A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

Post by Salmoneus »

I almost felt like making this its own topic, but since it's basically one small observation that felt like overkill. And then I thought I should post in the general conversation thread, because this is more an observation than an idea. But then again, it's conworld related, so I thought perhaps the "random conworld idea" thread. But then again again, it's actually just a real-world fact I learnt (and not an idea at all), so maybe it should go back in the conversation thread? I don't know. I settled on the conworld idea thread, but then the post was so big it felt incongruous in that thread so I made its own thread for it, although I don't really have anythin else to say and I don't know if anyone will find it of interest. I don't know, sorry if you feel this doesn't deserve a thread, wasn't sure what to do with it.

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Anyway.

Here's the amazing thing I just found out: dogs have a good sense of smell.

Yes, I know, bear with me.

So, I was thinking about werewolves. People what turn into wolves (or wolves that can look like people, or whatever interpretation you want). Specifically, I was thinking less the "insane flesh-hunger" monster type, and more the "superpower of transformation" type. People who can at least some of the time turn into wolves, and/or take on some wolflike attributes while still looking human. [it's common for those two to go together in fiction - presumably they can choose to partially transform part of their body and not the rest, and so, say, grow claws or teeth on demand].

Now, one of the obvious traits of such characters is of course a good sense of smell - at least in wolf form, and sometimes at least partially when looking human. The classic example here is probably Terry Pratchett's Angua von Uberwald - a policewoman who can transform into a wolf (and iirc HAS to transform when hit by the light of a full moon? I don't remember the details), and who uses her extreme sense of smell for plot reasons. She can track people through the city, for instance, or smell what has happened in a place before she got there.

Fair enough. But I wondered - so how useful is that, really? How much can a wolf - and for sake of convenience we'll just say a dog - smell, and what would that mean for a character?

And my conclusion is: FUCKING HELL.

If you thought werewolves were overpowered because they're virtually unkillable - no. No, that's just the icing on the cake. They're insanely overpowered because of their smell.

Dogs are basically less realistic than dragons. They operate entirely by incomprehensible magic. The only reason they are not world-breakingly overpowered in reality is that they don't know what humans want to know.

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So, let's start with the headline. How far can a dog smell?

12 miles.

A dog can smell things from twelve miles away. Presumably that's strong-smelling things, but even so. Twelve miles. And it can be TWICE that if they're downwind. And it's even more for scenthounds.

When you see dogs tracking things? Yeah, unless it's an extremely weak scent the tracking isn't so they can smell it - they probably already know where the thing ended up. It's mostly just to show humans which way to go, and to show their working-out, as it were. And when they get confused and lose the scent, it's usually not because they can't smell what they're looking for, it's just that they've gotten distracted by other smells and have forgotten which smell their human is interested in.

[and that doesn't happen often. A study on bloodhounds asked to follow a 48-year-old trail through a high-traffic urban area (i.e. full of all sorts of fascinating and often quite similar smells) showed the dogs had a 96% success rate in staying on the trail, and 0% false identifications]

Oh, and that's out in the open. Underground, or presumably in other enclosed environments, they can smell things up to 40 miles away. For most enclosed environments, that's the entire enclosed environment.

FWIW, they smell best in damp conditions. They smell well in light rain, but heavy rain forces all the scents down to the ground, so that can be tricky. And fog helps smells linger and spread, but it also mixes them together so that identifying the origin becomes harder.

Oh, and they can smell things buried ten feet deep in the ground.

In terms of what they can smell? Everything. Dogs can smell epileptic fits before they happen. They can smell heart attacks. You may have heard they can smell cancer? Yes - but not just from people with cancer. They can smell cancer *from blood samples*. And I don't mean 'it can happen', I saw an article saying nearly 90% accuracy in detecting some cancers from blood samples. Another saying 99% accuracy in detecting lung cancer in people (I dont know if that's a 1% false negative rate or a 1% false positive, but letgs not split hairs).

And they don't just smell things that are there. They smell things that used to be there. A dog can smell a single fingerprint a week after it was deposited. Presumably it can't distinguish fingerprints by smell (though I wouldn't put it past them), but even so - a slight smudge of finger-oil anytime in the last week and a dog knows you've been there.

Dogs, basically, already know everything. They just don't know what WE want to know, and wouldn't know how to tell us if they did. We don't train dogs to detect things, we train dogs to tell us the things they've already detected. No wonder they never evolved language - why learn to talk to other dogs, when all dogs know everything automatically already?

How can they do this? Well, magic, obviously. But specifically, a dog can identify chemicals it encounters in the air at a concentration of one part per trillion.

For context, that's the equivalent one teaspoon of liquid mixed into four thousand full-size swimming pools of water. [I think. This is also also quoted online as one 'drop' for twenty swimming pools? That would be 200 drops per teaspoon, which doesn't seem right, but I don't know, I've never measured drops in a teaspoon, and of course a medical drop is much smaller than, say, a raindrop, and wait, am I thinking about coffee spoons instead? but anyway, you get the picture]


As for wolves specifically: they're even harder to test than dogs (and of less interest to researchers), but it appears that they have even better smell than dogs, though perhaps slightly less so than dedicated scenthounds for some tasks.

In one interesting test, various dog breeds and hand-reared wolves were asked to find meat hidden under pots. In easy versions of the test, all the dogs were great at it. The hardest version was to have about 30 of meat inside a clean, lidded sealed pot with no holes, underneath one of four identical ceramic pots. Non-scent dogs did no better than chance (actually they did, but not statistically significantly better than chance). Wolves and scenthounds did. Scenthoods were 80% or so accurate, iirc, while wolves were only about 50%...

... but then they took a random sample of those wolves, a random sample that did worse than average (about 40% iirc) and retested them on the same test a week later... and now the wolves were 90% accurate, better than the scenthounds. So it seems the wolves had simply been less familiar with the idea of a human-led test/game, and once they had learnt about it they did better than the dogs. [random dog samples were also retested but did not improve]

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So. If you meet a werewolf, and she's able to use full canine smell without actually turning into a wolf on the spot, she immediately knows everything about your health, probably about your state of mind (dogs can at least sometimes smell lies, though I dont know if that can be defeated), and probably everything you've done and everywhere you've been in the last week. Not only can she track you through the streets, but she can probably smell you from several blocks away anyway. When she enters a building, she knows everything and everyone in that building immediately. She's basically Sherlock Holmes combined with a tracking satellite and an entire police surveillance state, combined with an entire hospital full of medical equipment (though presumably she doesn't know what all those smells actually mean if she doesnt have medical training). And that's before considering their hearing: dogs can hear things at four times the distance humans can, and can hear frequencies at least twice as high, and are better at distinguishing sounds from one another, and are better at locating the source of sounds.

Oh yeah, and it's an unstoppable killing machine.

Wolf canines can cut up to an inch deep into flesh, and their jaws are powerful enough to literally break bones apart. The claws are a similar length, and although they don't have the same forces behind them they could still produce horrific lacerations, and potentially be fatal if they hit a major artery. Here in the UK we've had a rash of killings of humans by American dogs, but wolves have jaws 25% more powerful than that breed, and the males are a similar size (though the females are bigger than female wolves). And a werewolf, presuming conservation of mass in transformation, would be more like a direwolf - the biggest male wolves go up to about 150lbs, a bit less than the weight of an average British woman. The average British man is 185lbs, substantially more. And the average american man is 200lbs (american women are 170lbs, almost exactly the size of the average french man). So we're talking about really big wolves here.

And of course if there's an intermediate 'monster' form, you can add human upper body strength to those wolf claws...

And of course conventionally the werewolf is unkillable by most conventional weapons. Although there's some variation in how quickly they are depicted as healing injuries, which makes a big difference. If they regenerate almost immediately, they're unstoppable meat grinders, like machine guns in human form; if they regenerate very slowly, they're just the world's most implacable nemesis.

Because of course if you DO survive a werewolf encounter... congratulations. You've made an enemy who can track you down almost inerrantly even days later. Who, if they lose your trail, only have to pass within a week of your trail at any point in the future to get back onto it. Should you try running away?

A wolf can sprint at up to 40mph. It can outrun Usain Bolt's 100m record... again and again for up to 2 miles. [Bolt's average speed was about 23mph, and wolves reportedly can run at 25mph for 2 miles]. At 10mph they can run for at least a few hours. And at 5mph, a wolf can run virtually perpetually. They usually average about 30 miles a day taking things casually, but who knows what one could do if it were really motivated. In the Nome serum run, a team of huskies pulling a sled (and human) managed 84 miles in one day - but that was in a gale on ice with wind chill of -65 celsius, much of it in the dark over rough terrain (and the next day the route included swimming through ice floes - oh yeah, and one dog swimming to shore and then pulling the entire ice floe that its sled was on to the shore). Teams at the Iditarod today go about 100 miles a day (and still in pretty hostile conditions). Plus, while I don't think they can run 24 hours at a time, they can run either night or day, and even in zero visibility.

So if you annoy a werewolf in the middle of nowhere, leap in a car and drive 300 miles to the far side of the country... the werewolf may still be on your doorstep again three days later. That combination of being able to follow days-old trails with being able to run, conservatively, many dozen miles a day makes for a pretty terrifying vendetta!

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So yeah. Add the sense of a wolf to the intelligence of a human and you have the world's greatest detective - almost supernatural in their deductive powers (particularly if it's in a pre-modern setting!). And if you add human strength to a wolf's claws and biteforce, that's someone that's intimidating in a fight even before you make them virtually invulnerable to non-silver weapons. And if you take all that and add a wolf's speed and stamina...

...werewolves are overpowered. They are absolutely terrifying, and even in fiction that depicts them as moderately terrifying they are still generally underestimated compared to their logical true threat level. And in particular, while they're often depicted as nasty in a fight, not enough fiction realises that the true threat of the werewolf is as a stalker - something/someone who can run faster and for longer than a human and is almost impossible to shake off the trail, and whose knowledge of the humans around them, and of the environment around them, is simply lightyears beyond what any human certainly in a pre-modern setting and frankly even in a contemporary setting with extensive equipment can even understand, let alone match.

A werewolf is basically The Predator, but smarter, with more information about humans, and looking like a human. So I guess actually they're the Terminator? If the Terminator knows more about you than Google does.

-------

Anyway, just a thought!
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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When I saw the title I thought "...is Salmoneus trolling?"
Now I think "what the fuck"
That is insane. Thank you for sharing.
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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I like the idea of a medically trained werewolves being overpowered superdocs. That would be a nice deconstruction of the trope, right?
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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Creyeditor wrote: 05 Jan 2024 21:29 I like the idea of a medically trained werewolves being overpowered superdocs. That would be a nice deconstruction of the trope, right?


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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

Post by Salmoneus »

AND ANOTHER THING!

Werewolf on a boat? Bad news if they get angry, obviously, as there's nowhere for anyone else to run to. But also...


...the visibility from a boat is about 2.8 miles in perfect conditions. Werewolves can smell 10 miles or more. That seems like it would be useful! Because when they say things like "a dog can smell things 12 miles away", it feels like this is exactly the situation they'd be talking about: hundreds of miles of nothing around you except the faint smell of brine and gull droppings, apart from this one other ship burning with ship-y smells of wood and tar and rope and hundreds of humans. Not to mention smelling land when you're at sea!

Now, it turns out there's a caveat here that makes this less overpowered as a superpower: the 2.8 miles of visibility is from sea level. It turns out that small altitude increases make a big different to visibility: the crow's nest at the top of a tallship can apparently see up to about 10 miles in good conditions, and some people online say that one crow's nest could in theory, with a telescope, see another crow's nest as far as 20 miles away, further than a werewolf could smell without a very favourable wind.

Nonetheless, this would just be a tiny, tiny, tiny dot on a big horizon, in ideal conditions. You'd be very lucky to see it at all, and would have no way to know what sort of ship exactly you'd seen. At ten miles, you could make out the whole ship, but still not very clearly.

But at some point a little less than that range, your ship's werewolf will be able to tell you roughly how many men are on board, what sort of cargo they have, and maybe even how much ammunition they have for their guns.

Also worth noting that the superior hunting position at sea is upwind*, but the wolf's nose is best downwind, so could literally sniff out danger while there was still time to escape.



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*unrelatedly, but in case people aren't aware: in the age of sail, there's a paradox that leads to inconclusive maritime battles. To catch an enemy ship, you really need to be upwind of her. But when battle begins, the advantage changes: the wind pushes the upwind ship's guns down toward the sea, while lifting the downwind ship's guns in the air - i.e. the downwind ship has a longer range. So if you want to attack a ship, you can be upwind of her, in which case she can outgun you, or you can be downwind of her, in which case she can escape from you. Cue a century of very frustrated admirals...
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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There is not enough pirate fantasy (with werewolves).
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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Can I just say I like this style of excited raving about a topic one finds interesting. Maybe we could make a conworld with pirate werewolves, and also sentient tornadoes.
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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Now THIS is my kind of tea party!

I imagine this wouldn't be fun for the werewolf either though, because wolves are fundamentally social creatures. "Morality," as we know it, only tends to happen in creatures that have a sense of social values - I don't want to hurt others, because others matter to me - which can then be extrapolated to more individuals, usque ad terminos terrae.
Solitary creatures don't really see a need for something to be "good" in a moral sense. There may be "good" as in tasting good or feeling good, "good" as in everything being in order - but not "good" as in being a good person. When you don't live in a social species, all other individuals are at best, usable, and at worst, competitors or even threats. There is no reason to judge yourself against the actions of another; nor is there any reason to try and get along with others. They're just food, children, or a means to it. Who needs good character? (Madeline Palmer put this down so well by her Srínawésin.)

Wolves are fundamentally social. Dogs are even worse. So imagine you have a human being who suffers becoming a wolf. How do you think he feels? Assuming it doesn't want to hurt anybody by nature, a wolf not wanting to kill anybody part of its "pack." If it still views human beings as its "pack," it will not be easy. There's a reason why a soldier, after killing someone for the first time, might throw up: do you want to live with the fact you killed somebody?
What if it was simply because he was hungry? Or because he was in stupor, he had no choice? Does he have choice? Is he purely controlled by instinct? Habit? At what point does instinct end and free choice begin? Does he have any?
You can't imagine it'd be easy, would you? Aside from the legal and social ramifications - how would he feel? Would he tie himself up, suffering? Learn to control himself, busing casually to work with a tie and extra-large dress shirt? Become a soldier - kill for his people? Kill as needed but pretend (to others? to himself?) that he's a normal human being? Get used to it? Embrace it? Become a sociopath?
Become a saint, flipping his traits like a coin?
Agrarians are murderers; pastoralists are sociopaths. Their circumstances determine whether killing is the right idea or not. Maybe it's all a matter of circumstance?

Would they have friends - werewolf, or not? How would that affect things? Having a tribe, a pack - and a world that is not.
(Also this: viewtopic.php?p=326080#p326080 . Gosh the last one is embarrassing.)
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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Visions1 wrote: 08 Jan 2024 02:02 Now THIS is my kind of tea party!

I imagine this wouldn't be fun for the werewolf either though, because wolves are fundamentally social creatures. "Morality," as we know it, only tends to happen in creatures that have a sense of social values - I don't want to hurt others, because others matter to me - which can then be extrapolated to more individuals, usque ad terminos terrae.
Solitary creatures don't really see a need for something to be "good" in a moral sense. There may be "good" as in tasting good or feeling good, "good" as in everything being in order - but not "good" as in being a good person. When you don't live in a social species, all other individuals are at best, usable, and at worst, competitors or even threats. There is no reason to judge yourself against the actions of another; nor is there any reason to try and get along with others. They're just food, children, or a means to it. Who needs good character? (Madeline Palmer put this down so well by her Srínawésin.)

Wolves are fundamentally social. Dogs are even worse. So imagine you have a human being who suffers becoming a wolf. How do you think he feels? Assuming it doesn't want to hurt anybody by nature, a wolf won't want to kill anybody part of its "pack." If it still views human beings as its "pack," it will not be easy. There's a reason why a soldier, after killing someone for the first time might throw up: do you want to live with the fact you killed somebody?
What if it was simply because he was hungry? Or because he was in stupor, he had no choice? Does he have choice? Is he purely controlled by instinct? Habit? At what point does instinct end and free choice begin? Does he have any?
You can't imagine it'd be easy, would you? Aside from the legal and social ramifications - how would he feel? Would he tie himself up, suffering? Learn to control himself, busing casually to work with a tie and extra-large dress shirt? Become a soldier - kill for his people? Kill as needed but pretend (to others? to himself?) that he's a normal human being? Get used to it? Embrace it? Become a sociopath?
Become a saint, flipping his traits like a coin?
Agrarians are murderers; pastoralists are sociopaths. Their circumstances determine whether killing is the right idea or not. Maybe it's all a matter of circumstance?

Would they have friends - werewolf, or not? How would that affect things? Having a tribe, a pack - and a world that is not.
(Also this: viewtopic.php?p=326080#p326080 . Gosh the last one is embarrassing.)
Humans are also social creatures, and there's no shortage of people who fall under the traits you mention.

If we're talking traditional werewolves--humans who turn into normal-shaped wolves during the full moon--than I wonder if they wouldn't be shy of normal humans when in wolf form. That would be pretty anticlimactic, just slinking off out of the way until sunrise.

Let's flip the script, take a normal wolf and turn it into a human--a wolfwere--I suppose. Once a month, a normal, irrational animal gains the faculties of symbolic thought and language. For that brief moment, does it know existential dread? Kinda reminds me of This video (we all know The Onion is a parody site, I hope)
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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I think it's still terribly interesting the normal way (some good psych-stuff, how we're run* by habit, etc.), but the other way sounds really good too.
I mean, think about it. Wouldn't being turned into a wild animal with the ability to kill who he pleases, find who he pleases, and worse, want to - affect you as a person? And how would that affect other people - those like you and those not? How would it affect society at large?
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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Didn't Pterry do the reverse werewolves thing (maybe in passing)? Also, I feel like the anxiety of becoming a sociopath once a month is the very essence of some portrayals of werewolves (e.g. Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter books).
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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Visions1 wrote: 08 Jan 2024 03:27 I think it's still terribly interesting the normal way (some good psych-stuff, how we're run* by habit, etc.), but the other way sounds really good too.
I mean, think about it. Wouldn't being turned into a wild animal with the ability to kill who he pleases, find who he pleases, and worse, want to - affect you as a person? And how would that affect other people - those like you and those not? How would it affect society at large?
I see what you’re saying now. That sort of psychological stuff digs into an existential fear of mine revolving around how ADHD meds affected my mood. I was even less talkative when on the meds than I am now. I kept asking myself which one is the real me? Can personality really be that malleable?


I have a similar fear of anesthesia, the kind that keeps you awake but inhibits memory formation. I’ve come to in the middle of coherent conversations but with no memory of having started them. Where was I during that conversation? The idea that you can’t remember what you did is pretty scary to me.
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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Visions1 wrote: 08 Jan 2024 02:02 Now THIS is my kind of tea party!

I imagine this wouldn't be fun for the werewolf either though, because wolves are fundamentally social creatures. "Morality," as we know it, only tends to happen in creatures that have a sense of social values - I don't want to hurt others, because others matter to me - which can then be extrapolated to more individuals, usque ad terminos terrae.
Solitary creatures don't really see a need for something to be "good" in a moral sense. There may be "good" as in tasting good or feeling good, "good" as in everything being in order - but not "good" as in being a good person. When you don't live in a social species, all other individuals are at best, usable, and at worst, competitors or even threats. There is no reason to judge yourself against the actions of another; nor is there any reason to try and get along with others. They're just food, children, or a means to it. Who needs good character? (Madeline Palmer put this down so well by her Srínawésin.)
Citation MASSIVELY needed.

So far as I'm aware, we've never encountered a highly-intelligent non-social species capable of communicating its feelings and ethical philosophies to us in any depth.

The closest we probably have are bears, but most bears tend to be fairly moral creatures - they're usually friendly to non-threats, regularly display altruism to other bears (black bears in particular leave out food for hungry strangers), and anecdotally seem to display protective behaviour toward non-bear friends (such as humans and crows). Even polar bears, who can be kind of arsehole-y, regularly protect and raise young polar bears who aren't related to them. [apparently the official explanation of that is that polar bears are just too stupid to recognise whether a bear is their child or not, but given their extreme intelligence and sense-awareness in other regards this kind of seems tendentious to me]. And bears display a lot of behaviour that seems to indicate a capability for empathy on a biological level (sun bears play by imitating one another's facial expressions; brown bears evaluate hiding places with reference to the perspectives of specific observers).

Likewise, old world crows and ravens are not social animals in the way that, say, rooks are, yet they show behaviours of sharing and playing, and even warfare (in which individual crows attacking a hawk, or a human, risk their own lives for the benefit of the community as a whole).

Indeed, the whole idea of a 'non-social' animal is kind of questionable. Animals have to come into contact with their own kind in order to mate, and most large animals show at least some period of parental care. And they will regularly encounter members of other species, whether those are rival predators, prey, or other species who may simply be inconvenient or useful to them. Crows don't live together, but they can certainly come together for a common purpose. And apparently research has now shown that black bears, once considered almost entirely solitary, actually have complex societies complete with status hierarchies - you don't have to come into contact with your peers very often in order to have a social life.

But in any case, while we might imagine some "perfectly solitary" individual (that could never exist in nature - even polar bears meet one another occasionally), and might hypothesise that such an individual might never develop social skills and an ethics of society based on empathy and reciprocity, that certainly wouldn't mean they couldn't have an ethical system. The idea that morality is based on empathy is, at least in the West, very recent (blame Schopenhauer, but it took a long time after that to become mainstream).

We could certainly imagine, for instance, an individual with no notion of of society that nonetheless abided by something like GE Moore's version of morality, in which the highest good is the preservation, creation and appreciation of beautiful things. Or something like Nietzsche's version, in which cruelty and violence are regarded as symptoms of repulsive weakness and dependency (the strong man has as little interest in punishing his enemies as he does in taking revenge against an ant, Nietzsche says - the stronger people are the more generous they can be even to their enemies, and so generosity is self-affirming). Or simply a more Kantian idea of rationality and fairness. Or an Epicurean or Cynical sense of individual flourishing in which conflict other than in self-defence is largely a counter-productive waste of time and effort.

Meanwhile, humans are highly social - as are chimpanzees - and we're both crueller and more violent than almost any less social animal.

Even if we couldn't immediate think of ethical rationales for less social animals, though, I think it would be wrong to make blanket statements about what they are or must be like on the basis of no actual evidence.
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

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Creyeditor wrote: 08 Jan 2024 08:17 Didn't Pterry do the reverse werewolves thing (maybe in passing)?
Yes, Lupine in Reaper Man. He also returned repeatedly to the idea of animals (or inanimate objects) suddenly being imbued with intelligence, from the Luggage to Gaspode the Wonder Dog to Maurice and his Amazing Educated Rodents. And, indeed, of abstract concepts suddenly becoming intelligent, like the Oh-God of Hangovers.

He also had a concept in The Fifth Elephant he called the 'yennork' - a werewolf that is permanently in the shape of a human (or of a wolf).
Also, I feel like the anxiety of becoming a sociopath once a month is the very essence of some portrayals of werewolves (e.g. Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter books).
Yes, that's traditionally the whole point of the werewolf. Well, it's two-sided: on the one hand, the humans can't tell who the werewolf is and on the other the werewolf is tormented by guilt (or not). Sometimes the two fears are combined and the werewolf doesn't know whether they are a werewolf or not.

As a result, werewolves are traditionally mostly just a less frightening way of talking about serial killers and the criminally insane.

And there's nothing wrong with that and it can produce good stories, but I've never particularly been interested in the whole 'serial killer' meme that society finds so fascinating.

So I find the more interesting angle is the werewolf who isn't subject to uncontrollable blood-lust and actually has some control over their situation. In general I think it's more interesting when people reveal/discover who they are through choices, rather than having things forced on them. While still of course avoiding the full domestication-fantasy of the werewolf concept in which they're just more sparkly humans with a bizarre no-relation-to-actual-wolves BDSM culture.
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

Post by Ahzoh »

Salmoneus wrote: 08 Jan 2024 17:08 Indeed, the whole idea of a 'non-social' animal is kind of questionable. Animals have to come into contact with their own kind in order to mate, and most large animals show at least some period of parental care. And they will regularly encounter members of other species, whether those are rival predators, prey, or other species who may simply be inconvenient or useful to them. Crows don't live together, but they can certainly come together for a common purpose. And apparently research has now shown that black bears, once considered almost entirely solitary, actually have complex societies complete with status hierarchies - you don't have to come into contact with your peers very often in order to have a social life.
The only completely asocial animals I can think of would be things like sponges, jellyfish, nematodes, worms, and maybe some insects
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

Post by elemtilas »

On the interesting matter of dogs sniffing out cancer and the potential for werecanids to do the same, I'll just set this on the table and slip back into the shadows.
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

Post by Egerius »

What about...
Were-Thylacines?
Languages of Rodentèrra: Buonavallese, Saselvan Argemontese; Wīlandisċ Taulkeisch; More on the road.
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

Post by elemtilas »

Egerius wrote: 15 May 2024 17:03 What about...
Were-Thylacines?
I think they live down in the great Southlands beyond Carg.
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

Post by lsd »

it's typically a trivial way of producing superheroes, or horrific characters,
depending on whether the focus is on humanity or animality...
from spiderman to wolverine or from vampires to werewolves...
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Re: A small thought regarding werewolves: Sherlock Holmes as The Terminator

Post by Khemehekis »

Egerius wrote: 15 May 2024 17:03 What about...
Were-Thylacines?
Kankonian actually has a word for werethylacine: abighoyo. Werethylacine mythology comes from Didzhakanga, an island on Kankonia known for its marsupials, and abighoyo I believe is a Didzhakangan word.

My dictionary spreadsheet file says it was Kankonian word #44,164, so I probably added it in 2014.
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My Kankonian-English dictionary: 92,000 words and counting

31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!
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