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Author Topic: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.  (Read 6238 times)

Ulphus

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Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« on: 21 Jun 2011, 14:37 »

Something that came up in discussion the other day. Is the voluval true - does the mark really accurately describe or predict your personality? If you get a bad mark, does that really mean you're a bad person?

Personally, I interpret the Voluval as being "technology indistinguishable from magic" that reads a persons genetics, brain chemical mix, etc and produces a prediction of the persons future behaviour that is, while not determinate, fairly accurate.

Incidentally, this is one reason I suspect that brain injuries (or too many drugs) might lead to a different mark if you got it done again - although pod pilots are probably the only ones who might get away with that nowdays.

For example, if you spend your childhood torturing squirrels to death, you end up with a bad mark. You carefully list all the things you want from santa every christmas and save your pocket money obsessively, and you end up with an accountants mark... You're straight forward and blunt and don't step quietly around people's feelings, you end up with the bull mark. etc.

Your future is not set, but it will take hard work to avoid your "destiny".

OOC, I'd like to think that the Matari are not so barbaric as to continue such a practice if it didn't give societal benefits, and that therefore, they believe a clan is better off exiling people with bad marks even at the cost of writing-off the years of effort to raise a child to Voluval age (I could have borrowed Cia's rose coloured glasses here without noticing).

Therefore, IC I think there are real and demonstrable personality issues with people who have the "bad marks" which make them a risk and a liability to the clan and the people around them. They don't play well with others.

Am I completely out in left field here?


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Casiella

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #1 on: 21 Jun 2011, 14:49 »

Hmm. I tend to think that it's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy: tell a kid he's destined to be a great soldier, and he'll go out and train and fight. Tell her she will be a great leader, and she'll get into politics. Tell them they're outcasts and not worthy of being among polite society, and that will happen.
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Ava Starfire

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #2 on: 21 Jun 2011, 14:51 »

No. Not in left field at all.

The Matari may be thought of as simplistic, but seriously, these were an advanced people before the Day of Darkness... they know about nature vs nurture and all the other arguments that people raise against the voluval. If they didnt have a LOT of reasons to keep doing it, they wouldnt keep doing it. Matari may be lots of things, but stupid isnt one of them.

I can buy that the Voluval "might" not be accurate 100% of the time. I expect its accuracy is over 99%, however; people that do thinks like skin frogs alive and pull the legs off bugs, who grow up to decide humans are more fun to torture than animals, are wired differently. The Voluval detects that.
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Esna Pitoojee

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #3 on: 21 Jun 2011, 15:04 »

Eh... here's my question about that, then - why are people so concerned about those in Vo'Shun if everyone there are "bad people"? Seems to me that Vo'Shun isn't so much a "prison island" as a "mix of innocence and evil".
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Mithfindel

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #4 on: 21 Jun 2011, 15:08 »

I've also heard the theory about previously space-capable races (possibly Jove) setting loose the Voluval. So it's still technology advanced enough to be indistinguishable from magic, and it works, but it has a quirk - it favours those individuals which have the genetics its original designers want people to have. In short, it is an eugenics tool.

Naturally, this is deeply in the tin foil padded domain of mass wild guessing.
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Ulphus

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #5 on: 21 Jun 2011, 15:15 »

Eh... here's my question about that, then - why are people so concerned about those in Vo'Shun if everyone there are "bad people"? Seems to me that Vo'Shun isn't so much a "prison island" as a "mix of innocence and evil".

Uh, who's concerned about Vo'Shun? I'm not. "The Outcast" article seemed to be written by some Gallente bleeding heart who was shocked to discover how the Matari deal with their likely serial killers, lawyers, and people who talk in the cinema.

Vo'Shun seems to me to not actually be much to do with the Matari at all. Once someone is exiled, where they go is up to them.
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Ulphus

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #6 on: 21 Jun 2011, 15:25 »

Hmm. I tend to think that it's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy: tell a kid he's destined to be a great soldier, and he'll go out and train and fight. Tell her she will be a great leader, and she'll get into politics. Tell them they're outcasts and not worthy of being among polite society, and that will happen.

The article on Voluval suggested (to me) that it was possible to predict which mark a person might get based on their personalilty - Nobody seemed surprised Mattmar got the mark of the Bull in "Ray of Matar". So I don't think it's as simple as just encouraging someone in a particular direction.

I could be wrong though.
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Lyn Farel

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #7 on: 21 Jun 2011, 15:41 »

I have always favored Casiella's approach.

Eh... here's my question about that, then - why are people so concerned about those in Vo'Shun if everyone there are "bad people"? Seems to me that Vo'Shun isn't so much a "prison island" as a "mix of innocence and evil".

Uh, who's concerned about Vo'Shun? I'm not. "The Outcast" article seemed to be written by some Gallente bleeding heart who was shocked to discover how the Matari deal with their likely serial killers, lawyers, and people who talk in the cinema.

Or maybe the author is right and there are a lot of victims of injustice in the lot that have not been differenciated from the truly deviant ones or been outcasted for the sake of obscurantism.

In any case I prefer this idea for several reasons :

- The narrator is not said in the text to be a character with his own convictions, and no clue is left to tell us that it is the case. By default, it is most likely the author/the storyteller himself that is speaking (so CCP). Occam's razor for me.

- I find it best for the story when a tool is even more misused and badly understood, with a lot of prejudice and clichés anchored in tradition (much like slavery in amarr). It goes pair with the grimdark side of eve, and it makes it more relevant to my eyes for that precise reason.

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lallara zhuul

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #8 on: 21 Jun 2011, 16:02 »

The Amarrian Holders are just laughing as their nanite based breeding program indicators have been adopted by the Minnies as something holy and they keep purifying the stock from any weaknesses.
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Ulphus

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #9 on: 21 Jun 2011, 16:15 »

- The narrator is not said in the text to be a character with his own convictions, and no clue is left to tell us that it is the case. By default, it is most likely the author/the storyteller himself that is speaking (so CCP). Occam's razor for me.

Then it's OOC, not PF? Filled with the opinions of a modern RL person?
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Sophie Starsparrow

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #10 on: 21 Jun 2011, 16:35 »

I tend to think like all religions, it has truth in it that's been distorted. No matter how technological the method may be, it is treated and discussed as a religious truth. How many of those bad marks were on people the Shaman didn't like? or was a possible rival to a chief? etc...
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Saede Riordan

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #11 on: 21 Jun 2011, 16:45 »

Hmm. I tend to think that it's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy: tell a kid he's destined to be a great soldier, and he'll go out and train and fight. Tell her she will be a great leader, and she'll get into politics. Tell them they're outcasts and not worthy of being among polite society, and that will happen.

I think its probably a combination of this, and what Ulphus said in the OP, chances are the mark is accurate enough that there is decent reason to keep doing it. Although IMO, dumping out people who might have mental/socialisation issues and treating them like rubbish is a pretty surefire way of bringing out those issues. Someone who might otherwise have been a productive member of society loses their friends, family, clan, everyone, is it really a huge shock that they turn into a disillusioned thug lurking in the back alley preying on the people that put him there?

The way I play it with Nikita is that yes: there is a gentic/mental aspect of the voluval. She's definitely more violent, and ruthless, then most people, however, her mark definitely doesn't define her, and its definitely open to interpretation if that behaviour is because of her nature, or because of her socialization, where she was basically raised to be ruthless and violent to survive.

Also, keep in mind that nowhere in the PF does it specifically say why someone with an outcast mark is exiled. Is it because they're sociopaths? I don't think it is. Why, because the matari employ sociopaths, I mean, that's basically what the Valkears are. Criminals, murders, sociopaths, ones given weapons and governmental permission to inflict misery on their fellow man.

No, I have to think there is something deeper behind this, poor genetic stock perhaps? Or maybe Genetic stock that's too good to let get into the general population? There's all sorts of possibilities.
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Casiella

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #12 on: 21 Jun 2011, 17:03 »

They're exiled because the mark / spirits / shaman said so, AIUI.
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Matariki Rain

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #13 on: 21 Jun 2011, 17:10 »

This is EVE: bias is everywhere; bias is good.

Anything using the words "poignant", "sin", "blame", "beleaguered underdogs", and "shameful taint" -- and that's just in its first paragraph -- is displaying its biases. Understand and embrace that, and work out how the likely underlying events and conditions might seem from your viewpoint.

However, please remember that we don't know about Vo'shun: "even the liberal Gallenteans, always eager for a good cause to leap upon like lampreys and saturate their media with, have never heard of Vo’shun." It's one of those cryptic bits of PF that we're told would have significant impact were it known, and that impact hasn't happened. (And yes, I set up my first RP character to have seen Vo'shun, but although her angle is kind of interesting (a) she's pretty reserved about volunteering anything, and (b) I soon found that stuff to do with bad marks and outcasts is so cliche in Matari RP circles that it's a bit eye-rollingly "not another one".)

How the outcasts themselves hear about about Vo'shun and manage to get there is one of the unanswered mysteries of EVE. I've expressed my frustrations with that elsewhere on Backstage. Realistically, I expect that those who are both cast out and manage to use space travel to get away will be much more likely to find a place in the Federation: keep your shirt on around other Matari and get on with life without this silly "place of shame" business in Amarrian space.
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Vincent Pryce

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Re: Voluval as truth, especially bad marks.
« Reply #14 on: 21 Jun 2011, 17:18 »

Quote from: Ulphus
Vo'Shun seems to me to not actually be much to do with the Matari at all. Once someone is exiled, where they go is up to them.

If the exiled happened to find themselves with an outlaw group that is far more open minded, and then come for a little payback with a pair of shackles for not even given a chance because a bad mark said so...

One can argue it's the proof that the marking works, but I would argue that in many cases we create our own monsters.

Maybe that person would have grown up to be the general to lead the Republic or Tribes to victory against the oppressors. Instead never given chance because of an old tradition they grew bitter, vicious and the violent nature nurtured instead of harnessed for a cause you get the most vicious bastard around, who might even contribute to the possible fall of the Republic/ Tribes purely by "This is for me and my sister you superstitious fuckwads."

I would also argue it has a lot to do with the Matari. Just because you throw out the trash doesn't magically cut the trace back to you. It's your doing, thus part of you and your legacy. I think it's a nice reminder of "Matari, like anyone else, in EVEverse are bastards".

Now this is me playing the Devil's advocate, everyone wants to think the best of their given factions we grow very fond of them. Be it one of the Pirate Factions. I'm guilty of this as well from time to time. But lets face it, this is EVE, this again very grimdark. I would argue Voluval is not all that infallible, instead of afore mentioned 99% it'd be closer 50-60% accuracy rate, while the technology might be accurate, it's old and people don't know quite how to use it anymore or have made a mistake of how the results were supposed to interpret or other blunder in learning to use it. So they make mistakes. One destined for front line infantry ends up outcast, and as such their potential unharnessed runs rampant and grows corrupt as I mentioned before. Or like Sophie said, are manipulated intentionally. Surely if there's technology to make them, someone's figured a way to fuck with them.
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