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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Friday, January 11, 2013

Activist judges

Now that the furor from my "bash Ripard" post has died down somewhat, I have two other things related to the pod-cast that inspired it that I want to chat about a bit.

During the pod-cast, Alekseyev Karrde, NinjaTurtle and Connall Tara at a couple of points compared me to mynnna/corestwo (mynnna hereafter) from themittani.com.  Specifically, they compare my two articles about activist CSMs to mynnna's response to it on themittani, "The Activist CSM" and our relative writing styles and substance.  Keep in mind: mynnna is almost certainly going to be the official Goonswarm candidate to CSM8.  Yes, I recognize that he wrote that article before making the final decision to run, but you don't write about politics without being interested in politics, if you know what I mean.  ;-)

CSM7 seems to like what mynnna has to say, and the feeling seems to be mutual.  And that's fair, of course.

But that's not what caught my interest about the reference to mynnna and themittani.com in the pod-cast.  No, what caught my interest was a continuing misconception about mynnna's piece specifically, and themittani.com in general.  Alek opens that piece of the pod-cast by making it clear that my blog is opinion and themittani.com ("despite any concern you might have about its bias") strives to be a news site.  At another point, it's made clear that while my piece about CSM7 is opinion, mynnna's is more about "framing the facts", "posing the question rather than coming to any conclusions", and has only "mild opinions."

Mild opinions like "CCP does not have a clue what they actually want to do next", for instance.  I'm pretty sure that CCP would dispute that being factual, or not as coming to any conclusions.  ;-)

Now don't get me wrong: I really like mynnna's writing, and I read themittani.com frequently.  But describing it as more of a news site is -- in my opinion, of course -- inaccurate.  Certainly, there's a "News" section on the site and certainly there are things to be read there.  But even a lot of the items tagged as news -- this piece about the fall of Against ALL Authorities, for example -- combine a sprinkling of news with a sprinkling of opinion.  And overall, are they the most interesting pieces on the site?  Not for me, they aren't.  I spend a lot more time in the "Features" section of the site, which may as well be re-branded "Opinion" because that's what it is.

And that's where mynnna's piece was listed, and for good reason.

CNN recently got themselves a new President, Jeff Zucker.  And Zucker had this to say about some changes he's going to be making there:
"I don't want to get caught in the trap of thinking that Fox and MSNBC are our principal competition," Zucker told me. "That's way too limiting. Our competition is also Discovery, the History Channel, anyone that provides non-fiction programming."
Bad or good, that's how the news is these days if you want to be successful in the ratings: it's informational entertainment.  And themittani.com does that and does it well.  While I do read their "news" pieces, I read their "features" first.  They're much more interesting.  And mynnna's piece was a lovely example of the form.  Trying to describe it as factual, though, is inaccurate.  It was opinion.

That's the first thing.

The second thing is I do want to gently dispute how mynnna's piece mis-characterized my use of the word "activist."  There seems to be a sense, both in mynnna's piece and in the pod-cast reaction to it, that a "peace-time CSM" (to use Alek's frequent phrase) doesn't have to be activist because such a CSM doesn't have to goad CCP into action in that way.  The implication is that an activist CSM "must. attack. CCP."  The problem is that when I used the term in my original piece using the word, I didn't mean that at all.  That got lost in the interim and I'd like to get it un-lost.

Being activist isn't necessarily just about goading CCP into action when they get a little passive.  It's about the CSM independently taking action even when CCP isn't asking for action.  And that to my mind has been CSM7's second-biggest flaw: they've primarily been reactive, not pro-active.  From an external observer's perspective, most of the time they wait to be asked to do things before doing them.  A good counter-example -- where CSM7 was activist -- was Trebor Deahdoow's activities around rebuilding the CSM election mechanics.

We saw how well that went for Trebor.  ;-)

But it was a lovely example of the sort of activism I mean, and (ironically enough) so was the EVE Development Strategy document.  The people involved in that document point to it as a major achievement for CSM7 and whether you agree with the document's conclusions or not, they're right to do so.  But it just goes to prove the CSM can continue to take actions -- can be activist -- even when there are no official actions "on the agenda" to be taken and without attacking CCP.  "No CSM had ever done this before," Alek says during the pod-cast.  Uh huh.  Felt good, didn't it?  That's part of what I meant by being activist.  It's an example.  When I was on Declarations of War back in September, I listed a lot of different examples of ways the CSM could be activist without necessarily going on a war-path.

That's what mynnna missed in his piece.

During the summer, CSM7 went almost entirely silent.  "CCP is on vacation," we were told, "so things are going to be pretty quiet until they get back."  And that kind of misses the point that there are more than two groups in this relationship: it isn't just the CSM and CCP and the CSM waiting to have official responsibilities from CCP.  I'm pretty sure the players are involved in here somewhere too.  When CCP is quiet, that to me is an excellent time to spend more time with the players.

Which was CSM7's biggest flaw, in my opinion: they weren't communicating enough.  But I've talked about that one too much already.  I know some members of CSM7 disagree with me on that one, and that's also fine.  People of good conscience sometimes do.

Anyway, Alek has invited me to appear on DoW again (maybe with mynnna as well?) after the Summit Minutes are released, to talk about those and the Strategy Document again.  I'll let you all know when that's going to be.  I suspect these topics will come up.  ;-)


  1. Aleks is an idiot and it's not surprising he can't distinguish between an op-ed piece and a news article.

    1. He is not an idiot. But he indeed is a megalomaniac and a sadist who wants one day to say "I destroyed not only the enjoyment of a game for thousands, but actually destroyed the company that built the game."

      When CCP hired as their lead designer the guy who ran the spy division for an group that prides itself on destroying organizations from within, they sowed the seeds of their own destruction.

      No competent in-game organization touches a player that has even a sniff of goons anywhere on their employment history, while CCP happily hires them.

      Does CCP truly believe that these people suddenly drop all their allegiances to goons and immediately assume a brand new completely neutral view of the game, and start making decisions based on that neutrality?

      Or is it that the infiltration of CCP is so complete that the only accepted mantra within CCP is one of "null sec activity is the only thing driving the subscription rate, and goons are the rightful guides of Eve's future."

    2. This post is so far beyond the point of tinfoil hat idiocy I can't properly formulate a response.

    3. I'm curious, if you ever got offer a job with the worst competition of your current employer would you just take it to bring that company down?

      game < career - it's really not hard to understand.

    4. It gives me shivers to wonder how deep and trapped by the game paranoia must one be to propose that anybody would put his game allegiances before his real life and family welfare.

  2. Keep writing your views, they do make a good read.

    It is just a shame that the CSM is now a non-entity, well will be come CSM8. ISDs have now made trolling CSMs an offense where they will delete the posts. If you look however they are only removing posts against some not all of the CSM members and almost none in the threads putting forward people for CSM8 elections or in one case they actually closed that persons thread due to trolling.

    Without free speech we can not have free elections, so it seems to me CCP has found a usable set of people and wish to keep them so expect no major shake up after next years rigged election. As the CSM is now not activists as you put it but have more become puppets, as was recently explained in a CSM thread describing the fact that the CSM and CCP had the same idea for Null and that CCP needed to release a Dev blog before the release of the minutes to help us "swallow it"

    So much for player representatives, the CSM is now nothing more than another mouth piece for CCP.

    1. And keep trolling, Mr. Frying Doom. o7 Your angst is unmistakeable.

    2. Its pretty obvious that CCP management has ordered an escalation of ISD's & CCP Falcon to lock Forum threads with abbandon using the catch all "trolling' excusewhich pretty much means anything they don't like at themoment is a troll. Can't tell you how many CSM & DEV comments would have been edited/locked if it wasn't for the tags next to thier names.

    3. It is completely expected Hans that you would see no problem in threads against you removed as trolling, while so many other threads with blatant trolls against your competition for next years election remain.

      As I said you cannot have free elections without free speech.

      So while the CSM does at the moment do good work, any work you do from next year on will be tainted by the fact that the election is a joke.

  3. Speaking about the Minutes, didn't CCP say they were going to be out by the end of last year? Or was that the CSM putting that out there without informing CCP?

  4. Dont do it, Jester! It's a trap!

  5. To be perfectly honest regardless of what CCP would ever admit to being "factual" thats exactly what it felt like to the CSM when we wrote that document.

    We wrote what we wanted to see because what we were being show at the time was bits and pieces and it appeared there was no cohesive sense of direction beyond Retribution. Things have progressed quite a bit since than but the result is that a lot more is up in the air than normally would be due at this point to the freshly reset development approach.

    ...I don't see that as a problem though. I see that as opportunity.

  6. lol James 315's diatribes on nerfing HI SEC on the mittens COM are more then enough proof its a propaganda rag... just like the old communist Pravda

    1. Are you retarded? James 315 runs the http://www.minerbumping.com/ website. The entire piece was a joke.


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