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Quotes / Appeal to Tradition

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"Appeals to the past are among the commonest of strategies in interpretations of the present."
Edward Said

Kida: Our way of life is dying.
Kashekim: Our way of life is preserved.

"Don't throw out everything we've believed because of a few dreams, Dalinar," Kadash said. "What of our society, what of tradition?"
"Tradition?" Dalinar said. "Kadash, did I ever tell you about my first sword trainer?"
"No," Kadash said, frowning, glancing at the other ardents. "Was it Rembrinor?"
Dalinar shook his head. "Back when I was young, our branch of the Kholin family didn't have grand monasteries and beautiful practice grounds. My father found a teacher for me from two towns over. His name was Harth. Young fellow, not a true swordmaster—but good enough.
"He was very focused on proper procedure, and wouldn't let me train until I'd learned how to put on a takama the right way." Dalinar gestured at the takama shirt he was wearing. "He wouldn't have stood for me fighting like this. You put on the skirt, then the overshirt, then you wrap your cloth belt around yourself three times and tie it.
"I always found that annoying. The belt was too tight, wrapped three times—you had to pull it hard to get enough slack to tie the knot. The first time I went to duels at a neighboring town, I felt like an idiot. Everyone else had long drooping belt ends at the front of their takamas.
"I asked Harth why we did it differently. He said it was the right way, the true way. So, when my travels took me to Harth's hometown, I searched out his master, a man who had trained with the ardents in Kholinar. He insisted that this was the right way to tie a takama, as he'd learned from his master."
By now, they'd drawn an even larger crowd. Kadash frowned. "And the point?"
"I found my master's master's master in Kholinar after we captured it," Dalinar said. "The ancient, wizened ardent was eating curry and flatbread, completely uncaring of who ruled the city. I asked him. Why tie your belt three times, when everyone else thinks you should do it twice?
"The old man laughed and stood up. I was shocked to see that he was terribly short. 'If I only tie it twice,' he exclaimed, 'the ends hang down so low, I trip!'"
The chamber fell silent. Nearby, one soldier chuckled, but quickly cut himself off—none of the ardents seemed amused.
"I love tradition," Dalinar said to Kadash. "I've fought for tradition. I make my men follow the codes. I uphold Vorin virtues. But merely being tradition does not make something worthy, Kadash. We can't just assume that because something is old it is right."

Soddits build the accommodation portion of their houses under the ground, and they build their coal-cellars, wine rooms and sometimes large rooms with ping-pong tables in them above the ground. They insist that this is the most logical manner of arranging living space, and indeed Hobbld-Ahoy! planning regulations have made any other form of domestic building illegal, although this does tend to result in living quarters prone to damp, to worms, to mould, to associated asthma and bronchitis for the inhabitants, whilst coal, wine and ping-pong bats are the most burgled items in this burglary-prone town. But a tradition, after all, is a tradition.
The Soddit

It's tradition, that makes it okay!
"Weird Al" Yankovic, "Weasel Stomping Day"

Jerry Smith: Traditionally, science fairs are a father-son thing.
Rick Sanchez: Well, scientifically, traditions are an idiot thing.


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