Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby andypalmer » Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:10 pm

For those who have seen the series Stargate: Atlantis, I think that the SM Vampires have some similarities with the Wraith. They do see humans as lesser being, primarily existing as food; they recognize that they are intelligent enough to be a threat to them, and even converse with them, usually with the aim of using them toward some end. Even if some wraith found a way to subsist without humans, they would still consider humans lesser beings - so far less advanced physiologically and technologically, that a relationship of equality would be incomprehensible. I think SM vampires see it in a similar way. It's not that they are so much more intelligent that humans, but their processing ability is so much more. To use a computer analogy, humans have a single processor with 1 GB or RAM while vampires have 32 processors and 128 GB or RAM; it's not so much a matter of what but how much and how fast.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby Knives » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:01 am

Physically, certainly, but vampirism doesn't come with an instant ticket to hyper-intelligence any more than imprinting comes with a direct jack-in to fate (don't even start me on imprinting). Vampires would likely recognize that any being capable of living as long as them without going mad (which, frankly, many vampires probably would go mad in the end) would be capable of becoming just as intelligent and cunning as they are.

Alcyone, it's nice to meet you. I'm glad to find out that I'm not the Lex's only anti that can actually hold an intelligent conversation >.> Now if we could only get December to post on Twilightsucks, the cycle would be complete!
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby andypalmer » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:46 am

Knives wrote:Physically, certainly, but vampirism doesn't come with an instant ticket to hyper-intelligence any more than imprinting comes with a direct jack-in to fate (don't even start me on imprinting). Vampires would likely recognize that any being capable of living as long as them without going mad (which, frankly, many vampires probably would go mad in the end) would be capable of becoming just as intelligent and cunning as they are.
My comment had nothing to do with longevity but had to do with the differences in how the vampire brain is described. As described, they can process information faster and can process multiple threads of information/thought separately; that's why I used the computer metaphor - it's not so much that vampires are smarter, but more that their brains can just do more things and do them faster.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby December » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:43 am

Knives wrote:Alcyone, it's nice to meet you. I'm glad to find out that I'm not the Lex's only anti that can actually hold an intelligent conversation >.> Now if we could only get December to post on Twilightsucks, the cycle would be complete!

Without presuming to speak for Alcyone...I think I should point out that she's been an energetic member of the Lex from its earliest days, a ruling spirit on the first Adult discussion threads (alas, now accidentally deleted), and the founder of The Host Index, the earliest fansite for The Host. So "anti-" doesn’t quite do justice to our incomparable Alcyone. Admittedly, she’s got strong, proprietary views about Aro, no patience whatsoever for bad science, and would probably rather drink Liquid Plumber than spend five minutes in Edward’s company -- but I wouldn’t be too quick to pigeonhole the Volturi Queen....

But yes, I'm very glad you two have met!
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby GrayceM » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:52 am

andypalmer wrote:
Knives wrote:Physically, certainly, but vampirism doesn't come with an instant ticket to hyper-intelligence any more than imprinting comes with a direct jack-in to fate (don't even start me on imprinting). Vampires would likely recognize that any being capable of living as long as them without going mad (which, frankly, many vampires probably would go mad in the end) would be capable of becoming just as intelligent and cunning as they are.
My comment had nothing to do with longevity but had to do with the differences in how the vampire brain is described. As described, they can process information faster and can process multiple threads of information/thought separately; that's why I used the computer metaphor - it's not so much that vampires are smarter, but more that their brains can just do more things and do them faster.


I'd like to jump in here...these are wonderful discussions btw.
On the issue of intelligence vs. processing quantity and speed, I believe you are both right. If your brain was designed to run 500x faster than any others and you had centuries to learn and gather information, you would be considered to be more intelligent than average. "Intelligence is an umbrella term describing a property of the mind including related abilities, such as the capacities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, learning from the experience, planning, and problem solving". Since it would allow that the more time you had to learn; experience, problem solve, or communicate, the better you would be at it, then a vampire would be more intelligent than a human. With the exception of those that choose to improve their instincts instead of their reasoning. James for example and Demetri have devoted a great deal of their lives to sharpening their senses to track, instead of studying medicine as Edward and Carlisle have done, or music. They have multiple degrees in numerous fields.
But James and Demetri believe themselves to be greater than humans, who are on their food chain. Much the way a human may consider themselves to be greater and put their lives over that of a chicken or a cow. Whereas, humans are not part of Carlisle's regular diet and sees the occasional "slips" as someone who is unable to refrain from their nature. But he is humble. He puts himself on the same level with humans and though he knows it happens, he regrets any life ended for any reason, as most humans do.
This brings me to my small question; none of the others in these novels have careers as Carlisle does...it makes me wonder what the other nomads do with their time? Does the Denali clan live as the Cullen's do? In a community with jobs and lives outside of their "family"? The book only talks about the men Tanya and her sisters love. (If I'm remembering correctly) It says nothing of them teaching school, waiting tables or prosecuting a case in court. There is never anything mentioned about the nomads joining the military or working on oil rigs. If bringing the characters to life gives them morals and ethics if not a soul, wouldn't it be fair to say that the vegetarian vampires would hold all top paying jobs or be the most successful in their chosen careers?
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby ringswraith » Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:12 pm

GrayceM wrote:If bringing the characters to life gives them morals and ethics if not a soul, wouldn't it be fair to say that the vegetarian vampires would hold all top paying jobs or be the most successful in their chosen careers?


There is one problem with this- it will eventually lead to questions, which could lead to breaking Volturi Rule #1: The humans must remain unaware.

Let's say a vamp became a successful prosecuting attorney. Aside from having issues with showing up anytime there's sunlight, someone with that much success tends to attract attention. They could get a highly-publicized case. Perhaps someone they helped put away gets out and wants revenge, only to discover that they can't kill said attorney. (What does she do then?) Or what if she's so successful that her career lasts for a long time? People will start to realize that she's not changing (aging) over the years. And depending on her fame or infamy, it will be rather difficult for her to just "disappear" and start over again somewhere else.

And all this time, you know the Volturi will be monitoring the situation closely, looking for that one slip-up that could result in her destruction.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby GrayceM » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:06 pm

I would assume that these situations for the vegetarian vampires would all be similar to Carlisle. He isn't watched closely by the Volturi and he is successful. He moves on after a time to keep the suspicion down. Their success doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how long their career lasts. Couldn't they simply choose another line of work in a different town or country. Even Charlie states, "Carlisle Cullen is a brilliant surgeon who could probably work in any hospital in the world, make ten times the salary he gets here". It would not necessarily have to be a high profile prosecutor...I'm not sure I know any prosecutors by name or sight...maybe that's different in other circles.
Since there are only two known covens of vegetarian vampires, wouldn't it be safe to assume that the Denali clan do have a similar lifestyle? Or did I miss something in their background?

As far as the nomads, I picture some of them at least, like Garrett, working those jobs that require solitude or enjoying extreme cold. Deep sea divers...
Wouldn't that be extremely boring after some 300 years if you didn't find a "profession"? Or am I being too civilized?
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby December » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:52 pm

I think there are a number of practical answers to the question why more of the Cullens don't have jobs. For Esme, it's too difficult to be among humans all the time (or so Stephenie tells us). For Jasper, I'd guess it's the same; he depends on Alice and Edward to stiffen his resolve and help him avoid temptation. Anyway, most of them dont look old enough to be in the workforce. Not for more than a year or two, before they'd have to move on to a new place where they weren't known. The point of masquerading as students is that it covers the widest age range they could plausibly claim to be.

There is a further question about whether the Cullens ought to be doing more with their days than marking time in school. Whether they owe it to society to be doing something productive or charitable, instead of basically living lives of leisure. Or whether they deserve substantial credit merely for managing to stick to their difficult way of life and NOT kill people. We talked about this a lot on the old boards. Not sure I'm up to summarizing the conversation (it's well past midnight here) but if you're interested, you might have a look here and at the two pages following. The discussion meanders a bit, but there's a number of posts on this issue.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby GrayceM » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:29 am

December wrote:I think there are a number of practical answers to the question why more of the Cullens don't have jobs. For Esme, it's too difficult to be among humans all the time (or so Stephenie tells us). For Jasper, I'd guess it's the same; he depends on Alice and Edward to stiffen his resolve and help him avoid temptation. Anyway, most of them dont look old enough to be in the workforce. Not for more than a year or two, before they'd have to move on to a new place where they weren't known. The point of masquerading as students is that it covers the widest age range they could plausibly claim to be.


Ok here's my thinking on this. I don't think that the Cullen children have a more difficult time being around humans...strictly basing this thought chain on the fact that they have repeated high school numerous times in an effort not to stand out to humans, as opposed to being home schooled. They continue to play the role of the older teenager and graduate because that is normally the time in human life when things are undecided and changing quickly. How much would you notice a family moving into your community for say 5 years? The children are high school juniors and seniors. Though they are talked about because they are more interesting than the average family - the parents are young but have adopted or are fostering 5 teenagers - the father is successful doctor and they have moved from Alaska. As a couple of the children graduate, they move on...go to college, get married and move away from home, even those who don't have a set career path or plan after graduation would seem unusual if they moved out of town and started new lives.
That being said...and I'm still unsure of the timeline here...but how long was Alice a vampire before she came to her "conscience"? For that matter, how long does it take for that conscience to win over instinct? Jasper seems to be still be struggling and yet we know that neither he nor Alice are with the Cullens when they lived in Forks previously. Since it was Jacob's great-grandfather, it would stand to reason that we're looking at average 50-80 years? They had joined the family by 1950 and he had developed his conscience prior to leaving Maria and joining Peter and Charlotte. So, he's depressed about all the killing and fighting...he chooses to find a new way of life...he has been with the Cullens for 50some odd years and still finds it difficult to resist human blood. :o Or was it necessary to the story for one member of the Cullens to be at a distance and still struggling so that Bella would see that it's not as easy as the rest make it look, and have second thoughts? Though I'll admit that his suffering doesn't factor into her decision as much as seeing Bree. So was it really necessary to make Jasper suffer throughout the story?
December wrote:There is a further question about whether the Cullens ought to be doing more with their days than marking time in school. Whether they owe it to society to be doing something productive or charitable, instead of basically living lives of leisure. Or whether they deserve substantial credit merely for managing to stick to their difficult way of life and NOT kill people. We talked about this a lot on the old boards. Not sure I'm up to summarizing the conversation (it's well past midnight here) but if you're interested, you might have a look here and at the two pages following. The discussion meanders a bit, but there's a number of posts on this issue.


This is a very lengthy but interesting discussion. I came across several points to comment on only to find that my comment was made a page or so later. Thank you for linking that.
I don't necessarily see the Cullen children as being a burden on society. For me, it would seem that Edward at least has always been driven to ensure that his existence adds meaning to life just as Carlisle has. In fact, I have never been completely convinced that Edward believes he has lost his soul...yes, he states that is what he believes but his actions almost every day are a contradiction to that. He rebels against Carlisle but he chooses to only remove the "evil" elements. Think of the countless women he has saved by this decision alone and why choose that if you don't believe there's a slim chance that you are wrong in your beliefs. The one thing he does after Bella is confronted is to make sure that her would be attacker will no longer prove to be a menace. Though they are much older in one aspect, I believe that previous to meeting Bella, he is at the place that most teenagers reach at some point where they begin doubting what they were always taught and forming their own opinions...carving their own place in the world. This was the point in his life when he was turned and as the books state, change for vampires is rare. He was in this inbetween stage for 80 years until he met Bella and he was changed. Whatever his beliefs were before he was transformed have been shaken and he's ready and open to be proven wrong. He's still somewhat holding on to the beliefs but his resolve is wavering. He wants to be wrong...he wants to believe as Bella does and since she has changed his existence already, he now believes that anything is possible, even his soul.

Wow...did I get off topic. :oops: I was trying to get to this point. I understand the reasoning behind the Cullens living how they do...my curiosity lies in the Denali clan and their way of life. I would assume that they live with a similar arrangement as the Cullens. It does not specifically state that they have moved around as much, but that may be due to their remote location. The other nomads and even the Volutri for that matter...talk about a life of leisure. They are not productive members of society. Why would their way of life not draw attention to them? I mean, wouldn't the Cullens way of life be more acceptable to society as it is now than the nomads who are roaming through towns and killing humans.
Last edited by GrayceM on Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby andypalmer » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:06 am

Were I to hazard a guess, I would guess that the Denali's are less part of human society than the Cullens. They live in a more remote area, far more sparsely populated (check out Google maps sometime - it's 2/3 of the way between Anchorage and Fairbanks, in the middle of no-where; it makes Forks look like a suburb of Seattle). As such, they really have no need to create a charade of occupation and can instead spend their free time on their hobbies (which in the case of at least 2 of the sisters, is seducing human men...).

For the Cullen children, their age is a barrier of sorts. They can pose as high school students and college students, but even if they could find night work somewhere, their capability to have any real impact on society would be limited. Carlisle has the benefit of being older, and a doctor with a great resume; as such, he can go to a hospital like Forks and stipulate certain conditions for his employment (I'll take my family hiking when it's sunny, etc.). Younger workers, such as the children would have to portray themselves, would not have the pull or influence to arrange such a convenient employment solution.

Ironically enough, probably the most convenient career choice for vegetarian vampires would be as a novelist...
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