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[DRAFT] 100% True

A place to spoil daily issues for those who haven't had them yet, snigger at typos, and discuss ideas for new ones.
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Candlewhisper Archive
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[DRAFT] 100% True

Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Wed May 31, 2023 12:04 pm

Inspired by every time some RL world despot claims to have 100% approval, or 100% of election votes. Always amazes me that they think anyone believes them, but I think the point is to show that they can say these things and remain unchallenged by domestic critics -- power posturing, basically.

Anyway...

Original:

TITLE:
100% True

VALIDITY:
Chains from DoublePlusUngood

DESCRIPTION:
Following your bold and decisive action to suppress dissent, the Ministry of Truth has proudly reported to you that your government has 100% public approval, with 100% of census respondents reporting that they are 100% happy.

OPTION 1
"Doubleplusgood news, everybody!" celebrates Truth Minister Farnsworth, dancing a happy jig. "We should publicly release this affirmation of your enlightened rule, and everyone will feel even happier for knowing how happy they are. If you prefer, we can tweak the numbers to make them more believable. Say, 99.65%, something like that? What would you like the result to be?"

OUTCOME:
people have never been happier
(suggested stats: reduce cheerfulness)

OPTION 2
"Telling the people what we want them to hear is one thing, but falling into blissful self-delusion is quite another," counters Jack Clint, a former dentist turned Room 101 Interrogator, whirring his tungsten drill absent-mindedly. "The Ministry of Information should exert more effort in understanding the true level of dissent in this country, so that we can focus on scheduling correctional sessions for those we identify as problematic."

OUTCOME:
the Ministry of Love is generous in its affections

OPTION 3
"Freedom to complain is to the machinery of the state what the safety valve is to the steam engine," muses civil servant Art Choppinghour, philosophically. "I think that's a Tolstoy quote, or possibly Freud, I forget. Anyway, we need to encourage people a regular opportunity, maybe weekly, to express their dissatisfaction openly, with no punishment or consequence. We don't have to do anything, we just let them have their catharsis in a harmless way. My work colleague, Henry Furroughs, said that power is is like a handful of sand, the tighter you grip, the more you lose. I think he was quoting Princess Leia, or possibly Sting, or maybe Marilyn Monroe I forget."

OUTCOME:
daily physical jerks are accompanied by weekly moans

Aware there's lots of real people in the last option. I think it works better without NSifying those names.

Current:

TITLE:
100% True

VALIDITY:
Chains from DoublePlusUngood

DESCRIPTION:
Following your bold and decisive action to suppress dissent, the Ministry of Truth has proudly reported to you that your government has 100% public approval, with 100% of census respondents reporting that they are 100% happy.

OPTION 1
"Doubleplusgood news, everybody!" celebrates Truth Minister Farnsworth, dancing a happy jig. "We should publicly release this affirmation of your enlightened rule, and everyone will feel even happier for knowing how happy they are. If you prefer, we can tweak the numbers to make them more believable. 99.65%. That'll do."

OUTCOME:
people have never been happier
(suggested stats: reduce cheerfulness)

OPTION 2
"Telling the people what we want them to hear is one thing, but falling into blissful self-delusion is quite another," counters Jack Clint, a former dentist turned Room 101 Interrogator, whirring his tungsten drill absent-mindedly. "The Ministry of Information should exert more effort in understanding the true level of dissent in this country, so that we can focus on scheduling correctional sessions for those we identify as problematic."

OUTCOME:
the Ministry of Love is generous in its affections

OPTION 3
"Freedom to complain is to the machinery of the state what the safety valve is to the steam engine," muses civil servant Art Choppinghour, philosophically. "I think that's a quote from a famous author, or a scientist, I forget. Anyway, we need to encourage people a regular opportunity, maybe weekly, to express their dissatisfaction openly, with no punishment or consequence. We don't have to do anything, we just let them have their catharsis in a harmless way. My work colleague, Henry Furroughs, said that power is is like a handful of sand, the tighter you grip, the more you lose. I think he was quoting Princess Leia, or possibly Sting, or maybe Marilyn Monroe I forget."

OUTCOME:
daily physical jerks are accompanied by weekly moans
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Wed Nov 29, 2023 1:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Orcuo
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Postby Orcuo » Wed May 31, 2023 12:13 pm

I like it.
Heyo, I’m Funnyman. I like death and video games.
Deciding which one I prefer over the other is the fun part.

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The Acolyte Confederacy
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Postby The Acolyte Confederacy » Wed May 31, 2023 12:16 pm

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:Inspired by every time some RL world despot claims to have 100% approval, or 100% of election votes. Always amazes me that they think anyone believes them, but I think the point is to show that they can say these things and remain unchallenged by domestic critics -- power posturing, basically.

Anyway...

TITLE:
100% True

VALIDITY:
Chains from DoublePlusUngood

DESCRIPTION:
Following your bold and decisive action to suppress dissent, the Ministry of Truth has proudly reported to you that your government has 100% public approval, with 100% of census respondents reporting that they are 100% happy.

OPTION 1
"Doubleplusgood news, everybody!" celebrates Truth Minister Farnsworth, dancing a happy jig. "We should publicly release this affirmation of your enlightened rule, and everyone will feel even happier for knowing how happy they are. If you prefer, we can tweak the numbers to make them more believable. Say, 99.65%, something like that? What would you like the result to be?"

OUTCOME:
people have never been happier
(suggested stats: reduce cheerfulness)

OPTION 2
"Telling the people what we want them to hear is one thing, but falling into blissful self-delusion is quite another," counters Jack Clint, a former dentist turned Room 101 Interrogator, whirring his tungsten drill absent-mindedly. "The Ministry of Information should exert more effort in understanding the true level of dissent in this country, so that we can focus on scheduling correctional sessions for those we identify as problematic."

OUTCOME:
the Ministry of Love is generous in its affections

OPTION 3
"Freedom to complain is to the machinery of the state what the safety valve is to the steam engine," muses civil servant Art Choppinghour, philosophically. "I think that's a Tolstoy quote, or possibly Freud, I forget. Anyway, we need to encourage people a regular opportunity, maybe weekly, to express their dissatisfaction openly, with no punishment or consequence. We don't have to do anything, we just let them have their catharsis in a harmless way. My work colleague, Henry Furroughs, said that power is is like a handful of sand, the tighter you grip, the more you lose. I think he was quoting Princess Leia, or possibly Sting, or maybe Marilyn Monroe I forget."

OUTCOME:
daily physical jerks are accompanied by weekly moans


Aware there's lots of real people in the last option. I think it works better without NSifying those names.

i didnt read the entire thing but when someone was hitting a jig i approve. also, you knew what you were doing.

OUTCOME:
daily physical jerks are accompanied by weekly moans
The Acolyte Confederacy

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Wed May 31, 2023 2:05 pm

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:VALIDITY:
Chains from DoublePlusUngood
Which option? All of them?

The options are pretty different from each other, I don't think it's a very good followup issue if it completely ignores what the player actually did.

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:DESCRIPTION:
Following your bold and decisive action to suppress dissent, the Ministry of Truth has proudly reported to you that your government has 100% public approval, with 100% of census respondents reporting that they are 100% happy.
So are they telling the truth and I actually have 100% public approval, or are they lying to me?

If they're telling the truth, then there is no problem. It doesn't become a dilemma of "do we lie to our citizens or not?", because it's the truth.

If they're lying, then the fact that a government department is lying in its report to @@LEADER@@ is a bigger problem than what @@LEADER@@/the government should tell the rest of the populace. (Assuming that @@LEADER@@ already wanted them to lie is a player autonomy violation.)

The options are likewise confused about whether the Ministry of Truth are aware that they're lying. Currently, option 1 is "tell the public lies" and option 2 is "the government should know the truth", but there is no reason you can't do both. Well, actually, there are reasons (which government workers are authorized to know the truth? how are they supposed to figure it out if so few other people have any credible information? what happens if one of them leaks the information?), but that comes down to implementation details, which this issue doesn't even bother addressing.

You're also to some degree rehashing ground already tread by your previous issue that you're trying to chain off. In that one, option 2 emphasizing identifying and punishing individual dissenters (and which therefore continues to acknowledge that dissenters do in fact exist, and anyone involved in economic sectors that make use of slave labor would have the opportunity to meet them), while options 1 and 3 are about keeping people happy through misinformation without bothering to track down individual dissenters. In this draft, option 2 again emphasizes identifying and punishing individual dissenters, while option 1 is about keeping people happy through misinformation (although different misinformation).

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Sat Jun 03, 2023 2:21 pm

Trotterdam wrote:Which option? All of them?

The options are pretty different from each other, I don't think it's a very good followup issue if it completely ignores what the player actually did.


Weirdly, yes. All three options are aimed in the same direction of reducing dissent, so the narrative works regardless. Maybe I could go back to that issue and add a non-chaining option that actually allows more dissent, but I think at the time I wasn't keen on that. Definitely something I'd look at implementing if this ever reaches the edit stage though, as your point is sound.

So are they telling the truth and I actually have 100% public approval, or are they lying to me?

If they're telling the truth, then there is no problem. It doesn't become a dilemma of "do we lie to our citizens or not?", because it's the truth.


Its true to a given value of true. As in, obviously its not true, and they're making it clear to you with a nudge and a wink that its not true. Everybody knows that 100% support never actually happens.

If they're lying, then the fact that a government department is lying in its report to @@LEADER@@ is a bigger problem than what @@LEADER@@/the government should tell the rest of the populace. (Assuming that @@LEADER@@ already wanted them to lie is a player autonomy violation.)


Yeah, but you know they're lying to you, and they know you know, and they believe you want to hear these lies. Takes some doublethink, naturally, but it happens all the time in politics. Its like a public sector union telling the government they want a 40% pay rise. They know they're not actually expecting that or going to get agreement on that, the government knows that they're not expecting that, and the government knows that their counteroffer of 2% is going to be rejected angrily as well. Nobody is making actual offers, and if the union started with the number they actually wanted then the government would assume that number was a negotiating position and try to push them even lower, and so on, and so forth. Or its like when a minister tells the PM that he supports him unconditionally, every PM knows that no minister's support is ever unconditional, but that such a declaration actually means that "i support you for now", but if they actually said "I support you for now", they'd actually mean "I'm waiting to see you fall."

That's just politics. They are lying, but they know you know they're lying, and option 1 is you pretending to believe that the lie is true. The fact that they're offering to adjust the figure should make it clear that they know you know they're making it up.

The options are likewise confused about whether the Ministry of Truth are aware that they're lying. Currently, option 1 is "tell the public lies" and option 2 is "the government should know the truth", but there is no reason you can't do both. Well, actually, there are reasons (which government workers are authorized to know the truth? how are they supposed to figure it out if so few other people have any credible information? what happens if one of them leaks the information?), but that comes down to implementation details, which this issue doesn't even bother addressing.


I disagree. I think its quite obvious that they're making up the numbers.

You're also to some degree rehashing ground already tread by your previous issue that you're trying to chain off. In that one, option 2 emphasizing identifying and punishing individual dissenters (and which therefore continues to acknowledge that dissenters do in fact exist, and anyone involved in economic sectors that make use of slave labor would have the opportunity to meet them), while options 1 and 3 are about keeping people happy through misinformation without bothering to track down individual dissenters. In this draft, option 2 again emphasizes identifying and punishing individual dissenters, while option 1 is about keeping people happy through misinformation (although different misinformation).


Good point. Though I think there's enough distinction in the approaches and the scenarios that we're pretty far from presenting the same dilemma again.
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Sat Jun 03, 2023 3:38 pm

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:Maybe I could go back to that issue and add a non-chaining option that actually allows more dissent, but I think at the time I wasn't keen on that.
I remember that back when that issue was drafted, I had a fourth option in mind that I was tempted to suggest, but I restrained myself because it was obvious that the three-option structure was necessary for the 1984 reference and you'd be resistant to adding one that doesn't fit the pattern.

My suggestion would have been to go full cartoon villain by saying that you like that people disapprove of your rule, because what's the point in tormenting your little playthings if you can't hear their lamentations? Besides, putting down rebellions is great fun.

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:Everybody knows that 100% support never actually happens.
In real life. This is NationStates, who knows what's possible here? We can have nations where crime is totally unknown, where a democratic government keeps getting reelected despite literally throwing children to the wolves, where people are perfectly happy and have a thriving economy with a 100% tax rate, or where your national population keeps increasing by several million each update even though your economy is so utterly trashed that all of your citizens should have already starved to death.

But in any case, this means that, as you say, 100% support never actually happens. Therefore, no matter how many times the player answers an issue about stamping out opposition, that's not the end of it and there will always be more opposition to stamp out. Get carried away with this, and you could have an endless chain that never gives you any time to address other issues.

The premise of DoublePlusUngood was already "although (effective) opposition to your rule is already very low, it could be lower". Immediately following up whatever choice the player picks with "haha, nope, try again!" doesn't sound fun to me. If opposition is already as low as it can realistically get (and that issue's validity establishes that you're already clamping down heavily on dissent, which you used as your justification for not including a pro-freedom option), then your time is probably better spent looking into other things.

Meanwhile it doesn't seem like you would actually have to do any of those three things in order for a discussion of approval ratings to come up. I think this might work better as a standalone issue than a followup, even if the validity would still be similar to that of DoublePlusUngood. Nations could still get both issues in due time, but would be less likely to get bored by immediate repetition or feel attacked over their choices.

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:I disagree. I think it's quite obvious that they're making up the numbers.
Option 1 does imply that, but then why does the speaker of option 2 act worried that you might not realize it? And again, why can't you do both options?

"Do we want to lie to our population?" and "Do we want to use brutal interrogation techniques to find out the true measure of dissent in the country?" are two completely different questions. Why are they being discussed by the same issue?

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Sun Jun 04, 2023 10:14 pm

Good points. Any other thoughts anyone?
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Australian rePublic
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Postby Australian rePublic » Tue Jun 06, 2023 2:58 am

If the government starts believing these figures, then the regime is in serious danger. These 100% approval figures are for the public, not high government officials
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Kaschovia
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Postby Kaschovia » Mon Jun 12, 2023 5:15 pm

"Doubleplusgood news, everybody!" celebrates Truth Minister Farnsworth, dancing a happy jig. "We should publicly release this affirmation of your enlightened rule, and everyone will feel even happier for knowing how happy they are. If you prefer, we can tweak the numbers to make them more believable. Say, 99.65%, something like that? What would you like the result to be?"

Ending the option with a question seems to leave the actual decision a little too open-ended, in my opinion. Perhaps just stick with suggesting 99.65%.
I think he was quoting Princess Leia, or possibly Sting, or maybe Marilyn Monroe I forget.

Not 100% sure (get it) about including all of these real life references, breaks the immersion of a country existing in another world or reality, if that's what some answerers have in mind.

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Thu Nov 23, 2023 12:47 pm

Fair point on the questioning. Will amend that.

On real vs NSified names, we've used both in the past, and my own thinking is that an expy should be used when it seems humorous (or at the very least jauntily amusing) to do so, but should be avoided when the joke is diminished by it. The joke here of course is that these are real people who always get quotes misattributed to them, and that the real quote sources are the ones that the named charactrers are expies of. In fact, I was careful to pick RL people who have been misattributed as the source of that quote IRL. For me, renaming Tolstoy as Tolsdoy doesn't add anything, but instead makes an obscure joke harder to get, whereas expying the name of the speaker gives a kind of meta-irony, where the character doesn't realise they're quoting the RL person they're based on.

All a bit pompous and pretentious, for sure, but I think it works best as it is.

Is the last effect line too rude do you think? We can adult flag issues, but we can't stop class nations seeing adult effect lines when they visit a nation's front page. Seems a shame to lose the joke, but open to thoughts on appropriateness.
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Thu Nov 23, 2023 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Free Joy State
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Postby The Free Joy State » Fri Nov 24, 2023 12:08 am

Candlewhisper Archive wrote:
Is the last effect line too rude do you think? We can adult flag issues, but we can't stop class nations seeing adult effect lines when they visit a nation's front page. Seems a shame to lose the joke, but open to thoughts on appropriateness.

I personally think that the last effect line is only as dirty as your mind, so I wouldn't automatically edit it out for inappropriateness.

In reference to what you and Trott were talking about, upthread, I personally think all options of DoublePlusUnGood chaining to this one is fine, because -- to me -- all the options in the preceding issue are about oppressing dissent, making this a natural chain issue -- you've oppressed dissent, and you're lying to your citizens that they all loved it. It feels suitably Orwellian to me.

But, that's just my personal opinion.

EDIT: Of course, it would work as a standalone (somehow missed that suggestion when browsing the thread the first time).
Last edited by The Free Joy State on Fri Nov 24, 2023 12:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Verdant Haven
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Postby Verdant Haven » Tue Nov 28, 2023 11:15 am

- I think chaining it from DoublePlusUnGood works, because while that is about stamping out dissent, this is about maintaining the illusion of non-dissent, which is a different situation.

- I didn't read anything sexual into the final effect line until I saw your question. This may largely be because I didn't read anything at *all* in the final effect line. I didn't remember the "physical jerks" line from 1984 until I Googled it, so was left completely bewildered about what it meant at all. Take that as you will, but I suspect it's fine from a censorship perspective. Could change moans to groans if it feels concerning.

- I'm with Kasch when it comes to names – I hate seeing real ones. Doesn't mean we have to NSify them, but I personally would just avoid specific names alltogether. "I think that's a quote from a famous author... or possibly a scientist" and "I think he was quoting a movie, or maybe a musician. I forget" are lines that would work just as well for me as the current ones. Afterall, as Spock said in Harry Potter, "Use the Force, Frodo" (the number of misquoted people and things is so vast as to be unrecognizable).
- Verdant Haven

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Candlewhisper Archive
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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Wed Nov 29, 2023 1:39 pm

Yeah, that works for me. No loss of joke. I feel the second list of people does need to stay though, as the handful of sand / love somebody let them go joke only works for those people
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Wed Nov 29, 2023 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Verdant Haven
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Postby Verdant Haven » Wed Nov 29, 2023 2:46 pm

Just spotted a weird grammatical hiccup in option 3 that was hiding in a line-break on my screen:

"Anyway, we need to encourage people a regular opportunity"
- Verdant Haven


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