EP1: The Search for Bias

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EP1: The Search for Bias

With the excitement surrounding Eclipse Phase Second Edition and the the discussions thereof, I wanted to take one more look at First Edition. Specifically, the supposed pro-Anarchist bias that keeps getting brought up. So I decided to calculate it just to be sure. I re-read the first 111 pages of EP 1sted. 4thpr, and noted every instance where that bias could be implied or inferred, as well as instances that countervailed such perceptions. I estimate this to be a reasonable scope, as later books were able to dedicate more space to nuance and counterpoints than the core book.

These evaluations are my opinion, of course, but I'm comfortable discussing or justifying any of the values I've noted below.

Biases are rated out of 3. "Pro" arguments support a balanced view, whereas "con" arguments propose bias.

(Conclusion at the bottom of this post)

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1/53

Quote:
p18 Enter The Singularity: We still survive, divided into a patchwork of restrictive inner system hypercorp-backed oligarchies and libertarian outer system collectivist habitats, tribal networks, and new experimental societal models.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The word libertarian here might have been mistaken as an appropriation of the Libertarian movement, a darling of American-style right-wingers.
Bias: 1

2/53

Quote:
p.28 Welcome to Firewall
p.29 What You Really Need to Know

Pro: I love this example of grey-on-grey morality. Excellent implementation of the unreliable narrator. A little obvious when re-read, but makes a great dramatic impact the first time you read it.
Con: The mention of "overcoming petty tribal bullshit" could be seen by some as an anti-corp inclination.
Bias: 0

3/53

Quote:
p.32 A People's History of an Unfortunate Universe

Pro: Obvious unreliable narrator, and eminently thematic, given that rep economies are a large factor in the setting (let alone in modern-day futurology).
Con: Major expository section of the book portrays an anti-corp perspective.
Bias: 2

4/53

Quote:
p.55 Politics and Power:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
In the aftermath of the Fall, the hypercorps established three important goals: rebuilding the solar system, protecting themselves from any further attacks (either by the TITANs or any other threats), and growing in both wealth and power. The hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium are exceedingly skilled at attaining all of these goals. Since popular rebellion and widespread dissent complicate these interests, the hypercorps are also adept at making certain the inhabitants of the habitats and planetary settlements they control are safe, relatively content, and, ideally, unable to cause serious problems. By extension, the second goal means they also help protect the surviving transhuman population against any repeat of the Fall. As the largest and most well-organized entities in the solar system, the Planetary Consortium and other inner-system governments are in an excellent position to protect the people living in their habitats and settlements. This protection, however, comes at the price of freedom.

Pro: The corps are recognised for their struggle against the TITANs and the development of habs.
Con: Corp-friendly types might object to the corps being portrayed as exploiting the situation.
Bias: -1

5/53

Quote:
The Planetary Consortium is the only major non-local political entity in the solar system (with the possible exception of the Autonomist Alliance, which is more of a mutual aid pact than a unified polity).

Pro: Here, the PC is described as more significant than the AA, and more unified.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1

6/53

Quote:
p57 Libertarian and Utopian:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The more radical of these elements grew out of or maintained ties to progressive, anti-authoritarian, and left-wing social movements and insurgencies on Earth, drawing support where they could. Others simply stole hypercorp resources from the inner system and smuggled them to their secret projects. In a few cases, entire ships or stations mutinied, refusing corporate orders and pursuing their own path. It was rarely feasible for the hypercorps to pursue and punish such subversion. Even among these radicals, differences existed, so that those adhering to similar sociopolitical tendencies tended to group together. Over time these have developed into four rough groupings: the anarchists of Locus, the technosocialists of Titan, the anarcho-capitalists and mutualists of Extropia, and the nomadic free-for-all societies of the individualist scum. These factions form a loose alliance, a united front against the hypercorps and Jovian Republic—or as they call it, the Jovian Junta—and a pact for mutual aid and support, known as the Autonomist Alliance.

Pro: Straight-forward exposition.
Con: First instance of the term 'Junta'. "Utopian" could be interpreted as either "seeking utopia" or "are utopian".
Bias: 1

7/53

Quote:
p.58 Keeping the Peace

As a result, standards of justice vary widely from the oppressive police state of the Jovian Junta to the free market judicial courts of the Extropians in the belt to the community justice policies of the anarchists out beyond Saturn.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Jovian Junta described as oppressive.
Bias: 3

8/53

Quote:
p.60 Punishment

Punishments are even more draconic in the Jovian Republic, where permanent execution and the destruction of all backups is the most common punishment for serious crimes against the leaders or large groups of the populace.

Pro: Use of an arguably-legitimate form of legal sanction.
Con: Mention of 'serious crimes against the leaders' reflects some oppressive/militant societies such as North Korea and Thailand.
Bias: 2

9/53

Quote:
p.61 The Old Economy

Spoiler: Highlight to view
In the present day, almost no one willingly lives in old economy societies. Very few individuals even visit such societies. The oppressive Jovian Republic holds most of the remaining old economy societies in the solar system. The few other surviving examples are totalitarian regimes where the wealthy elite maintain absolute control of all cornucopia machines and private ownership of one is a very serious crime.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Some might have misread "the few other surviving examples are totalitarian regimes" for "the few other surviving examples OF totalitarian regimes".
Bias: 1

10/53

Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Residents of old economy societies tend to look at the people of transitional and new economy societies with envy, while citizens of both transitional and new economies look upon old economy habitats with a mixture of horror and pity. Since the Fall, almost a third of the remaining old economy-based habitats have transformed into transitional or new economies by various means, often involving violent revolution. Most social scientists predict that unless there are further catastrophes, all but the most repressive old economy societies are almost certain to transform to transitional economies within twenty to thirty years.

Pro: Aligns with modern futurology.
Con: "horror and pity", even if justified, are emotionally-charged terms.
Bias: 0

11/53

Quote:
p.62 The Transitional Economy

Spoiler: Highlight to view
The transitional economy is a far more stable and easily maintained system than the old. Transitional economies blend old and new economies, and habitats using this system feature both private ownership of cornucopia machines as well as public fabbers and makers that are freely accessible. These public machines are strictly limited in the goods they can produce and the raw materials for various complex goods are also strictly regulated. Mars, Venus, and Luna are all examples of transitional economies, as is most of the rest of the inner system.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0

12/53

Quote:
Transitional economies tend to be relatively safe places, since inhabitants cannot manufacture weapons more dangerous than knives, clubs, or similar primitive armaments. Everything from firearms to plasma weapons requires restricted cornucopia machines and exotic materials to manufacture. The proliferation of these items is strictly controlled.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0

13/53

Quote:
Though these are commonly described as “post scarcity” societies, some types of scarcity remain very real.

Pro: Clarification of the actual economic meaning of post-scarcity, allowing that scarcities do exist.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1

14/53

Quote:
p.65
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Both the hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium were quick to make use of this vast labor pool, especially on Mars. Mars has large amounts of open space and resources and is sufficiently close to habitable that Mars-adapted morphs like the ruster are inexpensive to create. As a result, the Planetary Consortium has been responsible for the employment of almost half of all remaining infomorph refugees. For the past decade, the vast majority of infomorph refugees who want bodies have found that indenturing themselves to the Planetary Consortium or one of the associated hypercorps involved in Martian terraforming is the most reliable way to find both a morph and housing, since both are guaranteed at the end of the contract. The work involved is particularly difficult, however, and the contracts are normally quite long. The Planetary Consortium is also particularly adept at adding charges that prolong indenture—though most indentures carry five to twenty year contracts, in reality these indentures typically last between eight and twenty-five years; some go on even longer. This large population of indentured servants on Mars—many of them now free and resleeved—is becoming a force in its own right, adhering to the Martian wilds and rural areas and disdaining the elite hypercorp domes. Adopting the name Barsoomians from an old Earth fiction series, this resentful lower class is increasingly becoming a thorn in the Planetary Consortium’s side.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0

15/53

Quote:
p.67 Scum

Spoiler: Highlight to view
In contrast to egocasting or the faster and more efficient fusion drive ships, so-called scum barges offer a floating city alternative to space travel. These ships function as roving black markets and carnivals of the bizarre—lawless zones where anyone can find whatever they want or need for the right rep or price.

Most scum barges have fusion-powered plasma drives and hold between two hundred and five thousand inhabitants. The worst barges are exceptionally overcrowded, with aging life-support systems struggling to maintain a breathable (but still foul-smelling) atmosphere under the strain of too many passengers. The larger and more prosperous scum barges are often fitted with various modern conveniences, including large cornucopia machines and vast stores of pirated manufacturing templates.

Some are thriving utopianist enclaves, while others are mobile dens of smugglers and thieves that would have been destroyed long ago except for the fact that large and powerful organizations find their existence occasionally useful. Living conditions on the scum barges range from overcrowded refugee camps or thriving, egalitarian anarchist enclaves to relatively modern habitats outfitted in barbaric splendor by successful organized crime gangs.

Pro: Hardly sounds idyllic to me.
Con: Scum are protrayed as occasionally having access to material prosperity.
Bias: -2

16/53

Quote:
p.69 Private Habitats
The most rare and exotic of all of the types of habitats are the luxurious private ones owned by exceedingly wealthy or high-rep individuals.

Pro: Describes both Old Economy and New Economy elite as capable of attaining prosperity.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0

17/53

Quote:
p.70 Factions, The Hypercorps

Spoiler: Highlight to view
To some economists, the Fall and the numerous crises that predated it on Earth can be viewed as an extinction event, the end of the line for the massive transnational megacorp dinosaurs, financial giants that supported their monolithic frameworks on outdated economic models and industrial technologies. The hypercorps are their evolutionary descendants: slimmer, faster, meaner, and more flexible, eagerly embracing the possibilities of new technologies and never afraid to toss the old aside to take advantage of the new. It was the hypercorps that drove transhumanity’s expansion into space and who continue to push the technological envelope, guiding transhumanity towards new horizons—always with profit as their driving goal.

Pro: Hypercorps are compared favourably with their predecessors.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1

18/53

Quote:
The need for physical labor has mostly been reduced to tasks associated with habitat construction, terraforming, or deep space mining. Infomorphs and AIs are heavily employed (or more accurately, owned) as drone operators or virtual workers, and many administrative tasks are performed online via augmented reality, virtual private networks, and simulspace nodes.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Infomorphs and AI can be considered to be "owned".
Bias: 1

19/53

Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Most hypercorps are traditional capitalist in outlook, though many have adopted alternative business philosophies and management models. This might include basing decisions on internal forecast market trends, groupthink consensus models, or ditching management entirely in favor of staff polling/voting initiatives that statistically fare better. A few are anarcho-capitalist or mutualist companies originating from Extropian enclaves, though these often suffer from a bias when making deals with inner system powers. The solar system boasts thousands of hypercorps; a few of the more prominent and interesting are noted below.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0

20/53

Quote:
p.75 The Jovian Republic

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Exploiting the chaos of the Fall, a group of stations and habitats were seized in a military coup and the Jovian Republic was born. Combining terrestrial South American dictatorship with U.S. American political lobbyism, this regime quickly brought the entire Jovian military-industrial complex under its control. Widely referred to as the Jovian Junta by the rest of the outer system, the Republic’s authorities hold a strict bioconservative stance against many transhuman scientific and technological developments. Exploiting fears engendered by the Fall, the Republic restricts access to sophisticated technologies such as nanofabrication, cloning, forking, and even uploading, and is one of the few old economies left in the system. Public communication channels are subjected to extensive censorship and travel privileges are extremely limited. Both uplifts and AGIs are strictly forbidden and treated as property without civil rights. Diplomatic relations to progressive factions remain cold; heavily modified transhuman emissaries or visitors are viewed with suspicion or simply denied access. Despite continuous reports of heinous acts of government oppression, the Republic’s intimidating military assets keep any other factions from intervening.

Pro: Forward projection of some current trends.
Con: Focus on the worst aspects of South American and USAian politics.
Bias: 2

21/53

Quote:
Morningstar Constellation
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The system’s newest political bloc, the Morningstar Constellation is an alliance of aerostat habitats floating in Venus’s upper atmosphere. Formed after a recent series of joint vetoes from the major aerostats against hypercorp governance initiatives intended to limit aerostat self-governance, the Constellation’s joint political statement and agenda are still being discussed. While the Planetary Consortium views the formation of this new power bloc with bemused resentment, the Barsoomians on Mars and the outer system autonomists view the Venusians as free-thinking reformists rather than anti-hypercorp radicals. The population reportedly enjoys great liberties in morph and enhancement technologies as well as freedom of social and political expression. The aerostat of Octavia has emerged as the Constellation’s designated voice.

Pro: Sympathetic portrayal of corporate entities
Con: Sympathy framed as alignment with anarchist values.
Bias: -1

22/53

Quote:
p.76 Planetary Consortium
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The Consortium applies basic democratic principles supported by a real-time voting system for all registered citizens. The congress and executive bodies feature a rotating cast of hyperelite politicos, gerontocrats, socialites, and even media icons. It’s a known fact that despite this political façade of a democratic republic, the members of the secretive Hypercorp Council are the true powers behind the Consortium. These hypercorps are major proponents of the transitional economy, the interdiction of Earth, and expansion beyond the gates. Aside from economic interests, the Consortium advocates the imperative of eugenics as social responsibility and for transhumanity to reclaim its former strength and prosperity—a campaign sometimes accused of euphemizing discrimination against unmodified humans, indentured infomorphs, uplifts, and the clanking masses.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0

23/53

Quote:
Autonomist Alliance
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The outer system presented an opportunity for people who wanted to set up a way of doing things that was drastically different from the authoritarian politics and sham democracies of Earth and the inner system. Far from the reach of governments and hypercorps, this frontier was populated by political radicals, social dropouts, and people who just wanted to experiment or do their own thing. These initial habitats drew the interests of insurgents from Earth, scientists and technicians who didn’t appreciate being on a corporate leash, indentured vacworkers who sought to escape their oppressive terms of service, and even criminals fleeing hypercorp justice or forcibly expelled from inner system habitats. Their ranks swelled with every act of inner system injustice, though life on the fringe was often harsh and deadly. Despite occasional hostilities with nation-state military units or hypercorp security, the expense of reining in these radicals and expats was too high. To some degree, their presence was useful to the powers-that-be. Breakthroughs with nanofabrication brought these anarchists and fringers the edge they needed to keep their autonomy over the long-term. Once cornucopia machines were widely available, anyone had the means to support and defend themselves without relying on outside or higher authorities. Already an outpost for open source and free culture activists who fought restrictions on ideas, media, and digital content, the outer system became a haven for sharing nanofab designs and circumventing the controls the hypercorps attempted to place on their software and other digital goods. During the Fall, many outer system habitats opened their doors to refugees from Earth. Distance and the high cost of egocasting curtailed these efforts, however, as did inner system reluctance to send potential recruits to their ideological opponents. Simple overcrowding and lack of resources drove them to push many refugees to the outer system, however, though the hypercorps weeded through their virtual infugee mobs and sent those with the highest risk of criminal tendencies or discontent with inner system life. Though the outer system habitats run the gamut of the socio-political spectrum, four primary tendencies have emerged. The stations and swarms adhering to these ideas have bonded together under a loose autonomist alliance, a mutual aid pact to help each other in times of crisis and present a united front against the inner system powers and Jovian Junta. There is little formal structure to this alliance as an entity unto itself; it primarily exists as an assortment of joint resolutions agreed to by its various member habitats and a few ad hoc task forces dedicated to addressing a particular problem or issue and then dissolving. Delegated ambassadors act as negotiators with outside powers, but these have limited authority and are held strictly accountable.

Pro: Good and bad aspects of anarchism are presented.
Con: Another mention of "Jovian Junta".
Bias: -1

24/53

Quote:
p.77 Anarchists
Spoiler: Highlight to view
In anarchist stations, private property has been abolished above the level of personal possessions—nobody owns anything, it’s all shared. There are no laws and no one to watch over what you do—reputation networks encourage positive behavior and anti-social acts are likely to draw a response from locals or even the entire populace, with disputes handled through ad hoc community conflict resolution. The mesh and various networking tools are used extensively to strive for group consensus decision-making in real-time. AIs and robots are relied on for most mundane and demeaning tasks. Various self-organized collectives, syndicates, worker’s councils, and affinity groups, often with rotating membership, take on different tasks and services that are important to a habitat’s community, including everything from communications and space traffic control to backup and resleeving services. Participatory militias organize collective defense against external threats.
Among the anarchist stations there are many variations and permutations on how things are organized, as everything is fine-tuned at the local level by whomever is involved. Larger decentralized confederations handle inter-habitat affairs and resource-sharing, even trading with the hypercorps. Though a hypercorp presence is allowed on some habitats, they are treated just like everyone else.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0

25/53

Quote:
p.78 Extropians
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Contrary to the anarchists, the Extropians very much support private property and personal economic wealth; Extropian-owned corporations actively participate in the solar system’s hypercorp economy. Many of these corporations are worker-owned cooperatives, with workplace councils in local offices and an elected cooperative congress handling management. This puts the Extropians in a remarkable position where they interact heavily with both the hypercorps and autonomists but are not fully trusted by either.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0

26/53

Quote:
Scum
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Scum are nomadic space gypsies, traveling from station to station in heavily modified barges or swarms of smaller space vessels, mostly former colonial ships. The term “scum” has been gleefully appropriated from its original derogatory usage. Despitetheir reputation as criminals and scam artists, their temporary presence is often tolerated in many habitats for the entertainment they bring in the way of exotic performances and storytelling, both of which offer change and relief from the isolation of remote habitats and clusters. Their thriving black markets are an open secret but shut down only in the most oppressive regimes, as citizens returning with illegal goods must pass their station’s security anyway. The scum themselves comes from all manner of backgrounds. They are rejects, anarchists, criminals, societal dropouts, wanderers, artists, eccentrics, and more. As a culture, however, they embrace experimentation and an “everything is permissible” attitude. Many are ardent practitioners of extreme transhuman modifications. Long-time scum are sometimes scarcely recognizable as having once been human.

Pro: Good and bad aspects presented.
Con: Corporate-friendly readers might resent the "appropriation" of the concept of freedom.
Bias: -1

27/53

Quote:
p.79 Titanian Commonwealth
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Unlike old Earth socialist regimes, there are no state monopolies and no central planning. Anyone able to garner enough votes in the Plurality (the Titanian cyberdemocracy) can start a social money-funded microcorp and compete with other microcorps. Microcorps are owned by the Commonwealth, and profits are disposed of by the Plurality. Microcorps are required to be transparent as administrative entities, and the Plurality votes on whether to transfer discoveries to the open source domain. Regulatory matters are handled by AI and AGI bureaucrats (red tape still exists, but it doesn’t slow things down ... much). The main reward for individuals in this system is rep. Titanians who invest a lot of time or resources in a given field gain rep rewards for doing so.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0

28/53

Quote:
p.97 System Gazeteer, Jupiter
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Jupiter’s powerful gravity well is a major hindrance to gas mining in the planet’s atmosphere, as even craft that do not succumb to the violent, centuries-long atmospheric storms can only achieve escape velocity with the most powerful propulsion systems. Given the need for heavy shielding on such craft, gas mining on Jupiter is not nearly as efficient as on Saturn. Jupiter’s gravity, however, is also a valuable resource. Craft bound for Saturn and beyond can slingshot themselves outward by circling the planet to pick up velocity, cutting months or years off their trips. The heavily militarized Jovian Republic levies tolls against all spacecraft using Jupiter’s gravity to pick up velocity, including asteroids under propulsion. This protection money is the Junta’s primary source of revenue. Planetary Consortium ships generally accept the payment as part of operating expenses. Other factions are not so cooperative, and the Junta regularly seizes or destroys blockade runners.

Pro: Justification for the Jovian Republic's lesser prosperity.
Con: Mentions of "Junta" and "protection money".
Bias: 2

29/53

Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Most of Jupiter’s moons are really captured asteroids, lacking the size and geological complexity of plan- etary bodies. All are occupied. Some were converted to habitats; others host only Junta military and mining outposts. The Jovian moonlets consist mostly of carbonaceous rock, poor in metal, with some of the larger moonlets having layers or even cores of ice. Beehive habitats and Reagan cylinders predominate in the Jovian system. Reagan cylinders (called “sarcophagus habs” by other factions) are an inefficient variation on the O’Neill cylinder in which excavators hollow out an immense, cylindrical cavern in a rocky asteroid and then alter the asteroid’s rotation with external thrusters to simulate gravity. Other habitat types are rare in Jovian orbit, especially within 2 million kilometers of the planet, where the radiation is strongest. For a bioconservative faction unwilling to adopt radiation-resistant morphs, the Junta is in a poor location.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Several mentions of "Junta".
Bias: 1

30/53

Quote:
The Jovian Republic has renamed Jupiter’s moons after various neo-conservative heroes from Earth’s history. From closest to most distant, the moonlets are Metis (Bush), Adrastea (Fairway), Amalthea (Solano), Thebe (McAllen), Leda (Chung), Himalia (Pinochet), Lysithea (Friedman), Elara (Buckley), Ananke (Nixon), Carme (Kissinger), Pasiphae (Schilling), and Sinope (Garcia). All are tiny, between 5 and 100 kilometers in diameter.

Pro: n/a
Con: Some of these names might seem like obvious pandering to left wing sensibilities, even though perceptions can changeover the years. Just ask Christopher Columbus or Marie Antoinette.
Bias: 1

31/53

Quote:
The largest of the moonlets, hollow Amalthea is probably the most livable sarcophagus habitat due to the large lake created from its icy core. Living on Solano carries some prestige among Junta citizens.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Mention of Junta and prestige.
Bias: 1

32/53

Quote:
The Junta’s most notorious prison, Maui Patera Rehabilitation Center, is dug into a (mostly) extinct caldera wall north of the equator.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Mention of "Junta" and "notorious prison".
Bias: 1

33/53

Quote:
p.100
Ganymede tends to swing more heavily toward the Junta, as its citizens still see the Junta-maintained infrastructure—accurately or not—as necessary in such a hostile environment.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Junta.
Bias: 1

34/53

Quote:
Now Hyoden has 2 million inhabitants, making it the largest city-state on Callisto and the largest non-Junta state in the Jovian system. Hyoden is itself heavily militarized, as the tendency of the local authorities to turn a blind eye toward operatives using their territory for forays against the Junta makes for uneasy relations with their powerful neighbor.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Mention of Junta.
Bias: 1

35/53

Quote:
Situated along the southern edge of the vast, rocky plain called Galileo Regio, almost on Ganymede’s equator, Liberty (population 7 million) is the Junta’s largest planetary city-state. It is closely tied to Liberty Station, a major shipyard and defense installation in geosynchronous orbit. Major industries include ship-building, space construction, fabrication, and security products and services. The Castle, the central security network point from which all surveillance data collected in the Junta is monitored and processed, is rumored to be in or near Liberty.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Mention of Junta
Bias: 1

36/53
p.101 Locus

Quote:
Locus is the largest cluster habitat ever formed. It is still growing, with over one million inhabitants in the habitat proper and another million in the nearby suburbs of scum barges and small asteroid stations.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0

...

37/53

Quote:
A quarter of its total volume is cut out in a roughly conical shape all the way to the Amoeba, an immense, softly glowing sculpture at the center of the habitat.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Portrayal of a beautiful landmark in an Autonomist habitat.
Bias: 0

...

38/53

Quote:
This space teems with small craft and people on thrustpacks or voidscooters as they cross the habitat, play zero-g games, or visit the free-floating spimes and sculptures that dot the area.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Autonomists being portrayed as being notably fun-loving and having lots of free time to indulge in cultural interests.
Bias: 2

39/53

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Locus was founded by a joint anarchist-argonaut venture and was the first major stronghold for the autonomist factions. Unlike Extropia, which has the tacit blessing of the Planetary Consortium and encourages the presence of security and insurance companies, Locus runs on a pure reputation
economy. Security, maintenance, expansion, and defense of the habitat are all performed by volunteers. Inhabitants interested in security monitor incoming ships and operate crowdsourcing systems that dispatch volunteers to perform WMD scans on new arrivals. Ships that won’t submit to a scan are asked to leave. If they don’t, anyone who’s designed a cool new weapons system recently is welcome to take a shot.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers. Favourable, fun verbiage.
Bias: 0

40/53

Spoiler: Highlight to view
While saboteurs from the Planetary Consortium and other hostile entities can and do occasionally cause trouble on Locus, the hypercorps are currently unwilling to attempt a direct military attack on the habitat. The first time they tried, the Planetary Consortium and the Martian city-state of Valles-New Shanghai sent a small expeditionary fleet. The interlopers were caught completely off-guard by a fierce and well-coordinated defense. Six months later, they sent a much larger fleet. Help arrived from elsewhere in the Trojans and Greeks and from Titan, whose citizens took a dim view of any Planetary Consortium expansion beyond the belt. The Titanians now maintain a permanent base near Locus. Rumor has it they agreed to a mutual defense pact with one of Locus’s citizens, possibly the famous programmer-armsman Teilhard Liu.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Autonomists being portrayed as competent in scenarios that involve co-operation.
Bias: 2

41/53

Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
“Welcome to Locus. You voluntarily assume the risk of organic damage or mental trauma by mooring here. You must bring or be capable of acquiring enough food, H2O, oxygen, and shelter to survive for the duration of your stay in a harsh, asteroid-rich environment. Weapons of mass destruction are prohibited. Further guidelines for coexisting with your fellow entities are in the habitat survival guide. You and only you are responsible for yourself—learn to love it!”
—Locus Immigration AR broadcast

“You have chosen the habitat Locus in the L5 Trojans as your destination, using the private carrier Atsuko van Vogt as your receptor. ComEx corporate policy requires us to inform you that the destination and carrier you have selected are unregistered and possibly unsafe. ComEx takes no responsibility for the continuity of your consciousness upon arrival. You assume any and all risks for travel to this point, including theft of forks or deletion. ComEx will include a permanent record of travel with this carrier on your file. Would you like to continue?”
—ComEx legal disclaimer

“The ComEx disclaimer? Yes, yes ... Listen: my neighbor three doors toward the Amoeba from here is a physicist. She has a box that generates micro-singularities in her lab. If people along my spar found out I’d stolen a fork of someone, they’d pop my stack with a grapefruit knife and throw it in there. That’s what we call ‘accountability.’ See if you get the same from ComEx.”
—Atsuko van Vogt

Pro: Open admission of the dangers of unregulated habitats.
Con: Unreliable narrator presents an in-universe "excuse".
Bias: -3

42/53

Quote:
p.102 Saturn
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The second largest planet in the system is a much more favorable habitat for transhumans than Jupiter. Saturn’s lower gravity and milder magnetosphere are a boon to gas mining operations, and for resource-hungry habs, the rings are a feast (literally, in the case of the new Hamilton cylinder type habitats).

Pro: Justification of Saturn's greater material prosperity, compared to Jupiter.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1

43/53

Quote:
For ships traveling to the far reaches of the outer system, Saturn is an important alternative to using Jupiter for gravity assists. Less restrictive than Jovian regimes and richer in resources than the Trojans, Circumsaturnine habs and settlements are important innovators in habitat design and cultural organization.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0

44/53
p.103

Quote:
Profunda is run along anarcho-capitalist lines. Thanks to the rich supply of organic chemicals, its upper reaches are
home to many of the outer system’s best-known morph designers. The Enceladian Glitter Bloc is said to have as much influ-
ence over body styles as the Lunar fashion houses do over what people wear.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0

45/53

Quote:
The habitats of Twelve Commons organize themselves primarily along open-source anarcho-syndicalist lines, with work groups and research pods acting as the basic political unit.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0

46/53

Quote:
p.105 Phelan's Recourse
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Phelan’s accepts all comers. One could meet just about anyone here, from the government in exile of East Timor to hasidim from Brooklyn. The core of the swarm is the Stills, a fusion-illuminated grain farm and distillery operated by an allegedly reformed gang of Irish travelers who conned their way off Earth a few weeks before the Fall and escaped to the outer system. The Stills produce Phelan’s Ma, the most sought-after whiskey in the system, and Phelan’s Da, possibly the worst beer ever made. Despite the Phelans’ protestations of legitimacy, the criminal element is heavily represented here. The swarm represents an important link in red and gray market supply chains.

Pro: Open admission of the possible ills of unregulated habitats.
Con: Portrayed somewhat favourably, like a diversity-friendly barrio.
Bias: -2

47/53

Quote:
p.106 Kronos Cluster
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Nearly five kilometers long and three wide, Kronos has major problems with crowding and infrastructure that have kept it from growing to the same size as Locus. The designers simply did not plan for the size the place might reach, and as a result another 150,000 people live in suburbs of tin can habs and scum barges in the space around the habitat. Kronos can be an extremely dangerous place. Insurance companies don’t like operating here, and the habitat is a patchwork of criminal and anarchist neighborhoods. Anarchist zones are generally heavily armed and safe, but a trip from an anarchist holding to the spaceport is best done with a group of well-armed friends. Criminal neighborhoods are only safe if you’re in the neighborhood’s controlling gang, and even then conflicts flare up regularly. The situation is exacerbated by the Kronos Port Authority, a junta of ultimates who operate security for the spaceport. Originally an Extropian hypercorp, the KPA fell into the hands of the ultimates when they decided that they could profit more directly by owning the company outright than by working as hired muscle. They violently ousted the original management and now use indentures in worker pods to maintain the port. This situation is tolerated by the local crime bosses and loathed by the mostly anarchist citizens, but so far no one is able to challenge the KPA, which enforces use of the port rather than any other mooring point with killsats and artillery.

Pro: Open admission of the potential dangers of anarchism. Autonomists being called a junta (!!!).
Con: n/a
Bias: -3

48/53

Quote:
p106. Titan
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The meager sunlight reaching its surface is insufficient to grow any but the hardiest plants, the mostly nitrogen atmosphere is dangerously toxic, and the surface is dotted with lakes and seas of liquid methane. In spite of all this, abundant hydrocarbons, a thick atmosphere, and diverse chemistry make Titan one of the few worlds in the system where colonists may rely entirely on local resources. Titan’s population is now over 60 million. Social money and the microcorp system have led to some spectacular gains and failures.

Pro: Justification of Titan's material prosperity. Admission that New Economy projects can fail.
Con: n/a
Bias: -3

49/53

Quote:
The St. Catherine Tong, the most dangerous native Titanian mob, is based in New Quebec. Titanian law is generally very permissive regarding individual freedoms, so the vices this gang trades in are of the blackest: snuff pods, stolen alpha forks, and nanoweaponry. A ready supply of fresh morphs bought from corrupt microcorp nursery administrators further fuels their rackets. The Tong is extremely violent and a major embarrassment to Commonwealth security forces.

Pro: Admission of serious crime in Autonomist territory.
Con: n/a
Bias: -3

50/53

Quote:
Nyhavn’s massive central dome, with its elegant blue towers and bioengineered parklands, rivals New Shanghai in size and ambition.

Pro: New Shanghai compared favourably to a supposed darling of the Outer System.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1

51/53

Quote:
At the same time, the squalid blandness that prevails in the Martian suburbs and outlying souks is absent; the dwellings and neighborhoods of the Titanian working class display a riot of color and design, empowered by public fabricators limited by none of the enforced scarcity of Martian economics. For all its idealism, the Plurality is not immune to a desire to showcase its achievements.

Pro: Admission of displays of pride in Autonomist space.
Con: Titanian suburbs compared favourably with Mars.
Bias: 1

52/53

Quote:
There is an active underworld, despite the efforts of security forces, with the local St. Catherine Tong engaged in continual low-intensity warfare with triads from throughout the system.

Pro: Admission of crime in Autonomist space.
Con: n/a
Bias: -3

53/53

Quote:
p.108 Fissure Gate
The Fissure Gate remains in anarchist hands, operated and defended by the Love and Rage Collective. The gate is made available to almost anyone unless their rep score is tanked or they are pursuing commercial interests (ruling out most hypercorps). Support for gatecrashers is minimal—traverse the threshold at your own risk. Any discoveries made via this gate, however, must be shared for the collective good of transhumanity.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Conclusion:

So, after counting the totals, it seems like PHS is biased after all.

By 1.2%.

Against the anarchists. (-2/159)

sysop sysop's picture
Thank you. :)

Thank you. :)

I fix broken things. If you need something fixed, mention it on the suggestions board.
I also sometimes speak as website administrator and/ moderator.

R.O.S.S.-128 R.O.S.S.-128's picture
It makes a decent mirror at least

I think your... "assessment" might say more about you than about the book. :p

End of line.

Baribal Baribal's picture
That's an impressive work. I

That's an impressive work. I do take some issue with it here and there, but I'm happy that there's more people out there who crunch through EP's text as if it was academic work. As for the things that I *do* take issue with, well, your statistical methodology sucks, as bias points can be created by sheer volume of text. Then again the (relatively) small corpus you're working with probably compensates for that, so I trust your scoring to have some meaning. Still, the fact that you count each occurrence of the word "Junta" individually demonstrates your method's sensitivity to such a phenomenon.
There's individual scorings and interpretations that I've got commentary on. Two things occur several times: That you score the word "Junta" at all, and that you count the Titanian Commonwealth as Autonomists.
The latter is *technically* true, but their membership in the Autonomist Alliance isn't really one of conviction, more one of convenience. They participated in the Second Battle of Locus for reasons of extended self-defense, expecting the Consortium to come after them next if the Autonomists should fall, and so they decided to team up instead. They may agree to the Points of Unity, but they're a formal democracy with an executive council, laws and law enforcement, so counting them for the purposes of finding pro-anarchist bias is just not applicable.
The Junta thing isn't something that should be counted here, either, as "Junta" appears to be a name that's used in the inner system just as much as among Autonomists. Well, everybody seems to be calling them that, except for those brinkers who don't mention or think of them at all.
And then there's one big whopper that you've missed (although it may be that that's only mentioned in Rimwards, I don't know): Extropians practice indenture just like the inner system powers do, and it was the Extropians who prevented an Autonomist Alliance resolution condemning it. I'd count that as a big anti-anarchist bias. Then again, maybe extropian-related bias should be counted separately from anarchist/scum ones.

And now for my individual critiques:

2: Actually, the corps are pretty keen on keeping the mentioned WMDs out of people's hands, and the "tribal bullshit" can be found in every single faction.
3: I assume that this text's title and content are a play on Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States".
7: Junta.
8: I'm pretty sure that Permanent Death is also practiced in places of the Inner System, and I wouldn't put it past Autonomists to ad hoc it, too.
23: Junta. What bad aspects?
24: I take some issue with the source material glossing over the fact that anarchist habitats can also be described as a panopticon where everyone can be the one to watch over what you do, and that with only personal opinions to appeal to, they can basically destroy your livelyhood in Autonomist space.
27: Titanian
28: This showcases that "Jovian Junta" is a term that's popular in-game, and the whole article is, AFAIK, written from an Inner System perspective. So this can't really be counted against Autonomists.
29: Junta
31: Junta. Prestige is what Autonomist economy runs on, while its mention here is more a remark on it being less relevant elsewhere in the Junta.
32: Junta. Calling a system's most high-sec prison "notorious" can hardly be called biased.
33: Junta
34: Junta
35: Junta
40: Some other section implied that the war over Locus was accompanied by a campaign of the Autonomists that might be called terrorism.
42: That's an explanation, not an endorsement. I'd recommend a 0 score.
45: IIRC there's a habitat of nanodesigners that decidedly *doesn't* work, and is in a state close to civil war.
47: The junta is the Ultimates. The Anarchists do sit on the sidelines as they're being outgunned.
48: Titanian
49: Titanian
50: Titanian
51: Titanian

...and that's it for now. please keep up the good work!

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
Dilf_Pickle wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:

EP1: The Search for Bias
With the excitement surrounding Eclipse Phase Second Edition and the the discussions thereof, I wanted to take one more look at First Edition. Specifically, the supposed pro-Anarchist bias that keeps getting brought up. So I decided to calculate it just to be sure. I re-read the first 111 pages of EP 1sted. 4thpr, and noted every instance where that bias could be implied or inferred, as well as instances that countervailed such perceptions. I estimate this to be a reasonable scope, as later books were able to dedicate more space to nuance and counterpoints than the core book.
These evaluations are my opinion, of course, but I'm comfortable discussing or justifying any of the values I've noted below.
Biases are rated out of 3. "Pro" arguments support a balanced view, whereas "con" arguments propose bias.
(Conclusion at the bottom of this post)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1/53
Quote:
p18 Enter The Singularity: We still survive, divided into a patchwork of restrictive inner system hypercorp-backed oligarchies and libertarian outer system collectivist habitats, tribal networks, and new experimental societal models.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The word libertarian here might have been mistaken as an appropriation of the Libertarian movement, a darling of American-style right-wingers.
Bias: 1
2/53


Your idea of bias in this paragraph is ‘libertarian?’ Not ‘restrictive inner system hypercorp-backed oligarchies?’ You and I have very different ideas about what constitutes a bias, it seems.
Quote:

Quote:
p.28 Welcome to Firewall
p.29 What You Really Need to Know
Pro: I love this example of grey-on-grey morality. Excellent implementation of the unreliable narrator. A little obvious when re-read, but makes a great dramatic impact the first time you read it.
Con: The mention of "overcoming petty tribal bullshit" could be seen by some as an anti-corp inclination.
Bias: 0
3/53
Quote:
p.32 A People's History of an Unfortunate Universe
Pro: Obvious unreliable narrator, and eminently thematic, given that rep economies are a large factor in the setting (let alone in modern-day futurology).
Con: Major expository section of the book portrays an anti-corp perspective.
Bias: 2
4/53
Quote:
p.55 Politics and Power:
In the aftermath of the Fall, the hypercorps established three important goals: rebuilding the solar system, protecting themselves from any further attacks (either by the TITANs or any other threats), and growing in both wealth and power. The hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium are exceedingly skilled at attaining all of these goals. Since popular rebellion and widespread dissent complicate these interests, the hypercorps are also adept at making certain the inhabitants of the habitats and planetary settlements they control are safe, relatively content, and, ideally, unable to cause serious problems. By extension, the second goal means they also help protect the surviving transhuman population against any repeat of the Fall. As the largest and most well-organized entities in the solar system, the Planetary Consortium and other inner-system governments are in an excellent position to protect the people living in their habitats and settlements. This protection, however, comes at the price of freedom.
Pro: The corps are recognised for their struggle against the TITANs and the development of habs.
Con: Corp-friendly types might object to the corps being portrayed as exploiting the situation.
Bias: -1
5/53

Do… you actually believe that this shines any kind of positive light on the corps? This is the exact kind of passage that we’ve talked about before as implicit bias. The best it could possibly portray is “they don’t murder everybody because that’s bad for business.”
Quote:

Quote:
The Planetary Consortium is the only major non-local political entity in the solar system (with the possible exception of the Autonomist Alliance, which is more of a mutual aid pact than a unified polity).
Pro: Here, the PC is described as more significant than the AA, and more unified.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1
6/53

… it’s saying they’re big and controlling dude. At best that’s not positive, just neutral.
Quote:

Quote:
p57 Libertarian and Utopian:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The more radical of these elements grew out of or maintained ties to progressive, anti-authoritarian, and left-wing social movements and insurgencies on Earth, drawing support where they could. Others simply stole hypercorp resources from the inner system and smuggled them to their secret projects. In a few cases, entire ships or stations mutinied, refusing corporate orders and pursuing their own path. It was rarely feasible for the hypercorps to pursue and punish such subversion. Even among these radicals, differences existed, so that those adhering to similar sociopolitical tendencies tended to group together. Over time these have developed into four rough groupings: the anarchists of Locus, the technosocialists of Titan, the anarcho-capitalists and mutualists of Extropia, and the nomadic free-for-all societies of the individualist scum. These factions form a loose alliance, a united front against the hypercorps and Jovian Republic—or as they call it, the Jovian Junta—and a pact for mutual aid and support, known as the Autonomist Alliance.
Pro: Straight-forward exposition.
Con: First instance of the term 'Junta'. "Utopian" could be interpreted as either "seeking utopia" or "are utopian".
Bias: 1
7/53
Quote:
p.58 Keeping the Peace
As a result, standards of justice vary widely from the oppressive police state of the Jovian Junta to the free market judicial courts of the Extropians in the belt to the community justice policies of the anarchists out beyond Saturn.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Jovian Junta described as oppressive.
Bias: 3
8/53

“Community justice policies” sounds so much better than ‘mob rule,’ doesn’t it?
Quote:

Quote:
p.60 Punishment
Punishments are even more draconic in the Jovian Republic, where permanent execution and the destruction of all backups is the most common punishment for serious crimes against the leaders or large groups of the populace.
Pro: Use of an arguably-legitimate form of legal sanction.
Con: Mention of 'serious crimes against the leaders' reflects some oppressive/militant societies such as North Korea and Thailand.
Bias: 2
9/53
Quote:
p.61 The Old Economy
Spoiler: Highlight to view
In the present day, almost no one willingly lives in old economy societies. Very few individuals even visit such societies. The oppressive Jovian Republic holds most of the remaining old economy societies in the solar system. The few other surviving examples are totalitarian regimes where the wealthy elite maintain absolute control of all cornucopia machines and private ownership of one is a very serious crime.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Some might have misread "the few other surviving examples are totalitarian regimes" for "the few other surviving examples OF totalitarian regimes".
Bias: 1
10/53

What, “In the present day, almost no one willingly lives in old economy societies” isn’t a rather obvious ‘new economy good, old economy bad” statement? “The oppressive Jovian Republic?” Being grouped with the totalitarian regimes? Whether they outright state the Jovians are one is actually kind of beside the point.
Quote:

Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Residents of old economy societies tend to look at the people of transitional and new economy societies with envy, while citizens of both transitional and new economies look upon old economy habitats with a mixture of horror and pity. Since the Fall, almost a third of the remaining old economy-based habitats have transformed into transitional or new economies by various means, often involving violent revolution. Most social scientists predict that unless there are further catastrophes, all but the most repressive old economy societies are almost certain to transform to transitional economies within twenty to thirty years.
Pro: Aligns with modern futurology.
Con: "horror and pity", even if justified, are emotionally-charged terms.
Bias: 0
11/53


Are you serious? This is literally one of the most damning paragraphs in the whole thing. It’s 100% New economy is awesome, everybody who resists it is evil and will eventually be overthrown.
Quote:

Quote:
p.62 The Transitional Economy
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The transitional economy is a far more stable and easily maintained system than the old. Transitional economies blend old and new economies, and habitats using this system feature both private ownership of cornucopia machines as well as public fabbers and makers that are freely accessible. These public machines are strictly limited in the goods they can produce and the raw materials for various complex goods are also strictly regulated. Mars, Venus, and Luna are all examples of transitional economies, as is most of the rest of the inner system.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0
12/53


Next verse, same as the first.
Quote:

Quote:
Transitional economies tend to be relatively safe places, since inhabitants cannot manufacture weapons more dangerous than knives, clubs, or similar primitive armaments. Everything from firearms to plasma weapons requires restricted cornucopia machines and exotic materials to manufacture. The proliferation of these items is strictly controlled.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0
13/53

and etc.
Quote:

Quote:
Though these are commonly described as “post scarcity” societies, some types of scarcity remain very real.
Pro: Clarification of the actual economic meaning of post-scarcity, allowing that scarcities do exist.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1
14/53


This isn’t any kind of anti-bias. We just got through the section saying “Everybody wants to be USSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS”
You can’t immediately go “Oh, but our lives aren’t perfect you know.” And count it as Anarchist Problems
Quote:

Quote:
p.65
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Both the hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium were quick to make use of this vast labor pool, especially on Mars. Mars has large amounts of open space and resources and is sufficiently close to habitable that Mars-adapted morphs like the ruster are inexpensive to create. As a result, the Planetary Consortium has been responsible for the employment of almost half of all remaining infomorph refugees. For the past decade, the vast majority of infomorph refugees who want bodies have found that indenturing themselves to the Planetary Consortium or one of the associated hypercorps involved in Martian terraforming is the most reliable way to find both a morph and housing, since both are guaranteed at the end of the contract. The work involved is particularly difficult, however, and the contracts are normally quite long. The Planetary Consortium is also particularly adept at adding charges that prolong indenture—though most indentures carry five to twenty year contracts, in reality these indentures typically last between eight and twenty-five years; some go on even longer. This large population of indentured servants on Mars—many of them now free and resleeved—is becoming a force in its own right, adhering to the Martian wilds and rural areas and disdaining the elite hypercorp domes. Adopting the name Barsoomians from an old Earth fiction series, this resentful lower class is increasingly becoming a thorn in the Planetary Consortium’s side.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0
15/53

Large slave labor pool of indentured refugees, yeah that’s not a downer. Oh! And the company keeps PROLONGING THEIR INDENTURE! Not evil in the least, gotcha is all good.
Quote:

Quote:
p.67 Scum
Spoiler: Highlight to view
In contrast to egocasting or the faster and more efficient fusion drive ships, so-called scum barges offer a floating city alternative to space travel. These ships function as roving black markets and carnivals of the bizarre—lawless zones where anyone can find whatever they want or need for the right rep or price.
Most scum barges have fusion-powered plasma drives and hold between two hundred and five thousand inhabitants. The worst barges are exceptionally overcrowded, with aging life-support systems struggling to maintain a breathable (but still foul-smelling) atmosphere under the strain of too many passengers. The larger and more prosperous scum barges are often fitted with various modern conveniences, including large cornucopia machines and vast stores of pirated manufacturing templates.
Some are thriving utopianist enclaves, while others are mobile dens of smugglers and thieves that would have been destroyed long ago except for the fact that large and powerful organizations find their existence occasionally useful. Living conditions on the scum barges range from overcrowded refugee camps or thriving, egalitarian anarchist enclaves to relatively modern habitats outfitted in barbaric splendor by successful organized crime gangs.
Pro: Hardly sounds idyllic to me.
Con: Scum are protrayed as occasionally having access to material prosperity.
Bias: -2
16/53


You’re kidding. “Sometimes the barges are great, sometimes shit” is apparently highly anti-bias?
Quote:

Quote:
p.69 Private Habitats
The most rare and exotic of all of the types of habitats are the luxurious private ones owned by exceedingly wealthy or high-rep individuals.
Pro: Describes both Old Economy and New Economy elite as capable of attaining prosperity.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0
17/53
Quote:
p.70 Factions, The Hypercorps
Spoiler: Highlight to view
To some economists, the Fall and the numerous crises that predated it on Earth can be viewed as an extinction event, the end of the line for the massive transnational megacorp dinosaurs, financial giants that supported their monolithic frameworks on outdated economic models and industrial technologies. The hypercorps are their evolutionary descendants: slimmer, faster, meaner, and more flexible, eagerly embracing the possibilities of new technologies and never afraid to toss the old aside to take advantage of the new. It was the hypercorps that drove transhumanity’s expansion into space and who continue to push the technological envelope, guiding transhumanity towards new horizons—always with profit as their driving goal.
Pro: Hypercorps are compared favourably with their predecessors.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1
18/53


Again, not positive. I’m not sure you understand what positive means.
Quote:

Quote:
The need for physical labor has mostly been reduced to tasks associated with habitat construction, terraforming, or deep space mining. Infomorphs and AIs are heavily employed (or more accurately, owned) as drone operators or virtual workers, and many administrative tasks are performed online via augmented reality, virtual private networks, and simulspace nodes.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Infomorphs and AI can be considered to be "owned".
Bias: 1
19/53
Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Most hypercorps are traditional capitalist in outlook, though many have adopted alternative business philosophies and management models. This might include basing decisions on internal forecast market trends, groupthink consensus models, or ditching management entirely in favor of staff polling/voting initiatives that statistically fare better. A few are anarcho-capitalist or mutualist companies originating from Extropian enclaves, though these often suffer from a bias when making deals with inner system powers. The solar system boasts thousands of hypercorps; a few of the more prominent and interesting are noted below.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0
20/53
Quote:
p.75 The Jovian Republic
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Exploiting the chaos of the Fall, a group of stations and habitats were seized in a military coup and the Jovian Republic was born. Combining terrestrial South American dictatorship with U.S. American political lobbyism, this regime quickly brought the entire Jovian military-industrial complex under its control. Widely referred to as the Jovian Junta by the rest of the outer system, the Republic’s authorities hold a strict bioconservative stance against many transhuman scientific and technological developments. Exploiting fears engendered by the Fall, the Republic restricts access to sophisticated technologies such as nanofabrication, cloning, forking, and even uploading, and is one of the few old economies left in the system. Public communication channels are subjected to extensive censorship and travel privileges are extremely limited. Both uplifts and AGIs are strictly forbidden and treated as property without civil rights. Diplomatic relations to progressive factions remain cold; heavily modified transhuman emissaries or visitors are viewed with suspicion or simply denied access. Despite continuous reports of heinous acts of government oppression, the Republic’s intimidating military assets keep any other factions from intervening.
Pro: Forward projection of some current trends.
Con: Focus on the worst aspects of South American and USAian politics.
Bias: 2
21/53

They were literally designed as space Nazis. Including space Nazis doesn’t mean that your game isn’t biased for making the conservative faction into space Nazis.
Quote:

Quote:
Morningstar Constellation
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The system’s newest political bloc, the Morningstar Constellation is an alliance of aerostat habitats floating in Venus’s upper atmosphere. Formed after a recent series of joint vetoes from the major aerostats against hypercorp governance initiatives intended to limit aerostat self-governance, the Constellation’s joint political statement and agenda are still being discussed. While the Planetary Consortium views the formation of this new power bloc with bemused resentment, the Barsoomians on Mars and the outer system autonomists view the Venusians as free-thinking reformists rather than anti-hypercorp radicals. The population reportedly enjoys great liberties in morph and enhancement technologies as well as freedom of social and political expression. The aerostat of Octavia has emerged as the Constellation’s designated voice.
Pro: Sympathetic portrayal of corporate entities
Con: Sympathy framed as alignment with anarchist values.
Bias: -1
22/53


You literally just said it. They’re framed as being a breakaway from the corps who are sympathetic to the anarchists. That is NOT showing corps in a positive light!
Quote:

Quote:
p.76 Planetary Consortium
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The Consortium applies basic democratic principles supported by a real-time voting system for all registered citizens. The congress and executive bodies feature a rotating cast of hyperelite politicos, gerontocrats, socialites, and even media icons. It’s a known fact that despite this political façade of a democratic republic, the members of the secretive Hypercorp Council are the true powers behind the Consortium. These hypercorps are major proponents of the transitional economy, the interdiction of Earth, and expansion beyond the gates. Aside from economic interests, the Consortium advocates the imperative of eugenics as social responsibility and for transhumanity to reclaim its former strength and prosperity—a campaign sometimes accused of euphemizing discrimination against unmodified humans, indentured infomorphs, uplifts, and the clanking masses.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0
23/53


Dude, you’re making my head hurt. The description is basically a caricature designed to go “Look! Don’t you hate this reflection of modern society?” Sure it’s a description of the game world – that doesn’t make it not biased towards anarchists.
Quote:

Quote:
Autonomist Alliance
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The outer system presented an opportunity for people who wanted to set up a way of doing things that was drastically different from the authoritarian politics and sham democracies of Earth and the inner system. Far from the reach of governments and hypercorps, this frontier was populated by political radicals, social dropouts, and people who just wanted to experiment or do their own thing. These initial habitats drew the interests of insurgents from Earth, scientists and technicians who didn’t appreciate being on a corporate leash, indentured vacworkers who sought to escape their oppressive terms of service, and even criminals fleeing hypercorp justice or forcibly expelled from inner system habitats. Their ranks swelled with every act of inner system injustice, though life on the fringe was often harsh and deadly. Despite occasional hostilities with nation-state military units or hypercorp security, the expense of reining in these radicals and expats was too high. To some degree, their presence was useful to the powers-that-be. Breakthroughs with nanofabrication brought these anarchists and fringers the edge they needed to keep their autonomy over the long-term. Once cornucopia machines were widely available, anyone had the means to support and defend themselves without relying on outside or higher authorities. Already an outpost for open source and free culture activists who fought restrictions on ideas, media, and digital content, the outer system became a haven for sharing nanofab designs and circumventing the controls the hypercorps attempted to place on their software and other digital goods. During the Fall, many outer system habitats opened their doors to refugees from Earth. Distance and the high cost of egocasting curtailed these efforts, however, as did inner system reluctance to send potential recruits to their ideological opponents. Simple overcrowding and lack of resources drove them to push many refugees to the outer system, however, though the hypercorps weeded through their virtual infugee mobs and sent those with the highest risk of criminal tendencies or discontent with inner system life. Though the outer system habitats run the gamut of the socio-political spectrum, four primary tendencies have emerged. The stations and swarms adhering to these ideas have bonded together under a loose autonomist alliance, a mutual aid pact to help each other in times of crisis and present a united front against the inner system powers and Jovian Junta. There is little formal structure to this alliance as an entity unto itself; it primarily exists as an assortment of joint resolutions agreed to by its various member habitats and a few ad hoc task forces dedicated to addressing a particular problem or issue and then dissolving. Delegated ambassadors act as negotiators with outside powers, but these have limited authority and are held strictly accountable.
Pro: Good and bad aspects of anarchism are presented.
Con: Another mention of "Jovian Junta".
Bias: -1
24/53


Ah. I see. You’re a troll.
“drastically different from the authoritarian politics and sham democracies”
“this frontier was populated by political radicals, social dropouts, and people who just wanted to experiment or do their own thing.”
“indentured vacworkers who sought to escape their oppressive terms of service”
“Their ranks swelled with every act of inner system injustice”
“an outpost for open source and free culture activists who fought restrictions on ideas”
“many outer system habitats opened their doors to refugees from Earth”
“the hypercorps weeded through their virtual infugee mobs and sent those with the highest risk of criminal tendencies”
“a mutual aid pact to help each other in times of crisis”
It’s basically painting a picture of a Wild West filled with freedom fighters against The Machine. A Machine, incidentally, who sabotages them at every turn.
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p.77 Anarchists
Spoiler: Highlight to view
In anarchist stations, private property has been abolished above the level of personal possessions—nobody owns anything, it’s all shared. There are no laws and no one to watch over what you do—reputation networks encourage positive behavior and anti-social acts are likely to draw a response from locals or even the entire populace, with disputes handled through ad hoc community conflict resolution. The mesh and various networking tools are used extensively to strive for group consensus decision-making in real-time. AIs and robots are relied on for most mundane and demeaning tasks. Various self-organized collectives, syndicates, worker’s councils, and affinity groups, often with rotating membership, take on different tasks and services that are important to a habitat’s community, including everything from communications and space traffic control to backup and resleeving services. Participatory militias organize collective defense against external threats.
Among the anarchist stations there are many variations and permutations on how things are organized, as everything is fine-tuned at the local level by whomever is involved. Larger decentralized confederations handle inter-habitat affairs and resource-sharing, even trading with the hypercorps. Though a hypercorp presence is allowed on some habitats, they are treated just like everyone else.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.

25/53


It sounds great. I mean, “ad hoc community conflict resolution” sounds better than “the mob beats the shit out of you.”
Interesting that robots can do all the horrible work here, which is left to indentures in hypercorps. One would think the non-sapients would be cheaper.
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p.78 Extropians
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Contrary to the anarchists, the Extropians very much support private property and personal economic wealth; Extropian-owned corporations actively participate in the solar system’s hypercorp economy. Many of these corporations are worker-owned cooperatives, with workplace councils in local offices and an elected cooperative congress handling management. This puts the Extropians in a remarkable position where they interact heavily with both the hypercorps and autonomists but are not fully trusted by either.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0
26/53
Quote:
Scum
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Scum are nomadic space gypsies, traveling from station to station in heavily modified barges or swarms of smaller space vessels, mostly former colonial ships. The term “scum” has been gleefully appropriated from its original derogatory usage. Despite their reputation as criminals and scam artists, their temporary presence is often tolerated in many habitats for the entertainment they bring in the way of exotic performances and storytelling, both of which offer change and relief from the isolation of remote habitats and clusters. Their thriving black markets are an open secret but shut down only in the most oppressive regimes, as citizens returning with illegal goods must pass their station’s security anyway. The scum themselves comes from all manner of backgrounds. They are rejects, anarchists, criminals, societal dropouts, wanderers, artists, eccentrics, and more. As a culture, however, they embrace experimentation and an “everything is permissible” attitude. Many are ardent practitioners of extreme transhuman modifications. Long-time scum are sometimes scarcely recognizable as having once been human.
Pro: Good and bad aspects presented.
Con: Corporate-friendly readers might resent the "appropriation" of the concept of freedom.
Bias: -1
27/53
Overall, scum seem tuned to appeal to anarchists, and this section paint them in a positive light. They thumb their nose at authority but are accepted anyway, and are the adventurous, high-modification group. And hey, we probably wouldn’t be in to Eclipse Phase if we didn’t find Transhumanism and self-modification interesting.
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p.79 Titanian Commonwealth
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Unlike old Earth socialist regimes, there are no state monopolies and no central planning. Anyone able to garner enough votes in the Plurality (the Titanian cyberdemocracy) can start a social money-funded microcorp and compete with other microcorps. Microcorps are owned by the Commonwealth, and profits are disposed of by the Plurality. Microcorps are required to be transparent as administrative entities, and the Plurality votes on whether to transfer discoveries to the open source domain. Regulatory matters are handled by AI and AGI bureaucrats (red tape still exists, but it doesn’t slow things down ... much). The main reward for individuals in this system is rep. Titanians who invest a lot of time or resources in a given field gain rep rewards for doing so.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0
28/53
I always liked Titan. It seemed like the correct mix of “let people do what they want” and “average out the crazy into a functional society.” But there’s no doubt that Titan, part of the Autonomist Alliance, is portrayed in a very positive light. Again, just because it’s setting doesn’t mean it’s not biased.
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p.97 System Gazeteer, Jupiter
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Jupiter’s powerful gravity well is a major hindrance to gas mining in the planet’s atmosphere, as even craft that do not succumb to the violent, centuries-long atmospheric storms can only achieve escape velocity with the most powerful propulsion systems. Given the need for heavy shielding on such craft, gas mining on Jupiter is not nearly as efficient as on Saturn. Jupiter’s gravity, however, is also a valuable resource. Craft bound for Saturn and beyond can slingshot themselves outward by circling the planet to pick up velocity, cutting months or years off their trips. The heavily militarized Jovian Republic levies tolls against all spacecraft using Jupiter’s gravity to pick up velocity, including asteroids under propulsion. This protection money is the Junta’s primary source of revenue. Planetary Consortium ships generally accept the payment as part of operating expenses. Other factions are not so cooperative, and the Junta regularly seizes or destroys blockade runners.
Pro: Justification for the Jovian Republic's lesser prosperity.
Con: Mentions of "Junta" and "protection money".
Bias: 2
29/53
Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Most of Jupiter’s moons are really captured asteroids, lacking the size and geological complexity of plan- etary bodies. All are occupied. Some were converted to habitats; others host only Junta military and mining outposts. The Jovian moonlets consist mostly of carbonaceous rock, poor in metal, with some of the larger moonlets having layers or even cores of ice. Beehive habitats and Reagan cylinders predominate in the Jovian system. Reagan cylinders (called “sarcophagus habs” by other factions) are an inefficient variation on the O’Neill cylinder in which excavators hollow out an immense, cylindrical cavern in a rocky asteroid and then alter the asteroid’s rotation with external thrusters to simulate gravity. Other habitat types are rare in Jovian orbit, especially within 2 million kilometers of the planet, where the radiation is strongest. For a bioconservative faction unwilling to adopt radiation-resistant morphs, the Junta is in a poor location.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Several mentions of "Junta".
Bias: 1
30/53
Reagan cylinders, now there’s a name to make any freedom minded person happy. Sarcophagus habs! Not tooo biased. Oh, they’re inefficient O’Neill cylinders. And oh, those stupid jovians with their not radiation-proof morphs.
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Quote:
The Jovian Republic has renamed Jupiter’s moons after various neo-conservative heroes from Earth’s history. From closest to most distant, the moonlets are Metis (Bush), Adrastea (Fairway), Amalthea (Solano), Thebe (McAllen), Leda (Chung), Himalia (Pinochet), Lysithea (Friedman), Elara (Buckley), Ananke (Nixon), Carme (Kissinger), Pasiphae (Schilling), and Sinope (Garcia). All are tiny, between 5 and 100 kilometers in diameter.
Pro: n/a
Con: Some of these names might seem like obvious pandering to left wing sensibilities, even though perceptions can changeover the years. Just ask Christopher Columbus or Marie Antoinette.
Bias: 1
31/53

Saying that they’ve renamed moons to neo-conservative heroes is one bias point?
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Quote:
The largest of the moonlets, hollow Amalthea is probably the most livable sarcophagus habitat due to the large lake created from its icy core. Living on Solano carries some prestige among Junta citizens.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Mention of Junta and prestige.
Bias: 1
32/53
and don’t forget another mention of ‘sarcophagus hab!’ Nothing like constantly inserting “this is where the dead people are,” to maintain your unbiased perspective.
Quote:

Quote:
The Junta’s most notorious prison, Maui Patera Rehabilitation Center, is dug into a (mostly) extinct caldera wall north of the equator.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Mention of "Junta" and "notorious prison".
Bias: 1
33/53
Quote:
p.100
Ganymede tends to swing more heavily toward the Junta, as its citizens still see the Junta-maintained infrastructure—accurately or not—as necessary in such a hostile environment.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Junta.
Bias: 1
34/53
don’t forget that little ‘accurately or not’ zinger
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Quote:
Now Hyoden has 2 million inhabitants, making it the largest city-state on Callisto and the largest non-Junta state in the Jovian system. Hyoden is itself heavily militarized, as the tendency of the local authorities to turn a blind eye toward operatives using their territory for forays against the Junta makes for uneasy relations with their powerful neighbor.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Mention of Junta.
Bias: 1
35/53
Quote:
Situated along the southern edge of the vast, rocky plain called Galileo Regio, almost on Ganymede’s equator, Liberty (population 7 million) is the Junta’s largest planetary city-state. It is closely tied to Liberty Station, a major shipyard and defense installation in geosynchronous orbit. Major industries include ship-building, space construction, fabrication, and security products and services. The Castle, the central security network point from which all surveillance data collected in the Junta is monitored and processed, is rumored to be in or near Liberty.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Mention of Junta
Bias: 1
36/53
p.101 Locus
Quote:
Locus is the largest cluster habitat ever formed. It is still growing, with over one million inhabitants in the habitat proper and another million in the nearby suburbs of scum barges and small asteroid stations.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0
...
37/53
Quote:
A quarter of its total volume is cut out in a roughly conical shape all the way to the Amoeba, an immense, softly glowing sculpture at the center of the habitat.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Portrayal of a beautiful landmark in an Autonomist habitat.
Bias: 0
...
38/53
Quote:
This space teems with small craft and people on thrustpacks or voidscooters as they cross the habitat, play zero-g games, or visit the free-floating spimes and sculptures that dot the area.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Autonomists being portrayed as being notably fun-loving and having lots of free time to indulge in cultural interests.
Bias: 2
39/53

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Locus was founded by a joint anarchist-argonaut venture and was the first major stronghold for the autonomist factions. Unlike Extropia, which has the tacit blessing of the Planetary Consortium and encourages the presence of security and insurance companies, Locus runs on a pure reputation
economy. Security, maintenance, expansion, and defense of the habitat are all performed by volunteers. Inhabitants interested in security monitor incoming ships and operate crowdsourcing systems that dispatch volunteers to perform WMD scans on new arrivals. Ships that won’t submit to a scan are asked to leave. If they don’t, anyone who’s designed a cool new weapons system recently is welcome to take a shot.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers. Favourable, fun verbiage.
Bias: 0
40/53

Let’s just sum up most of this section, shall we? Look at all the beautiful places in Anarchist space, they’re great they’re fun. It was written by the tourism board, that’s great. I wouldn’t care much, but when you say great things about only one polity… yeah, that IS setting up a bias towards that polity.
Quote:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
While saboteurs from the Planetary Consortium and other hostile entities can and do occasionally cause trouble on Locus, the hypercorps are currently unwilling to attempt a direct military attack on the habitat. The first time they tried, the Planetary Consortium and the Martian city-state of Valles-New Shanghai sent a small expeditionary fleet. The interlopers were caught completely off-guard by a fierce and well-coordinated defense. Six months later, they sent a much larger fleet. Help arrived from elsewhere in the Trojans and Greeks and from Titan, whose citizens took a dim view of any Planetary Consortium expansion beyond the belt. The Titanians now maintain a permanent base near Locus. Rumor has it they agreed to a mutual defense pact with one of Locus’s citizens, possibly the famous programmer-armsman Teilhard Liu.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Autonomists being portrayed as competent in scenarios that involve co-operation.
Bias: 2
41/53

I mean, you can put it that way. I’d phrase it as “PC are saboteurs, but also laughable non-threats.”
Quote:

Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
“Welcome to Locus. You voluntarily assume the risk of organic damage or mental trauma by mooring here. You must bring or be capable of acquiring enough food, H2O, oxygen, and shelter to survive for the duration of your stay in a harsh, asteroid-rich environment. Weapons of mass destruction are prohibited. Further guidelines for coexisting with your fellow entities are in the habitat survival guide. You and only you are responsible for yourself—learn to love it!”
—Locus Immigration AR broadcast
“You have chosen the habitat Locus in the L5 Trojans as your destination, using the private carrier Atsuko van Vogt as your receptor. ComEx corporate policy requires us to inform you that the destination and carrier you have selected are unregistered and possibly unsafe. ComEx takes no responsibility for the continuity of your consciousness upon arrival. You assume any and all risks for travel to this point, including theft of forks or deletion. ComEx will include a permanent record of travel with this carrier on your file. Would you like to continue?”
—ComEx legal disclaimer
“The ComEx disclaimer? Yes, yes ... Listen: my neighbor three doors toward the Amoeba from here is a physicist. She has a box that generates micro-singularities in her lab. If people along my spar found out I’d stolen a fork of someone, they’d pop my stack with a grapefruit knife and throw it in there. That’s what we call ‘accountability.’ See if you get the same from ComEx.”
—Atsuko van Vogt
Pro: Open admission of the dangers of unregulated habitats.
Con: Unreliable narrator presents an in-universe "excuse".
Bias: -3
42/53
Once again I scratch my head at your definition of reverse bias. That whole passage sets up a Wild West feel, with an ending “Don’t worry about the danger the corp claims, our community won’t tolerate people breaking the rules.”
Quote:

Quote:
p.102 Saturn
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The second largest planet in the system is a much more favorable habitat for transhumans than Jupiter. Saturn’s lower gravity and milder magnetosphere are a boon to gas mining operations, and for resource-hungry habs, the rings are a feast (literally, in the case of the new Hamilton cylinder type habitats).
Pro: Justification of Saturn's greater material prosperity, compared to Jupiter.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1
43/53
Things being “justified” in-universe don’t make them unbiased…
Quote:

Quote:
For ships traveling to the far reaches of the outer system, Saturn is an important alternative to using Jupiter for gravity assists. Less restrictive than Jovian regimes and richer in resources than the Trojans, Circumsaturnine habs and settlements are important innovators in habitat design and cultural organization.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0
44/53
Hey, “regime” has been used positively before, right?
Quote:

p.103
Quote:
Profunda is run along anarcho-capitalist lines. Thanks to the rich supply of organic chemicals, its upper reaches are
home to many of the outer system’s best-known morph designers. The Enceladian Glitter Bloc is said to have as much influ-
ence over body styles as the Lunar fashion houses do over what people wear.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0
45/53
Quote:
The habitats of Twelve Commons organize themselves primarily along open-source anarcho-syndicalist lines, with work groups and research pods acting as the basic political unit.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0
46/53
Quote:
p.105 Phelan's Recourse
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Phelan’s accepts all comers. One could meet just about anyone here, from the government in exile of East Timor to hasidim from Brooklyn. The core of the swarm is the Stills, a fusion-illuminated grain farm and distillery operated by an allegedly reformed gang of Irish travelers who conned their way off Earth a few weeks before the Fall and escaped to the outer system. The Stills produce Phelan’s Ma, the most sought-after whiskey in the system, and Phelan’s Da, possibly the worst beer ever made. Despite the Phelans’ protestations of legitimacy, the criminal element is heavily represented here. The swarm represents an important link in red and gray market supply chains.
Pro: Open admission of the possible ills of unregulated habitats.
Con: Portrayed somewhat favourably, like a diversity-friendly barrio.
Bias: -2
47/53

You name the exact problem, then proceed to label it as anti-bias. Nothing in that block makes me dislike the place. Tone of writing matters.
Quote:

Quote:
p.106 Kronos Cluster
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Nearly five kilometers long and three wide, Kronos has major problems with crowding and infrastructure that have kept it from growing to the same size as Locus. The designers simply did not plan for the size the place might reach, and as a result another 150,000 people live in suburbs of tin can habs and scum barges in the space around the habitat. Kronos can be an extremely dangerous place. Insurance companies don’t like operating here, and the habitat is a patchwork of criminal and anarchist neighborhoods. Anarchist zones are generally heavily armed and safe, but a trip from an anarchist holding to the spaceport is best done with a group of well-armed friends. Criminal neighborhoods are only safe if you’re in the neighborhood’s controlling gang, and even then conflicts flare up regularly. The situation is exacerbated by the Kronos Port Authority, a junta of ultimates who operate security for the spaceport. Originally an Extropian hypercorp, the KPA fell into the hands of the ultimates when they decided that they could profit more directly by owning the company outright than by working as hired muscle. They violently ousted the original management and now use indentures in worker pods to maintain the port. This situation is tolerated by the local crime bosses and loathed by the mostly anarchist citizens, but so far no one is able to challenge the KPA, which enforces use of the port rather than any other mooring point with killsats and artillery.
Pro: Open admission of the potential dangers of anarchism. Autonomists being called a junta (!!!).
Con: n/a
Bias: -3
48/53
”Anarchist zones are generally heavily armed and safe”
“This situation is tolerated by the local crime bosses and loathed by the mostly anarchist citizens”
“the KPA fell into the hands of the ultimates”
You… do realize that the Ultimates aren’t anarchists? They’re their own polity. That block describes an occupied habitat.
Quote:

Quote:
p106. Titan
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The meager sunlight reaching its surface is insufficient to grow any but the hardiest plants, the mostly nitrogen atmosphere is dangerously toxic, and the surface is dotted with lakes and seas of liquid methane. In spite of all this, abundant hydrocarbons, a thick atmosphere, and diverse chemistry make Titan one of the few worlds in the system where colonists may rely entirely on local resources. Titan’s population is now over 60 million. Social money and the microcorp system have led to some spectacular gains and failures.
Pro: Justification of Titan's material prosperity. Admission that New Economy projects can fail.
Con: n/a
Bias: -3
49/53
Positive tone about Titan, pointing out massive population and riches. That’s sure as hell not a massive anti-bias.
Quote:

Quote:
The St. Catherine Tong, the most dangerous native Titanian mob, is based in New Quebec. Titanian law is generally very permissive regarding individual freedoms, so the vices this gang trades in are of the blackest: snuff pods, stolen alpha forks, and nanoweaponry. A ready supply of fresh morphs bought from corrupt microcorp nursery administrators further fuels their rackets. The Tong is extremely violent and a major embarrassment to Commonwealth security forces.
Pro: Admission of serious crime in Autonomist territory.
Con: n/a
Bias: -3
50/53
Hey, a genuine criminal enterprise! Too bad they’re Autonomist, but not anarchist.
Quote:

Quote:
Nyhavn’s massive central dome, with its elegant blue towers and bioengineered parklands, rivals New Shanghai in size and ambition.
Pro: New Shanghai compared favourably to a supposed darling of the Outer System.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1
51/53
yeaaaah no, that’s not really how that reads to me. More of a backhand compliment. Like the outer system darling being every bit as good as the best the corps could build.
Quote:

Quote:
At the same time, the squalid blandness that prevails in the Martian suburbs and outlying souks is absent; the dwellings and neighborhoods of the Titanian working class display a riot of color and design, empowered by public fabricators limited by none of the enforced scarcity of Martian economics. For all its idealism, the Plurality is not immune to a desire to showcase its achievements.
Pro: Admission of displays of pride in Autonomist space.
Con: Titanian suburbs compared favourably with Mars.
Bias: 1
52/53
Quote:
There is an active underworld, despite the efforts of security forces, with the local St. Catherine Tong engaged in continual low-intensity warfare with triads from throughout the system.
Pro: Admission of crime in Autonomist space.
Con: n/a
Bias: -3
53/53
Ah yes, I see how utterly disastrous that one mildly phrased line is to the image of Titan being a wonderful place. It clearly deserves that -3 bias rank.
Quote:

Quote:
p.108 Fissure Gate
The Fissure Gate remains in anarchist hands, operated and defended by the Love and Rage Collective. The gate is made available to almost anyone unless their rep score is tanked or they are pursuing commercial interests (ruling out most hypercorps). Support for gatecrashers is minimal—traverse the threshold at your own risk. Any discoveries made via this gate, however, must be shared for the collective good of transhumanity.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0

It’s a headscratcher, how the hell they could hold it. But more, it’s an extremely positive view on an anarchist group.

Let me say this once more at the end, since I feel like you need it driven through your head:

Yes, lots of the things are “setting.” That doesn’t mean that when read together, they don’t form this image of Anarchists who are wonderful people, and everybody else. Everybody else varies between “corrupt,” to “monster.” That is the bias that people complain about.

All in all, I find your analysis to be extremely flawed. Your rating system is laughably inconsistent, and your view on what constitutes biased writing makes my head spin.

Baribal Baribal's picture
MAD Crab wrote:Dilf_Pickle

MAD Crab wrote:
Dilf_Pickle wrote:

The Fissure Gate remains in anarchist hands, operated and defended by the Love and Rage Collective.

It’s a headscratcher, how the hell they could hold it.

* Low scarcity: There *are* four more Pandora Gates. For that matter, I do wonder what Go-Nin sees in the Discord Gate. I guess some more hard burn and twiddling thumbs costs less than mounting an attack on Chat Noir.
* Remoteness: Uranus is far away from everywhere, and doesn't really hold any attraction by itself.
* Firepower: Chat Noir itself has heavy artillery and a short fuse, the Ultimates might take issue with people bringing warships into their HQ's neighborhood, and if you manage to take it, it's probably just a matter of time until you've got every Autonomist with an itchy trigger finger plus a small detachment of the Titanian Fleet in orbit, asking you to pack up and leave.

I think the only actual danger to the Fissure gate is that the Ultimates may put their exoplanetary contingency plan into action, storming Chat Noir, marching everyone and everything on Xiphos through it, and leaving a garrison behind as a rear-guard, augmented with a nuke or three to make the gate impassable for a month or two if their garrison should fall. Every other single actor would meet too high a resistance, and a concerted effort by the Planetary Consortium would mean the third major battle that they had with the Autonomist Alliance, and the first two didn't go so well.

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
Four gates is HIGH scarcity,

Four gates is HIGH scarcity, not low. They are, canonically, extremely valuable to the owner. The remoteness barely registers, except for perhaps the difficulty of pulling in reinforcements for attacker or defender. As you say, the Ultimates are right there - and they've already taken over one gate, getting a second seems up their alley. One more zinger thrown in that section:

Quote:
(Fissure gate is in anarchist hands)... despite several Planetary Consortium expeditions to wrest control of it.

GreyBrother GreyBrother's picture
Bias is always a question of

Bias is always a question of whose perspective we're looking at things.

One could say that there's not so much an autonomist bias, but just people who're unfamiliar with autonomists and therefore think it unviable from the start, filling in assumptions gotten through culture, upbringing and media for the things that aren't said.

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
One COULD say that, but they

One COULD say that, but they'd be wrong.

It's not that "anarchists can't work." It's that as written you get an extremely positive view of anarchist lifestyle, and an extremely poor view of every other place. Now, maybe you DO think that anarchism is wonderful and great and whatever, but that's a different argument altogether.

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
This thread was supposed to

This thread was supposed to end the discussion but it failed due to... personal biases. Badum tsss.

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jackgraham jackgraham's picture
BREAKING NEWS: POSTHUMAN STUDIOS HATES LATE STAGE CAPITALISM

It's true. We do.

J A C K   G R A H A M :: Hooray for Earth!
  http://eclipsephase.com :: twitter @jackgraham @faketsr :: Google+Jack Graham

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
Hey Jack, I didn't make a

Hey Jack, I didn't make a thread to hate on you. I just responded to one that said I was making things up.

It's not that you have a leaning towards one side or the other that bothers me, it's that EP makes a caricature out of both sides. The Jovians could have been played so well as people who were actually scared of what the future was bringing and the ending of humanity, instead of the "Haha, stupid conservative Nazis." The anarchists could have shown just how dangerous unfettered access to technology can be, and how lockstep and groupthink grows in closed societies. That doesn't have to mean that being under the control of other people is better, or even okay - if anything, it plays into the theme that humans are going to have to change to survive.

R.O.S.S.-128 R.O.S.S.-128's picture
Well at least you're honest about it. :p

Though I would recommend setting aside some time eventually to read up on capitalist writings such as Hayek, Friedman, Mises, and Smith. You may be surprised to find how much of capitalist philosophy actually does center around making the world a better place for everybody. I understand approaching something like that with an open mind can be difficult, especially since combining economics and philosophy certainly makes for some rather dry reading. But I believe cultivating a more well-rounded perspective would help with making the setting feel more like a possible-future and less like an anti-capitalist rant.

Granted, historically of course we have never done a particularly good job of living up to the highest ideals of the market. A lot of the time we've done a downright terrible job of it. But that the system has done so much for us despite our bungling, half-assing, and cheating is perhaps a testament to how robust and fault-tolerant it is.

Of course, I also understand that EP is supposed to be a post-apocalyptic game, and therefore a bit of a pessimistic streak is necessary to make sure that an apocalypse happens. Though the TITANs seem to have that covered pretty handily on their own.

End of line.

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Yeah, I see people

Yeah, I see people complaining that Jovian Republic is made into baddies, yet my reading of them always has been that they're police state and that's it.
After checking out this thread OP I changed my headcanon to somewhat oppressive. But that was covered in other threads.

Anarchist on the other hand are shown as a working but not unified system. It is not supposed to be a realistic implementation of any anarchist idea, but rather a gamespace. A place where you conjure most outlandish and crazy social structures and present them to your players. Everything is possible in the outer system. It's the "habitat of the week" kind of place.

You could dream up a consistent pseudoanarchist society or you could have left it vague. Posthuman Studios left it a blank space to colour in for GMs.

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Xoden Xoden's picture
Jovian Republic and narrative

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
Yeah, I see people complaining that Jovian Republic is made into baddies, yet my reading of them always has been that they're police state and that's it.
After checking out this thread OP I changed my headcanon to somewhat oppressive.

Yes, Jovian Republic is a conservative oppressive police state. But that's perfectly OK for a postapocalyptic polity that was formed in the wake of system-wide total war by survivors with heavy military and religious background.
They are understandable.
And they do definitely count as a baddies for most members of a decentralized conspiracy hell-bent on saving transhumanity at all costs (according to their understanding) with most members coming from a vastly different background.
And the whole setting is told from the viewpoint of Firewall.
So the only problem here is that we do not get sufficient non-Firewall PoVs. So it might be a bit hard for someone to distance themself from the narrative.
Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Thin-slicing

Baribal wrote:
That's an impressive work. I do take some issue with it here and there, but I'm happy that there's more people out there who crunch through EP's text as if it was academic work. As for the things that I *do* take issue with, well, your statistical methodology sucks, as bias points can be created by sheer volume of text. Then again the (relatively) small corpus you're working with probably compensates for that, so I trust your scoring to have some meaning. Still, the fact that you count each occurrence of the word "Junta" individually demonstrates your method's sensitivity to such a phenomenon.

Any deeper look into the text is going to run up against subjective analysis, so I tried to work in broad strokes. I could do a better job if I were to dedicate serious time to it, but the extra effort would probably just get lost in the sigma. Anyway, I'm glad you appreciate an earnest look at the topic.

Baribal wrote:
There's individual scorings and interpretations that I've got commentary on. Two things occur several times: That you score the word "Junta" at all, and that you count the Titanian Commonwealth as Autonomists.

The latter is *technically* true, but their membership in the Autonomist Alliance isn't really one of conviction, more one of convenience. They participated in the Second Battle of Locus for reasons of extended self-defense, expecting the Consortium to come after them next if the Autonomists should fall, and so they decided to team up instead. They may agree to the Points of Unity, but they're a formal democracy with an executive council, laws and law enforcement, so counting them for the purposes of finding pro-anarchist bias is just not applicable.

Note that I lump the Jovians and PC together as well, for simplicity's sake. Inner System vs Outer System. Narrower arguments for bias may have individual merit, but those aren't the claims I tend to hear.

Baribal wrote:
The Junta thing isn't something that should be counted here, either, as "Junta" appears to be a name that's used in the inner system just as much as among Autonomists. Well, everybody seems to be calling them that, except for those brinkers who don't mention or think of them at all.

Perhaps, but "Junta" is a loaded term, and is used as such in the first mention I quoted.

Baribal wrote:
And then there's one big whopper that you've missed (although it may be that that's only mentioned in Rimwards, I don't know): Extropians practice indenture just like the inner system powers do, and it was the Extropians who prevented an Autonomist Alliance resolution condemning it. I'd count that as a big anti-anarchist bias. Then again, maybe extropian-related bias should be counted separately from anarchist/scum ones.

It's been a while since I read Rimward. But like I mention in my original post, the 1sted splatbooks are pretty balanced -- the only reasonable accusations of bias are the ones aimed at the core book.

I largely agree with your comments below, but to answer your question:

Baribal wrote:
23: Junta. What bad aspects?

Nothing major, but:

  • criminals fleeing hypercorp justice or forcibly expelled
  • the hypercorps weeded through their virtual infugee mobs and sent those with the highest risk of criminal tendencies or discontent with inner system life
  • [the Autonomist Alliance] primarily exists as an assortment of joint resolutions agreed to by its various member habitats and a few ad hoc task forces dedicated to addressing a particular problem or issue and then dissolving (sounds vaguely Monty-Python-ish)
  • Delegated ambassadors act as negotiators with outside powers, but these have limited authority and are held strictly accountable
Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
U Crab, bro?

I had started to pick through your post for logical nuggets I could respond to, but I got tired half-way through. I present what I have so far, below:

MAD Crab wrote:

Quote:
1/53
Quote:
p18 Enter The Singularity: We still survive, divided into a patchwork of restrictive inner system hypercorp-backed oligarchies and libertarian outer system collectivist habitats, tribal networks, and new experimental societal models.
Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The word libertarian here might have been mistaken as an appropriation of the Libertarian movement, a darling of American-style right-wingers.
Bias: 1
2/53

Your idea of bias in this paragraph is ‘libertarian?’ Not ‘restrictive inner system hypercorp-backed oligarchies?’ You and I have very different ideas about what constitutes a bias, it seems.

Feel free to propose a definition.

MAD Crab wrote:

Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
In the aftermath of the Fall, the hypercorps established three important goals: rebuilding the solar system, protecting themselves from any further attacks (either by the TITANs or any other threats), and growing in both wealth and power. The hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium are exceedingly skilled at attaining all of these goals. Since popular rebellion and widespread dissent complicate these interests, the hypercorps are also adept at making certain the inhabitants of the habitats and planetary settlements they control are safe, relatively content, and, ideally, unable to cause serious problems. By extension, the second goal means they also help protect the surviving transhuman population against any repeat of the Fall. As the largest and most well-organized entities in the solar system, the Planetary Consortium and other inner-system governments are in an excellent position to protect the people living in their habitats and settlements. This protection, however, comes at the price of freedom.

Do… you actually believe that this shines any kind of positive light on the corps? This is the exact kind of passage that we’ve talked about before as implicit bias. The best it could possibly portray is “they don’t murder everybody because that’s bad for business.”

If you think rebuilding the solar system and protecting their citizens from TITAN attacks aren't positive goals, "bias" is but the first in a long list of words you and I interpret differently.

MAD Crab wrote:

Quote:
The Planetary Consortium is the only major non-local political entity in the solar system (with the possible exception of the Autonomist Alliance, which is more of a mutual aid pact than a unified polity).

… it’s saying they’re big and controlling dude. At best that’s not positive, just neutral.

I don't see the word control anywhere in there.

MAD Crab wrote:
Quote:

As a result, standards of justice vary widely from the oppressive police state of the Jovian Junta to the free market judicial courts of the Extropians in the belt to the community justice policies of the anarchists out beyond Saturn.

“Community justice policies” sounds so much better than ‘mob rule,’ doesn’t it?

Because 'mob rule' isn't a biased descriptor at all.

MAD Crab wrote:
What, “In the present day, almost no one willingly lives in old economy societies” isn’t a rather obvious ‘new economy good, old economy bad” statement? “The oppressive Jovian Republic?” Being grouped with the totalitarian regimes? Whether they outright state the Jovians are one is actually kind of beside the point.

Of course it's a rather obvious 'new economy good, old economy bad' statement. But I'm only interested in bias (whatever that means).

MAD Crab wrote:
Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Residents of old economy societies tend to look at the people of transitional and new economy societies with envy, while citizens of both transitional and new economies look upon old economy habitats with a mixture of horror and pity. Since the Fall, almost a third of the remaining old economy-based habitats have transformed into transitional or new economies by various means, often involving violent revolution. Most social scientists predict that unless there are further catastrophes, all but the most repressive old economy societies are almost certain to transform to transitional economies within twenty to thirty years.

Are you serious? This is literally one of the most damning paragraphs in the whole thing. It’s 100% New economy is awesome, everybody who resists it is evil and will eventually be overthrown.

The modern world is already moving away from hard currency systems. Unless you can propose a mechanism for that trend to stop and reverse itself in the context of everyday nanofabrication, the above is simply a statement of the obvious.

MAD Crab wrote:

This isn’t any kind of anti-bias. We just got through the section saying “Everybody wants to be USSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS”
You can’t immediately go “Oh, but our lives aren’t perfect you know.” And count it as Anarchist Problems

But tell us how you really feel.

MAD Crab wrote:
Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Both the hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium were quick to make use of this vast labor pool, especially on Mars. Mars has large amounts of open space and resources and is sufficiently close to habitable that Mars-adapted morphs like the ruster are inexpensive to create. As a result, the Planetary Consortium has been responsible for the employment of almost half of all remaining infomorph refugees. For the past decade, the vast majority of infomorph refugees who want bodies have found that indenturing themselves to the Planetary Consortium or one of the associated hypercorps involved in Martian terraforming is the most reliable way to find both a morph and housing, since both are guaranteed at the end of the contract. The work involved is particularly difficult, however, and the contracts are normally quite long. The Planetary Consortium is also particularly adept at adding charges that prolong indenture—though most indentures carry five to twenty year contracts, in reality these indentures typically last between eight and twenty-five years; some go on even longer. This large population of indentured servants on Mars—many of them now free and resleeved—is becoming a force in its own right, adhering to the Martian wilds and rural areas and disdaining the elite hypercorp domes. Adopting the name Barsoomians from an old Earth fiction series, this resentful lower class is increasingly becoming a thorn in the Planetary Consortium’s side.

Large slave labor pool of indentured refugees, yeah that’s not a downer. Oh! And the company keeps PROLONGING THEIR INDENTURE! Not evil in the least, gotcha is all good.

Again, I'm not interested in good or evil. I'm interested in bias.

MAD Crab wrote:

You’re kidding. “Sometimes the barges are great, sometimes shit” is apparently highly anti-bias?

...is it pro-bias?

MAD Crab wrote:
Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Exploiting the chaos of the Fall, a group of stations and habitats were seized in a military coup and the Jovian Republic was born. Combining terrestrial South American dictatorship with U.S. American political lobbyism, this regime quickly brought the entire Jovian military-industrial complex under its control. Widely referred to as the Jovian Junta by the rest of the outer system, the Republic’s authorities hold a strict bioconservative stance against many transhuman scientific and technological developments. Exploiting fears engendered by the Fall, the Republic restricts access to sophisticated technologies such as nanofabrication, cloning, forking, and even uploading, and is one of the few old economies left in the system. Public communication channels are subjected to extensive censorship and travel privileges are extremely limited. Both uplifts and AGIs are strictly forbidden and treated as property without civil rights. Diplomatic relations to progressive factions remain cold; heavily modified transhuman emissaries or visitors are viewed with suspicion or simply denied access. Despite continuous reports of heinous acts of government oppression, the Republic’s intimidating military assets keep any other factions from intervening.

They were literally designed as space Nazis. Including space Nazis doesn’t mean that your game isn’t biased for making the conservative faction into space Nazis.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HitlerAteSugar

MAD Crab wrote:
Quote:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The system’s newest political bloc, the Morningstar Constellation is an alliance of aerostat habitats floating in Venus’s upper atmosphere. Formed after a recent series of joint vetoes from the major aerostats against hypercorp governance initiatives intended to limit aerostat self-governance, the Constellation’s joint political statement and agenda are still being discussed. While the Planetary Consortium views the formation of this new power bloc with bemused resentment, the Barsoomians on Mars and the outer system autonomists view the Venusians as free-thinking reformists rather than anti-hypercorp radicals. The population reportedly enjoys great liberties in morph and enhancement technologies as well as freedom of social and political expression. The aerostat of Octavia has emerged as the Constellation’s designated voice.

You literally just said it. They’re framed as being a breakaway from the corps who are sympathetic to the anarchists. That is NOT showing corps in a positive light!

Maybe. I'm not really tempted to look further into it, as various "headcanons" make any deeper analysis moot.

MAD Crab wrote:
Reagan cylinders, now there’s a name to make any freedom minded person happy. Sarcophagus habs! Not tooo biased. Oh, they’re inefficient O’Neill cylinders. And oh, those stupid jovians with their not radiation-proof morphs.

and don’t forget another mention of ‘sarcophagus hab!’ Nothing like constantly inserting “this is where the dead people are,” to maintain your unbiased perspective.

Meanwhile, in another entire faction called the Scum...

MAD Crab wrote:

Once again I scratch my head at your definition of reverse bias. That whole passage sets up a Wild West feel, with an ending “Don’t worry about the danger the corp claims, our community won’t tolerate people breaking the rules.”

How old are you, 120? It's been decades since I've heard anyone even passingly refer to the Wild West as "good times".

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Richly deserved

sysop wrote:
Thank you. :)

And thank you for your part in making Eclipse Phase what it is! We only get occasionally heated here because we're impassioned by the world PHS has given us. Keep being awesome.

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
I'm not biased, you're biased!

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
This thread was supposed to end the discussion but it failed due to... personal biases. Badum tsss.

Eh, there's no such thing as a totally unbiased consideration of something, especially a something with so many subjective and prospective elements. But I'm satisfied with the discussion that has arisen thus far.

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Guess I'll go eat worms...

MAD Crab wrote:
Hey Jack, I didn't make a thread to hate on you. I just responded to one that said I was making things up.

Hey, how come Jack gets a nice, reasoned response?

MAD Crab wrote:
It's not that you have a leaning towards one side or the other that bothers me, it's that EP makes a caricature out of both sides.

The book is already 400 pages long, and had to include a thorough explanation of what a reputation economy even is. It's a book that expects readers to meet it half-way. That's what I like about it. That not everyone shares this perspective does not mean this perspective is flawed.

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Suspension of a very feeble disbelief

Xoden wrote:
Yes, Jovian Republic is a conservative oppressive police state. But that's perfectly OK for a postapocalyptic polity that was formed in the wake of system-wide total war by survivors with heavy military and religious background.
They are understandable.
And they do definitely count as a baddies for most members of a decentralized conspiracy hell-bent on saving transhumanity at all costs (according to their understanding) with most members coming from a vastly different background.
And the whole setting is told from the viewpoint of Firewall.
So the only problem here is that we do not get sufficient non-Firewall PoVs. So it might be a bit hard for someone to distance themself from the narrative.

Well said. I think the broader issue is one common to all sci-fi: the difficulty in investing oneself into the proposed [game/book/movie] universe. Fantasy falls back on archetypes, history falls back on academia, but sci-fi can be anything. It's especially difficult with sci-fi on the harder end of the spectrum, where everyone has a different opinion on what's verisimilar.

EDIT: I forgot to mention: as far as non-Firewall perspectives, the only 'fault' in the EP1 Core Book lore is the absence of obviously Jovian-sympathetic commentary -- a single "blue entry" would fix that, IMO.

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
CordialUltimate2 wrote:Yeah,

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
Yeah, I see people complaining that Jovian Republic is made into baddies, yet my reading of them always has been that they're police state and that's it.

Rimward p195 wrote:

There are many ways to handle the Jovian Republic in a campaign. As superficially presented, the Jovians are portrayed as bad guys, both for their throwback attitudes towards transhumanity, their militaristic ways, and their fascistic government. It is certainly easy to play this up by highlighting their expansionism and belligerence towards other polities, their slingshot taxation and invasive naval patrols, or the way they repress their own populations and commit civil rights violations. This villainous empire niche is often important for certain scenarios—nobody minds shooting space Nazis, right?

Posthuman Studios has fully admitted that the Jovians were set up as the Space Nazis. I appreciate that they put in a note that you don't have to play them that way, but even that note likes to play up how stupid and backward they are.

CordialUltimate2 wrote:
Anarchist on the other hand are shown as a working but not unified system. It is not supposed to be a realistic implementation of any anarchist idea, but rather a gamespace. A place where you conjure most outlandish and crazy social structures and present them to your players. Everything is possible in the outer system. It's the "habitat of the week" kind of place.

You could dream up a consistent pseudoanarchist society or you could have left it vague. Posthuman Studios left it a blank space to colour in for GMs.


I agree that the anarchists are pictured as some Wild West habitat-of-the-week. I'm not even arguing whether that's a good or bad thing for the game in this thread. I'm just taking issue with Dilf's "you're making up the book bias" statement.

Now on to Dilf.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Feel free to propose a definition.

The connotation of "libertarian" varies from moderately negative to neutral. "Restrictive hypercorp backed oligarchy" is like playing buzzword bingo. Since much of the bias being complained about is in tone of writing, it's dishonest to ignore the heavy use of such words when describing many polities. You do this many times throughout your very, very long post.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
If you think rebuilding the solar system and protecting their citizens from TITAN attacks aren't positive goals, "bias" is but the first in a long list of words you and I interpret differently.

They're fine goals, given as a backhand compliment.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
I don't see the word control anywhere in there.

"Non-local political entity." They're the Big Government. The autonomist version is a "mutual aid pact."

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Because 'mob rule' isn't a biased descriptor at all.

Of course it is. That's the point. It's all in the phrasing.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Of course it's a rather obvious 'new economy good, old economy bad' statement. But I'm only interested in bias (whatever that means).
The anarchists use the 'good' economy, while the Nazis use the 'bad' economy. It's reinforcing the division.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
The modern world is already moving away from hard currency systems. Unless you can propose a mechanism for that trend to stop and reverse itself in the context of everyday nanofabrication, the above is simply a statement of the obvious.

-Citation Needed-

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
But tell us how you really feel.

Okay. "We have plenty and nobody has to do the nasty work, but we're not ACTUALLY post scarcity" is a really stupid statement.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Again, I'm not interested in good or evil. I'm interested in bias.

Having one group use slave labour is setting a pretty strong bias.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
...is it pro-bias?

At best it's neutral. But given the number of players who've chosen to be Scum vs the number who've chosen to start Jovian (hint - you can't even BRIBE most players to start Jovian) I'm going to say that the barges are appealing to a lot of EP's player base.


See above reference to Rimward. They were written to be The Bad Guys, as punchable as possible. This isn't a case of "the Nazis did it therefore bad"

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Maybe. I'm not really tempted to look further into it, as various "headcanons" make any deeper analysis moot.

Okay?

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Meanwhile, in another entire faction called the Scum...

Which they reportedly wear with pride. I actually don't like them much, so maybe the name does work against them a bit.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
How old are you, 120? It's been decades since I've heard anyone even passingly refer to the Wild West as "good times".

wikipedia wrote:
Enormous popular attention in the media focuses on the Western United States in the second half of the 19th century, a period sometimes called the Old West, or the Wild West, frequently exaggerating the romance and violence of the period

The Wild West is a popular vision of a lawless land where Good Men can go Make Things Right. It's the classic "Community of good folks, oppressed by an external threat, saved by the unknown gunslinger who rides into town then disappears." See just about every Spaghetti Western ever made.

What I'm saying is, the threats of violence in Anarchist space seem mostly external. A gang occupies the good folks and they need the PC to go save them. The communities themselves are all peace-loving collectives, yet still ripe for drama. As a setting, I definitely read it as a positive.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Eh, there's no such thing as a totally unbiased consideration of something, especially a something with so many subjective and prospective elements. But I'm satisfied with the discussion that has arisen thus far.
We agree on this, anyway. You can't make it perfectly even-handed, and it would probably be kinda boring if you did.

I should apologize. I disagree with you on this issue, obviously, but I got irritated and attacked you instead of just your arguments. That's not how I want to argue, I'm sorry.

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Wherefore art thou bias?

MAD Crab wrote:

Rimward p195 wrote:

There are many ways to handle the Jovian Republic in a campaign. As superficially presented, the Jovians are portrayed as bad guys

Posthuman Studios has fully admitted that the Jovians were set up as the Space Nazis.

They admitted that the Jovians are superficially presented as the bad guys. To that I say "....so?". Every country/group/society presents itself superficially, and said presentation is usually inaccurate by dint of its brevity. If you don't like that presentation, there are literally entire planets of room for you to declare otherwise orthogonally to the canon established in the core book. Let alone the fact that we are verily told to contravene said canon, if we so choose. Feel free to do so, but I don't see why accusations of bias are required.

MAD Crab wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Feel free to propose a definition.

The connotation of "libertarian" varies from moderately negative to neutral. "Restrictive hypercorp backed oligarchy" is like playing buzzword bingo. Since much of the bias being complained about is in tone of writing, it's dishonest to ignore the heavy use of such words when describing many polities. You do this many times throughout your very, very long post.

I meant a definition of "bias". Hint: it doesn't mean "I don't like when you say that".

MAD Crab wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
If you think rebuilding the solar system and protecting their citizens from TITAN attacks aren't positive goals, "bias" is but the first in a long list of words you and I interpret differently.

They're fine goals, given as a backhand compliment.

For a compliment to be backhanded, the insult must be implicit in the context of the compliment, ie. You look very comfortable in that sweatsuit = You should not be enjoying that level of comfort at this job interview. I don't see the implicit insult in "they want to foster development" or "they protect others from harm".

MAD Crab wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
I don't see the word control anywhere in there.

"Non-local political entity." They're the Big Government. The autonomist version is a "mutual aid pact."

Sure. Where's the bias, however you define it?

MAD Crab wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Of course it's a rather obvious 'new economy good, old economy bad' statement. But I'm only interested in bias (whatever that means).
The anarchists use the 'good' economy, while the Nazis use the 'bad' economy. It's reinforcing the division.

Again, where's the bias?

MAD Crab wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
The modern world is already moving away from hard currency systems. Unless you can propose a mechanism for that trend to stop and reverse itself in the context of everyday nanofabrication, the above is simply a statement of the obvious.

-Citation Needed-

For starters: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reputation_system#Notable_examples_of_practical_applications

MAD Crab wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
But tell us how you really feel.

Okay. "We have plenty and nobody has to do the nasty work, but we're not ACTUALLY post scarcity" is a really stupid statement.

This again? Please read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-scarcity_economy

MAD Crab wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
Again, I'm not interested in good or evil. I'm interested in bias.

Having one group use slave labour is setting a pretty strong bias.

Again, bias doesn't mean "I don't like when you say that".

MAD Crab wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
...is it pro-bias?

At best it's neutral. But given the number of players who've chosen to be Scum vs the number who've chosen to start Jovian (hint - you can't even BRIBE most players to start Jovian) I'm going to say that the barges are appealing to a lot of EP's player base.

I disagree that it's neutral at best. "Most likely neutral" I might accept, with some supporting arguments. And I don't care what players choose, I care about bias.

MAD Crab wrote:


See above reference to Rimward. They were written to be The Bad Guys, as punchable as possible. This isn't a case of "the Nazis did it therefore bad"

See my response above. And I wasn't saying "the Nazis did it therefore bad", I was saying "I don't care what the [Space] Nazis did, I care about bias".

MAD Crab wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
How old are you, 120? It's been decades since I've heard anyone even passingly refer to the Wild West as "good times".

wikipedia wrote:
Enormous popular attention in the media focuses on the Western United States in the second half of the 19th century, a period sometimes called the Old West, or the Wild West, frequently exaggerating the romance and violence of the period

The Wild West is a popular vision of a lawless land where Good Men can go Make Things Right. It's the classic "Community of good folks, oppressed by an external threat, saved by the unknown gunslinger who rides into town then disappears." See just about every Spaghetti Western ever made.

Like I said, the last notable Spaghetti Westerns were indeed made decades ago. Four of them, and change.

MAD Crab wrote:
What I'm saying is, the threats of violence in Anarchist space seem mostly external. A gang occupies the good folks and they need the PC to go save them. The communities themselves are all peace-loving collectives, yet still ripe for drama. As a setting, I definitely read it as a positive.

Setting aside the leaps of logic above, the most interesting, "positive" settings in fiction would be tense/horrible/terrifying situations/places/times to actually live in. This idea has been thoroughly explored in "The Last Action Hero" and lampshaded by the "Die Hard" series, for instance.

MAD Crab wrote:
I should apologize. I disagree with you on this issue, obviously, but I got irritated and attacked you instead of just your arguments. That's not how I want to argue, I'm sorry.

Don't go all soft on me ;) I was just being a little snarky. I'm fine with our discussion so far.

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Now with more Exposition(tm)!

GreyBrother wrote:
Bias is always a question of whose perspective we're looking at things.

One could say that there's not so much an autonomist bias, but just people who're unfamiliar with autonomists and therefore think it unviable from the start, filling in assumptions gotten through culture, upbringing and media for the things that aren't said.

I agree 100% by the way. This phenomenon is also paired with the greater amount of time/words used to explain the new sci-fi-ey "rep economy", because we know how money works already. This necessarily gives it more attention.

R.O.S.S.-128 R.O.S.S.-128's picture
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of us all?

Your argument basically comes down to "the writing isn't biased, rep economies are just really that awesome and everything else just really is that terrible!"

I hope you can at least understand why the more skeptical of us here find that line of reasoning to be less than persuasive.

That said, I'm not going to fault you with anything beyond inexperience. You have your own worldview and its associated biases, one that is likely reinforced by your peer group, and letting that color your analysis is quite a human thing to do. Assigning a -3 to anything short of utopia in the outer system while giving a screed like A People's History a 2 shows a significant lack of self-awareness, but nothing outside the human norm.

I'm sure you don't see the bias when you read EP's backstory and see a near future with the environment in tatters, "The 1%(tm)" holed up in a handful of walled-off cities surrounded by wasteland, with "The 99%(tm)" starving to death while they clamor at the gates. You probably just see that as "telling it like it is", because it conforms with what you already believe.

Spotting something that is biased toward your own beliefs is difficult, because we believe that our beliefs are true (why else would we believe them?) and what is biased about the truth? The awkward construction of that sentence is a good illustration of how even talking about it is difficult. However, learning to do so can be very useful not only for developing a more nuanced understanding of worldviews other than your own, but also for self-improvement. You may find that some things you've long held to be true are not so.

End of line.

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
That's a pretty BS argument

That's a pretty BS argument though, as you can apply the "you're just too naive, biased and nonskeptical to get it" to literally any ideology or bias. It's basically "Nuh uh" but with longer words.

Kremlin K.O.A. Kremlin K.O.A.'s picture
Dilf_Pickle wrote:With the

Dilf_Pickle wrote:
With the excitement surrounding Eclipse Phase Second Edition and the the discussions thereof, I wanted to take one more look at First Edition. Specifically, the supposed pro-Anarchist bias that keeps getting brought up. So I decided to calculate it just to be sure. I re-read the first 111 pages of EP 1sted. 4thpr, and noted every instance where that bias could be implied or inferred, as well as instances that countervailed such perceptions. I estimate this to be a reasonable scope, as later books were able to dedicate more space to nuance and counterpoints than the core book.

These evaluations are my opinion, of course, but I'm comfortable discussing or justifying any of the values I've noted below.

Biases are rated out of 3. "Pro" arguments support a balanced view, whereas "con" arguments propose bias.

(Conclusion at the bottom of this post)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay so we have a 7 point system. (-3 to 3) With 0 being unbiased.
Easy enough to translate that.
-3: As biased against Autonomists as you can get. "Alternative Facts" level propaganda.
-2: Strong bias against Autonomists
-1: Weak bias against Autonomists.
0: No bias.
1: Weak bias in favour of Autonomists.
2: Strong bias in favour of Autonomists.
3: As biased in favour of Autonomists as you can get. "Alternative Facts" level propaganda.

So the next question is "what did Dilf Pickle rate each section as?"

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p18 Enter The Singularity: We still survive, divided into a patchwork of restrictive inner system hypercorp-backed oligarchies and libertarian outer system collectivist habitats, tribal networks, and new experimental societal models.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The word libertarian here might have been mistaken as an appropriation of the Libertarian movement, a darling of American-style right-wingers.
Bias: 1


GIven that, outside of the Extropians, the Autonomists are a very left leaning group. Not sure if that appropriation is doing them a favour. But given that the other group is being listed as restrictive and run by oligarchies. Yeah a +1 makes sense here.

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p.28 Welcome to Firewall
p.29 What You Really Need to Know

Pro: I love this example of grey-on-grey morality. Excellent implementation of the unreliable narrator. A little obvious when re-read, but makes a great dramatic impact the first time you read it.
Con: The mention of "overcoming petty tribal bullshit" could be seen by some as an anti-corp inclination.
Bias: 0


Yeah, 2 lines on a contents page can't show much bias.

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p.32 A People's History of an Unfortunate Universe

Pro: Obvious unreliable narrator, and eminently thematic, given that rep economies are a large factor in the setting (let alone in modern-day futurology).
Con: Major expository section of the book portrays an anti-corp perspective.
Bias: 2


Okay so the term "A people's history" is worth a strong pro Autonomist bias tick.

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p.55 Politics and Power:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
In the aftermath of the Fall, the hypercorps established three important goals: rebuilding the solar system, protecting themselves from any further attacks (either by the TITANs or any other threats), and growing in both wealth and power. The hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium are exceedingly skilled at attaining all of these goals. Since popular rebellion and widespread dissent complicate these interests, the hypercorps are also adept at making certain the inhabitants of the habitats and planetary settlements they control are safe, relatively content, and, ideally, unable to cause serious problems. By extension, the second goal means they also help protect the surviving transhuman population against any repeat of the Fall. As the largest and most well-organized entities in the solar system, the Planetary Consortium and other inner-system governments are in an excellent position to protect the people living in their habitats and settlements. This protection, however, comes at the price of freedom.

Pro: The corps are recognised for their struggle against the TITANs and the development of habs.
Con: Corp-friendly types might object to the corps being portrayed as exploiting the situation.
Bias: -1


But stating that living on Mars means giving up your freedom is somehow weak anti-Autonomist bias?

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The Planetary Consortium is the only major non-local political entity in the solar system (with the possible exception of the Autonomist Alliance, which is more of a mutual aid pact than a unified polity).

Pro: Here, the PC is described as more significant than the AA, and more unified.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1]


It is being described as 'Big und stronk' That is not exactly a good thing. But it might be seen as such, I guess.

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p57 Libertarian and Utopian:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The more radical of these elements grew out of or maintained ties to progressive, anti-authoritarian, and left-wing social movements and insurgencies on Earth, drawing support where they could. Others simply stole hypercorp resources from the inner system and smuggled them to their secret projects. In a few cases, entire ships or stations mutinied, refusing corporate orders and pursuing their own path. It was rarely feasible for the hypercorps to pursue and punish such subversion. Even among these radicals, differences existed, so that those adhering to similar sociopolitical tendencies tended to group together. Over time these have developed into four rough groupings: the anarchists of Locus, the technosocialists of Titan, the anarcho-capitalists and mutualists of Extropia, and the nomadic free-for-all societies of the individualist scum. These factions form a loose alliance, a united front against the hypercorps and Jovian Republic—or as they call it, the Jovian Junta—and a pact for mutual aid and support, known as the Autonomist Alliance.

Pro: Straight-forward exposition.
Con: First instance of the term 'Junta'. "Utopian" could be interpreted as either "seeking utopia" or "are utopian".
Bias: 1


Use of Junta and Utopian should probably merit this part as having strong bias.

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p.58 Keeping the Peace

As a result, standards of justice vary widely from the oppressive police state of the Jovian Junta to the free market judicial courts of the Extropians in the belt to the community justice policies of the anarchists out beyond Saturn.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Jovian Junta described as oppressive.
Bias: 3


I agree with the number. Although I would note the term "community justice policies" is a very positive spin on "lynch mob."

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p.60 Punishment

Punishments are even more draconic in the Jovian Republic, where permanent execution and the destruction of all backups is the most common punishment for serious crimes against the leaders or large groups of the populace.

Pro: Use of an arguably-legitimate form of legal sanction.
Con: Mention of 'serious crimes against the leaders' reflects some oppressive/militant societies such as North Korea and Thailand.
Bias: 2


No argument here.

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p.61 The Old Economy

Spoiler: Highlight to view
In the present day, almost no one willingly lives in old economy societies. Very few individuals even visit such societies. The oppressive Jovian Republic holds most of the remaining old economy societies in the solar system. The few other surviving examples are totalitarian regimes where the wealthy elite maintain absolute control of all cornucopia machines and private ownership of one is a very serious crime.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Some might have misread "the few other surviving examples are totalitarian regimes" for "the few other surviving examples OF totalitarian regimes".
Bias: 1


A statement that the majority population of Jovian space are captives who want to escape their lives is only worth a weak bias indicator? Yeah, no.

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Spoiler: Highlight to view
Residents of old economy societies tend to look at the people of transitional and new economy societies with envy, while citizens of both transitional and new economies look upon old economy habitats with a mixture of horror and pity. Since the Fall, almost a third of the remaining old economy-based habitats have transformed into transitional or new economies by various means, often involving violent revolution. Most social scientists predict that unless there are further catastrophes, all but the most repressive old economy societies are almost certain to transform to transitional economies within twenty to thirty years.

Pro: Aligns with modern futurology.
Con: "horror and pity", even if justified, are emotionally-charged terms.
Bias: 0


Once again. Depicting those in Jovian space as envying the Autonomists, rather than fearing them. Not unbiased in the slightest.

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p.62 The Transitional Economy

Spoiler: Highlight to view
The transitional economy is a far more stable and easily maintained system than the old. Transitional economies blend old and new economies, and habitats using this system feature both private ownership of cornucopia machines as well as public fabbers and makers that are freely accessible. These public machines are strictly limited in the goods they can produce and the raw materials for various complex goods are also strictly regulated. Mars, Venus, and Luna are all examples of transitional economies, as is most of the rest of the inner system.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0


I can agree here.

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Transitional economies tend to be relatively safe places, since inhabitants cannot manufacture weapons more dangerous than knives, clubs, or similar primitive armaments. Everything from firearms to plasma weapons requires restricted cornucopia machines and exotic materials to manufacture. The proliferation of these items is strictly controlled.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0


No real comment here.

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Though these are commonly described as “post scarcity” societies, some types of scarcity remain very real.

Pro: Clarification of the actual economic meaning of post-scarcity, allowing that scarcities do exist.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1


You do not list a single example of biased text and then score it as weak bias against Autonomists?
So a lack of bias is bias against the A.A.?

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p.65
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Both the hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium were quick to make use of this vast labor pool, especially on Mars. Mars has large amounts of open space and resources and is sufficiently close to habitable that Mars-adapted morphs like the ruster are inexpensive to create. As a result, the Planetary Consortium has been responsible for the employment of almost half of all remaining infomorph refugees. For the past decade, the vast majority of infomorph refugees who want bodies have found that indenturing themselves to the Planetary Consortium or one of the associated hypercorps involved in Martian terraforming is the most reliable way to find both a morph and housing, since both are guaranteed at the end of the contract. The work involved is particularly difficult, however, and the contracts are normally quite long. The Planetary Consortium is also particularly adept at adding charges that prolong indenture—though most indentures carry five to twenty year contracts, in reality these indentures typically last between eight and twenty-five years; some go on even longer. This large population of indentured servants on Mars—many of them now free and resleeved—is becoming a force in its own right, adhering to the Martian wilds and rural areas and disdaining the elite hypercorp domes. Adopting the name Barsoomians from an old Earth fiction series, this resentful lower class is increasingly becoming a thorn in the Planetary Consortium’s side.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0


Dodgy tricks to keep people well past their slavery contract is neutral text now? Really?

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p.67 Scum

Spoiler: Highlight to view
In contrast to egocasting or the faster and more efficient fusion drive ships, so-called scum barges offer a floating city alternative to space travel. These ships function as roving black markets and carnivals of the bizarre—lawless zones where anyone can find whatever they want or need for the right rep or price.

Most scum barges have fusion-powered plasma drives and hold between two hundred and five thousand inhabitants. The worst barges are exceptionally overcrowded, with aging life-support systems struggling to maintain a breathable (but still foul-smelling) atmosphere under the strain of too many passengers. The larger and more prosperous scum barges are often fitted with various modern conveniences, including large cornucopia machines and vast stores of pirated manufacturing templates.

Some are thriving utopianist enclaves, while others are mobile dens of smugglers and thieves that would have been destroyed long ago except for the fact that large and powerful organizations find their existence occasionally useful. Living conditions on the scum barges range from overcrowded refugee camps or thriving, egalitarian anarchist enclaves to relatively modern habitats outfitted in barbaric splendor by successful organized crime gangs.

Pro: Hardly sounds idyllic to me.
Con: Scum are protrayed as occasionally having access to material prosperity.
Bias: -2


"Runs the gamut from awful to awesome." should not be a strong anti A.A. bias score here. -1 would be more appropriate, maybe even 0. After all it shows both good and bad happening, and given that the bad is due to taking in so many refugees that resources are stretched... Not a reference to cackling evil here.

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p.69 Private Habitats
The most rare and exotic of all of the types of habitats are the luxurious private ones owned by exceedingly wealthy or high-rep individuals.

Pro: Describes both Old Economy and New Economy elite as capable of attaining prosperity.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0


No real comment here.

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p.70 Factions, The Hypercorps

Spoiler: Highlight to view
To some economists, the Fall and the numerous crises that predated it on Earth can be viewed as an extinction event, the end of the line for the massive transnational megacorp dinosaurs, financial giants that supported their monolithic frameworks on outdated economic models and industrial technologies. The hypercorps are their evolutionary descendants: slimmer, faster, meaner, and more flexible, eagerly embracing the possibilities of new technologies and never afraid to toss the old aside to take advantage of the new. It was the hypercorps that drove transhumanity’s expansion into space and who continue to push the technological envelope, guiding transhumanity towards new horizons—always with profit as their driving goal.

Pro: Hypercorps are compared favourably with their predecessors.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1


"slimmer, faster, meaner, and more flexible," the traits of a better predator. This is not neutral language. This is language chosen to inspire wariness and fear.
Also Hypercorps comparing favourably to previous Megacorps that wrecked Earth and made Climate Change worse? Low bar to clear.

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The need for physical labor has mostly been reduced to tasks associated with habitat construction, terraforming, or deep space mining. Infomorphs and AIs are heavily employed (or more accurately, owned) as drone operators or virtual workers, and many administrative tasks are performed online via augmented reality, virtual private networks, and simulspace nodes.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Infomorphs and AI can be considered to be "owned".
Bias: 1


Umm, referencing slavery of human beings (remember kiddies, Informorphs are uploaded humans, more often than they are AGIs) is only a weak bias? Yeah, no. +2 at least.

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Spoiler: Highlight to view
Most hypercorps are traditional capitalist in outlook, though many have adopted alternative business philosophies and management models. This might include basing decisions on internal forecast market trends, groupthink consensus models, or ditching management entirely in favor of staff polling/voting initiatives that statistically fare better. A few are anarcho-capitalist or mutualist companies originating from Extropian enclaves, though these often suffer from a bias when making deals with inner system powers. The solar system boasts thousands of hypercorps; a few of the more prominent and interesting are noted below.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0


Nothing to see here.

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p.75 The Jovian Republic

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Exploiting the chaos of the Fall, a group of stations and habitats were seized in a military coup and the Jovian Republic was born. Combining terrestrial South American dictatorship with U.S. American political lobbyism, this regime quickly brought the entire Jovian military-industrial complex under its control. Widely referred to as the Jovian Junta by the rest of the outer system, the Republic’s authorities hold a strict bioconservative stance against many transhuman scientific and technological developments. Exploiting fears engendered by the Fall, the Republic restricts access to sophisticated technologies such as nanofabrication, cloning, forking, and even uploading, and is one of the few old economies left in the system. Public communication channels are subjected to extensive censorship and travel privileges are extremely limited. Both uplifts and AGIs are strictly forbidden and treated as property without civil rights. Diplomatic relations to progressive factions remain cold; heavily modified transhuman emissaries or visitors are viewed with suspicion or simply denied access. Despite continuous reports of heinous acts of government oppression, the Republic’s intimidating military assets keep any other factions from intervening.

Pro: Forward projection of some current trends.
Con: Focus on the worst aspects of South American and USAian politics.
Bias: 2


Okay, so 'exploiting fears' 'military coup' and 'heinous acts of government oppression' are the bar for 'strong bias.' What makes a +3 then?

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Morningstar Constellation
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The system’s newest political bloc, the Morningstar Constellation is an alliance of aerostat habitats floating in Venus’s upper atmosphere. Formed after a recent series of joint vetoes from the major aerostats against hypercorp governance initiatives intended to limit aerostat self-governance, the Constellation’s joint political statement and agenda are still being discussed. While the Planetary Consortium views the formation of this new power bloc with bemused resentment, the Barsoomians on Mars and the outer system autonomists view the Venusians as free-thinking reformists rather than anti-hypercorp radicals. The population reportedly enjoys great liberties in morph and enhancement technologies as well as freedom of social and political expression. The aerostat of Octavia has emerged as the Constellation’s designated voice.

Pro: Sympathetic portrayal of corporate entities
Con: Sympathy framed as alignment with anarchist values.
Bias: -1


The sympathetic portrayal is achieved by showing the subjugation of corp by state. and by placing Morningstar in opposition to Mars. And yet this is bias against the A.A. how?

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p.76 Planetary Consortium
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The Consortium applies basic democratic principles supported by a real-time voting system for all registered citizens. The congress and executive bodies feature a rotating cast of hyperelite politicos, gerontocrats, socialites, and even media icons. It’s a known fact that despite this political façade of a democratic republic, the members of the secretive Hypercorp Council are the true powers behind the Consortium. These hypercorps are major proponents of the transitional economy, the interdiction of Earth, and expansion beyond the gates. Aside from economic interests, the Consortium advocates the imperative of eugenics as social responsibility and for transhumanity to reclaim its former strength and prosperity—a campaign sometimes accused of euphemizing discrimination against unmodified humans, indentured infomorphs, uplifts, and the clanking masses.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0


'Promoting Eugenics' is unbiased? "Their democracy is a sham, democracy theater" is unbiased? Using said eugenics to promote sci-fi racism is a neutral description?

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Autonomist Alliance
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The outer system presented an opportunity for people who wanted to set up a way of doing things that was drastically different from the authoritarian politics and sham democracies of Earth and the inner system. Far from the reach of governments and hypercorps, this frontier was populated by political radicals, social dropouts, and people who just wanted to experiment or do their own thing. These initial habitats drew the interests of insurgents from Earth, scientists and technicians who didn’t appreciate being on a corporate leash, indentured vacworkers who sought to escape their oppressive terms of service, and even criminals fleeing hypercorp justice or forcibly expelled from inner system habitats. Their ranks swelled with every act of inner system injustice, though life on the fringe was often harsh and deadly. Despite occasional hostilities with nation-state military units or hypercorp security, the expense of reining in these radicals and expats was too high. To some degree, their presence was useful to the powers-that-be. Breakthroughs with nanofabrication brought these anarchists and fringers the edge they needed to keep their autonomy over the long-term. Once cornucopia machines were widely available, anyone had the means to support and defend themselves without relying on outside or higher authorities. Already an outpost for open source and free culture activists who fought restrictions on ideas, media, and digital content, the outer system became a haven for sharing nanofab designs and circumventing the controls the hypercorps attempted to place on their software and other digital goods. During the Fall, many outer system habitats opened their doors to refugees from Earth. Distance and the high cost of egocasting curtailed these efforts, however, as did inner system reluctance to send potential recruits to their ideological opponents. Simple overcrowding and lack of resources drove them to push many refugees to the outer system, however, though the hypercorps weeded through their virtual infugee mobs and sent those with the highest risk of criminal tendencies or discontent with inner system life. Though the outer system habitats run the gamut of the socio-political spectrum, four primary tendencies have emerged. The stations and swarms adhering to these ideas have bonded together under a loose autonomist alliance, a mutual aid pact to help each other in times of crisis and present a united front against the inner system powers and Jovian Junta. There is little formal structure to this alliance as an entity unto itself; it primarily exists as an assortment of joint resolutions agreed to by its various member habitats and a few ad hoc task forces dedicated to addressing a particular problem or issue and then dissolving. Delegated ambassadors act as negotiators with outside powers, but these have limited authority and are held strictly accountable.

Pro: Good and bad aspects of anarchism are presented.
Con: Another mention of "Jovian Junta".
Bias: -1


So good and bad are mentioned, this is listed, by you, as a non biased thing.
Jovian Junta mentioned.
Overall effect: Bias against A.A.... W.T.Monkey.F.?

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p.77 Anarchists
Spoiler: Highlight to view
In anarchist stations, private property has been abolished above the level of personal possessions—nobody owns anything, it’s all shared. There are no laws and no one to watch over what you do—reputation networks encourage positive behavior and anti-social acts are likely to draw a response from locals or even the entire populace, with disputes handled through ad hoc community conflict resolution. The mesh and various networking tools are used extensively to strive for group consensus decision-making in real-time. AIs and robots are relied on for most mundane and demeaning tasks. Various self-organized collectives, syndicates, worker’s councils, and affinity groups, often with rotating membership, take on different tasks and services that are important to a habitat’s community, including everything from communications and space traffic control to backup and resleeving services. Participatory militias organize collective defense against external threats.
Among the anarchist stations there are many variations and permutations on how things are organized, as everything is fine-tuned at the local level by whomever is involved. Larger decentralized confederations handle inter-habitat affairs and resource-sharing, even trading with the hypercorps. Though a hypercorp presence is allowed on some habitats, they are treated just like everyone else.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0


Nothing to say here.

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p.78 Extropians
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Contrary to the anarchists, the Extropians very much support private property and personal economic wealth; Extropian-owned corporations actively participate in the solar system’s hypercorp economy. Many of these corporations are worker-owned cooperatives, with workplace councils in local offices and an elected cooperative congress handling management. This puts the Extropians in a remarkable position where they interact heavily with both the hypercorps and autonomists but are not fully trusted by either.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0


No comment here.
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Scum
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Scum are nomadic space gypsies, traveling from station to station in heavily modified barges or swarms of smaller space vessels, mostly former colonial ships. The term “scum” has been gleefully appropriated from its original derogatory usage. Despitetheir reputation as criminals and scam artists, their temporary presence is often tolerated in many habitats for the entertainment they bring in the way of exotic performances and storytelling, both of which offer change and relief from the isolation of remote habitats and clusters. Their thriving black markets are an open secret but shut down only in the most oppressive regimes, as citizens returning with illegal goods must pass their station’s security anyway. The scum themselves comes from all manner of backgrounds. They are rejects, anarchists, criminals, societal dropouts, wanderers, artists, eccentrics, and more. As a culture, however, they embrace experimentation and an “everything is permissible” attitude. Many are ardent practitioners of extreme transhuman modifications. Long-time scum are sometimes scarcely recognizable as having once been human.

Pro: Good and bad aspects presented.
Con: Corporate-friendly readers might resent the "appropriation" of the concept of freedom.
Bias: -1


A nomadic sub culture being described as very permissive is a ding against the A.A. for you?

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p.79 Titanian Commonwealth
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Unlike old Earth socialist regimes, there are no state monopolies and no central planning. Anyone able to garner enough votes in the Plurality (the Titanian cyberdemocracy) can start a social money-funded microcorp and compete with other microcorps. Microcorps are owned by the Commonwealth, and profits are disposed of by the Plurality. Microcorps are required to be transparent as administrative entities, and the Plurality votes on whether to transfer discoveries to the open source domain. Regulatory matters are handled by AI and AGI bureaucrats (red tape still exists, but it doesn’t slow things down ... much). The main reward for individuals in this system is rep. Titanians who invest a lot of time or resources in a given field gain rep rewards for doing so.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0


Very positive depiction of the Commonwealth. No real hints of corruption in the system. I would give this a +1

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p.97 System Gazeteer, Jupiter
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Jupiter’s powerful gravity well is a major hindrance to gas mining in the planet’s atmosphere, as even craft that do not succumb to the violent, centuries-long atmospheric storms can only achieve escape velocity with the most powerful propulsion systems. Given the need for heavy shielding on such craft, gas mining on Jupiter is not nearly as efficient as on Saturn. Jupiter’s gravity, however, is also a valuable resource. Craft bound for Saturn and beyond can slingshot themselves outward by circling the planet to pick up velocity, cutting months or years off their trips. The heavily militarized Jovian Republic levies tolls against all spacecraft using Jupiter’s gravity to pick up velocity, including asteroids under propulsion. This protection money is the Junta’s primary source of revenue. Planetary Consortium ships generally accept the payment as part of operating expenses. Other factions are not so cooperative, and the Junta regularly seizes or destroys blockade runners.

Pro: Justification for the Jovian Republic's lesser prosperity.
Con: Mentions of "Junta" and "protection money".
Bias: 2


Yeah, nasty description but not full propaganda. +2 sounds right.

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Spoiler: Highlight to view
Most of Jupiter’s moons are really captured asteroids, lacking the size and geological complexity of planetary bodies. All are occupied. Some were converted to habitats; others host only Junta military and mining outposts. The Jovian moonlets consist mostly of carbonaceous rock, poor in metal, with some of the larger moonlets having layers or even cores of ice. Beehive habitats and Reagan cylinders predominate in the Jovian system. Reagan cylinders (called “sarcophagus habs” by other factions) are an inefficient variation on the O’Neill cylinder in which excavators hollow out an immense, cylindrical cavern in a rocky asteroid and then alter the asteroid’s rotation with external thrusters to simulate gravity. Other habitat types are rare in Jovian orbit, especially within 2 million kilometers of the planet, where the radiation is strongest. For a bioconservative faction unwilling to adopt radiation-resistant morphs, the Junta is in a poor location.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Several mentions of "Junta".
Bias: 1


the whole Reagan Cylinder bit is a little harsher than +1 suggests, +2 would work better here.

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The Jovian Republic has renamed Jupiter’s moons after various neo-conservative heroes from Earth’s history. From closest to most distant, the moonlets are Metis (Bush), Adrastea (Fairway), Amalthea (Solano), Thebe (McAllen), Leda (Chung), Himalia (Pinochet), Lysithea (Friedman), Elara (Buckley), Ananke (Nixon), Carme (Kissinger), Pasiphae (Schilling), and Sinope (Garcia). All are tiny, between 5 and 100 kilometers in diameter.

Pro: n/a
Con: Some of these names might seem like obvious pandering to left wing sensibilities, even though perceptions can changeover the years. Just ask Christopher Columbus or Marie Antoinette.
Bias: 1


Dubya, Nixon, and Pinochet as 'Earths Greatest Heroes'? Worth more than a +1. Another one that should be +2.

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The largest of the moonlets, hollow Amalthea is probably the most livable sarcophagus habitat due to the large lake created from its icy core. Living on Solano carries some prestige among Junta citizens.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Mention of Junta and prestige.
Bias: 1


Not much to say here.

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The Junta’s most notorious prison, Maui Patera Rehabilitation Center, is dug into a (mostly) extinct caldera wall north of the equator.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Mention of "Junta" and "notorious prison".
Bias: 1


Yeah, a +1 here makes sense.

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p.100
Ganymede tends to swing more heavily toward the Junta, as its citizens still see the Junta-maintained infrastructure—accurately or not—as necessary in such a hostile environment.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Junta.
Bias: 1


I would have put the ding due to 'accurately or not'. Still +1 makes sense.

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Now Hyoden has 2 million inhabitants, making it the largest city-state on Callisto and the largest non-Junta state in the Jovian system. Hyoden is itself heavily militarized, as the tendency of the local authorities to turn a blind eye toward operatives using their territory for forays against the Junta makes for uneasy relations with their powerful neighbor.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Mention of Junta.
Bias: 1


No comment here.

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Situated along the southern edge of the vast, rocky plain called Galileo Regio, almost on Ganymede’s equator, Liberty (population 7 million) is the Junta’s largest planetary city-state. It is closely tied to Liberty Station, a major shipyard and defense installation in geosynchronous orbit. Major industries include ship-building, space construction, fabrication, and security products and services. The Castle, the central security network point from which all surveillance data collected in the Junta is monitored and processed, is rumored to be in or near Liberty.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Mention of Junta
Bias: 1


"Liberty Station" is a fun bit of propaganda. but yeah, not quite enough for +2, so +1.

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p.101 Locus
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Locus is the largest cluster habitat ever formed. It is still growing, with over one million inhabitants in the habitat proper and another million in the nearby suburbs of scum barges and small asteroid stations.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0


No bias here. Except in your commentary.

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A quarter of its total volume is cut out in a roughly conical shape all the way to the Amoeba, an immense, softly glowing sculpture at the center of the habitat.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Portrayal of a beautiful landmark in an Autonomist habitat.
Bias: 0


Pretty, but not a big deal.

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This space teems with small craft and people on thrustpacks or voidscooters as they cross the habitat, play zero-g games, or visit the free-floating spimes and sculptures that dot the area.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Autonomists being portrayed as being notably fun-loving and having lots of free time to indulge in cultural interests.
Bias: 2


You reference a busy city description as a +2? Interesting.

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Locus was founded by a joint anarchist-argonaut venture and was the first major stronghold for the autonomist factions. Unlike Extropia, which has the tacit blessing of the Planetary Consortium and encourages the presence of security and insurance companies, Locus runs on a pure reputation
economy. Security, maintenance, expansion, and defense of the habitat are all performed by volunteers. Inhabitants interested in security monitor incoming ships and operate crowdsourcing systems that dispatch volunteers to perform WMD scans on new arrivals. Ships that won’t submit to a scan are asked to leave. If they don’t, anyone who’s designed a cool new weapons system recently is welcome to take a shot.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers. Favourable, fun verbiage.
Bias: 0


The reference to 'cool new weapon system' puts a positive spin on the whole thing. It is worth a +1, biased, but weakly.

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While saboteurs from the Planetary Consortium and other hostile entities can and do occasionally cause trouble on Locus, the hypercorps are currently unwilling to attempt a direct military attack on the habitat. The first time they tried, the Planetary Consortium and the Martian city-state of Valles-New Shanghai sent a small expeditionary fleet. The interlopers were caught completely off-guard by a fierce and well-coordinated defense. Six months later, they sent a much larger fleet. Help arrived from elsewhere in the Trojans and Greeks and from Titan, whose citizens took a dim view of any Planetary Consortium expansion beyond the belt. The Titanians now maintain a permanent base near Locus. Rumor has it they agreed to a mutual defense pact with one of Locus’s citizens, possibly the famous programmer-armsman Teilhard Liu.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Autonomists being portrayed as competent in scenarios that involve co-operation.
Bias: 2


I would have only given this a +1. But am using your +2 as a benchmark point to base the other scores around.

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“Welcome to Locus. You voluntarily assume the risk of organic damage or mental trauma by mooring here. You must bring or be capable of acquiring enough food, H2O, oxygen, and shelter to survive for the duration of your stay in a harsh, asteroid-rich environment. Weapons of mass destruction are prohibited. Further guidelines for coexisting with your fellow entities are in the habitat survival guide. You and only you are responsible for yourself—learn to love it!”
—Locus Immigration AR broadcast

“You have chosen the habitat Locus in the L5 Trojans as your destination, using the private carrier Atsuko van Vogt as your receptor. ComEx corporate policy requires us to inform you that the destination and carrier you have selected are unregistered and possibly unsafe. ComEx takes no responsibility for the continuity of your consciousness upon arrival. You assume any and all risks for travel to this point, including theft of forks or deletion. ComEx will include a permanent record of travel with this carrier on your file. Would you like to continue?”
—ComEx legal disclaimer

“The ComEx disclaimer? Yes, yes ... Listen: my neighbor three doors toward the Amoeba from here is a physicist. She has a box that generates micro-singularities in her lab. If people along my spar found out I’d stolen a fork of someone, they’d pop my stack with a grapefruit knife and throw it in there. That’s what we call ‘accountability.’ See if you get the same from ComEx.”
—Atsuko van Vogt

Pro: Open admission of the dangers of unregulated habitats.
Con: Unreliable narrator presents an in-universe "excuse".
Bias: -3


3 unreliable narrators. One from the Locus public broadcast, another from a Hypercorp that has motive to damage Locus' Rep, and discourage travel. And a third who is a local and has motive to make Locus look good.
This is your example of 'Fake News' level anti Autonomist propaganda? Da fuq? I would put this as +1 because the middle voice is the one made to look stupid.

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p.102 Saturn
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The second largest planet in the system is a much more favorable habitat for transhumans than Jupiter. Saturn’s lower gravity and milder magnetosphere are a boon to gas mining operations, and for resource-hungry habs, the rings are a feast (literally, in the case of the new Hamilton cylinder type habitats).

Pro: Justification of Saturn's greater material prosperity, compared to Jupiter.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1


No list of biased text in your pro/con bits, yet a -1. So no bias is Anti-Autonomist bias again?

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For ships traveling to the far reaches of the outer system, Saturn is an important alternative to using Jupiter for gravity assists. Less restrictive than Jovian regimes and richer in resources than the Trojans, Circumsaturnine habs and settlements are important innovators in habitat design and cultural organization.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0


No comment here.

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p.103
Quote:
Profunda is run along anarcho-capitalist lines. Thanks to the rich supply of organic chemicals, its upper reaches are home to many of the outer system’s best-known morph designers. The Enceladian Glitter Bloc is said to have as much influence over body styles as the Lunar fashion houses do over what people wear.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0


Not much to say here.

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The habitats of Twelve Commons organize themselves primarily along open-source anarcho-syndicalist lines, with work groups and research pods acting as the basic political unit.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0


Not much to say here.

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p.105 Phelan's Recourse
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Phelan’s accepts all comers. One could meet just about anyone here, from the government in exile of East Timor to hasidim from Brooklyn. The core of the swarm is the Stills, a fusion-illuminated grain farm and distillery operated by an allegedly reformed gang of Irish travelers who conned their way off Earth a few weeks before the Fall and escaped to the outer system. The Stills produce Phelan’s Ma, the most sought-after whiskey in the system, and Phelan’s Da, possibly the worst beer ever made. Despite the Phelans’ protestations of legitimacy, the criminal element is heavily represented here. The swarm represents an important link in red and gray market supply chains.

Pro: Open admission of the possible ills of unregulated habitats.
Con: Portrayed somewhat favourably, like a diversity-friendly barrio.
Bias: -2


So the open admission is an unbiased bit. The positive portrayal is biased.. and the overall effect is strong bias against Autonomists? Care to explain this one?

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p.106 Kronos Cluster
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Nearly five kilometers long and three wide, Kronos has major problems with crowding and infrastructure that have kept it from growing to the same size as Locus. The designers simply did not plan for the size the place might reach, and as a result another 150,000 people live in suburbs of tin can habs and scum barges in the space around the habitat. Kronos can be an extremely dangerous place. Insurance companies don’t like operating here, and the habitat is a patchwork of criminal and anarchist neighborhoods. Anarchist zones are generally heavily armed and safe, but a trip from an anarchist holding to the spaceport is best done with a group of well-armed friends. Criminal neighborhoods are only safe if you’re in the neighborhood’s controlling gang, and even then conflicts flare up regularly. The situation is exacerbated by the Kronos Port Authority, a junta of ultimates who operate security for the spaceport. Originally an Extropian hypercorp, the KPA fell into the hands of the ultimates when they decided that they could profit more directly by owning the company outright than by working as hired muscle. They violently ousted the original management and now use indentures in worker pods to maintain the port. This situation is tolerated by the local crime bosses and loathed by the mostly anarchist citizens, but so far no one is able to challenge the KPA, which enforces use of the port rather than any other mooring point with killsats and artillery.

Pro: Open admission of the potential dangers of anarchism. Autonomists being called a junta (!!!).
Con: n/a
Bias: -3


So, noting that Autonomist habs can fall prey to Military coups, backed by organized crime, is an unbiased comment. I can dig that.
Misattributing Ultimates as Autonomists is disingenuous. I saw your earlier explanation as inner vs outer system. In that case, I would remind you that Jupiter is Outer system. Thus Jovians are Autonomists? uh nope!
And overall result is total propaganda against Autonomists? Because 'the price of liberty is eternal vigilance'? Not even close. I could see a -1 here at worst. More of a 'plot hook to save the good guys from the Ultimates' kinda thing.

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p106. Titan
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The meager sunlight reaching its surface is insufficient to grow any but the hardiest plants, the mostly nitrogen atmosphere is dangerously toxic, and the surface is dotted with lakes and seas of liquid methane. In spite of all this, abundant hydrocarbons, a thick atmosphere, and diverse chemistry make Titan one of the few worlds in the system where colonists may rely entirely on local resources. Titan’s population is now over 60 million. Social money and the microcorp system have led to some spectacular gains and failures.

Pro: Justification of Titan's material prosperity. Admission that New Economy projects can fail.
Con: n/a
Bias: -3


So the mention that Microcorps can implode is neutral text... but overall result is 'Fake News" level propaganda?
There is a pattern here.
This should be a 0 or a +1.

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The St. Catherine Tong, the most dangerous native Titanian mob, is based in New Quebec. Titanian law is generally very permissive regarding individual freedoms, so the vices this gang trades in are of the blackest: snuff pods, stolen alpha forks, and nanoweaponry. A ready supply of fresh morphs bought from corrupt microcorp nursery administrators further fuels their rackets. The Tong is extremely violent and a major embarrassment to Commonwealth security forces.

Pro: Admission of serious crime in Autonomist territory.
Con: n/a
Bias: -3


So the existence of crime is neutral, but the existence of crime is the most blatant propaganda? Make up your mind. This should also be a 0.

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Nyhavn’s massive central dome, with its elegant blue towers and bioengineered parklands, rivals New Shanghai in size and ambition.

Pro: New Shanghai compared favourably to a supposed darling of the Outer System.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1


Big A.A. city similar to big P.C. city. This should be a 0.

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At the same time, the squalid blandness that prevails in the Martian suburbs and outlying souks is absent; the dwellings and neighborhoods of the Titanian working class display a riot of color and design, empowered by public fabricators limited by none of the enforced scarcity of Martian economics. For all its idealism, the Plurality is not immune to a desire to showcase its achievements.

Pro: Admission of displays of pride in Autonomist space.
Con: Titanian suburbs compared favourably with Mars.
Bias: 1


I can agree with this +1. It is showing the lower classes as better off than Mars, and proud of it. And apparently artistic too.

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There is an active underworld, despite the efforts of security forces, with the local St. Catherine Tong engaged in continual low-intensity warfare with triads from throughout the system.

Pro: Admission of crime in Autonomist space.
Con: n/a
Bias: -3


Crime exists!!! MINUS THREE!!!!
Seriously? Again? this should be another 0.

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p.108 Fissure Gate
The Fissure Gate remains in anarchist hands, operated and defended by the Love and Rage Collective. The gate is made available to almost anyone unless their rep score is tanked or they are pursuing commercial interests (ruling out most hypercorps). Support for gatecrashers is minimal—traverse the threshold at your own risk. Any discoveries made via this gate, however, must be shared for the collective good of transhumanity.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0


I might have given this a +1. Gatecrashing is resource intensive, and mid rep beings can get in here.
Also it subtly hints at the Rage part of Love and Rage.

Quote:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Conclusion:

So, after counting the totals, it seems like PHS is biased after all.

By 1.2%.

Against the anarchists. (-2/159)

So using your system, with the comments and adjusted scores, gave a final result of +30 or a 19.6% bias toward the A.A.
Care to defend your numbers? or dispute mine?

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
Very nice, Kremlin.

Very nice, Kremlin.

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Drilling down

Alright, something with some meat on it. Let's take a look...

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

Okay so we have a 7 point system. (-3 to 3) With 0 being unbiased.
Easy enough to translate that.
-3: As biased against Autonomists as you can get. "Alternative Facts" level propaganda.
-2: Strong bias against Autonomists
-1: Weak bias against Autonomists.
0: No bias.
1: Weak bias in favour of Autonomists.
2: Strong bias in favour of Autonomists.
3: As biased in favour of Autonomists as you can get. "Alternative Facts" level propaganda.

I can go with this as a starting point, although it's tough to make "alternative facts" accusations when disputing what is effectively an author's description of the world in their own mind. "You're wrong, you don't think that!"

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:
So the next question is "what did Dilf Pickle rate each section as?"

I'll skip the ones where we largely agree.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p.55 Politics and Power:

Spoiler: Highlight to view
In the aftermath of the Fall, the hypercorps established three important goals: rebuilding the solar system, protecting themselves from any further attacks (either by the TITANs or any other threats), and growing in both wealth and power. The hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium are exceedingly skilled at attaining all of these goals. Since popular rebellion and widespread dissent complicate these interests, the hypercorps are also adept at making certain the inhabitants of the habitats and planetary settlements they control are safe, relatively content, and, ideally, unable to cause serious problems. By extension, the second goal means they also help protect the surviving transhuman population against any repeat of the Fall. As the largest and most well-organized entities in the solar system, the Planetary Consortium and other inner-system governments are in an excellent position to protect the people living in their habitats and settlements. This protection, however, comes at the price of freedom.

Pro: The corps are recognised for their struggle against the TITANs and the development of habs.
Con: Corp-friendly types might object to the corps being portrayed as exploiting the situation.
Bias: -1


But stating that living on Mars means giving up your freedom is somehow weak anti-Autonomist bias?

Given that it's generally illegal for corporations to not care about profits first, the fact that here it comes in third = yes. Perhaps I should have gone -2.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p57 Libertarian and Utopian:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The more radical of these elements grew out of or maintained ties to progressive, anti-authoritarian, and left-wing social movements and insurgencies on Earth, drawing support where they could. Others simply stole hypercorp resources from the inner system and smuggled them to their secret projects. In a few cases, entire ships or stations mutinied, refusing corporate orders and pursuing their own path. It was rarely feasible for the hypercorps to pursue and punish such subversion. Even among these radicals, differences existed, so that those adhering to similar sociopolitical tendencies tended to group together. Over time these have developed into four rough groupings: the anarchists of Locus, the technosocialists of Titan, the anarcho-capitalists and mutualists of Extropia, and the nomadic free-for-all societies of the individualist scum. These factions form a loose alliance, a united front against the hypercorps and Jovian Republic—or as they call it, the Jovian Junta—and a pact for mutual aid and support, known as the Autonomist Alliance.

Pro: Straight-forward exposition.
Con: First instance of the term 'Junta'. "Utopian" could be interpreted as either "seeking utopia" or "are utopian".
Bias: 1


Use of Junta and Utopian should probably merit this part as having strong bias.

Why?

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p.61 The Old Economy
Spoiler: Highlight to view
In the present day, almost no one willingly lives in old economy societies. Very few individuals even visit such societies. The oppressive Jovian Republic holds most of the remaining old economy societies in the solar system. The few other surviving examples are totalitarian regimes where the wealthy elite maintain absolute control of all cornucopia machines and private ownership of one is a very serious crime.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Some might have misread "the few other surviving examples are totalitarian regimes" for "the few other surviving examples OF totalitarian regimes".
Bias: 1


A statement that the majority population of Jovian space are captives who want to escape their lives is only worth a weak bias indicator? Yeah, no.

Eh, maybe. Convince me.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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Spoiler: Highlight to view
Residents of old economy societies tend to look at the people of transitional and new economy societies with envy, while citizens of both transitional and new economies look upon old economy habitats with a mixture of horror and pity. Since the Fall, almost a third of the remaining old economy-based habitats have transformed into transitional or new economies by various means, often involving violent revolution. Most social scientists predict that unless there are further catastrophes, all but the most repressive old economy societies are almost certain to transform to transitional economies within twenty to thirty years.

Pro: Aligns with modern futurology.
Con: "horror and pity", even if justified, are emotionally-charged terms.
Bias: 0

Once again. Depicting those in Jovian space as envying the Autonomists, rather than fearing them. Not unbiased in the slightest.

Why would they fear them?

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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Though these are commonly described as “post scarcity” societies, some types of scarcity remain very real.

Pro: Clarification of the actual economic meaning of post-scarcity, allowing that scarcities do exist.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1


You do not list a single example of biased text and then score it as weak bias against Autonomists?
So a lack of bias is bias against the A.A.?

I count it as going out of one's way to highlight a weakness.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p.65
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Both the hypercorps and the Planetary Consortium were quick to make use of this vast labor pool, especially on Mars. Mars has large amounts of open space and resources and is sufficiently close to habitable that Mars-adapted morphs like the ruster are inexpensive to create. As a result, the Planetary Consortium has been responsible for the employment of almost half of all remaining infomorph refugees. For the past decade, the vast majority of infomorph refugees who want bodies have found that indenturing themselves to the Planetary Consortium or one of the associated hypercorps involved in Martian terraforming is the most reliable way to find both a morph and housing, since both are guaranteed at the end of the contract. The work involved is particularly difficult, however, and the contracts are normally quite long. The Planetary Consortium is also particularly adept at adding charges that prolong indenture—though most indentures carry five to twenty year contracts, in reality these indentures typically last between eight and twenty-five years; some go on even longer. This large population of indentured servants on Mars—many of them now free and resleeved—is becoming a force in its own right, adhering to the Martian wilds and rural areas and disdaining the elite hypercorp domes. Adopting the name Barsoomians from an old Earth fiction series, this resentful lower class is increasingly becoming a thorn in the Planetary Consortium’s side.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0


Dodgy tricks to keep people well past their slavery contract is neutral text now? Really?

Neutral and unbiased aren't the same thing.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p.67 Scum

Spoiler: Highlight to view
In contrast to egocasting or the faster and more efficient fusion drive ships, so-called scum barges offer a floating city alternative to space travel. These ships function as roving black markets and carnivals of the bizarre—lawless zones where anyone can find whatever they want or need for the right rep or price.

Most scum barges have fusion-powered plasma drives and hold between two hundred and five thousand inhabitants. The worst barges are exceptionally overcrowded, with aging life-support systems struggling to maintain a breathable (but still foul-smelling) atmosphere under the strain of too many passengers. The larger and more prosperous scum barges are often fitted with various modern conveniences, including large cornucopia machines and vast stores of pirated manufacturing templates.

Some are thriving utopianist enclaves, while others are mobile dens of smugglers and thieves that would have been destroyed long ago except for the fact that large and powerful organizations find their existence occasionally useful. Living conditions on the scum barges range from overcrowded refugee camps or thriving, egalitarian anarchist enclaves to relatively modern habitats outfitted in barbaric splendor by successful organized crime gangs.

Pro: Hardly sounds idyllic to me.
Con: Scum are protrayed as occasionally having access to material prosperity.
Bias: -2


"Runs the gamut from awful to awesome." should not be a strong anti A.A. bias score here. -1 would be more appropriate, maybe even 0. After all it shows both good and bad happening, and given that the bad is due to taking in so many refugees that resources are stretched... Not a reference to cackling evil here.

This one covers so much ground in a large sweeping generalisation (which leaves narrative room for the GM, incidentally) that it's tougher to evaluate, I admit. Let's split the difference and call this one -1.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p.70 Factions, The Hypercorps

Spoiler: Highlight to view
To some economists, the Fall and the numerous crises that predated it on Earth can be viewed as an extinction event, the end of the line for the massive transnational megacorp dinosaurs, financial giants that supported their monolithic frameworks on outdated economic models and industrial technologies. The hypercorps are their evolutionary descendants: slimmer, faster, meaner, and more flexible, eagerly embracing the possibilities of new technologies and never afraid to toss the old aside to take advantage of the new. It was the hypercorps that drove transhumanity’s expansion into space and who continue to push the technological envelope, guiding transhumanity towards new horizons—always with profit as their driving goal.

Pro: Hypercorps are compared favourably with their predecessors.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1


"slimmer, faster, meaner, and more flexible," the traits of a better predator. This is not neutral language. This is language chosen to inspire wariness and fear.

This is obviously a play on the expression "lean and mean", which is a totally neutral term.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:
Also Hypercorps comparing favourably to previous Megacorps that wrecked Earth and made Climate Change worse? Low bar to clear.

Do note that the alternative is to call them worse than previous megacorps.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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The need for physical labor has mostly been reduced to tasks associated with habitat construction, terraforming, or deep space mining. Infomorphs and AIs are heavily employed (or more accurately, owned) as drone operators or virtual workers, and many administrative tasks are performed online via augmented reality, virtual private networks, and simulspace nodes.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Infomorphs and AI can be considered to be "owned".
Bias: 1


Umm, referencing slavery of human beings (remember kiddies, Informorphs are uploaded humans, more often than they are AGIs) is only a weak bias? Yeah, no. +2 at least.

Why?

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p.75 The Jovian Republic

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Exploiting the chaos of the Fall, a group of stations and habitats were seized in a military coup and the Jovian Republic was born. Combining terrestrial South American dictatorship with U.S. American political lobbyism, this regime quickly brought the entire Jovian military-industrial complex under its control. Widely referred to as the Jovian Junta by the rest of the outer system, the Republic’s authorities hold a strict bioconservative stance against many transhuman scientific and technological developments. Exploiting fears engendered by the Fall, the Republic restricts access to sophisticated technologies such as nanofabrication, cloning, forking, and even uploading, and is one of the few old economies left in the system. Public communication channels are subjected to extensive censorship and travel privileges are extremely limited. Both uplifts and AGIs are strictly forbidden and treated as property without civil rights. Diplomatic relations to progressive factions remain cold; heavily modified transhuman emissaries or visitors are viewed with suspicion or simply denied access. Despite continuous reports of heinous acts of government oppression, the Republic’s intimidating military assets keep any other factions from intervening.

Pro: Forward projection of some current trends.
Con: Focus on the worst aspects of South American and USAian politics.
Bias: 2


Okay, so 'exploiting fears' 'military coup' and 'heinous acts of government oppression' are the bar for 'strong bias.' What makes a +3 then?

We could go by your estimation: "As biased in favour of Autonomists as you can get. "Alternative Facts" level propaganda." I don't see that here. By all means, demonstrate otherwise.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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Morningstar Constellation
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The system’s newest political bloc, the Morningstar Constellation is an alliance of aerostat habitats floating in Venus’s upper atmosphere. Formed after a recent series of joint vetoes from the major aerostats against hypercorp governance initiatives intended to limit aerostat self-governance, the Constellation’s joint political statement and agenda are still being discussed. While the Planetary Consortium views the formation of this new power bloc with bemused resentment, the Barsoomians on Mars and the outer system autonomists view the Venusians as free-thinking reformists rather than anti-hypercorp radicals. The population reportedly enjoys great liberties in morph and enhancement technologies as well as freedom of social and political expression. The aerostat of Octavia has emerged as the Constellation’s designated voice.

Pro: Sympathetic portrayal of corporate entities
Con: Sympathy framed as alignment with anarchist values.
Bias: -1


The sympathetic portrayal is achieved by showing the subjugation of corp by state. and by placing Morningstar in opposition to Mars. And yet this is bias against the A.A. how?

They're shown as unstable (newest bloc, a series of vetoes, political statement and agenda still being discussed); and "Autonomy" hasn't been able to fully take hold (Octavia is the designated voice). The new political situation hasn't eliminated surface indenture or synth slums (although this observation might better accompany other parts of the text, I admit).

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p.76 Planetary Consortium
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The Consortium applies basic democratic principles supported by a real-time voting system for all registered citizens. The congress and executive bodies feature a rotating cast of hyperelite politicos, gerontocrats, socialites, and even media icons. It’s a known fact that despite this political façade of a democratic republic, the members of the secretive Hypercorp Council are the true powers behind the Consortium. These hypercorps are major proponents of the transitional economy, the interdiction of Earth, and expansion beyond the gates. Aside from economic interests, the Consortium advocates the imperative of eugenics as social responsibility and for transhumanity to reclaim its former strength and prosperity—a campaign sometimes accused of euphemizing discrimination against unmodified humans, indentured infomorphs, uplifts, and the clanking masses.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: n/a
Bias: 0


'Promoting Eugenics' is unbiased? "Their democracy is a sham, democracy theater" is unbiased? Using said eugenics to promote sci-fi racism is a neutral description?

Are you trying to talk about neutrality, or bias?

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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Autonomist Alliance
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The outer system presented an opportunity for people who wanted to set up a way of doing things that was drastically different from the authoritarian politics and sham democracies of Earth and the inner system. Far from the reach of governments and hypercorps, this frontier was populated by political radicals, social dropouts, and people who just wanted to experiment or do their own thing. These initial habitats drew the interests of insurgents from Earth, scientists and technicians who didn’t appreciate being on a corporate leash, indentured vacworkers who sought to escape their oppressive terms of service, and even criminals fleeing hypercorp justice or forcibly expelled from inner system habitats. Their ranks swelled with every act of inner system injustice, though life on the fringe was often harsh and deadly. Despite occasional hostilities with nation-state military units or hypercorp security, the expense of reining in these radicals and expats was too high. To some degree, their presence was useful to the powers-that-be. Breakthroughs with nanofabrication brought these anarchists and fringers the edge they needed to keep their autonomy over the long-term. Once cornucopia machines were widely available, anyone had the means to support and defend themselves without relying on outside or higher authorities. Already an outpost for open source and free culture activists who fought restrictions on ideas, media, and digital content, the outer system became a haven for sharing nanofab designs and circumventing the controls the hypercorps attempted to place on their software and other digital goods. During the Fall, many outer system habitats opened their doors to refugees from Earth. Distance and the high cost of egocasting curtailed these efforts, however, as did inner system reluctance to send potential recruits to their ideological opponents. Simple overcrowding and lack of resources drove them to push many refugees to the outer system, however, though the hypercorps weeded through their virtual infugee mobs and sent those with the highest risk of criminal tendencies or discontent with inner system life. Though the outer system habitats run the gamut of the socio-political spectrum, four primary tendencies have emerged. The stations and swarms adhering to these ideas have bonded together under a loose autonomist alliance, a mutual aid pact to help each other in times of crisis and present a united front against the inner system powers and Jovian Junta. There is little formal structure to this alliance as an entity unto itself; it primarily exists as an assortment of joint resolutions agreed to by its various member habitats and a few ad hoc task forces dedicated to addressing a particular problem or issue and then dissolving. Delegated ambassadors act as negotiators with outside powers, but these have limited authority and are held strictly accountable.

Pro: Good and bad aspects of anarchism are presented.
Con: Another mention of "Jovian Junta".
Bias: -1

So good and bad are mentioned, this is listed, by you, as a non biased thing.
Jovian Junta mentioned.
Overall effect: Bias against A.A.... W.T.Monkey.F.?

This was answered in my response to Baribal here.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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Scum
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Scum are nomadic space gypsies, traveling from station to station in heavily modified barges or swarms of smaller space vessels, mostly former colonial ships. The term “scum” has been gleefully appropriated from its original derogatory usage. Despite their reputation as criminals and scam artists, their temporary presence is often tolerated in many habitats for the entertainment they bring in the way of exotic performances and storytelling, both of which offer change and relief from the isolation of remote habitats and clusters. Their thriving black markets are an open secret but shut down only in the most oppressive regimes, as citizens returning with illegal goods must pass their station’s security anyway. The scum themselves comes from all manner of backgrounds. They are rejects, anarchists, criminals, societal dropouts, wanderers, artists, eccentrics, and more. As a culture, however, they embrace experimentation and an “everything is permissible” attitude. Many are ardent practitioners of extreme transhuman modifications. Long-time scum are sometimes scarcely recognizable as having once been human.

Pro: Good and bad aspects presented.
Con: Corporate-friendly readers might resent the "appropriation" of the concept of freedom.
Bias: -1

A nomadic sub culture being described as very permissive is a ding against the A.A. for you?

No, but describing them as criminals and scam artists, rejects, anarchists, criminals, societal dropouts, wanderers, artists, eccentrics might be. Debatable, perhaps, but I don't see you debating.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p.79 Titanian Commonwealth
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Unlike old Earth socialist regimes, there are no state monopolies and no central planning. Anyone able to garner enough votes in the Plurality (the Titanian cyberdemocracy) can start a social money-funded microcorp and compete with other microcorps. Microcorps are owned by the Commonwealth, and profits are disposed of by the Plurality. Microcorps are required to be transparent as administrative entities, and the Plurality votes on whether to transfer discoveries to the open source domain. Regulatory matters are handled by AI and AGI bureaucrats (red tape still exists, but it doesn’t slow things down ... much). The main reward for individuals in this system is rep. Titanians who invest a lot of time or resources in a given field gain rep rewards for doing so.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers.
Bias: 0


Very positive depiction of the Commonwealth. No real hints of corruption in the system. I would give this a +1

No real hints of lack of corruption in the system, either. Have some patience: it's a single paragraph. And are we no longer talking about bias, but positivity now?

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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Most of Jupiter’s moons are really captured asteroids, lacking the size and geological complexity of planetary bodies. All are occupied. Some were converted to habitats; others host only Junta military and mining outposts. The Jovian moonlets consist mostly of carbonaceous rock, poor in metal, with some of the larger moonlets having layers or even cores of ice. Beehive habitats and Reagan cylinders predominate in the Jovian system. Reagan cylinders (called “sarcophagus habs” by other factions) are an inefficient variation on the O’Neill cylinder in which excavators hollow out an immense, cylindrical cavern in a rocky asteroid and then alter the asteroid’s rotation with external thrusters to simulate gravity. Other habitat types are rare in Jovian orbit, especially within 2 million kilometers of the planet, where the radiation is strongest. For a bioconservative faction unwilling to adopt radiation-resistant morphs, the Junta is in a poor location.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Several mentions of "Junta".
Bias: 1


the whole Reagan Cylinder bit is a little harsher than +1 suggests, +2 would work better here.

Maybe, if you provided justification.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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The Jovian Republic has renamed Jupiter’s moons after various neo-conservative heroes from Earth’s history. From closest to most distant, the moonlets are Metis (Bush), Adrastea (Fairway), Amalthea (Solano), Thebe (McAllen), Leda (Chung), Himalia (Pinochet), Lysithea (Friedman), Elara (Buckley), Ananke (Nixon), Carme (Kissinger), Pasiphae (Schilling), and Sinope (Garcia). All are tiny, between 5 and 100 kilometers in diameter.

Pro: n/a
Con: Some of these names might seem like obvious pandering to left wing sensibilities, even though perceptions can changeover the years. Just ask Christopher Columbus or Marie Antoinette.
Bias: 1

Dubya, Nixon, and Pinochet as 'Earths Greatest Heroes'? Worth more than a +1. Another one that should be +2.

If we had anything more than your say-so, perhaps.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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This space teems with small craft and people on thrustpacks or voidscooters as they cross the habitat, play zero-g games, or visit the free-floating spimes and sculptures that dot the area.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Autonomists being portrayed as being notably fun-loving and having lots of free time to indulge in cultural interests.
Bias: 2


You reference a busy city description as a +2? Interesting.

It talks about Autonomists being fun sophisticated people. It could count as a 1 or even a 0 depending on who you ask. Let's split the difference and say 1.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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Spoiler: Highlight to view
Locus was founded by a joint anarchist-argonaut venture and was the first major stronghold for the autonomist factions. Unlike Extropia, which has the tacit blessing of the Planetary Consortium and encourages the presence of security and insurance companies, Locus runs on a pure reputation economy. Security, maintenance, expansion, and defense of the habitat are all performed by volunteers. Inhabitants interested in security monitor incoming ships and operate crowdsourcing systems that dispatch volunteers to perform WMD scans on new arrivals. Ships that won’t submit to a scan are asked to leave. If they don’t, anyone who’s designed a cool new weapons system recently is welcome to take a shot.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: The fact that this system is described as working at all could be an affront to pro-corporate readers. Favourable, fun verbiage.
Bias: 0


The reference to 'cool new weapon system' puts a positive spin on the whole thing. It is worth a +1, biased, but weakly.

Ehh... maybe.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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While saboteurs from the Planetary Consortium and other hostile entities can and do occasionally cause trouble on Locus, the hypercorps are currently unwilling to attempt a direct military attack on the habitat. The first time they tried, the Planetary Consortium and the Martian city-state of Valles-New Shanghai sent a small expeditionary fleet. The interlopers were caught completely off-guard by a fierce and well-coordinated defense. Six months later, they sent a much larger fleet. Help arrived from elsewhere in the Trojans and Greeks and from Titan, whose citizens took a dim view of any Planetary Consortium expansion beyond the belt. The Titanians now maintain a permanent base near Locus. Rumor has it they agreed to a mutual defense pact with one of Locus’s citizens, possibly the famous programmer-armsman Teilhard Liu.

Pro: Basic description of the game world.
Con: Autonomists being portrayed as competent in scenarios that involve co-operation.
Bias: 2


I would have only given this a +1. But am using your +2 as a benchmark point to base the other scores around.

Again, this one is a tough call: co-operation is the Autonomists' "weak suit". +1 also makes sense, though.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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“Welcome to Locus. You voluntarily assume the risk of organic damage or mental trauma by mooring here. You must bring or be capable of acquiring enough food, H2O, oxygen, and shelter to survive for the duration of your stay in a harsh, asteroid-rich environment. Weapons of mass destruction are prohibited. Further guidelines for coexisting with your fellow entities are in the habitat survival guide. You and only you are responsible for yourself—learn to love it!”
—Locus Immigration AR broadcast

“You have chosen the habitat Locus in the L5 Trojans as your destination, using the private carrier Atsuko van Vogt as your receptor. ComEx corporate policy requires us to inform you that the destination and carrier you have selected are unregistered and possibly unsafe. ComEx takes no responsibility for the continuity of your consciousness upon arrival. You assume any and all risks for travel to this point, including theft of forks or deletion. ComEx will include a permanent record of travel with this carrier on your file. Would you like to continue?”
—ComEx legal disclaimer

“The ComEx disclaimer? Yes, yes ... Listen: my neighbor three doors toward the Amoeba from here is a physicist. She has a box that generates micro-singularities in her lab. If people along my spar found out I’d stolen a fork of someone, they’d pop my stack with a grapefruit knife and throw it in there. That’s what we call ‘accountability.’ See if you get the same from ComEx.”
—Atsuko van Vogt

Pro: Open admission of the dangers of unregulated habitats.
Con: Unreliable narrator presents an in-universe "excuse".
Bias: -3


3 unreliable narrators. One from the Locus public broadcast, another from a Hypercorp that has motive to damage Locus' Rep, and discourage travel. And a third who is a local and has motive to make Locus look good.
This is your example of 'Fake News' level anti Autonomist propaganda? Da fuq? I would put this as +1 because the middle voice is the one made to look stupid.

The Locus public broadcast lists only the negatives of Autonomist life.
The hypercorp disclaimer is totally neutral boilerplate -- I've read scarier, stupider disclaimers on a tube of toothpaste.
The third is an (intentionally-)obviously in-universe perspective.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p.102 Saturn
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The second largest planet in the system is a much more favorable habitat for transhumans than Jupiter. Saturn’s lower gravity and milder magnetosphere are a boon to gas mining operations, and for resource-hungry habs, the rings are a feast (literally, in the case of the new Hamilton cylinder type habitats).

Pro: Justification of Saturn's greater material prosperity, compared to Jupiter.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1


No list of biased text in your pro/con bits, yet a -1. So no bias is Anti-Autonomist bias again?

The immense advantages of a milder magnetosphere and lower gravity are barely mentionned in other descriptions of Titan.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p.105 Phelan's Recourse
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Phelan’s accepts all comers. One could meet just about anyone here, from the government in exile of East Timor to hasidim from Brooklyn. The core of the swarm is the Stills, a fusion-illuminated grain farm and distillery operated by an allegedly reformed gang of Irish travelers who conned their way off Earth a few weeks before the Fall and escaped to the outer system. The Stills produce Phelan’s Ma, the most sought-after whiskey in the system, and Phelan’s Da, possibly the worst beer ever made. Despite the Phelans’ protestations of legitimacy, the criminal element is heavily represented here. The swarm represents an important link in red and gray market supply chains.

Pro: Open admission of the possible ills of unregulated habitats.
Con: Portrayed somewhat favourably, like a diversity-friendly barrio.
Bias: -2


So the open admission is an unbiased bit. The positive portrayal is biased.. and the overall effect is strong bias against Autonomists? Care to explain this one?

The criminal element is heavily represented. And do remember that red markets=human trafficking. This one almost merits a -3.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p.106 Kronos Cluster
Spoiler: Highlight to view
Nearly five kilometers long and three wide, Kronos has major problems with crowding and infrastructure that have kept it from growing to the same size as Locus. The designers simply did not plan for the size the place might reach, and as a result another 150,000 people live in suburbs of tin can habs and scum barges in the space around the habitat. Kronos can be an extremely dangerous place. Insurance companies don’t like operating here, and the habitat is a patchwork of criminal and anarchist neighborhoods. Anarchist zones are generally heavily armed and safe, but a trip from an anarchist holding to the spaceport is best done with a group of well-armed friends. Criminal neighborhoods are only safe if you’re in the neighborhood’s controlling gang, and even then conflicts flare up regularly. The situation is exacerbated by the Kronos Port Authority, a junta of ultimates who operate security for the spaceport. Originally an Extropian hypercorp, the KPA fell into the hands of the ultimates when they decided that they could profit more directly by owning the company outright than by working as hired muscle. They violently ousted the original management and now use indentures in worker pods to maintain the port. This situation is tolerated by the local crime bosses and loathed by the mostly anarchist citizens, but so far no one is able to challenge the KPA, which enforces use of the port rather than any other mooring point with killsats and artillery.

Pro: Open admission of the potential dangers of anarchism. Autonomists being called a junta (!!!).
Con: n/a
Bias: -3


So, noting that Autonomist habs can fall prey to Military coups, backed by organized crime, is an unbiased comment. I can dig that.
Misattributing Ultimates as Autonomists is disingenuous.

Mea culpa, I did misread that bit.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:
I saw your earlier explanation as inner vs outer system. In that case, I would remind you that Jupiter is Outer system. Thus Jovians are Autonomists? uh nope!

Yawn.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:
And overall result is total propaganda against Autonomists? Because 'the price of liberty is eternal vigilance'? Not even close. I could see a -1 here at worst. More of a 'plot hook to save the good guys from the Ultimates' kinda thing.

"Tin cans", poor planning, extremely dangerous... and I'm only three sentences in. Criminal neighbourhoods, regular conflicts, weak subjugated autonomists... the -3 stays.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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p106. Titan
Spoiler: Highlight to view
The meager sunlight reaching its surface is insufficient to grow any but the hardiest plants, the mostly nitrogen atmosphere is dangerously toxic, and the surface is dotted with lakes and seas of liquid methane. In spite of all this, abundant hydrocarbons, a thick atmosphere, and diverse chemistry make Titan one of the few worlds in the system where colonists may rely entirely on local resources. Titan’s population is now over 60 million. Social money and the microcorp system have led to some spectacular gains and failures.

Pro: Justification of Titan's material prosperity. Admission that New Economy projects can fail.
Con: n/a
Bias: -3


So the mention that Microcorps can implode is neutral text... but overall result is 'Fake News" level propaganda?
There is a pattern here.
This should be a 0 or a +1.

Spectacular failure, and by the Autonomists best positionned to make (a form of) new economies work, per the narrative. Besides the fact that no justification is given for why said project would fail (the hallmark of a plot hook, mind).

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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The St. Catherine Tong, the most dangerous native Titanian mob, is based in New Quebec. Titanian law is generally very permissive regarding individual freedoms, so the vices this gang trades in are of the blackest: snuff pods, stolen alpha forks, and nanoweaponry. A ready supply of fresh morphs bought from corrupt microcorp nursery administrators further fuels their rackets. The Tong is extremely violent and a major embarrassment to Commonwealth security forces.

Pro: Admission of serious crime in Autonomist territory.
Con: n/a
Bias: -3


So the existence of crime is neutral, but the existence of crime is the most blatant propaganda? Make up your mind. This should also be a 0.

I'm not sure what you're getting at here.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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Nyhavn’s massive central dome, with its elegant blue towers and bioengineered parklands, rivals New Shanghai in size and ambition.

Pro: New Shanghai compared favourably to a supposed darling of the Outer System.
Con: n/a
Bias: -1


Big A.A. city similar to big P.C. city. This should be a 0.

Big A.A. city is so awesome, it's almost as awesome as big P.C. city. -1

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

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There is an active underworld, despite the efforts of security forces, with the local St. Catherine Tong engaged in continual low-intensity warfare with triads from throughout the system.

Pro: Admission of crime in Autonomist space.
Con: n/a
Bias: -3


Crime exists!!! MINUS THREE!!!!
Seriously? Again? this should be another 0.

Interplanetary crime of the most egregious nature. Convince me it's not -3 (using something more persuasive than punctuation).

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:

Quote:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Conclusion:

So, after counting the totals, it seems like PHS is biased after all.

By 1.2%.

Against the anarchists. (-2/159)

So using your system, with the comments and adjusted scores, gave a final result of +30 or a 19.6% bias toward the A.A.
Care to defend your numbers? or dispute mine?

My adjustments to your adjustments come out to -4, or -2.5% bias against the A.A., although we're already stretching the usefulness of my initial quick-and-dirty rubric. The fact that we're looking so carefully at ~5 pages out of 111 in our Search for Bias is yet another nail in the coffin for the bias camp, and any stragglers would be blown out of the water by even a cursory glance at the splatbooks.

I'm not sure I have much more to say on the subject.

eaton eaton's picture
This is one of those

This is one of those perennial discussions in Eclipse Phase that never goes anywhere because people are really talking about (and asking for) two different things. The first is *a neutral voice* for the core book's narrator, the other is *moral and ethical equivalence* amongst the game's assorted factions.

The former gets particularly muddled when players bring their own biases and preferences to their interpretation of the books' flavor text. Google "Hostile Media Effect" for a more detailed discussion of why this frequently results in two sides insisting that the media/core book is biased against *both of them*.

Pointing out that crime exists in an anarchist habitat is only anti-anarchist bias *if crime doesn't actually exist*, or if crime is never mentioned in non-anarchist contexts. Referring to anarchist criminal justice "Community justice committees" is only an example of pro-anarchist bias *if they are actually lynch mobs*. At the end of the day, these conversations inevitably devolve because different readers have different opinions about the viability of assorted political systems, and some are offended by fluff that doesn't reflect their headcanon.

Kremlin K.O.A. Kremlin K.O.A.'s picture
Eaton, in reply to your point

Eaton, in reply to your point.
I should note that IRL I have AnSoc leanings.
And in EP I would much rather live under a Rep economy.
Not because I believe they are as shiny and perfect as the books suggest.
But because the flaws are ones I would prefer to deal with than the ones of capitalism.
I would be very happy as infolife in a simulspace. This would allow me to use my rep to get to a habitat that likes me (or one of the nicer scum swarms)
Popularity as wealth is something I would be able to game fairly well.
The whole issue of echo chambers and groupthink? I am okay with that as a price to pay.

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
I tend to think capitalism is

I tend to think capitalism is so very stable, because it treats as virtues many aspects of human nature that other systems would consider vice. Inequality, wanting what other people have is literally one of the core drivers. Monopoly, the accumulation of power, it's all kinda baked into the system. As a human being who likes freedom, this doesn't sit well with me. On the other hand, I've seen so very many groups started with high hopes and "Be awesome to each other" rules devolve into petty bickering, sniping, exclusion and people being massive raging assholes that anarchists as presented DO seem laughable. So I guess it's true, I have a bias there.

I don't think that really factors though. The writers lean anarchist. They admit that's in the writing. Good or bad, it is what it is.

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
Aye, there's the rub

eaton wrote:
This is one of those perennial discussions in Eclipse Phase that never goes anywhere because people are really talking about (and asking for) two different things. The first is *a neutral voice* for the core book's narrator, the other is *moral and ethical equivalence* amongst the game's assorted factions.

The former gets particularly muddled when players bring their own biases and preferences to their interpretation of the books' flavor text. Google "Hostile Media Effect" for a more detailed discussion of why this frequently results in two sides insisting that the media/core book is biased against *both of them*.

Indeed, most people in these discussions seem to be seeking fairness, equivalence, or verisimility, but for some reason feel the need to bandy about the term 'bias' without realising that it's actually a very specific term. I guess it sounds fancy.

eaton wrote:
Pointing out that crime exists in an anarchist habitat is only anti-anarchist bias *if crime doesn't actually exist*, or if crime is never mentioned in non-anarchist contexts. Referring to anarchist criminal justice "Community justice committees" is only an example of pro-anarchist bias *if they are actually lynch mobs*.

...those are lies or propaganda, not bias. Bias is an inclination that inhibits impartial judgement. The problem with discussing bias in EP1 is that the authors have dictated the reality of the world. They are the judgement. Were it not for the simulationist elements of the world they've created, "bias" on their part would be literally impossible.

Verisimility is another argument, but there are parallels. Most of my statements above support—within the significant margin of error of speculative fiction!—the verisimility of the EP world as well. This is one of the few advantages of the field being so muddy, so to speak.

eaton wrote:
At the end of the day, these conversations inevitably devolve because different readers have different opinions about the viability of assorted political systems, and some are offended by fluff that doesn't reflect their headcanon.

I'm not sure I would use the term "devolve", but I understand what you're getting at and agree with the logic behind it.

Kremlin K.O.A. wrote:
Not because I believe they are as shiny and perfect as the books suggest.

...which is fortunate, because you yourself have stated the diametrical opposite several times in this very thread.

MAD Crab wrote:
The writers lean anarchist. They admit that's in the writing. Good or bad, it is what it is.

And that's the crux of the matter: the writers have laid out their game world, and it's clearly engaging enough for most of us here to be thoroughly invested. I see this as a net gain, disagreements and all.

-----------
P.S. Kremlin K.O.A. and MAD Crab, you guys have boss avatars. I need to get one one of these days.

MAD Crab MAD Crab's picture
Dilf_Pickle wrote:

Dilf_Pickle wrote:

...but for some reason feel the need to bandy about the term 'bias' without realising that it's actually a very specific term.

It is a very specific term. It means: "Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair."
We say there is a bias for Anarchists, and against any conservative factions. This is true. As a game world and story, there is a bias. That it is "objectively true" in the game doesn't make it not biased writing, no matter how many times you claim it does.

Dilf_Pickle wrote:

And that's the crux of the matter: the writers have laid out their game world, and it's clearly engaging enough for most of us here to be thoroughly invested. I see this as a net gain, disagreements and all.

Heh. My GM recently commented that she knew I loved the game because of how much I argued on the forums. It's true. I wouldn't spend half so much time talking and thinking about the game if it didn't strike several cords with me.

wrote:
P.S. Kremlin K.O.A. and MAD Crab, you guys have boss avatars. I need to get one one of these days.
Isn't it? Jack Kaiser was doing requests, once upon a time, and gave me permission to use that one as an avatar. He also drew one that came from my group's very first EP game. It might be my favorite bit of art, ever.

Baribal Baribal's picture
Nature vs. nurture

MAD Crab wrote:
I tend to think capitalism is so very stable, because it treats as virtues many aspects of human nature that other systems would consider vice. Inequality, wanting what other people have is literally one of the core drivers. Monopoly, the accumulation of power, it's all kinda baked into the system.

...*or* these vices are found so often in humans because of their nurture in capitalist societies, where to adopt them is a necessity for success. If *that* should hold true, then anarchist habitats should have been quite stable at least until the Fall, as they were founded by like-minded individuals, weren't subjected to coercive outside interference (as they could be self-sufficient), and had decades to raise inhabitants who were nurtured in an anarcho-communal context. Not to mention that before the Fall, the norm on Earth was pathological end-state capitalism, leading to people dropping out of mainstream society in greater number than ever before, willing to try *anything* else.
If that should hold true, I'd like to hear stories about what happened when those functioning habitats suffered a mass influx of people who, by merit of being people adapted to capitalist society, were the ones who could be the Fall refugees.

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

eaton eaton's picture
Quote:If that should hold

Quote:
If that should hold true, I'd like to hear stories about what happened when those functioning habitats suffered a mass influx of people who, by merit of being people adapted to capitalist society, were the ones who could be the Fall refugees.

Nowwwwww you're talkin' one-shot.
Baribal Baribal's picture
eaton wrote:Quote:If that

eaton wrote:
Quote:
If that should hold true, I'd like to hear stories about what happened when those functioning habitats suffered a mass influx of people who, by merit of being people adapted to capitalist society, were the ones who could be the Fall refugees.

Nowwwwww you're talkin' one-shot.

As in one-shot adventure? I don't know; it'd make for an interesting setting background, I'm sure, but I would be hard-pressed to come up with a scenario where such a situation escalated into something that looks like a potential x-risk. But it would also be an interesting plot for a short story or two, and material for a handful of habitat descriptions, ranging the spectrum from a "Blue Mars"-like instant integration to fully parallel societies and civil war.

Morgan's Butchery | Body bank, morph individualization and upgrades | Psychotherapy and Psychosurgery, therapeutic and recreational | http://eclipsephase.com/comment/59484#comment-59484

Dilf_Pickle Dilf_Pickle's picture
"Is not!" // "Is too!"

MAD Crab wrote:
I tend to think capitalism is so very stable, because it treats as virtues many aspects of human nature that other systems would consider vice. Inequality, wanting what other people have is literally one of the core drivers. Monopoly, the accumulation of power, it's all kinda baked into the system.

Depends what you means by 'stable'. The forms of capitalism that survive today include heavy, and increasing, doses of socialism.

MAD Crab wrote:
Dilf Pickle wrote:
...but for some reason feel the need to bandy about the term 'bias' without realising that it's actually a very specific term.

It is a very specific term. It means: "Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair."

The flavour of bias being laid at EP1's feet is of the logical variety, which demands an 'unfairness' that has yet to be demonstrated.

Baribal wrote:
...*or* these vices are found so often in humans because of their nurture in capitalist societies, where to adopt them is a necessity for success.

Interesting... I've never thought of it like that.