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WOTing on Schatt

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OsRavan

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“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.”

― Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

The above quote nicely sums up my view of the OWF and why I tend to not engage in debate on it. However, I must be bored with this war because i'm actually going to waste my time responding to your blog. Normally i'm a firm believer of sitting back and just watching the BS.

I also don't claim to be up to Schatt levels of posting ::bows to the master::. You have more experience and probably talent in that sort of thing than I do. So I wont be as witty as you or score as many rhetorical points. Or be as entertaining. Which is why my goal here isn't to 'beat' your post.

But, if you are interested in honestly hearing my thoughts (as opposed to 'scoring points' over a perceived in-game enemy) i'll attempt to answer your comments honestly and thoughtfully.

Let me assure you, I'm "animated" and "passionate," not "angry." Apparently I'm not good at not sounding angry, so I'll just say that you can tell the difference by whether or not I start calling people mean names, like the other day when I called New Frontier an "ignorant piss" (which I regret now, but oh well).

Other than that, "u mad" by any other means smells as funky. Whether or not I'm "raging" has no bearing on any argument at hand, and pointing it out to try to undermine the content of what I'm saying (or anyone else, really) is silly, in my opinion. Some of my best posts are angry posts :awesome: And if you really want to see angry, you should go around and ask folks for some of my embassy posts or private messages.

In my book "You're running scared." "You're all pathetic." "Big damned heroes and sooooo smug" and "what an embarrassment!" are all calling people names and insulting them. Maybe since i'm a relatively calm and even-keeled person I have a lower threshold for name calling. But if I was walking down the street and someone made those comments to me, I would consider them to be angry, insulting, and name calling. And maybe you meant those insults sarcastically and the tone didnt carry across to me.

However, instead of complaining about people who think you are always mad or always spinning propaganda, you should wonder about WHY it comes up so often? Sure everyone could be out to 'get you' or they could be 'idiots' or they could have 'agendas.' Or maybe... just maybe... its not *just* everyone else but partly you? If you think it silly that people think your posts are angry, maybe the question should be what are you doing to give that silly impression? Especially if it happens so often that its become an in-joke for you.

You are annoyed that me and ChairmanHal have vocally taken this issue up, along with others. Fine. You think that while we might have the right to do so, we have no business doing so. Wrong. This manoeuvre does in fact directly involve Hal's alliance Valhalla, and it does in fact effect all of us as noted above. Global war effects everyone, and the way that C&G conducts itself concerns everyone.

Ignore the OWF at your own peril. I happen to know personally that writing it off is certainly your prerogative, but it's just not smart. Alliances are made up of people, and those peoples' opinions effect alliances in one way or another, sooner or later."

As you so often like to say, don't assume you know what I feel. First off I *DO* think you have no business sharing your thoughts there. You can disagree with me, but what we are doing is debating opinions. Note: I dont deny your *right* to post. I deny that you should *choose* to exercise that right in the manner you did.

Next Note... I was not responding to Hal. I specifically said that direct allies of involved partners (which Valhalla is) have a stake and thus should share their thoughts. Otherwise it would have been somewhat hypocritical of me to be posting there.

I thought *YOU* schatt had no business getting involved. I was responding to *Your* post not Hals. I showed this by quoting you and addressing you. I have no issue with what Hal did. If I had an issue with him it would have been his post I quoted, not yours. I have issue with what you and other lesser would-be-schatts were doing.

As to the OWF. Maybe this has to do with our different approaches to CN. Can the owf have an impact on the game? Yes it can. But the impact it has is one I dont approve of. I do NOT embrace the philosophy that if my enemy does something 'wrong' (in a moral sense) I must do the same or risk them beating me.

Do I like winning? Of course I do. I love it. But it is not the single most important thing to me either. I would rather lose the game but not sink to the level the average OWF poster resides at. Rather than win by becoming what I hate. In an OOC sense I think poorly of those who twist themselves inside and out trying to score OWF points. I can look at a thread on the OWF and before I even open it I know exactly what everyone will be saying. That to me says something about the OWF's worth.

Does that mean there arent gullible fools that take the OWF banter as deep debates revealing the truth of CN? Of course those people exist. But normally I have better things to do with my real life time than entertaining them. I make an exception for you because I think you *are* intelligent. Wrong. But smart.

Irreparable damage? Yeesh! Sounds bad! Here we go, Schattenboogeymann. At once irrelevant and destroying the world; my own irrelevant power never ceases to amaze me.

Excuse me? There you go putting words into my mouth. *AGAIN*.

You complain all the time that people tell what you really think on a subject. And there you went and assumed you knew what I felt. Where did I say you were irrelevant? I most certainly dont THINK that. If I said it I would owe you an apology and tender it to you (as it would probably be me getting carried away in angry rhetoric. Possible I suppose). But I honestly dont recall ever saying that to you.

Despite the OWF propaganda (do we need another example of that place being a cesspit?) i'm no ones puppet ::wry head shake::. I assure you I am a well educated adult capable of my own opinions. I dont consider you irrelevant. Maybe some of my in-game allies do. And if they do, I would tell them they are wrong.

I DO consider you to be a negative influence on this game, one who is damaging it (i'll go more into that shortly) but I do not consider you irrelevant. If I felt you were irrelevant I wouldnt be wasting my time responding to you.

The *issue* is that you are in fact all *too* relevant. My opinion of the people who listen to you and give you credence is relatively low. But that doesn't mean there aren't a bunch of them.

In fact, it is *because* I consider you relevant that I think you bare a responsibility for what I view as the degradation of debate in this game.

I'm not even going to go into your BS about ODN's actions against CoJ way back when (unless you really want me to) because that isn't actually my issue with you. You still seem to be hung up on that war, but I assure you I moved past it long ago. I dont actually agree with most of your post about what happened and I think you are presenting a nice spin story to show yourself in a good light. But there no point in side tracking this argument on a subject I doubt anyone but you and I actually care about. If you really want me to engage you on that subject I am happy to ::bows::. But I'm going to assume it was an aside and not the main crux of your argument.

So, here in sum is my problem with how you conduct yourself. And it is essentially an OOC issue. My problem with you, is you have a goal or an ideology of how the game should be. Your so called CoJ World View. I say you are the problem because you have essentially adopted a slash and burn technique to achieving your goal.

IN MY OPINION (I am not going to keep repeating this. Assume everything i type here is my opinion of what you are doing not hard fact) you have decided that in order to achieve your goals Alliance X Y and Z are in your way. As such, you will do whatever you have to in order to trample them.

That includes dumbing down complex issues into easy rhetorical scoring points. You dont actually care about understanding an alliance or where they are coming from or what they are doing. You aren't interested in promoting deep debate. Or putting yourself in others shoes and understanding and learning from them. You want to force the square peg into the round hole so you can score some OWF points, rile up the masses (that power on the owf you were referring to) and try to harness that to achieve your vision of what the planet should look like.

Never mind if anyone else shares or agrees with that vision. Its yours so it must be right. Forget about seeing what others think or where they stand. Forget about mutual respect.

This is a political simulation game, and politics at time can lead to war and be about enemies. But real life politics can also be about reaching understandings, compromises, and growing/expanding (mentally). You dont see the second half.

And if an alliance stands in your way of getting where you want, you'll do everything you can to embarrass them, make their players miserable (ic and in many cases ooc) and run 'em from the game itself if you can.

The end result is that you have a culture obsessed with winning as the end all be all. More times than I can count.. hell in this very blog.... you dismiss alliances as being toadies. As their every action being about winning or avoiding a rolling or whatever.

Can it help you 'win'? Sure. But to me one of the things destroying the fun in this game is that sort of attitude. The idea of 'them and us' and that everyone is playing for the win, nothing else. That sort of divisive black and white attitude drives people away. And more importantly it withers true intellectual discourse.

I fully expect, for example, that you will take my huge WoT in this blog, throw away 90 percent of it, and then address only the parts you can score a point off of or use to try and make me seem foolish. I hope i'm wrong, but that is what I expect.

Whats the point of me posting on the OWF if I know that you are going to treat my posts as something you have to "beat". That isnt freaking fun. Who wants to be part of that? I play this game for entertainment not for struggle and dominance. I play this game to have fun. To engage with friends. To see interesting political dynamics. To be part of a strong community. Sometimes just to blow !@#$ up.

And that attitude, which I firmly believe in is the healthy approach to this game, is what YOU undermine with your posts and approach to the OWF. IMO you and those like you have created an atmosphere where any rational moderately intelligent and sane individual has to either avoid the place, resort to lulz, or discourse on the level of a freaking fourth grader.

Are you doing this single handily? No. But you are the 'poster child' of this approach. And *that* is why I think you are damaging to CN. Not because of any BS spying on ODN applicant AAs.

it is simple fact that MK's victory in Karma, winning personality, and ability to deliver victory (via its network of treaties) mean that MK is the center of the universe. This, uh, "self-leashing" (if you will) is precisely why you will find that I talk about the dogs more than I talk about MK--the dogs are the problem. I took the same position and tack during the Pax Pacifica.

And maybe part of the reason I dislike you, is I also don't like being called a 'dog' by some OWF personality. Again, it gets back to why you play the game. I am speaking for myself here blah blah blah usual disclaimers. But I don't give a damn about MK's agenda. Hell, I don't even know what it is (according to your view since I think it is just to have fun).

When I defend MK (or any other alliance) in a war I dont do so because of any mysterious agenda. Or because I 'want mk in power'. I do so because they are my *friends* and my cn-brothers-in arms. I dont really care what or why they fight. I find the IC morality of CN eye-roll worthy. Always have. I'm with them because I like them as people. And if Im going to blow stuff up.. or be blown up by others... I want to do it with them.

That is something anyone I ally with needs to have.

Now, can you think I have the wrong approach? Sure. But again, you are trying to fit the square peg into the round hole by dismissing friends of MK as 'dogs'.

Is that how you view COJ's treaties? Everyone is either your dog or you are theres? I kinda pity *you* if that is the case. What a horrible way to go through this game. Never interacting with anyone except on a real-politic basis. I would go insane. That isnt FUN. And this is supposed to be a game.

Instead of applying *YOUR* approach and philosophy to others actions, what you should do is try to understand us. And at least go 'hey, I dont like it or agree but I can see where you are coming from and respect that.'

I do not need to force the world into a dualistic frame, it has fashioned its own dualistic frame. Multiple blocs does not equate to multiple poles; in fact, "Supergrievances" and then DH/PB very deftly avoided the creation of a Continuum-like all-unifying bloc precisely because they knew that while they stayed unified via individual treaties people could say "oh, see, lots of blocs, ergo, lots of poles" but the very second any very large bloc appeared, it would've immediately stirred up a real storm (and of course, yes, they never could quite get over their paranoia toward each other, anyway). At this very moment, this self-leashing is happening as The International "dishonors" (their word) a treaty and lets an ally bur rather than risk breaking the superstructure that has MK at its center (whether MK put itself there or whether MK was put there by all the dogs around it). Along the same lines, Duckroll has, over the years, ignored CB after CB and made compromise after compromise for the same cause. BFF, Checkmate, Stickmen, etc etc--all the same.

And there is where we disagree. I see the world as multi polar. We have blocs and alliances with different cultures, different goals, different mindsets. Different ways of playing the game. And your refusal to see that damages the game. Your obsession with seeing it as dualistic puts pressure on those who DONT fit your view to either QUIT the game or CONFORM to it.

In other words... YOU are creating exactly what you supposedly oppose by your instance on fitting everyone into the dualistic model. Its a self fulfilling prophecy. If you refuse to see anything but black and white, you are exerting pressure on people to identify with a pole.

So, whew. As many people have told me lately, it's been a long time since there was a good ole fashioned Schattenmann wall of text; I hope this satisfies and that I've made my points without too much rage. I get frustrated and I argue my beliefs because I want what everyone says they want: A more dynamic, faster-paced, genuine, fun Digiterra. The difference is, I will put my butt on the line out here on the fringe to enact it, and I have a plan that we don't already know is broken, unlike this rehash of the Pax Pacifica (albeit with less pomp and legalism).

Whelp, I saw your WoT and raised you an Epic WoT ::grins::. Look, do i dislike you? Yeah I probably do. Do I hate you in any ooc sense? No. Do I think you are intelligent? Most definitely.

Which is why i'm bothering to actually reply to you. I'm sure some will say I am just feeding you. Giving you attention that you want. But, what I hope comes from this, is that for a minute you forget that i'm leader of ODN and you are leader of CoJ and that, by your dualistic model, we are supposed to hate each other.

Instead I hope you actually consider what I wrote. And even if you decide you don't agree with it, you realize i'm being honest with you. And you consider if maybe in one or two places I may have had merit or a point. And if you respond, you respond to me in like fashion and put the IC politics aside. ::shrugs::.

But yeah. Hopefully that also clears up why I dislike you. Which has nothing to do with any specific incident three wars ago.

edit: fixed a few typos and some wording that glared out on me.

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I'm honestly stunned by how differently we view the world, OsRavan. I'm going to try really hard not to add a third WoT to the mix, because that'd just be nuts. So bullet points on what I'm not getting:

-My perception is that 90% of the players in this game are dissatisfied with the "stagnation" of the political scene. Yet they're caught in a kind of prisoner's dilemma and can't shake things up. CoJ is one of the few to take a serious risk to lead the way in that regard. So we are both doing what others say they want people to do, and we're insulted and marginalized for it. I'm fine with being hated, but the frustration comes with seeing the community as a whole perpetuate this way of operating which many people from all corners of the web acknowledge to be utterly lame.

-To place the blame on Schatt or CoJ for withering the level of discourse is a bit unreal. Schatt is known for nothing if not WoT's, CN journalism, and being overly serious. Whereas you are saying you play for fun, just to support your friends, with no regard for their IC agenda. I get that we're guilty of contributing to the level of...let's say "vitriol" in political discourse, but what you're describing is the complete absence of any true IC politics. Which is - for me at least - the whole reason to play this otherwise lame random number generator.

-Building on that a bit: I'd be willing to bet that the criticisms directed outward by members of CoJ have a much, much higher relevance to IC behavior and policy than the basis for most arguing that goes on. The individuals in alliances that ODN helps support, however, routinely mock and belittle people in ways that have almost nothing to do with the game. I'm thinking of things ranging from the whole thread trolling that guy about the word "zeal," to the GOONS Mercy Board, to the biodad incident.

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Hey moon,

I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond back to my blog. I think there are some points you make that I grant you have a point, and some I disagree with. I'll try to respond ::nods::

1) I guess I dont disagree with you on the stagnation but I do disagree with you on the cause. To me, the cause is the overwhelming fear of 'losing' and the culture and obsession that 'winning' is everything. THAT not the treaty web is what causes stagnation. The treaty web is the excuse people use, not the root of the problem. Why are people afraid to break the treaty web? Because they will *lose*. And the root of the 'win at all cost' attitude are people like CoJ. That turn anything and everything into a cause or some sort of struggle between good and evil.

2) I think in part you said it yourself "overly serious." The other part is... what the OWF needs is not better WoT or better journalism. Or being more serious. Those arent the problems.

The problem is the obsession with the idea of 'them and us' 'win and lose' 'black and white'. Schatt's journalism as amazing as it may be feeds into that problem. He is pushing the idea that everyone has to be with him or against him. There is no middle ground. MK must be evil or they must be good. There is no gray. ODN must be dogs while CoJ are fearless rebels.

Its the hyperbole that kills the OWF.

Real intellectual discussion in the real world is about finding common ground, hearing other people out, exploring the grays, and being open to understanding others. CoJ have *legitimized* an attitude that condemns true intellectual understanding replacing it with what are essentially long versions of "YOU ARE EVIL AND I AM GOOD YOU MUST BE STOPPED... RALLY TO THE GREAT CAUSE ALL YOU TRUE CITIZENS OF BOB." And its something contagious that spreads to all corners of the web. Mine and yours.

3) Here is where I think you have a point though. I dont want to pretend that my allies just because they are my allies are somehow perfect. MK, GOONS (who arent allies), TLR, GATO... ODN itself.... they have all done things I have thought stupid, inappropriate, idiotic. I grant you that freely. So have our enemies. We could sit here and throw instances of stupidity back and forth at each other until our computers melted. I dont pretend my alliance or my friends are innocent of the problem. But nor do I think we are any more to blame than SF/XX or our 'enemies'. the real enemy are those who would rather push a simplistic view of the world rather than embrace its subtly and complexity.

To a certain extent even the lulz is the result of CoJ's behavior. I suppose we could argue 'chicken and egg' here But there is a connection. If every time you post anything a CoJ or their ilk is going to try and fit it into their grand storyline of the struggle of good and evil.... eventually you do one of three things. You either stop showing up, let yourself be pushed (or embrace) the role being forced on you, or you turn silly.

Nothing in this world is as dualistic or as black and white as CoJ imo would have us believe. And the more they push that storyline the more they create a self-fulfilling prophecy and a dead and boring OWF.

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Wow, nice WOT there. At the very least, this should be popcorn worthy OsRavan, thanks for that.

To comment on a couple of things that stood out for me:

In an OOC sense I think poorly of those who twist themselves inside and out trying to score OWF points. I can look at a thread on the OWF and before I even open it I know exactly what everyone will be saying.

You're not the only one who thinks like that, I'd assume anyone who knows how things work around here will have (had) that thought at some point.

*Note, here comes an IC comment*:

> Says the above

>> Is allied to MK

>>> Does not compute

In fact, it is *because* I consider you relevant that I think you bare a responsibility for what I view as the degradation of debate in this game.

What it comes down to OsRavan, is that you don't like the analysis provided by Schatt, and fail to refute it... Which seems to make your blood boil. You go on a long rant without making a single rebuttal. That's kind of an accomplishment, I guess, but not a positive one!

To be more specific, at times I felt your argument was disingenious. For example, ofcourse everyone is playing for 'fun' (who wouldn't play a game for fun?), but to say entertainment and struggle and dominance don't combine is plain false. In fact, politics (and as such, CN - being a political simulator) is about struggle, and is about dominance. Debate is just part of the bigger whole, a means to achieve an end. That is by making your case, and as such convincing others that your frame is better than that of your opponent. In that sense, the more power one has, the more fun there is to be had. You are no different in that, and I would say it greatly explains the argument you're making here.

I'll leave the rest untouched and go back to my popcorn. :P

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Hey OsRavan, thanks to you as well for the quick and balanced response. I'll try to keep this brief again and make it the last post so as not to take away from the main discussion. I hope you and Schatt can do some kind of radio discussion though, as you suggested.

1) I'm just not quite sure how CoJ's attitude has had any impact on this fear of losing thing - maybe fear of conceding points on OWF - but not the Web Vs. Outcasts dynamic. If memory serves, that goes back to situations like FAN leaving The Initiative, Gre leaving Q with a target on their back...point is AA's were scared to step away from the treaty web long before CoJ even existed, and we strive to be a living example of a highly antagonistic, relatively small alliance that successfully stands outside the web. We even had a conference to promote forming an independent sphere. Plus, I hardly see anyone actively trying to "win" at all, and I would say that is a big part of the problem - most everyone is bereft of values/agenda/purpose and therefore is content to simply not lose. Trying to win would require taking the risk of narrowing down one's sphere from Everyone-minus-the-contemporary-punching-bags.

2) I can see where you get this, but I don't think it accurately reflects the nuances of our perspective, and maybe that's our fault. Going back to 1) a bit - if you aren't advancing an agenda, then you're getting pulled along into someone else's agenda. That's just how the web works. So while I would never classify an alliance like yours as on par with MK in terms of malevolence, it's all these "gray" alliances that serve as the power base for those like MK who actually want to throw their weight around - you're the weight, so to speak. Friends are friends, but when you form military treaties in this nation simulator, you take a real side whether you intend to or not. I think treaties based primarily on friendship are actually OOC in a sense, and really muck up the ability to simulate a political environment. So it's not good vs. evil, it's just people who are bothering to try to play a political game, and people who seem to be carelessly drifting through it and inadvertently supporting a political faction that gets off on messing with people in both an IC and OOC sense. We see the gray but in terms of functional impact it's almost irrelevant.

3) I think I get where you're coming from here...sounds a bit like the idea that the Joker only exists because there's someone like Batman running around, which probably has some truth to it. But the thing is: there is just nothing in the game to naturally drive conflict. No scarcity, no competition, no boundaries to test. We don't have a whole lot to RP about. If there weren't alliances like CoJ around to take things seriously, everyone might as well be neutral. Personally I do my best not to give certain individuals the satisfaction of playing into their good guy-bad guy script. But it's hard not to get into that kind of dynamic when you believe the entire framework of the political world is problematic, and everyone is guilty for their role in perpetuating it.

Sorry, not so brief after all. But I think I've expressed it as best I can and will keep this as my last comment.

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I'm sorry but, have you ever been a part of a political system or even kept up with politics on anything other than a face-value level?

Politics is all about using every bit of information to benefit yourself and your agenda. This game revolves around politics. Do you think that everything that I, and pretty much anyone else that actively posts (or posted in my case) on the OWF is concerned with 100% representing the entire truth of everything? No! This game thrives on conflict and political manipulation.

If you really want to go OOC here, I'd argue that you are in this game for vastly different reasons than almost everyone else. If you're here to witness compromise and reason win the day, get the hell out now because you'll be disappointed at every turn. Essentially, this is what the world would look like if world leaders had no accountability for their actions, if they knew that even if they $%&@ed up, all that would happen is some numbers would go down and maybe up to a couple hundred people on the internet wouldn't like them as much anymore.

That means people can play a lot more fast and loose with diplomacy and make their own rules, and I !@#$@#$ love it.

What it also means is that the level headed peacenicks aren't the ones that are ever going to be policymakers. It's the brazen, outspoken, charismatic leaders that will rule the day, and I'd argue that Schattenman's IC persona definitely captures that sort of individual perfectly. It's a role he plays. Everything I say in the OWF, from denouncing random !@#$%^&* to making logical arguments for why people are hypocrites may sound good, but I really couldn't give 2 !@#$% about it because I'm PLAYING A ROLE in a ROLE-PLAYING GAME. If you think that roleplaying or the entirety of IC politics here is inane and worthless, then you're in for a really boring stat management game. It's the personalities that people put on when they play that make this game great, whether they be the level headed peacenicks (jerdge), the radical elder statesman (Archon), or the outspoken critic (Schatt), they all play a role that makes the game more interesting.

I understand that you may not like the particular role he takes, but deconstructing the role and saying "I don't like this" does nothing to advance anything IC and shouldn't have any effect on how he plays. I may not like how you roleplay your dumbass dual wielding barbarian in our DnD game, but I'm not going to walk away from the table or interrupt the game to harass you about it.

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1) I guess I dont disagree with you on the stagnation but I do disagree with you on the cause. To me, the cause is the overwhelming fear of 'losing' and the culture and obsession that 'winning' is everything. THAT not the treaty web is what causes stagnation. The treaty web is the excuse people use, not the root of the problem. Why are people afraid to break the treaty web? Because they will *lose*. And the root of the 'win at all cost' attitude are people like CoJ. That turn anything and everything into a cause or some sort of struggle between good and evil.

CoJ displays a "win at all costs" attitude? I am not sure they've entered a war yet they didn't know they were going to lose from the get go. We all know Int was talked out of defending LSF because CnG feared being rolled by DR. So irony is off the charts with this statement.

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Welp, after 3 rewrites to make sure I said what I wanted to, the OWF just gave me a "nopermission" error and killed the final.

Guess I'll type #5 tomorrow. ctrl+p your drafts, kids.

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If there weren't alliances like CoJ around to take things seriously, everyone might as well be neutral.

FYI being neutral is serious business... ;)

On topic: I don't dare insert myself in this discussion (or the wall-o-text mass could reach the critical point), but I'll have you all know that I have been reading it with great interest.

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I don't always see eye-to-eye with Dear Shantanmantan, but somehow your assessment of what he's doing seems a bit off to me. It's as if you want to have your cake and eat it too.

That is, you're claiming that you're independent and that you make your own opinions, but then you admit "I dont really care what or why they fight". Well then. That is abdication of your autonomy, but even if you choose not to decide why you do anything, you're still choosing to do at least that. You're going to get criticised based on who you support regardless of whether it's a deliberate choice or you're just following your friends' lead and don't care.

It's not some OOC attempt to ruin the game by constricting the political discourse. That's ridiculous. You either become neutral, or else you accept that some people are going to be opposed to you. That's it.

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1) I guess I dont disagree with you on the stagnation but I do disagree with you on the cause. To me, the cause is the overwhelming fear of 'losing' and the culture and obsession that 'winning' is everything. THAT not the treaty web is what causes stagnation. The treaty web is the excuse people use, not the root of the problem. Why are people afraid to break the treaty web? Because they will *lose*. And the root of the 'win at all cost' attitude are people like CoJ. That turn anything and everything into a cause or some sort of struggle between good and evil.
CoJ displays a "win at all costs" attitude? I am not sure they've entered a war yet they didn't know they were going to lose from the get go. We all know Int was talked out of defending LSF because CnG feared being rolled by DR. So irony is off the charts with this statement.

Yes we feared being rolled by DR ::eye roll::. "we all know" indeed. I tell you, thats news to me. And im leading a cng alliance. But of course, I must be lying to hide the truth and must have manipulated people to blah blah blaah insert random bs. This game means so much to me, that i'm going to lie endlessly with a straight face to you for some in-game edge. Nothing else could be true.

This is exactly what i'm referring to as the problem. We've created an atmosphere where everything is stuffed into a simplified political frame work that suits your ends.

And sure it goes both ways. But honestly. The idea that you can sit back in whatever alliance you are in (tpf?) and knowingly tell me not only what my alliance did 'behind the scenes' but *why* it was done. Despite the people you are accusing telling you otherwise? Its ludicrous.

Gets back into this idiotic paranoia thats been built and fed on the OWF that everyone has some shady and complicated agenda.... unless of course they agree with *YOU*. Then, they are do-gooding truth tellers standing up to the man.

And yes coj has a win at all costs attitude. They simply act it out on what they view as the political and propaganda arena, not the in-game war arena. And let me clarify. Theres nothing wrong with trying to win. I want to win the game. I try to win it. Im not pretending otherwise. We should all try to win or whats the point?

The problem comes when in order to win we start spinning worse than the real-life media and start forcing everything into neat little slots and attacking those who DONT fit in.

Seriously. All the people accusing others of... anything. Being idiots, being evil, manipulative, etc etc. How often do you NOT see that simply breaking down along in-game political lines?

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1) I guess I dont disagree with you on the stagnation but I do disagree with you on the cause. To me, the cause is the overwhelming fear of 'losing' and the culture and obsession that 'winning' is everything. THAT not the treaty web is what causes stagnation. The treaty web is the excuse people use, not the root of the problem. Why are people afraid to break the treaty web? Because they will *lose*. And the root of the 'win at all cost' attitude are people like CoJ. That turn anything and everything into a cause or some sort of struggle between good and evil.
CoJ displays a "win at all costs" attitude? I am not sure they've entered a war yet they didn't know they were going to lose from the get go. We all know Int was talked out of defending LSF because CnG feared being rolled by DR. So irony is off the charts with this statement.
Yes we feared being rolled by DR ::eye roll::. "we all know" indeed. I tell you, thats news to me. And im leading a cng alliance. But of course, I must be lying to hide the truth and must have manipulated people to blah blah blaah insert random bs. This game means so much to me, that i'm going to lie endlessly with a straight face to you for some in-game edge. Nothing else could be true.This is exactly what i'm referring to as the problem. We've created an atmosphere where everything is stuffed into a simplified political frame work that suits your ends.And sure it goes both ways. But honestly. The idea that you can sit back in whatever alliance you are in (tpf?) and knowingly tell me not only what my alliance did 'behind the scenes' but *why* it was done. Despite the people you are accusing telling you otherwise? Its ludicrous. Gets back into this idiotic paranoia thats been built and fed on the OWF that everyone has some shady and complicated agenda.... unless of course they agree with *YOU*. Then, they are do-gooding truth tellers standing up to the man.And yes coj has a win at all costs attitude. They simply act it out on what they view as the political and propaganda arena, not the in-game war arena. And let me clarify. Theres nothing wrong with trying to win. I want to win the game. I try to win it. Im not pretending otherwise. We should all try to win or whats the point?The problem comes when in order to win we start spinning worse than the real-life media and start forcing everything into neat little slots and attacking those who DONT fit in.Seriously. All the people accusing others of... anything. Being idiots, being evil, manipulative, etc etc. How often do you NOT see that simply breaking down along in-game political lines?

We are allied to half your bloc. I can only go by reasons given by them about why CnG is letting two direct allies burn. Or you can just read threads where other Gov in the various bloc members admit it.

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Fair enough. I suppose I cant talk about what anyone else did or did not do. I can tell you with certainty that ODN didnt pressure anyone. My conversation with int when they asked me for thoughts was essentially something along the lines of "I think LSf are idiots who deserve what they get, but if you decide you wanna defend them we understand and will be with you. For int. You do what you feel you have to, and let me now where/if you need our nukes." I And then I left it at that and purposely didnt even discuss it with them again till after they made their own decision. I'm sure Int can confirm that if you ask them.

I dont *think* any of our allies pressured them either, but I suppose I wouldnt swear on a stack of bibles to that heh. I will talk definitively only about ODN and leave TLR and GATO to talk about TLR and GATO. I will say I did not witness any pressuring in our gov irc channel.

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Alright, I think blog by blog is too many blogs for each reply to each other, and my blog is getting pushed down, so here you go:

“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.”

― Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

The above quote nicely sums up my view of the OWF and why I tend to not engage in debate on it. However, I must be bored with this war because i'm actually going to waste my time responding to your blog. Normally i'm a firm believer of sitting back and just watching the BS.

I also don't claim to be up to Schatt levels of posting ::bows to the master::. You have more experience and probably talent in that sort of thing than I do. So I wont be as witty as you or score as many rhetorical points. Or be as entertaining. Which is why my goal here isn't to 'beat' your post.

But, if you are interested in honestly hearing my thoughts (as opposed to 'scoring points' over a perceived in-game enemy) i'll attempt to answer your comments honestly and thoughtfully.

As you so often like to say, don't assume you know what I feel. First off I *DO* think you have no business sharing your thoughts there. You can disagree with me, but what we are doing is debating opinions. Note: I dont deny your *right* to post. I deny that you should *choose* to exercise that right in the manner you did.

Next Note... I was not responding to Hal. I specifically said that direct allies of involved partners (which Valhalla is) have a stake and thus should share their thoughts. Otherwise it would have been somewhat hypocritical of me to be posting there.

I thought *YOU* schatt had no business getting involved. I was responding to *Your* post not Hals. I showed this by quoting you and addressing you. I have no issue with what Hal did. If I had an issue with him it would have been his post I quoted, not yours. I have issue with what you and other lesser would-be-schatts were doing.

As to the OWF. Maybe this has to do with our different approaches to CN. Can the owf have an impact on the game? Yes it can. But the impact it has is one I dont approve of. I do NOT embrace the philosophy that if my enemy does something 'wrong' (in a moral sense) I must do the same or risk them beating me.

Do I like winning? Of course I do. I love it. But it is not the single most important thing to me either. I would rather lose the game but not sink to the level the average OWF poster resides at. Rather than win by becoming what I hate. In an OOC sense I think poorly of those who twist themselves inside and out trying to score OWF points. I can look at a thread on the OWF and before I even open it I know exactly what everyone will be saying. That to me says something about the OWF's worth.

Does that mean there arent gullible fools that take the OWF banter as deep debates revealing the truth of CN? Of course those people exist. But normally I have better things to do with my real life time than entertaining them. I make an exception for you because I think you *are* intelligent. Wrong. But smart.

Excuse me? There you go putting words into my mouth. *AGAIN*.

You complain all the time that people tell what you really think on a subject. And there you went and assumed you knew what I felt. Where did I say you were irrelevant? I most certainly dont THINK that. If I said it I would owe you an apology and tender it to you (as it would probably be me getting carried away in angry rhetoric. Possible I suppose). But I honestly dont recall ever saying that to you.

Despite the OWF propaganda (do we need another example of that place being a cesspit?) i'm no ones puppet ::wry head shake::. I assure you I am a well educated adult capable of my own opinions. I dont consider you irrelevant. Maybe some of my in-game allies do. And if they do, I would tell them they are wrong.

I DO consider you to be a negative influence on this game, one who is damaging it (i'll go more into that shortly) but I do not consider you irrelevant. If I felt you were irrelevant I wouldnt be wasting my time responding to you.

The *issue* is that you are in fact all *too* relevant. My opinion of the people who listen to you and give you credence is relatively low. But that doesn't mean there aren't a bunch of them.

In fact, it is *because* I consider you relevant that I think you bare a responsibility for what I view as the degradation of debate in this game.

I'm not even going to go into your BS about ODN's actions against CoJ way back when (unless you really want me to) because that isn't actually my issue with you. You still seem to be hung up on that war, but I assure you I moved past it long ago. I dont actually agree with most of your post about what happened and I think you are presenting a nice spin story to show yourself in a good light. But there no point in side tracking this argument on a subject I doubt anyone but you and I actually care about. If you really want me to engage you on that subject I am happy to ::bows::. But I'm going to assume it was an aside and not the main crux of your argument.

So, here in sum is my problem with how you conduct yourself. And it is essentially an OOC issue. My problem with you, is you have a goal or an ideology of how the game should be. Your so called CoJ World View. I say you are the problem because you have essentially adopted a slash and burn technique to achieving your goal.

IN MY OPINION (I am not going to keep repeating this. Assume everything i type here is my opinion of what you are doing not hard fact) you have decided that in order to achieve your goals Alliance X Y and Z are in your way. As such, you will do whatever you have to in order to trample them.

That includes dumbing down complex issues into easy rhetorical scoring points. You dont actually care about understanding an alliance or where they are coming from or what they are doing. You aren't interested in promoting deep debate. Or putting yourself in others shoes and understanding and learning from them. You want to force the square peg into the round hole so you can score some OWF points, rile up the masses (that power on the owf you were referring to) and try to harness that to achieve your vision of what the planet should look like.

Never mind if anyone else shares or agrees with that vision. Its yours so it must be right. Forget about seeing what others think or where they stand. Forget about mutual respect.

This is a political simulation game, and politics at time can lead to war and be about enemies. But real life politics can also be about reaching understandings, compromises, and growing/expanding (mentally). You dont see the second half.

And if an alliance stands in your way of getting where you want, you'll do everything you can to embarrass them, make their players miserable (ic and in many cases ooc) and run 'em from the game itself if you can.

The end result is that you have a culture obsessed with winning as the end all be all. More times than I can count.. hell in this very blog.... you dismiss alliances as being toadies. As their every action being about winning or avoiding a rolling or whatever.

Can it help you 'win'? Sure. But to me one of the things destroying the fun in this game is that sort of attitude. The idea of 'them and us' and that everyone is playing for the win, nothing else. That sort of divisive black and white attitude drives people away. And more importantly it withers true intellectual discourse.

I fully expect, for example, that you will take my huge WoT in this blog, throw away 90 percent of it, and then address only the parts you can score a point off of or use to try and make me seem foolish. I hope i'm wrong, but that is what I expect.

Whats the point of me posting on the OWF if I know that you are going to treat my posts as something you have to "beat". That isnt freaking fun. Who wants to be part of that? I play this game for entertainment not for struggle and dominance. I play this game to have fun. To engage with friends. To see interesting political dynamics. To be part of a strong community. Sometimes just to blow !@#$ up.

And that attitude, which I firmly believe in is the healthy approach to this game, is what YOU undermine with your posts and approach to the OWF. IMO you and those like you have created an atmosphere where any rational moderately intelligent and sane individual has to either avoid the place, resort to lulz, or discourse on the level of a freaking fourth grader.

Are you doing this single handily? No. But you are the 'poster child' of this approach. And *that* is why I think you are damaging to CN. Not because of any BS spying on ODN applicant AAs.

And maybe part of the reason I dislike you, is I also don't like being called a 'dog' by some OWF personality. Again, it gets back to why you play the game. I am speaking for myself here blah blah blah usual disclaimers. But I don't give a damn about MK's agenda. Hell, I don't even know what it is (according to your view since I think it is just to have fun).

When I defend MK (or any other alliance) in a war I dont do so because of any mysterious agenda. Or because I 'want mk in power'. I do so because they are my *friends* and my cn-brothers-in arms. I dont really care what or why they fight. I find the IC morality of CN eye-roll worthy. Always have. I'm with them because I like them as people. And if Im going to blow stuff up.. or be blown up by others... I want to do it with them.

That is something anyone I ally with needs to have.

Now, can you think I have the wrong approach? Sure. But again, you are trying to fit the square peg into the round hole by dismissing friends of MK as 'dogs'.

Is that how you view COJ's treaties? Everyone is either your dog or you are theres? I kinda pity *you* if that is the case. What a horrible way to go through this game. Never interacting with anyone except on a real-politic basis. I would go insane. That isnt FUN. And this is supposed to be a game.

Instead of applying *YOUR* approach and philosophy to others actions, what you should do is try to understand us. And at least go 'hey, I dont like it or agree but I can see where you are coming from and respect that.'

And there is where we disagree. I see the world as multi polar. We have blocs and alliances with different cultures, different goals, different mindsets. Different ways of playing the game. And your refusal to see that damages the game. Your obsession with seeing it as dualistic puts pressure on those who DONT fit your view to either QUIT the game or CONFORM to it.

In other words... YOU are creating exactly what you supposedly oppose by your instance on fitting everyone into the dualistic model. Its a self fulfilling prophecy. If you refuse to see anything but black and white, you are exerting pressure on people to identify with a pole.

Whelp, I saw your WoT and raised you an Epic WoT ::grins::. Look, do i dislike you? Yeah I probably do. Do I hate you in any ooc sense? No. Do I think you are intelligent? Most definitely.

Which is why i'm bothering to actually reply to you. I'm sure some will say I am just feeding you. Giving you attention that you want. But, what I hope comes from this, is that for a minute you forget that i'm leader of ODN and you are leader of CoJ and that, by your dualistic model, we are supposed to hate each other.

Instead I hope you actually consider what I wrote. And even if you decide you don't agree with it, you realize i'm being honest with you. And you consider if maybe in one or two places I may have had merit or a point. And if you respond, you respond to me in like fashion and put the IC politics aside. ::shrugs::.

But yeah. Hopefully that also clears up why I dislike you. Which has nothing to do with any specific incident three wars ago.

edit: fixed a few typos and some wording that glared out on me.

Ok, so, I noted earlier this will be re-write 5 for this reply; I set out to be brief in each one. Brevity is my weak point, but I've gotten better each time.

Basically, I'm sort of disappointed by where this went. When I said I was going to respond to your initial post with a blog, you sent me a PM and said you were interested in "intellectual conversation" so I went ahead with my blog and posted something that outlined our philosophy and worldview, what its implications are for the world (and why it is superior), and why the dominant mode is inferior and how it is perpetuated. I'm not going to say whether or not it was "intellectual" but it was as close as this essayist gets.

In reply, you went on a sort of tirade, opening your response to the "intellectual conversation" that you yourself asked for with a quote demeaning the entire process as a juvenile waste of time. You then turned 'round again and start talking about "mutual respect" and "reaching understandings, compromises, and growing/expanding (mentally)" in politics, but you spend the entirety of your reply making wild accusations about me, and demeaning anyone that participates in the OWF.

This kind of doublespeak met everything you said, to the point that people were querying me to ask if you were serious, and I myself was querying other people that I respect to ask them if this was serious.

You make a lot of claims about Cult of Justitia's and my personal detrimental effects on the game and the OWF climate. You do not substantiate one of them. In my initial blog, I tried to reply to your open-ended/vague statements (that we're "amoral" and you don't like my leadership of CoJ) by making my best guess about what you meant and replying from there, but in this reply you blasted me for it. So, lesson learned, I'll leave it on the floor. You say that we literally force alliances and people out of the game with our worldview and interactions, but you do not name one or even attempt an example. It's rubbish.

More disturbing than your outright weird analysis on CoJ's effect on the OWF and game were some of your personal accusations, which really had me wondering if maybe you are Rebel Virginia. I, I: Schattenmann, will "make ... players miserable (ic and in many cases ooc) and run 'em from the game itself if you can." Is that a joke? Am I on candid camera?

But again, no examples. I'll cop to making jokes about a certain person when I was in GOONS five years ago, but the insidious and false accusation that I or Cult of Justitia OOC attack people with the aim of running them out of the game is beyond the pale.

It is also more doublespeak. While throwing these sorts of neurotic unsubstantiated accusations at me, you extoll the virtues of your best buds MK. MK? From Bilrow to AirMe to WickedJ to VanHooIII and KaitlinK to Roquentin, your pals's policy is OOC attacks and making people--real people--miserable in real life so that they will quit the game. And those are your friends who you'll blindly follow to war (but you're no puppy on a leash, not you!) regardless of where, who, when, or why just because they're your friends. And indeed, from your reply, it is clear and you make clear, that you play CyberNations from an OOC perspective, here to make friends above playing the game itself, and you're calling me the boogeyman whilst hobnobbing with these guys?

And on top of all that! you throw jibes about the OWF because people post along allegiance rather than objectively, and then you yourself excuse all of your allies of any transgressions simply by virtue of your friendship with them: "they are my *friends* and my cn-brothers-in arms. I dont really care what or why they fight. I find the IC morality of CN eye-roll worthy. Always have. I'm with them because I like them as people."

You like them as people, but I'm a real, real stinker?

Here we are butting-up against the brevity ceiling. Tromp put it more succinctly than I could ever hope to: "What it comes down to OsRavan, is that you don't like the analysis provided by Schatt, and fail to refute it... Which seems to make your blood boil. You go on a long rant without making a single rebuttal. That's kind of an accomplishment, I guess, but not a positive one!"

I struggled with this reply, I'll tell you all that; I felt like there was almost nothing to reply to, but at the same time I couldn't just let it lay. What few political or topical points you tried to make were barely there and unsupported, and as for the insults, I didn't want an argument. I'm glad other people saw it, because I felt like it might look like I was laying down.

It's disappointing, because I wanted that intellectual conversation.

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I maybe new in CoJ, but I can tell you that what you write, Mr. OsRavan, is the complete opposite of what CoJ is. Without Schatt, I will find this universe to be very confusing and a bit boring.

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OsRavan, you are an incredibly dense, self-serving, clueless, metro-sexless "Pat". Your 'analysis' of CoJ shows how incredibly superficial your understanding is; you figure others have motives like yours yet you don't get the fact that you are not one of the sharpest knives in the drawer. Amazing how long you've survived given your 'Darwin's Awards' behaviors.

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