Terry calls it because it is quantum).

It's a story about balance in effect - Order and Chaos cancel each other out and so does the realignment of Jeremy/Lobsang in A-M and then back in the History Monk's valley where the integrated Lobsang is able to re-balance the glass clock's damage and thus repair the anomaly so it never existed - I think. :lol:

Don't ask me about Lobsang being able to make cherries at the end of the book though as I think I just busted my insomnia and have arrived back at last Monday and not today... :shock:
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Postby poohcarrot » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:27 am

swreader wrote:And it leads to further tangles in that since DEATH couldn't foresee the Auditors plan to destroy the world, than what makes you think Time could either?


I think you're totally wrong there SW.

Death COULD see the auditors plan to destroy the world.

That's why he got Susan to find Lobsang and asked War etc to ride out BEFORE time stopped. :P

And if you're referring to the millenium bug non-event, why did TP write about it two years after it happened? He is a whizz with computers and would have known about it before the event, so if he was going to write about it he would have written about it in 1999.

SW reader wrote:Thus, the real important question is why is Pratchett writing about a "race" of "devils" whose ideal world is one of complete stasis? What, in the actions of humanity, might he be parodying?


I don't know. :?

Religious people? People who believe the $ should stay as the world reserve currency? Rock fans who like the Status Quo?
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
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Postby Dotsie » Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:43 am

poohcarrot wrote:
swreader wrote:And it leads to further tangles in that since DEATH couldn't foresee the Auditors plan to destroy the world, than what makes you think Time could either?


I think you're totally wrong there SW.

Death COULD see the auditors plan to destroy the world.

Hmm, no, he could detect that they were up to something because of the malignancies, but he couldn't actually see anything at all. That was the point.

poohcarrot wrote:And if you're referring to the millenium bug non-event, why did TP write about it two years after it happened? He is a whizz with computers and would have known about it before the event, so if he was going to write about it he would have written about it in 1999.

It's not surprising that an idea wouldn't be turned nto a book for two years. He might not even have had the idea until after Y2K. And he might have been writing something else at the time anyway.

SW reader wrote:Thus, the real important question is why is Pratchett writing about a "race" of "devils" whose ideal world is one of complete stasis? What, in the actions of humanity, might he be parodying?

This is the important theme of the book, everything else is just a means of bringing this idea to a novel. But I can't answer your question. I think the auditor mean different things to different people.
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