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The Teragen are canonically right?

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  • #16
    In addition to the above points this is all during the period between n-day and the aberrant war which is a few decades I'm not mistaken, as time moves on in my opinion as the average power level of rise even those who manage to avoid excess transcendence will still find there points of view shifting. This doesn't mean that the novas will be monsters or evil but when the novas have reached such heights of intellect, power and virtual immortality and say after a few centuries a baseline/human starts talking about equality and such how are they going to respond with any seriousness.

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    • #17
      One of the major problems with the Teragen is that Nova's aren't all equal with each other just like they aren't equal to Baselines. Sure, a single Nova could be stronger than any Baseline could ever be, or smarter. But how many other than Dark Stars are jack of all trades? One Nova could lift a skyscraper over his head, and another could talk a person into suicide. One Nova could read a book on vehicular engineering and build a car while another could run across the entirety of the United States without taking a break. Now according to the Teragen every Nova is an island, a nation. They need have no consideration for Baseline morals or laws. In the original edition this was more a transitional step until Nova's could make their own laws and define their own morality that would apply for them. But there are no rules that could apply to all Nova's, because all Nova's are different, and their abilities can run from "Baseline" to "Planetary". Any rules system that applied to all Nova's could easily apply to Baselines, just using Baselines as the very lowest ability that a Nova could possibly display. Two Nova's with mega-intelligence 5 and mega-stamina 5 would find each other as alien as a Baseline would fine them. Their experiences would be that different.

      In the new edition Teras might work differently. The Null Manifest and Teras might simply advocate that the state of being a Nova means that every individual is entirely devoted to their own self-improvement, but that doesn't really seem true considering that the Teragen collects into various cliques. They do seem to be working towards forming a kind of Nova society. The problem is that Teras is directly opposed to the construction of a functioning society.

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      • #18
        As far as I can tell Mal wasn't trying to make a society when he put out the Null Manifesto. He wanted Noves to step up and become peers, he could care less how they did it. It was others that came along afterwards that tried to turn his every Nova is a nation into a alternate societal framework. Even in first edition Teras was more a philosophy rather than a hard and fast set of rules. While people have tried to build societies off of philosophy's it rarely ever works well.
        And as far as Novas gathering into groups, even if they become so divorced from Baselines they will still have friends and people they work with to accomplish goals.

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        • #19
          One of the biggest issues with the Terat is directly called out in the book. Too many Terats use it as an excuse to just do whatever they want and then claim baseline oppression when their activities directly threaten baselines and baselines try and stop it.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by stanlemon View Post
            One of the biggest issues with the Terat is directly called out in the book. Too many Terats use it as an excuse to just do whatever they want and then claim baseline oppression when their activities directly threaten baselines and baselines try and stop it.
            This right here.

            For someone as smart as Divis Mal, he didn't see, or chose not to see, a crucial aspect of nova kind when he shared his philosophy: they didn't have his perspective. I get the impression that Divis Mal assumed wrongly that every nova would see that his interpretation of Teras, to pursue individual enlightenment and self-improvement without the restrictions of baselines, was the only correct one and also self-evident. Even as things rapidly spiraled out of control, he didn't want to believe that some Novas just wanted to use his words as an en excuse to be power hungry, selfish assholes. The philosophy by itself is not "evil", it's just that the way it's expressed it tends to attract the worst kinds of personalities.

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            • #21
              I see Divis Mal as a Superman analogue, except following Randian ideals rather than being selfless. He doesn't seem to really want to take a leadership position, rather he wants to be a symbol of his ideals and example to others. He really does seem to think that his way is best and that eventually it'll work. And I suspect that if (when) (if?) it all falls apart he'd attribute it to the failure of his followers rather than any flaw in his philosophy.

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              • #22
                Yeah, the Teragen aren't objectively correct in TC:Aberrant. But Divis Mal is a pretty smart fellow, and aspects of Teras are absolutely founded on something real; Chrysalis is an excellent way to manage your 'evolution' and prune undesirable transformations, a nova who continues to grow in power is going to be something other than human even if they manage to continue to look human.

                But other things aren't objectively correct, and you can have reasonable disagreements; for example, in my game, Eden (in Aeon) was founded by novas who took Teras in a different direction that encouraged responsible development and grounding and not Ascension At All Costs, which is why most of the novas are relatively low Quantum and low Transcendence but they still accept that as novas, they're not just baselines with powers which is the sort of insight you have to have in order to use Chrysalis, in my thoughts.

                I feel, aside from the snickering, a more value-neutral term really lays it in. One of the player characters in my game has Growth power locked, with a Q-tech shrink watch to cancel it out if they need to do things at a human scale. After getting a vision of a possible future, she decided to chase after it to eventually become a planet-sized space elf goddess.Calling that process "taint" as if it's undesirable seems weird, given the future version of the character they saw was helpful, going ahead of a wave of human colonization to terraform planets for them without their knowledge. But Transcendence seems a very good word for her condition; future-her is nothing like a baseline human and closer to Q levels of "just change the gravitational constant!" when it comes to solving a problem, even as she has benevolent intent and quite likes humanity.

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                • #23
                  I would argue that a Nova is just a human with different capabilities. That Teras as a philosophy fixation on denying that is more a matter of the philosophy's creator being a young gay man who spent his early development in a time period where being gay was much less accepted and him developing the protective mental shield of himself as "Special". As the mass of humanity being a bunch of lumps not even worth the effort to try to interact with or elevate. When Michael Donighal really became the special entity he considered himself he embraced himself as something other than human rather than try to redefine what being human meant. Teras was built on a bad foundation and Divis Mal was brilliant enough to almost make it work. Human nature, unfortunately and inevitably, prevailed.

                  I don't think the answer to the issues Novas face is to say, "I can shoot ray beams from my eyes. I am no longer human." It is instead to ask, "What does it mean to be a human being that can shoot beams from his eyes?"

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Planguy View Post
                    I would argue that a Nova is just a human with different capabilities. That Teras as a philosophy fixation on denying that is more a matter of the philosophy's creator being a young gay man who spent his early development in a time period where being gay was much less accepted and him developing the protective mental shield of himself as "Special". As the mass of humanity being a bunch of lumps not even worth the effort to try to interact with or elevate. When Michael Donighal really became the special entity he considered himself he embraced himself as something other than human rather than try to redefine what being human meant. Teras was built on a bad foundation and Divis Mal was brilliant enough to almost make it work. Human nature, unfortunately and inevitably, prevailed.

                    I don't think the answer to the issues Novas face is to say, "I can shoot ray beams from my eyes. I am no longer human." It is instead to ask, "What does it mean to be a human being that can shoot beams from his eyes?"
                    That's a position one can coherently hold, yes. But it's not the only reasonable one.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Planguy View Post
                      I would argue that a Nova is just a human with different capabilities. That Teras as a philosophy fixation on denying that is more a matter of the philosophy's creator being a young gay man who spent his early development in a time period where being gay was much less accepted and him developing the protective mental shield of himself as "Special". As the mass of humanity being a bunch of lumps not even worth the effort to try to interact with or elevate. When Michael Donighal really became the special entity he considered himself he embraced himself as something other than human rather than try to redefine what being human meant. Teras was built on a bad foundation and Divis Mal was brilliant enough to almost make it work. Human nature, unfortunately and inevitably, prevailed.

                      I don't think the answer to the issues Novas face is to say, "I can shoot ray beams from my eyes. I am no longer human." It is instead to ask, "What does it mean to be a human being that can shoot beams from his eyes?"
                      That is one possible interpretation, but it’s not the only interpretation and it doesn’t mean that Divis Mal’s philosophy is invalid.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Planguy View Post

                        I don't think the answer to the issues Novas face is to say, "I can shoot ray beams from my eyes. I am no longer human." It is instead to ask, "What does it mean to be a human being that can shoot beams from his eyes?"
                        This probably IS closer to the mindset of other terats who came from more balanced backgrounds. Terats such as Orzaiz and Mathematician (every bit as intelligent as Mal) view their status as novas quite differently in practice. Orzaiz extends his already titled status as a noble over the entire human race (at least in 1st ED), and Mathematician was reacting to the exploitation trend of human society in every one of his actions while trying to avoid the Aberrant War. The two of them certainly do not condone the wanton killing of baselines.
                        I can definitely see how Mal's background would cause him to cement in his mind the idea of his own "special" nature as a shield, and it's a good cautionary tale if anything. But the presence of other terats who managed to find more baseline-compatible expressions of the philosophy seems to indicate that there is something beyond self-aggrandizing escapism in the core of the philosophy.

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                        • #27
                          The fact that the terats aren't more unified and cohesive in their views is probably the only thing thats stopping them from accomplishing their goals or basically taking over. If they actually had a leader who could unify and direct them I don't think anyone could stop them. I mean mal for all his knowledge, power and intellect isn't actually leading them despite what the world thinks, he could and if he did that would probably terrify those who want to maintain the status quo. I'm actually curious if the teragen would be better off if they formed without mal or in a timeline where he didn't exist, because his presence as explained in the book seems to cause problems due to how many of the members view him.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Aeonstorm View Post
                            The fact that the terats aren't more unified and cohesive in their views is probably the only thing thats stopping them from accomplishing their goals or basically taking over. If they actually had a leader who could unify and direct them I don't think anyone could stop them. I mean mal for all his knowledge, power and intellect isn't actually leading them despite what the world thinks, he could and if he did that would probably terrify those who want to maintain the status quo. I'm actually curious if the teragen would be better off if they formed without mal or in a timeline where he didn't exist, because his presence as explained in the book seems to cause problems due to how many of the members view him.
                            Interestingly, in the original cannon Mal came into the picture AFTER Orzaiz, Fong, Mathematician, and Delorimer (Apostle) built the original roundtable discussion group. Had they been left to their own devices they might indeed have been better off. Of course then they would not have the Chysalis solution to offer as that came form Mal and Scripture.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Darksol-aeternium View Post

                              Interestingly, in the original cannon Mal came into the picture AFTER Orzaiz, Fong, Mathematician, and Delorimer (Apostle) built the original roundtable discussion group. Had they been left to their own devices they might indeed have been better off. Of course then they would not have the Chysalis solution to offer as that came form Mal and Scripture.
                              I can't remember but wasn't scripture part of the round table as a sort of representative of mal. But I get your point in both editions the presence of mal as a sort of pseudo religious figure to certain teragen factions seemed to cause a lot of problems for the teragen movement. Because where a lot of novas where seeking enlightenment and understanding of their novahood the presence of what seems like a lot religious dogma from cults to mal fractures the teragen movement. Without the religious component I think the movement might be better off.

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                              • #30
                                Isn't the religious aspect sort of baked into the whole thing? Scripture was Mal's former lover and views him as an idol and he was one of the people who helped form Teras, along with Divis Mal. Although Scripture probably doesn't actively, personally worship Divis Mal and instead probably more views the personal struggle to attain apotheosis in a religious fashion. He certainly doesn't seem to stand in the way of those who would deify Divis Mal, though.

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