Inadequate EG Presentations

Discuss all things pertaining to the EnderVerse milieu.
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Inadequate EG Presentations

Postby StrivingForSatyagraha » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:25 am

OK, so we are doing group presentations in my school, and one of the groups did a presentation on Ender's Game (not me, my teacher wouldn't let me do any more with EG). It seemed to me that if a group of people are forced to read EG, then they don't actually pay attention to and and they give it a bad look while presenting the book to the rest of the people in the class. For example, not only did they state that Ender was a robot turned killing machine after getting his chip removed, contrary to what actually happened when he had to defend himhelf, but somehow they inferred that Dink thought there was no Formics, even though he basically said the Formics were the only enemy that they had and nothing else matters :x . Sorry about this long post, but I am just venting.

So I would like to know, have you had any similar instances when you just wanted to scream at the presenter and tell them that they are totally stupid and go and do the presentation yourself?
And I always wonder-- Where is my Briseis

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Postby neo-dragon » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:23 pm

Actually, Dink didn't believe that the Buggers were a threat.
"But that's what I came for," Ender said. "For them to make me into a tool. To save the world."

"I can't believe you still believe it."

"Believe what?"

"The bugger menace. Save the world. Listen. Ender, if the buggers were coming back to get us, they'd he here. They aren't invading again. We beat them and they're gone.

"But the videos--"

"All from the First and Second Invasions. Your grandparents weren't born yet when Mazer Rackham wiped them out. You watch. It's all a fake. There is no war, and they're just screwing around with us."

"But why?"

"Because as long as people are afraid ot the buggers, the IF can stay in power, and as long as the IF is in power, certain countries can keep their hegemony. But keep watching the vids, Ender. People will catch onto this game pretty soon, and there'll be a civil war to end all wars. That is the menace, Ender, not the buggers. And in that war, when it comes, you and I won't be friends. Because you're American, just like our dear teachers. And I am not."
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Postby Arlecchino » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:28 pm

I hate to admit this...but I too did a horrible presentation about Ender's Game.

I was in grade 8 and it was the last book report of the year so I obviously procrastinated. I ended up reading only half the book (and it was my first time reading it) by the time I had to present and basically told the whole class enders game was about a boy who had to kill aliens because they almost killed us years ago. It lasted 5 minutes.

Needless to say, if I were able to go back to grade 8 and re-do the presentation I would spend the whole day talking about not just Ender's Game but every enderverse story and blow the mind of every grade 8 student at my school.

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Postby ptr.arkanian » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:59 am

im currently doing a report on the book ender in exile because i have already read and reread every book in the series other than that one. i think you have to be a certain type of person to understand the point of enderverse. kids i know who read it think its cool because they slaughter aliens and play lazer tag in zero gravity. but the point of enders game is to look deeper into the books and see the intellectual side of it. i think thats why these books can be misinterpretted. they just shouldnt be read by stupid people.
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Postby Jayelle » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:33 am

. but the point of enders game is to look deeper into the books and see the intellectual side of it. i think thats why these books can be misinterpretted. they just shouldnt be read by stupid people.
You're making an assumption that there only is one way to interpret these books. If someone wants to read EG for the fun of laser tag in space that is just as valid as someone looking for the political ramifications or someone looking for the social implications.
There is no one "point" of Ender's Game. What makes the story so intriguing is that you can take many different things from it, even if you don't "look deeper".
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Postby ptr.arkanian » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:22 pm

what i meant by that is most people who dont look deeper into it dont like it and think its stupid
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Postby Arlecchino » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:09 pm

There are people who have read Ender's Game and don’t like it?

Never met one… sounds made up. I think that hating Ender's Game after reading it is as possible as defending earth from an alien attack.

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Postby ptr.arkanian » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:44 pm

I agree. But ive had friends who dont like it...mainly cuz they dont understand it. people shouldnt judge what they cant understand. and some people arent smart enough for sci fi
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Postby Fire-Quencher » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:59 pm

The first time I read Ender's Game, I was in 6th grade, and it was for a book report.
I loved it, and a friend and I made a little video in order to present it.

I read all of the books throughout middle school, but recently decided to read them again, and I just finished the series this week.

I realized that as an 11/12/13-year-old... I didn't understand the books at all. I liked them well enough, and understood the gist of the stories... but I didn't get any of the underlying principles in them. I didn't even realize there were any underlying principles.

I found the old video tape and watched it, because this forum reminded me of it...

It was pretty hilarious. Partly because I was 11 years old and looked like an idiot on camera, but also because my opinions and analysis of the book were so elementary.


I think the big problem with the Ender Series is that Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow are almost portrayed as childrens books, even though they aren't. Kids like me will read them in 6th grade, and either not really understand it, or else they will hate it, because they aren't intelligent enough to make it all the way through the book.
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Postby Xenocide_ENDR » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:53 am

I had the same situation as you Fire-Quencher, it was almost refreshing to read them again. As I re-read from SftD on it was like reading the books for the first time with a vague memory of how it went. Since that though I've read the series too many times to count, but I've read Ender's Game more than all the others combined. Every time I read that book its like the first time again.
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Postby Luet » Wed Apr 14, 2010 4:34 pm

There are people who have read Ender's Game and don’t like it?

Never met one… sounds made up. I think that hating Ender's Game after reading it is as possible as defending earth from an alien attack.
The only person that I personally know who has read it and didn't like it was my grandmother but she doesn't like anything "unrealistic" or scifi-ish.
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Postby lennyathena » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:13 pm

-bump- :D

I think the underlying story was a story of a boy who was forced to fight an enemy he didn't want to fight, and a story of a leader and his best friends and followers. The null-g laser tag and the somewhat crude jokes and the Demosthenes-Locke thing was just embellishment. Yes, the setting is intriguing and beautifully constructed, but it's the underlying tale of a leader and his beloved followers that really got to me.

For some reason, the rest of the books (Speaker, Xenocide, CoTM) just didn't have that sort of focus on the underlying story for me. They don't even have a super-defined plot. The focus was more for the characters and the technology and the pequeninos/descolada rather than some captivating tale of people. I loved the rest of the Speaker series - the characters, especially - but it didn't have the same sort of "ring" to it as the original EG did.

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Postby spanish_rockette » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:21 pm

some peole dont get the books because they dont get the topics or the story line. when i first read it and have to give a report about it. im telling the truth, i sucked. i just put anything down. then i started understanding it more and more.
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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:30 am

I only just came to this realization while reading this thread, but if you want to think about it this way, Ender's Game is one giant Prisoner's Dilemma. You've got collective humanity against the Formics. As was pointed out at the beginning of the thread, among the humans there's some doubt as to whether the Formics are planning to attack Earth again. So, we've got a vague, poorly defined threat to humanity - do we fight back or not? When we get to the Bugger homeworld, do we kill them or not?

It's a bit on the nose, but Ender's Game was published, first as a short story, and even as a full novel during the Cold War when America was locked in the biggest Prisoner's Dilemma in history - the threat of nuclear war with Russia. Do we strike first? Do we wait until they strike to strike, or do we strick just before we THINK they're about to strike?

Conventional wisdom about the Prisoner's Dilemma says strike first, and strike hard - the exact philosophy that comes to dominate Starways Congress in the later books, however Ender spends the rest of the series doing what he can to force a new condition on the game - superrationality.

(Funny enough, it was the same year that Ender's Game was published as a book the Douglas Hofstadter published Metamagical Themas where he originally suggested the concept of supperrationality. )

This will get confusing fast, but imagine that you're playing yourself in the PD (or playing any other player who you not only know to be rational, but know that they know that you're rational and that you know that they're rational). This results in the superrationality condition - the exact condition Ender's trying to impose by making sure that humans understand the Buggers - understand that they are indeed rational, and just made a mistake killing the first few humans they encountered.

As a result of the superrationality condition - both players cooperate instead of mutually attack each other because they know implicitly that the other player will cooperate so long as they themselves are willing to cooperate. In the simple, playing against yourself case - you know that whatever you choose to do, the other you will choose to do, too, and so cooperation prevails.

The series really draws this out, but in broad strokes, inducing superrationality in conflicted relationships is the entire reason the Speakers for the Dead exist.

TL;DR: Ender's Game is a stealth manifesto for world peace.
"But at any rate, the point is that God is what nobody admits to being, and everybody really is."
-Alan Watts

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Postby lennyathena » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:35 pm

... wow.

prisoner's dilemma? superrationality and the cooperation wasn't what ender was really trying to achieve in EG though, and game theory states that unless the two PD players actually know each other well then the most likely position will be to defect, and defect again and again.

i like how OSC sort of reflected the EG plotline on the rest of the speaker series, inverting it so lustania (and consequently ender) was the object of concern. i found it very... skillful, profound almost. like when you finish reading it you have this big flash of realization that makes you smack your head and wonder at the author's genius. in the first book ender is a pawn of the government committing xenocide, in the sequels ender is technically a rebel trying to prevent xenocide.

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Postby Janus%TheDoorman » Wed Sep 15, 2010 9:42 pm

That's the point I'm trying to make. Superrationality is just a logically rigorous way of saying "They know each other well". He doesn't do much in EG, but through the rest of the Speaker books Ender makes it a point to make sure people get to know each other well - particularly different intelligent species - introducing superrationality into their discourse.
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Postby lennyathena » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:06 pm

in EG we find out a lot about ender's personality and his emotions and feelings, but in the following books we see more about his actions in trying to reverse what happened in EG. i feel we kind of lose touch with ender somewhere along the way and end up focusing more on other characters/setting.

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Postby StrivingForSatyagraha » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:20 am

I feel the gap between the writings is to blame for that. I think OSC kind of lost touch with some of the kiddish personality traits Ender had in the first book, making him seem much more distant than he should. Because of this, and also the different writing style of OSC over the years, the focus of Ender changed and he lost some of the Ender we knew and loved from EG
And I always wonder-- Where is my Briseis

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Postby Glaucon » Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:45 am

I only just came to this realization while reading this thread, but if you want to think about it this way, Ender's Game is one giant Prisoner's Dilemma. You've got collective humanity against the Formics. As was pointed out at the beginning of the thread, among the humans there's some doubt as to whether the Formics are planning to attack Earth again. So, we've got a vague, poorly defined threat to humanity - do we fight back or not? When we get to the Bugger homeworld, do we kill them or not?

It's a bit on the nose, but Ender's Game was published, first as a short story, and even as a full novel during the Cold War when America was locked in the biggest Prisoner's Dilemma in history - the threat of nuclear war with Russia. Do we strike first? Do we wait until they strike to strike, or do we strick just before we THINK they're about to strike?

Conventional wisdom about the Prisoner's Dilemma says strike first, and strike hard - the exact philosophy that comes to dominate Starways Congress in the later books, however Ender spends the rest of the series doing what he can to force a new condition on the game - superrationality.

(Funny enough, it was the same year that Ender's Game was published as a book the Douglas Hofstadter published Metamagical Themas where he originally suggested the concept of supperrationality. )

This will get confusing fast, but imagine that you're playing yourself in the PD (or playing any other player who you not only know to be rational, but know that they know that you're rational and that you know that they're rational). This results in the superrationality condition - the exact condition Ender's trying to impose by making sure that humans understand the Buggers - understand that they are indeed rational, and just made a mistake killing the first few humans they encountered.

As a result of the superrationality condition - both players cooperate instead of mutually attack each other because they know implicitly that the other player will cooperate so long as they themselves are willing to cooperate. In the simple, playing against yourself case - you know that whatever you choose to do, the other you will choose to do, too, and so cooperation prevails.

The series really draws this out, but in broad strokes, inducing superrationality in conflicted relationships is the entire reason the Speakers for the Dead exist.

TL;DR: Ender's Game is a stealth manifesto for world peace.

I definitely agree with you here, Janus TheDoorman. Really enjoyable observation. Consider, though, that Ender actually had nothing to do with the PD- rather the IF made that call and Ender is just the executor of that decision.

This whole damn story's just tragic haha
-Glaucon


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