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Old 12-03-2010, 11:59 AM
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Default Jake the pre-cog? (contains references to CE)

This is something that struck me the other day while watching canon and the deleted scenes. With the dreamquest and Jake's vision, pre-cognition is now canon in the Avatar!universe - Jake sees the future, albeit in a slightly symbolic form.

Given his previous comment of dreaming of flying while back on Earth (and the screen showed an aerial shot of rainforest/Pandora), does anyone think that Jake might have a bit of pre-cognition?

It could possibly explain why Eywa chose him - he had the edge of psychic ability to survive becoming a Na'vi, whereas the other Avatar-drivers were merely USING psychic-technology (the mechanism to shift their conscious from one body to another).

Possibly. As an idea.

Anyway, any thoughts?
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:02 PM
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I think not, because there's no other evidence/mention of psychics. This is scifi, not sci-fantasy.
I've dreamed of both things that have happened and things that haven't. Dreams are interesting (and what human DOESN'T want to fly?) but I doubt it was anything that significant, even if it does act as obvious foreshadowing.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:10 PM
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I think not, because there's no other evidence/mention of psychics.
Aaaactually there is! *g* I promise you, I didn't pull the psychic thing out out of thin air. From the Avatar wikia,

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Psionics is the study and/or practice of using the mind to induce paranormal phenomena. Examples of this include telepathy, telekinesis, and other workings of the outside world through the psyche. Psionic technology was used in the Avatar Program.
and

Quote:
Selected RDA humans psionically connect with their Avatars in order to explore Pandora without exopacks and to easily interact with the natives.
Which, hmmm. Isn't very well explained, but yeah. Just an idea I'm toying with. It could be interesting if Jake did get the occasional flash of pre-cog.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:20 PM
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I've never liked the use of that term in pandorapedia and the avatar wiki. I hope they change the explanation at some point.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:23 PM
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I've never liked the use of that term in pandorapedia and the avatar wiki. I hope they change the explanation at some point.
I know, it's annoyingly vague isn't it? I want to know how it all WORKS - although I think the transferring of a consciousness into another body is certainly stepping into the realm of telepathy and telekinesis and all of that.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:31 PM
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They don't transfer consciousness. The avatars are remotely controlled bodies 'driven' by human minds.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:32 PM
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They don't transfer consciousness. The avatars are remotely controlled bodies 'driven' by human minds.
My bad, you are right. But the remotely controlled aspect...that sounds pretty psionic to me. It's a transference of awareness.
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Old 12-03-2010, 03:10 PM
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In that case, then yes, (and I don't like the use of the term either) but that's completely different from claimed 'psychics' who claim abilities such as mind reading, seeing the past/future and telekinesis (and of course, consistently fail to prove those abilities ). It's closer to quantum entanglement than anything else.
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:34 AM
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Depends on what you mean by things like "pre-cognition," "psionic," and "psychic." One of the things I adore about Avatar is that it is full of things that have a fantastical, supernatural, and otherworldly aesthetic, yet it is solidly science-fiction and everything could conceivably have a scientific explanation if you want it to. (Some people don't want it to, and that's fine too.) All of which makes it catnip to geeks like me, who are fans of both fantasy AND science fiction.

Going back to your original question... as HNM says, people often have dreams of things that end up actually happening, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they have "pre-cog." We also have lots of non-prophetic dreams, but obviously the "prophetic" ones are more dramatic in retrospect, so we remember them better (confirmation bias). Most people have dreamed of flying at some point, and in his crippled state, Jake probably ended up having those dreams more often as a form of escape, or at least remembered them more vividly because of how much they hurt when he had to wake up.

As for the dreamhunt vision, that's not necessarily pre-cognition either; it could easily be the psychoactive chemicals tapping into Jake's subconscious. He knows that the RDA is planning to make a move on Hometree soon, and he knows how they'd be doing it and approximately what the aftermath would look like, and all that is weighing on him heavily when he undertakes the dreamhunt. He also knows about the Toruk Makto legend and has had a close run-in with Toruk somewhat recently. Maybe there's a corner of his subconscious that remembers asking "how will I know if he chooses me?" and connecting the dots.

Regarding the use of words like "psionic," part of me doesn't really care if they're bandied about, despite my heavily scientific worldview. As far as I'm concerned, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, people might as well call it a duck, even if it doesn't actually work like a duck. Also, one sort-of caveat to my general non-belief in supernatural phenomena... I've always found there to be a sort of circular logic to the claim that no supernatural phenomenon has ever been recorded through sound, empirical means. "Well duh," I think. "As soon as you find empirical evidence for X, it stops being supernatural. From then on, it's just NATURAL." And you can then go on making the same claim about other "supernatural" phenomenon as though nothing happened. So it's kind of an unfair statement to make.

As for why and how Eywa "chose" Jake... in the alien setting of Avatar, so many explanations are fair game, and I love that. I also love how the explanation can fall anywhere on the scale from an idealized spiritual/supernatural interpretation to a highly analytical scientific/materialist interpretation. Personally, I feel like whether something is magic or science is simply a function of how much you care about the mechanics behind the whole thing. Everything else is semantics.

... wow, this turned into an essay. You have a way of doing this to me, Ash. ;-)
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Selected writings:

You came back
How do you make up after you've done the unforgivable? Jake and Neytiri have a conversation in the wake of Hometree's destruction, during their first real moment alone following his return as Toruk Makto.

The Last Train Home
Fourteen years after the war, a lone spaceship appears in the sky. The former members of the Avatar program watch its approach expecting the worst, fearing for their adopted home. Then the ship lands. And suddenly, nothing makes sense anymore.

Five seconds too late
This is a different kind of Jake/Neytiri romance, the story that would've unfolded had she been delayed for just five seconds while trying to reach him following the fight with Quaritch.
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:34 AM
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... wow, this turned into an essay. You have a way of doing this to me, Ash. ;-)
Muahaha. I mean, oh, dear. Essays are NEVER a good thing, oh no.

And you are right when you say it's catnip to those who love both fantasy and sci-fi - it's why I love it so much. I can do a fic purely sci-fi and cyberpunk, and then turn around and do something more mystical.

Also, I really love your possible explanation for the visionhunt.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sothis View Post
Depends on what you mean by things like "pre-cognition," "psionic," and "psychic." One of the things I adore about Avatar is that it is full of things that have a fantastical, supernatural, and otherworldly aesthetic, yet it is solidly science-fiction and everything could conceivably have a scientific explanation if you want it to. (Some people don't want it to, and that's fine too.) All of which makes it catnip to geeks like me, who are fans of both fantasy AND science fiction.
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And you are right when you say it's catnip to those who love both fantasy and sci-fi - it's why I love it so much. I can do a fic purely sci-fi and cyberpunk, and then turn around and do something more mystical.

Oe mllte mengahu nwotx! It's a beautiful visceral fantasy wrapped in a hard SF shell. Something I've been waiting for for years. If only more science fiction film-makers would realize that SF doesn't have to be gritty and ugly to have a grounding in reality. If only more fantasy film-makers would try to come up with a non-magical explanation for their fantastic designs.

Last edited by ISV Venture Star; 12-05-2010 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:59 AM
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I agree, especially abut the dreamhunt
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:08 PM
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::settling in for another essay::
When I was in high school we had at least two classes on 'Psychic abilities' (this was back in the 70's guys...and it was a very liberal CATHOLIC school)
Through one of those classes, I came to realize that yes, psychic abilities do exist, most people don't wish to recognize it or admit that it might be possible, but I was convinced.
In college I did research for an English essay on past lives... that is another topic.
But then there is my personal experience. But it also gave me another checkmark on the list of possibilities of the mind.
Personally, I have had several pre-cog dreams ranging from events that happened years later to a dream that happened the day before. Speaking from experience, pre-cog dreams are our brains tapping into another level of consciousness that we can't access unless we are in that dream state. It isn't necessarily about danger, or an escape, but merely jumping the timeline in one flash to the future. Sometimes even the past.
Now, when I heard the lines from Jake about dreaming of flying, I took it as his wish to be free of his current existence... but given the imagery of flying over trees, that's something else. IF that was truly what he was seeing when he was dreaming he was definitely having a pre-cog dream. Remember that he is a twin. Even though it wasn't mentioned that he had a connection with his brother, perhaps when he was dreaming he was tapping into his brother's images of Pandora? His brother would have seen more video of Pandora than Jake...
I think his moral compass had as much to do with Eywa choosing him as much as his possible psychic abilities.
But here's another thought about how people are chosen for the Avatar program.
They must go through rigorous mental testing and training to determine if they can indeed do 'remote sensing' through the avatar. In order for someone to be able to have this kind of ability the person must have some experiences similar to Jake's.
So if Tom had that ability then it's obvious that Jake would as well if they're identical twins. (I know, sometimes even twins don't have the same abilities)
I don't consider psychic abilities in the realm of fantasy though there is some crossover disguised as 'magic'.
How do you explain the Tree of Souls and the Tree of Voices? Storing electrons in the form of voices and information? Why not it be some form of psycho-kinetic ability built into the entire planet? How did Eywa let the animals know to attack? She is all around... why not in the form of a psionic presence?
Mental abilities are so under rated and refuted in our world, we leap to discount the possibility even in fiction.
This is an alternate world, cut it a little slack and open your mind to other possibilities of the mind. (Wait..that's another movie... hehehe.)
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrice Maire View Post
How do you explain the Tree of Souls and the Tree of Voices? Storing electrons in the form of voices and information? Why not it be some form of psycho-kinetic ability built into the entire planet?
Here's a crazy thought... can't those two "explanations" be one and the same? Different ways of framing the same phenomenon? The mechanism behind the Tree of Voices/ Tree of Souls phenomenon is probably electrochemical, much like the workings of the human brain, but if the end result looks like something you want to call "psycho-kinetic ability"... I mean, people can go ahead and give the phenomenon itself whatever name they want.

The presence of a highly complex, organic, planet-wide electrochemical network is something that is unique to Pandora in the avatar universe, as far as we know. It makes all kinds of things possible. Whatever your worldview, Eywa is a powerful and undeniable phenomenon, whether you want want to call her a god or a "psionic presence" or a botanical neural network or my uncle Bob.
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All Avatar writings
-------------------
Selected writings:

You came back
How do you make up after you've done the unforgivable? Jake and Neytiri have a conversation in the wake of Hometree's destruction, during their first real moment alone following his return as Toruk Makto.

The Last Train Home
Fourteen years after the war, a lone spaceship appears in the sky. The former members of the Avatar program watch its approach expecting the worst, fearing for their adopted home. Then the ship lands. And suddenly, nothing makes sense anymore.

Five seconds too late
This is a different kind of Jake/Neytiri romance, the story that would've unfolded had she been delayed for just five seconds while trying to reach him following the fight with Quaritch.
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  #15  
Old 12-06-2010, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Sothis View Post
Here's a crazy thought... can't those two "explanations" be one and the same? Different ways of framing the same phenomenon? The mechanism behind the Tree of Voices/ Tree of Souls phenomenon is probably electrochemical, much like the workings of the human brain, but if the end result looks like something you want to call "psycho-kinetic ability"... I mean, people can go ahead and give the phenomenon itself whatever name they want.

The presence of a highly complex, organic, planet-wide electrochemical network is something that is unique to Pandora in the avatar universe, as far as we know. It makes all kinds of things possible. Whatever your worldview, Eywa is a powerful and undeniable phenomenon, whether you want want to call her a god or a "psionic presence" or a botanical neural network or my uncle Bob.
Yes, this, pretty much - if it was straight fantasy, it'd be described as magic. Straight sci-fi, all those abilities are perfectly scientific. Avatar is a mix of the two, so you can argue which way you like. And treat it as all the same. Which is oh so much fun.
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