(urth) Oldest altar

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Wed Oct 6 05:35:45 PDT 2010

  Lacking no knowledge about how memory-wiping "works," I can only agree 
and observe that plainly there is tension between the Typhons' desire, 
on the one hand, to have their worst excesses forgotten so that they may 
be worshiped wholeheartedly on the Whorl and, on the other, that their 
crimes and flaws not be entirely forgotten so that they may be worshiped 
fearfully on the Whorl.

In fact, this seems almost to be the function of a pantheon---that it 
contain gods to be feared as well as gods to be loved, though even then 
you still have gods that are to be loved and feared at the same time. 
Wolfe's God contains all functions: he is to be loved, but he once wiped 
out most life on Earth with a flood, just as the Increate did or allowed 
on Ushas. So this tension is a real part of godhood, and the Typhons may 
be equally a parody or an analysis of godhood.

As for Typhon's most horrid children, I am reminded of Saddam's sons, 
who also were able to order deaths through their official positions. All 
an emperor needs to do is make his 10-y-old son Guardian of the Royal 
Garden Shed, and the slaughter can begin if the boy is so inclined. 
These types of behavior are both a liability and an asset, depending. 
Saddam also built palaces and statues and mosques and stadiums and 
hospitals and so on, that he be thought of paternally and that his 
peccadilloes be overshadowed by this paternal image. But Iraqi citizens 
were effectively terrorized.

Finally, I hypothesize that Typhon's doctors could not biomedically 
implant memories, at least not as well as they could wipe them. We know 
this because the colonists were basically lectured on how to worship the 
gods---there were no injections or implants or reverse uploads. 
Therefore, it makes sense that wiping would be the final stage, 
especially if wiping affects long-term memory more than short-term. 
Knowing some memory would remain, they did the best they could to 
suggest to the colonists that the gods were to be both loved and feared, 
but never hated. Rather than empty their heads and then refill them, 
they subjected them to propaganda, then carved out the most damaging 
memories: the details of Typhon's rule and day-to-day life on Urth.

Had the Typhons been planning to take ship on the Whorl, they would have 
been able to continue their behavior as before. As "gods" with no 
physical presence, it was wise to tone down this behavior, since they 
could only rule through subordinates and were unable to personally 
brutalize anyone. Total memory wipe was unnecessary and 
undesirable---muddling memories or making them fuzzy or confused was 
sufficient for this purpose.

On 10/6/2010 6:43 AM, Gerry Quinn wrote:
> From: "Roy C. Lackey" <rclackey at stic.net>
>> "When the first people came, Auk, they were shown how we desired to be
>> worshipped. Soon, they were made to forget. They did, but because 
>> they had
>> seen what they had seen, a part of them remembered, and when they 
>> found our
>> altars on the inner surface, they sacrificed as we had taught them. 
>> First of
>> all, here."
> I think your post is excellent.  The foregoing paragraph still seems 
> rather mysterious, though, as it seems to hint at events during a 
> period about which we know little or nothing - i.e. a time between 
> when people first came to the Whorl, and when they began living on the 
> inner surface, in cities such as Viron.  Perhaps they lived in the 
> tunnels while the main interior of the Whorl was excavated and 
> terraformed.  Their tasks would have included hauling out thousands of 
> cubic kilometres of asteroid rock (makes me think of ancient Egyptians 
> constructing the Pyramids). Mainframe probably did not yet exist. Did 
> Typhon (and/or his family) institute a special form of worship during 
> this period?
> - Gerry Quinn
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