[What is]Concurrency[?]

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[What is]Concurrency[?]

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Postby ObsessiveMathsFreak » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:21 pm

It's come up in another thread, but I feel this topic deserves its own, in-depth discussion. And so deserves it own thread.

Concurrency: Do the series endings depicted in the End of Evangelion (episodes #25' and #26') and in the "End of TV" (episodes #25 and #26) represent the same events and outcomes?

There are essentially three main positions:
  • No concurrency: The endings are completely distinct in their events and themes.
  • Weak concurrency: The endings are generally concurrency, having several points of contact representing similar events. But they do not have the same overall themes or in particular the same outcome.
  • Strong concurrency: The endings are concurrent in both events and themes, and both represent the same outcome from radically different perspectives.

To get some references out of the way:
1. An old FAQ by EvaOtaku supporting the position of weak concurrency. (search for "ending")
2. A short essay by MD-Wigs supporting the position of strong concurrency.

My own position is that of Strong concurrency. However, upon review, my feeling is that the most solid of these options to hold currently is the position of Weak concurrency.

Clearly holding that the episodes have no concurrency is not really tenable. We have several events and dialogue repeated between the two endings. To name but a few:
1) Asuka and Unit-02 in the lake bed.
2) Gendou and Rei's meeting "You have existed for this day"
3) Ritsuko and Misato's deaths.
4) Numerous identical dialogues between characters

It is clear that there is at least some similarity in the events occuring in both endings. Moreover, in both it is clear that the Human Instrumentality Project has been initiated. If nothing else, we can be assured that the endings agree upon this fact.

So, unless we argue that the TV endings are entirely abstract montages, we must set aside the position of No Concurrency and move to the next most logical position, that of Weak Concurrency.

In Weak Concurrency, we hold that the events depicted in the endings are similar, as evidenced above, but that the outcomes in particular are different. Specifically, weak concurrency holds that Shinji accepts complementation in EoTV, a much different outcome to his final rejection of it in EoE.

Supporting this view is the ideas surrounding complementation; that it completes people in some way, "filling the void in their hearts". Shinji's final entry into the world of smiling friends, proclaiming "Congratulations" is seen as representing Shinji's ultimate entry into complementation proper; he has joined the single being or consciousness (The Singularity in the words of Mr. Tines). This outcome is suggested by the intentions of Gendou seen in episode #25 and #26.

Moreover, it should be noted that the majority of evidence for concurrency comes from episode #25 rather than #26. In #26 we are largely left adrift in the dreamscape. This also occurs during EoE, but linking these two is more difficult than with the events in #25.

So, I think that Weak Concurrency is the most solid default position to hold. However, many hold the position of Strong Concurrency, that the endings are essentially the same one in both episodes, albeit from a different perspective. In particular, Strong Concurrency holds that Shinji rejects complementation in EoTV, a position clearly at odds with Weak Concurrency.

Then it can be seen that Strong Concurrency is not a simple extension of Weak Concurrency. In fact the two are very much opposing concepts when it comes to the ending. Simplistically, while they agree on episode #25, they disagree on #26.

Therefore, from the view that Weak Concurrency is the most solid default position to hold, it is clear that it is Strong Concurrency that must be conclusively demonstrated. And to do so, Strong Concurrency must show strong evidence that Shinji rejects complementation in EoTV, and moreover, his reasons for doing so are consistent with his reasons in EoE.

Before we move on to further discussion, does anyone have any thoughts on all of this so far? In particular, do you think that the primary distinction between Strong and Weak Concurrency should be Shinji's rejection or acceptance of Complementation?

EDIT: Changed thread title.
Last edited by ObsessiveMathsFreak on Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mello » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:23 pm

I would have to put my belief in strong concurrency.

and that the eotv is most likely consisting majorly of what is being internalized by the characters putting less effort into what is happenning physically outside of instrumentality

while eoe is consisting more of the physical happenings leading up to and after this internalization but not ignoring the fact that the internalization is an extremely important aspect.

so my conclusion is that one cannot exist without the other, both have elements of the other and only with both can you get the entire picture that was meant to be seen...

but on another note, rather against my previous point. both of these could also exist as stand alone endings, their both that good, remember these were originally meant to be viewed as a tv show and as a movie respectively. and shouldn't need thorough analysis to get what anno is trying to tell us
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Postby Allemann » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:35 pm

I'm gravitating between No concurrency and Weak Concurrency. You have to have in mind that the #25 and 26# were a result of low budget and not of fully articulated artistic expression unhindered by money or time. In my opinion, EoE overrides the TV episodes as canon, and they represent more of a curious insight of what you can get when you want to wrap up a series under external and internal pressure.

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Postby Holy Diver » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:25 pm

They are the same thing, only different.

So, I guess that I am in the weak congruency camp.
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Postby Xard » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:30 pm

Holy Diver wrote:They are the same thing, only different.


Yes. In my words: All in EoTV EoE assimilates/shares with it - but not all EoE has is included in EoTV
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Postby Legendary » Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:46 pm

I am a believer in strong concurrency. EoTV 25 is the thought processes and self-doubt involved while the events of EoE 25 take place. Basically, OMF's evidence works for me here.

For connecting 26, I find that EoTV 26 takes place between the dream conversation and the Shinji/Rei "coital" scene. The majority of the evidence for this is the fact that EoE Shinji asks a question "Is it okay for me to be here?" which is never answered. Meanwhile, EoTV Shinji, despite never really expressing this doubt, comes to the conclusion that "It's okay for me to be here!"

To me, that's evidence enough.

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Postby NemZ » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:00 pm

I think the 'weak concurrency' category needs to be split into two (if not more) categories to accurately express the differing interpretations. In order of most difference to least:

1) separate
2) divergent
3) parallel
4) entwined
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Postby ObsessiveMathsFreak » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:15 pm

Allemann wrote:I'm gravitating between No concurrency and Weak Concurrency. You have to have in mind that the #25 and 26# were a result of low budget and not of fully articulated artistic expression unhindered by money or time.
Do you feel then, that the final episodes are not meant to be a connected part of the overall series narrative? Are they simply a extensive introspective, not intended as a real conclusion?

Legendary wrote:The majority of the evidence for this is the fact that EoE Shinji asks a question "Is it okay for me to be here?" which is never answered. Meanwhile, EoTV Shinji, despite never really expressing this doubt, comes to the conclusion that "It's okay for me to be here!"

But, is the lack of answer to this question in EoE not a point of divergence?

NemZ wrote:1) separate
2) divergent
3) parallel
4) entwined

Could you elaborate on the specific meanings of these divisions?
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Postby NemZ » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:40 pm

ObsessiveMathsFreak wrote:Could you elaborate on the specific meanings of these divisions?


1) separate

The endings have nothing in common.

2) divergent

The endings have some points in common but lead to different outcomes.

3) parallel

The endings have many points in common, and while there are some differences they lead to generally the same place.

4) entwined

The endings are telling the same story concurrently, each having a few scenes that are unique but ultimately all part of the same whole.
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:44 pm

NemZ wrote:4) entwined

The endings are telling the same story concurrently, each having a few scenes that are unique but ultimately all part of the same whole.
That's my choice. I've always thought that 25 started a bit before 25', and then when Instrumentality starts it automatically jumps all the way to the mid-way point of 26'. 26 also has a much more extended look at the inside-effect of Instrumentality while 26' is truncated. 26 ends in Instrumentality and 26' ends in post-instrumentality. As for the latter, both the red/blue color shift and the idea of the "One More Final" title card is good evidence to back this up.
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Postby Legendary » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:23 pm

ObsessiveMathsFreak wrote:But, is the lack of answer to this question in EoE not a point of divergence?


No. My point is that EoE and EoTV are part of the same sequence of events. They portray different parts along this sequence of events, but neither is truly complete without the other.

My timeline is like this:

The events of EoE up until the point Kaworu pulls Shinji into Instrumentality happen at the same time as the self-inspection of EoTV 25.
Sandbox/Asuka strangulation
"Is it okay for me to be here?"
Third Impact
The discussion of dreams
----
EoTV
----
The reason people 'must' complement each other
The question of why Shinji is alive
The revelation that people don't hate Shinji
Self-inspection
The world without restriction
The world without Eva
"It's okay for me to be here!"
Congratulations
----
EoE
----
"Ayanami... where are we?"
An explanation of Instrumentality
Shinji rejects Instrumentality
Rei 'dies'
Shinji surfaces
Time passes
Asuka surfaces

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Postby NemZ » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:51 pm

#2 is my choice, btw, as should be obvious in other threads.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:58 pm

Weak, in the sense that two narratives are told in counterpoint, based off a minimal common skeleton such as the few glimpses into the objective world in 25 that we have mapping into clear events in EoE, the use of contrasting alternate worlds, and the like.

Concurrent in that each is a separate strand of history starting at the same point (after episode 24) and occupying the same chronology.

In the narrative sense they are opposite faces of the coin -- one is saying "Get out of your room, hikki! Interacting with people is good!"; the other is saying "However. if you stay in your pit, don't be surprised if things go to hell around you."

It's probably worth stating that the Singularity is not a synonym for any form of unified race mind. Rather, the events in part of EoE can be likened to certain forms of upload scenario where human level mentalities are liberated from their biological constraints, under the aegis of some more than human agency, to enable an unconstrained self-improvement regime (perhaps involving multiple concurrent and separately evolving copies of each human derived mind).
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Postby chaosakita » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:29 pm

Well, the existence of both 25' and 26' is because they didn't have enough money to do it right the first time, right? But I think using the resources they had, Gainax wanted to present the best thing they could. Like with everything else, it's no point to debate what exactly is "the truth", but I think since 25 and 26 were originally sound ideas to Gainax and that they don't necessarily go against what was seen in EoE, I would argue at the very least for Weak Concurrency.

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Postby ObsessiveMathsFreak » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:43 pm

With regard to Nemz' classification of weak concurrencies:

I believe "separate" is essentially the same as "no concurrency". And similarly "entwined" can be grouped under strong concurrency.

I believe "divergent" would be the standard assumption of weak concurrency.

However, I think "parallel" is closer to strong concurrency that it is to weak. Perhaps I'm taking this too far but wouldn't ending up in the same place mean the rejection of complementation? Do you mean that this ending would not necessarily mean the endings depict the same "narrative"?

Mr. Tines wrote:Rather, the events in part of EoE can be likened to certain forms of upload scenario where human level mentalities are liberated from their biological constraints, under the aegis of some more than human agency, to enable an unconstrained self-improvement regime

This might fit the concepts we see in #26. Shinji seems able to "create" entire worlds, and individuals retain their form. (Is uploading also a kind of singularity?)
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Postby thewayneiac » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:43 pm

I disagree with your contention that weak concurrency is the most supportable. All of the evidence screams strong concurrency:

Shinji ends by saying "I am nothing but I. I am I." How do you accept instrumentality by asserting your individuality?

The stage shattering and delivering the characters back under a blue sky is plainly the same as the Black Moon shattering and freeing all the souls.

Shinji is shown a world world where he has worth as an individual outside of piloting an Eva. What is the point of showing him that if they are trying to convince him to stop being an individual?

Early in Ep. 26 a title card says, "Why must we become one?"
Gendo replies, "Because it is the only way."
The screen replies, "Really?"
From this point on every event is a refutation of Gendo's statement.
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Postby ObsessiveMathsFreak » Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:57 pm

I don't think I was very clear in the first post. I did not mean to say that weak concurrency was the most supportable position. My point is that Weak Concurrency should, in the absence of clear evidence, be taken as the default position. It is strong concurrency which must be — and I believe can be — proven conclusively.

My point in making this thread is to acknowledge weak concurrency as a logical initial position to take and from there, try to discover what key evidence must be presented in order to transcend this initial analysis and move on to strong concurrency.

My point here is that, as it is a valid default position, it is not enough to "falsify" weak concurrency. The case for strong concurrency must be made in its own right. Now, since the two are incompatible, proving string concurrency must inevitable falsify some parts of weak concurrency. But in order to make the transition strong concurrency must find its own, new, foundations.

Essentially, strong concurrency must take the correct foundations of weak concurrency, show which foundations are incorrect, and then provide an alternative framework of understanding.
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Postby thewayneiac » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:04 pm

ObsessiveMathsFreak wrote:I don't think I was very clear in the first post. I did not mean to say that weak concurrency was the most supportable position. My point is that Weak Concurrency should, in the absence of clear evidence, be taken as the default position. It is strong concurrency which must be — and I believe can be — proven conclusively.


O.K., I see what you're getting at now and I mostly agree, in that I agree that strong concurrency can be proven. However, I personally think that advocates of all three positions should have to prove their case. i.e., there should be no default position.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:12 am

Legendary wrote:No. My point is that EoE and EoTV are part of the same sequence of events. They portray different parts along this sequence of events, but neither is truly complete without the other.


Click here for those who haven't~ :whistle:

Also: Strong concurrency.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:43 am

ObsessiveMathsFreak wrote: (Is uploading also a kind of singularity?)
Not really.

See many of Greg Egan's works for upload characters who are all human-equivalent mentalities, with no recursive self-improvment. They may approach some utopian state but still do not transcend.
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