In Which I’m on Writing Excuses, and I Tell Y’all about the Mohists

This continues to be Max’s Month from AAAAAAH, so of course I took some time out earlier this week to host Warring States Era Chinese Philosophy Storytime on Tor.com!  Check it out:

Sit down, because I’m going to tell you about, objectively speaking, the best philosophical movement in history.

If you’re saying “what gives, Max, this is a little looser than your usual style,” well, I delivered two books last month, and this month I have a game to write and page proofs to approve and two short stories due, so y’all get Philosophy Story Time.

DISCLAIMER: Being of fractured mind and atrophying body, I’m not cite-checking this blog post. This is my “off the top of my head” survey of Mohism, the Warring States Period, etc., which is pretty solid, but if you base a paper on this, on your own head be the fault.

Most of Chinese philosophy’s core strains come from a time called the Warring States period, which lasted for about two hundred fifty years and started about 2,500 years ago. You know that bit at the beginning of Star Wars where the crawl says “It is a time of CIVIL WAR”? That’s the Warring States era. Basically the Western Zhou, the dynasty which sort of ruled a decent chunk of the land we now call China, split into hundreds of tiny city-states, and they all slammed against one another at high velocity until they glommed into eight larger kingdoms that then, well, warred.

Everyone was warring with everyone all the time, and life sucked.

And since everyone was warring with everyone all the time, and life sucked, people started asking: why does life suck so much? Does it have to? Could westop life from sucking?

So they became philosophers.

Read the rest over on Tor.com.

Since I’m not likely to be appreciably less busy next week, check back for a retelling of the story of Gong Shu Ban, with funny voices.

OH! And and and!  A few months back, I was fortunate enough to be a guest on the Writing Excuses podcast!  And now the episode is up!  I’m talking about the Magical 1%—about Worldbuilding That Revolves Around You, The Hero.  And more!  I had a great time talking with the Writing Excuses team, and hopefully I sound something like coherent on air.  Judge for yourself!

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