Okay, let's try to figure out how sapient entity types work.

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Re: Okay, let's try to figure out how sapient entity types work.

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Postby Reichu » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:41 pm

View Original PostACGT-Samael wrote:Kaworu has a philosophical side but he's also prone to making decisions without much forethought and he often doesn't question much about what's going on around him. (snip)

You talking about Kaworu here... or Shinji? :devil: I mean, you're trying to demonstrate that Kaworu is somehow different and therefore... stuff, but all you're doing is showing that he really isn't.

This might not be what you are doing, but exteriorly it looks like you are first assuming that Rei or Kaworu must be a certain way, and then you are selecting whatever qualities match up -- ignoring or downplaying whatever doesn't. This is cherry-picking, obviously. In any case, something is amiss when your self-imposed criteria for what FoK entities must be like are ones that none of the characters in the show satisfy based on an honest assessment of their behavior. You have to remember that humanity is a collective. Individual Lilin are weak and dumb; that's precisely why we band together in societies and pass on knowledge communally. Kaworu may have the soul of a god, but his body is a Lilin's and he has spent his life in that body living amidst Lilin. NGE isn't exactly subtle about the interplay between mind, body, and the Other. Adam's soul doesn't escape this unscathed.

Something this conversation is making me wonder is what the intended goal of Fruity speculation is. The Fruits are set up as a binary so that's how fans expect them to act, but NGE is not anywhere near this neat and pat. Any place there exists a binary, NGE is there blurring that binary, and this is no exception. The Fruits are an interesting metaphorical idea, but trying to turn them into something concrete with set rules (aside from "spiral energy organ that is in red ball sometimes") is a battle against the show itself. "You're all human. Why do you care so much about how everyone is different? What matters is how everyone is the same." A clean delineation is not something NGE remotely cares about. Every hammer you try using will have a bunch of nails resisting it. In this regard, Kaworu is basically hammersbane; his very existence is at the junction between worlds.

The Rebuilds even add to this by having him blue screen for over a minute the moment something doesn't fit his established knowledge because he lacks the ability to efficiently reason things out.

I'm not completely sure what "lacking the ability to efficiently reason things out" is supposed to mean; "he has Fruit of Life, therefore he no think so good"? "Blue screening" is something that people often do when they're in a stressful and/or high-stakes situation. Here it's used to provide "show don't tell" characterization. If I had to guess, I would first assume the intended takeaway to be something like demonstrating his hubris. Kaworu is a pint-sized god basically, and could have easily assumed Gendo was so completely under his pinky finger there was no possibility of the man doing anything treacherous. Not because Gendo didn't want to, but because how the hell would Kaworu not notice if he did? In any case, I'm fairly confident it's meant to be read as a moment of all-too-human weakness -- fitting for a scene where Kaworu "falls" from Alpha to Omega -- and not as some metaphysics lesson that only us geeks who wring every last drop of significance from secondary or tertiary story details will be able to find meaning in.

(A further complicating aspect of this is how Kaworu seems to get physically ill from the "falling" process, which stalls his ability to reach a conclusion since not many people can think clearly when they feel like crap, let alone when weird metaphysical shit is happening to them.)

meaning that a soul is essentially genetic information.

"Genetic" pertains to genes, which are chemical objects. Souls in Eva definitely are not chemical -- they're represented as little red lights, and are wholly metaphysical. "Hereditary" would be a better word.

(Re: Eva2, like any other supplemental source it shouldn't be used when it obviously conflicts with the show, as is the case with Seele becoming gods at everyone else's expense.)

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Re: Okay, let's try to figure out how sapient entity types work.

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Postby ACGT-Samael » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:17 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:You talking about Kaworu here... or Shinji? :devil: I mean, you're trying to demonstrate that Kaworu is somehow different and therefore... stuff, but all you're doing is showing that he really isn't.


Shinji is more a case of him shutting out the outside world because she's wrapped up in his own emotions, and less a matter of not being able to reason out information for the world around him in an efficient manner.

View Original PostReichu wrote:This might not be what you are doing, but exteriorly it looks like you are first assuming that Rei or Kaworu must be a certain way, and then you are selecting whatever qualities match up -- ignoring or downplaying whatever doesn't. This is cherry-picking, obviously. In any case, you're doing something wrong when your self-imposed criteria for what FoK entities must be like are ones that none of the characters in the show would pass based on an honest assessment of their behavior. You have to remember that humanity is a collective. Individual Lilin are weak and dumb; that's precisely why we band together in societies and pass on knowledge communally. Kaworu may have the soul of a god, but his body is a Lilin's and he has spend his life in that body living amidst Lilin. NGE isn't exactly subtle about the interplay between mind, body, and the Other.


I don't really have any preconceived ideas about particular moulds that Rei or Kaworu must fit so much as I'm working from the show's demonstrated fact that, for as many similarities as the collective humanity have, there do exist differences between Adam- and Lilith-based life. I'm just trying to go through what's presented of Kaworu - which isn't much, given his limited screen time - as well as what we're shown about his brethren.

View Original PostReichu wrote:I mentioned earlier that the Fruits are one of the sloppiest parts of the show and that I don't think they're worth the amount of thought that's put into them. In conversations like this, I even get the impression that the desire to fanwank them into submission does more harm than good. The Fruits are set up as a binary and that's how fans expect them to act, but NGE is not anywhere near this neat and pat. Any place there exists a binary, it is there blurring that binary, and this is no exception. The Fruits are an interesting metaphorical idea, but trying to turn them into something concrete with set rules (aside from "perpetual energy organ") is a battle against the show itself. "You're all human. Why do you care so much about how everyone is different? What matters is how everyone is the same." A clean delineation is not something NGE remotely cares about. You try coming up with one, you'll always end up with a bunch of nails that don't want to be hammered down. That is to say that something like downplaying Kaworu's humanity (and on the basis of attributes that normal people regularly exhibit, at that!) is missing the forest for the trees.


We're a fan forum for one of the most dense pieces of fiction in recent memory. What else are we supposed to do if not discuss things like this?

View Original PostReichu wrote:"The Rebuilds even add to this by having him blue screen for over a minute the moment something doesn't fit his established knowledge because he lacks the ability to efficiently reason things out." -- I'm not completely sure what "lacking the ability to efficiently reason things out" is supposed to mean; "he has Fruit of Life, therefore he dumb"? "Bluescreening" is something that people often do when they're in a stressful and/or high-stakes situation. Here it's used to provide "show don't tell" characterization. If I had to guess, I would first assume the intended takeaway to be something like demonstrating his hubris. Kaworu is a pint-sized god basically, and could have easily assumed Gendo was so completely under his pinky finger there was no possibility of the man doing anything treacherous. Not because Gendo didn't want to, but because how the hell would Kaworu not notice if he did? In any case, I'm fairly confident it's meant to be read as a moment of all-too-human weakness -- fitting for a scene where Kaworu "falls" from Alpha to Omega -- and not as some metaphysics lesson that only nerds who care about secondary or tertiary story details will be able to determine the significance of.


I'm not saying Kaworu is dumb by any stretch of the imagination; but when he's faced with a situation where a piece of information he's presented with is at odds with his existing ideas (that one of the spears doesn't appear as it should), he's not able to reason it out in an efficient manner. He sits there motionless with his hand on his face and just sort of repeats the same phrase or variants thereof for an entire minute or so of screen time, which is an incredibly inefficient amount of time to deduce the obvious answer: "The spears are not as I left them".

View Original PostReichu wrote:"Genetic" pertains to genes, which are chemical objects. Souls in Eva definitely are not chemical -- they're represented as little red lights, and are wholly metaphysical. "Hereditary" would be a better word.


Hereditary is a better word, yes, though the end result does appear similar in that the child receives traits of their parents, at least in some capacity.

However, I still don't fully buy the idea that the appearance of physical beings are entirely dictated by the soul, and that without a soul a body will simply revert to LCL, as some have suggested. The Evas are all born without souls, and the Rei clones that drive the Dummy System also lack them, yet they are fully capable of maintaining physical form.
Last edited by ACGT-Samael on Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Okay, let's try to figure out how sapient entity types work.

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Postby Reichu » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:39 pm

You may want to fix your typos -- they render parts of your post illegible.

View Original PostACGT-Samael wrote:Shinji is more a case of him shutting out the outside world because she's wrapped up in his own emotions, and less a matter of not being able to reason out information for the world around them in an efficient manner.

(A) You describe them as having suspiciously similar vices.
(B) You're able and willing to attribute Shinji's version of these vices to character flaws.
(C) On what basis are Kaworu's not also the result of character flaws?

You say that Kaworu is "Adam-based life" and therefore he must be different from "Lilith-based life", but, to be broken record: he is both. He is a hybrid being. "Sachiel is simple-minded therefore Kaworu has to be" isn't going to cut it. It is incomplete.

he's not able to reason it out in an efficient manner. (...) and just sort of repeats the same phrase or variants thereof

As a response to me asking what "lacking the ability to efficiently reason things out" means, this is ... unintentionally funny.

With everything that's happening in that scene (which I have partially gone over, to no effect), and the fact that Kaworu is selective about what he divulges throughout the film, this "efficiency of reasoning" thing feels like a REALLY weird thing to fixate upon. I can readily imagine you carrying around a stopwatch IRL and telling people "Your cognition is inefficient" in a cold monotone if for whatever reason they take too long to answer a question you consider simple or obvious.

However, I still don't fully buy the idea that the appearance of physical beings (snip)

Non sequitur? Was there something in my post that prompted this?

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Re: Okay, let's try to figure out how sapient entity types work.

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Postby ACGT-Samael » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:01 pm

View Original PostReichu wrote:You may want to fix your typos -- they render parts of your post illegible.


I thought I had gotten them all but that's what I get for trying to type out these replies on an iPad.

View Original PostReichu wrote:(A) You describe them as having suspiciously similar vices.
(B) You're able and willing to attribute Shinji's version of these vices to character flaws.
(C) On what basis are Kaworu's not also the result of character flaws?

You say that Kaworu is "Adam-based life" and therefore he must be different from "Lilith-based life", but, to be broken record: he is both. He is a hybrid being. "Sachiel is simple-minded therefore Kaworu has to be" isn't going to cut it. It is incomplete.


Kaworu, as I do admit and I realise I should have said earlier I admit - is a black sheep as far as the Angels go. The reason I focus on him is because he's the only Angel who's able to articulate his thoughts in a way we can understand, as opposed to the silent Sachiel or the inarticulate Armisael. It's certainly complicated by the weird circumstances of his creation, but it still makes sense he has something to tell us about the Angels.

View Original PostReichu wrote:As a response to me asking what "lacking the ability to efficiently reason things out" means, this is ... unintentionally funny.

With everything that's happening in that scene (which I have partially gone over, to no effect), and the fact that Kaworu is selective about what he divulges throughout the film, this "efficiency of reasoning" thing feels like a REALLY weird thing to fixate upon. I can readily imagine you carrying around a stopwatch IRL and telling people "Your cognition is inefficient" in a cold monotone if for whatever reason they take too long to answer a question you consider simple or obvious.


Damn, now you know about my favourite hobby, and that's something I cannot abide.

In all seriousness though, Kaworu first begins to doubt what's going on the moment they see Lilith, long before Asuka and Mari make their presence known. When they do, he continues to fixate on the spears, paying not mind to Asuka fighting off Shinji. He doesn't get distracted by the battle, and when he finally realises all is not well he only spews vague statements anybody thinking for more than a second wouldn't convince Shinji.

The reason I focus on information processing, incidentally, stems from the entire initial train of thought I was going by, which was "What exactly is the Fruit of Knowledge". We seem to agree it's connected in some way to human reasoning and logical skills, and that makes sense when you realise that's fine evolutionary advantage that allowed us to become the dominant species on this planet. Seriously, the human brain is nothing short of astounding in the complexity of information it can process and the speed with which it can do so, to the extent we still can't recreate it with technology that lacks human weaknesses.

So, if the hypothesis is "The Fruit of Knowledge is human reasoning abilities", then to test that we look for evidence of whether or not life lacking said Fruit demonstrates a strong deficiency in reasoning skills. Again, because Kaworu can actually vocalise his thoughts, he's an obvious candidate for this, even if, again, he's a problematic example.

View Original PostReichu wrote:Non sequitur? Was there something in my post that prompted this?


It was less aimed at you and more the general idea I see presented by some fans that the soul is responsible for everything and genetic information is a red herring in human biology, which seems kind of ludicrous.

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Re: Okay, let's try to figure out how sapient entity types work.

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Postby Anonymous_Evafan » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:48 pm

The other Angels are children, Armi makes this very obvious if Sandalphon didn't already. Kaworu was a previously existing human on another planet 4 billion+ years ago. Of course he's going to look more articulate. He had a previous life. Armi quickly understands loneliness and tries to give Rei what it is convinced her heart desires. You can even argue Areal called Asuka a liar for saying she could be alone. These are not the actions of being incapable of understanding emotions they are simply beings that don't study psychology and have names for all of it. And you have to wonder how much of their behavior is a result of the state of the world, I.E. them not being able to interact with one another like they would have naturally.

I firmly stand by FoL means no science or art because their natural state doesn't require such things. They can just imagine the technology they want and if they want to communicate they can connect directly with one another for mind to mind communication. They have no need to understand the underlying science behind their shape shifting abilities nor any need to express themselves via any other means. Thus things such as music intrigue Kaworu as I'm sure we'd be very intrigued by the shape shifting shenanigans.
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Re: Okay, let's try to figure out how sapient entity types work.

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Postby Reichu » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:46 pm

View Original PostAnonymous_Evafan wrote:I firmly stand by FoL means no science or art because their natural state doesn't require such things.

This is a ... difficult statement. Our own "natural state" doesn't "require" many, many things, and yet we do all sorts of mind-boggling things regardless. All we can do is make guesses as to why and hope they're correct, but because science marches on they could always be wrong. Because we don't even understand ourselves, these sorts of statements are a house of cards built on a house of cards. It doesn't help that we never see the Angels under the conditions they were intended to exist. (It would be a little like surveying the behavior of Homo sapiens in the wake of massive social destablization, and deciding that anything outside those norms is not part of our natural state.)

The "science" part sort of makes sense, but the "art" one? Ehhhhh. By the logic train you're riding, the Angels might as well all be undifferentiated blobs that don't create anything except the bare minimum needed to protect themselves -- after all, if they need to express themselves in any way, they can just link up, right? No need to make their own bodies a form of self-expression! Yet they all do it anyway, sometimes to ludicrous extremes.

Another aspect of difficulty is that... well, take the Lilin. They don't have the FoL, and their "natural state" doesn't require it (they don't need to live forever; they replace their numbers and that works just fine), but they still want it. Logically, it works in reverse as well. Adam's Children are human, and humans are fundamentally incomplete beings that dynamically attempt to compensate for this fact; we want what we don't have. We've never been reactor-powered immortals, so most of us would have trouble grasping why any immortal would desire our attributes -- but the Angels would probably be boggled by our obsession with immortality as well.

Thus things such as music intrigue Kaworu

You yourself said "Kaworu was a previously existing human on another planet 4 billion+ years ago". He is not tabula rasa as per Adam's natural children. His fascination with music in fact complements Rei's fascination with science (cf. all the books she reads). Each one is embracing one of the things that makes humans (as traditionally understood) human.

Is Kaworu's persistent use of "Lilin" what throws people off? Kaworu knows he has the body of a Lilin, but Seele have clearly raised him to think of himself as an Other. This probably makes him come across as more alien than he truly is, because he is obfuscating his own Lilin nature. In the very next episode, Rei rejects Shinji's attempts to other-ize Kaworu: "he's as human as I am."

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Re: Okay, let's try to figure out how sapient entity types work.

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Postby ACGT-Samael » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:29 pm

The idea of using a Natural State to explain the Fruits is an interesting one but it requires a clear definition of what you consider their respective natural states to be. The Lilin, by virtue of being such a massive, distribute and discrete group of individuals have room for a lot of internal variance based on things like culture, age, political ideology and socio-economic class. This makes it hard to draw general conclusions about them as a whole, beyond tautologies and half-truths. The Angels even more so because of their lack of same-race interaction, and also their rather limited ability to communicate (even Armisael doesn't come off as terribly coherent, and the nature of Leliel's contact details Shinji is hard to pick apart because of the former's Twilight Zone mechanics).

On the subject of science "marching on", because I see this a lot, again, the word technically refers to two disparate ideas - the body of knowledge, and the method by which we test the truth or falsehood of beliefs. The latter is extremely robust, and actually allows us to retest the former as new information arises.

As for Kaworu, I do agree that there's definitely conditioning at play with him. But I don't think it's fair to say he's 4 billion years old without some proof he actually has memories from Adam, as without them he's only as old as his biological age. Also, there's no evidence Rei has any memories from Lilith, or she'd know exactly who she was, which seems at odds with her portrayal.

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Re: Okay, let's try to figure out how sapient entity types work.

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Postby Anonymous_Evafan » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:47 pm

I am admittedly viewing Kaworu through the lens of what Mystery Seed said and put a ? on exactly what of his original life he actually remembers beyond a vague sense that there is something there however regardless of that I an unconvinced Seele was remotely successful at condition Kaworu in any way. The fact that we walks up to Rei, recognizes her as Lilith, and comments on the irony that they would both come to exist in the form of the Lilin suggests to me he is perfectly aware of his time as Adam as Rei 1 seemed perfectly aware of her time as Lilith. And the fact that Kaworu very clearly went off script (admittedly the retcon makes this a messy affair) makes me believe he was stringing the old men along the entire time letting them think he was a simple child that could be controlled when he was in reality something far older and wiser than they were. You know the old saying, appearances can be deceiving and I think this would be a great counterpoint to Rei betraying Gendo. The futility of trying to control things beyond your comprehension.

As for the Angels and art... art first evolved as a means to pass on history before language existed in the form of cave paintings. Song, dance, and storytelling later came to fill this role still does so in many tribes in Africa. It continues to serve as a means of communion for us (I would point out the series certainly presents person to person interactions as a requirement of ours), and as a means to express things we can't necessarily put into words. FoL based life simply lacks this particular weakness due to their myriad of telepathic abilities and the fact that they don't have a timer on their lifespan. Due to the sheer alienness of their existence I cannot fathom them ever having a cause to create something that remotely resembles our arts. Maybe they would make something they view as art but I can only imagine it would look completely alien to us if it even physically exists in the first place.
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Re: Okay, let's try to figure out how sapient entity types work.

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Postby ACGT-Samael » Wed May 02, 2018 2:12 pm

Actually, now that I've thought about it a little, the Fruit of Life isn't nearly as clean cut as I thought it was. Lilith and the Evas all lack the Fruit of Life but possess the same healing factor as Adam's Children, which seems very odd. Rei, meanwhile, doesn't seem to gain this ability until she absorbs Adam, even though she appears to derive at least partly from Lilith's biomass. This could be a property of particle wave matter, but we're never shown whether that's the case.

Also, Adam managed to survive exploding by reverting to an embryonic state... despite losing its soul, which should have taken the Fruit of Life with it if the Fruit is inherent to get souls. Again, the Spear/Lance may be a factor, but if that's the case it makes that object even more of a plot device given how life we know about it.


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