Treatment of Conservative Factions Hurts The Game

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atamajakki atamajakki's picture
Treatment of Conservative Factions Hurts The Game
I'm aware of Posthuman Studios politics (and love them for it, please don't get me wrong!), but the treatment of the various political blocs in Eclipse Phase is a little ridiculous. It's hard to view the Titanian Commonwealth's socialist democracy as anything other than the best place in the solar system to live, and the various anarchist/autonomist groups are depicted as operating well beyond the most idealistic dreams. Meanwhile, the Political Consortium is an alliance of cartoonishly evil capitalists dedicated to keeping the little man down and has actual slavery, and the Jovian Republic is a willfully-ignorant hellhole that seems less like a real civilization and more like the unholy spawn of 1950s America and Starship Troopers (now with added cancer that no one is willing to cure because reasons). Bioconservatives are little more than Fox News' worst in soace instead of a valid stance. I get that the PC is an excuse for classic cyberpunk tropes. I get that the Jovians make a fun "space Nazis" bad guy that you don't feel bad for fighting. But this sort of black-and-white writing closes off more writing potential than it enables and really hurts the setting's potential. I know Rimward tried to rectify this, but it really amounted to little more than "you can make the Jovians less shitty if you want" and "yeah, I guess anarchy has problems, but we're gonna keep acting like it's perfect." Making the PC and Jovians more sensible (or at least explaining their positives in light of their overwhelming cons) would help EP feel more like the future and less like an 80s comic series.
ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
here we go again...
here we go again... http://eclipsephase.com/are-there-any-positive-traits-jovian-junta Seems like there is a topic like this every few months
thepedant thepedant's picture
Let me come from the Planetary Consortium angle...
I find the Planetary Consortium very poorly detailed in terms of what it means to be a "hypercorporation" as opposed to "a feudal government with positions labeled by MBAs." Let me get this out in the open: I'm a licensed attorney who spends a chunk of his day job reading banking, securities, and other regulatory law. The current legal structure of "corporations" depends deeply on there being an authority outside the entity itself to: 1) Separate the liability of the owners from the liability of the company - that the debts of the company cannot be collected from the shareholders/partners; 2) Ensure that management is responsible to ownership - that the day-to-day running of the company can be influenced by shareholders through voting or at the very least over suing over mis-stating the company's valuation; 3) Determine when an entity is insolvent and start a process where the debt-holders control the entity or to sell off all the entity's assets. If the Planetary Consortium itself did all of these things with regards to its members - essentially was a hyper-Chamber of Commerce with Chancery and Bankruptcy courts tacked on - it would be a lot less "evil" than assumed. It would be, essentially, no more evil than the United States in 1840; despite slavery and social inequality, there's a baseline rule of law that prevents Direct Action from taking your morph just because your business owes a debt to Solaris, and you can legitimately enforce claims for damages against hypercorporations.
Urthdigger Urthdigger's picture
I think a lot of players
I think a lot of players agree, and I commonly see folks adding more darkness to the outer rim and light to the inner rim. My character in particular has actually enjoyed his time in the PC and LLA, mostly because his contract holders weren't utter dickbags.
uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
The Titanians and their
The Titanians and their jantehoven thing where being noteworthy is shamed, seems pretty unpleasant to me. Still preferable to hypercapitalism, but I don't think there is any perfect place in the setting. Not that I disagree with your claims that the Inner System is too dark and the Outer too shiny.
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atamajakki atamajakki's picture
Pros and Cons
Maybe we could try and establish the good parts of the negative groups and the shitty parts of the positive ones? The LLA is pretty notorious for its poverty and anti-synth prejudice, but it's also a haven for ethnic identities (not fake groups like the authentics on Mars, but actually "from that place on Earth" folks) and a hub for the Reclaimer movement.
UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
The jantehoven thing is
The jantehoven thing is really overblown (typically because of this "problem"). The actual passage in Rimward limits it's most extreme visible effect to be that kind of weird "don't acknowledge you're actually famous unless you're in the context of your fame" thing in the Media district in... Nyhaven I think? Everywhere else it's implied to be less than that. And, if that one, cryptic teasing post in the thread about Kronos is to believed, we will soon have our "Titans are dirty bastards behind closed doors" element. Anyway, I am very familiar with this discussion (not just because these forums have this same goddamn argument every couple of months). Personally, while the Planetary Consortium is almost always painted as a bad idea or kind of a bastard, this makes perfect sense. Corporate entities in our modern era do plenty of underhanded and shitty things to drive a profit, some of which are illegal and some of which merely cause the populace to wonder "why can they do that?", and some you don't even notice. But, for most of the people in it, the Consortium has a healthy middle-class who are fairly secure and don't mind it too much. The assholery-opinion from the PC comes from the hardline autonomists who view the nature of PC indentures to be slavery, which is a "no", or from their concerns about the long-term given that their upper eschalons are corp-exec types who enjoy having the ostentatious wealth to do whatever the hell they want, platinum-plated sex slitheroids and all. They're very human. Now, I'll admit, Jovians were pretty bland at first. And possibly contradictory. But Rimward adds some depth in that department and gives you more fluidity to work with them. If you're complaining about fluidity in EP, well, you may need a different game. Open the back of Core and you'll find a whole lot of much more important (in terms of the setting and storytelling) information is basically "We don't know. It could be this, it could be that. You decide". I am comfortable with people being able to use the Jovians as they like in terms of telling a story. They have legitimate points I respect them for (even if my own system of values tells me to stay the hell away) and don't wish them to die in a fire, unlike some. Bioconservatism is a similar point. 10 years after the techno-apocalypse, it's a pretty valid idea to be like "maybe all this tech shit is bad" and some people will just be weirded out by uplifts and AIs and stuff. Despite what Gene Roddenberry thought, the future does not magically wipe away human nature. Bioconservatism seems like jerks because you hear about jerks more, and they're noted as a movement turning to extremism because they aren't being listened too as strongly. You want a more reasonable tech-restrict faction, there's always Precautionism. Anyway, EP really seems like it focuses on projections from the modern day, like a lot of good sci-fi, and pitches stuff to a slight extreme because that's more interesting. It's not necessarily supposed to be a perfectly legit sociopolitical commentary, but a type of world with these types of logical (at least internally) groups in it, but the details are up to you. EDIT
atamajakki wrote:
Maybe we could try and establish the good parts of the negative groups and the shitty parts of the positive ones?
This is all well and good for a post-facto discussion by fans, but trying to do this in a narrative context would make every Creative Writing teacher weep over the abuse of "show don't tell". Even if the reader is technically being "told" most fluff-stuff in EP in a context. It's more of a metaphorical show. Anyway, focusing, this is something that is interesting and possibly fun for people to do with the material once it's out, but can detract from the way the writing is in an actual context. I/E, you're supposed to be able to feel out the pros and cons from reading the material, not it throwing up a chart.
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mellonbread mellonbread's picture
This comes up pretty often
[url=http://eclipsephase.com/jovian-pcs-and-their-scarcity]This[/url] [url=http://eclipsephase.com/are-there-any-positive-traits-jovian-junta]comes... [url=http://eclipsephase.com/making-jovians-non-stupid]up[/url] pretty [url=http://eclipsephase.com/sympathy-jovians]often[/url] The Jovians are definitely my second favorite faction after the Argonauts. Designing [url=https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NPqyO-VQDbp2aQxP68Er8FSNcqev_-mfJlcQ... for the designated "villain" faction is much more fun than the obvious "heroes" of the setting.
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atamajakki atamajakki's picture
What are the downsides of the
What are the downsides of the Morningstar Constellation, anyway?
UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
atamajakki wrote:What are the
atamajakki wrote:
What are the downsides of the Morningstar Constellation, anyway?
They basically do all the things the Consortium does, only less dickish. They don't have any plans to terraform the surface of Venus which could give lots of people a new home but would cost the aerostats (many people interpret this as "Venusians are haughty about aesthetics and so they denied the terraforming plans"). As far as I can tell, Morningstar also basically has no coordinated centralized government, it's all an alliance of affiliated city-states who are roughly free govern as they like, which means they probably don't exactly have any standing military force. Surface mining on Venus is probably suckier than 75% of indenture jobs in the PC, even if the terms are shorter. Lack of strong oversight probably means nobody's paying too much attention to what Nimbus is doing with the Neo-Synergists and the Hyper-Mesh Insert which is an X-risk and a half. Venus is home to at least a couple hidden, criminal aerostats. It's not a great list, MC is basically the PC-lite, which means they're nice and pleasant to deal with but unlikely to generate enough weight to throw around to do anything significant system-wide other than be independent of the PC anytime soon.
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kindalas kindalas's picture
A thought
Eclipse Phase is post apocalyptic and horror. Which means that it is a terrible place to live. Unless you are credit and/or reputation rich. One of the things to consider is that each faction has a certain word count available to it. When you are looking at social and economic structures that are similar to our own. You get a greater amount of detail dedicated to the group. If only because you don't need to spent 20-30% of your word count explaining that factions social-political contract. If all of the new economy factions had more word space then they would seem a lot shittier. For example lets look at... The passive aggressive push to conform on Titan. To the anarchist habitats that require each inhabitant to spend 16 hours a day struggling to survive. To Extropia where your entire social protection contract is well a contract. Loopholes and catch 22s and all. To the Jovians who have traded morphological freedom and nanotechnology for safety. To the Planetary Consortium whose power base is Mars' massive population that hates it. To the Scum where everything is a party until highschool drama makes you an outcast. My point is every faction is crappy for the people living in it. Everything else if flimflam and propaganda.
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mellonbread mellonbread's picture
kindalas wrote:My point is
kindalas wrote:
My point is every faction is crappy for the people living in it. Everything else if flimflam and propaganda.
I absolutely agree What I think people might be referring to is how some of the books make it [url=http://i.imgur.com/uKezu0f.png]pretty obvious[/url] that the reader is supposed to identify with certain factions
Did you hear the one about the guy who became a fence?
Spoiler: Highlight to view
They say he was a real posthuman
jasonbrisbane jasonbrisbane's picture
I for one...
I for one have never understood the so called political blocs in the game. Before i go further, this might insense some people - its not my intention to do that but to portray how things may be interpreted... I understand how people can understand about the PC.. they arent the nicest.... But as a non american (Australian), I really see them as being like the American govt - one for pushing ideals but in reality pushing their own agenda (modern USA = oil, guns, and supporting the rich senators but little action for helping the underpriveleged majority - exactly like the PC is portrayed. Now please dont get into a flame war - its just my opinion, and from one who doesnt know Posthumans policitcs... What I am saying is that there is more than one way to interprete the politis in the game in the same way that how you interprete politics in RL is different from how other people see it. Same way that US republicans opinions differ from US democrats opinions, to the way non political poor US majority dont care about either...
Regards, Jason Brisbane
UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
That might be a fair
That might be a fair assessment. I noted earlier EP calls from or uses an extrapolization and extremization (I'm not sure those are words, but I said 'em so now they are) of modern political elements and climates to project the future. Which is like, one of two basic ways you can make a sci-fi society (the other to just pick some interesting political structure and slap it in there). The Consortium calls to the shitty parts of not just capitalism, but corporate or conglomerate capitalism on a massive scale. The fear is extended past just the corporations influencing the government or even secretly running it, but that the corporations become your literal government. Jovian Republic is a call to the fears of the upswell of american neo-conservatism and the intense security concerns raised in a post 9-11 world. That the government will grow more rigid and intrude more to control everything in the name of "security". In some ways, this makes sense that these are cast in a "dark" light, they're societies which call on our fears and concerns. The ones which are based on our hopes for the future are cast in a more positive (or bland, if you're Venus) light, but if you look close they have some flaws too. Every work is a reflection of its creator(s). Though, on the subject of the US specifically (which might kind of apply here) is that the sociopolitical zeitgeist kind of swings and warps around with a moderate amount of speed as we hold elections fairly frequently and people tend to ping-pong back and forth depending on what they feel like they want and can figure out what they'll get through the haze of mass media's bullshit. America is in an unfortunate state of partisan politics where there's two major parties who feel the requirement to stonewall each other and stand firm on the party line to prevent the extremes from going anywhere. This sort of opinion might apply to Eclipse Phase when one considers that the 10 AF political climate is the one that has coalesced in the aftermath of the Fall, and we're basically free to establish where it starts to slide from there.
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jasonbrisbane jasonbrisbane's picture
Is it just me or does one
Is it just me or does one think that the media is to blame for the pushing of its own agenda. Would the same media politics exist in the AF world of EP? Would media hold the same power in a region where corporations run the show??
Regards, Jason Brisbane
uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
jasonbrisbane wrote:Is it
jasonbrisbane wrote:
Is it just me or does one think that the media is to blame for the pushing of its own agenda. Would the same media politics exist in the AF world of EP? Would media hold the same power in a region where corporations run the show??
Experia:
Quote:
Experia is the Planetary Consortium’s prime authority on designing and deploying customized viral memes, developed to counter anything posing a threat to the Consortium’s interests. The corp has automated nodes and VR centers on many habitats throughout the solar system, and it contracts thousands of freelance lifeloggers as live, roving, citizen journalistas.
That the PC has a hypercorp to create/deploy viral memes is really just the natural evolution of fearmonger media (which is not solely an American problem, though I have heard that the rest of the Anglosphere is much more jaded towards their media).
Exhuman, and Humanitarian.
LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
uwtartarus wrote:The
uwtartarus wrote:
The Titanians and their jantehoven thing where being noteworthy is shamed, seems pretty unpleasant to me. Still preferable to hypercapitalism, but I don't think there is any perfect place in the setting. Not that I disagree with your claims that the Inner System is too dark and the Outer too shiny.
I'm from Norway, and the whole thing about the horrible oppression of Janteloven being touted around as some major downside of the Titanian Commonwealth feels a bit like talking about the long waiting lines of the NHS. It feels like someone looking into my world and concluding that the worst thing about my perfect communist utopia is Tall Poppy Syndrome rather than government corruption, the rising trend of neo-Nazism, police brutality, eugenics, the Sami cultural genocide, the paternalistic mental health services, the suspicious ties between police and certain political parties, the active and violent communist conspiracy...
kindalas wrote:
To the anarchist habitats that require each inhabitant to spend 16 hours a day struggling to survive.
This is a reading that's not really supported by the books themselves; the chapter on economy in the core book, for example, says about the rep-based New Economy (that the anarchists use): [i]"In many collectivized habitats, residents are expected to pull their weight by contributing to ongoing public works in the habitat, typically requiring between four and eight hours every week."[/i] Likewise, Rimward's anarchist chapter says: [i]"Without the need to increase production and profits, of course, most anarchists only “work” for a few hours a day, dedicating the rest to leisure."[/i]. These horrible 16-hour work-day habitats are not really supported by the text, whereas all the problems of non-AA habitats are explicit and paraded around to show how horrible it is. If the point was that all places are horrible in the post-apocalyptic horror-future, [i]Rimward[/i] would not spend 20 pages talking about how good everything is - it would spend 20 pages talking about extrajudicial killing of non-anarchists, wide-spread massacre and torture of groups seen as representing the "state", forced collectivization and appropriation of the "property" of non-anarchists, moralistic attitudes towards prostitution, wiretapping non-anarchists, unequal collectivization leading to the creation of rich and poor anarchists, bans on alcohol, tobacco and coffee and the exploitation of workers by the syndicates. The stark contrast lies in how everywhere is portrayed as a horrible hellhole in inverse proportion to how anarchist it is, with the anarchists themselves written as shining beacons of goody goodness with the main flaw being that they're [i]too nice[/i], while the non-liberal states run on slavery and oppression while people live in smelly habitats and die slowly and painfully from easily curable cancers. Only about half of EP is actually a horrible place to live; the 200 million people living under the AA are described as living in a near-utopia.
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thepedant thepedant's picture
Not Enough Reciprocity
I'm with LatwPIAT. Just because you're after the apocalypse doesn't mean you're living in The Road. I see the atmosphere of EP as being like the noir novels of the late 1940's and early 1950's. You can't trust anyone to do the right thing, and some folks are desperate enough to do anything, but it's not going from one burnt-out survivor hovel to another. I think the fundamental issue can be restated as that all the major "bad guy conspiracy" plots seem to originate from a PC hypercorp or the Jovians. There's no implication in the materials:
  • That Titanian (or Atlantican) intelligence operatives might detonate the reactor on a Jovian habitat, killing several thousand, to disrupt Jovian research.
  • That there is a Shining Path or "Real IRA"-type group within the Barsoomian Movement such that they might be just as great an adversary to liberal-minded players as a hypercorporation conspiracy, e.g., "I understand that you have 'liberated' those TITAN weapons from Direct Action for Firewall to destroy. However, we feel the Movement needs them more. Hand them over or die."
kindalas kindalas's picture
LatwPIAT wrote:
LatwPIAT wrote:
kindalas wrote:
To the anarchist habitats that require each inhabitant to spend 16 hours a day struggling to survive.
This is a reading that's not really supported by the books themselves;
I think it is me projecting my views of how the solar system would be. I know that when I run games there is always a big focus on social commentary wherever the PCs go. My players seem to like it since they aren't demanding I stop the exposition and start the explosions. I will agree that the written materials make the reader want to live in the new economies. I just think it is a by-product of having to sell the alternative systems to the reader as viable economic concepts.
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LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
kindalas wrote:I think it is
kindalas wrote:
I think it is me projecting my views of how the solar system would be. I know that when I run games there is always a big focus on social commentary wherever the PCs go. My players seem to like it since they aren't demanding I stop the exposition and start the explosions.
Oh sure, I actually find what you're doing laudable! I just think it's misleading to claim that such elements are part of the setting when they're contradicted several times by the books.
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Panoptic Panoptic's picture
LatwPIAT wrote:The stark
LatwPIAT wrote:
The stark contrast lies in how everywhere is portrayed as a horrible hellhole in inverse proportion to how anarchist it is, with the anarchists themselves written as shining beacons of goody goodness with the main flaw being that they're [i]too nice[/i], while the non-liberal states run on slavery and oppression while people live in smelly habitats and die slowly and painfully from easily curable cancers. Only about half of EP is actually a horrible place to live; the 200 million people living under the AA are described as living in a near-utopia.
At best, the "anarchism is great, everything else is tolerable to horrible" stance can be intrepreted in-universe as propaganda from a autonomist-heavy Firewall source. At worst, it wrecks immersion in an otherwise quite detailed and excellent setting. There are reasons why these threads keep cropping up. I would hope a new edition of Eclipse Phase addresses these issues.
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ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
Panoptic wrote:LatwPIAT wrote
Panoptic wrote:
LatwPIAT wrote:
The stark contrast lies in how everywhere is portrayed as a horrible hellhole in inverse proportion to how anarchist it is, with the anarchists themselves written as shining beacons of goody goodness with the main flaw being that they're [i]too nice[/i], while the non-liberal states run on slavery and oppression while people live in smelly habitats and die slowly and painfully from easily curable cancers. Only about half of EP is actually a horrible place to live; the 200 million people living under the AA are described as living in a near-utopia.
At best, the "anarchism is great, everything else is tolerable to horrible" stance can be intrepreted in-universe as propaganda from a autonomist-heavy Firewall source. At worst, it wrecks immersion in an otherwise quite detailed and excellent setting. There are reasons why these threads keep cropping up. I would hope a new edition of Eclipse Phase addresses these issues.
Or, quite possibly, living under the Autonomist Alliance and in a non-Extropian habitat is a pretty swell way to live, whilst living literally anywhere else [i]is[/i], in fact, tolerable to horrible unless you have the kind of bank such that you need a head accountant to manage the other accountants who manage your money. Frankly, that's one of my favorite things about the setting: that in the places where society has completely reinvented itself with full embrace of transhumanity's technologies and no preexisting class and financial structures, everybody gets to live comfortably and happily, whereas the closer things are to the way they are now, the more things suck for you if you are a have-not. And all those guys who are the haves in the inner system? If you're part of the Alliance, they don't like you. At best, they dismiss you as ignorant idealistic dreamers living in fantasy worlds that will collapse under their own weight and social bullshit. At worst, they actively hate you, because they realize, even if only subconsciously, that they are fully capable of providing the same level of egalitarian existance for each and every single person living in [i]their[/i] polities, but to elevate the have-nots would mean the haves would have to come down. It would mean a leveling effect, and they will spend vast quantities of wealth hiring mercenaries, building warbots, constructing propaganda groups, funding terrorist organizations, all to make you look bad and destroy your way of life, because if they don't then sooner or later, just by [i]existing[/i], and setting an [i]example[/i], you will destroy [b]theirs[/b]. They'll burn a million autonomist egos to prevent one of theirs from falling from the dizzying heights of excess and luxury they've constructed on the backs of a million indentured egos. And the funny thing is? They aren't even the worst monsters in the setting, even setting aside TITANs and exsurgent bullshit.
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Redroverone Redroverone's picture
Shiny v. Grimy
If it looks shiny, it's only because you've never seen it in action before. If it looks grimy, it's because you've had all the exposure to it you'll ever need. Kind of like how people can enter your house and see a well-kept, organized home and all you see is dirt and disorder. Anarchy only looks neat because it's hardly been tried anywhere, and for good reason. It's also child's play as a GM to find ways to make your players uncomfortable with what looks like the easy side to go with. I don't see this as a problem at all.
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jKaiser jKaiser's picture
One thing I'd like to see
One thing I'd like to see them play up a bit is that the autonomist groups are a bit like the Fair Folk from mythology: free and unencumbered, but bound by what appear to be bizarre laws and alien cultures. It may well be utopia, but that doesn't mean anyone is welcome to it, and the attempt is as likely to earn you a black mark from authoritarian blocs elsewhere as it is for the autonomists to ultimately decide you're not welcome. Even if they can support new mouths to feed/plugs to power, you as the GM can play up the threat in AA space as being just as perilous as LLA or PC, albeit more likely to be based on contracts or esoteric memetic/cultural obstacles than raw materiel. And unless I'm grossly misremembering, there's probably quite a lot of justification behind the propaganda against AA groups* in authoritarian space, given that they have no choice but to fight using sneaky, terrorist tactics when conflicts do arise in the face of authoritarian infrastructure. They also have a lot more to lose when you have no planet to burrow into, and desperate acts in defense or retaliation are just as easy to spin as acts of aggression. If it seems like the AA has the moral or material high ground, remember again, the books are written from the position of a shadowy conspiracy that would naturally draw much more heavily from the Autonomists than elsewhere as their way of life is much more vulnerable to major threats than the power blocs that effectively survived the Fall. The books are biased as hell in favor of the autonomists because by and large they wrote them. And given that a lot of recent x-threats and scandals have come from the far better-equipped authoritarian blocs, the school of sharks that they are with the hypercorps and neo-Cold War motif, it's not hard to see why the AA would be so, well, jingoistic. Too, Firewall's core mission might be against x-threats, but the implication is that they are violently enforcing the status quo: this is important because, as has been mentioned, the setting has a very involved status quo very different from ours, so naturally more ink is spent on the parts that are different and unique than the parts we're familiar with or can easily extrapolate from. Speaking frankly, as a radical leftist myself, it's quite the appealing fantasy to be able to take shots at fictional pastiches of social problems I see today, and I think that's a fair thing for any group to include in their writing. Write what you know and all. That said, I would like to see an adventure seeds publication that gives fair weight to all the factions. It can be somewhat difficult to pull direct ideas from the text at times for some of them, and the bias is a problem there. Happy people do not make for good stories. *Had one of those moments where I realized that this would look so strange to someone not familiar with the setting. Yes, propaganda against Alcoholics Anonymous, indeed.
Kremlin K.O.A. Kremlin K.O.A.'s picture
You want to understand the
You want to understand the issues that would occur in the A.A.? Just look at many of the older threads on thsi board. Not the ones that try and look for downsides. Look at the ones where various posters talk about how they would live if they were in E.P. We have had posters state they would have their muse automatically ding the rep of anyone with a Religion they saw. Remember that means as their muse scans the profile of everyone anywhere near them, if it sees anything other than 'Athiest' in the religion field, auto dings. as often as possible. What happens when a significant portion of a habitat think like that? The @-Rep of anyone on that hab with any religion hits 0 really fast The worst thing? That 0 rep means you can't network enough to get a farcast off the hab. Guess who the new waste recycling cleaner is for the next decade?
uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
It should be pointed out that
It should be pointed out that there are a lot of differences among the Inner System powers. LLA says no nanotech, the PC says strict IP, MC says weak IP, plenty of nanotech, but no expansion. Not only that but the Inner System is rife with scum and brinkers who are more like the Outer System powers. Then on the Outer System side, you have anarchocapitalist Extropians, who are much closer to modern day conservatives than the Morningstar Constellation, and then the Commonwealth who is just as statist if not more so than the Inner System powers (who lack any national enterprises, depending on their privatized hypercorps, I mean they leave Intelligence-gathering to a private company, same with military, all very mercenary). I agree with the comments above that because the authors need to dedicate an amount of space towards just explaining the weird new economy, they have less time to explain the dark sides, while the Inner System operates like our's so they have relatively more space to fill it with dark naughtiness.
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Justin Alexander Justin Alexander's picture
I tend to agree with the OP.
I tend to agree with the OP. The setting becomes much more well-rounded if you: (1) Increase the visibility of the Morningstar Constellation. These guys are the "nice capitalists" that stand in contrast with the Planetary Consortium. They get fairly short shrift in the core rulebook, but are expanded upon nicely in Sunward: They dominate Venus and have some influence on Luna and Mars. They lend some much needed balance to the Inner System. (2) Ignore the utopian hallelujah propaganda surrounding the rimward anarchists and just follow through on the consequences of what the sourcebooks are telling you: Virtually all of these communities live in bohemian poverty and they're systemically inclined towards lynch mobs and petty tyrannies of the majority. They're also pretty vulnerable to external threats: Titan inhibits interference from PC, but I'm guessing you lose a bunch of habs every year to straight up pirates. Yes, there are some very nice success stories out there on the rim. But there's also a lot of pain and misery and ideological glorification of poverty.
obsidian razor obsidian razor's picture
I'm actually quite fed up
I'm actually quite fed up with the whole "must give both sides equal balance in the discussion and both must be painted in greys". In any situation well thought arguments and facts must be presented and if one side clearly loses out, then it's worse, period. And yeah, since the inner system and more "conservative" factions drink a lot from current conservative ideals extrapolated to a transhuman world, I see no problem with their representation. It shows them as, maybe not intentionally evil per se, but definitely out of focus with reality and with extremely obsolete ideas on society, economy and also horrendous entitlement that keeps the have's on top just because they happen to be on top. On the other hand, the AA and Titanians offer a new model that tries to address most of our modern socio-economical problems. Would it be perfect? Of course not! But the same way modern pluralistic democracies are better than the old feudal or directly oligarchic states, the AA and Titanians are better than the old and quickly becoming obsolete ideals and methods of the PC, LLA and Jovians. I'd actually be more interested on a more in-depth flesh out of the factions in EP without trying to remove every faction from it's current position in the "good" and "bad" ladder.
Kremlin K.O.A. Kremlin K.O.A.'s picture
How dare we criticize anarcho
How dare we criticize anarcho-socialism? Some of don't want to remove the good bad ladder per se. We just look at some of the societal designs, work out how humans would behave in them, and then laugh our asses off at how unrealistic it is. Just basing a AA hab population on the people I have met on this board (which should produce a friendlier, and more generous, set than average baseline humanity) I can show examples where individual prejudices will lead to some people being stuck with a Rep of 0. Which means they will need to do the shit jobs in hab maintenance and will only have the basic access to stuff. Over 30-60 years or so I would expect that to solve itself as every one of those people will finally get to the front of the farcasting queue (a level 5 favor to skip the really long queue after all). When that is done you will have habs that are internaly culturally homogenous. These habs will be stable, peaceful, and quiet. The people living in them will be happier than the current AA pop. But they will be culturally stagnant. You point out that these new models try to address our current socio-economic problems. I counter with the historical fact that every new model ever tried has removed old problems, and added new ones. If you want, I could try and write up a hab based on how you want the AA to look.
thepedant thepedant's picture
obsidian razor wrote:I'm
obsidian razor wrote:
I'm actually quite fed up with the whole "must give both sides equal balance in the discussion and both must be painted in greys".
I don't need balance. I'm happy with finding little that's positive with the Planetary Consortium or the Jovian Republic. Still, what I don't like is that, in a game whose subhead includes the word "conspiracy," there are uncomplicated moral choices. A player who aligns himself with a group should run the risk of learning an unfortunate truth and having to choose to be compromised to achieve a greater good that that player, having learned the truth, may no longer share.
Noble Pigeon Noble Pigeon's picture
Am I the only one who liked
Am I the only one who liked the Jovian writeup in Rimward? I've heard a lot of people say "it was a lame excuse and in fact makes the Jovians less human". Er, okay I guess, I saw it as bringing more dimensions to them. My understanding (which is not great for this particular topic) is that as Posthuman Studios gets more freelance writers, there will be much more diversity in personalities and outlooks from the inner and outer system, since the core book was written with the ideologies of the core developers in mind. I definitely noticed this in Gatecrashing, where we actually have a hypercorp agent explain why the Consortium do what they do without resorting to "because profit and power!!! *twirls sentient mustache* It won't make you any more sympathetic to the Consortium in-game if you weren't already, but holy hell is it refreshing. And, y'know, the Jovian writeup. Which I enjoyed tremendously.
"Don't believe everything you read on the Internet.” -Abraham Lincoln, State of the Union address
ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
I like that all the responses to Transhumanism have their place.
Give me grey any day, and not just because EP is a horror setting. On it's most basic level, it's all about story. You can have the autonomist habitats be perfect, egalitarian utopias, and that's fine... as long as you never go there. RPGs are about telling stories, and all stories require some form of conflict – there must be a problem to solve. If you're setting is utopian, then by definition the problem is going to be that utopia falling, which implies that your perfect society is vulnerable to attack, and therefore imperfect. Otherwise, what's the point? Worse, that's the only story you can tell. Your whole game will simply be “Kingdom of Good is attacked by Evil Empire again”. You can have the attacks occur in different ways, but each will simply highlight a new flaw in paradise. Your characters are adventurers. They go where the adventure is. If they track a criminal to an AA hab, there must be something about the hab which the criminal finds inviting. If there's an X-threat there, there must be something about the hab which allows the formation of x-threats, and so on. The only time your characters should ever be in a “nice” hab is when it's about to be curbstomped by the campaign's Big Bad. On the other hand, making a faction purely villainous relegates it to the Evil Empire trope, and it ceases to be a place PCs can interact with beyond conflict. If there's no good or positive aspects to the culture, then you can't have friendly NPCs or player characters there, other than those who have “seen the light”, and any campaign based around that faction will either revolve around open conflict with it, or your players being infiltrators in hostile territory. Sure, those can be fun now and again, but all the time? Do we really want every PC PC (um?) being either an escaped slave or “Space Drizzt”? That said, I actually see the player factions as pretty grey in any case. The key is subtext. When I look at a faction open to PCs, regardless which RPG I'm considering, the key thing I try to get a hold on is what the faction is “about”, and why someone would want to be a member of that faction. The anarchists, are all about freedom and community. Personal expression, freedom from oppression or control and so forth. Similarly, the people who would want to live there are those who want to be free to do what they want. Therefore, the problems they face are going to be those caused by freedom and community. If everyone can do what they want, sooner or later someone's going to do something that requires PC intervention to solve. If the community is self-policing, then you better hope to god that the community has the same ideas of acceptable behavior as you, and that they'll take the time to make sure accusations are valid before acting on them. Suddenly that wonderful Anarchist hab looks a lot less like an egalitarian wonderland and more like a High-School cafeteria. On the other hand, we have the PC. At first it looks like they're just profiteers, but that's not really true. Really, they're all about power, and maintaining the status quo. It follows then that the people who want to live there are those that desire those things... and suddenly the Autonomist/PC conflict transforms into the age-old duel between freedom and security. In the anarchists you're almost totally free, but have no security. In the PC you have (relatively) few freedoms, but your position in life is secure. Rereading the material with these concepts in mind is enlightening. Suddenly the AA come across as fanatics dancing along the edge of the abyss, whilst the PC desperately build a guilded cage to protect themselves from the monsters in the dark. Really, the sidebar on page 101 says it all. The official anarchist welcome to locus helpfully informs you that if something bad happens to you, it's your own fault, the PC farcast company tries to keep you bundled up at home where it's safe, and a nice anarchist informs you that you don't need to worry because if he does something that the locals disapprove of he'll be horribly murdered.
In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few. But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?
ORCACommander ORCACommander's picture
Well said TWNW
Well said TWNW
obsidian razor obsidian razor's picture
I agree with TWNW statement
I agree with TWNW statement too. If I came up as implying that I want the setting to be a clear good guys vs bad guys with the AA as the no-fault good guys and the rest as bad guys to several degrees, then apologies, not my intent. I don't see the AA or the Titanians as "utopic", just plain and simply better and with a higher moral ground than the more conservative and reactionary factions. I also feel that this is not a matter of opinion, as lots of facts are presented to address this. The AA and Titan don't shy away from using limited AIs and robots to eliminate subsistence work, have used this to eliminate abject poverty and are considerably way more accepting than most other factions. They've also abolished actual slavery and even wage slavery, and everyone is mostly free to pursue their own interests, letting technology deal with anything that would feel like a chore. Hell, the only reason the factions even exist and have survived the fall is because of this, as without the technology available in EP their lifestyle is plain and simply impossible. Are they utopic? Hell no! Most AA habitats probably had to endure a lot of hardships till they had things up and running, taking big decisions for the habitat is probably like hearding cats and the high degree of liberty means that every once in a while they are gonna have to deal with some one or some ones that belive that their freedom means that they can step on other people's freedoms. I am however quite annoyed with seeing lots of people wanting to turn every faction in the game into a more "heroic" version of them. As it stands, and as long as you are creative with your write up and understand the setting, you can create an interesting and playable character from every faction. At the same time, however, while all factions have their morals ups and downs, I like the fact that the AA and Titan stand as the more ethically and socially upstanding factions, with the rest as more amoral or downright "evil". Can the AA cause fuck-ups that need Firewall's attention? Of course! I wouldn't think anyone is that naive. But as the setting is written, the PC with it's power and almost pathologic search for profit and expansion is more prone to creating a system wide mess than the more mindful factions ever will.
Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
ORCACommander wrote:Well said
ORCACommander wrote:
Well said TWNW
Agreed. Reading through the post, I realized a good source of ideological inspiration for the AA: The World Ends With You. It leans a bit more towards the "individual liberty" side of things than "community", but it still fits well. @obsidian razor, we aren't looking to make the societies as a whole more or less "heroic", just for them to be less monolithically PURE GOOD and PURE EVIL. We want to see the things that go wrong and the things that go right with all of them, and then let people decide, instead of having the fluff tell us "These are the good guys; they can do no wrong. These are the bad guys; they are pure evil and cannot do anything right." With some thought, this can be put into individual games fairly easily, but as things stand now, there is a sliding scale of morality baked into the base setting with good being anarchist and evil being capitalist. I, personally, would like to see what happens when mob justice gets the wrong person, or how someone lives once they have worked off their indenture in the PC, or how a certain branch of the Ultimates tries to help bring the rest of transhumanity up to their their biological standards by opening genetherapy clinics. All the little stuff that shows that belonging to a faction doesn't turn one into a paragon of good or evil. This might be why I tend toward making characters that are in the middle of this scale, have gone sideways from it, or are idealogically unaligned.
In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685
obsidian razor obsidian razor's picture
Quote:we aren't looking to
Quote:
we aren't looking to make the societies as a whole more or less "heroic", just for them to be less monolithically PURE GOOD and PURE EVIL. We want to see the things that go wrong and the things that go right with all of them, and then let people decide, instead of having the fluff tell us
Maybe that's the problem, I personally don't see them as "pure" good or evil, simply as some being unarguably better. For example, I like your idea of listing the good and the bad of all factions, but from where I see it, the AA and Titanians would end up with more items of the "good" side of the table, and the PC and Jovians with a lot of item on the "bad" cathegory. What I don't want and would think it's a silly cop-out to do is to make those lists "even" by forcefully trying to have an equal number of good and bad things on both sides. that even sounds unrealistic to me, as in the mordern world there are societies and countries who are unarguably better than others, at least, from a socio-economic perspective. Compare a first world democratic economy to Saudi Arabia, for example. Both are super rich, and there's probably pros to SA's form of goverment, but the enforced racism and sexism, the abuses of horrendous abuses of power by the ruling class and the fact that they wield unchecked absolute power would definately put them on the "substantially worse" cathegory.
uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
The individual liberties and
The individual liberties and tolerance part probably allows Singularity Seekers to fester more x-risks. Sure the Inner System polities may have labs ran by amoral scientists, but with near-/post-singularity technology, any random brinker, tolerated by the feel-good Anarchists, could incubate who knows what sort of disaster. So I would read into the setting that X-risks are equally problematic in the Inner and Outer system, regardless of politics. I am sure the economy and nature of the surrounding community influences how the x-risks play out, but I wouldn't assume that the Anarchists are somehow more mindful of disaster or any such thing. Groupthink could easily lead them into trouble as much as their tolerance and lack of -ism's makes them less shitty to one another.
Exhuman, and Humanitarian.
Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
obsidian razor wrote:Quote:we
obsidian razor wrote:
Quote:
we aren't looking to make the societies as a whole more or less "heroic", just for them to be less monolithically PURE GOOD and PURE EVIL. We want to see the things that go wrong and the things that go right with all of them, and then let people decide, instead of having the fluff tell us
Maybe that's the problem, I personally don't see them as "pure" good or evil, simply as some being unarguably better. For example, I like your idea of listing the good and the bad of all factions, but from where I see it, the AA and Titanians would end up with more items of the "good" side of the table, and the PC and Jovians with a lot of item on the "bad" cathegory. What I don't want and would think it's a silly cop-out to do is to make those lists "even" by forcefully trying to have an equal number of good and bad things on both sides.
I'm not denying that there would end up being an inequality, but I would rather have it be something that isn't enforced by writer bias. I enjoy the game and setting as it is, but the politics of Posthuman Studios have occasionally gotten in the way of realism.
In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685
Kremlin K.O.A. Kremlin K.O.A.'s picture
obsidian razor wrote:
obsidian razor wrote:
What I don't want and would think it's a silly cop-out to do is to make those lists "even" by forcefully trying to have an equal number of good and bad things on both sides. that even sounds unrealistic to me, as in the mordern world there are societies and countries who are unarguably better than others, at least, from a socio-economic perspective. Compare a first world democratic economy to Saudi Arabia, for example. Both are super rich, and there's probably pros to SA's form of goverment, but the enforced racism and sexism, the abuses of horrendous abuses of power by the ruling class and the fact that they wield unchecked absolute power would definately put them on the "substantially worse" cathegory.
Mind if I use the USA as the example first world democracy here? The results may surprise you.
ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
I really had to mention this...
Wait, people are agreeing with me? I made one or more good points? ... Something has gone horribly wrong. In any case, I don't have much to add to the discussion at this point, but I really had to address this:
obsidian razor wrote:
The AA and Titan don't shy away from using limited AIs and robots to eliminate subsistence work, have used this to eliminate abject poverty and are considerably way more accepting than most other factions. They've also abolished actual slavery and even wage slavery, and everyone is mostly free to pursue their own interests, letting technology deal with anything that would feel like a chore.
Ahh, but that's not true, at least for the Commonwealth. From Rimward p.96: "Every citizen must perform three years of civil service upon reaching the age of majority (currently set at twenty-five for cognitive baseline humans, although the law provides for drafting younger citizens in time of war). Most serve in one of the branches of the military." Sounds a hell of a lot like slavery to me.
In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few. But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?
uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:In
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
In any case, I don't have much to add to the discussion at this point, but I really had to address this:
obsidian razor wrote:
The AA and Titan don't shy away from using limited AIs and robots to eliminate subsistence work, have used this to eliminate abject poverty and are considerably way more accepting than most other factions. They've also abolished actual slavery and even wage slavery, and everyone is mostly free to pursue their own interests, letting technology deal with anything that would feel like a chore.
Ahh, but that's not true, at least for the Commonwealth. From Rimward p.96: "Every citizen must perform three years of civil service upon reaching the age of majority (currently set at twenty-five for cognitive baseline humans, although the law provides for drafting younger citizens in time of war). Most serve in one of the branches of the military." Sounds a hell of a lot like slavery to me.
Civil service is that weird area that can be used to justify indentured labor against the claims of it being slavery. Civil service, including military service, is de facto slavery (working against one's will) but unlike slavery, your children are not indentured or conscripted. But the defense of indenture against the claims of 'actual slavery' would include civil service and thus I can see what you mean by calling civil service a form of slavery (as you don't get a choice to NOT perform the odd years stint of mandatory labor).
Exhuman, and Humanitarian.
ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:Wait,
ThatWhichNeverWas wrote:
Wait, people are agreeing with me? I made one or more good points? ... Something has gone horribly wrong. In any case, I don't have much to add to the discussion at this point, but I really had to address this:
obsidian razor wrote:
The AA and Titan don't shy away from using limited AIs and robots to eliminate subsistence work, have used this to eliminate abject poverty and are considerably way more accepting than most other factions. They've also abolished actual slavery and even wage slavery, and everyone is mostly free to pursue their own interests, letting technology deal with anything that would feel like a chore.
Ahh, but that's not true, at least for the Commonwealth. From Rimward p.96: "Every citizen must perform three years of civil service upon reaching the age of majority (currently set at twenty-five for cognitive baseline humans, although the law provides for drafting younger citizens in time of war). Most serve in one of the branches of the military." Sounds a hell of a lot like slavery to me.
There is something a little different between "you're broke and owe money, now you're the bitch of XYZ until such time as the debt is considered repair," or "You're in cold storage now, you're gonna have to be a slave for several years just to buy yourself out of that, then if you want a body it's gonna be more years indenture time, and if you want some actual money to start a life after that, it's gonna be even more indenture time," and "Everyone who is a Titanian citizen must give the Commonwealth three years of civil service." Some very hardcore autonomists might rail and rave against the Titanian civil service requirement, but only a very few. For one thing, unlike the [i]vast majority[/i] of indenture contracts, the Titanian Commonwealth isn't going to chain you to the job 24/7. They're not restricting your ability to move, or socialize, or use the mesh, while you're doing the civil service. Specific types of civil service might require some forms of that; for instance, if you join the military, or a militia, or the police forces, then there are going to be concerns about operational security and such which require you to keep your trap shut about things and for obvious reasons you're going to have to be where they need you to be, but if you spend your civil service teaching at TAU, or building habitats, or doing habitech maintenance work, then no.
Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name. [url=http://tinyurl.com/mfcapss]My EP Character Questionnaire[/url] [url=http://tinyurl.com/lbpsb93]Thread for my Questionnaire[/url] [url=http://tinyurl.com/obu5adp]The Five Orange Pips[/url]
UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Honestly, the civil service
Honestly, the civil service requirement for citizenship (which is probably technically voluntary, you just, y'know, don't get your full voting rights in the community if you won't go for it) is little different than the stated "requirement" of Anarchists to work at least 4 hours a week on what is presumably baseline hab maintenance. Obviously, you don't "have" to do that work in the strictest sense, but if you like rep and basic infrastructure (i/e the shit you get out of being part of the collective) you pitch your share in. From Each, To Each, remember? Titan works on the similar principle, only one could say they kind of more frontload it. Considering the resources Titan pours into a citizen, getting an upfront return on their "investment" make sense, and isn't any more slavery than your collective telling you "listen, we need you to go re-calibrate the calibrators on deck 7". You can chose NOT to do it, but doing so has immediate consequences via the social contract.
H-Rep: An EP Homebrew Blog http://ephrep.blogspot.com/
jKaiser jKaiser's picture
Given that there don't seem
Given that there don't seem to be any large-scale conflicts actively going on in the quasi-cold-war by default, a lot of Civil Service tours are probably like the ones my buddies over in Singapore dealt with. Brutally and soul-crushingly boring where you're basically manual labor with a gun and a shovel, and only one of those will ever you employ.
Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
jKaiser wrote:Given that
jKaiser wrote:
Given that there don't seem to be any large-scale conflicts actively going on in the quasi-cold-war by default, a lot of Civil Service tours are probably like the ones my buddies over in Singapore dealt with. Brutally and soul-crushingly boring where you're basically manual labor with a gun and a shovel, and only one of those will ever you employ.
It could also be that they are trained as reactor techs or pilots for the TC Navy. Or as police officers. There is nothing there that specifies that they are infantry only (though most everyone would likely go through basic combat training just in case).
In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685
ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
3 years as a soldier or 30 as a calculator? Hmmm...
Yeah, mandatory service is going to be all the jobs that no-one wants to do, but can't be effectively automated. Drudgery ho! [Insert Dramatic Pose Here]
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
There is something a little different between "you're broke and owe money, now you're the bitch of XYZ until such time as the debt is considered repair," or "You're in cold storage now, you're gonna have to be a slave for several years just to buy yourself out of that, then if you want a body it's gonna be more years indenture time, and if you want some actual money to start a life after that, it's gonna be even more indenture time," and "Everyone who is a Titanian citizen must give the Commonwealth three years of civil service."
Oh I agree. The duration, nature of the tasks you'd have to perform, and the extent your activities are curtailed are all going to be different. However, they're still all slavery. Sure, you may have free time or access to luxuries, but it's still enforced service. If you're an indenture trying to escape, or someone just out of the program, another 3 years of servitude may well be a dealbreaker, no matter how (relatively) pleasant it is. As an aside, I'm not sure that the PC would usually enforce a 24/7 workday, if only to prevent isolation-induced psychosis. At the very least, more free time would be an option purchasable by extending the contract.
UnitOmega wrote:
Honestly, the civil service requirement for citizenship (which is probably technically voluntary, you just, y'know, don't get your full voting rights in the community if you won't go for it) is little different than the stated "requirement" of Anarchists to work at least 4 hours a week on what is presumably baseline hab maintenance. Obviously, you don't "have" to do that work in the strictest sense, but if you like rep and basic infrastructure (i/e the shit you get out of being part of the collective) you pitch your share in.
Two points here: 1. If citizenship is optional, then there are two consequences. If living on Titan or in a commonwealth hab long-term requires citizenship (which I assume), then I definately consider it slavery, as non-compliance is punished with exile/cold-storage/death. If citizenship is not a requirement for residence, then the result is a de-facto class system, with the associated prejudice. If neither of these are true, then there is little point in being a citizen, beyond not being able to vote on things which will likely not affect you because you're not a citizen. 2. Equating mandatory service with anarchist maintenance may be true, depending on how the hab is organized. If the community dictates a task to perform, with punishments as above, then it is absolutely the same. It is also slavery. On the other hand, if the hab has a general list of tasks that need doing with a rep reward commensurate with the task's importance/urgency, and a corresponding ding to the rep of users who haven't performed a task for a while, then it is something different, as the individual is free to choose which tasks to perform, or may ignore them in favour of some other rep-boosting task.
In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few. But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?
Panoptic Panoptic's picture
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:Or,
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Or, quite possibly, living under the Autonomist Alliance and in a non-Extropian habitat is a pretty swell way to live, whilst living literally anywhere else [i]is[/i], in fact, tolerable to horrible unless you have the kind of bank such that you need a head accountant to manage the other accountants who manage your money. Frankly, that's one of my favorite things about the setting: that in the places where society has completely reinvented itself with full embrace of transhumanity's technologies and no preexisting class and financial structures, everybody gets to live comfortably and happily, whereas the closer things are to the way they are now, the more things suck for you if you are a have-not. And all those guys who are the haves in the inner system? If you're part of the Alliance, they don't like you. At best, they dismiss you as ignorant idealistic dreamers living in fantasy worlds that will collapse under their own weight and social bullshit. At worst, they actively hate you, because they realize, even if only subconsciously, that they are fully capable of providing the same level of egalitarian existance for each and every single person living in [i]their[/i] polities, but to elevate the have-nots would mean the haves would have to come down. It would mean a leveling effect, and they will spend vast quantities of wealth hiring mercenaries, building warbots, constructing propaganda groups, funding terrorist organizations, all to make you look bad and destroy your way of life, because if they don't then sooner or later, just by [i]existing[/i], and setting an [i]example[/i], you will destroy [b]theirs[/b]. They'll burn a million autonomist egos to prevent one of theirs from falling from the dizzying heights of excess and luxury they've constructed on the backs of a million indentured egos. And the funny thing is? They aren't even the worst monsters in the setting, even setting aside TITANs and exsurgent bullshit.
There's argument that there are plausibly people who would want to see autonomist habs fail even if they were the nigh-perfect utopias portrayed in the setting material. At best, the autonomist way of life is competition for valuable egos and resources. At worst, the autonomists pose a genuine threat by being less controlling of technological development where most others are now being more cautious. This being a mere decade after technological development nearly wiped out the sol system's population. But I disgress. As places to live, I've yet to see a convincing argument that autonomist habs would be guaranteed to be free of nightmarish levels of groupthink and cult mentality. Downvoting someone's rep for a mere difference of opinion is incredibly plausible, even advocated by some members of this very board. For all their many, many flaws the corps allow the possibility of making credit even if you're disliked; your ability to purchase goods not completely linked to reputation. That said, those who live in a hab that acts as an echo chamber to their views, or can actually accept other views, would be delighted. Assuming no issues with the rim's overall lack of resources.
On 'IC Talk': Seyit Karga, Ultimate [url=http://eclipsephase.com/comment/46317#comment-46317]Character Profile[/url]
Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
Panoptic wrote:But I disgress
Panoptic wrote:
But I disgress. As places to live, I've yet to see a convincing argument that autonomist habs would be guaranteed to be free of nightmarish levels of groupthink and cult mentality. Downvoting someone's rep for a mere difference of opinion is incredibly plausible, even advocated by some members of this very board. For all their many, many flaws the corps allow the possibility of making credit even if you're disliked; your ability to purchase goods not completely linked to reputation. That said, those who live in a hab that acts as an echo chamber to their views, or can actually accept other views, would be delighted. Assuming no issues with the rim's overall lack of resources.
Are you aware that you are quoting someone who has said that he would have his muse auto-ding someones rep for having anything other than atheist in their mesh profile, or for wearing anything that indicated religious affiliation? He seems to see screwing people for having different opinions as a good thing about a rep economy. A transitional economy has always seemed like the best way to go to me. You can rely on your rep for favors or discounts if you are low on credits, and you can fall back on credits if you are disliked.
In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685
ShadowDragon8685 ShadowDragon8685's picture
And are you aware that no one
And are you aware that no one person's dings is going to meaningfully affect someone's @-Rep? Especially once the system adjusts to the fact that you have it in for them? Consider the following: Religious McArcmchairCrusader and Athiest McPassiveAggressive (that's me!) live on the same hab. We both have similarly militant views re: the religion angle. McArmchairCrusader doesn't care what religion it is, as long as it was established on Earth or is a recognizable branch of one that was (IE, none of this new-age hippy bullshit worshipping the machine nonsense,) but otherwise he's just glad you believe in something greater than transhumanity and all of its workings, whether you're the kind of person who'll spend a year force-growing a goat to messily sacrifice it to Odin, or you're a member of the First Multidenomination Christian Church of Titan or whatever. And McPassiveAggressive thinks religion is a gigantic sack of dicks. Neither of us, of course, are willing to be violent about our views. We have our muses instructed to automatically ping the @-Rep of anyone whom we come across who's public about their opposing views. The first time we meet each other in a habitat, we don't even register it, because neither of us is actually [i]looking[/i] at the @-List profiles of everybody we run across that closely. That's what muses are for. So we pass each other, our muses register their anonymous pings, and neither of us so much as notice because we reduced one another's @-Rep by about -0.01. The next day we pass each other again. Net @-Rep: -0.02. Now diminishing returns kick in. The next day, we pass each other again. Net @-Rep: -0.021. Then -0.022. Then -0.0221. Then -0.0222. And so forth, and so on. It's the same mechanic behind ensuring that a circle-jerk of group masturbators who like to meet up once every twelve hours to have a group-wank then bump each other's reps don't send their @-Rep through the roof. (And yes, in this case I mean a literal circlejerk, because we autonomists, yo. Hell, if there's enough penises in the group, you could get some bonus footjob action going on, assuming someone isn't in a bouncer.) Now, there's another facet to this, too. Once diminishing returns from repeated friend-or-foe interactions set in, the opposite reaction is magnified. So, after a week of passive-aggressive pings, it's McArmchairCrusader's turn in the waste recycling center, and as you do, your muse automatically bumps someone for valiantly wading waste-deep in shit to ensure everything continues to run smooth. Since we had established passive dislike of one another on the @-List, the positive interaction is going to be magnified - after all, a "good job, well done" is much more meaningful from someone who doesn't actually like you. So that's going to be probably +0.03 or +0.04 @-Rep, completely wiping out the effects from the pings and then some. Likewise, a "you done fucked up, son," is much more meaningful from someone in your intimate circle, so if one of the circlejerkers, I dunno, monumentally breaks wind in mid-crank, the @-Rep pings will really let him know it. So, really, one or two, or five or ten, nemesi on a habitat isn't going to move your @-Rep more than, at most, a point. And most people aren't going to be militant enough about their religious views to set up auto-pings for them. You would have to be a monumental mismatch in your habitat to see the kind of precipatory @-Rep plunge you're discussing, and quite frankly, it doesn't matter if you have money or even Money, if you're hated by a community you're trying to live amongst, your life is going to suck. For a single issue like that to tank someone's @-Rep, you're talking about the "really hates religion" or "really hates athiesm" being outright facets of a habitat's culture, and a mismatch would be unwelcome by the hab at large, much the same way if you have a habitat where everyone is sleeved into neotenic hermaphrodite furies and someone tries to move in and starts railing about the unnaturalness of neotenics and/or hermaphrodites, they're going to be unwelcome. [i]Don't go to places you're going to hate and which are going to hate you in turn![/i] This should be obvious, I would think. "But, but, what if someone was there from before, and their @-Rep is tanked so they can't leave and are stuck in -" just shut up, do you even understand autonomists at all? If someone doesn't want to be somewhere, autonomists don't want to keep them there. If someone is such a monumental mismatch that they're rep-pinging everyone and everyone is rep-pinging them, they're going to want to expedite their departure, not prohibit it. You [b]do not[/b] require a Favor to get any and all things in autonomist habitats, Favors are for when you feel a need to jump a queue, or ask for more than usual because what you have in mind will be like, totally awesome. So, quite frankly, on AthiestHab, McArmchairCrusader is going to find himself quite welcome to ride a beam the hell out of town, within a week at most. Hell, it's not unlikely that someone who is well-liked in the community will leverage a High/Major favor of their own on his behalf in order to see the back of his data-trail like, [i]this very hour[/i]. And even if he's not, all he has to do is send word to ArmchairCrusaderHab that he's stuck in this athiest pit and someone there will leverage a favor to get him out quickly. Unless, of course, you're insinuating that a habitat-wide conspiracy to keep McArmchairCrusader essentially enslaved on the habitat is at work. In which case, that's not an Autonomist issue at all, that's a massive corruption of autonomism, and the entire @-List will soon make their displeasure known by batch-pinging everyone in the hab, and quite possibly organizing memetic campaigns to spread the word about these shitheels, which could quickly result in blacklistings.
Skype and AIM names: Exactly the same as my forum name. [url=http://tinyurl.com/mfcapss]My EP Character Questionnaire[/url] [url=http://tinyurl.com/lbpsb93]Thread for my Questionnaire[/url] [url=http://tinyurl.com/obu5adp]The Five Orange Pips[/url]
LatwPIAT LatwPIAT's picture
jKaiser wrote:Given that
jKaiser wrote:
Given that there don't seem to be any large-scale conflicts actively going on in the quasi-cold-war by default, a lot of Civil Service tours are probably like the ones my buddies over in Singapore dealt with. Brutally and soul-crushingly boring where you're basically manual labor with a gun and a shovel, and only one of those will ever you employ.
I think it would be quite the opposite; conscription during the Cold War didn't mean that the service was a cake-walk, since you were expected to learn skills for fighting in WWIII.
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
The first time we meet each other in a habitat, we don't even register it, because neither of us is actually [i]looking[/i] at the @-List profiles of everybody we run across that closely. That's what muses are for. So we pass each other, our muses register their anonymous pings, and neither of us so much as notice because we reduced one another's @-Rep by about -0.01. The next day we pass each other again. Net @-Rep: -0.02. Now diminishing returns kick in.
I reread the Reputation chapter in [i]Rimward[/i] and I couldn't find anything about diminishing returns; the primary restrictive mechanism on Rep-networks is described as being a limit to the number of pings and dings you can offer someone.
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
Now, there's another facet to this, too. Once diminishing returns from repeated friend-or-foe interactions set in, the opposite reaction is magnified. So, after a week of passive-aggressive pings, it's McArmchairCrusader's turn in the waste recycling center, and as you do, your muse automatically bumps someone for valiantly wading waste-deep in shit to ensure everything continues to run smooth. Since we had established passive dislike of one another on the @-List, the positive interaction is going to be magnified - after all, a "good job, well done" is much more meaningful from someone who doesn't actually like you. So that's going to be probably +0.03 or +0.04 @-Rep, completely wiping out the effects from the pings and then some.
First of all, the scenario you describe here is completely unwarranted by the way Reputation networks are described as working; I could find no indication whatsoever that receiving upvotes from your enemies is worth more than upvotes from your friends, or vice versa. Secondly, if you're going to go out of your way to ding religious people for merely [i]walking past you[/i], I'm not entirely sure why the kind of person who has a fervent hate of religion would program their muse to give Spacebook Likes to religious people in the first place. Why not just tell your muse that religious people never get pings? It would seem that there's no particular reason for this remedial effect to occur.
ShadowDragon8685 wrote:
"But, but, what if someone was there from before, and their @-Rep is tanked so they can't leave and are stuck in -" just shut up, do you even understand autonomists at all? If someone doesn't want to be somewhere, autonomists don't want to keep them there. If someone is such a monumental mismatch that they're rep-pinging everyone and everyone is rep-pinging them, they're going to want to expedite their departure, not prohibit it. You [b]do not[/b] require a Favor to get any and all things in autonomist habitats, Favors are for when you feel a need to jump a queue, or ask for more than usual because what you have in mind will be like, totally awesome.
Actually, [i]Rimward[/i] says that the consequences of not being well-liked (low/negative Rep) by an anarchist community is to risk having your morph seized and being put in VR-jail. Being ejected from a hab is described as the not-punishment for repeat [i]crime[/i] or refusing the comply the not-punishment the community decides is fit for the criminal. As far as I can tell, being sent away for failing to fit in doesn't really happen.
@-rep +2 C-rep +1
Bursting Eagern... Bursting Eagerness Soul's picture
@ShadowDragon8685
I think that you are over-estimating the rep system by a lot. And also basing it on your own ideas of how it should work, rather than what is described in the books.
In other words, firing off a laser with a sufficient TWR for the recoil to be noticeable would require a post-miracle-tech laser weighing less than a disposable plastic spoon and powerful enough to shoot down Death Stars? -- ShadowDragon8685

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