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About Kyaris

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    Goon Order of Oppression Negligence and Sadism
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  1. Not with GOONS specifically, which was my field of discussion for the post. I acknowledge that there are still other minor fronts in the war ongoing.
  2. This week's Statement From Squad S actually has little to do with current events and is instead a response to some other posts regarding the meta-theory of the morality of war. It is not in any way specific to the current conflict, so I'd like to keep responses non-partisan. There's a little bit of required reading for this post: You Doing It Right? and The Logic of War in CN, from eyriq's recent blog. In his post, eyriq makes important claims about interactions between players in the controlled environment of the CyberNations rule-set. The variations of interactions between "I", "We", "You", and "They" actors that eyriq outlines do in fact seem to be the primary figures in the multiplayer context of the game. Make no mistake, these interactions are not just explanations of things that sometimes get done, but the root of the playability of the game entirely; no one would be here if our sole purpose was to wait 20 days, build stuff, then collect taxes and repeat. This game's entire purpose and attraction lies in the interactions between players, the free ability to converse and make alliances, and the social role that these conversations play in determining how we as players use the five interactive options available in the game (that eyriq outlines in his newest post this week): Trade, Aid, Spy, War, and Donation. Through only these five options and their sub-trees, over five years of passionate game play, diplomacy, and bitter warfare have ensued through Digiterra. I will, for the rest of this post, more or less accept these terms as defined as accurate, although I add a "They" structure in the social structures to better explain inter-alliance warfare. The conclusion that eyriq reaches by analyzing these terms is that there is an objective morality that can be acquired for interactions in Digiterra based on the combination of knowing the exact terms of the rules of the digital world and knowing the nature of all players' humanity through empathy. More importantly, he further makes a statement in "The Logic of War" that this morality of "We" as he defines it sets a further claim about wars, namely that when taken to excess they hurt the game by undermining the inherently constructive nature of the community. However, the conclusions that eyriq reaches from his first argument about objective morality in "You Doing It Right?" are not correct, and the reason for this is that some of the premises that are implied through subtext, while they do lead to their conclusion more or less cogently, are themselves not true, making the argument unsound. Furthermore, a second conclusion in YDIR that is used as a premise in TLoW also seems to be false, and I will show that the morality of "We" is not sufficient to logically deter wars of malice. Analyzing these assumed premises and alternative premises will then lead to the conclusion that the purposes of war are in fact multi-faceted and because of the nature of the "We" mentality actually defensible from a multitude of perspectives. A summary of eyriq's argument for the Morality of We is based on three premises: One, that the meta-rules of Digiterra are clearly laid out and everyone abides by the hard rules enforced by admin and his merry band1; two, that by sharing in the human condition as nation rulers, we each fully understand the desires, needs, and goals of our fellow rulers by means of empathy and mutual understanding. Three, by conclusion from one and two, that this understanding of both the nature of the world we play in and the nature of our fellow players allows us to construct universal objective social norms and international laws. Therefore, he says that from two and three, these laws outline a list of possible ways by which we achieve these desires, needs, and goals, and which ones are acceptable, concluding that The "I" or "We" interaction with "You" is none other than war, in the subtext. One party loses, the other party wins in the best case. At the very least, yes, it is engaged in because one side believes they can be the winning side and make the other side the losing side, even if sometimes both sides lose. This statement is observed; we witness war in Digiterra and can explain it in the preceding manner. There's an assumed argument here. That argument is that by virtue of our common goal, nation-building, within the constraints of the physical rule system, we participate in these three levels of interaction to further our individual yet identical goals of nation-building. War then occurs when the "I" or "We" sees an opportunity for the furthering of the nation-building goal at the expense of "You". The need to rein in and prevent war, then, is because of the need to preserve a system where it is still possible for nation-building to occur. We infer from observation that the lose side of the win-lose interaction is greater in quantity than the win in the successful exchange. Left unchecked, the short-term gain of the win-lose "I" against "You" interaction multiplies exponentially in the long-term, where everyone becomes a “lose” and nation-building cannot occur. The first problem, which leads to deeper problems, is explaining our diplomatic realities with this theory. If we understand by our mutual human nature the cause of war as the purely formulaic calculation between the two factors of the win-lose nation-building self goal and not surpassing the amount of war that crosses the line to harming the ability of the community to grow as a whole, then any war that meets these two criteria is automatically a just and proper war. In addition to posing a problem of an arbitrary line-drawing decision about how much war is "too much war", this violates common conceptions about war for many Alliances that currently exist, and I am also inferring that it is not the intended conclusion that the author had in mind. This problem exists because of a disparity between the idea that our mutual human nature gives us common goals and ideas of morality, and the reality that there is a considerable amount of conflict between nations and alliances precisely because their goals and ideas of morality are completely different. The author even points out in TLoW precisely why this is: There are multiple reasons that people go to war. Self-fulfillment, behavior modification, and alliance advancement are the three categories that I believe all of these reasons can be reduced to. The idea that war must be controlled in order to allow the primary universal goal of nation-building to occur is flawed because nation-building is not in fact the inherent primary universal goal. This original stated premise of a universal connection between all players and being able to come to a common set of social, international norms because of it is inherently flawed to think that each ruler participates because of the same individual reason; in fact, it is common-sense to believe that our individual goals to accomplish in this sandbox game are radically different. This, then, leads us finally to repeal the conclusion that controlling war is necessary to allow people to reach their goals, because wars of net loss may be within the goals of those who pursue them. It is only within the interest of the goals of a certain subset of nations to idealize nation-building as the primary goal of participation. In this context, the Morality of We is insufficient. It requires a universal solidarity that does not exist. This can be rectified through a correction in the perception of solidarity within groups that have similar roles. To do this, I assert that a new actor has to be introduced. While "You" can be used in the plural, in the "I" or "We" versus "You" concept, I think it is more important to specify that on the micro-scale as eyriq defines it, there exists the "I versus You" mechanic, and on the macro-scale we must introduce a "They" for the "We versus They" mechanic of CyberNations interactions. This distinction is necessary to explain the similarities between and differences of scale between wars between individual nations and wars between Alliances or Blocs. What follows from the introduction of these multiple groups of "We" combined with our previous conclusion that the goal of the game and in particular the goal of war differs among subsets of nations is an inference to the best explanation between these two facts: there is a correlation between these groups of We and the common goals of a subset of nations. In other words, each group of We is a group connected by a set of common goals, and these groups are Alliances. This means that in order to explain an objective morality within CyberNations, we must revise our "Morality of We", to a "Morality of We and They". This is not a controversial conclusion at all. In succinct terminology, I'm merely deriving a commonly held belief that alliances form around a common ideology about the goals that the members hold in common about how to interact with the CyberNations community. For some, as eyriq inadvertently points out, the primary goal is nation-building--grouping by this common goal provides the benefit of access to the trade, aid, and (in rare cases) donation functions for mutual assistance towards this goal. For others, a diplomatic victory is the goal, the desire to be exceptionally famous (or infamous) among the community, and the resources for this are all of the game functions as well as the community forums. Still others want to test their ability at waging war, whether individually or in small or large groups. In reality, all alliances seem to have all of these goals in certain amounts. I'll avoid the debate of which alliances favor which goals. The closer alliances are to one another on these scales, the easier it is for them to be friendly to one another. The farther apart they are on these scales, the more tension there will be between them, typically resulting in a diplomatic clash of some sort, or even war. War is an inevitability. The question that remains is what actions for war are permissible and which ones are impermissible within the realm of CyberNations. If the ultimate desire of each player is the achievement of their goal of playing (or more casually speaking, the desire of each player is to do what they want to do and have fun), and the goals for alliances differ wildly, then morality must have something to do with which of these groups get to complete their goals in which amounts. This, I believe, is the ultimate conclusion of my arguments. I believe a discussion on what theory will best explain what each group has the right to do is outside of the scope of this post, but a few implications I do believe are in order. One, as I've stated off-hand before, I do not believe that Just War Theory can possibly apply because of the sheer difference in stakes between real-life war and CyberNations war. Because of this, the conclusion that war must be a last result when all diplomatic approaches fail absolutely will not hold. If the base of morality in CyberNations is the idea that war is never justified is just as unfair to those who play for the sake of war if even in part, as it is possible unfair to claim that an entirely neutral alliance must participate in war against their wishes. Yet we will likely want to claim that there is an upper boundary on what it is moral for a group to do, even if it is what their goal in playing the game actually is. Theories like utilitarianism or Kantian deontology probably can be adapted to fit the realm of Digiterran politics, but whether or not they should is a subject for massive debate. In other words, how these theories and conclusions apply to current politics, diplomacy, and conflicts is up to us to decide. 1It is undeniable and also relevant that the first premise is true. All of our possible actions are rigidly determined by one, the software code of the system, and two, the conduct guidelines enforced by the moderators. This is indeed a valid differentiation from real life, where our limitations in action are as of yet undiscovered as we continue to create new things and explore new places and perform actions we had not previously anticipated as physically possible. This premise is self-evident and important for future meta-theory, but I will not explore it for this post.
  3. I didn't really read past the first line, but it's true! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Thanks, HoT.
  4. I agree completely with this blog. Nevertheless, in the PR war, as in advertising, emotion wins out more than reason. I suspect it will continue to happen on both sides. For my part, it's basically impossible not to want to say horrible horrible things about Legion. :3
  5. By exceedingly ineffective I mean split your forces in two, and left a lot of nations to suffer needlessly and perish to ZI.
  6. That was my entire point. If you wanted to hide in peace mode legitimately, calling in your allies confuses the issue. It's the sort of theoretical tactic that only works if you perform it with 100% accuracy, or as close to it as you can. If you only put half your alliance in peace mode, what's left outside gets absolutely wrecked. The correct execution of this tactic would have been to hole up into peace mode, tell their allies to intercede, and wait and see what happens. If GOONS does nothing, then the moral high ground is justified, namely that they would not have and could not have intervened in the VE-NpO front. If GOONS wants to engage further and declare war on NPO's allies as a chaining pre-emptive, well, then you've really got a case. This half-hearted approach that was actually executed smacks of either treachery or extreme ignorance, one or the other. Whether they intended to or not is still up for debate, but the result of the matter is that New Pacific Order and The Legion left their allies to get reamed while they retreated.
  7. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Yes. Having 1% of your NS in the fight is clearly a contribution. I agree that your "peace mode tactic" isn't cowardice. It's cunning. You get to claim contribution and support of an ally and try to take the diplomatic moral high ground, when in reality you have risked absolutely nothing in this fight and done nothing. Your protectorate alliance, The Last Republic, has done more in this war than you have. Just shut up.
  8. You need to learn to read. I said having 12 alliances dogpile GOONS made you lose your moral high ground. The peace mode is just insulting to the alliances who came to do your dirty work.
  9. I have already addressed this issue, below: If you "have not begun to fight" in invite you to accept Doomhouse's terms and begin to fight. Go on then. That's right. You can't. You missed your chance. You have no strategic foothold whatsoever. Your allies are the only threat to us whatsoever, and it is not to their advantage to defend you for no gain or recognition whatsoever. If you wanted to start fighting, perhaps you should've considered doing it while you still had allies left to fight alongside you.
  10. I don't think it's "bad for the game" in some grandiose care-cat sense. I just think NPO has used it exceedingly ineffectively in this war. Because they're bad at strategy.
  11. fixed. i always make dumb mistakes like that.
  12. Yeah basically. I'm kind of appalled at myself for writing so many :words:.
  13. It is becoming more and more apparent that the GOONS front of the Doomhouse War is finally nearing its end. With this week's surrenders, remaining enemy forces aligned against us are reduced to seven alliances: New Pacific Order The Legion Cult of Justitia Regnum Invictorum The Phoenix Federation Sanitarium 64Digits Among these, peace mode is prevalent and offensive wars are sparse, with TPF and Invicta being the only forces doing any noticeable fighting whatsoever. I've posted a number of times alluding to the subject matter of why it does not pay to be an ally of the Hopeless Coalition in this conflict, and I think the current situation showcases this. However, I've decided to post a little more in-depth on why I think this is the case, not just that it is. Inevitably, the reasons are going to be mostly self-evident mechanics and strategic oversights of the Coalition's leadership. Some of this will seem like a rehash of matters already discussed, but with any hope I'll be able to be a little more in-depth on the subject than previously. There are significant issues with the way this war was managed from a longer-term strategic perspective. The worst of these is the mismatch in ideology and action that has been evident in the morale and propaganda war versus the actual fighting being waged. Originally, the Peace Mode Strategy was announced as a stop-gap to NPO/Legion's allies--a measure by which they could regain their composure, wait for an opportunity, and re-engage at their discretion. It has long since become obvious that this re-entry into conflict in such an aggressive capacity is no longer possible. Doomhouse's terms of surrender highlight this. The cries against how NPO is being forced into having their alliance "decimated" is an unspeakable crime against them only serves to further emphasize that when NPO/Legion implemented their strategy they failed to take this possibility into account that they would never return to the front. More specifically, there is a distinct implication that a case could be made that they in fact never intended to. The argument that NPO and Legion have left their allies to be meat shields for the sake of their escape to peace mode in this conflict has been discussed already. I will leave it aside for now. Let’s be fairer to the Coalition's leadership and assume another possibility. That is, that when they implemented the peace mode strategy, they did fully intend to re-enter the conflict at a later point with an advantage. I will assume for the rest of this blog post, in more direct terms, that the Peace Mode Strategy was not a smoke screen for the upper tiers to have an excuse to preserve as much of their resources as possible at the expense of others. There has been much discussion on some of the obvious tactical points; With their primary nations in peace mode, there is insufficient aid going to their nations that are actually fighting. With their primary nations in peace mode, Umbrella is free to act as they please and aid Doomhouse and allied nations that are fighting. With Legion entirely in peace mode, there is less pressure across all nation strength spectrums and thus more ability for Doomhouse forces to coordinate unimpeded in group attacks. With opponents occasionally coming out of peace mode and going back into peace mode, it has been a rather simple matter to fight our opponents two or three on one, one at a time, throughout the course of the war. Our offensive wars have greatly outnumbered our defensive wars in the past few weeks, indicating that we are getting to choose when and where to fight. On a tactical level in this regard, the Hopeless Coalition has horribly mismanaged their forces. Although some of their fighting nations are actually fantastically competent, the Coalition leadership has done a spectacular job of ensuring that they cannot do an effective level of damage or fight with the full economic or numerical support of their allies. Frankly, had NSO, just as a singular example, had the sort of aid-bombing and numerical support that GOONS has had throughout this war, things could have gone drastically differently. The Peace Mode Strategy had a number of stated purposes aside from the re-entry gambit. Among these, it was presumed that GOONS and to a lesser extent Doomhouse and Pandora would become more fatigued by a war with fewer or no combatants. Without our "griefing" and "lulz" we would become disinterested and morale would swing back in favor of the Coalition. There were two problems with this perspective's rationalization: One, GOONS morale would not have changed as a result of this, we merely would've resumed our normal day to day activities in addition to ensuring that Coalition targets that did stray out of peace mode were dealt with summarily; two, the actions of the Coalition itself rendered this aspect of the strategy useless. After the initial declaration on NPO, the Coalition arranged for the 12 alliance blitz on GOONS. It was rather destructive, admittedly, and is the primary reason why we've lost so much nation strength in this war. The problem with this is that it automatically provided Doomhouse with a very target rich environment through which to express ourselves. The mass exodus to peace mode then gave us only the opportunity to stagger and engage at will any targets that we desired, even as we took significant, but not unrecoverable losses. With enemy forces split more or less half and half war and peace, our advantage of numbers in blitz attacks began to shine through drastically. What could have been done differently? Had NPO truly wanted to martyr itself in their "just defense" of themselves, it seems that they could have gone the full 9 yards. What would have happened, for example, if NPO had not called in allies, dropped into peace mode, and waited GOONS out? The conditions may have been about the same for surrender, but NPO may have preserved the moral high ground, and also gotten out of this war with the close of the VE-Polar front. In addition, they would not have cost their allies the reparations that they must pay now. The Coalition leadership's strategic blunders have costs these alliances billions in losses and reparations, while 99% of Legion's NS sits in peace mode, and a large percentage of NPO's does the same. This combined firepower and financial aid that was never implemented and never used would have been enough to ZI both GOONS and MK twice over, and although they would have lost the war in the end to Umbrella, the cost of victory would have been so great that we would have weakened Doomhouse on the inter-alliance stage significantly. This conclusion is one that I sincerely believe: The Hopeless Coalition's loss in this war is a device of their own making. Technical defeat was inevitable, but making it just as large a loss for Doomhouse as it was for them was a possibility, and they have unwittingly shirked it through a series of tactical and strategic blunders. New Pacific Order's megalomaniac tendencies are to assume that everything is about them and them alone, and their subsequent exodus to peace mode and lack of coordination with their allies was a costly mistake. Their reliance on their own relevance as a protection from harm and assurance of the moral right was fallacious, and this loss reflects poorly upon their ability, leadership, and diplomatic ties. Kyaris Commander, Squad S Company A
  14. The irony of this comment being that you quoted what the stated cause is while telling me that I do not know what the cause is. Because that's the cause. You quoted it.
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