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The Rejected Times: Issue XLVI

Talk about regional management and politics, raider/defender gameplay, and other game-related matters.
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Shadow Afforess
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Postby Shadow Afforess » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:19 pm

Fun-ist? What is this, 6th grade speak for hedonism? :palm:

NationStates Gameplay Forums: Morality for kids, by kids.

PS. Hedonism is a reprehensible moral framework that has no qualms sacrificing everything in the name of pleasure.
Last edited by Shadow Afforess on Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Mekhet
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Postby Mekhet » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:33 pm

Shadow Afforess wrote:Fun-ist? What is this, 6th grade speak for hedonism? :palm:

NationStates Gameplay Forums: Morality for kids, by kids.

PS. Hedonism is a reprehensible moral framework that has no qualms sacrificing everything in the name of pleasure.

O, thank you great sage for this enlightened gem! We are not worthy! :bow:

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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:42 pm

Hedonism is broader and applies to more than just this specific issue though.
[violet] wrote:I mean this in the best possible way,
but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
with the best of intentions.
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Shadow Afforess
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Postby Shadow Afforess » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:49 pm

Unibot III wrote:Hedonism is broader and applies to more than just this specific issue though.


I've never seen someone describe Hedonism as broad before, that is new. Hedonism is about as simple of a concept as you get. "If it feels good, do it".

Ethical Hedonism is slightly different, but no more complex, and similarly flawed.

Mekhet wrote:gem


Go back to reddit. :palm:
Last edited by Shadow Afforess on Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The North Polish Union
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Postby The North Polish Union » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:03 pm

Shadow Afforess wrote:
Unibot III wrote:Hedonism is broader and applies to more than just this specific issue though.


I've never seen someone describe Hedonism as broad before, that is new. Hedonism is about as simple of a concept as you get. "If it feels good, do it".

Ethical Hedonism is slightly different, but no more complex, and similarly flawed.

When hedonism is defined as "if it feels good, do it", it becomes as broad or as narrow as the way it's applied. The concept itself may not be complex or broad, but the implications of can be incredibly broad, depending on the degree to which hedonism is embraced.
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Small Huts
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Postby Small Huts » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:05 pm

Shadow Afforess wrote:Fun-ist? What is this, 6th grade speak for hedonism? :palm:

NationStates Gameplay Forums: Morality for kids, by kids.

PS. Hedonism is a reprehensible moral framework that has no qualms sacrificing everything in the name of pleasure.

The obvious opposing view from Moralist is Amoralist then or better perhaps, Anti-moralist. The irony is that this is a game and having fun is the purpose and why we're here.
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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:47 pm

Shadow Afforess wrote:Go back to reddit. :palm:

Afforess - you're getting into near Sibirsky-levels of smileyspam with the constant facepalming there. Not only that, it is, as others have noted, often used in a rather disparaging way that believe it or not, can be actionable when it becomes a pattern of behavior. I only mention Sib due to the overwhelming reports we got on his habits, and how it puts your situation into clear focus.

You need to lay off the snarkysmiles and use your words more, please. If the pattern of baiting via smileyspam continues, there will be warnings. Thanks.

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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:45 am

I've never seen someone describe Hedonism as broad before, that is new. Hedonism is about as simple of a concept as you get. "If it feels good, do it".


Yes but that applies to everything. "If it feels good, do it" applies to everything for a hedonist.
[violet] wrote:I mean this in the best possible way,
but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
with the best of intentions.
Org. Join Date: 25/05/2008 | Former Delegate of The Rejected Realms | Gameplay Alignment: -18 / -13
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Shadow Afforess
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Postby Shadow Afforess » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:17 am

Dread Lady Nathicana wrote:
Shadow Afforess wrote:Go back to reddit. :palm:

Afforess - you're getting into near Sibirsky-levels of smileyspam with the constant facepalming there. Not only that, it is, as others have noted, often used in a rather disparaging way that believe it or not, can be actionable when it becomes a pattern of behavior. I only mention Sib due to the overwhelming reports we got on his habits, and how it puts your situation into clear focus.

You need to lay off the snarkysmiles and use your words more, please. If the pattern of baiting via smileyspam continues, there will be warnings. Thanks.


I'm not familiar with Sibirsky but I don't agree that my use of smiles is an effort to bait other players. My response to Mekhet was regarding the usage of the term "gem" which is often used in reddit communities as a circlejerk-style comment meant to troll others. A quick google search suggests that Mekhet is in fact, a redditor. Previous uses of smiles were used to express incredulity at the low level of discourse and abysmal terminology being used.
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Guy IV
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Postby Guy IV » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:25 pm

Shadow Afforess wrote:
Dread Lady Nathicana wrote:Afforess - you're getting into near Sibirsky-levels of smileyspam with the constant facepalming there. Not only that, it is, as others have noted, often used in a rather disparaging way that believe it or not, can be actionable when it becomes a pattern of behavior. I only mention Sib due to the overwhelming reports we got on his habits, and how it puts your situation into clear focus.

You need to lay off the snarkysmiles and use your words more, please. If the pattern of baiting via smileyspam continues, there will be warnings. Thanks.


I'm not familiar with Sibirsky but I don't agree that my use of smiles is an effort to bait other players. My response to Mekhet was regarding the usage of the term "gem" which is often used in reddit communities as a circlejerk-style comment meant to troll others. A quick google search suggests that Mekhet is in fact, a redditor. Previous uses of smiles were used to express incredulity at the low level of discourse and abysmal terminology being used.
So not only are you admitting that your use of that emoticon was based on your perceived superiority to Mekhet, but you also went ahead and stalked him, then used his participation in another online community against him. Good going.

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Euroslavia
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Postby Euroslavia » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:03 pm

Shadow Afforess wrote:
Dread Lady Nathicana wrote:Afforess - you're getting into near Sibirsky-levels of smileyspam with the constant facepalming there. Not only that, it is, as others have noted, often used in a rather disparaging way that believe it or not, can be actionable when it becomes a pattern of behavior. I only mention Sib due to the overwhelming reports we got on his habits, and how it puts your situation into clear focus.

You need to lay off the snarkysmiles and use your words more, please. If the pattern of baiting via smileyspam continues, there will be warnings. Thanks.


I'm not familiar with Sibirsky but I don't agree that my use of smiles is an effort to bait other players. My response to Mekhet was regarding the usage of the term "gem" which is often used in reddit communities as a circlejerk-style comment meant to troll others. A quick google search suggests that Mekhet is in fact, a redditor. Previous uses of smiles were used to express incredulity at the low level of discourse and abysmal terminology being used.

The fact of the matter is that you used the statement as a personal attack, regardless of whether they are a member of Reddit or not. It adds nothing to the topic at hand. Now let's please focus on the actual topic, thanks.
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Shadow Afforess
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Postby Shadow Afforess » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:17 pm

Euroslavia wrote:The fact of the matter is that you used the statement as a personal attack, regardless of whether they are a member of Reddit or not. It adds nothing to the topic at hand. Now let's please focus on the actual topic, thanks.


I again am forced to disagree. "Go back to XXX" is the equivalent of "Go Away", which is not a personal attack. At worst, I am guilty of rudeness, a fact of which I am already keenly aware.
Last edited by Shadow Afforess on Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Common-Sense Politics
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Postby Common-Sense Politics » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:19 pm

Shadow Afforess wrote:At worst, I am guilty of rudeness, a fact of which I am already keenly aware.

I like that quote a lot.
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Mekhet
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Postby Mekhet » Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:38 pm

Guy IV wrote:
Shadow Afforess wrote:
I'm not familiar with Sibirsky but I don't agree that my use of smiles is an effort to bait other players. My response to Mekhet was regarding the usage of the term "gem" which is often used in reddit communities as a circlejerk-style comment meant to troll others. A quick google search suggests that Mekhet is in fact, a redditor. Previous uses of smiles were used to express incredulity at the low level of discourse and abysmal terminology being used.
So not only are you admitting that your use of that emoticon was based on your perceived superiority to Mekhet, but you also went ahead and stalked him, then used his participation in another online community against him. Good going.

Not meaning to threadjack but just clearing a misunderstanding, I'm not on reddit. The name Mekhet and even Zaolat come from a roleplaying game called Vampire: The Masquerade though Mekhet is more prominent in Vampire: The Requiem. A lot of people use Mekhet as an alias elsewhere (it's frustrating sometimes when I want to use it elsewhere and can't), though not as much Zaolat since that's just an alternative name for the same being Saulot.
Last edited by Mekhet on Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Evil Wolf
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Postby Evil Wolf » Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:51 pm

Shadow Afforess wrote:I again am forced to disagree. "Go back to XXX" is the equivalent of "Go Away", which is not a personal attack. At worst, I am guilty of rudeness, a fact of which I am already keenly aware.


*Wolf munches on popcorn*

I like where this thread is going.
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Kryozerkia wrote:In the good old days raiding was illegal
Crazy Girl wrote:Invading was never illegal
[violet] wrote:There is supposed to be an invasion game.

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Mousebumples
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Postby Mousebumples » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:37 pm

Shadow Afforess wrote:
Euroslavia wrote:The fact of the matter is that you used the statement as a personal attack, regardless of whether they are a member of Reddit or not. It adds nothing to the topic at hand. Now let's please focus on the actual topic, thanks.


I again am forced to disagree. "Go back to XXX" is the equivalent of "Go Away", which is not a personal attack. At worst, I am guilty of rudeness, a fact of which I am already keenly aware.

You are welcome to disagree, but the unofficial warning that Nathi offered still applies:
Dread Lady Nathicana wrote:You need to lay off the snarkysmiles and use your words more, please. If the pattern of baiting via smileyspam continues, there will be warnings. Thanks.
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Unibot III
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Postby Unibot III » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:38 am

I guess we could call it selective hedonism, Afforess. :P
[violet] wrote:I mean this in the best possible way,
but Unibot is not a typical NS player.
Milograd wrote:You're a caring, resolute lunatic
with the best of intentions.
Org. Join Date: 25/05/2008 | Former Delegate of The Rejected Realms | Gameplay Alignment: -18 / -13
Unibotian Factbook // An Analysis of NationStates Generations // The Gameplay Alignment Test // NS Weather // How do I join the UDL? // The Transpacific Trade
Paradise Found // The Unibotian Life Expectancy Index // Proudly Authored 9 GA Res., 14 SC Res. // Commended by SC#78 // The Polysemes of Nativeness;

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Dread Lady Nathicana
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Postby Dread Lady Nathicana » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:39 pm

Shadow Afforess wrote:
Euroslavia wrote:The fact of the matter is that you used the statement as a personal attack, regardless of whether they are a member of Reddit or not. It adds nothing to the topic at hand. Now let's please focus on the actual topic, thanks.


I again am forced to disagree. "Go back to XXX" is the equivalent of "Go Away", which is not a personal attack. At worst, I am guilty of rudeness, a fact of which I am already keenly aware.

Your opinions have been noted. You are now aware that your methods are not appreciated, and we hope that you will adjust them appropriately so that we will be able to avoid any further unpleasantness. Thank you.

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The Rejected Realms Media Corporation
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Postby The Rejected Realms Media Corporation » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:46 pm

Image

Issue XXIII. June 26, 2014.


Editor's Note

I think it's safe to say we've made the big time. Cheers.

Image




The Death of Invaderism and the Rise of the Cold War
OPINION | JOE BOBS

Is NationStates in a Cold War? Joe Bobs, Senior Reporter, discusses...

I believe we are experiencing a proxy war of essentially two sides that bears similarity to the USA-USSR Cold War in several ways. I will argue that the Invader-Defender conflict is actually emerging into a new stage, the Imperial-Defender conflict, fought via proxy wars between two sides.

Okay, so perhaps I am stating the obvious. Of course the war is fought via proxies. Ever since moderators ceased being directly involved in resolving invasion disputes, there has been a continuous move towards refounding large regions with active populations; the risks were too great not to. This signaled the end of traditional alliances in user created regions. Non-Aggression Pacts were no longer required, and mutual assistance in case of invasion became superfluous. Thus arose organisations such as the FRA who looked to find new regions to defend. This marked the beginning of the era of proxy wars.

For a long time, nothing changed. Invaders and Defenders followed each other across the NationStates world battling in one region and then another. Then arose imperialism. There had always been regions who attempted to invade and hold other regions before, but suddenly they had a name, an identity and a political cause.

The Invader-Defender conflict had almost always been fought amongst UCRs. However, today the FRA's membership includes Lazarus and The Rejected Realms, and almost all the GCRs have some involvement in military gameplay outside their own defence and that of their allies. My theory on this turn of events is as follows: the boom of NationStates in terms of new players entering the game was in the mid 2000s. Many of these players flocked to the UCRs which were in a golden age of growth, and these players climbed to the top of their regions. However, when their regions died, or the players felt the need to move on, they found the GCRs calling. Today, we are seeing that era of players at the top of the GCRs. These are the players that became involved in the game at the height of the building of UCR alliances: the ADN, the RLA, the FRA, and so on. They have brought the ideals of their old UCRs into the GCR world.

As the GCRs have taken on these ideals, the players have made the connections they did before, and now two great blocs are forming. This is something I have seen in every online game I have ever taken part in, the eventual formation of two or three huge blocs of power (wherever a third occurs, it usually plays kingmaker between the other two). This almost always leads to stagnation, but I am hopeful that the complexity of NationStates will prevent that, after all, military gameplay is just one aspect of the game, and is affected by developments in other areas.

The development of GCRs as imperialists and defenders has centralised the conflict around an axis. I believe that this is in fact leading to the death of Invaderism. The largest raiding forces of Lone Wolves United, The Black Hawks, The Black Riders etc are becoming mercenary groups to the imperialist blocs of UIAF, Osiris and Balder; like the nationalist movements manipulated by the USA and USSR throughout proxy wars, they are sent to fight, but the ultimate victory is with the Imperialist power.

Much has been said of the decline of defenders on the NS forum, and yet the FRA is the largest alliance in the game. I believe we are actually seeing the death of Invaderism and a realignment of the game along Imperialist and Defender lines. All armies will need to adapt. The Imperialists will increasingly use Invader puppets, fed with crumbs of power and glory from table, and the Defenders will increasingly need to win native support to gain allies for the future. But as the Imperialist expansion pushes onwards, many currently neutral natives will look for support from the Defender cause.




TEP Delegate Race in Dead Heat
Ramaeus leads narrowly over Old Federalia
COMMENTARY | TRR STAFF

Image

With the other candidates, 1 Infinite Loop, Milograd and Hobbes leaving the race, the frontrunners, Ramaeus and Old Federalia, are now challenging for the coveted delegate position in a very tight race. As of this writing, the election stands at 20-17 for Ramaeus, although only twenty-four hours ago, the election had been tied with Old Federalia catching up with Ramaeus. An extremely generalized analysis suggests that while Ramaeus has benefited from the veteran vote (and the EPSA vote), Old Federalia has cleaned up with new voters.

Both candidates are running campaigns that could be considered a bit on the “abstract” side. Ramaeus’s campaign appears more of a ‘status quo’ campaign, applauding the work of the previous adminstration in several areas and emphasizing the task ahead to bridge the forum and the regional community. Old Federalia’s campaign promotes a vision of “Pan-Pacifica”, which has been popular in The East Pacific since A Mean Old Man’s attempted Modern Pacific Alliance and Prussia’s Trans-GCR Alliance. Ramaeus’s experience has been challenged by Old Federalia publicly, while Old Federalia’s plans to train new Army recruits through the regional University has received the ire of members of the East Pacific Sovereign Army (EPSA).

The mean average of post-counts for the voters who supported either Old Federalia and Ramaeus are 1,365 and 789.6 posts respectively. However, the medians of the post-counts for their voters show a much different picture, with Ramaeus sporting 247 posts, while Old Federalia holds 104 posts as a median supporter post-count. Although, the age of voters is not often a major concern, the East Pacific News Service posted its “Numbers and Elections” analysis of The Rejected Realms’s election earlier, using poster data to determine if the recent election was “legitimate” or not. In one of the most regionalist of the Game-Created Regions, post-count and the credibility of voters is a huge issue and a poor turn-out among senior voters could reflect badly on a potential winner.

The election itself has citizens very excited.

“It's been a thorough process with a lot of decent discussion and campaigning,” says Bachtendekuppen, delegate of The East Pacific, “whoever wins will be a deserved winner”.

Few elections in NationStates have been –this– close, one citizen told The Rejected Times.

“The election as been close indeed,” says Xoriet, General of the EPSA, “and we've seen new ideas from all-new candidates. There have been lively (and sometimes heated) discussions on plans for the future of the East Pacific. People are getting involved that have rarely to never been involved since applying for citizenship prior to this. It has been quite an exciting few weeks”.

Ultimately, with the election race this tight, it is anyone’s guess as to who will be The East Pacific’s next delegate, but rest assured, The Rejected Times will be covering the vote closely!




The Festering Snakepit: Does Intellectual Honesty Matter In The WA's Nest Of Vipers?
OPINION | GRUENBERG

"The oracles of old were thus delivered by priests dedicated to the service of the God who was supposed to inspire them. The glare of worldly pomp which surrounded these impostors, the respect paid to them by artful politicians, who knew how to avail themselves of this useful engine to bend the necks of the strong under the dominion of the cunning, spread a sacred mysterious veil of sanctity over their lies and abominations." - Mary Wollstonecraft

"I want a language that speaks the truth." - Studs Terkel

NationStates is a political game, and the flippant assumption that politics necessarily involves the expedient resort to dishonesty is often used to justify deceptive behaviour in various facets of the way it is played, from gameplay to roleplay to regional business. In the small corner of the game devoted to World Assembly play, there is an increasing tendency to advance all such acts of duplicity under the vague banner of "the Festering Snakepit", the idea that the WA is an inherently amoral lair of corruption and intrigue, in which blatant lying and misrepresentation is perfectly permissible politicking that should be openly encouraged, the only counter being debate. Given significant traction by the fiasco of Repeal "Rights and Duties ... ", the zenith of this trend was reached when Repeal "International Criminal Court", written by newly appointed moderator Mousebumples, went to extraordinary lengths to distort the truth, invoking conflicts with other resolutions where none existed and imagining bizarre new interpretations of existing laws, and yet was permitted to go to vote.

Historically, moderators removed such proposals under the "Honest Mistake" section of the proposal rules, emphasising that while in-character politicking was permitted in the WA forum, proposals themselves could not contain factual inaccuracies. Indeed, this very authority was the subject of extensive debate in the WA's predecessor organization, the NSUN, with moderators fiercely defending their right to enforce this rule and ridiculing those who disputed it. As a mark of how starkly the present sense of the rules enforcement has now changed despite claims to the contrary, they now refuse to enforce the same rule, claiming that while some of the legality concerns about the repeal were a "legitimate concern", they were not actionable as they were not "central" to the repeal, seeming to open the door to proposals containing rules violations so long as they are secondary to the main argument. WA moderator Kryozerkia, in an incredibly rare foray into the WA forum, also doled out a crass and insensitive charge accusing those questioning the legality of "try[ing] to wield the moderators as weapons", despite the moderators having quite repeatedly encouraged players to report illegal proposals.

When not simply slinging mud, the moderators explained their decision as believing that matters of interpretation should be challenged through debate, which reflects a lack of understanding of how the WA actually works. Debate is completely irrelevant: there has probably never been a resolution vote where the forum vote seriously affected the outcome, and in the days of Jolt it was not uncommon for forum polls to reflect completely the opposite opinion to the game vote itself (or, in the case of "Kenny polls", ringing endorsements for the generosity of the Thessadorian Ambassador). Any proposal can reach quorum thanks to the revamped telegram system, which through stamps and scripts permits instant contact of the entire delegate base instead of lengthy and arduous manual campaigns. And once a resolution does reach vote, the "stacking effect" (qv RRT passim) means that the likely outcome is decided almost instantly. In this case, with Europeia's support, Mousebumples was virtually assured of victory before the proposal even went to vote.

All of those are systemic factors in the WA game that do not have an easy fix without complete overhaul of the regional delegate or telegram system, neither of which are likely, or somehow requiring people to partake in forum debates, which is even less likely. As such, the simple reality that debate has no real impression on whether resolutions pass has to be acknowledged, and with it, the recognition that if a proposal does contain demonstrable falsehoods, there is no effective way of countering those with the truth. The only conceivable method would be a mass telegram of all WA members, achievable only through telegram stamps at significant cost to the user - and the indefensible Discard of one of the few proposals to employ exactly that tactic hardly encourages players to make use of the system. Nor does the refusal of proposal authors to engage in debate on the forums, with Mousebumples plainly stating that any arguments against the repeal were not going to have any impact anyway.

Another factor is that, simply by reading this far into this article, you are already an atypical NS player (given the length and style of this article, a very atypical player). NationStates is a fairly basic game, and playing it does not require a big commitment of time and effort. Of course some players find ways to become significantly invested in it, becoming active on the official forums or within their own regions; but of the entire WA voting public, these represent a minority. Furthermore, player turnover in NationStates is high (issues fatigue is the most commonly cited cause, though there is necessarily little quantifiable evidence here) and of those voting on the repeal, thousands will not have been playing the game when the resolution originally passed, let alone even older resolutions. None of this makes those players "lemmings", as WA insiders are wont to sniff at them - they are probably the ones with common sense for not becoming so attached to a free webgame - but the fact remains that the WA voting majority simply is not qualified to recognise factual inaccuracies.

That's why the Honest Mistake rule exists, and why it has always been enforced to ensure people do not claim that Rights & Duties of WA States gives them immunity from compliance, that the Freedom of Marriage Act forces religious communities to recognise gay marriage, that the Nuclear Arms Possession Act legalises the use of nuclear weapons, or any of the other common misconceptions that see proposals removed from the queue on a weekly basis. "The Festering Snakepit" was, after all, a roleplayed joke of The Palentine, something the humourless modern WA seems to have overlooked in adopting the phrase as a quite genuine statement on the moral purpose of the organization; and while NationStates remains a political game, that does not mean the political aspects should obscure the game aspects. Players can only hope that the appeal to "debate" instead of enforcing a commitment to the truth in this instance was a blip, rather than a reversal of policy - even if such a blip poses the question of why the exception was made this time.




Safe Spaces Not So Safe, Say Mods
COMMENTARY | THAFOO AND UNIBOT

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Safe Space Rape Thread Locked.

A notable pillar of the NationStates General establishment has been “locked” by forum moderators. Started in May 02, 2012, the “Rape Thread”, served as a safe space for survivors of rape (a crime, as the OP states) to come forth and share their thoughts. Those who came forth and identified themselves as a survivor would often receive support and comfort from the community. The thread itself was heavily enforced by moderators, who would closely review the thread for victim-blaming, trolling and other insensitivities.

However, the thread was recently locked due to fears of liability issues. As Katganistan, Senior Game Moderator, noted, the moderation staff was concerned that the forum could be held responsible for emotional damage caused by trolling in the “Safe Space” thread. Dread Lady Nathicana added by noting that there were more appropriate areas for seeking out help, assistance and discussion that are moderated by trained professionals and a dedicated staff.

The Safe Space had been inactive for three weeks and it was then that the moderators decided it was an opportune time to lock the thread before more issues could arise. This decision keeps Moderation in line with its similar opinion on Safe Spaces for Mental Health. It was only months ago when a thread regarding depression was locked by the moderators, who argued "[they could not] watch every single post that [was] made there before someone else [saw] it, and then the damage of the troll might already have been done to another user". At the time, the organizer of the depression thread, Divair, soon retorted by noting the existence of other safe spaces for rape and body image -- an inconsistency which is now resolved with the closure of this latest thread.

Although most appear to be understanding of moderation’s position (which reflects its similar opinion on Safe Spaces for Mental Health), this discussion has not gone without some controversy. The spirit of the Safe Space itself was to move the sharing of survivor stories away from sterilized, professional settings (i.e., communities and institutions dedicated to the subject) and bringing them to “normal” social settings like NationStates which may have had more of an impact in demonstrating the sheer number of those who we love and respect that have been affected by this terrible crime – supporting survivors and enlightening others.

Ultimately, what does this decision mean for NationStates General? Threads regarding sensitive psychological issues no longer have a place on NationStates General considering how sensitive, overall, these issues are. However, many involved, including those supposedly sensitive to such trolling, disagree, claiming that the threads serve to provide support from others who are suffering in the same way.

All future threads regarding this decision have been quickly closed, a strategy increasingly used by the moderation to dodge answering to those who are less than satisfied with the current state of NationStates moderation affairs, particularly in the General forum.




Ethics of Cross-Regional RMB Posting
Where Does The Responsibility of Punishing Spammers Lay?
OPINION | THE CHURCH OF SATAN

Recently a new feature has been implemented that allows nations in one region to post on the Regional Message Board (RMB) of another. What are the implications of Cross-Regional RMB Posting? A nation in The North Pacific by the name of United Meth of America spammed the RMB of The Rejected Realms, resulting in the nation's deletion by NS moderators. This incident brings up the question of, who is responsible for the spammer?

Certainly The Rejected Realms could do nothing to prevent it short of reducing Cross-Regional RMB Posting to just founders and delegates, but why should the rest of The North Pacific, and by extension, all of the other embassies of The Rejected Realms, suffer for one person's idiotic act? On the other hand, The North Pacific could have done the same, but why should they do it instead? Of course The North Pacific has the option of ejecting the spammer. It would certainly get rid of any problems on their end, but they'd be sending the source of the problem directly to The Rejected Realms and nothing would be achieved. Because of this gap of enforcement, will this new feature result in an increase of spammers? Even if it doesn't, all of the spammers get sent to The Rejected Realms if they are not deleted by moderators.

Ultimately, there really is no fair solution to this issue and it's quite sad that some people would rather abuse this feature at the expense of thousands of innocent players who don't want to read their trash. The simplest solution would be to restrict the new feature to founders and delegates, but nobody wants to restrict communication between our fellow regions like that -- we do so enjoy one another's company. In my humble opinion, a new addition to the feature needs to be added that allows founders and delegates to revoke a nation's Cross-Regional RMB Posting privileges as this would certainly solve the problem.




Sov-Con Whitewash in “Commend Astarial”?
COMMENTARY | TRR STAFF

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“A self-fellating snake seems an appropriate choice of flag for the organisation” ~ Sedgistan.

Although “Commend Astarial” passed handily, 8,066 votes to 1,055, some have complained that the resolution itself ignores important events in Astarial’s career because of political sensitivity.

Unibot was the first to suggest removing a clause in the original draft of Commend Astarial which praised the work of Sovereign Confederation. Arguing that the ill-fated organization had collapsed early in its life, Unibot also added that Sovereign Confederation had been more of an incursion into regional sovereignty than a defense (as shown by the treasured “Rubber Soul” leaks, once published in The Rejected Times and NS Weekly!). Mallorea and Riva, Frattastan and Milograd later agreed with this suggestion, which lead to the author of the draft, Mcmasterdonia, removing the controversial clause from the resolution.

Cormac Somerset, however, argues that Sovereign Confederation should have been included in the resolution – defending its track-record despite its many mishaps.

“I think Sovereign Confederation was a mixed bag,” says Cormac to The Rejected Times, “Its ultimate flaw was throwing together regions which were not natural allies and which had some fairly significant ideological differences. On the other hand, it doesn't deserve the demonization in which some individuals have engaged. Its military contributions, though few, were positive, and the organization's overall goal which was never fully realized was also positive. I think it was a positive enough organization, and Astarial's role in it both significant and positive, that it should have been included in Commend Astarial”.

On Osiris’s boards, Cormac later accused McMasterdonia of removing several clauses and euphonising Astarial’s history to protect his own political popularity. The Vizier of Osiris argues that the commendation overlooks Astarial’s “autocratic” coup of Osiris and her oversight of Osiris’s transition from an independent army to an invader-imperialist army. At the time, however, Astarial and the Osiran elite had both argued that these events had not occurred: that the new regime was not autocratic, nor a coup and that a switch of alignment had not occurred.

“There's no question that Astarial should have been commended,” says Cormac, “as the margin by which the resolution passed made clear. Unfortunately, I'm not satisfied with the final draft, not only because of the exclusion of Sovereign Confederation, but because many of Astarial's achievements -- notably including the Osiran Reformation -- were veiled in euphemism. The Security Council has passed controversial Commendations before. Astarial has made an overwhelmingly positive contribution to NationStates, but many of her positive contributions have also been controversial and the resolution should have better reflected that”.

Granted, many commendations have removed clauses to ensure their political survival and popularity, but the Sovereign Confederation’s legacy has the public sharply divided on its commendableness. As the old saying goes: one couper’s glorified protection racket is another couper’s enterprising, Nazi-hunting “Third Way” heroes…




Lazarus brings the Funk!
INTERVIEW | THE CHURCH OF SATAN

Funkadelia's campaign based on unity, harmony, culture, ideology and Lazarene roots swept the Chairman Elections in Lazarus with an overwhelming victory over the other candidates! In the first round of voting, Funkadelia gained the most votes with a stunning 11 of the 19 votes. Llamas, Stujenske, and Horse, whom all had only 1 vote, were eliminated after the first round. Funkadelia had an even greater lead in the second round of the election with 13 of the 19 votes.

Fantome, who had 2 votes, was eliminated. In the final round, it was between Funkadelia and Aiden. Funkadelia's lead increased further with 15 of the 19 votes! It appears as though Funkadelia was absorbing the votes of those from previous rounds like a sponge! I reckon Funkadelia had this election from the very beginning and nobody could have stopped him. This decisive victory makes him the fourth chairman of The Peoples Republic of Lazarus.

I sat down with the newly elected chairman to talk about what he'll bring to the Lazarene table...

The Church of Satan: Congratulations on your win, Funkadelia! What are your plans for the future?

Funkadelia: I have a myriad of plans for the future. I plan on leading Lazarus into an age of more and more activity. The past week has been the establishment of my leadership, and from here on out I am preparing to bring us closer to harmony.

The Church of Satan: What do you feel will be your greatest challenge as delegate?

Funkadelia: I think my greatest challenge so far and probably into the future is keeping activity up. Certainly, it is easy to make yourself active, but it becomes more difficult when you have to oversee multiple other people and make sure that they remain active as well.

The Church of Satan: What about your opinion on imperialism? Has Osiris' recent accusations against Lazarus affected it in any way?

Funkadelia: My opinion on imperialism has not changed, and diplomatically weak and laughable moves like those of Osiris will not make me change my opinion. We planned on reaching out to Osiris and we wanted to try to work out differences and maintain at least a neutral relationship, but Osiris tarnished that with their aggressive actions. Lazarus must remain in a position to counter imperialism and defend other regions from the same fate as we experienced under those of the imperialist regime that was overthrown last year.

The Church of Satan: Lazarus has chosen Germany as its team in FIFA. How are they doing?

Funkadelia: I'm very pleased with the way Germany is performing in the World Cup, but I wasn't very pleased with the draw against Ghana :P

The Church of Satan: What's your opinion on the current happenings over at NAZI EUROPE?

Funkadelia: I think that the imperialists failed at keeping the Nazis down. Their defeat in Nazi Europe was shameful. I don't have much more to say on the topic.

The Church of Satan: What about the Islamic region ISIL? Are you at all concerned about what it could actually be?

Funkadelia: I doubt that a group like ISIS would use a game such as NationStates to try to spread their propaganda. It's probably a bunch of kids or weirdos trying to get some attention. Kinda like the Nazis.

After becoming chairman, he appointed Ikania as the Governor of Information and the editor of The Lazarene Gazette. He also appointed Fantome as the Governor of The Judicial District. Currently, the position of Vice-Chairman remains vacant. No word yet as to whom he's considering. Best of luck on your term as Chairman, Funkadelia. I'm sure you'll make Lazarus proud!




Lobbying - Vice or Virtue?
EDITORIAL | UNIBOT

Lobbying is a controversial topic in NationStates. I suppose the easiest definition I could give for “lobbying” is that it is the practice of contacting players in private, with the hope of encouraging them to vote for or against a measure, or convince players to vote for a candidate.

Lobbying is strictly prohibited during elections in Lazarus and The East Pacific, while it is common and uncontroversial in The Rejected Realms, The North Pacific, Osiris and Balder. Cormac Somerset noted to me that Osiris’s position on lobbying, however, is a new development for the Osiris Fraternal Order from the days of the Kemetic Republic of Osiris.

“The KRO had very strict campaign laws and rules,” says Cormac, “ you essentially couldn't do it, anywhere except your campaign thread, to the point they had to change the law to make sure -debates- would be legal”.

“This of course gave more established players the edge,” says Cormac, “and allowed them to see what candidates were saying at all times so they could counter anything they didn't approve of - which I'm sure was the point. All of the KRO's laws were meant to keep an Empire-approved oligarchy in power, and the ones that didn't Empire just ignored”.

Lobbying is legal in The South Pacific, but is extremely controversial as a practice – defended by some and condemned by others. Every election in The South Pacific sparks a fresh debate on the ethics of lobbying, where lobbying has a troubled political history.

I have a long personal history with the practice of lobbying as an author in the World Assembly; in fact I might even say that my days as a lobbyist in the World Assembly were what sparked my career in Gameplay. The first region I ever convinced to switch their vote was Capitalist Paradise, under FASTERCAT. My enemies in the World Assembly were well established in the art of lying, cheating and undermining the World Assembly’s governing institutions, thus I knew to be the best in a genuine snakepit, I had to better at convincing masses of people. I learned how to approach people and the art of “gab”. You had to be tenacious, persistent and have an answer for any question.

It was a natural development for me to lobby (and similarly recruit) when I became a gameplayer and for the life of me, I still to this day do not understand why lobbying could ever be considered a wrongdoing in the democratic context. I believe opposition to lobbying is rooted in the ideas of the Ancient Greeks who were skeptical of democracy. Skeptics of democracy worry of the power of demagoguery to influence the public’s fears and emotions towards a mob-like, irrational state. At its worst, democracy becomes ochlocracy when the public is led in a “moral panic”.

However, the stance that some have taken against lobbying is, unwittingly, a stance that undermines the pursuit of the democratic process.

I think it’s fair to say both Lazarus and The East Pacific themselves are skeptical of democracy, thus this line of argumentation is, at the very least, on the right track. Lazarus presents itself as a rare case of a (pseudo-Soviet) procedural democracy, while The East Pacific stands as the only (pseudo-American) republican democracy that emphasizes the need to balance the legislature with an equally powerful executive and judiciary. Lobbying, for these communities, appears to be a tool of demagoguery. But I would have to disagree strongly. Lobbying is the exchange of information from one player to another and in a free and fair democracy, the exchange of information is integral to the democratic system.

Overall, the flow of information in democracies is not as good as it could be. Voters often do their duty and vote, but do so without reading the full campaign literature available to them. However, if you make the effort to directly and personally approach a voter, often they will take the time to read the literature given to them. Critics of lobbying often try to argue that lobbying is “superfluous”, because campaigning can be done publicly, but that is disingenuous: lobbying is threatening to critics only because it works. Uninformed voters come out of this exchange of information with more knowledge (knowledge which can be positive, negative or neutral for the candidate involved).

Likewise, critics of lobbying often like to argue that lobbying can be “intimidating” to newer voters, because newer voters will feel compelled to vote how others encourage them to vote. Lobbyists, however, are the last people that voters are afraid of. Open voting is transparent to the peering eyes of the whole Court of Public Opinion. In particular elections, voting for one candidate or another could threaten your social relations with many people in a region -- not just a lobbyist or two. If these critics of lobbying actually wanted to prevent the intimidation of newer voters, they would implement closed ballot voting practices not blame the entirety of intimidation on “evil lobbyists”.

Lobbying stands as the first defense against the stagnancy of incumbent bias. While political systems naturally have biases towards incumbents and traditional legislation, lobbying as a persuasive force balances habit with the consideration of new ideas and alternatives.




Rumored New Sinker, "ISIS", shares name with Jihadists
COMMENTARY | JOE BOBS

On 14th June, the region of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was founded. The name, ISIL or ISIS, is that of the jihadist group linked to al-qaeda currently waging war in Iraq. At the time of going to press, ISIS controls much of Iraq as the world waits to see if the US will support the Iraqi government with air strikes, having ruled out a ground invasion. The real ISIS is led by al-Baghdadi, and the NationStates region was founded by a nation of the same name. Its first Delegate was a nation called Usamah Bin Ladin. Disturbingly, there is a remote possibility that this region could have links to the real world group, as ISIS are known for using the internet and social media (particularly Twitter) to convey propaganda. We at the times hope that there is no link to the real world group and trust that game administrators will be monitoring this situation.

On 18th June, the region was invaded by a small force led by the nation ISIL FAIL, who had hoped to end the region and advocated its demise on both the RMB and the main forum. However, the invasion was unsuccessful and the region is now passworded.

One interesting development is the fact of the soon to be launched GCR, Isis, named after the Ancient Egyptian goddess. As the real world ISIS grew to prominence, some in NationStates began to question whether it would be in bad taste for the game to release this new region. Yes, the source of the name is not the same, but the aesthetics and connotations of the name cannot be dismissed. Now, with the developments around the region of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the real world ISIS seems to have made its mark on NationStates.

Will the game administration launch the region of Isis as the latest GCR in light of these events? Only time will tell. It is possible that they could save face by changing the name, perhaps employing suggested names from the forum discussion such as Persephone, the Ancient Greek Queen of the Underworld. Stalling the release may help, but that relies on the hope that the real world ISIS will fall from power, which is, as Donald Rumsfeld would say, an 'unknown unknown'.




NS Literary Magazine Prepares For Summer Issue
FEATURED ANNOUNCEMENT | THE NEW WORLD OCEANIA

The NationStates Improviser Literary Magazine is glad to announce that, after a lengthy post-spring hiatus, summer submissions are officially opened. We accept fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, screen- and stageplays, and visual art.

The Summer 2014 Edition's cover will feature visual art from Aspiration Improviser Aelarus, and within will be found several classic and new Improvisers, including the winner of the Summer 2014 Story Contest held by the writers of A&F.

If you're interested in submitting, becoming and editor, or viewing previous issues, see the official NationStates Improviser thread. Happy improvising!




TNP Adopts Flemingovianism As The State Religion!
Flemingovianism Recognized by Government!
COMMENTARY | THE CHURCH OF SATAN

Flemingovianism has only been around for a short time when you consider how long NS has existed, but in that short time Flemingovianism has gained much popularity in TNP. Despite the popularity, it was fiercely debated by many that it would be absurd to make it the regional religion. After 2 long years though, TNP has given it the stamp of approval at a vote of 17 AYE, 15 NAY and 8 Abstain. This isn't the first time Flemingovia pushed for this bill. On Jan 27th of this year another vote took place. The results however, were not favorable, failing with 16 AYE, 16 NAY and 4 Abstain. He was close, but close isn't good enough. I sat down with the man (and now government recognized god) of TNP himself, Flemingovia to talk about this momentous occassion.

The Church of Satan: At long last, Flemingovianism has become the state religion of The North Pacific! How do you feel?

Flemingovia: I think it is very exciting. TNP is one of those regions that prides itself on stability and tradition. Nothing much changes in TNP, so it is quite rare for a new initiative to start that opens up possibilities for whole new avenues of play. As far as I know no other feeder has adopted an official regional religion, so this makes TNP distinctive and unique in this increasingly cosmopolitan age. It gives Flemingovianism a legitimacy that it lacked beforehand and a scope for involvement in regional life that was not possible before it was the state religion.

The Church of Satan: I'm just as excited as you are! The very concept has faced opposition from the very beginning. What do you think are the contributing factors that made this possible?

Flemingovia: Two things helped the bill to pass. The first was that as the debate continued people began to realise that while a state church may not be desirable to them in real life (side note: in real life I am opposed to it too!!), playing a political simulation like Nationstates allows one to explore and develop things that may not be desirable in real life. This is a game, for goodness sake. It is all make-believe. So why not make believe something interesting and fun that we may not encounter in real life?

The second thing that helped the bill was the tone of the opposition. Some of the arguments used against the bill were so rabid and bonkers, and the opponents so obviously unable to distinguish between NS and reality, that some people who might otherwise have voted against the bill either abstained or voted in favour. Nobody wants to be associated with the person who stands in a corner at a party ranting at a pot-plant.

The Church of Satan: That pot-plant had some good ideas, heh. Any plans for the first official act of The Church of Flemingovia?

Flemingovia: Lots and lots of plans. The first is that Astarial is to be crowned queen of TNP, by divine election and Will of God. We are also setting up an Augurs department to handle prophecy and an inquisition to knock on the door of heretics and hand them pamphlets. It’s going to be great fun. There is also new scripture and hymns in the offing.

The Church of Satan: Astarial's ceremony is sure to be memorable with The Church to liven things up! An inquisition? Oh I smell a Monty Python reference coming on! New scripture and hymns too!? You're pulling out all the stops! Some people (only 1 comes to mind) have always remained opposed to this event happening and still do. Why do you think they so defiantly oppose it?

Flemingovia: I have no idea who you are talking about. But hypothetically some people will always lack the capacity to distinguish between The North Pacific and the real-life USA. They are to be pitied rather than feared.

The Church of Satan: For those that aren't familiar, what's Flemingovianism all about? Any hymns, scripture, a holy book or the like? What's the story behind it? When was it first started and what was its inspiration?

Flemingovia: Flemingovianism is, as far as I know, the most developed religion in Nationstates. It is a belief system founded upon two pillars.

The first is the confession that Flemingovia is God, the firstborn of Max. this revelation was first received in Spring 2012, and was eagerly embraced by many in TNP and other regions.

The second pillar, and derived from the first, is the “Flemingovian Mantra”, a guide to life for all true Flemingovians: "Flemingovia is always right. I will listen to Flemingovia. I will not ignore Flemingovia's recommendations. Flemingovia is god.”

Flemingovianism has many practices. Our priests wear Lilac, for obvious reasons, and there is both an Old Testament of Scripture and a New Testament, which was only begun when the church was recognised as TNP’s regional religion.

We also have a hymn book that contains around 30 hymns, we also have a religious court system called the Fiqh, which offers speedy civil rulings based on common sense and fairness.

Of course, everyone in Nationstates knows that the constitutional court system of TNP is the envy of the world. Cases are never prolonged, verdicts are always correct and our justices never dismiss cases in a strop. But for those times when the constitutional court needs assistance … there is the Fiqh.

If you want to find out more about Flemingovianism, drop me a PM or visit the Temple Courts in the Agora section of the TNP forum. At the very least look in the Flemingovial Hymn Book. Some of the Hymns are a lot of fun to sing along to.

Indeed! As a citizen of TNP, I feel that this is just the sort of thing the region needs to bump up the cultural aspect (or lack thereof.) To commemorate this event, I would like to close this story with the first hymn from Flemingovianism's book of hymns.

To the tune "Age of Aquarius"

When the courts are made a laughing stock
And Our region has too many laws
Then the people will turn to Flemingovia
And This is all because,

This is the dawning of the Age of Flemingovia
Age of Flemingovia
Flemingovia! Flemingovia!

Brand new start for TNP
No delegates that go absentee
No more trials that last for ages
Or constitutions with 74 pages
Laws that no one can understand
Root admins that no one can withstand
Flemingovia! Flemingovia!

When the courts are made a laughing stock
And Our region has too many laws
Then the people will turn to Flemingovia
And This is all because,

This is the dawning of the Age of Flemingovia
Age of Flemingovia
Flemingovia! Flemingovia!

Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in
Let the sun shine, Let the sun shine in
The sun shine in




Image
Last edited by The Rejected Realms Media Corporation on Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Misley
Diplomat
 
Posts: 609
Founded: Jan 05, 2009
Ex-Nation

Postby Misley » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:50 pm

If whatever government develops in Isis doesn't make it one big Archer joke, I will be extremely disappointed.
EGO·VERO·CUSTOSFRATRIS·MEI·SUM
Socialist People's Provinces of Misley

   
Editor of the Red & Black
Fleet Admiral of The Red Fleet
Custodian of The Internationale

User avatar
Parhe
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 8227
Founded: May 10, 2011
Anarchy

The Rejected Times XXIII: Close TEP Election! Ramaeus vs OF

Postby Parhe » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:06 pm

That was entertaining.
Hey, it is Parhe :D I am always open to telegrams.
I know it is a Work-In-Progress, but I would love it if y'all looked at my new factbook and gave me some feedback!

BRING BACK THE ICE CLIMBERS

User avatar
The Sapientia
Diplomat
 
Posts: 587
Founded: Nov 04, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby The Sapientia » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:22 pm

Always love reading the Rejected Times!
They put a humorous spin on semi-important news!
Corporal of The Black Hawks
Raided in Sicarius, BoM, and TEK | Former MoMA of the South Pacific | Former Chief Justice of the West Pacific

User avatar
At Sea
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 41
Founded: Dec 29, 2013
Ex-Nation

Postby At Sea » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:24 pm

The Black Riders etc are becoming mercenary groups to the imperialist blocs of UIAF, Osiris and Balder;


Yes surely TBR troops are following mperialists orders and are supporting their NE occupation as we speak. Come on Joe Bobs, I'd like to see some proofs of that ridiculous statement!

User avatar
Common-Sense Politics
Envoy
 
Posts: 281
Founded: Sep 26, 2009
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Common-Sense Politics » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:50 pm

Never mind the fact that the term 'imperialist" is being used to lump in communities that work with imperialists such as independents like Balder which is mislabeled in this article. There's a major distinction to be made there whether the author chooses to acknowledge it or not.
Four Term President of Europeia
Vice Admiral, Europeian Republican Navy

User avatar
South Pacific Belschaft
Diplomat
 
Posts: 576
Founded: Jun 04, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby South Pacific Belschaft » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:57 pm

I have to agree that Joe Bobbs article was really quite appalling. Anyone who thinks that players who joined NS in the mid 2000's and were involved in ADN/RLA/etc are influential in GCR politics these days is talking out if their arse. Few players from that era are still active in NS, never mind in the GCR's.

The current dynamic in military GP and the GCR'S stems largely from developments in late 2011, principally the creation of Osiris and Balder and the players who entered the GCR's at that time.
THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BELSCHAFT
GUARDIAN OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC

With the cooperation of Federation Forces, all of your bases now belong to us.

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