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#77 Apr 03 2012 at 6:59 AM Rating: Good
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The tl;dr version of this thread is basically that Totem is throwing a temper tantrum because The Hunger Games was hyped and not as good as he was made to believe, right?
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#78 Apr 03 2012 at 7:02 AM Rating: Excellent
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#79 Apr 03 2012 at 7:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
But historical feudal societies did use conflict between the folks they controlled to keep them in line, but they did so by political manipulation.
I'm glad we've evolved beyond that.
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#80 Apr 03 2012 at 12:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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Kavekk wrote:
I agree with everything Totem has said, and everything he will go on to say, in this thread.

This is a wise move.


I read this in Optimus Prime's voice. It totally sounds reasonable that way.
#81 Apr 03 2012 at 2:26 PM Rating: Default
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Samira wrote:
Yeah, no.

I do wish you'd read the first chapter of the first book before you set about bloviating.



Hey. I'm just responding based on how the back story was related to me by several people who've read the books. Maybe they all got it wrong, or forgot some key piece of information. The yearly games are a punishment to the districts for a previous uprising. But, as I said, it seems like a poor way to do this since you're also training a potential army to fight against you some day. I'm not talking about how the games were explained in the book, but how they would affect things if they were actually implemented in a real world.

It's not that they couldn't do this, but that no even semi intelligent ruler-class would have ever created something like this. Only in the mind of an author who didn't think things all the way through (or is deliberately setting up a plot based on the innate stupidity of creating the games) would such a thing happen. Not saying that this makes it a poor story within that setting, just that the setting itself is contrived to create that story.

Edited, Apr 3rd 2012 1:28pm by gbaji
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#82 Apr 03 2012 at 2:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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Rome trained gladiators. I beleive it was the Byzantine Empire that trained slaves/prisoners and used them as elite guards.
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#83 Apr 03 2012 at 2:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
Rome trained gladiators. I beleive it was the Byzantine Empire that trained slaves/prisoners and used them as elite guards.


Yes. But do you see how there's a key difference (which I pointed out directly) between those system and one in which you randomly select two teens from each district to fight to the death? I honestly don't know if the book(s) touch on this at all, but I imagine that since the possibility of any teen being selected exists, that every teen will have to spend at least some effort learning skills useful and applicable for those games. The result is a total population which is going to have a much higher percentage of potentially skilled assassins, warriors, hunters, etc.

Which is presumably the exact opposite of what the capital city actually wants.


There's a reason why Rome used slaves as gladiators. Because it put the average citizen above those guys. They could safely cheer for their favorites without those in power worrying that the citizens would ever side with them. If those chosen to fight were picked randomly from the population (of commoners presumably), you can bet the very first gladiator revolt would garner massive public support from a population fearful that they could find themselves in the same situation and hateful of a ruling class that imposed this on them.

That's why you don't do this. It's a monumentally stupid method of population control. But from what I can see, it appears to be the primary premise for the conflict within the book(s).

Edited, Apr 3rd 2012 1:53pm by gbaji
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#84 Apr 03 2012 at 3:30 PM Rating: Good
gbaji wrote:
Samira wrote:
Yeah, no.

I do wish you'd read the first chapter of the first book before you set about bloviating.



Hey. I'm just responding based on how the back story was related to me by several people who've read the books. Maybe they all got it wrong, or forgot some key piece of information. The yearly games are a punishment to the districts for a previous uprising. But, as I said, it seems like a poor way to do this since you're also training a potential army to fight against you some day. I'm not talking about how the games were explained in the book, but how they would affect things if they were actually implemented in a real world.

It's not that they couldn't do this, but that no even semi intelligent ruler-class would have ever created something like this. Only in the mind of an author who didn't think things all the way through (or is deliberately setting up a plot based on the innate stupidity of creating the games) would such a thing happen. Not saying that this makes it a poor story within that setting, just that the setting itself is contrived to create that story.

Edited, Apr 3rd 2012 1:28pm by gbaji


Yeah, whoever explained the back story to you either did a ****** *** job of it, or just gave you the basics. Most of the districts simply do not have the resources to train any of their kids, let alone all of them. The main character Catniss, is from one of those districts. And yes, there is the option of volunteering to be a tribute. The more well off districts, such as 1, 2 and 4, commonly have special schools/institutes to train kids, but not every in those districts even attend. For those particular districts, being a tribute is considered a high honor, and in most cases, the tribute who wins is from one of those districts. However, even though they do train some of the teens, it is technically illegal. They don't say that in the movie, but it's briefly mentioned in the book, which I started reading last night.

You might wonder why some of the districts are better off than others. That's because each district is responsible for supplying a different or a few different set of supplies for the Capital. The district that Catniss is from, supplies coal so the majority of people who live there are coal miners. The richer districts obviously supply higher end goods, which is why they can afford to train some of the potential tributes.
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#85 Apr 03 2012 at 3:30 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
Yes. But do you see how there's a key difference (which I pointed out directly) between those system and one in which you randomly select two teens from each district to fight to the death? I honestly don't know if the book(s) touch on this at all, but I imagine that since the possibility of any teen being selected exists, that every teen will have to spend at least some effort learning skills useful and applicable for those games. The result is a total population which is going to have a much higher percentage of potentially skilled assassins, warriors, hunters, etc.
That's not how the system works though, which is why you should read the book if you want to start commenting on it.

to add to pigtails point, the very few kids from the couple districts that illicitly train them are mostly killed right away, because only one kid survives.

Edited, Apr 3rd 2012 4:31pm by Xsarus
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#86 Apr 03 2012 at 3:35 PM Rating: Excellent
****, even if he saw the movie that would help a lot too.
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#87 Apr 03 2012 at 4:25 PM Rating: Default
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Yes. But do you see how there's a key difference (which I pointed out directly) between those system and one in which you randomly select two teens from each district to fight to the death? I honestly don't know if the book(s) touch on this at all, but I imagine that since the possibility of any teen being selected exists, that every teen will have to spend at least some effort learning skills useful and applicable for those games. The result is a total population which is going to have a much higher percentage of potentially skilled assassins, warriors, hunters, etc.
That's not how the system works though, which is why you should read the book if you want to start commenting on it.


I've yet to hear anything that counters my statement.

Quote:
to add to pigtails point, the very few kids from the couple districts that illicitly train them are mostly killed right away, because only one kid survives.


Yes. Because this is a make believe world in which the author gets to decide who lives and dies based solely on how well it fits the story she's trying to write. I'm talking about the realistic effects such a system would have, not how the author chooses to write it. In a real world, such a system would be a disastrously dumb thing to implement. Because in the real world where the poor untrained kids aren't wearing plot armor, the kids who were illicitly trained would wipe the floor with those who weren't. This would cause every district to illicitly train kids (perhaps by pretending they're teaching them to hunt, or track, or use tools that could also be used to help them fight). Which would effectively cause all the districts to train armies disguised as teens participating in the games.

Don't get me wrong, I think the story itself is pretty interesting. I'm not even saying that the premise itself is "bad" from a storytelling point of view. Lots of good stories have unrealistic premises. I'm just pointing out that the premise itself is pretty unlikely.
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#88 Apr 03 2012 at 4:38 PM Rating: Excellent
So basically, you either didn't read my post at all, or you just don't understand the concept of being too poor to train people how to fight. I don't think that particular part of the plot is that far of a stretch really.

Also, another thing worth mentioning is that the Capital is surrounded by mountains. This is the main reason why the rebellion lost. The way it is described in the book, the rebels had to scale the mountains surrounding the Capital to reach it, and the Capital had enough air force technology that they were able to just shoot them all down before they got anywhere close. That's not really that far of a stretch either.
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#89 Apr 03 2012 at 6:29 PM Rating: Good
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You guys have to admit, it really is a pretty silly idea.
#90 Apr 03 2012 at 6:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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Eske Esquire wrote:
You guys have to admit, it really is a pretty silly idea.

Almost as though the plot isn't being marketed to adults for thorough analysis... Smiley: grin
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#91 Apr 03 2012 at 8:15 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Eske Esquire wrote:
You guys have to admit, it really is a pretty silly idea.

Almost as though the plot isn't being marketed to adults for thorough analysis... Smiley: grin


It'd be a bit silly to slight the movie for it, certainly. It's not so much of a stretch that I wasn't able to suspend my disbelief.
#92 Apr 03 2012 at 8:43 PM Rating: Default
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
So basically, you either didn't read my post at all, or you just don't understand the concept of being too poor to train people how to fight. I don't think that particular part of the plot is that far of a stretch really.


It's not about officially training them though. If you grew up your entire life knowing that there was a chance that you might randomly be selected at some point to have to fight for your life in these games, wouldn't you take every opportunity possible to prepare for that? Even if no one's providing you training, you and all your friends are going to practice fighting, laying traps, hiding, tracking, etc. Because it's a skill you might need (and someone *will* need). Doubly so if by doing this, your district (and thus everyone in it) gains some benefit (or avoids some harm).

This doesn't require any official interaction to occur. The kids themselves will do it because if they don't, and they're picked, they're screwed. Everything else being equal, the result will be a higher percentage of folks in a given population capable of fighting in some way than you'd have otherwise. That's why it's a bad idea. There are a whole lot of other better methods to punish/control the districts which would not have the same negative side effects (and might actually be better at maintaining the districts in a subservient position).

Quote:
Also, another thing worth mentioning is that the Capital is surrounded by mountains. This is the main reason why the rebellion lost. The way it is described in the book, the rebels had to scale the mountains surrounding the Capital to reach it, and the Capital had enough air force technology that they were able to just shoot them all down before they got anywhere close. That's not really that far of a stretch either.



Not my point. Assuming that the previous rebellion was enough of a threat for the capital to take action to try to prevent another one (which is also part of the premise, right?), then an action which maximizes the potential capable enemy warriors would be the wrong way to do it. Everything else being equal, the next rebellion will be more likely to succeed because of these games than if they didn't have them. Doesn't matter how great or how little that chance is, they're still being counter productive to their stated purpose by doing this.


Don't get me wrong, it makes for a great story potential (random chance of being picked, so no one is safe, fight to the death, arbitrary rules, etc). But the underlying premise is pretty silly. No one would actually ever create such a thing. Not for the reasons given anyway.


Oh. And as to your point about the impossibility of attacking the capital, that's somewhat short sighted. All of the resources they use come from the districts, yes? All it takes is for the districts to collectively decide not to deliver any more supplies to the Capital, and the Capital's defenses are automatically breached. They have to come to the districts to fight (just as they had to destroy a district the last time). But if they all refuse even after that, then the Capital is doomed. Their survival is dependent on the districts continuing to provide for them. Thus, their objective should be to maintain conflict and/or competition between the districts with an eye towards preventing them from ever thinking about forming an "us versus the capital" alliance. And while creating conflicts between them is a good approach, doing it the way the games seem to be structured is exactly the wrong way to do it (as I explained in my first couple posts).

You want the districts to hate each other and fight with each other (but not enough to disrupt their supply actions). Whatever control systems are in place *should* be aimed towards that. I just don't see how the hunger games contributes to that goal and I see a lot of potential for it creating common cause among the districts. If they're all fighting with each other for some benefits, that's one thing. But the requirement that they all send their kids to their deaths would seem to be reinforcing a common fear/hatred among the districts and IMO is at odds with what should be their goal here. The last thing they want is for the districts to decide collectively that they hate the Capital so much (and their own lives are so poor and uncomfortable) that they're willing to risk all being completely wiped out rather than continue to provide their oppressors with their food and power.

The games seem almost designed to ensure that happens. Which is why I find it a questionable premise except to write a story about a really stupid system which ****** off the people under it to such a degree that they will inevitably finally fully join forces to rise up and destroy it. That's fine as a story, but let's not forget that it's incredibly contrived to ensure that result.

Edited, Apr 3rd 2012 8:09pm by gbaji
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#93 Apr 03 2012 at 9:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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You guys have to admit, it really is a silly thing to get verklempt over.
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#94 Apr 03 2012 at 9:58 PM Rating: Excellent
/sigh
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#96 Apr 03 2012 at 10:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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You guys have to admit, it really is a silly thing to get verklempt over.


Oh I know. But you have to admit, it's more entertaining and far less frustrating to argue over whether the plot of a book/movie is plausible or not, than it is to argue about a kid getting shot by an overzealous neighborhood watch person.

gbaji wrote:
PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
So basically, you either didn't read my post at all, or you just don't understand the concept of being too poor to train people how to fight. I don't think that particular part of the plot is that far of a stretch really.


It's not about officially training them though. If you grew up your entire life knowing that there was a chance that you might randomly be selected at some point to have to fight for your life in these games, wouldn't you take every opportunity possible to prepare for that? Even if no one's providing you training, you and all your friends are going to practice fighting, laying traps, hiding, tracking, etc. Because it's a skill you might need (and someone *will* need). Doubly so if by doing this, your district (and thus everyone in it) gains some benefit (or avoids some harm).

This doesn't require any official interaction to occur. The kids themselves will do it because if they don't, and they're picked, they're screwed. Everything else being equal, the result will be a higher percentage of folks in a given population capable of fighting in some way than you'd have otherwise. That's why it's a bad idea. There are a whole lot of other better methods to punish/control the districts which would not have the same negative side effects (and might actually be better at maintaining the districts in a subservient position).


Yeah, you're really not getting it. I forget that people have to be crystal clear when speaking to you, sorry. When I say that the different districts don't have the resources to train their kids for the games, I don't just mean that can't afford costs of the actual training. They can't afford the time investment either. From the way they paint how life is in District 12, the majority of the population are coal miners. They spend all day in the mines working their butts off to provide for their families. Also, coal mining is dangerous work. The main character, and her friend both lost their fathers due to work accidents, and they are also both the eldest child, and are hence responsible for providing food for their family that they cannot afford to purchase. They do this by hunting, fishing, scavenging, etc. Now, they don't say specifically whether this is a common occurrence for the children of the coal miners, but I would venture a guess that it's not that uncommon. If you spend all your time either at school, or hunting for food, where are you going to find the time to train for the small chance of you getting picked one year for the games? Now granted, because of her experience with hunting, Catniss does have an advantage over some of the other contestants. Even negating the concept of not being able to afford the time to train, most of the poorer districts spend their time hoping as hard as they can, that they won't be picked as a tribute. Mostly because they know they have a disadvantage compared to the richer districts, and that being a tribute is basically a death sentence. It may not be logical, but if when you think about the games, all you can think about is how hard you hope you never get picked, you're not going to think about the practicality of training on the off chance you DO get picked. Especially if as a kid, you only have your friends to rely on to practice with. If you had a parent with the time and energy to train you, that might be a different story, but I get the feeling that the coal miners probably don't have a lot of extra energy after they get off work every day.

From what I can tell, the games are not so much a preventative measure to keep the districts from revolting again, they are a punishment. It is their constant reminder: You chose to try and overthrow the government, so now every year you have to sacrifice two of your children to fight to the death. I do think that it is at least partly a preventative measure, considering some of the things that the President said to the head Gamesmaster about giving the people just enough hope so that they don't cease their will to live (or try to revolt), but not so much hope that they get the idea to revolt again.

That said, you have a valid point about the districts just refusing to supply the Capital with supplies. I'm not entirely sure what all the supplies that they provide are. I know one of the districts provides jewels and precious stones, and that District 11 is agriculture, and 12 provide coal as I've mentioned already. Beyond that, so far they haven't been too descriptive. But I'm only through the first section of the first book.
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#97 Apr 04 2012 at 4:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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So now gbaji's arguing about a book/movie that he hasn't read/seen?
#98 Apr 04 2012 at 5:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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Nadenu wrote:
So now gbaji's arguing about a book/movie that he hasn't read/seen?


Well, at least this time he's admitting it. That's progress, right?
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#99 Apr 04 2012 at 6:49 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Sir Xsarus wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Yes. But do you see how there's a key difference (which I pointed out directly) between those system and one in which you randomly select two teens from each district to fight to the death? I honestly don't know if the book(s) touch on this at all, but I imagine that since the possibility of any teen being selected exists, that every teen will have to spend at least some effort learning skills useful and applicable for those games. The result is a total population which is going to have a much higher percentage of potentially skilled assassins, warriors, hunters, etc.
That's not how the system works though, which is why you should read the book if you want to start commenting on it.


I've yet to hear anything that counters my statement.

Quote:
to add to pigtails point, the very few kids from the couple districts that illicitly train them are mostly killed right away, because only one kid survives.


Yes. Because this is a make believe world in which the author gets to decide who lives and dies based solely on how well it fits the story she's trying to write. I'm talking about the realistic effects such a system would have, not how the author chooses to write it. In a real world, such a system would be a disastrously dumb thing to implement. Because in the real world where the poor untrained kids aren't wearing plot armor, the kids who were illicitly trained would wipe the floor with those who weren't. This would cause every district to illicitly train kids (perhaps by pretending they're teaching them to hunt, or track, or use tools that could also be used to help them fight). Which would effectively cause all the districts to train armies disguised as teens participating in the games.

Don't get me wrong, I think the story itself is pretty interesting. I'm not even saying that the premise itself is "bad" from a storytelling point of view. Lots of good stories have unrealistic premises. I'm just pointing out that the premise itself is pretty unlikely.

Smiley: lol gbaji credibility level = -10 and dropping.

How can you possibly argue what the most likely realistic effects would be to a purely fictional story that you've not even bothered to read?

Tell me gbaji if dragons were really real would they, could they fly or is that an unrealistic effect of a large fictional lizard?









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#100 Apr 04 2012 at 2:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
It's not about officially training them though. If you grew up your entire life knowing that there was a chance that you might randomly be selected at some point to have to fight for your life in these games, wouldn't you take every opportunity possible to prepare for that?

You're joking, right? That or you really don't know anything about psychology. Even citizens of countries who know they're likely to be drafted for war soon don't bother to do anything like that, regardless of whether that country is actually going to provide them military training. Certainly these teenagers aren't going to have that kind of foresight. They're going to keep their heads down and rely on the very strong likelihood that somebody else will be randomly chosen.
#101 Apr 04 2012 at 2:43 PM Rating: Decent
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Majivo wrote:
gbaji wrote:
It's not about officially training them though. If you grew up your entire life knowing that there was a chance that you might randomly be selected at some point to have to fight for your life in these games, wouldn't you take every opportunity possible to prepare for that?

You're joking, right? That or you really don't know anything about psychology.


Or I know more about it than you. People, as a rule, develop survival skills for whatever environment they are in. We may not always think of it that way, but that's what kids are doing when they dress a certain way to fit in, or adopt certain habits or behaviors, or join gangs, or study hard. Each is trying to find a way to "survive" the world they live in. It's sometimes hard for us to imagine what this would entail in a different environment than that which we grew up in, doubly so for modern western cultures where we haven't had to hunt, or make things by hand, or scrounge for food in a truly hostile environment for a long time.

Quote:
Even citizens of countries who know they're likely to be drafted for war soon don't bother to do anything like that, regardless of whether that country is actually going to provide them military training.


Being drafted into a military is not even remotely similar to being randomly picked to survive on your own in a fight to the death.

Quote:
Certainly these teenagers aren't going to have that kind of foresight. They're going to keep their heads down and rely on the very strong likelihood that somebody else will be randomly chosen.


Modern western teenagers would do that. Teenagers several generations into this society would do something very very different. You're projecting your own worldview onto people who would have a very different one.
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