Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Herd the ducks

EDIT (31/Jan/2012): The trick to writing is rewriting and editing.  Under normal circumstances, the pieces I write here are written a day or two before all of you read them (if not longer) so I can perform these steps.  This post, however, came together in much more of a hurry due to circumstances.  As a result, there's a rather major mistake in it: a paragraph below in which I assume there is a good relationship between EVE University CEO Kelduum Revaan and EVE blogger Poetic Stanziel.  No such good relationship exists.  As a heroically bad movie with good dialogue put it: "Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups!"

Had the blog post gone through a more normal editing process, I would have taken the time to fact-check this little detail, discovered the relationship, and deleted that entire paragraph.  However, the piece seemed timely so I proceeded without that step.  I apologize for this mistake.  As newspapers put it when this sort of thing happens to them, I regret the error.

When I woke up this morning, Mittens was gloating.

Now, you might accurately say that this is nothing unusual.  It's a bit like saying "When I woke up this morning, water was wet", in fact.  Still, he has pretty good reason to gloat.  When Arnold Schwarzenegger entered the recall race to become California's governor in 2003, that was pretty much it: he had the race sewn up.  Despite the fact that there were literally hundreds of other candidates -- or, just as likely, because of this fact(1), his name recognition alone ensured that he'd be elected.  When he ran for reelection in 2007, that was also it.

Similarly, I'm going to go ahead and call it now: The Mittani will be the CSM7 Chair.

I've decided I'm going to do pieces on some of the major candidates for CSM7, and one of the people that will receive such a profile is someone who said in public that he'd be going for the Chairmanship, Kelduum Revaan, the CEO of EVE University.

This is not that piece, though.  This is just an intro.

When I decided to run for CSM6 last year, I was one of the first candidates to make that fact public.  This year, Kelduum has that honor, I think.  I'm not sure the exact date he popped up on my radar, but it was very early January and perhaps a bit before.  The unusual thing about Kelduum running wasn't that he was running; hell, I'd practically expect someone high up in E-UNI to run every year.  The unusual thing about Kelduum running is that word quickly went out that Kelduum thought he had a good chance of taking the Chair and believed he had something like 3500 votes sewn up from the get-go.

Rallying high-sec players to vote in the CSM elections has been a bit of a dream the last few CSM elections, and if you think anybody could do it, the CEO of EVE University could.  And indeed, should Kelduum win a seat, he won't be the first E-UNI CEO to do so, and to do so based on the successful rallying of high-sec votes.  But Chair?  Really?  EVE University only represents about 1500 pilots right now.  Even if all of them could be rallied, that's substantially less than 3500 votes.  When this was brought to my attention, I replied that it sounded to me like Kelduum was counting on the votes of not only every EVE University member, but pretty much every EVE player who had once been in EVE University.  I added that this struck me as naive to say the least.

Back in August when Trebor ran his crowd-sourcing initiative, E-UNI made a concerted attempt to skew those votes.  At the time, I was rather amused: this looked a lot like a test run for the next CSM election.  How many accounts could E-UNI rally to vote a slate, following a complex procedure, on demand?  I checked with Trebor, and it turns out the answer was "587 accounts".  That's the number of accounts that voted the exact slate that E-UNI asked them to vote in the crowd-sourcing.

So, as far as I'm concerned, that's the size of Kelduum's base: not 3500.  587.

Still, it's respectable!  I started my CSM6 run with less, and campaigned up from there.  Apparently though, the word that Kelduum would not automatically have 3500 votes at his beck and call got back to him and he decided to actually ask his base: would they vote for him?  And while a few hundred said "yes", a solid minority said: "I don't know.  What do you stand for?"

And Kelduum doesn't seem to have much of an answer yet.  Ooops.

When I saw this, I made the decision to contact Poetic Stanziel, a well-known E-UNI graduate and blogger.  Would Poetic support Kelduum?  Turns out I didn't have to ask.  The topic is well-covered on the Poetic Discourse blog this morning, and Poetic seems to fall pretty firmly in the "I don't know" camp.  Pro-tip: if you're running for CSM as an E-UNI candidate, perhaps it's a good idea to get the backing of E-UNI's most well-known blogger first.  What do you think?

Now, it's not my intention here to make fun of Kelduum.  If he gets his act together, there's plenty of time for him to be a solid CSM candidate and as I said, I'll be writing about him again when I do my profile pieces.  But anyone who thinks they're going to make a run at the Chairmanship and take away Mittens's #chairmanforlife hash-tag needs to be a bit more organized than this.

One of the things that's going to be amusing about the CSM7 election cycle is the brain-damaged "petition" methodology that CCP came up with for vetting candidate popularity, most likely while in a drunken stupor.(2)  Ironically, it is in Mittens's best interests to have as broad a slate of CSM7 candidates as possible.  Not only does this dilute the non-0.0-bloc vote and reduce the threat to his control over the CSM, it has the best chance of producing a broad slate of less well-known CSM7 alternates that:
  • Mittens can point to later as highlighting the "diversity" of CSM7; and,
  • gives him a pool of people who are "just happy to be here" that can help with the actual work.

As a result, it is also in Mittens's best interests to have as many candidates as possible successfully pass through the petition process.  The thing that's amusing is that he doesn't have to lift a finger for this to happen.  When a well-intentioned but naive EVE player posted a thread on Jita Park advocating the creation of a block of CSM7 candidates focused on carebear issues, Goons came out of the woodwork in droves to "support" this idea.

Consider that a test run for the petition process for every carebear candidate.  They're not going to have any trouble hitting the 100 "likes" needed to get on the ballot.  They'll get dozens of likes from "helpful" Goons who will then -- once the actual voting begins -- vote their ordered slate of candidates.  Meanwhile, more serious candidates like Kelduum who actually have a chance at getting the votes they need are going to struggle mightily with this process.  If Kelduum can't get a few hundred people on E-UNI's own forums to say they'll vote for him, what prayer does he have of getting them to follow a petition process?

If you're running for CSM7 as a non-0.0-bloc candidate, I hope you're getting your ducks in a row.  Right now.

(1) More on this in a minute.
(2) Be warned: I am going to making more and more harsh fun of this idea as the cycle goes on.  And since I'm starting from it being a "brain-damaged idea most likely come up with while in a drunken stupor", you can imagine where I'm going to be by March.


  1. You are aware Poetic puts the blame of most of what's wrong with Eve on Kelduums shoulder's? Apparently Kel is the "Shadow" CSM that pulls all of CCP's strings.

  2. Yeah, the CSM process is broken and CCP did NOTHING to fix it, even though they think they have (really, I hope they don't actually believe that...).

  3. A couple of minor quibbles here, as someone who has a somewhat inside perspective on Eve University. Poetic didn't ever "graduate" from the uni, he was kicked out for being a massive drama llama who annoyed the hell out of literally everyone in the corp. As a result, he's exceptionally unlikely to back Kelduum in any election campaign, especially given that he spends a lot of time whining about Keld doing dodgy backroom deals with CCP to help the Uni out.

    Also, the crowdsourcing thing isn't really a great way to measure voting output IMO. You've said that the 587 were those who voted the exact way as told to, but you'll find a significant number more voted for more or less what the uni asked them to with a minor change or two to suit their particular concerns. As a result, you're actually only seeing a subset of the total number of subscribers who backed the uni in some way or another.

    I agree that he's nowhere near the 3500 mark, but I'd expect it to be a fair bit higher than the 587 you've listed here.

    1. I second Night's comments, Jester. I was shocked to see you saying that Keld was best to get the support of Poetic considering the amount of drama and vitriol Poetic brings up on his blog and forum about Eve Uni.

      Trust me- Poetic is as biased as it gets when it comes Kelduum

    2. Yeah, I wasn't aware of the relationship, or I definitely would have phrased that para differently.

    3. If I may add. Poetic is so delusional that when we started the incursion interdictions, he made a post on the forums about himself being the inspiration behind.

      About kelduum, he is not a bad candidate and I suspect he is probably the best highsec option for everyone even others. As he knows the realities of it andhopefully wont push for more security and such. Still my vote goes to a wspace candidate if they can put their act together. There were like 4 paragraphs about wspace in CSM minutes, really?

  4. It's interesting to note that Mittens made a constructive comment on that carebear thread. Only goon that didn't troll the idea.

    Not that he needed to...

    1. Are you sure mittens making a constructive comment isn't a troll?

  5. Some clarifications:

    1) The 587 number was the number of characters who were in Ivy League at the time of the crowdsourcing. 541 of these characters voted for all the items EVE Uni was pushing.

    2) The total number of characters that voted for all of the items that EVE Uni was pushing (in other words, those items were a subset of their votes) was 1123. Some of these may, of course, be coincidences.

  6. The CSM would be more democratic if CCP randomly chose accounts to run it. Even if those accounts never did anything.

    1. Heh, like jury service. That would be hilariously ineffective, but I like the principle.

    2. Accounts paid for with PLEX in any of the last 6 months ineligible to vote.

  7. Being on the CSM should be limited to a two term tenure. Sure, as a 0.0 Power Bloc you could game the systems by having people "sit" in the best interests of Mittens or UAxDeath or whomever you prefer.

    You only get to be on it twice. This would single-handedly prevent Mittens from being "#Chairmanforlife"

  8. I'm so tired of all this CSM bullsh1t! We are not electing a Pope here ffs! And 2/3 of EVE players dont give a poo to all this...

  9. Also, the uni forums aren't -all- that active. I would be surprised if more than 150 people logged on any given day, let alone clicked on the 'Kelduum for CSM' thread.

    Also, many unistas have OOC alts (no alts in the uni) so that will somewhat inflate the vote. There are currently 300+ accounts who have pledged votes for Kelduum.

    Disclosure: I voted 'not sure'

  10. I cant help but think with the CSM and everyone on it and all the politics that's going on everyone involves have some hidden agenda or motive. That makes it hard to trust anything that anyone says and I barely trust anything that anyone says.

  11. Shit. Maaaan I know shit's bad right now. But we got this guy Not Sure, he's the smartest man on the PLANET. Gonna help us fix ALL our problems! Help clean up hisec. We're gonna grow industry by nerfing griefers n gankers. Man, shit's bad right now, but with Not Sure's help, we is gonna get thru dis.

    Oops wrong movie. ;-)

    As for Poetic being "kicked out" for being a "drama llama" -- generally I find that's the case where certain personality types find themselves questioned a bit. I don't know Kelduum, but I DO know narcissistic, megalomaniacal personalities...they don't deal well at all with being questioned even in an innocent, "just want to know why" way.
    Generally they deal with such questioning with hostility and "just STFU and follow, or GTFO" comments, and if further questioning ensues, they villify the questioner and ostracize them from the community.

    Kelduum and Mittens on the same CSM would not work. At all. Why? Kelduum would probably be exactly like Mittens, only in "reverse" -- representing the carebear "bloc" and out to personally put a stop to all the ganking, griefing, wardeccing shenanigans that Mittens & Co work SO hard at bringing to the game. ;-)
    Also narcissistic douchebags like Mittens don't work well with others in leadership positions. They're kind of like Highlanderssshhh: there can be only one. >;-D

    1. You may not know this, but our dear fuzzy mitten was just a random member of the goonswarm directorate for years. Before he became CEO he did just fine as a member of the team. He never had a problem working under any of our parade of crazy CEOs.

      Don't worry, regardless of who is Chairman he will keep smugposting and working to improve EVE.

    2. If you knew Keld, you would know your vilification of him was wrong, but w/e...

      I look forward to Keld getting on the CSM - Just to watch all the conspiracy theorists getting their panties into a bunch.

      Asuri Kinnes/ADHC

  12. The whole idea of the CSM as THE major source of player feedback is stupid, especially as the majority of the EVE population don't give a @#$@ about the CSM. Sure, using the CSM is fine if you are too lazy to filter feedback yourself. But player's actual opinions are summarized/abstracted/pigeon-holed/ignored/diltued when collected by a third party. And that third party may just emphasize ideas opinions of their own.

    If CCP were serious about obtaining feedback from the player base in general, they would use the EVE client itself (E.g. polls and links in-game, for example at login). This way they can have control of carrot (E.g. Do blah and get free gift in redeem items!) or stick (E.g. complete this poll then you can log in).

  13. Here's how much I think of the CSM and the influence it has on CCP to improve the game:

    Boycott the vote since it matters not regardless of who gets elected.

  14. I'm glad you kept the paragraph in, so that I could read it. That was amusing. Not upset about it in the least, by the way.

    As for the comment ... I did graduate from the University. Kelduum himself gave me my medal. I was given the option to leave of my own accord (more or less, I was going to be kicked if I didn't leave the corp myself) for raising concerns about certain RULES the Uni has. Kelduum and the his People don't like their hypocrisy and contradictions questioned.)

    1. Nah, it wasn't you questioning the rules that got you basically booted, it was how you did it. Rules have changed over time because people come up with decent reasons to not have them, you just weren't particularly constructive about how you went about trying to get them changed.

      You're also on their departed list (http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/The_Departed), which clearly states at the top that players on this list "should not be considered as having graduated from Eve University".

    2. in other news

      today i played eve, i blew some shit up and got blown up

      much fun was had

      while the uni plays lets do WSOP and learn by heart and interview eachother on the rules of Keldumb's corp

      i mean srsly eve uni and what it does doesn't represent what "eve" is, much rather what "eve is minus the ability to do "bad stuff" i.e. hisec carebear

      and before someone chimes in about how eve uni teaches pvp

      it doesnt


      blobbing up and practicing learning how to jump through gates when you are told, going on uneventful trip of hours long and coming home all safely is NOT pvp. there is a reason why uni engagements dont really happen, only idiots or suicidal ppl who wanna have fun would get caught by a uni blob

      to the point of poetic

      yes he is a drama llama

      but who cares

      yes he is biased

      who cares

      what he does do is bring up contructive points which invite discussion

      on the point of Keldumb

      i do believe he is a great candidate for hisec carebears and thats what he should stick to

      keldumb is easily not the most educated in eve mechanics of eve uni. heck id say from personal experience that he is barely on the graduate level of eve uni which is by no means anything special

      pretending that he understands anything outside of what he does in this game is pretty pathetic thus keldumb's experiences include the following

      - how to manage a corp of carebears
      - how to login everyday and keep the eve uni wiki/forums/ts server etc working
      - how to mine (ive seen him undocked 2 times in total, once to mine and once to join in shooting someone who didnt abide by eve uni wsop rules)
      - how to run l4 missions ... badly ... in badly fitted ships

      Howevers keldumbs vast expertise does not include

      - most pvp mechanics that dont involve lots of frigs/cruisers and rarely BCs/BSs blobbing a single frig
      - WH mechanics
      - lowsec mechanics
      - 00 mechanics

      so in summary

      vote DIERDRA VAHL (may be misspelt) since he really was a good condidate and a fun dude (met him personally @fanfest)

  15. "When Arnold Schwarzenegger entered the recall race to become California's governor in 2003, that was pretty much it: he had the race sewn up. Despite the fact that there were literally hundreds of other candidates -- or, just as likely, because of this fact(1), his name recognition alone ensured that he'd be elected. When he ran for reelection in 2007, that was also it."

    You can fairly say that Arnold won in 2003 on name recognition alone. But 2007? People sour very quickly on someone if they're doing a shitty job, no matter who they are. I'd say that Arnold was re-elected in 2007 because he was doing a fair job of managing the State.

    Same case with The Mittani. He might revel in acting like a douchebag ... but if he's re-elected again, especially if he ends up getting even more votes than last year, you can say that more than just Goons were pleased with his performance.

    1. "Same case with The Mittani. He might revel in acting like a douchebag ... but if he's re-elected again, especially if he ends up getting even more votes than last year, you can say that more than just Goons were pleased with his performance."
      lol "Acting" like a douchebag? Listen to the guy. Listen to what he says and how he says it. There's no acting there. EVE just lets him gain celebrity for showing his true colors. He "retired young" because his books "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell" and "Assholes Finish First" are probably STILL on the NYTimes bestseller list (toward the bottom but hey)... and he revels in being the Asshole Who Finishes First (probably in bed too but I digress).

      As with all good narcissists (and Mittens is one, have NO doubt of that), he is skilled at making himself look great no matter what. A self-contained spin machine set to "high" at all times. Only problem is, he sniffs his own glue a lil too much. The ONLY mistake I see Mittens making that will fuck himself up royally in times to come is he believes his own bullshit a lil too heartily.
      Another "useful" trait of narcissistic personalities is their uncanny ability to silence doubt and opposition, and to take over as the "talking head" for whoever/whatever they represent. Know why there's only "one" CSM who matters, and whom everyone knows and recognizes? Mittens would be THAT GUY, even if he wasn't the CSM Chair. It's just what narcissists do.

      Know what else narcissists all do, sooner or later? Implode. The head can only swell so much before the gravity well of ego inside sucks it all back in and POOF.

      Also RL allegory about Ahnuld....not so sure about that. Lots of people were unhappy with his "performance", but I don't think anything sufficiently catastrophic or scandalous (other than the usual fires/floods/earthquakes that happen every fucking year here) occurred during his first term to warrant not getting a 2nd.

      Politics has a unique relationship with RL physics. It completely ignores entropy but highly favors inertia. It may move slowly, but so do glaciers... and look how amazingly they change the face of the planet.

      (PS Jester WTF with the comment box not working with Chrome?? For rillz yo. lol)

    2. Do you use the Flash Block plugin ... I disabled it for this site, and commenting finally started working again for me.

  16. Personally, I think the "likes" idea is silly. Much better to get, say, 50 people to lock in their (first) vote for a candidate. Simply "liking" a candidate doesn't prove anything if there's no cost associated with it.

  17. "I made the decision to contact Poetic Stanziel, a well-known E-UNI graduate and blogger."
    --A bit of clarification here. Poetic did not graduate from E-UNI like most of people do. He was kicked and banned for being a generally obnoxious asshat. Since then he developed an unhealthy obsession with E-UNI and Kelduum, which fogs his mind rather well.

  18. Jester, you may not know any better but don't take much that Poetic says as truth.

    Poetic, you're a drama queen who likes the sound of his own opinions far too much. Pretty much everything you've written about Kelduum is a reflection of your bruised ego, not of the man himself. Grow up and do something useful in the game before you start spouting off about people who've spent years helping others.

  19. ITT Narcissists ragging on other narcissists.


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