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[DRAFT] Steering the Industry

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Cretox State
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[DRAFT] Steering the Industry

Postby Cretox State » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:29 am

While I don't think this exact topic has been done before, there might be a bit of overlap with existing issues.

Draft 2: Removed the part in the premise about software updates (since it was distracting from the rest of the issue).

Draft 3: Boiled the issue down to its basic concept. I'll be revising it again in the near future.

Steering the Industry

Validity: Must have cars and a market economy.

Description
Upstart car company Flemming Motors has been gobbling up large amounts of market share recently due to their innovative and diverse product line that directly outcompetes many established brands. Feeling their position threatened, the nation's largest automobile manufacturers have joined forces to try and pressure you into taking action.

Option 1
"@@LEADER@@, you can't listen to these big firms!" pleads the surprisingly nimble Dare Flemming, CEO of Flemming Motors, after dropping out of an air vent in your office. "We've had to fight tooth and nail just to survive in the face of these companies and their utter stranglehold. You need to provide financial incentives for smaller manufacturers like us to enter the market and push the industry forward. Relax some of those pesky product safety laws too, while you're at it."

Effect: the nation's cars are as varied as the colors of their engine fires

Option 2
"Did someone say 'big companies'?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, spokesperson for a group of car company representatives who bribed their way into your office and are now trying to muscle Mr. Flemming out of the room. "Some might say we're dinosaurs that crush innovation. I say we offer stability for consumers, employment numbers, and your government. Subsidize large established operations such as ours, and neither our bottom line nor your personal accounts will ever be threatened again."

Effect: @@DEMONYMPLURAL@@ contently drive gas-guzzling and ugly cars because that's the way it's always been

Option 3
"I'm a poor private corporation, please give me money," mocks Bigtopian expat @@RANDOMNAME@@, juggling flaming Bolotov cocktails right inside your office. "All these crooked companies have ever done is fight among each other and soak up government funding to the detriment of all. Nationalize the automobile industry, and your people will never stop thanking you for serving them first and foremost. The government always knows what's best, after all."

Effect: the government has seized the means of locomotion


Steering the Industry

Validity: Must have cars and a market economy.

Description
The nation's roads descended into chaos this week as the experimental engines found in the newest car model released by up-and-coming automobile manufacturer Flemming Motors started failing left and right. Rather than deal with the legal system like a normal person, the company's CEO decided to sneak past security and plead his case directly to you.

Option 1
"If anyone gets arrested for this, I ask it only be me," announces "Dare" Flemming, CEO of Flemming Motors. As your guards start advancing on him, he quickly adds, "I wasn't serious! Look, some people's rides got a bit toasty, and that's really a tragedy. But aren't a few exploding cars just the price we pay for progress? You should be encouraging smaller manufacturers to enter the market and push the industry forward, even if it leads to some accidents here and there. Our financial position is always precarious, and people like us are the only thing standing between big companies and complete market dominance."

Effect: the nation's cars are as varied as the colors of their engine fires

Option 2
"Did someone say 'big companies'?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, spokesperson for a group of car company representatives who bribed their way into your office and are now trying to muscle Mr. Flemming out of the room. "These upstarts and their dangerous cars are nothing but a threat to public safety and our bottom line- I mean they need to be brought in line. Cut back on antitrust regulations and subsidize large operations such as ours. With your help, we'll ensure that every @@DEMONYM@@ can choose between a handful of reliable and affordable cars that use time-tested designs."

Effect: citizens contently drive gas-guzzling and ugly cars because that's the way it's always been

Option 3
"Don't treat the symptoms; treat the disease!" exclaims Red Tape Minister @@RANDOMNAME@@, suffering from a bad headache. "Having small companies is fine! Having big ones is fine, too! What we need to do is hold them all accountable to the same punitive and nuanced regulations, especially regarding new technology that might be dangerous. That way, manufacturers can continue innovating while drivers don't have to worry about unsafe vehicles. With some steep penalties for non-compliance, we could stand to directly benefit as well!"

Effect: comprehensive vehicle safety regulations are obsolete by the time they leave committee

Option 4
"Why treat the disease if the patient's already dead?" asks Bigtopian expat @@RANDOMNAME@@, juggling Bolotov cocktails right inside your office. "Any regulations would just be avoided by crooked private companies, and cars will forever be wheeled coffins so long as corporations exist to put profits above people! Nationalize the automobile industry, and your people will never stop thanking you for serving them first and foremost. While you're at it, why not nationalize every other industry as well? The government always knows what's best, after all."

Effect: the government has seized the means of locomotion


Steering the Industry

Validity: Must have cars, computers, and a market economy.

Description
The nation's roads descended into chaos earlier today after up-and-coming car company Flemming Engines wirelessly downloaded a software update to every one of their cutting-edge vehicles, which fixed a few longstanding bugs... and messed up the sensitivity of every car's steering wheel. While no one was killed, several influential figures have taken advantage of the situation to try and drive any possible government intervention in the increasingly technologically advanced automobile industry.

Option 1
"Please don't send me to jail!" pleads "Dare" Flemming, CEO of Flemming Engines, offering you a surprisingly heavy basket of fruit. "Some people got hurt, and that's really a tragedy. But isn't that just the price we pay for progress? You should be encouraging smaller manufacturers to enter the market and push the industry forward, even if it leads to some accidents here and there. Our financial position is always precarious, and people like us are the only thing standing between big companies and complete market dominance."

Effect: the nation's cars are as varied as the colors of their engine fires

Option 2
"Did someone say 'big companies'?" asks @@RANDOMNAME@@, spokesperson for a group of car company representatives who bribed their way into your office and are now trying to muscle Mr. Flemming out of the room. "These upstarts and their fancy magic cars are nothing but a threat to public safety and our bottom line- I mean they need to be brought in line. Cut back on antitrust regulations, and subsidize large operations such as ours. With your help, we'll ensure that every @@DEMONYM@@ can choose between a handful of reliable and affordable cars that use time-tested designs, with none of that weird automated crap."

Effect: citizens contently drive gas-guzzling and ugly cars because that's the way it's always been

Option 3
"Don't treat the symptoms; treat the disease!" exclaims Red Tape Minister @@RANDOMNAME@@, suffering from a bad headache. "Having small companies is fine! Having big ones is fine, too! What we need to do is hold them all accountable to the same punitive and nuanced regulations, especially regarding new technology that may be dangerous. That way, manufacturers can continue innovating while drivers don't have to worry about unsafe vehicles. With some steep penalties for non-compliance, we could stand to directly benefit as well!"

Effect: comprehensive vehicle safety regulations are obsolete by the time they leave committee

Option 4
"Why treat the disease if the patient's already dead?" asks Bigtopian expat @@RANDOMNAME@@, juggling Molotov cocktails right inside your office. "Any government regulations would just be avoided by crooked private companies, and cars will forever be wheeled coffins so long as corporations exist to put profits above people! Nationalize the automobile industry, and your people will never stop thanking you for serving them first and foremost. While you're at it, why not nationalize every other industry as well? The government always knows what's best, after all."

Effect: the government has seized the means of locomotion
Policy Change: Nation loses Capitalism policy and gains Socialism policy.
Last edited by Cretox State on Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:38 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:42 am

So, you present a problem caused by mandatory software updates being forced onto customers without their input, and then all of your options are about small vs large companies and have nothing to do with software updates?

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Candensia
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Postby Candensia » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:50 am

I'm not buying the premise completely. Are these regular cars, or are they self driving. Did the updates happen while the cars were in operation?

From what I assume from the intro, you have advanced, but not necessarily self-driving cars performing a software update while being operated at speed?

If this is what’s happening here, it doesn’t ring true to me. I’d think the system would be designed to update only when a vehicle is stopped, in park, and present plenty of reminders to drivers to "inspect all systems in a safe location before resuming normal operation" or something like that. I'd think a company would practice cya tactics religiously.

If you have an IRL reference for this issue, that would be very useful.
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:59 am

My impression was that the software update was buggy, and made cars work worse than they did before.

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Candensia
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Postby Candensia » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:17 am

Trotterdam wrote:My impression was that the software update was buggy, and made cars work worse than they did before.



...wirelessly downloaded a software update to every one of their cutting-edge vehicles, which fixed a few longstanding bugs... and messed up the sensitivity of every car's steering wheel. While no one was killed...


"While no one was killed" seems to indicate that someone *could* have been killed, which doesn't seem likely unless the changes happened suddenly at speed. That’s my take, at least.
Last edited by Candensia on Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cretox State
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Postby Cretox State » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:41 am

Removed the "software update" part of the premise, since this is fundamentally an issue about small vs big companies.

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Drasnia
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Postby Drasnia » Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:42 am

Cretox State wrote:Removed the "software update" part of the premise, since this is fundamentally an issue about small vs big companies.

That's a shame. Forced software updates are a far more interesting premise.

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Cretox State
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Postby Cretox State » Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:36 pm

Drasnia wrote:
Cretox State wrote:Removed the "software update" part of the premise, since this is fundamentally an issue about small vs big companies.

That's a shame. Forced software updates are a far more interesting premise.

Oh, I'll write a draft on that, too. It just won't be this one, most likely.

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:19 pm

Candensia wrote:"While no one was killed" seems to indicate that someone *could* have been killed, which doesn't seem likely unless the changes happened suddenly at speed. That’s my take, at least.
Cars download mantatory updates while parked, that turn out to be bugged, but nobody notices this immediately (I would assume most companies would perform enough testing to at least root out the blatantly obvious bugs before they're released). Then their owners take them for a ride and, mid-ride, the bug manifests and the driver loses control of the car.

That's definitely the most likely way for a software update to go wrong.

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Cretox State
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Postby Cretox State » Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:36 pm

Trotterdam wrote:
Candensia wrote:"While no one was killed" seems to indicate that someone *could* have been killed, which doesn't seem likely unless the changes happened suddenly at speed. That’s my take, at least.
Cars download mantatory updates while parked, that turn out to be bugged, but nobody notices this immediately (I would assume most companies would perform enough testing to at least root out the blatantly obvious bugs before they're released). Then their owners take them for a ride and, mid-ride, the bug manifests and the driver loses control of the car.

That's definitely the most likely way for a software update to go wrong.

This sounds like a good premise. Mind if I use it?

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:47 pm

Cretox State wrote:
Trotterdam wrote:Cars download mantatory updates while parked, that turn out to be bugged, but nobody notices this immediately (I would assume most companies would perform enough testing to at least root out the blatantly obvious bugs before they're released). Then their owners take them for a ride and, mid-ride, the bug manifests and the driver loses control of the car.

That's definitely the most likely way for a software update to go wrong.
This sounds like a good premise. Mind if I use it?
I thought that's already the premise you were using. Definitely don't actually spell it out this way in the issue description, this is my "explaining something to someone who seems to not get it" writing style, not my "presenting a compelling dilemma in a concise manner" writing style.

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Candensia
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Postby Candensia » Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:56 pm

Trotterdam wrote:
Cretox State wrote:This sounds like a good premise. Mind if I use it?
I thought that's already the premise you were using. Definitely don't actually spell it out this way in the issue description, this is my "explaining something to someone who seems to not get it" writing style, not my "presenting a compelling dilemma in a concise manner" writing style.


Wait what are you insinuating, Trotterdam? :p

Are you saying I'm a non-getter?
Last edited by Candensia on Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:30 pm

Candensia wrote:Wait what are you insinuating, Trotterdam? :p

Are you saying I'm a non-getter?
Okay, this discussion is now getting too meta.

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Cretox State
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Postby Cretox State » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:33 pm

Trotterdam wrote:I thought that's already the premise you were using. Definitely don't actually spell it out this way in the issue description, this is my "explaining something to someone who seems to not get it" writing style, not my "presenting a compelling dilemma in a concise manner" writing style.

I understand, don’t worry! The software thing wasn’t intended to be the focus of this issue. It’s more about small companies trying to gain market share by pushing through potentially unsafe technology. That technology could be a software update or a new kind of engine; it doesn’t really matter. I just meant that a forced software update could be an interesting premise for another issue. It’s not as though I expect you to write a description for me. :p

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Postby Australian rePublic » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:42 am

Option 1- Why would he go to jail? Under what charge?
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Postby Anurial » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:46 am

Australian rePublic wrote:Option 1- Why would he go to jail? Under what charge?


I imagine under manslaughter? Though it is unclear so it probably would be best to include to what people suffered injuries as a result of car failures
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Cretox State
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Postby Cretox State » Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:57 am

Anurial wrote:
Australian rePublic wrote:Option 1- Why would he go to jail? Under what charge?


I imagine under manslaughter? Though it is unclear so it probably would be best to include to what people suffered injuries as a result of car failures

I changed the opening of option 1 to try and make it more clear.

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Postby Candlewhisper Archive » Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:16 am

The nation's roads descended into chaos this week as the experimental engines found in the newest car model released by up-and-coming automobile manufacturer Flemming Motors started failing left and right.


So, a thing happens that isn't dealt with by government, generally. Existing laws normally cover what happens with faulty goods.

While the company claims to have fixed the problem, several influential figures have taken advantage of the situation to try and drive any possible government intervention in the automobile industry.


And so you tag on a sentence that makes the issue about "whatever else I can think of".

You may as well have written:

A man had fish for supper. In response to this various experts have come to talk to you about the fishing industry.


This isn't a strong premise. Delete the second sentence, then make the first sentence one that has an obvious and clear government decision point that is immediately apparent.
Last edited by Candlewhisper Archive on Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Cretox State
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Postby Cretox State » Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:12 pm

Excellent point regarding the premise. Hopefully this version works better.

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Cretox State
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Postby Cretox State » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:30 pm

Bumping this.

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Daarwyrth
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Postby Daarwyrth » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:46 am

The nation's roads descended into chaos this week as the experimental engines found in the newest car model released by up-and-coming automobile manufacturer Flemming Motors started failing left and right.


This sentence might benefit from being broken up a little bit. Perhaps consider changing it to this:

The nation's roads descended into chaos this week, as experimental engines - found in the newest car model released by up-and-coming automobile manufacturer Flemming Motors - started failing left and right.


This way the sentence doesn't come at the reader as one long breath, I believe :)

Rather than deal with the legal system like a normal person


Perhaps you could consider changing this sentence to something like "Seeking to avoid any drawn out legal proceedings,".

However, I am not entirely certain about that part of the premise. Perhaps a better approach would be the victims of the engine failures banding together to demand some form of legislation against experimental designs or something along those lines, if you see what I'm trying to get at?

"If anyone gets arrested for this, I ask it only be me," announces "Dare" Flemming, CEO of Flemming Motors. As your guards start advancing on him, he quickly adds, "I wasn't serious! Look, some people's rides got a bit toasty, and that's really a tragedy. But aren't a few exploding cars just the price we pay for progress? You should be encouraging smaller manufacturers to enter the market and push the industry forward, even if it leads to some accidents here and there. Our financial position is always precarious, and people like us are the only thing standing between big companies and complete market dominance."


This could be the counter-argument from the CEO's side, to victims of the engine failures asking for legislation against experimental engines in cars.

I see that in general you try to focus on small and big companies in your issue options, but I think the topic of "who allowed experimental engines to be used in consumer-released vehicles" also should play a role in this, because the voice of the victims remains oddly silent in this. Perhaps you could consider combining small vs big companies vs a desire for safe products in this idea.
Last edited by Daarwyrth on Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Cretox State
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Postby Cretox State » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:44 pm

I feel that the "engine failures" angle is detracting from the issue's intended premise, which is small innovating companies vs. large and influential corporations. I stripped down the issue to its most basic parts, and will be revising it in the near future.


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