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Meditations and musings: the dawn of a new philosophy, and utopian dreams.


Francesca
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Planet Bob is a turbulent and changing world. As a result, we have seen various different philosophies arise, as ways to direct (or, perhaps, describe) the way we play the game and/or run our alliances. Francoism and Voxism, to name two of the more widely known ones. I can identify with elements of both of these.

Francoism, as I understand it, involves placing value on authority and the need for a strong leader. It has connotations of honour (if we take honour to mean conventional play, e.g. Voxians were condemned and described as dishonourable for aid scamming and spying, which were unconventional) but it plays down the importance of friends > infra. I think that aspects of Francoism can provide an excellent model for an alliance. For example, Francoism is not democratic. Previously, I have been an extremely strong advocate of democracy, but over my two years or so at MCXA, I realised that democracy in Cyber Nations merely causes unwanted drama and internal problems. On the other hand, a dictatorship like that of the New Pacific Order minimises potential for internal conflict to occur.

This, of course, raises the question of the relationship between the government and the general membership. It is my belief that in an ideal alliance, there should be a bond of trust between the government and the general membership. The general membership should trust their government to make decisions that are in their interest, and the government should do so out of loyalty to their members. This is a philosophy in which genuine friendship between the government and the general membership is critical. It is impossible to achieve without high levels of activity from all involved, and therefore it is only likely to work in an elitist alliance. If successful, it creates unity in an alliance, and fosters loyalty. However, if it fails, and the government acts merely in its own interests, then it is the duty of the general membership to rise in rebellion, or to leave the alliance.

The original document on Voxism goes into a lot of technical detail on game mechanics. For example, it states that there is no objective regarding infrastructure levels, and therefore the accumulation of infrastructure does not provide sufficient meaning in this game. Therefore, as the document continues to describe, Voxists find meaning in conflict. Perhaps it is natural, given that such little value is placed on pixels, that friends > infra is inherent to this philosophy (note: there are echoes of this in Tygaism as well, but I will not delve into that here.) I strongly believe in friends > infra, but sometimes I think that does not go far enough, as I believe friends are the most important facet to this game. Rather, I believe in friends > all. Think about what that means for a minute. Does it mean friends > honour (once again, taking honour to mean conventional play?) If so, then f*ck your honour. In this last war, I aided a Pacifican nation, despite the fact that I was in the Viridian Entente, because she was about to go into bill-lock. Because my philosophy places such little emphasis on pixels, I was prepared to pay any amount of reparations to VE for my actions. If that is dishonourable, then I'm quite prepared to be labelled as such.

In true Hegelian style, I think the answer lies in a new philosophy: a synthesis between Francoism and Voxism, which out of honour to Gatherum, I will entitle Gatherism. For me, the best way to play the game is in a dictatorial alliance that has little internal conflict and has a strong friendship between the members, especially between the general membership and the government. As I have described, this set up fosters loyalty in the alliance. In an alliance like this, friends > all would be the dominant ethos, and because the members are friends with one another, the loyalty to your friends described in the paragraph on Voxism would translate to loyalty to your alliance. Of course, not all your friends are going to be in your alliance, in my case, sadly my friends are scattered all across the Cyberverse these days. Therefore, in an alliance like this it would not be considered unusual to hold very strong loyalties to individuals outside your alliance. The alliance as a whole would set clear objectives and struggle to achieve them, providing meaning to the game through conflict (conflict in this context being the struggle to achieve the objectives.)

Discuss.

Edited by Francesca
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Planet Bob is a turbulent and changing world. As a result, we have seen various different philosophies arise, as ways to direct (or, perhaps, describe) the way we play the game and/or run our alliances. Francoism and Voxism, to name two of the more widely known ones. I can identify with elements of both of these.

Francoism, as I understand it, involves placing value on authority and the need for a strong leader. It has connotations of honour (if we take honour to mean conventional play, e.g. Voxians were condemned and described as dishonourable for aid scamming and spying, which were unconventional) but it plays down the importance of friends > infra. I think that aspects of Francoism can provide an excellent model for an alliance. For example, Francoism is not democratic. Previously, I have been an extremely strong advocate of democracy, but over my two years or so at MCXA, I realised that democracy in Cyber Nations merely causes unwanted drama and internal problems. On the other hand, a dictatorship like that of the New Pacific Order minimises potential for internal conflict to occur.

This, of course, raises the question of the relationship between the government and the general membership. It is my belief that in an ideal alliance, there should be a bond of trust between the government and the general membership. The general membership should trust their government to make decisions that are in their interest, and the government should do so out of loyalty to their members. This is a philosophy in which genuine friendship between the government and the general membership is critical. It is impossible to achieve without high levels of activity from all involved, and therefore it is only likely to work in an elitist alliance. If successful, it creates unity in an alliance, and fosters loyalty. However, if it fails, and the government acts merely in its own interests, then it is the duty of the general membership to rise in rebellion, or to leave the alliance.

I'm anxious to learn more about how and why we are growing more comfortable with throwing this term of friendship around so carelessly and what I see as utterly thoughtlessly in this game.

How have we not lost sight of the game when we start making "real" friendship a rule for honorable fake-world game play?

I've met many people here I would consider real friends outside of this game, yet we still heartily oppose one another in-game and we still see each other as friends outside of the game. Unfortunately, not all understand how this can be possible, and some even sever those so-called "real" e-friendships over the same in-game disagreements others of us laugh off. Further, I know many of those I consider friends who still view me as a friend realize that we'd never contemplate allying with each other based on those friendships since we see this game as something to have fun with, not as something to use to measure how much we really like or respect each other outside of the game.

It is fine and it is great to make new friends here. But please think about just what you are doing when you look at those same new friends and judge them based on their in-GAME activities in a game that produces so much of its great fun from political intrigues and absolutely chilling and heartless military beatdowns...

We all have different things we want to get out of this game. Some want to amass infra or casualties for kicks, and there are others who don't care a whiff about those things since they see this as an excellent vehicle for learning about game-generated politics, real or fictitious. Others get their kicks out of role-playing characters, some for greater learning experiences about only admin knows what and there are others who play just for the heck of it.. or the "lulz." All are perfectly acceptable approaches, even though no one single player can subscribe to all at once.

This perhaps is where the first IC/OOC misunderstanding emerges. At the most basic IC level this means how you and I behave as players sitting before this game. Some refuse to make any such distinction that this is even a game (just look at the ever-repetitive cries that our wars have destroyed or will destroy RL communities, for one such nonsensical assertion). Others take the other extreme and refuse to take anything at all seriously (i.e. the pure lulz, mocking role-players, etc).

The original document on Voxism goes into a lot of technical detail on game mechanics. For example, it states that there is no objective regarding infrastructure levels, and therefore the accumulation of infrastructure does not provide sufficient meaning in this game. Therefore, as the document continues to describe, Voxists find meaning in conflict. Perhaps it is natural, given that such little value is placed on pixels, that friends > infra is inherent to this philosophy (note: there are echoes of this in Tygaism as well, but I will not delve into that here.) I strongly believe in friends > infra, but sometimes I think that does not go far enough, as I believe friends are the most important facet to this game. Rather, I believe in friends > all. Think about what that means for a minute. Does it mean friends > honour (once again, taking honour to mean conventional play?) If so, then f*ck your honour. In this last war, I aided a Pacifican nation, despite the fact that I was in the Viridian Entente, because she was about to go into bill-lock. Because my philosophy places such little emphasis on pixels, I was prepared to pay any amount of reparations to VE for my actions. If that is dishonourable, then I'm quite prepared to be labelled as such.

This misunderstanding of some of the current tensions explains a lot of things I've read from you recently IC and I hope in the discussions here and that follow you might see why.

In true Hegelian style, I think the answer lies in a new philosophy: a synthesis between Francoism and Voxism, which out of honour to Gatherum, I will entitle Gatherism. For me, the best way to play the game is in a dictatorial alliance that has little internal conflict and has a strong friendship between the members, especially between the general membership and the government. As I have described, this set up fosters loyalty in the alliance. In an alliance like this, friends > all would be the dominant ethos, and because the members are friends with one another, the loyalty to your friends described in the paragraph on Voxism would translate to loyalty to your alliance. Of course, not all your friends are going to be in your alliance, in my case, sadly my friends are scattered all across the Cyberverse these days.

This makes no sense at all as any type of community prescription. Why? While everyone is here for individual enjoyment, not everyone shares the same idea of what community enjoyment entails, especially when it comes to playing a game as a political or, as so many like to do here, as a "military" community.

The conventional wisdom on Planet Bob has been that democracies cannot work and only dictatorships can be effective. Why? Because people who don't know much about politics say so. I'd hope that by now most would realize just how incorrect this perception and prescription are. The most "successful" dictatorships that have survived here have done so by being dictatorships mostly in name only. Indeed, the most severe "dictatorships" that persist here behave much more like democracies internally. Albeit, a kool-aid drinking democracy that behaves like a dictatorship just like one with an apathetic and disengaged membership might in RL, but a democracy nonetheless.

Therefore, in an alliance like this it would not be considered unusual to hold very strong loyalties to individuals outside your alliance. The alliance as a whole would set clear objectives and struggle to achieve them, providing meaning to the game through conflict (conflict in this context being the struggle to achieve the objectives.)

This is almost a perfect prescription for real disappointments and hurt feelings, as well as many confused alliance members who cannot or claim it is impossible to distinguish between what is the game and what is "real." Further, by appealing only to friendships as a basis for allies, you are really setting yourself up for difficulties when in-character wars of principle are waged (wars over alliance spying, extortion, tech raiding, ZIing, etc.).

Finally, to try to counter balance my tone here, I am very thankful to you for sharing your thoughts like this, especially since you started this topic so open-minded or even open-heartedly.

These issues that you raise, particularly of alliance government and for what to fight certainly pertain to this current war and are not new to our little fictitious planet, yet they continue to persist, just boiling under the surface, never reaching any point of being readily identified or recognized, let alone addressed.

Edited by Geopet
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The whole idea of friends > infra has little to do with loyalty and everything to do with winning.

Anyone who's gone to public high school at some point in their lives understands all too well that isolating people and creating the 'everyone hates you' scenario is far worse than physical punishment. The public arena and the jostling for popularity is just as much a part of the warfare aspect of this game as is dropping nuclear weapons on someone.

Essentially the two tactics you describe both seek to achieve an end: isolate your opponent by threatening those who would stand up for them with a punishment. For NPO, our punishments were in-game attacks (physical repercussions), while for our opponents, it was ostracism (social repercussions).

As far as I am concerned, the 'clique' finally managed to isolate THEIR opponents sufficiently to establish their insufferable hegemony over the world. Thus proving social stigma and gang-mockery trumps ZI and curbstomps any day of the week.

You are attempting to create a qualitative moral value judgement under the mistaken assumption that one of these tactics inadvertently, rather than systematically, obliterated the other.

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I'm anxious to learn more about how and why we are growing more comfortable with throwing this term of friendship around so carelessly and what I see as utterly thoughtlessly in this game.

How have we not lost sight of the game when we start making "real" friendship a rule for honorable fake-world game play?

I don't really see why. Regardless, my friends are largely IC friends as well. I don't go from being friends with them OOC to detesting them IC.

We all have different things we want to get out of this game. Some want to amass infra or casualties for kicks, and there are others who don't care a whiff about those things since they see this as an excellent vehicle for learning about game-generated politics, real or fictitious. Others get their kicks out of role-playing characters, some for greater learning experiences about only admin knows what and there are others who play just for the heck of it.. or the "lulz." All are perfectly acceptable approaches, even though no one single player can subscribe to all at once.

Of course. They will have different philosophies to me. The philosophy described in this thread is merely an expression of the way I play, and I would not inflict that on others, but rather seek to provide a new outlook on the game in written form, to add to our diversity as a community.

This perhaps is where the first IC/OOC misunderstanding emerges. At the most basic IC level this means how you and I behave as players sitting before this game. Some refuse to make any such distinction that this is even a game (just look at the ever-repetitive cries that our wars have destroyed or will destroy RL communities, for one such nonsensical assertion). Others take the other extreme and refuse to take anything at all seriously (i.e. the pure lulz, mocking role-players, etc).

Firstly, I differentiate between IC and OOC. Secondly, the line is blurry, as much of our IC personality is sustained by our OOC personality. Finally, I don't quite understand the relevance of this particular section of your post.

This misunderstanding of some of the current tensions explains a lot of things I've read from you recently IC and I hope in the discussions here and that follow you might see why.

But that section of my post was unrelated to recent tensions. But I'm curious, what posts are you referring to, IC?

This makes no sense at all as any type of community prescription. Why? While everyone is here for individual enjoyment, not everyone shares the same idea of what community enjoyment entails, especially when it comes to playing a game as a political or, as so many like to do here, as a "military" community.

And so they don't need to join the alliance described, they can go elsewhere.

The conventional wisdom on Planet Bob has been that democracies cannot work and only dictatorships can be effective. Why? Because people who don't know much about politics say so.

Do you intend this as an ad hominem?

I'd hope that by now most would realize just how incorrect this perception and prescription are. The most "successful" dictatorships that have survived here have done so by being dictatorships mostly in name only. Indeed, the most severe "dictatorships" that persist here behave much more like democracies internally. Albeit, a kool-aid drinking democracy that behaves like a dictatorship just like one with an apathetic and disengaged one would in RL, but a democracy nonetheless.

What alliances are you referring to specifically? NPO, the example I provided, has a charter that clearly outlines that it is a dictatorship. It has a position called an imperial councillor that is elected, but nobody higher up in the structure.

This is almost a perfect prescription for real disappointments and hurt feelings, as well as many confused alliance members who cannot or claim it is impossible to distinguish between what is the game and what is "real."

That is not the case, if you are friends with them IC.

Further, by appealing only to friendships as a basis for allies, you are really setting yourself up for difficulties when in-character wars of principle are waged (wars over alliance spying, extortion, tech raiding, ZIing, etc.).

I think with morality that there are a large number of rules, and that these can sometimes be conflicting. Therefore, although I place a lot of value on supporting my friends, I wouldn't fail to take other ethical rules into consideration.

Finally, to try to counter balance my tone here, I am very thankful to you for sharing your thoughts like this, especially since you started this topic so open-minded or even open-heartedly.

These issues that you raise, particularly of alliance government and for what to fight certainly pertain to this current war and are not new to our little fictitious planet, yet they continue to persist, just boiling under the surface, never reaching any point of being readily identified or recognized, let alone addressed.

Why, thank you. I am grateful that you put so much thought into your response.

Edited by Francesca
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The whole idea of friends > infra has little to do with loyalty and everything to do with winning.

Anyone who's gone to public high school at some point in their lives understands all too well that isolating people and creating the 'everyone hates you' scenario is far worse than physical punishment. The public arena and the jostling for popularity is just as much a part of the warfare aspect of this game as is dropping nuclear weapons on someone.

Essentially the two tactics you describe both seek to achieve an end: isolate your opponent by threatening those who would stand up for them with a punishment. For NPO, our punishments were in-game attacks (physical repercussions), while for our opponents, it was ostracism (social repercussions).

Ah, a cynic! The thing is, I don't stand by my friends because of political reparations if I do not. I think that people believe in friends > infra for a variety of different reasons, and I personally because that is what my conscience dictates. I don't see friends > infra as a tactic to gaining dominance or anything else.

As far as I am concerned, the 'clique' finally managed to isolate THEIR opponents sufficiently to establish their insufferable hegemony over the world.

Karma will shatter into civil war soon, for a number of reasons, not the least of which are the ideological differences between different factions within Karma. Therefore they won't just replace the hegemony as it once was.

Thus proving social stigma and gang-mockery trumps ZI and curbstomps any day of the week.

I think it depends who you are referring to. For me, certainly, isolation from my friends would hurt far more than a ZI.

You are attempting to create a qualitative moral value judgement under the mistaken assumption that one of these tactics inadvertently, rather than systematically, obliterated the other.

I don't quite understand you.

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Wow a post with content, nice.

It has connotations of honour (if we take honour to mean conventional play, e.g. Voxians were condemned and described as dishonourable for aid scamming and spying, which were unconventional) but it plays down the importance of friends > infra.

I think here I take strong objection to how you say this - honor is completely defined by those in power with respect to this game. A quote I had in my sig from just over a year ago I think sums this up perfectly:

Because it's only unjust when it's happening to you, otherwise it's just part of the game.
This, of course, raises the question of the relationship between the government and the general membership. It is my belief that in an ideal alliance, there should be a bond of trust between the government and the general membership. The general membership should trust their government to make decisions that are in their interest, and the government should do so out of loyalty to their members. This is a philosophy in which genuine friendship between the government and the general membership is critical. It is impossible to achieve without high levels of activity from all involved, and therefore it is only likely to work in an elitist alliance. If successful, it creates unity in an alliance, and fosters loyalty. However, if it fails, and the government acts merely in its own interests, then it is the duty of the general membership to rise in rebellion, or to leave the alliance.

This method of thinking is only relevant if an alliance has no community basis; ie if people enjoy being part of the community the trust comes naturally. However when alliances no longer have community there needs to be a concentrated effort made to have trust created.

Does it mean friends > honour (once again, taking honour to mean conventional play?) If so, then f*ck your honour. In this last war, I aided a Pacifican nation, despite the fact that I was in the Viridian Entente, because she was about to go into bill-lock. Because my philosophy places such little emphasis on pixels, I was prepared to pay any amount of reparations to VE for my actions. If that is dishonourable, then I'm quite prepared to be labelled as such.

The central problem I have with this complete method of thinking is that people, such as yourself, who act purely out of what they feel is right, are quite unpredictable. I can generally predict what the NPO will do because their motivations are quite clear. However with someone who feels that they can do whatever they want in the name of "friends" or what not it becomes much more difficult, and as such, I tend to not want to associate myself with that sort of person. I have (as government) no way of knowing when this person will randomly go off and do something to endanger the alliance of Kronos (in my case) for the sake of something that they hold higher.

In my experience a true alliance community will have members whose first loyalty is to their relationships within the alliance, either to the alliance or to its members. Having mixed loyalties just spells disaster.

Therefore, in an alliance like this it would not be considered unusual to hold very strong loyalties to individuals outside your alliance. The alliance as a whole would set clear objectives and struggle to achieve them, providing meaning to the game through conflict (conflict in this context being the struggle to achieve the objectives.)

An organization cannot be called an alliance if the primary loyalty of its members is not the alliance itself. Perhaps call it a confederation, or alliance (in the truest sense of the word, and not the "CN meaning" of alliance), but it will not be a true CN alliance.

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I think here I take strong objection to how you say this - honor is completely defined by those in power with respect to this game. A quote I had in my sig from just over a year ago I think sums this up perfectly:

I would have to disagree with you here. Before NPO's fall in this war, there were individuals and alliances who were opposed to NPO, who had little power, who had strong viewpoints on what constituted honour.

This method of thinking is only relevant if an alliance has no community basis; ie if people enjoy being part of the community the trust comes naturally. However when alliances no longer have community there needs to be a concentrated effort made to have trust created.

It gets harder as alliances get larger, I think. But really, I enjoyed being part of MCXA, and trust did not come naturally there.

The central problem I have with this complete method of thinking is that people, such as yourself, who act purely out of what they feel is right, are quite unpredictable. I can generally predict what the NPO will do because their motivations are quite clear. However with someone who feels that they can do whatever they want in the name of "friends" or what not it becomes much more difficult, and as such, I tend to not want to associate myself with that sort of person. I have (as government) no way of knowing when this person will randomly go off and do something to endanger the alliance of Kronos (in my case) for the sake of something that they hold higher.

People who unfailingly adhere to their own morality are actually extremely predictable, as they do not compromise. You just have to understand their morality first, which can often be difficult.

In my experience a true alliance community will have members whose first loyalty is to their relationships within the alliance, either to the alliance or to its members. Having mixed loyalties just spells disaster.

It is a question of balance, but I believe my post covered this, as it describes how the community that compromises the alliance are actually friends with one another. Therefore, the goals of the people who care most about the alliance, and the goals of people who care most about their friends, are the same.

An organization cannot be called an alliance if the primary loyalty of its members is not the alliance itself. Perhaps call it a confederation, or alliance (in the truest sense of the word, and not the "CN meaning" of alliance), but it will not be a true CN alliance.

See above.

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I would have to disagree with you here. Before NPO's fall in this war, there were individuals and alliances who were opposed to NPO, who had little power, who had strong viewpoints on what constituted honour.

The changing of the worlds regard of PZI and EZI is not an interesting timing to you? It became dishonorable planet wide as soon as it was no longer publicly convenient to do so.

It gets harder as alliances get larger, I think. But really, I enjoyed being part of MCXA, and trust did not come naturally there.

The more members, yes, it is harder, but many alliances are set up in the "we want stats" style of operation, where a new member is a seen as more NS/nation count/nukes etc, and not as a new member.

People who unfailingly adhere to their own morality are actually extremely predictable, as they do not compromise. You just have to understand their morality first, which can often be difficult.

Considering that their own morality is defined by them, as they choose, yes it is difficult ;)

It is a question of balance, but I believe my post covered this, as it describes how the community that compromises the alliance are actually friends with one another. Therefore, the goals of the people who care most about the alliance, and the goals of people who care most about their friends, are the same.

why not make a new alliance then with everyone in it? It seems silly that you would have such a strong friendship basis that goes above alliance lines (as I understand, based on your above example) and choose to stay in alliances apart from those people.

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The changing of the worlds regard of PZI and EZI is not an interesting timing to you? It became dishonorable planet wide as soon as it was no longer publicly convenient to do so.

I don't think NPO changed its viewpoint on PZI and EZI. I think it merely removed those practices for the PR, and also because it wanted some sort of defence for when Karma started crying for the PZI of NPO's leaders (on a sidenote, I made a thread some time ago about sentencing NPO's leadership to EZI, because I swore to oppose EZI regardless of whether it was applied to my friends or my enemies. But perhaps that is off-topic.)

The more members, yes, it is harder, but many alliances are set up in the "we want stats" style of operation, where a new member is a seen as more NS/nation count/nukes etc, and not as a new member.

Interestingly, alliances that are set up like this inevitably fall, like MCXA. I think one of the reasons NPO has remained in power for so long is the obvious camaraderie and genuine friendship between their members, even to an outsider and "enemy" like myself.

Considering that their own morality is defined by them, as they choose, yes it is difficult ;)

Not necessarily, as their morality may be rather simplistic. However, sometimes it may take a query on IRC and a minute or two of your time to fully understand someone's position.

why not make a new alliance then with everyone in it? It seems silly that you would have such a strong friendship basis that goes above alliance lines (as I understand, based on your above example) and choose to stay in alliances apart from those people.

Not all of them want to leave their alliances. Regardless, I love many members of FIRE.

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I don't really see why. Regardless, my friends are largely IC friends as well. I don't go from being friends with them OOC to detesting them IC.

When I play chess or Risk or [name your strategy game here] with someone I see them as my foe, as the person or persons I want to beat or best, no matter if that person is my best friend or those persons are family members sitting at the dining room table. When I see that this is seen as unusual, strange or even unwelcome here, I question our community.

Of course. They will have different philosophies to me. The philosophy described in this thread is merely an expression of the way I play, and I would not inflict that on others, but rather seek to provide a new outlook on the game in written form, to add to our diversity as a community.

Well, good luck bucking the trend. The dictatorship you described, imposed on the real friends you claim, will end poorly, OOC if not also IC. I've seen it happen in every sanctioned alliance with a dictatorship.

Firstly, I differentiate between IC and OOC. Secondly, the line is blurry, as much of our IC personality is sustained by our OOC personality. Finally, I don't quite understand the relevance of this particular section of your post.

The fact that our characters necessarily have many of our real life personality traits does not blur the IC/OOC line unless we allow it to, curiously enough, by claiming there is a blurred line. Either you are playing a game here with only in-game consequences or, as James Dahl put it, you are playing a RL popularity contest. Seems pretty clear cut to me, as well of a large part of what (anecdotally) led to the downfall of WUT, as well as tC.

But that section of my post was unrelated to recent tensions. But I'm curious, what posts are you referring to, IC?

Mostly posts like this one, casting a wide net of distrust on the masses in favor of dictatorship.

And so they don't need to join the alliance described, they can go elsewhere.

Indeed, but what alliance have you described to them? An alliance of friends or an alliance where everyone must agree with the dictator?

Do you intend this as an ad hominem?

If saying those who claim dictatorship works better than democracy in cyber nations don't know much about politics is an ad hominem attack, then yes.

What alliances are you referring to specifically? NPO, the example I provided, has a charter that clearly outlines that it is a dictatorship. It has a position called an imperial councillor that is elected, but nobody higher up in the structure.

I was referring specifically to the NPO.

That is not the case, if you are friends with them IC.

I think over time you will see this is precisely the case, but this is something I cannot show you, you will witness it yourself.

I think with morality that there are a large number of rules, and that these can sometimes be conflicting. Therefore, although I place a lot of value on supporting my friends, I wouldn't fail to take other ethical rules into consideration.

Good to hear and good luck again :)

Why, thank you. I am grateful that you put so much thought into your response.

And I to you. :)

Edited by Geopet
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When I play chess or Risk or [name your strategy game here] with someone I see them as my foe, as the person or persons I want to beat or best, no matter if that person is my best friend or those persons are family members sitting at the dining room table. When I see that this is seen as unusual, strange or even unwelcome here, I question our community.

Oh yes, friendly rivalry is fine. The thing is, often you see examples of people on CN who truly hate one another. I do not generally go from liking someone OOC to detesting them IC.

Well, good luck bucking the trend. The dictatorship you described, imposed on the real friends you claim, will end poorly, OOC if not also IC. I've seen it happen in every sanctioned alliance with a dictatorship.

I don't really intend to change the way people play, but rather to provide my views on another philosophy that people may choose to adhere to. Also, I don't think that you necessarily know how the sort of alliance I am describing would work out, because it hasn't really been tried before. And finally, as I pointed out, look how the democratic sanctioned alliances like GATO and MCXA turned out.

The fact that our characters necessarily have many of our real life personality traits does not blur the IC/OOC line unless we allow it to, curiously enough, by claiming there is a blurred line. Either you are playing a game here with only in-game consequences or, as James Dahl put it, you are playing a RL popularity contest. Seems pretty clear cut to me, as well of a large part of what (anecdotally) led to the downfall of WUT, as well as tC.

If I wanted popularity, I'd start acting in a way that most people believe is "honourable." I think it is fair to say that I don't play this game the way most people do.

Indeed, but what alliance have you described to them? An alliance of friends or an alliance where everyone must agree with the dictator?

Who said anything about forcing them to agree with the government on everything?

If saying those who claim dictatorship works better than democracy in cyber nations don't know much about politics is an ad hominem attack, then yes.

No, I merely interpreted your statement that people who disagree with you on democracy do not know much about CN politics as an ad hominem, as I think we disagree quite a lot on democracy.

I think over time you will see this is precisely the case, but this is something I cannot show you, you will witness it yourself.

Viewpoints do indeed change over time, with experience, just as my viewpoints on democracy have changed due to what I saw happen to my beloved MCXA. But we'll see. For now, mine remains unchanged on this issue.

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Francesca, your points make sense on the surface but only because you misunderstand the nature of CN. Fact is all these words and terms you and so many others like to talk about, "Francoism", "Voxism", "Friends>Infra", "Honor", "Gatherism", "Tygaism", etc. are just labels and have absolutely zero meaning beyond what people give them. Yet here they are each given a streignth of their own and taken to be legitimate philosophies with great meanings. Francoism was really just something for NPO to use to claim moral superiority, what it actually said was and is irrelevant. It just allowed NPO to claim some guiding principles, and justify the way they played. Voxism is the same, Vopx Populi were smart revolutionaries and knew they couldn't win under the Polar banner, or through their fight. They had to invent an ideology they could claim, so Voxism was born, just like Francoism an ideology of convenience, something written purely to justify their actions and give them something to rally behind.

Friends>Infra is the same thing, it's a truism of course after all everyone would fight for their true friends. But it was used to shame others into war, James Dahl is entirely correct on this account. No doubt I would go to ZI for my friends, and I don't need a stupid slogan to tell me to. Plenty of hegemony nations in NPO, TPF, and Echelon have gone to ZI fo their friends without a stupid slogan coined by their side.

In this game there is one thing I truly hate, and that is alliances who think too much of themselves, and are so sure of their own rightness they can't see past their own navel. This applies solidly to both NPO and Vox Populi, inventing ideologies is a clear sign of megalomania, and does nothing but cloud this game further. So to correct this I have a proposal...

The three tenets of "ncism".

1) Everything is a lie until proven otherwise, (yes that includes ncism).

2) Even when proven true it almost certainly meant to confuse you or lead you down a path where you are serving someone else.

3) Trust is a mistake, everyone has their own best interests at heart, not yours, so distrust them even when you do trust your friends completely they are usually under the sway of an untrustworthy third party.

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Planet Bob is a turbulent and changing world. As a result, we have seen various different philosophies arise, as ways to direct (or, perhaps, describe) the way we play the game and/or run our alliances. Francoism and Voxism, to name two of the more widely known ones. I can identify with elements of both of these.

Francoism, as I understand it, involves placing value on authority and the need for a strong leader. It has connotations of honour (if we take honour to mean conventional play, e.g. Voxians were condemned and described as dishonourable for aid scamming and spying, which were unconventional) but it plays down the importance of friends > infra. I think that aspects of Francoism can provide an excellent model for an alliance. For example, Francoism is not democratic. Previously, I have been an extremely strong advocate of democracy, but over my two years or so at MCXA, I realised that democracy in Cyber Nations merely causes unwanted drama and internal problems. On the other hand, a dictatorship like that of the New Pacific Order minimises potential for internal conflict to occur.

This, of course, raises the question of the relationship between the government and the general membership. It is my belief that in an ideal alliance, there should be a bond of trust between the government and the general membership. The general membership should trust their government to make decisions that are in their interest, and the government should do so out of loyalty to their members. This is a philosophy in which genuine friendship between the government and the general membership is critical. It is impossible to achieve without high levels of activity from all involved, and therefore it is only likely to work in an elitist alliance. If successful, it creates unity in an alliance, and fosters loyalty. However, if it fails, and the government acts merely in its own interests, then it is the duty of the general membership to rise in rebellion, or to leave the alliance.

The original document on Voxism goes into a lot of technical detail on game mechanics. For example, it states that there is no objective regarding infrastructure levels, and therefore the accumulation of infrastructure does not provide sufficient meaning in this game. Therefore, as the document continues to describe, Voxists find meaning in conflict. Perhaps it is natural, given that such little value is placed on pixels, that friends > infra is inherent to this philosophy (note: there are echoes of this in Tygaism as well, but I will not delve into that here.) I strongly believe in friends > infra, but sometimes I think that does not go far enough, as I believe friends are the most important facet to this game. Rather, I believe in friends > all. Think about what that means for a minute. Does it mean friends > honour (once again, taking honour to mean conventional play?) If so, then f*ck your honour. In this last war, I aided a Pacifican nation, despite the fact that I was in the Viridian Entente, because she was about to go into bill-lock. Because my philosophy places such little emphasis on pixels, I was prepared to pay any amount of reparations to VE for my actions. If that is dishonourable, then I'm quite prepared to be labelled as such.

In true Hegelian style, I think the answer lies in a new philosophy: a synthesis between Francoism and Voxism, which out of honour to Gatherum, I will entitle Gatherism. For me, the best way to play the game is in a dictatorial alliance that has little internal conflict and has a strong friendship between the members, especially between the general membership and the government. As I have described, this set up fosters loyalty in the alliance. In an alliance like this, friends > all would be the dominant ethos, and because the members are friends with one another, the loyalty to your friends described in the paragraph on Voxism would translate to loyalty to your alliance. Of course, not all your friends are going to be in your alliance, in my case, sadly my friends are scattered all across the Cyberverse these days. Therefore, in an alliance like this it would not be considered unusual to hold very strong loyalties to individuals outside your alliance. The alliance as a whole would set clear objectives and struggle to achieve them, providing meaning to the game through conflict (conflict in this context being the struggle to achieve the objectives.)

Discuss.

I've never really had the time or put the effort into political theorizing about cyber-nations but I've always found all the ideologies mentioned nothing more than justifications for actions, as another poster mentioned previously. They were all invented after the act itself, as ways of justifying different groups and their methods. I think that Friends > infra is similar to this really, at least in the way it's been adopted by Karma, who throughout the war have insisted only those with treaty commitments can be involved in their side.

I'm fascinated that you are attempting to use a Hegelian method. I'm not an expert, but isn't the basis of that method the view of something (cybernations I suppose) as a totality? And the contradictions inherent in that totality that eventually lead to their resolution via the transformation of the totality? I don't think that the Hegelian method is simply a synthesizing of ideas.

I'm not really up to doing so in this post, but I think you'd have to view cybernations from differing perspectives and attempt to conceive of an ideology which encompasses a dialectical method. To be honest, I imagine those most likely to provide an incisive view of the "reality" of cybernations would be the non-aligned, who I imagine have the smallest stake in the political/alliance system of any nation in cybernations.

Your post is shamelessly partisan in being about "your" perfect alliance. You even refer to personal experience rather than world wide events as being the inspiration of what you term Gatherism. The example that you gave about you being willing to aid someone on the other side of the war seems more like individualistic yearnings than a good reason to establish a dictatorship over your friends. On one hand you suggest that individual freedoms, even to the detriment of others in your collective, are what exemplifies your ideology, and on the other, you support tight control over alliances. A rather contradictory opinion I would imagine.

If indeed, you set up an alliance based on strong loyalty between members (a basis you desire to be grounded in affection), then why not ensure these people are active? If they are active members then surely a democracy is preferable to a tightly controlled alliance? Your experience in MCXA was that due to there being a huge mass of disaffected nations who were inactive, the leaders were able to lead the alliance to ruin. How on earth is that an example of anything other than a condemnation of unaccountable leaders? That the leaders of MCXA were barely accountable as most nations did not follow political developments does not mean that they should have banned elections, which according to your view, was the answer.

In fact the logical conclusion from that experience is to ensure the best, constant, communication between the leaders and the base of the organization, as the basis for any successful democracy. Only an active membership can ever actually create a successful democracy, but even a faulty democracy would have been better than a functioning dictatorship.

I think that there's probably a link between your idealization of limitless individual power and limitless sovereign power. It's almost a mirror image of (the decidedly un-Hegelian) Bakunin's plan to smash all authority by establishing a secret invisible dictatorship led by himself- as I imagine you have foreseen yourself being a leader of this alliance?

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I like this. Good read Fran. :)

I do have one problem and that is the definition of honor, the way you are describing it. To me honor would be honoring your treaties with allies, in effect sticking with them in the toughest of times, therefore encompassing friends > pixels.

What would you catagorize as dictatorial? A triumvirate, a council, or only one supreme leader? The citadel alliances all have one of these kinds of governments and they are elitist alliances i think you were describing.

Also the Gatherism you're describing sounds very much like it is present in Bushido since we have one supreme ruler, are very active and are very loyal to one another; just thought I'd throw that out there.

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For NPO, our punishments were in-game attacks (physical repercussions), while for our opponents, it was ostracism (social repercussions).

As far as I am concerned, the 'clique' finally managed to isolate THEIR opponents sufficiently to establish their insufferable hegemony over the world. Thus proving social stigma and gang-mockery trumps ZI and curbstomps any day of the week.

Ahahahaha, wow, you are clueless.

Particularly during the first half of 2008, I remember MK on the receiving end of a lot of abuse from Continuum aligned alliances - I remember at least one member getting kicked out to appease your leaders for merely posting anti-NPO stuff, the pressure of you constantly watching over our shoulders for any small slip up grated so much as to drive many good members away (though thankfully several of them have returned since this war began), we were blacklisted from signing any treaties with anybody remotely in NPO's sphere of influence (which, mind you, covered every alliance with any political power worth speaking of), and, if I recall correctly, you had us convinced we had such a target on our backs that we began a policy of not offering treaties to anybody on the assumption that any alliance that treatied us would die too, and that that was not a proper thing to ask somebody to do.

And then of course there's the isolation of NpO, which has been widely acknowledged to have begun with gossip in back channels to turn people against them (though, luckily for them, they had a strong core of allies so being hated by the Continuum and their sphere didn't leave them totally alone and allowed them to have quite a racket on the forums defending them). I also remember, before they got rolled, GATO had very little presence on these forums, because when they did pop out, they tended to be !@#$ on immediately by NPO and any of their cronies who wanted brownie points.

So shut the hell up about your oh so bad "social isolation". You have it good. Even the remnants of the Continuum and their allies represented a huge force (albeit not one large enough to win this war), and many of those alliances still have a fairly active pro-NPO forum presence in spite of the dissolution of your treaties.

I know it's not always fun being on the bottom, but good god, compared to some people who've been on the wrong side of the NPO, you have it easy. I'm sure there's plenty of other examples I didn't even mention, and NPO have typically played themselves as the bad guys to boot. You have no right to !@#$%*.

(fake edit: sorry for the derail guys, I started typing and it became a wall of text and I didn't want to delete it)

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Ahahahaha, wow, you are clueless.

Particularly during the first half of 2008, I remember MK on the receiving end of a lot of abuse from Continuum aligned alliances - I remember at least one member getting kicked out to appease your leaders for merely posting anti-NPO stuff, the pressure of you constantly watching over our shoulders for any small slip up grated so much as to drive many good members away (though thankfully several of them have returned since this war began), we were blacklisted from signing any treaties with anybody remotely in NPO's sphere of influence (which, mind you, covered every alliance with any political power worth speaking of), and, if I recall correctly, you had us convinced we had such a target on our backs that we began a policy of not offering treaties to anybody on the assumption that any alliance that treatied us would die too, and that that was not a proper thing to ask somebody to do.

And then of course there's the isolation of NpO, which has been widely acknowledged to have begun with gossip in back channels to turn people against them (though, luckily for them, they had a strong core of allies so being hated by the Continuum and their sphere didn't leave them totally alone and allowed them to have quite a racket on the forums defending them). I also remember, before they got rolled, GATO had very little presence on these forums, because when they did pop out, they tended to be !@#$ on immediately by NPO and any of their cronies who wanted brownie points.

So shut the hell up about your oh so bad "social isolation". You have it good. Even the remnants of the Continuum and their allies represented a huge force (albeit not one large enough to win this war), and many of those alliances still have a fairly active pro-NPO forum presence in spite of the dissolution of your treaties.

I know it's not always fun being on the bottom, but good god, compared to some people who've been on the wrong side of the NPO, you have it easy. I'm sure there's plenty of other examples I didn't even mention, and NPO have typically played themselves as the bad guys to boot. You have no right to !@#$%*.

(fake edit: sorry for the derail guys, I started typing and it became a wall of text and I didn't want to delete it)

Ok so let me get this straight, you start off saying how I am laughably wrong, then explain in detail exactly what I just said (that we used physical force to isolate our opponents, and that your alliance ended its isolation and turned the tables through social force). The fact that you do not like the implications of this, and I don't blame you as it seems most of the world hasn't figured this out yet, is hardly my problem is it?

Your whining about how you can't translate this social force into doing the same sort of oppression against us is simply the limits of social force, you cannot use it effectively in a vindictive fasion, as social force is fickle. NPO lost our social force through using it vindictively, and it seems C&G is making largely the same mistake. Physical force has its limitations as well, as we sadly discovered, but that is our problem.

The height of NPO's power was when the Initiative monopolized both the Physical and Social power structures. Considering everything, I would say the social force was the stronger, if less reliable, of the two, and that we lost this power slowly but surely since GW3.

Edited by James Dahl
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Francesca, your points make sense on the surface but only because you misunderstand the nature of CN. Fact is all these words and terms you and so many others like to talk about, "Francoism", "Voxism", "Friends>Infra", "Honor", "Gatherism", "Tygaism", etc. are just labels and have absolutely zero meaning beyond what people give them. Yet here they are each given a streignth of their own and taken to be legitimate philosophies with great meanings. Francoism was really just something for NPO to use to claim moral superiority, what it actually said was and is irrelevant. It just allowed NPO to claim some guiding principles, and justify the way they played. Voxism is the same, Vopx Populi were smart revolutionaries and knew they couldn't win under the Polar banner, or through their fight. They had to invent an ideology they could claim, so Voxism was born, just like Francoism an ideology of convenience, something written purely to justify their actions and give them something to rally behind.

It doesn't really matter the motivations for inventing these ideologies, as I am addressing the contents of the philosophies directly. But, to detract from the original topic for a moment, I think that these philosophies add depth and interest to the game, so I don't really give a damn about the reasons why they were invented.

I don't really have anything to say regarding the rest of your post.

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I'm fascinated that you are attempting to use a Hegelian method. I'm not an expert, but isn't the basis of that method the view of something (cybernations I suppose) as a totality? And the contradictions inherent in that totality that eventually lead to their resolution via the transformation of the totality? I don't think that the Hegelian method is simply a synthesizing of ideas.

Hegel's methodology of synthesis involves a basic statement (or thesis), examining its antithesis, and forming a synthesis between them in an attempt to come to a greater understanding of the ideas involved. The synthesis then becomes the new thesis.

Your post is shamelessly partisan in being about "your" perfect alliance. You even refer to personal experience rather than world wide events as being the inspiration of what you term Gatherism. The example that you gave about you being willing to aid someone on the other side of the war seems more like individualistic yearnings than a good reason to establish a dictatorship over your friends. On one hand you suggest that individual freedoms, even to the detriment of others in your collective, are what exemplifies your ideology, and on the other, you support tight control over alliances. A rather contradictory opinion I would imagine.

You're right about that, it's shamelessly partisan, and I see nothing wrong with that. I think you misunderstand the relationship between the examples I provided- aiding the person on the other side of the war had little to do with the dictatorship aspect of this philosophy.

If indeed, you set up an alliance based on strong loyalty between members (a basis you desire to be grounded in affection), then why not ensure these people are active? If they are active members then surely a democracy is preferable to a tightly controlled alliance? Your experience in MCXA was that due to there being a huge mass of disaffected nations who were inactive, the leaders were able to lead the alliance to ruin. How on earth is that an example of anything other than a condemnation of unaccountable leaders? That the leaders of MCXA were barely accountable as most nations did not follow political developments does not mean that they should have banned elections, which according to your view, was the answer.

This is incorrect, as democracy encourages internal conflict simply through clashes between active members, and rivalry between different factions. Democracy does not encourage unity.

a faulty democracy would have been better than a functioning dictatorship.

I think that is a matter of your opinion.

I think that there's probably a link between your idealization of limitless individual power and limitless sovereign power. It's almost a mirror image of (the decidedly un-Hegelian) Bakunin's plan to smash all authority by establishing a secret invisible dictatorship led by himself- as I imagine you have foreseen yourself being a leader of this alliance?

Indeed not. I could care less about being the Queen of this alliance, I'm not even sure I'd be the best person for the job at the moment, as I'm still getting experience as a Minister of Foreign Affairs before I progress to become the absolute leader of anything.

This is ridiculous.

How do you make a Vox/Franco hybrid by simply reiterating Voxism?

Vox was originally an anarchistic alliance, which progressed to a democracy with a Vox Dei and a senate. It was nothing like the structure described in my post.

Edited by Francesca
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I greatly enjoyed this read, though that is to be expected when Francesca posts :)

In my personal opinion, the most important asset an alliance can have is a free press. Accurate reporting leads to accountability, essential for morale and self-betterment.

Whether it has a strong autocratic leader or a democracy is secondary to a free press in my opinion.

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Vox was originally an anarchistic alliance, which progressed to a democracy with a Vox Dei and a senate. It was nothing like the structure described in my post.

You mean a structure run by a leader who was not elected, with members who have an almost fanatical devotion to alliance and cause?

Do your research.

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