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Old 12-14-2006, 02:57 AM   #51
The Solomon of Sarcasm
NemelChelovek's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 207

Moriarty: I come out and have the honesty to admit that my health does not allow me to engage in long sessions in front of the computer right now, and you ridicule me for that. You can imagine how little I care to hear the arguments of someone who would do that. You also proceed to cheerfully deduce from my admission that I have not the energy to continue the discussion that I want others not to either. Not true.
I'm pretty sure he thought you were being figurative with the term "stamina." It's often used to describe patience or mental energy. I thought you meant that type of stamina, too.

Any disdain perceived is in the eye of the beholder.
It has a lot to do with word choice. "Nothing more than" carries a stigma of dismissal, "prejudice" has taken on a negative connotation. Thus, a sentence that was not intended as disdainful comes out sounding that way.

But where do you get this definition?
From every teacher and textbook of every writing course I've ever taken since the seventh grade, as well as the works of a number of authors. It's not a dictionary definition, it's a practical definition. A dictionary tells you what a word means; I'm talking about how a concept is constructed. A dictionary isn't going to tell you about aerodynamics or the concept of lift under the definition of "airplane," but those are essential aspects of a plane's construction.

A story needs only be a succession of events. There is a manga where a man simply walks around looking at things around him. That is a story.
Conflict doesn't have to be between two people. It can be (and quite often is) between a person and himself. There could be all sorts of conflict in even something like a man walking around looking at his environment, especially in a visual media like a manga. You have to take into account what he's saying or thinking, the expressions on his face, the way he's interacting with his environment. Conflict doesn't have to slap you across the face and yell "I'M A CONFLICT!!!!" It's often very small. If it's not present, though, it's not a story. It's a description, which is often confused with a story.

As for causality, that is another western prejudice: we tend to feel there must be causality between the sequence of events in a story. But this does not follow from any of the definitions of story given above; and even the nature of the causality preferred is strictly limited: the findings of quantum physics are kept strictly out of this mechanical definition.
I can't tell if you're joking or not about the quantum physics thing, but in case you're not: please explain to me how quantum physics dictates the definition of a narrative that consists of no physical matter and has been created or adapted in the mind of an individual. Quantum is primarily concerned with energy and matter, as far as I recall, neither of which make up a story.

This is narrow-minded and arrogant, and certainly it is pretty harsh to claim superior knowledge over other cultures in this way; they have always thought of their stories as stories, whether they have featured conflict or causality or not.
I'm just telling you what I've heard and seen demonstrated consistently and from a variety of sources for about ten years now. And the word "story" is an English one; what other cultures thought of their stories as is best expressed in their own languages. The word "story" might just be the closest word the English language has for another culture's otherwise-untranslatable concept.

I feel like I am in a university dormitory with a bunch of drunk philosophy majors.
Coincidentally, I feel like a drunk philosophy major in a university dormitory.
Before you ask, "Nemel Chelovek" is from a Russian fairy tale about a dragon, his uncle, a princess, and a heroic pageboy. Nemel is the uncle in question.

Advertisers don't program morals into their audiences. It would be bad for business.
--Sara Ogaz, Queen of the World

Just about every adventure game includes you needing to combine a ham and a wrench to make a "porkscrew".
--Kevin Wilson
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