A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    Realizing that, Thor's idea to have Redcloak convince the Dark One to help the other gods secure the Snarl was wagging the dog and doomed to failure.
    While I largely agree with your process and conclusions, it's well-demonstrated onscreen that the gods are shaped by their worshiper's beliefs and I imagine that as a very recent god, the Dark One would be more malleable than most.

    While this is not something I'd expect the story to explore, as a hero to Gobbotopia and the high priest, Redcloak could arguably change his god more forcefully and directly than his god could do the reverse, at least if the Dark One was held to the inter-pantheonic rules previously established.
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  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    Spoiler: excellent post
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    This is my first post in GitP, so bear with me...

    One thing I see being misapplied in this discussion is the idea that Redcloak even has a choice to not proceed forward with The Plan. He is the most powerful Cleric of the Dark One. All his authority and power comes from the god calling his shots... and it's the Dark One that wants The Plan to go forward. So long as that remains the case, Redcloak really has no choice. Logic be damned, he's essentially being railroaded into The Plan by the Dark One. This also doesn't account for the effect of faith. Redcloak trusts the Dark One implicitly and without question as a matter of faith. Even if his logic tells him there might be a better way, he won't consider it because the Dark One says that The Plan is his will. He really has no choice in the matter unless he's willing to go against the wishes of his god... which he isn't.

    Realizing that, Thor's idea to have Redcloak convince the Dark One to help the other gods secure the Snarl was wagging the dog and doomed to failure. So long as the Dark One won't go along with it, neither will Redcloak. Trying to convince Redcloak to disobey the commands of his god in an effort to influence the Dark One to change his position was as ill-conceived as trying to get a Paladin to murder an innocent baby even if it would save the world. It just is never going to happen so long as they remain the people they are. Claiming that Thor should be able to see the flaw in asking Durkon to convince Redcloak to go along with the idea also defies the facts we know. The gods in OotS are very obviously flawed and limited beings, evidenced by the fact that Thor didn't even know about the world(s) in the rifts... and even failed to grasp the idea that the Dark One's Purple quiddity could let them trap the Snarl forever... so he's obviously capable of not seeing the fatal flaw in his own plan.

    Regarding the idea that RC could get some other arcane caster other than Xykon... that's a rabbit hole of conjecture with insufficient supporting arguments either way. Xykon is who they have because it's who they have... for better or for worse. I don't have any of the books, so I only know that which is in the web comic... but I'm getting the impression that at one point in time RC had a choice to go with Xykon or keep looking for someone else. Even given that idea though, the fact that Xykon was the first choice doesn't invalidate the fact that the Dark One wants The Plan to proceed and therefore RC won't entertain any other options. Even when Xykon was weak and vulnerable after Dorukan's Gate, RC had to weigh the costs of getting rid of Xykon and finding a new arcane castor of appropriate level and willingness to aid The Plan versus sticking with 'the devil you know', so-to-speak. That's not so much a 'sunk cost' issue as it is a matter of practicality. At the time RC was in a vulnerable position; they'd already lost 2 of the 5 gates and all their followers. It was down to just RC, Xykon, and the Monster in the Dark. (and a couple of demon-roaches) If he would have destroyed Xykon's phylactery then, the Monster in the Dark may well have eaten him since this was before the 'Mr. Stiffly' arc. (the fact that killing Xykon and looking for another arcane caster would have gotten the OotS off his back and rid him of a gobicidal maniac is beside the point... it's arm-chair quarterbacking with information RC couldn't possibly know)

    TL/DR: By everything I can see, Redcloak doesn't have any choice in continuing to pursue The Plan so long as it's what the Dark One wants. Lacking any real choice, this isn't a situation of him choosing the 'sunk cost fallacy' at all. Thor's idea to convince the Dark One to join the other gods in sealing up the rifts by convincing Redcloak, like most of Thor's ideas, is stupid. The Dark One has to be convinced its the best option before Redcloak will even consider it.

    But then, the story will be whatever Rich Burlew wants it to be... so... YMMV.
    Well reasoned post, but you are affirming that Redcloak's acts have nothing to do with what's best for goblinkind, which is his stated goal.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    This is my first post in GitP, so bear with me...

    One thing I see being misapplied in this discussion is the idea that Redcloak even has a choice to not proceed forward with The Plan. He is the most powerful Cleric of the Dark One. All his authority and power comes from the god calling his shots... and it's the Dark One that wants The Plan to go forward. So long as that remains the case, Redcloak really has no choice. Logic be damned, he's essentially being railroaded into The Plan by the Dark One. This also doesn't account for the effect of faith. Redcloak trusts the Dark One implicitly and without question as a matter of faith. Even if his logic tells him there might be a better way, he won't consider it because the Dark One says that The Plan is his will. He really has no choice in the matter unless he's willing to go against the wishes of his god... which he isn't.

    Realizing that, Thor's idea to have Redcloak convince the Dark One to help the other gods secure the Snarl was wagging the dog and doomed to failure. So long as the Dark One won't go along with it, neither will Redcloak. Trying to convince Redcloak to disobey the commands of his god in an effort to influence the Dark One to change his position was as ill-conceived as trying to get a Paladin to murder an innocent baby even if it would save the world. It just is never going to happen so long as they remain the people they are. Claiming that Thor should be able to see the flaw in asking Durkon to convince Redcloak to go along with the idea also defies the facts we know. The gods in OotS are very obviously flawed and limited beings, evidenced by the fact that Thor didn't even know about the world(s) in the rifts... and even failed to grasp the idea that the Dark One's Purple quiddity could let them trap the Snarl forever... so he's obviously capable of not seeing the fatal flaw in his own plan.
    Two problems here:

    1) Clerics have more agency than you're giving them credit for. In fact, clerics have to go out of their way to commune with their gods at all, and Redcloak has directly stated that he's never spoken to The Dark One. The Plan is The Plan to Redcloak, but for all we know The Dark One might just see it as a plan, and if a better opportunity comes up, he might go for it (I personally think it's much more likely that The Dark One wants power above all else, and isn't some benevolent protector of goblinkind, but Redcloak is working under the opposite assumption).

    2) The reason that Thor is going through Redcloak isn't because he can't convince The Dark One, it's because he can't even talk to The Dark One. They have no means of directly communicating because the gods have set up a complex and indirect system of conflict resolution to avoid creating another snarl, and The Dark One doesn't have a place in it. That's the reason they're bothering with the Godsmoot after all, instead of just getting together themselves in the astral realm. The Dark One doesn't even have a comprehensive understanding of the situation right now because Thor sending Durkon to talk to Redcloak is, in fact, the most direct way that he has to communicate with him, and even that would normally be off the table because they can't tell mortals about the Snarl and the gates.

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    This is my first post in GitP, so bear with me...

    One thing I see being misapplied in this discussion is the idea that Redcloak even has a choice to not proceed forward with The Plan. He is the most powerful Cleric of the Dark One. All his authority and power comes from the god calling his shots... and it's the Dark One that wants The Plan to go forward.
    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSquirrel View Post
    Two problems here:

    1) Clerics have more agency than you're giving them credit for.
    Yes, this. Of course he has a choice. He's a cleric, not a puppet. That's if you assume both that he's 100% correct that the Dark One wants him to continue working with Xykon, and that his lack of any effort to get rid of Xykon is 100% about "the Dark One wouldn't want me to." And I think any path that leads you to "Redcloak is not largely motivated by not having to admit he was wrong about anything" hinges on ignoring a great deal of the comic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    And I think any path that leads you to "Redcloak is not largely motivated by not having to admit he was wrong about anything" hinges on ignoring a great deal of the comic.
    Oh, this is absolutely part of Redcloak's characterisation. But that doesn't mean he's deep in the sunk cost fallacy.

    Oh, and while I don't think he's suffering from the sunk cost fallacy at the moment (for reasons already stated), that doesn't mean that it isn't an option in the future. He has good reasons for not trusting Durkon now, but I can quite see him going in that direction if it becomes clear to him that the four colour option is a real thing.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    Oh, this is absolutely part of Redcloak's characterisation. But that doesn't mean he's deep in the sunk cost fallacy.

    Oh, and while I don't think he's suffering from the sunk cost fallacy at the moment (for reasons already stated), that doesn't mean that it isn't an option in the future. He has good reasons for not trusting Durkon now, but I can quite see him going in that direction if it becomes clear to him that the four colour option is a real thing.
    This is true at the moment. It overlooks the many opportunities Redcloak has had to realize The Plan's flaws, and the fact that the gods TDO wants to intimidate have already survived the thing TDO wants to use as a threat.

    In other words, with only the information Redcloak had available before the meeting with Durkon, he should have been aware that The Plan won't work.

    He refuses to look at that because then he would have to look his reflection in the eye and admit that everything he has done was not worth it.

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    I'm a little mixed, because on the one hand, I think Redcloak is a bit motivated by the sunk cost fallacy, in the sense of "If I change course now, all of this, all of the goblins I killed (especially the most important one) will have been for nothing." In the sense, as Kish says, of not being able to face that he was wrong about any course of action he's taken in service of The Plan.

    On the other hand, I don't think changing course for him is as easy as it might seem to us. Xykon wouldn't just let him walk away, and I don't think Redcloak is strong enough yet to take him on. Xykon will have to be destroyed before Redcloak considers an alternative, I think.

    Even if he did free himself from Xykon somehow and wanted to find a new caster for the plan, I'm not sure where he would. The goblins are better off with Gobbotopia than they were in Start of Darkness, but that doesn't mean they've advanced any arcane caster sufficiently to be the other half of the plan. Another poster suggested recruiting someone like Miron; the obvious problem there is "Why would Miron agree to do this?" Most high-level arcane casters have their own thing going; it would take someone powerful enough, without direction, and with sufficient motivation. (Xykon fit those qualifications, and the latter one only because Redcloak lied to him that the Ritual would let him rule the world.)

    And while he's easy for us to see that he's being stubborn in not listening to Durkon, he really doesn't have any reason to trust him, and the chance to eliminate the high-level cleric of the party that is openly trying to stop him must have seemed like a valuable opportunity from his perspective.

    In other words, while Redcloak has his ego and his psychological hangups that are going to and have gotten in in the way of his decisions, it is also hard to see how an alternative plan might seen reasonable to him right now in terms of either its chances of success or its chances of achieving his ultimate goal. (Which I prefer; he'd be a lot less interesting if he was wildly irrational, or if he was fully correct and going about it the right way. Great character.)

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Reach Weapon View Post
    While I largely agree with your process and conclusions, it's well-demonstrated onscreen that the gods are shaped by their worshiper's beliefs and I imagine that as a very recent god, the Dark One would be more malleable than most.

    While this is not something I'd expect the story to explore, as a hero to Gobbotopia and the high priest, Redcloak could arguably change his god more forcefully and directly than his god could do the reverse, at least if the Dark One was held to the inter-pantheonic rules previously established.
    A counterexample to the idea that worshipers shape their pantheon's basic nature is the widespread belief among dwarves, Thor's nearly sole worshipers, that trees are evil while Thor himself maintains that they're just trees. You would think after so long that such a belief were in place among such a huge portion of his worshipers that Thor would at least be beginning to internalize the opinion. Instead he rolls his eyes and tries to explain that it's just a misunderstanding (comic 1137) to Durkon and Minrah... before giving up and telling them that Valhalla's trees are turncoats fighting for good.

    Even if one were to assume that the Dark One would be more malleable by virtue of being such a new deity, it still precludes Redcloak from taking a position opposite that of his god. He just won't believe anyone other than the Dark One when it comes to abandoning The Plan. Even if he doubts that The Plan is the best way forward, which I think has been brewing ever since his big speech establishing Gobbotopia, he'll lie to himself (comic 701) over (comic 831) and over (comic 1038) again to follow the Dark One's plan.

    Again, I'm more than willing to admit I'm wrong, but the reasoning as presented in the comic just doesn't seem to support any other theory than the idea that Redcloak will stick to The Plan even if it destroys the entire world, so long as the Dark One wants him to stick to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Well reasoned post, but you are affirming that Redcloak's acts have nothing to do with what's best for goblinkind, which is his stated goal.
    This is very true... but then he's Lawful EVIL. He's more than willing and able to lie to anyone and everyone... including himself... about what his real goals are.

    In the end, we are all true to our own nature. RC is a goblin supremacist; what he wants more than anything is to see goblinoids with their boots on the necks of every other race in the world. He doesn't care what it takes to get that, even at the cost of his own life and that of every goblin in the world. Of course, if he can manage a way to get what he wants in this world, he'll take it... which is why he sort of has his feet in two camps as Oona pointed out... (comic 1262) but if push comes to shove he'd happily tear down the world on the remote chance it'll give goblins a leg up in the next world... because that's what the Dark One wants him to do.

    We don't even know that what Thor told Durkon was true that the Dark One wouldn't survive to the next world. That could just be Thor framing the narrative in such a way so as to get the result he desires... the aid of the Dark One in sealing the rifts forever. Even more simply though, Thor himself admits (comic 1144) that he's unsure if the Dark One will survive to the next cycle or not... so it's entirely possible that the Dark One would survive. Redcloak, even if he believed Durkon, (which he has no reason to) can't accept the idea that his god can die, so RC proceeds under the assumption that the Dark One is immortal. This brings us back to RC being willing to burn it all down to give the Dark One a better shot in the next world.

    His thinking is totally consistent with the information he has and fits who he is as a person. He does want what's best for all goblinoids... but being who he is, RC is willing to kill them all to get it. After all, being a Cleric of the Dark One he knows that they'll all just end up in goblin heaven anyway... so nothing is actually lost. (seriously, D&D's 'revolving door afterlife' makes death not such a big deal... and a Lawful Evil Cleric would see it as simply an inconvenience, not a tragedy... so long as it advances the position of the Dark One)

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSquirrel View Post
    Two problems here:

    1) Clerics have more agency than you're giving them credit for. In fact, clerics have to go out of their way to commune with their gods at all, and Redcloak has directly stated that he's never spoken to The Dark One. The Plan is The Plan to Redcloak, but for all we know The Dark One might just see it as a plan, and if a better opportunity comes up, he might go for it (I personally think it's much more likely that The Dark One wants power above all else, and isn't some benevolent protector of goblinkind, but Redcloak is working under the opposite assumption).

    2) The reason that Thor is going through Redcloak isn't because he can't convince The Dark One, it's because he can't even talk to The Dark One. They have no means of directly communicating because the gods have set up a complex and indirect system of conflict resolution to avoid creating another snarl, and The Dark One doesn't have a place in it. That's the reason they're bothering with the Godsmoot after all, instead of just getting together themselves in the astral realm. The Dark One doesn't even have a comprehensive understanding of the situation right now because Thor sending Durkon to talk to Redcloak is, in fact, the most direct way that he has to communicate with him, and even that would normally be off the table because they can't tell mortals about the Snarl and the gates.
    Except RC does have in-comic proof that the Dark One cares for the goblins who have fallen. (comic 704) Jirix delivered the message "Don't screw this up" to RC after he was raised. Now, that's a pretty cryptic message, but if the Dark One didn't want The Plan to proceed forward as it stands, I'm pretty sure his message would have been more along the lines of "Stop being a blind idiot!", "Dump the bone-guy!" or some-such.

    As far as RC can tell, the Dark One, whom RC worships as a god, wants The Plan to proceed... so RC really doesn't have a choice, any more than Durkon had a choice when Thor asked him to try and convince RC to turn away from The Plan. For either one to turn away from their gods' directives is to deny who they are as characters.

    I guess well all see eventually. :)

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSquirrel View Post
    2) The reason that Thor is going through Redcloak isn't because he can't convince The Dark One, it's because he can't even talk to The Dark One. They have no means of directly communicating because the gods have set up a complex and indirect system of conflict resolution to avoid creating another snarl, and The Dark One doesn't have a place in it. That's the reason they're bothering with the Godsmoot after all, instead of just getting together themselves in the astral realm.
    Oh, the gods have direct ways of communicating, it's just that TDO has locked all the path(s?) that Thor can use. Loki was trying to stay in touch with TDO until TDO discovered the snarl on his own.

    You are right in that since TDO isn't formally in the system there isn't any other way to him now, but there are other methods of communication open to the gods in general.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    A counterexample to the idea that worshipers shape their pantheon's basic nature is the widespread belief among dwarves, Thor's nearly sole worshipers, that trees are evil while Thor himself maintains that they're just trees. You would think after so long that such a belief were in place among such a huge portion of his worshipers that Thor would at least be beginning to internalize the opinion. Instead he rolls his eyes and tries to explain that it's just a misunderstanding (comic 1137) to Durkon and Minrah... before giving up and telling them that Valhalla's trees are turncoats fighting for good.
    Dwarves aren't Thor's nearly sole worshipers. True, per word of Giant Thor is much more popular among dwarves than among humans, but that doesn't mean nearly everyone who worships Thor is a dwarf. We don't know how many humans there are, after all. If the human population is sufficiently larger than the dwarf population there could well be more human worshipers of Thor than dwarven ones, and that's before you bring in the gnomes and the halflings and the monstrous humanoids and etc, etc.
    I'm making a webcomic, featuring absurdity, terrible art, and alleged morals.

  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    As far as RC can tell, the Dark One, whom RC worships as a god, wants The Plan to proceed... so RC really doesn't have a choice, any more than Durkon had a choice when Thor asked him to try and convince RC to turn away from The Plan. For either one to turn away from their gods' directives is to deny who they are as characters.
    Watching the goalposts slide (in this case from from "he's a cleric, he has no choice" to "he's a cleric, making that choice would Deny Who He is As A Character") is not one of my favorite activities, I must say.

    However, let's go with your Redcloak and Durkon analogy.

    Which one, the first chance he got, cast Commune to check if what the other one had told him was true, actively argued the other one's case with his god, and considers it a serious issue that his god couldn't give him a wholehearted "of course my actions are nothing like what he described"?

    Which one instead tried to murder the other one and pressured an ally to tell him that nothing the other one had said needed to be listened to?

    If you're not seeing a difference there, I think you're missing important parts of the comic.

    It is entirely possible that Redcloak's story will lead to: Yes, this is what the Dark One wants, and you need to turn away from it anyway, whatever the cost to you. That would neither be simply impossible as you originally claimed (cleric, no free will here, they should be talking to the actual brain and instead they're trying to make a case to an appendage), nor deny who he is as a character--it would be being him able to grow and change, being a character, rather than an appendage of the Dark One. And, morally, it is not at all too much to ask of him.
    Last edited by Kish; 2022-12-04 at 12:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    Except RC does have in-comic proof that the Dark One cares for the goblins who have fallen. (comic 704) Jirix delivered the message "Don't screw this up" to RC after he was raised. Now, that's a pretty cryptic message, but if the Dark One didn't want The Plan to proceed forward as it stands, I'm pretty sure his message would have been more along the lines of "Stop being a blind idiot!", "Dump the bone-guy!" or some-such.
    That's very presumptive. All we see in that comic is that The Dark One has an army of goblinoids in the afterlife. That doesn't prove that The Dark One actually cares for them- we know that the Gods get power from worshipers after all, even ones in the afterlife, so it's exactly what we would expect him to do anyway if he was acting purely in self interest.

    Meanwhile, "Don't screw this up" is very ambiguous. He could have just as easily said "The Plan is still priority number one" or "Screw Gobbotopia and get to the next gate". Why The Dark One wasn't more explicit isn't clear, but trying to use it to confirm your priors either way is fallacious.

    But that's irrelevant anyway, since at that point The Dark One didn't know what Redcloak knows now. Back then, as far as we knew, The Plan was still his best shot at gaining power and influence, especially if he was willing to casually sacrifice goblin lives for those ends. Since then, we've learned that the gods are willing to blow up the world before they let The Dark One get his hands on the snarl, that The Dark One might not survive until the next world is created, and that this has been part of an ongoing cycle for untold millennia. The Dark One didn't know any of that when he spoke to Jirix.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    As far as RC can tell, the Dark One, whom RC worships as a god, wants The Plan to proceed... so RC really doesn't have a choice, any more than Durkon had a choice when Thor asked him to try and convince RC to turn away from The Plan. For either one to turn away from their gods' directives is to deny who they are as characters.
    No, to attribute every aspect of their decision making to their gods is to deny who they are as characters. It's the same kind of logic that a Miko would use- "I didn't fall, so clearly the Gods wanted me to do that". If a cleric goes too far, they may lose their powers, but until then there's a lot of leeway.

    Durkon didn't try to negotiate with Redcloak just because Thor told him to, he did it because he believes it's the right course of action. There's a reason that Thor bothered to show Durkon the graveyard instead of just giving him a blunt order- he needed Durkon to genuinely believe in his plan. And afterward, Durkon communed with Thor to ask him about what Redcloak said because Durkon is ultimately driven more by his own sense of justice than anything else, and he had genuine misgivings about the version of events that Redcloak presented.

    And- again- Redcloak always has the option to just walk away from the Dark One entirely. Yes, he'll lose his powers, but it's better than getting the whole world blown up.

    Meanwhile, from a purely practical perspective, the gods *have* to compromise with mortals. They are extremely limited in what they can do directly. They need mortal clerics to carry out their will on the mortal world, and high-level clerics are rare. That gives said clerics a lot of bargaining power, so to speak. Especially Redcloak- he's by far the most powerful cleric The Dark One has, seemingly for a long time, and unless you accept the premise that The Dark One really doesn't care about goblins and just wants power (Which is the premise Redcloak is operating under), then Redcloak has a hell of a lot of power to say "No, this plan is insane, it's going to get the other Gods to blow up the world, and I'm giving up on it. You can either let me keep being the leader who is improving the lot of goblins the hard way, or you can take away my powers and watch Gobbotopia fall without me to protect it".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    Oh, the gods have direct ways of communicating, it's just that TDO has locked all the path(s?) that Thor can use. Loki was trying to stay in touch with TDO until TDO discovered the snarl on his own.

    You are right in that since TDO isn't formally in the system there isn't any other way to him now, but there are other methods of communication open to the gods in general.
    That's not quite accurate- Thor, in the previous strip, says that the reason that he can't just swing by in person is that "The slightest disagreement could create a new two-color snarl". Which goes into what I said earlier about why they were using the Godsmoot instead of meeting in person.

    Yes, the direct method exists, but they're too dangerous to use, which is why even before The Dark One lock the pathways Thor was sending emissaries instead of going himself. So Thor seems to think that he could still physically get to The Dark One, but trying to force his way would create a snarl.

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    Um... Loki was the one sending emissaries, not Thor. Loki was also using the method of communication that is supposedly too dangerous for the gods to use.

    Thor doesn't want to talk directly because he is afraid that him specifically getting into a disagreement with TDO could cause a 2-colour snarl, and can't talk directly because the other means of communication (via Loki) has been cut off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    A counterexample to the idea that worshipers shape their pantheon's basic nature is [...] (comic 1137)
    I'd argue that's at least as much a belief about trees, as one about Thor, if not more so, and its effect on Thor was addressed in the final panel of the previous strip (comic 1136). Further, I might limit how much weight I place there, as it seems to be more in service of humor than plot (although one could argue the same about his hair color (comic 1144)). Conversely, the impact of worshiper's belief on Odin is a plot point (comic 1145).

    Others have addressed the issue of Redcloak's agency, but I do think it's worth stating explicitly that while Redcloak can choose, he may not be able to do so as a cleric with spells, class features and ability to gain more levels as a cleric of the Dark One or as Bearer of the Crimson Mantle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Watching the goalposts slide (in this case from from "he's a cleric, he has no choice" to "he's a cleric, making that choice would Deny Who He is As A Character") is not one of my favorite activities, I must say.
    My 'goalposts' haven't changed at all. Motives have been ascribed to my initial post that I did not state. I never said Redcloak was incapable of choosing to defy the will of the Dark One, only that doing so would be against his nature and therefore not a reasonable assumption. RC is the most powerful Cleric the Dark One has (presumably) ever had. That implies a great deal of faith in his god. Ergo, it would seem (to me) that his acting against the wishes of his god would be a pretty major deviation from the character as written... which is the same thing I said in my 2nd post.

    No moving goalposts... just a clarification of my original meaning when it became obvious that people weren't understanding my point.

    However, let's go with your Redcloak and Durkon analogy.

    Which one, the first chance he got, cast Commune to check if what the other one had told him was true, actively argued the other one's case with his god, and considers it a serious issue that his god couldn't give him a wholehearted "of course my actions are nothing like what he described"?

    Which one instead tried to murder the other one and pressured an ally to tell him that nothing the other one had said needed to be listened to?

    If you're not seeing a difference there, I think you're missing important parts of the comic.
    What is described here is the difference between Good and Evil in the D&D alignment system. They're both Lawful though, and share the same motivations along that axis. If the Dark One told RC to sacrifice his life for The Plan, I'm pretty sure he'd do it. (as he very nearly did when Soon nearly killed both he and Xykon... comic 462)

    It is entirely possible that Redcloak's story will lead to: Yes, this is what the Dark One wants, and you need to turn away from it anyway, whatever the cost to you. That would neither be simply impossible as you originally claimed (cleric, no free will here, they should be talking to the actual brain and instead they're trying to make a case to an appendage), nor deny who he is as a character--it would be being him able to grow and change, being a character, rather than an appendage of the Dark One. And, morally, it is not at all too much to ask of him.
    Again, motivations are being ascribed to my original post that aren't in fact. I never said RC lacks agency or free will... I was simply pointing out that his character as described to this point is "all in" on The Plan because it's what the Dark One wants, regardless of other motivations. Logically it would at this point be smarter to abandon The Plan... yet he still doesn't. What many seem to ascribe to "stubborn sunk-cost thinking" I ascribe a more simple and pure motivation... devotion. He may be capable of changing his mind and dropping The Plan, but he can't because it would mean defying his god's will... which he is (apparently) completely unwilling to even consider.

    That's the key point. He can't go against The Plan because it would be a violation of everything he believes in... everything he's ever believed in... even if it's the best course of action...

    ...at least as far as I can see. Time will tell. (to be honest, if it comes down the way everyone is saying it would be extremely disappointing, if for no other reason than the fact that it's entirely too predictable)

    Quote Originally Posted by BloodSquirrel View Post
    That's very presumptive. All we see in that comic is that The Dark One has an army of goblinoids in the afterlife. That doesn't prove that The Dark One actually cares for them- we know that the Gods get power from worshipers after all, even ones in the afterlife, so it's exactly what we would expect him to do anyway if he was acting purely in self interest.
    Assuming in either direction, that the Dark One cares for the goblins or that he's just using them, are both equally presumptive since there's no hard data either way. I am simply making the assumption of what Redcloak likely believes, regardless of external proofs. (or lack thereof) One doesn't become the most powerful Cleric of a god with weak or questionable beliefs.

    Meanwhile, "Don't screw this up" is very ambiguous. He could have just as easily said "The Plan is still priority number one" or "Screw Gobbotopia and get to the next gate". Why The Dark One wasn't more explicit isn't clear, but trying to use it to confirm your priors either way is fallacious.
    ...as I myself pointed out. ("Now, that's a pretty cryptic message" was my quote, to be specific) Not much can be concluded from the message itself, but quite a lot can be surmised by what he chose not to say... which was my point.

    But that's irrelevant anyway, since at that point The Dark One didn't know what Redcloak knows now. Back then, as far as we knew, The Plan was still his best shot at gaining power and influence, especially if he was willing to casually sacrifice goblin lives for those ends. Since then, we've learned that the gods are willing to blow up the world before they let The Dark One get his hands on the snarl, that The Dark One might not survive until the next world is created, and that this has been part of an ongoing cycle for untold millennia. The Dark One didn't know any of that when he spoke to Jirix.
    The thing is, Redcloak doesn't "know" anything. He has no reason to believe Durkon and every reason to think he's just trying to make Redclaok turn against The Plan that the Dark One wants him to fulfill because Team Evil is about to win. (or so he believes) It's similar to how RC couldn't conceive of the fact that the Sapphire Guild spent decades ignoring the other four gates on the basis of a single promise. (comic 546) He simply can't help but look at things from his own perspective. (which is a failing almost everyone has... looking at things only from our own perspective) Because he wouldn't honor a promise when the stakes are so high, he assumes no one else would either. When Durkon engages in a parley to try and end the conflict, RC only sees it from his own point of view... that the only reason he would ever do such a thing is if he felt he was about to lose... thus ascribing to Durkon the same motivations.

    No, to attribute every aspect of their decision making to their gods is to deny who they are as characters. It's the same kind of logic that a Miko would use- "I didn't fall, so clearly the Gods wanted me to do that". If a cleric goes too far, they may lose their powers, but until then there's a lot of leeway.
    Yes, RC and Durkon have a lot of leeway to go against their respective gods' beliefs before they're stricken down, but the very notion that they would want to go against their will is anathema to them both. Besides that, Durkon has shown that he can fall to the same sort of false understanding as Miko. (assuming Thor wanted him to surrender to Miko because it was raining; comic 201) I'm also not attributing every decision they make to their gods' wills... just one decision by one Cleric... Redcloak and his position on The Plan.

    Durkon didn't try to negotiate with Redcloak just because Thor told him to, he did it because he believes it's the right course of action. There's a reason that Thor bothered to show Durkon the graveyard instead of just giving him a blunt order- he needed Durkon to genuinely believe in his plan. And afterward, Durkon communed with Thor to ask him about what Redcloak said because Durkon is ultimately driven more by his own sense of justice than anything else, and he had genuine misgivings about the version of events that Redcloak presented.

    And- again- Redcloak always has the option to just walk away from the Dark One entirely. Yes, he'll lose his powers, but it's better than getting the whole world blown up.
    Not from RC's perspective it isn't. He'd rather see the whole world destroyed than go against The Plan, even if it means his own death. (which, let's be honest, he knows doesn't mean a whole lot since he's all but guaranteed a seat at the right hand of the Dark One, even if the other gods do tear it all down... so death means very little to him)

    Meanwhile, from a purely practical perspective, the gods *have* to compromise with mortals. They are extremely limited in what they can do directly. They need mortal clerics to carry out their will on the mortal world, and high-level clerics are rare. That gives said clerics a lot of bargaining power, so to speak. Especially Redcloak- he's by far the most powerful cleric The Dark One has, seemingly for a long time, and unless you accept the premise that The Dark One really doesn't care about goblins and just wants power (Which is the premise Redcloak is operating under), then Redcloak has a hell of a lot of power to say "No, this plan is insane, it's going to get the other Gods to blow up the world, and I'm giving up on it. You can either let me keep being the leader who is improving the lot of goblins the hard way, or you can take away my powers and watch Gobbotopia fall without me to protect it".
    I do not see the notion that RC is operating under the premise that the Dark One doesn't care about the goblins. Where are you getting this from? (serious question here... not snarking or anything... if you're seeing that perspective somewhere, I'd like to know where as it would be a game-changer on my whole argument) Short of that, RC may have the power to demand concessions from the Dark One, but his character, as far as I can tell, is that of a devoted believer.

    Bottom Line: I think a lot of people are totally discounting Redcloak's degree of devotion to the Dark One as unimportant, whereas I see it as a prime motivation of his.
    As I have said, I guess time will tell the truth of the matter. YMMV.

    Side note: I can just see Rich Burlew reading all this and laughing his rear off at how I'm ascribing WAY more motivation into all this than he ever did... but I can't help it. That's who this geek-girl is!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    RC is the most powerful Cleric the Dark One has (presumably) ever had. That implies a great deal of faith in his god.
    Point of order, that implies a great deal of XP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Point of order, that implies a great deal of XP.
    It implies a great deal of XP earned specifically in service to that god, and we have also had it demonstrated (to my eyes) that Redcloak earned that XP as a direct function of getting strong enough to enact said deity's will. Redcloak's stated goal has been service to the Dark One, and everything else is a step along the path to providing that service, including the acquisition of levels and power. (I specify "stated" because while it can be argued - convincingly - that Redcloak has made a number of choices directly antithetical to his actual goals, it's very clear that the intentions remain unchanged. Whether or not he is going about this in the right way is secondary to whether or not he is genuinely trying to accomplish it.)

    Redcloak has has numerous opportunities to sit back and enjoy power instead of pursuing the Dark One's goals, and if all he wanted was to be a high-level cleric, RAW makes it clear he could be a cleric of an ideal or cause. Obviously that didn't happen for narrative reason, but I think it's a valid point to state that being the Dark One's most powerful cleric in this situation does serve as an argument in favor of his devotion, even if that is not a universally true statement.
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dame_Mechanus View Post
    It implies a great deal of XP earned specifically in service to that god, and we have also had it demonstrated (to my eyes) that Redcloak earned that XP as a direct function of getting strong enough to enact said deity's will. Redcloak's stated goal has been service to the Dark One, and everything else is a step along the path to providing that service, including the acquisition of levels and power. (I specify "stated" because while it can be argued - convincingly - that Redcloak has made a number of choices directly antithetical to his actual goals, it's very clear that the intentions remain unchanged. Whether or not he is going about this in the right way is secondary to whether or not he is genuinely trying to accomplish it.)

    Redcloak has has numerous opportunities to sit back and enjoy power instead of pursuing the Dark One's goals, and if all he wanted was to be a high-level cleric, RAW makes it clear he could be a cleric of an ideal or cause. Obviously that didn't happen for narrative reason, but I think it's a valid point to state that being the Dark One's most powerful cleric in this situation does serve as an argument in favor of his devotion, even if that is not a universally true statement.
    ...

    Hmmm... ninjad. First time for everything!

    Basically, I was going to say what Dame_Mechanus said. If Redcloak was only interested in power and not the devotion of the Dark One, he could just as easily have venerated the ideal of Goblin Supremacy and be just as powerful, (i.e. have just as much XP) if not more so. Such an ideal might bring in Fenris, creator of the Goblins, into his area of devotion and add Fenris's Domains to that of the Dark One... and since Redcloak seems to be able to cast Substitute Domain from Complete Champion, it would open up more options toward his power with much fewer strings attached.

    Again, we may not know why he chooses to worship only the Dark One instead of the ideal of Goblin Supremacy, but the fact that he does when worshiping an ideal could be more personally beneficial is telling.

    The only point I was trying to make in all of this is that Redcloak's motives may be more complex than simple power, stubborn pride, or 'sunk cost thinking'. I just wanted to postulate the idea that perhaps, just perhaps, he actually is so devoted to the Dark One that he'd rather destroy the whole world, himself included, just to give his god a leg up. (he actually told Durkon as much; comic 1212, panels 7 & 9) Add to that the fact that as a Cleric of the Dark One he knows that all the devoted goblins who would die in that end would pass on to their afterlife and not be destroyed at all and he has little reason to deviate from The Plan... so long as it's attainable.

    I guess the future will tell us who was right and who was wrong. If it's me that's wrong, I'll own it... but I would still stand by the idea that at this point in time my theory is just as plausible as any other motivations Redcloak may have.

    :)
    Last edited by RobertaME; 2022-12-06 at 06:22 AM.

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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dame_Mechanus View Post
    It implies a great deal of XP earned specifically in service to that god, and we have also had it demonstrated (to my eyes) that Redcloak earned that XP as a direct function of getting strong enough to enact said deity's will.
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    ...

    Hmmm... ninjad. First time for everything!

    Basically, I was going to say what Dame_Mechanus said. If Redcloak was only interested in power and not the devotion of the Dark One, he could just as easily have venerated the ideal of Goblin Supremacy and be just as powerful, (i.e. have just as much XP) if not more so.
    Irrelevant to the point that he can't stop because he worships The Dark One. He could choose to stop, and either dedicate himself to another deity (incredibly unlikely) or a cause (more likely than a deity, and not out of line with what he's already been doing). It would be hard, but it is a viable alternate route he could choose to take at any time. His devotion to The Dark One is just as much a continuing, active choice as his devotion to The Plan.

    He is a high level cleric because of his XP. Not because of his devotion to his deity. The latter cna be changed without affecting the former.
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Irrelevant to the point that he can't stop because he worships The Dark One.
    I guess that's the key point. It's not that he can't in the sense that he's physically incapable of it, but that he won't that is the difference at the core of the issue here. When I say that Redcloak "can't" abandon The Plan I am meaning it the same sense that a good character simply "can't" make themselves murder someone in cold blood... not that he's totally incapable of it, but that it's anathema to him.

    "Can't" has several meanings when it comes to personal actions. There are things that I simply "can't" do because I just couldn't make myself to it because it would violate my conscience. That is what I'm getting at.

    Does that clarify my meaning better?

    He could choose to stop, and either dedicate himself to another deity (incredibly unlikely) or a cause (more likely than a deity, and not out of line with what he's already been doing). It would be hard, but it is a viable alternate route he could choose to take at any time. His devotion to The Dark One is just as much a continuing, active choice as his devotion to The Plan.
    But really... could he? Sure, he is his own man... er... goblin... and has his own agency and can choose to do anything he wants... but can he make himself disobey the Dark One? That's the crux of the argument.

    Could Durkon choose, for instance, to sacrifice Kudzu to the Snarl, completely unmaking him, if it meant saving the world from the Snarl? Could he really choose to do that and not betray everything he believes in?

    Likewise, can Redcloak really choose to defy the will of his god and abandon The Plan? Can he make himself abandon everything he's believed in for so long and sacrificed so much to accomplish? Is he actually capable of it? Sure... but could he make himself do it? That's the million dollar question... and not answerable either way given what we know at this point. That leaves us where we are... positing theories. Mine is no less likely than anyone else's.

    He is a high level cleric because of his XP. Not because of his devotion to his deity. The latter cna be changed without affecting the former.
    But how did he get that XP? Through his devotion to his duty to his god, the Dark One. Surviving to at least 17th level is a feat in and of itself. It could be argued that he only survived this long because he simply refuses to give up... he just keeps pushing on and on, through any and every obstacle. What could motivate him to have such dedication to this task... one that has nearly killed him many times? Who has that kind of... well... devotion... to keep going so he can get that powerful?

    Remembering that Stickworld is a slave to narrative, if Redcloak were just lucky, eventually the narrative would shift and he'd end up some adventurer's latest boss fight and giant XP reward.

    So, he's either the single luckiest Goblin Cleric in the history of ever... or he has a special motivation that allows the narrative to ensure his continued survival. His faith in the Dark One and The Plan is that motivation. It's the reason he's still alive to be that powerful.

    At least... that's what I see. :)
    Last edited by RobertaME; 2022-12-06 at 08:10 AM.

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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Snipping a bit for brevity, because as you agree, this is the heart of the matter:
    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    But really... could he? Sure, he is his own man... er... goblin... and has his own agency and can choose to do anything he wants... but can he make himself disobey the Dark One? That's the crux of the argument.
    Yes. And in Start of Darkness,
    Spoiler
    Show
    we see the one person who knew him best make this same argument to him, to choose to abandon what he had shackled himself to this whole time. And we see Redcloak begrudgingly make the choice.

    This is reinforced when he looks in the mirror in his Gobbotopia office and says "It'll all be worth it. You'll see." Redcloak not only can make that choice, he does make that choice every day. Most of the time so reflexively and instinctively that he doesn't even think about it, but when confronted with the choice to go another way, as presented in Start of Darkness and again when confronted by the dwarves.

    Redcloak chooses to stick with it because he's too invested in it and can't bear to imagine that he could still succeed by abandoning it and trying a new route, even when they are presented to him. Because it'll all be worth it. You'll see.
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    His devotion to TDO isn't in question, nor is it the question. He could examine his course of action so far, deduce the inevitability of its failure, and bring this to TDO's attention without being disloyal.

    The fact that he does not even consider an alternative has nothing to do with blind devotion to TDO and everything to do with, "I was right all along. You'll see."

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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    His devotion to TDO isn't in question
    It was literally in the post I was replying to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    It was literally in the post I was replying to.
    Was replying to the same post. My point is, unswerving devotion to TDO does not exclude analyzing the current strategy and proposing improvements. This is attempt #5 using the same strategy as four previous attempts.

    They all failed. He has not bothered to ask "Why?" Is the reason he has not asked due to blind devotion to his god? He says so nowhere in the comic. But he admits the truth to his brother"s image in his mirror.

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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Snipping a bit for brevity, because as you agree, this is the heart of the matter:
    Yes. And in Start of Darkness, {snip}
    As I do not have any of the books, I have only been able to glean snippets of what happens in Start of Darkness, but I did get this general concept from other posts on the forum.

    This is reinforced when he looks in the mirror in his Gobbotopia office and says "It'll all be worth it. You'll see." Redcloak not only can make that choice, he does make that choice every day. Most of the time so reflexively and instinctively that he doesn't even think about it, but when confronted with the choice to go another way, as presented in Start of Darkness and again when confronted by the dwarves.

    Redcloak chooses to stick with it because he's too invested in it and can't bear to imagine that he could still succeed by abandoning it and trying a new route, even when they are presented to him. Because it'll all be worth it. You'll see.
    Spoiler: Start of Darkness
    Show
    Is there a reason for ascribing his motives to solely be due to stubborn insistence that "It'll all be worth it" instead of those words being driven by his blind faith in the Dark One and The Plan? That quote could just as easily be seen as Redcloak not telling himself that it'll be worth it, but posthumously telling Right-Eye (I think that was his brother's name, correct?) that RC's faith in the Dark One and The Plan will be justified. After all, when he looks in the mirror there, he sees "right eye". (as shown in the comic you linked to)

    Just another perspective.


    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    His devotion to TDO isn't in question, nor is it the question. He could examine his course of action so far, deduce the inevitability of its failure, and bring this to TDO's attention without being disloyal.
    Who's to say that Redcloak would think that The Plan will inevitably fail? As far as he can tell, The Plan is all but fulfilled when Durkon confronts him. (comic 1211, panel 2) He sees Dukon's attempt to dissuade him from The Plan as proof that the "good guys" can't stop them, so they're resorting to trying to talk him into giving up by concocting a fairy tale where every objection has "the perfect refutation" because they're desperate to not lose. After all, it's what he would do if he was about to lose...

    We are most blind to that which does not match our own point of view. :)

    The fact that he does not even consider an alternative has nothing to do with blind devotion to TDO and everything to do with, "I was right all along. You'll see."
    Based on what, exactly? I mean, where is the source of the idea that Redcloak's primary motivation is to prove he was "Right all along"? Oona's insights? That's pretty thin. Lot's of people think they know what other people believe and are wrong. It happens every day.

    Am I saying that RC's desire to prove himself right can't be a motivation? Not at all... just that maybe it's not his main motivation. People, even goblins, are complex. We can hold multiple motivations at the same time, some that are even contradictory... others that are complimentary. Usually though, we're driven by our most passionate motivations. I simply think it's just as likely that Redcloak's main motivation for continuing the pursue The Plan is his devotion to the Dark One as it may be that his mainly motivated by a need to prove himself right.

    Maybe I'm wrong... maybe I'm right... maybe we're all wrong and Rich Burlew will shock us all with some goofy twist that makes it all moot...

    ...time will tell. :)

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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    Assuming in either direction, that the Dark One cares for the goblins or that he's just using them, are both equally presumptive since there's no hard data either way. I am simply making the assumption of what Redcloak likely believes, regardless of external proofs. (or lack thereof) One doesn't become the most powerful Cleric of a god with weak or questionable beliefs.
    You straight-up called it "In-comic proof".

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    ...as I myself pointed out. ("Now, that's a pretty cryptic message" was my quote, to be specific) Not much can be concluded from the message itself, but quite a lot can be surmised by what he chose not to say... which was my point.
    Again, you were very unambiguously claiming that you could draw a hard conclusion from it. And, no, we can't surmise anything by what he chose not to say because we know almost nothing about him and could attribute it to an endless number of possible motives.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    The thing is, Redcloak doesn't "know" anything. He has no reason to believe Durkon and every reason to think he's just trying to make Redclaok turn against The Plan that the Dark One wants him to fulfill because Team Evil is about to win.
    You seem to be quite fond of using this kind of logic- "We don't know for sure that you're right, so that means that we can just assume that I'm right."

    In point of fact, he has plenty of good reasons to believe Durkon. None of Durkon's claims contradict any facts that Redcloak knows. They're internally consistent. Durkon has demonstrated good faith by trying to negotiate with him. Durkon is from a stringently lawful society.

    By contrast, none of his reasons for disbelieving Durkon are particularly good. Team Evil has already lost four gate right out from under them- assuming that they're about to win is highly wishful thinking. Assuming that the gods have no options other than negotiating is wishful thinking.

    In fact, given that the entire supposed point of this plan is to force the gods to negotiate with the Dark One, his assumption that they wouldn't negotiate is self-contradictory and self-defeating. On the one hand, he doesn't want to believe that the gods would blow up the world, but on the other hand, he doesn't want to believe that the gods would negotiate before things got to that point.

    Contrast Redcloak's behavior with Durkon's: Durkon had much better reason to think that Redcloak was lying about the gods creating goblins as xp fodder (Trying murder someone in the middle of negotiations puts one firmly in the "untrustworthy" category) and he still communed with Thor as soon as he could to ask if it was true.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    Yes, RC and Durkon have a lot of leeway to go against their respective gods' beliefs before they're stricken down, but the very notion that they would want to go against their will is anathema to them both.
    This is only true to the degree that both of them conflate their gods' will with their pre-existing biases. Redcloak knows almost nothing about the Dark One's beliefs. He has never talked to him. He only has the vision from the Crimson Mantle to go on. To Redcloak, The Dark One, The Plan, What's Best for Goblins, and Right all Along are the same thing by definition. That is the bedrock of his belief system. He's not living in two villages- he's living in four.

    But what would happen if The Dark Ones did commune with Redcloak and said "Okay, so I looked into it, turns out the dwarf was right. The plan won't work; pack it up and go home."? What would happen if that bridge was eaten by sharks? If want to argue that Redcloak is truly 100% devoted to the Dark One, then you'd have to be willing to assert that Redcloak would immediately obey without question.

    By contrast, Durkon has spoken with Thor, and has shown the willingness to question him directly. He's dedicated to Thor because, so far, he hasn't had to choose between being dedicated to Thor and doing what he already thinks is right.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    Besides that, Durkon has shown that he can fall to the same sort of false understanding as Miko. (assuming Thor wanted him to surrender to Miko because it was raining; comic 201)
    Okay... so that kind of just proves my point? Thor has nothing against trees, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    I'm also not attributing every decision they make to their gods' wills... just one decision by one Cleric... Redcloak and his position on The Plan.
    That's just not true. You're trying to claim that this one decision must be attributed to The Dark One's by asserting that clerics can't ever go against their god's will. But if that was true, then they wouldn't be able to go against their god's will in other circumstances either. And if it's not true, then you have no reason to single this out as the one time that Redcloak can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    Not from RC's perspective it isn't. He'd rather see the whole world destroyed than go against The Plan, even if it means his own death.
    Nobody is claiming otherwise. What is being pointed out is that "I'd rather destroy the world than lose" is incompatible with "I just want what's best for goblinkind".

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    I do not see the notion that RC is operating under the premise that the Dark One doesn't care about the goblins. Where are you getting this from? (serious question here... not snarking or anything... if you're seeing that perspective somewhere, I'd like to know where as it would be a game-changer on my whole argument) Short of that, RC may have the power to demand concessions from the Dark One, but his character, as far as I can tell, is that of a devoted believer.
    Your logic about why Redcloak can't disobey The Dark One's every whim is only viable if Redcloak assumes that The Dark One is cynical and only concerned with power. Otherwise, if Redcloak came to believe that there was a better alternative to The Plan, he would think that he could proceed with it because the good of goblinkind is more important to his god.

    You are, in generally, making a lot of mutually contradictory claims. Your chain of logic is made up of assertions that, individually, could be argued to be true or false, but collectively can't all be true.

    -Redcloak is 100% devoted to The Dark One's will
    -Redcloak thinks that The Dark One has goblins' best interests in mind
    -Redcloak can't abandon the plan if a better alternative appears

    Any two of these could be true, but all three can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertaME View Post
    Bottom Line: I think a lot of people are totally discounting Redcloak's degree of devotion to the Dark One as unimportant, whereas I see it as a prime motivation of his.
    As I have said, I guess time will tell the truth of the matter. YMMV.
    On the contrary, we're the ones arguing that Redcloak's drive to continue with the plan is intrinsically motivated, while you're trying to justify it with extrinsic motivations.

  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Snipping a bit for brevity, because as you agree, this is the heart of the matter:
    Yes. And in Start of Darkness,
    Spoiler
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    we see the one person who knew him best make this same argument to him, to choose to abandon what he had shackled himself to this whole time. And we see Redcloak begrudgingly make the choice.

    This is reinforced when he looks in the mirror in his Gobbotopia office and says "It'll all be worth it. You'll see." Redcloak not only can make that choice, he does make that choice every day. Most of the time so reflexively and instinctively that he doesn't even think about it, but when confronted with the choice to go another way, as presented in Start of Darkness and again when confronted by the dwarves.

    Redcloak chooses to stick with it because he's too invested in it and can't bear to imagine that he could still succeed by abandoning it and trying a new route, even when they are presented to him. Because it'll all be worth it. You'll see.
    There's also the fact that, even if Redcloak were starting to waver, Jirix relayed him a direct message from TDO relatively recently:

    "Don't screw this up."

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by WanderingMist View Post
    There's also the fact that, even if Redcloak were starting to waver, Jirix relayed him a direct message from TDO relatively recently:

    "Don't screw this up."

    A point I've brought up in other threads is: Anything we don't see ourselves is not proof. It may be compelling, but it isn't proof.

    Snarl: Only thing WE (the readers) actually know is that there is/was what appears to be a world on the other side of a gate, and that the Snarl or something similar exists (given what came out near the end of book 5).

    EVERYTHING else is something we've been told by others. Jirix's message? Is what Jirix said. He could be lying. He could have dreamed it. Heck, even if it was what the DO said, that doesn't mean that the DO isn't working some other angle that RC is unaware of.

    Everything Thor said? He could be lying. He could be misinformed.

    All the flashbacks in crayon are being told by someone who may be right, may be wrong, or may be flat out lying.

    We KNOW very little. The majority is info we are gonna have to decide whether or not to take on faith.
    "That's a horrible idea! What time?"

    T-Shirt given to me by a good friend.. "in fairness, I was unsupervised at the time".

  30. - Top - End - #150
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    Default Re: Is the sunk cost fallacy always a fallacy?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomandtish View Post
    A point I've brought up in other threads is: Anything we don't see ourselves is not proof. It may be compelling, but it isn't proof.

    Snarl: Only thing WE (the readers) actually know is that there is/was what appears to be a world on the other side of a gate, and that the Snarl or something similar exists (given what came out near the end of book 5).

    EVERYTHING else is something we've been told by others. Jirix's message? Is what Jirix said. He could be lying. He could have dreamed it. Heck, even if it was what the DO said, that doesn't mean that the DO isn't working some other angle that RC is unaware of.

    Everything Thor said? He could be lying. He could be misinformed.

    All the flashbacks in crayon are being told by someone who may be right, may be wrong, or may be flat out lying.

    We KNOW very little. The majority is info we are gonna have to decide whether or not to take on faith.
    Eh... I don't think you have to go that far. The comic hasn't really used the unreliable narrator trope very much.

    The bigger problem- as I've pointed out- is that people just assume way too much in situations where we aren't given very many hard facts in the first place. "Don't screw it up" is very ambiguous, and a lot of people take ambiguity as confirmation of their priors. You don't have to think that Redcloak is lying, you just have to strip away the heavily biased narrative he filters his worldview through and you can see that the facts, on their face, don't really support the conclusions he's coming to.

    What the comic has done on a very regular basis is provide new information that invalidates people's interpretations of old information.

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