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November 26, 2014, 06:09:39 pm
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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101  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Thread. on: November 06, 2014, 07:47:45 pm
I mean a never ending wave of boring, mediocre, uninspired movies with the exact same stories and exact same cardboard characters and exact same uninteresting third acts where CGI explosions cover the screen for thirty minutes with absolutely no emotional stake behinds any of it.

As of the past decade, this is the only kind of blockbuster that major studios make: Disposable movies, indistinguishable from one another, that are meant to be watched and forgotten. 'Force Awakens' is unlikely to be an exception, particularly with J.J. Abrams at its helm.
102  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The White House's Public Office - President Cranberry - Farewell! on: November 06, 2014, 07:11:52 pm
You've done an extraordinary job under difficult circumstances, Cranberry. You united our country in a time of unprecedented crisis, and for that Atlasians will always look back on this presidency with fondness and respect.

I should also thank you for inducting me into the Order of the Star of Atlasia, especially alongside as illustrious a personage as the Most Serene Squirrel.
103  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Office of Senator LumineVonReuental (A Farewell to the Senate) on: November 06, 2014, 07:01:05 pm
It was a pleasure to serve with you, Lumine. I wish you the best of luck over the next four months.
104  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Saira Blair -- 18 year old delegate-elect from West Virginia on: November 06, 2014, 01:21:40 pm
What Nix said, except for the 'classist' part, which I don't get.

See IndyTX's comments attributing her election to a lack of "erudition" among West Virginians.
105  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Has the US turned to a European style of partisan elections? on: November 06, 2014, 11:34:48 am
I don't know. Any congressional election that I've watched from the ground has been fought mostly on local issues and personalities, with national issues mattering only on the margins. Ideology is important enough that candidates cannot safely ignore it, but not so important that it will make up for a deficient personality or poor engagement with the district's concerns. This was even more true in 2014 than it was in preceding election cycles. The Stefanik vs. Woolf race in NY-21, for instance, was effectively a contest to see which candidate could more effectively define the other as a carpetbagger.

And as Wormyguy notes, state elections are even less rooted in national issues. Again, few politicians can get away with ignoring them or defying the national party on key issues because they depend on a few voters who would crucify them at the first sign of impurity. But that's not how most of the election is fought.
106  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Saira Blair -- 18 year old delegate-elect from West Virginia on: November 06, 2014, 11:12:40 am
She's a politician, she's an active member of a political family, and her views are terrible. Her donation of $4k to her campaign also raises questions about corruption.

Still, I'm tempted to vote FF just to spite her sexist, classist, ageist critics. The reactions that she's caused are, as someone noted the last time she came up on this forum, surreal.

the poor rich people Sad

See IndyTX's remarks about West Virginia, Porsche Boy.
107  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Sexual harassment? on: November 06, 2014, 11:03:56 am
Have you all heard that this video is racist?  Atlas is probably too immature to discuss this, but this whole debate over this video brings up some very interesting racial issues.

I'm not sure what the video's creators expected when they insisted that harassment was just as common among white men. If that were true, then it would be troubling that those interactions had been edited out.
108  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Game Moderation Abolition Amendment (Debating) on: November 06, 2014, 10:49:27 am
I will introduce an amendment before the next Senate swears in, if I have time. If not, I'll just post it here for discussion and anyone who's willing to take responsibility may adopt it as his own.
109  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Saira Blair -- 18 year old delegate-elect from West Virginia on: November 06, 2014, 10:45:20 am
She's a politician, she's an active member of a political family, and her views are terrible. Her donation of $4k to her campaign also raises questions about corruption.

Still, I'm tempted to vote FF just to spite her sexist, classist, ageist critics. The reactions that she's caused are, as someone noted the last time she came up on this forum, surreal.
110  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Four Roses Club's Tomb. (JoMCaR's New Office) on: November 06, 2014, 10:11:25 am
Nothing to see here, folks:

Believe me, I study psychology.
111  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Embittered election postmortem (please let's just have this one thread to vent) on: November 05, 2014, 11:21:01 am
Last I checked, Obama still had veto power. Nothing will get done in Congress. Hillary Clinton will still be the next President of the United States. The fundamental picture has not changed.

We might not get any major bills over the next two years, but that is a far cry from nothing at all. Policy-making is more frequently something that happens when few are paying attention, and the make-up of the Senate will have direct and indirect effects on the content of federal policy - even if the Republican majority cooperates with Obama on nothing at all. Moreover, the outcome of this election and the tenor of debate that results will be an important factor in how the parties and the candidates approach the 2016 election.

It's probably also worth noting that my posts here were not intended as a commentary on the Congressional elections exclusively. The gubernatorial and state legislative elections were more disappointing for me than the Senate losses, which were expected and only surprising insofar as their margins were larger than anticipated.
112  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Embittered election postmortem (please let's just have this one thread to vent) on: November 05, 2014, 10:25:31 am
Jesus Christ this thread. The arrogance, narcissism and general delusion of the majority of the posters in this thread (many of whom manage to be perfectly reasonable most of the time) is just... staggering. I mean, throwing around terms like 'morally indefensible', an 'ideology that is an affront to man and God' (paraphrasing), 'the neanderthal age', 'evil', 'morally depraved'. What planet are you living on? An election has come and gone and the Republican party have taken a narrow majority in the Senate. So what? The world still turns, the Sun still shines, the birds still sing. Instead you'd think that Sauron had been reunited with the One Ring, judging by the comments here.

This thread is basically just an excuse for a bunch of woebegone politics junkies to engage, with other woebegone politics junkies, in hyperbolic, hypocritical moralistic cant. That's the sickening thing here, not that a bunch of perfectly nice people have defeated a bunch of other perfectly nice people in an election that probably won't change a lot anyway (given the lack of a filibusterproof majority and the Presidential veto). Seriously, go to a mirror, slap yourselves repeatedly, then read a good book. You'll feel much better.
This is just a way for some red avatars to let out their angst over losing the election.  I wouldn't take whats said here too seriously.

I'll admit it is pretty funny to see the red avatars just losing it. I kind of wonder if the blue avatars did the same in 2008, though.

Yes. This election is hardly important. But the meltdown of the Dems on here is hilarious.

I doubt that it's possible to have a productive conversation about whether it's reasonable to call either party's crop of candidates "nice people," but the idea that elections do not affect policy outcomes is pure crankery.
113  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Embittered election postmortem (please let's just have this one thread to vent) on: November 05, 2014, 09:22:57 am
This isn't a democracy. It's an asylum.

Seriously, though, Foucaulf's is correct to call bullshit on the shock and disbelief. I'm reminded less of 1946 or 1986 than I am of 1968. How many Hubert Humphreys were on the ballot last night? Voters won't show up for dog food when they know that it's dog food.
114  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Game Moderation Abolition Amendment (Debating) on: November 05, 2014, 09:01:15 am
One point I'd like to make is without some sort of God figure we run the risk of people doing whatever they like ( Without a GM, everything is permissible Tongue). Without someone to tell us what's actually happened it's entirely subjective, and I can see that going badly wrong, just look at the recent fiasco after tyrion left. Having someone who's appointed to be a minor correcting figure makes sense to me.

Can you think of a recent example in which a GM actually did this?


I think the last time when the GM as the GM and not the political position had a large impact with a story was rimjob, but that's not the sort of point I'm trying to make.

The way I see it, with a position of GM we are all committed in principle that actions in the game have a consequence, and this is objective and not up for date. Now of course in practice almost everything with regard to consequences is up for debate, but this principle allows us to stop, say, me declaring myself king of all atlasia, and without the GM and the objective truth that enbodies I think that opens the door for anything to occur. I think without a GM we run the risk of far more post tyrion style situations.

I think you're on to something with this argument, and it appeals to me the more that I think about it. But doesn't it also suggest that we ought to treat the position differently?

That is, rather than someone who plays an active role in day-to-day affairs, providing weekly updates and ongoing stories and so on, the GM should take a less active role, intervening only occasionally to resolve disputes or to lend weight to the game's "reality." He or she should be, as Cynic suggests, someone who will renounce personal ambition for the immediate future. Maybe if we reduce the scope of the job, treating it almost as an emeritus position, we could fill the position with two or three senior players who don't plan to run for office again (or at least not for a while), and who don't want to commit hours of their time every week, but who wants to remain involved with Atlasia nevertheless.
115  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Game Moderation Abolition Amendment (Debating) on: November 05, 2014, 08:48:38 am
I suppose the question I would ask Senator Nix, who is clearly extremely passionate about this is, how do we put legislation and activities into context when it essentially turns into a free-for-all. Each person determines what their realities and situations are? And if enough people agree that Atlasia becomes part of the EU... then it happens?

If there's a way to salvage the position, my suspicion is that it involves limiting its functions. I would be fine with a Game Moderator who did nothing but simulate the actions of other countries.
116  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Game Moderation Abolition Amendment (Debating) on: November 05, 2014, 08:44:45 am
This debate is getting a little too fraught.

I understand the passion, but we seem to coming to this issue from quite different views. We have "the GM is useless and powerless, so lets get rid of it" and "we can't just be about elections and be completely without guidance, even taking into account the weakness of the GM position".

I suppose the question I would ask Senator Nix, who is clearly extremely passionate about this is, how do we put legislation and activities into context when it essentially turns into a free-for-all. Each person determines what their realities and situations are? And if enough people agree that Atlasia becomes part of the EU... then it happens?

I acknowledge that there are problems, serious ones with the GM, but it is down to the characters who inhabit the role. I am just fundamentally concerned about the consequences of saying "sod it, we'll just carry on" and again, this place is already over-ridden by personalities and relationships and turning it into purely an election sim would pretty much mean a whack of posters would just leave.

So, my key question is, even if I acknowledge the GM position is increasingly untenable, what kind of mechanism do you replace it with?  

I don't actually care that much one way or the other. The GM is already delegitimized and all but defunct, and anyone who wants to ignore the GM can do so with electoral impunity. But I had hoped that this bill would provoke some critical thinking rather than threats and an inexplicable rally-around-the-flag effect that seems willfully ignorant of every argument that has been made. We're not hearing anything new from GM apologists, just the same tired and implausible ideas1 about how we need a team of people (we could do this now, without changing the law, if we could find volunteers - the trouble is that there are none) or how we should punish people whom the GM deems out of line (when there's no feasible way of doing so or even a clear definition of what "ignoring" or "defying" the GM means).

Anyway, to answer your question, public opinion is the ultimate arbiter of everything in this game. We hardly need a neutral authority to lend weight to a consensus, but when the GM defies the public's expectations, he or she is ignored. This is why Simfan's revisions, Adam's aliens, and Sirnick's bombings were mostly ignored aside from the debate and drama surrounding whether we had to play along with those events in the first place. Similarly, when the game's players get goofy or stupid (e.g. "papal boats" or whatever the most recent round of nonsense is), they are ignored. You don't need a GM to point anything out, and, in fact, providing them with any attention at all is usually counterproductive.

Atlasia is about more than elections to the extent that the public and its representatives in office want it to be. Ultimately, we set the facts based on our debates rather than because someone has dictated that they are so. This would remain true in the de jure absence of a GM just as it has in our current de facto absence of one.

1Obviously I'm being melodramatic, and even a bit unfair. In fact, you've just brought up something interesting that I'll comment on in my next post.
117  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Game Moderation Abolition Amendment (Debating) on: November 05, 2014, 08:22:15 am
After reading what was "wrong" with the Game Moderator office the last time, I really believe this is nonsense. I mean, please! This is going to get like the gun control issue IRL! I strongly oppose this.

Thank you for lending your studied and respected voice to the debate.
118  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is FL Democratic Party the worst state party? on: November 05, 2014, 08:19:02 am
NY Democrats were more embarrassing last night, to be honest. Not that they didn't deserve it after uniting behind Cuomo.
119  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 US Gubernatorial Election Results on: November 05, 2014, 12:14:08 am
Here's an attempt at a swing map for the NY Gubernatorial race, with 93% reporting and Cuomo at 54%.



120  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: 2014 US Congressional Election Results on: November 04, 2014, 10:48:23 pm


Louise Slaughter, who's been in office since the '80s, is behind with 90% reporting in her district. Damn. The Democrats might lose half a dozen Congressional seats in New York alone.
121  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: 2014 US Gubernatorial Election Results on: November 04, 2014, 09:15:09 pm
Great Cuomo pic in this graphic:

122  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Game Moderation Abolition Amendment (Debating) on: November 04, 2014, 04:30:37 pm
There are those who want to treat Atlasia as their little wish-kingdom, where reality and boundaries don't exist. I'm personally not one of them. We've seen some very problematic moves recently that, yes, undermine the purpose of the GM and the SoIA and SoEA to guide events. I mean... the Middle-East Peace that just happened?

This point doesn't do much to justify the status quo.

On the flip side, it is perfectyl reasonable to expect those who play a game, to adhere to its set rules like any other though.

That is why we have debates, to discuss logistics and find answers to such questions, or at least try to. Tongue

You realize that you've just restated part of the argument for abolishing the position?

Where's your sense of humor?

Any penalty that is strong enough to achieve anything would have chilling effects. There's no way to distinguish between a person who ignores the GM and one who simply believes that no action is an appropriate response.

I must say, dropping my big fat ass down an elevator shaft would prove far more trouble than it's worth, I assure you, Nix.

Perhaps the penalties for ignoring and flagrantly telling a GM off should be separate. Ignoring could result in negative news stories and hopefully electoral penalties.

Flagrantly telling the GM to basically go suck a railroad spike when it comes to their storylines should be dealt with the same way any admin deals with a player who gets out of line. Potentially a ban on participation. A Supreme Court lawsuit, perhaps if a ban on office would be considered necessary... I'm more inclined toward a voting ban for a period of time. If these ideas are too extreme, we should at least discuss some sort of compromise rather than head straight for the nuclear option. Maybe even scrapping the role and creating an entirely new Admin style role... I'd prefer to exhaust all options before we dismantle the job entirely...

What would be the standard for judging an offense? Would it be entirely at the Supreme Court's discretion?

One point I'd like to make is without some sort of God figure we run the risk of people doing whatever they like ( Without a GM, everything is permissible Tongue). Without someone to tell us what's actually happened it's entirely subjective, and I can see that going badly wrong, just look at the recent fiasco after tyrion left. Having someone who's appointed to be a minor correcting figure makes sense to me.

Can you think of a recent example in which a GM actually did this?

No person who votes for abolishing the GM position will ever have my support for anything as long as I live.

Ah, the long knives are out...
123  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Sexual harassment? on: November 04, 2014, 11:18:08 am
As anyone with the slightest bit of street savvy is undoubtedly aware, people who greet you on the street in New York City are rarely people who you want anything to do with. The derelicts in the video are not saying "hello" out of courtesy or neighborliness.
124  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Game Moderation Abolition Amendment (Debating) on: November 04, 2014, 02:09:00 am
Where's your sense of humor?

Any penalty that is strong enough to achieve anything would have chilling effects. There's no way to distinguish between a person who ignores the GM and one who simply believes that no action is an appropriate response.
125  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: World Trade Center now officially open for business on: November 04, 2014, 01:55:45 am
Wait, they're leaving the spire like that?
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