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About Ferrous

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    The Chess Piece
  • Birthday 04/12/1986

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  • Nation Name
    Scarab Kingdom
  • Alliance Name
    The Ironwood Clan
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  1. I don't understand why everyone likes Flying Dog. It's kinda gross, IMO. Nice reviews, ol' chum.
  2. Hail Zenith! I miss you guys.
  3. I feel both of your pains. Maybe even more so. I'm a bills fan.
  4. Four score and seven days ago our fathers brought forth on this Cyberverse, a new nation, conceived in Maroonity, and dedicated to the proposition that all pixels are created equal. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all pixels are created equal, that they are endowed by their Admin with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Infrastructure. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men and Women, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Defcon Level and Happiness. We, therefore, the Representatives of the Scarab Kingdom, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these pixels, solemnly publish and declare, that these united pixels are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent pixels. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor. And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every forum and every irc channel, from every skype conversation and every nation, we will be able to speed up that day when all of Admin's children, lulzy people and serious business people, Marooners and Aquaphiles, Bluebites and Pinko Commies, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank Admin Almighty, we are free at last! ---- Too long, didn't read version: I'm back. Okay, not quite as lengthy as I was hoping I'd make my return speech to be, but it turns out that the Gettysburg Address, the Declaration of Independence and the "I have a Dream" speech are a lot less relevant to CN than what I had hoped. EDIT: Also, I'm DK for All Hallow's Eve.
  5. I saw you lurkin' my profile.

  6. LOL. Oh, it must be fun to be in the HoJ...
  7. Before this entry takes off, let me clarify - this is a moral argument, not a strategic one. Obviously, regardless of who is the aggressor in a war, he who is the victor also has the most power in deciding how much reparations should be. There is not much to be said if we go strictly by the "might makes right" argument, so instead I will present an alternative view about what could be considered "right." First, there are two assumptions that I must make: 1 - Power is relative. If we have two alliances, one that has a score of 10 and one that has a score of 5, the first alliance is twice as strong as the second. If after a war ensues and the second alliance has a score of 2.5 and the first alliance has a score of 7.5, then the first alliance is three times as strong. Relatively speaking, the first alliance is now better off when compared to the second alliance, since it now has more relative power than it previously had, despite losing absolute numbers. 2 - War is central to CN. As Xiphosis said recently in his blog, peace time is only the preparation for the next war. As discussed in both my previous blog entry and alluded to in Vladimir's most recent entry, warfare in Cybernations is typically a struggle to control power. If we simply take a look at material wealth, it would seem that it is in the best interest of the victor to get as many reparations out of the defeated as possible. However, this is a fallacy because it ignores the other form of wealth in the Cyberverse, which may be termed, "political wealth." If we define political wealth as the political standing an alliance has with other alliances, then it is fair to say that should an alliance do something "negative" in the eyes of other alliances, they can lose their political wealth. As such, it would be unwise to demand reparations that are too high. Recently, there was an article published in the World Affairs forum by Azaghul (link) about proportional reparations. Basically, the article argues that reparations should be proportional to the economy of the defeated, assuming that reparations should be demanded at all. It is a very reasonable piece, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wishes to demand reparations. However, both of these arguments (proportionality and demanding as much as the victor wants) leaves out the question, "should reparations be demanded at all?" The fact of the matter is, the vast majority of our wealth and individual material power is generated by ourselves. Tech trades and trading can help boost that, but ultimately our nation strength comes from the tech we buy (on the market or by ourselves) and the infrastructure that we possess. It is also the power that backs up a lot of our political wealth. Therefore, taking away material wealth can undermine a nation, or an alliance's ability to maintain their political wealth. However, if a victor wanted to primarily affect an alliance's political wealth, the terms of the treaty would include clauses about canceling treaties, and an inability to sign new treaties for a set period of time. Presumably, the goal of the Karma coalition was to topple the NPO from a position of power, and according to some, make it pay for deeds done in the past. Toppling the NPO from a position of power has already been accomplished, to a large extent. The relative material power of the NPO, compared with that of the Karma coalition, is now opposite of what it was before the war. Furthermore, as previously noted, this loss in material power already undermines their political wealth. On this argument alone, the Karma coalition has no need to press for reparations, as their goal is achieved and their own relative power has increased. Demanding reparations only widens this gap, and could be construed as theft. Karma already won this battle to take the NPO down. If the goal was also to cement their place in the "Amazing Sanction Race," then they should demand reparations (to a proportional degree), but that was not the express intent of Karma. The second justification for reparations was to punish the NPO for crimes it had committed in the past. The allegations include asking for too many reparations at times, curbstomping past allies for trivial matters, and putting a stranglehold on Planet Bob politics. For the first two allegations, I think it is right for the affected parties to demand reparations. They could be holding a grudge, but they are essentially asking for goods that were taken from them from past conflicts by the NPO. Counting up the individuals would of course be an impossible task, but the names of whole alliances should suffice. It is only up to the individuals themselves to determine whether or not they deserve to get reparations, since no other oversight could possibly exist. Third parties who were not directly affected by the NPO's past actions have no legitimate right to ask for reparations for past crimes, as they were not the victims. By asking for reparations, they are simply profiteering from the war, which is no better than what the NPO did. The final problem is the broad allegation that the NPO had strangled Planet Bob politics, and should pay for that. I have yet to hear what a reasonable amount of reparations should be for such a thing, or how that could be construed as a crime. The broad goal of the game (individual preferences aside) is to gain political and material power (individual strategies aside), and the NPO had succeeded at doing it quite well. People who are now demanding huge reparations from the NPO for having being successful at the game is simply poor sportsmanship. I would hope better from the CN community.
  8. In Vladimir's latest blog entry, Thesis, Antithesis: the Story of a Great War, we saw the creation of a theoretical framework for describing political trends in the Cyberverse. Underlying these trends are two basic axioms: war is inevitable, and political power does not last forever. The reasons why can be analyzed in detail, but they basically boil down to the fundamental nature of the Cyberverse, namely, that this is a game, and it is no fun when one gets stuck in a predictable scenario. The overall trend, in short, is basically as follows: for a period of time, a ruling party maintains the dominant political power in the Cyberverse. Over time, an opposing party will try to topple them through political maneuvering, until the point where they believe they have enough military power to bring down the forces that be. Once the dominant forces are replaced, a new era starts and the trend starts over again. Hence Vladimir's basic argument that history is cyclical in nature. By this reasoning, we've had three major eras, and are beginning a fourth, although this matter may be up for dispute: Era 1: Inception of the Cyberverse, no dominant faction. Leads up to the first Great War Era 2: With an increasingly bipolar Cyberverse, two parties struggle for power. First Great War starts, NPO and friends surrender, leading to the second era that is essentially ruled by the CoaLUEtion. NPO, after their surrender, regain their military power and begin to place themselves in a political position to be the undisputed leading faction of CN. CoaLUEtion sees the challenge and get their own allies, leading up to GWII and GWIII. Era 3: The second and third Great Wars happen in early 2007, leaving the NPO and their allies in a position of power at the end, and their opponents very much weakened. Throughout 2007 and 2008, a number of political occurrences happen which essentially reflect a growing opposition to the NPO and their allies. Near the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, this opposition slowly takes form, resulting in the most recent Great War. NPO and their allies are defeated, ushering in a new era where a new faction is dominant. Era 4: Currently in its inception. There is no single dominant faction at this point, since the opposing faction to the NPO (and the hegemony) was only a loosely organized coalition, and not a formal bloc. The current period may be perhaps better described as a period of transition, rather than a true era. With this kind of framework, and this basic description of the political history, there comes an important question. Why go to war in the first place? In the world outside of Planet Bob, war is typically for material wealth, including acquisition of more land, natural resources, or things of that sort. However, that is not the case in the Cyberverse. True, war can be profitable, but the political consequences of profiteering are usually too large in order to conduct this kind of a war. Of course, there are several reasons to go to war, namely, that war is fun, to get revenge, or to gain material wealth. However, the most basic reason, and the one seen on the large scale of Cybernations is quite simply to gain more political power. Power, to use one common definition, is the ability to control another individual's actions. Those who perceive the existing political superstructure to be infringing on their ability to control their own actions will seek to break away or change the political powers that be. Over time, simple statistics will dictate that eventually the powers will topple. The remaining question, in this direction of thought, is simply, "how." Given this framework, it may be wise for many alliances to re-evaluate their political strategies. For example, for an alliance that is too easily tied into the MDP web, it is easily dragged into conflicts that it may not wish to be a part of, but its agreements dictate its course of direction. No alliance wishes to be another's pawn, as we all wish to have some control over our own choices. However, with every mutual defense pact we sign, we forfeit some degree of our sovereignty, increasingly tying our fates to a larger struggle that no single individual or alliance control. While complete independence may not be ideal, Sister Midnight (ex leader of IRON) may have been on to something. By maintaining complete independence, IRON essentially could do whatever it wanted, without having to fear of getting dragged into a war from an MDP partner. Unfortunately, this meant that it could never get involved in a war because it had no definitive allies, and therefore essentially remained neutral until later in its life. If we take that policy as one extreme, then it is easy to imagine the opposite extreme being signing too many treaties. While treaties do have the benefit of providing additional security (assuming they are upheld, which can sometimes be a large assumption), they also have costs which are usually unaccounted for. For the purposes of this article, the main cost in question is "political baggage." If an alliance signs too many treaties, it can be effectively immobilized, unless it decides to not uphold all of its treaties. Either way, the outcome is not desirable. Unfortunately, deciding how much is "too much" is much more difficult. However, with a clear political strategy and awareness of the ramifications of signing an MDP, an alliance may gain much more security than by simply signing with as many alliances as possible. Whew, talk about a tangent.
  9. Since my return to CN about 6 months ago, I started to think more about the underlying political structures. While this article doesn't encompass all of my views by a long shot, it does illustrate a basic truth to CN: war is inevitable, and no ruling party stays in power forever. Additionally, it gives a good framework for describing the macro movements of the political history of CN. I'll be using this piece as a jumping-off point for my next blog entry.
  10. Because, I don't know, it might be fun?
  11. I know we are all so hyped up about the drama surrounding GGA*, and on a lesser note, Jonathan Brookbank, but perhaps we can take a step back, and consider an idea, the concept of "political dueling." A couple of months ago, one of our past triumvirs, Brian Reimer and Duncan King performed an "honor duel." I don't recall the outcome, only that the winner would be decided by who lost the most score (or something to that effect). It was a good way to blow off steam, and use the war system which we only get to use once or twice a year in a major war. So why can't we do this more often? Imagine the benefits: -It can allow someone to use the war system, and actually prove themselves in battle, and not wait for an alliance war to have a bit of fun -It can be seen as a moral step-up from tech raiding as a means of practicing warfare -Individuals can be singled out for being dumb, instead of having the whole alliance take the punishment -We can actually figure out who is, in fact, better at commanding their nations into battle -Should it catch on, leagues and different kinds of political attractions could provide a new outlet for PR, and things of that sort. This sort of idea has been used in the past to some degree - wargames and whatnot. However, people probably edge away from them in fear that too much warfare will weaken their nations too much, not allowing them to build up against a stronger enemy. Of course, this idea could be extended to alliances, providing alliance-on-alliance warfare without the fear of a curbstomping. I think it would be a fun addition. Hell, maybe I will challenge someone, and see where it goes. *Ferrous' brief note: seriously guys, get over them. They've been stuck in the mud for how long now? This is news to who now....?
  12. It ain't so. I'm not referring to the argument that Karma will turn out to be just as bad as NPO and friends. That's a different argument altogether which I won't be taking up. Instead, I'll be looking at a different angle - what this game really is. The fact of the matter is, Cybernations is much more of a political simulation than a war simulation. It's fairly easy to go months upon months without engaging in a single war, but the political process of arriving to that point goes on nearly every day. Negotiating pacts and deals with other alliances is a huge part of this game, probably the most original content that can be attributed to the game (sorry Admin, I like the mechanics, but I think most people are here for the politics). And all of that politicking is aimed at leading the alliance in some particular direction - whether it be to simply establish a community, to be a diplomatic leader, or to be a heavy-weight in terms of nation strength and political capital. Therefore, taking down the NPO doesn't actually change any of those goals, unless taking down the NPO was the sole purpose of your alliance (see: Vox Populi). For everyone else, life will go on. Yes, admittedly, the political atmosphere is expected to be quite different in the coming months, but the rules haven't changed. The political process will probably stay the same, alliances will still make friends with other alliances, and there will be tiffs between two alliances every once in a while. There will probably be some group (or groups) of alliances plotting to take the #1 seat, either in total NS or in a more political sense, but that aspect isn't a whole lot different than what has been happening all along. The NPO was simply good at it, at least up to a point. The fact that other alliances are now in a better position to get that #1 spot doesn't really change anything about CN, it'll just make the game more interesting because the short-term "winner" cannot be clearly predicted at this point. So in the end, I'm not really sure why everyone is claiming, "OMG, IT'S A NEW ERA!!!1!one!!!" because nothing has inherently changed in how the game is played. If someone wants to make an argument that there is a new era in CN, they'll have to make a more compelling argument than "NPO is no longer #1." The season may have changed, but the sun still rises in the east.
  13. Is Maroon your favorite sphere?
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