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[Submitted] When Life Doesn’t Give You Lemons...

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West Barack and East Obama
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Psychotic Dictatorship

[Submitted] When Life Doesn’t Give You Lemons...

Postby West Barack and East Obama » Tue May 10, 2022 11:47 pm

A few days ago I was looking at some nations and noticed that one of them had a high death rate from scurvy. I thought that would be an interesting issue premise, so I’ve written my first issue :) comments appreciated!!

[validity] scurvy death rate

[description] Recently, a damning report published by the World Census revealed that @@NAME@@ has one of the highest death rates from scurvy in the world, with the death toll swelling by the day.

[option] "Lemonade? Lemonade, anyone?" calls out a young child running a nearby lemonade stand. "Oh, hey there random person! You’re the first person I’ve seen all day! Running a small business really is tough work, especially when everyone wants to drink some nasty soda instead. You know, since you’re a grown-up you should get the government to encourage everyone to start eating healthy fruits and other stuff, especially stuff sold at my store." She winks and she slides a few coins across the table.
[validity] has coins
[effect] the government is encouraging people to go on citric acid trips

[option] "Lemonade? Lemonade, anyone?" called out a young child running a nearby lemonade stand. "Oh, hey there random person! You’re the first person I’ve seen all day! Running a small business really is tough work, especially when everyone wants to drink some nasty soda instead. You know, since you’re a grown-up you should get the government to encourage everyone to start eating healthy fruits and other stuff, especially stuff sold at my store of course." She winks and places her "Randall Rabbit" debit card in your hand.
[validity] no coins
[effect] the government is encouraging people to go on citric acid trips

[option] "Avast, you rapscallions!" yells pirate enthusiast Mack Swallow, waving a foam cutlass at your face. "Arr, back in the day we sailed the seas perfectly fine without "fruits" and these other wares you’re purveying. We got scurvy and we liked it! Now look at you pathetic landlubbers, taking our precious dubloons to waste it on this! Get them government scallywags out of our bodies and put our money back in our chests, or I’ll make you walk the plank!"
[effect] the news of further budget cuts leaves a sour taste in @@DEMONYMADJ@@ mouths

[option] "Wow @@LEADER@@, this sure is a juicy topic!" giggles your pun-loving Science Advisor. "We have to fight this epidemic, but people aren’t going to paying through the nose for a balanced diet! Luckily, I’ve got an easy peasy lemon squeezey solution for you. What if we just added healthy substances such as Vitamin C into the water supply? That way we can reduce scurvy infection rates and won’t have to look at those disgusting bleeding gums anymore! Orange you glad that you‘ve got a genius like me in charge?"
[effect] tap water is now part of the @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ five-a-day


[validity] high scurvy death rate

[description] Recently, a damning report published by the World Census revealed that @@NAME@@ has one of the highest death rates from scurvy in the world, with the death toll swelling by the day.

[option] "Lemonade? Lemonade, anyone?" called out a young child running a nearby lemonade stand. "Oh, hey there random person! You’re the first person I’ve seen all day! Running a small business really is tough work, especially when everyone wants to drink some nasty soda instead. You know, since you’re a grown-up you should get the government to encourage everyone to start eating healthy fruits and other stuff, especially stuff sold at my store." She winks and she slides a few coins across the table.
[effect] people are asked by the government to 'trip' on citrus acid instead

[option] "Avast, you rapscallions!" yells pirate enthusiast Mack Swallow, waving a foam cutlass at your face. "Arr, back in the day we sailed the seas perfectly fine without "fruits" and these other wares you’re purveying. They got scurvy and they liked it! Now look at you pathetic landlubbers, taking our precious dubloons to waste it on this! You might as well slash the health budget and return our money back to our chests, or I’ll make you walk the plank!"
[effect] the government’s response to everything is to just 'suck it up'

[option] "Wow @@LEADER@@, this sure is a juicy topic!" giggles your pun-loving Science Advisor. "We have to fight this epidemic, but we can’t just rely on people squeezing everything out of their wallets just to buy food they don’t even like! Luckily, I’ve got an easy peasy lemon squeezey solution for you. What if we just added healthy substances such as Vitamin C into the water supply? That way we can reduce scurvy infection rates and won’t have to look at those disgusting bleeding guns anymore! Orange you glad that you‘ve got a genius like me in charge?"
[effect] tap water is now part of the @@DEMONYMADJECTIVE@@ five-a-day
Last edited by West Barack and East Obama on Wed Jun 15, 2022 10:51 pm, edited 18 times in total.
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The Orwell Society
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby The Orwell Society » Wed May 11, 2022 4:59 am

This is a pretty decent first draft. I might try and break it down to find mistakes later, but I don't have the time right now. Is this your first issue?
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

A totalitarian, socialist, fascist society ruled by a ruthless dictator known as Big Brother, the First Triumvir Donovan Xavier. The omnipresent and endlessly oppressive government is made up of four ministries: The Ministry of Truth, the Ministry of Love, the Ministry of Peace, and the Ministry of Surplus.

Takes up present-day Russia, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

Big Brother is watching you…

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West Barack and East Obama
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby West Barack and East Obama » Thu May 12, 2022 1:38 am

The Orwell Society wrote:This is a pretty decent first draft. I might try and break it down to find mistakes later, but I don't have the time right now. Is this your first issue?


Yes and thanks
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USS Monitor
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Postby USS Monitor » Thu May 12, 2022 9:27 am

This is quite promising for a first try at issue writing. The wordplay and characterization are pretty solid.

What does option 2 actually do though? Option 1 seems to imply the government isn't investing in promoting healthy lifestyles, but then option 2 is telling them to stop. How do you stop something you were not doing in the first place?
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West Barack and East Obama
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby West Barack and East Obama » Thu May 12, 2022 11:36 pm

USS Monitor wrote:This is quite promising for a first try at issue writing. The wordplay and characterization are pretty solid.

What does option 2 actually do though? Option 1 seems to imply the government isn't investing in promoting healthy lifestyles, but then option 2 is telling them to stop. How do you stop something you were not doing in the first place?

Thank you for the compliments!

I hope I’ve addressed your concerns with Option 2 (I did struggle with that one a bit when I was writing)
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Juansonia
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Postby Juansonia » Tue May 17, 2022 8:32 am

idea: fourth option about combustible lemons (Portal 2 reference).


MT, Stats are funded by think-tanks of varying ideologies (don't rely on them unless it's your only option)
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Kannap wrote:You bring up a good point. We should find ways to incorporate the other six deadly sins into the fabric of Pride month
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Verdant Haven
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Postby Verdant Haven » Tue May 17, 2022 10:29 am

Clever approach for your first issue! Glad to have you join the fold.

I love the idea of a small child who doesn't even know who you are trying to bribe you with pocket change – that's just hilarious. Might need a tweak for nations that lack physical money, but the image of the coins is so adorable I'm tempted to suggest writing a doppelganger for just those occasions (IE, create a version of option 1 that appears for digital currency nations to replace the offending text, while leaving the current text for others).

Make sure to agree the pronouns in option 2 – if it's "we" sailed the sea, for example, use "we" instead of "they" later in the option as well.

I would continue to make option 2 a bit more forceful with the suggested action… rather than just "you might as well…" I would encourage something more like "Get the government out of our bodies and put our money back in our pockets!" That will also help match the tone of the threat on the end.

Option 3 is a fun one… most of the issues related to drugging the water supply are suggesting something like Soma or other malicious schemes. Other than fluoride, we have only a couple that touch on the idea of forcibly adding healthy things, and this might be the most innocent and genuine one I've seen in a long while.

One final note – when you make new drafts, it's a helpful practice to retain the former drafts in spoilers, so we can see the direction of the changes over time and take previous feedback in context. It can be helpful to you as an author, as well, to have that record

Keep up the good work.
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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Tue May 17, 2022 1:52 pm

Verdant Haven wrote:Option 3 is a fun one… most of the issues related to drugging the water supply are suggesting something like Soma or other malicious schemes. Other than fluoride, we have only a couple that touch on the idea of forcibly adding healthy things, and this might be the most innocent and genuine one I've seen in a long while.

Is adding vitamin C to the water supply actually something we could plausibly do?

Although I'd be kind of worried about the risks of overdose on either humans or wildlife, that's probably not going to be too serious an issue.

The bigger problem is do we even have that much vitamin C available? Keep in mind that a sizeable amount of the water supply gets used for bathing, cleaning, watering plants, etc., not just for drinking. I haven't done the math, but I suspect adding enough concentration of vitamin C to have useful benefits to all of that water would require more than we can actually produce.

Fluoride is easier because it can be produced by inorganic processes, and I think it's also needed in smaller concentrations (though again I haven't checked that).

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West Barack and East Obama
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Postby West Barack and East Obama » Wed May 18, 2022 1:04 am

Thank you Verdant Haven for your suggestions! I've implemented all of them.

On the issue of option 3 not being feasible - I dont really think it is. Vitamin C can be produced synthetically, and I'd assume the enormous demand for it as a result of selecting the option would boost production for it. And I guess the potential overdosing (which would be a rather minimal problem I think) would just be an 'unintended consequence'.
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Umbratellus
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Postby Umbratellus » Wed May 18, 2022 4:43 am

Trotterdam wrote:
Verdant Haven wrote:Option 3 is a fun one… most of the issues related to drugging the water supply are suggesting something like Soma or other malicious schemes. Other than fluoride, we have only a couple that touch on the idea of forcibly adding healthy things, and this might be the most innocent and genuine one I've seen in a long while.

Is adding vitamin C to the water supply actually something we could plausibly do?

Although I'd be kind of worried about the risks of overdose on either humans or wildlife, that's probably not going to be too serious an issue.

The bigger problem is do we even have that much vitamin C available? Keep in mind that a sizeable amount of the water supply gets used for bathing, cleaning, watering plants, etc., not just for drinking. I haven't done the math, but I suspect adding enough concentration of vitamin C to have useful benefits to all of that water would require more than we can actually produce.

Fluoride is easier because it can be produced by inorganic processes, and I think it's also needed in smaller concentrations (though again I haven't checked that).


Well, I would say unless you’re the thirstiest person in the world, the risk of an overdose on vitamin c is extremely small. The daily recommended dose is a little bit under 100 mg per day; the “overdose” threshold is 2000 mg per day (the equivalent of eating roughly 40 oranges). It’s not really a lethal overdose either, it’s more just cramps and other gastrointestinal unpleasantness. One would assume the government would tailor the dosage to aim for the 100 mg per day mark for the average person.

For the scale of it, I don’t think it’s really any more inherently unfeasible than any of the other drug the water issues. Imagine the quantity of painkillers that would be required to keep the entire nation in a constant stupor or the quantity of recreational drugs that would be required to keep everyone high; it’d be astronomical.
Last edited by Umbratellus on Wed May 18, 2022 6:25 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Outer Sparta
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Postby Outer Sparta » Wed May 18, 2022 1:17 pm

Of course scurvy results in a severe deficiency of vitamin C, which most of us don't have to worry since we get plenty of it in the food we eat. It was common in explorers since they never had a fresh supply of fruits on long journeys at sea, and I guess I could see a situation today where someone could contract scurvy is if they live in an area without much fresh food or if they have an eating disorder that prevents them from eating specific foods like fruit.

Overconsumption of vitamin C happens far more frequently as people take vitamin supplements, which could also be an interesting issue idea: one about a lack of vitamin C and another about vitamin megadoses.
I don't stand with Ukraine. I don't stand with Russia. I don't stand with the US, NATO, or EU. I stand with the innocent civilians being caught in the crossfire while the politicians, the media, and weapons manufacturers continue to stoke division and conflict in their geopolitical chess games and treat the people of Ukraine as mere pawns. Zelensky is a corrupt, opportunist oligarchic politician who is not fit to lead Ukraine through anything and wants to inflate his own ego and offshore accounts.

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Wed May 18, 2022 11:41 pm

Yeah, realistically, scurvy is very rare in the modern world. But it is in fact a cause of death that some nations have in NationStates, though only the editors/admins know for sure why.

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West Barack and East Obama
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby West Barack and East Obama » Thu May 19, 2022 5:30 am

Trotterdam wrote:Yeah, realistically, scurvy is very rare in the modern world. But it is in fact a cause of death that some nations have in NationStates, though only the editors/admins know for sure why.

Question: how many nations actually have scurvy on their causes of death charts? Does anyone have statistics on this? I’m a bit curious to know
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Umbratellus
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Postby Umbratellus » Thu May 19, 2022 6:43 am

West Barack and East Obama wrote:Question: how many nations actually have scurvy on their causes of death charts? Does anyone have statistics on this? I’m a bit curious to know


Somebody ran the numbers about a year ago. Little bit out of date but should still hold up more or less.

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Thu May 19, 2022 7:04 am

Umbratellus wrote:
West Barack and East Obama wrote:Question: how many nations actually have scurvy on their causes of death charts? Does anyone have statistics on this? I’m a bit curious to know
Somebody ran the numbers about a year ago. Little bit out of date but should still hold up more or less.
The tl;dr version from that thread is: 1 out of 18 nations.

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West Barack and East Obama
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Postby West Barack and East Obama » Fri May 20, 2022 2:42 am

1 out of 18 is not too narrow. Great! (Except for those dying of scurvy of course)
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Finich
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Postby Finich » Fri May 20, 2022 2:48 am

I live in the f##king snow and mountains yeah i can plant trees or something we like forests we are full of them if i had lemons i will plant them expand them making lemon trees then making more and more as we will use it as an industry

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West Barack and East Obama
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby West Barack and East Obama » Thu May 26, 2022 6:55 am

It’s been a hot minute so... bumping this to see if anyone has any feedback on it!
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Socialist Ancomistan
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Postby Socialist Ancomistan » Thu May 26, 2022 7:40 am

I like the premise of having issues based on unlikely causes of death in a nation, such as scurvy. One nation in this thread (I'm not going to point fingers) has nearly 3/4 of it's citizens dying from "Work." I feel like that would make for another good issue

On a seperate note, I feel like option 2 could be to increase subsidization for other drinks like coffee or tea (increases Bottled Water industry but does nothing to help scurvy). As of right now, it just looks like option 2 is increasing the scurvy problem without any sort of incentive
Last edited by Socialist Ancomistan on Thu May 26, 2022 7:45 am, edited 3 times in total.
I'd say this nation is about 85-90% representative to my beliefs

About the only difference between my nation and beliefs is that free markets are effective in a select few situations, and the compulsory organ harvesting is kind of screwed up

I'm probably in the minority, but I actually pay more attention to in game stats than to roleplay

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Trotterdam
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Postby Trotterdam » Thu May 26, 2022 9:30 am

Socialist Ancomistan wrote:On a seperate note, I feel like option 2 could be to increase subsidization for other drinks like coffee or tea (increases Bottled Water industry but does nothing to help scurvy).
Those seem like unlikely things for a pirate to be drinking.

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Socialist Ancomistan
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Postby Socialist Ancomistan » Thu May 26, 2022 12:15 pm

Trotterdam wrote:
Socialist Ancomistan wrote:On a seperate note, I feel like option 2 could be to increase subsidization for other drinks like coffee or tea (increases Bottled Water industry but does nothing to help scurvy).
Those seem like unlikely things for a pirate to be drinking.


good point lol
I'd say this nation is about 85-90% representative to my beliefs

About the only difference between my nation and beliefs is that free markets are effective in a select few situations, and the compulsory organ harvesting is kind of screwed up

I'm probably in the minority, but I actually pay more attention to in game stats than to roleplay

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Umbratellus
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Postby Umbratellus » Thu May 26, 2022 12:19 pm

Socialist Ancomistan wrote:I like the premise of having issues based on unlikely causes of death in a nation, such as scurvy. One nation in this thread (I'm not going to point fingers) has nearly 3/4 of it's citizens dying from "Work." I feel like that would make for another good issue

You can say my name, I promise I don't bite. : p

I'm not really sure how deaths from work work, other than that the slavery policy is a prerequisite. Something like "lost in the wilderness" is pretty easy to figure out; environment beauty goes up, so does that, environment goes down, likewise. Work deaths don't seem to be really correlated to either civil rights, safety, crime, economic freedom, political freedom, authoritarianism, rates of taxation; anything really. In order to make a good issue about it I think you'd have to at least figure out what the "cause" of it is. That's off topic though and should probably be discussed in the writer's block thread.

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Baggieland
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Postby Baggieland » Thu May 26, 2022 8:02 pm

West Barack and East Obama wrote:paying through the nose for expensive fruits and vegetables!


I'm pretty sure that vegetables are the cheapest food you can buy, domestically produced fruits are cheap as well.

Trotterdam wrote:
Socialist Ancomistan wrote:On a seperate note, I feel like option 2 could be to increase subsidization for other drinks like coffee or tea (increases Bottled Water industry but does nothing to help scurvy).
Those seem like unlikely things for a pirate to be drinking.


Sailors' grog = a bit of rum topped off with water.

P.S. one of my puppets is a submarine, so I would love to see this added to the issue base!

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West Barack and East Obama
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby West Barack and East Obama » Sat May 28, 2022 2:31 am

I hope I've resolved the issue raised by Baggieland regarding vegetables being cheap.
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Tinhampton
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Postby Tinhampton » Sat May 28, 2022 5:19 am

Why does Option 1 have a doppelganger? I get the overtones of bribery but normally it's the customer paying the shopkeeper, plus the two Option 1s are otherwise identical :P
Last edited by Tinhampton on Sat May 28, 2022 5:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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