[EVA] Evangelion is not "endlessly re-interpretable"

Aaron Clark aaronc1 at umbc.edu
Fri Oct 1 22:52:20 EDT 2010


Gwern, I think the problem you're having is in focusing on what is said
versus what is meant.

V didn't mean endless as in "infinite".  He means endless as in
"constant".  What he means is that they can't just keep making more and
more, which I argue that they can, and the story and characters are
tenacious enough such that they can persistently reinterpret it.  Much
like Superman, Batman, or something similar, I think Eva is something that
can be reshaped and molded time and time again.  And unlike Superman or
Batman, Eva, in the TV series proper, opened the door on that one with the
AU sequences.

--Aaron

> On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 2:04 PM, Aaron Clark <aaronc1 at umbc.edu> wrote:
>>> So, it sounds like you think there is a criterion. That's good. And as
>>> I've already said, there being a criterion prevents Eva from being
>>> endlessly-reinterpretable, which settles the the original question.
>>
>> I don't quite think I follow.  I do think there are loose confines to
>> how
>> Evangelion can be interpreted while still being cut from the same cloth.
>> But I think there is enough flexibility within those confines that any
>> number of variations are possible.  Sure, there may be redundancy, but
>> there are unseen possibilities inherent to the creative process.  So
>> long
>> as there is an interest in the property, there will be new ways of
>> looking
>> at the story and its characters.
>>
>> Does that make sense?
>>
>> --Aaron
>
> I think the problem is that you aren't really accepting that there can
> be a very large number which is not infinite. You say 'any number'
> within those confines, but is it really 'any' number? Some physicists
> look at things like time and space apparently being quantized and the
> speed of light and calculate that the entire universe can only occupy
> somewhere upwards of 10^200* distinct states. Would you want to say
> that there are, say, (10^200)^200 different distinct 'variations'? I
> sure wouldn't. I would guess that the number of stories that fit
> 'within those confines' is less than a quadrillion, probably less than
> a trillion, maybe less than a billion, and possibly down in the
> millions or hundreds of thousands.
>
> Of course, humanity doesn't care enough to actually create and
> evaluate millions of stories building on Eva, so we'll 'never run out
> of' new Eva stories. But I hope it's more clear what I mean when I
> oppose Eva being infinitely-reinterpretable and say that there must be
> limits.
>
> * I don't have a citation handy for this, but with numbers this big,
> it's doesn't really matter
>
> --
> gwern
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