This is one of those posts I write from time to time that means nothing at all. Really. This post doesn't mean anything. It certainly has nothing to do with EVE Online.
In the game Civilization, starting from Civilization IV, there are five recognized standard victory conditions.(1)
Conquest: this is where your civ pretty much conquers the other players or NPCs on the map. You know you're heading toward a Conquest victory when you can smite another player without breaking a sweat too much, such as when your tanks roll toward enemy cities guarded by musketmen. In EVE, this is like when you notice that Tenal has been conquered and you don't remember when the invasion of Tenal started.
Cultural: this is where your civ's culture becomes so pervasive that it's impossible to tell what the other civ's cultures were. You know you're heading toward a Cultural victory when you are producing more Great Artists than you have major cities, and when you keep discovering your civ has picked up new (rebelling) cities that you don't remember having a couple of turns ago. In EVE, this is where you notice that pretty much every alliance is becoming misogynistic, casually uses and accepts homophobic slurs without thinking about it, or says "qq more, noob, lol" when you point out this or that change to the game is having unintended side effects.
Diplomatic: this is a new one starting with Civ4, and is where your civ can get even your enemies to go along with your plans. You know you're heading toward a Diplomatic victory when your civ builds the United Nations wonder and you think you've got a good shot at getting your leader elected as Secretary General. In EVE, this is like when your alliance leader can sit down even with alliance leaders that he despises (and who despise him in turn) and yet can get them to price fix technetium or gank exhumers just to grief all those high-sec pubbies.
Domination: this is another relatively new one, and is usually gained through economic means. You know you're heading toward a Domination victory when there are very few oceans that your transports can't go safely, you're producing more Great Spies than you know what to do with, and you've actually started building executives en masse. In EVE, this is a bit like noticing that all of a sudden, Rapiers cost 225 million ISK and there's not a damn thing you can do about it, and nobody wants you to fly a Rapier anyway because the fleet just needs more Maelstroms and more Drakes.
Space Race: this victory happens when your civ produces a wonder of the world that is so impressive and far-reaching that the other civs are forced into surrender because there's no way to produce a more impressive wonder. You know you're heading toward a Space Race victory when your economy is so strong and far-reaching that there are very few things in the game you can't afford to do. In EVE, this is a bit like casually arranging an in-game event that's so all-encompassing that there are very few players that aren't impacted by it. Such an event would be hard to top--
Hey, you. In the back. Stop thinking that. I said this post had nothing to do with EVE. Those were just examples. Yeah. Examples.
(1) And if you haven't played at least one of the Civ games since Civ4, stop reading this and go play one of them for a few hours, at least. These games are so well done and so influential, there's hardly a video game out there right now that doesn't owe some fragment of its DNA to Civilization. EVE owes whole chromosomes to Civ.