Off-Topic Thread vol. 2

Well now I know what I’m naming my next combat ship!

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Just to be a little persnickety, it’s interesting, isn’t it, that the opposite adjective doesn’t require quite the same thing? To be ‘soulful’ isn’t assumed to be in possession of a metahysical construct, only to evoke deep emotional resonance. e.g. ‘That music is soulful’ or even ‘that guy’s got soul’. Not ‘a soul’…

Just an observation.

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The soul is that which cannot be defined, the core of existence and sentience. It is not bound to the rational/irrational dichotomy that seems to limit the thoughts of the more materialistic on this forum. Machines are unable to comprehend this as they are constructed mechanisms, no more than a particularly advanced cog or gear. Humans are the “uncreated” the wellspring of divinity and existence itself that so many ( especially the Amarr ) foolishly try to attribute to a “God”. Your inability to understand this marks you as a machine, the beings molded from clay by the hands of the Divine. You are born to serve.

Then it’s literally meaningless.

So … it maybe won’t be surprising that I don’t think of soul as some separate, spiritual self. (Like most of my sect’s spiritually-educated, I don’t really believe in such things-- spirits and deities are best understood as guiding metaphors.)

To my way of thinking, the “soul” is simply the whole of the self-- not the body (or not just the body), not the mind (or not just the mind), not even both at once (though also that).

Your soul is you. It’s all of you, every aspect, past, present, and presumably future (though it’s maybe an open question whether that’s already extant or in a sort of continuous process of becoming until you die and your soul is complete). It’s every cup of coffee, every hand you’ve shaken or held, every word spoken, every footprint left. It’s every memory you left in another’s mind, every flake of dead skin you left for the dust mites.

It’s every thing and every life you’ve touched. Or ended.

It’s who you are, completely, the Totality of you.

So even if I don’t believe in it as a separate, spirit-existence, I still think it’s an important concept. My soul is everything I am, everything I have ever been. It’s the part I have played, the part I am playing, in time’s tapestry-- in the greater Totality of all that is.

It will be who I was when I am dead and every memory and record of me is gone, the form my life took in the weave of causes and effects. I need no god, nor any immortal life to follow, for that to be important to me.

And as for whether you have such a thing, Synthia, I think even a rock has a soul, easily as much as I do. Just, probably, a simpler and less troubled one.


Moving this over here because it’s a massive tangent off of the purpose of that thread. It was just gonna be an offhand comment, but then I started explaining what I meant by the second sentence after the quote, and well… here we are. Feel free to ignore it, but it’s information that’s there if people are curious, I guess?

One has nothing to do with the other. The current fighting in nullsec is just the latest iteration of null politics. This one was set up two years ago at the end of the 14 Month War. Or, really, a year earlier, at the beginning of the war.

Four years ago, TEST and the Legacy Coalition began a war against Fraternity with the intention of securing space for Legion of xXDeathXx, who’d been evicted from their long-held territory in the north. Legacy didn’t want to commit to the kind of risk the offensive would take, and FRT didn’t need an offensive, since they were, you know, the people getting attacked.

So the war basically stalemated for like 8 months. Vily turned to the Mittani for assistance with the war, but the Imperium, at the time, was dealing with issues in Pure Blind, Fade, and Cloud Ring… and frankly, Mittens and Noraus got along better than Mittens and Vily did, at that point. So he said no.

In response, Progodlegend and Vily cut a deal with PanFam and FRT to end the ‘war’ against FRT and join forces in a megacoalition calling itself ‘PAPI’ (PanFam + TEST Alliance Please Ignore). Their goal: a war of ‘extinction’ (to use Vily’s words) against Goonswarm1.

BRAVE’s obligations as a member of the Legacy Coalition dragged them into it, even though, BRAVE’s top leadership didn’t want anything to do with the war. Their FC cadre, on the other hand, wanted what null FCs always want: senseless slaughter for kicks. This kicked off 14 months of (from the perspective of BRAVE’s non-FC leadership and much of their line, by the accounts I heard) BRAVE basically being made TEST’s whipping post. Whenever anything didn’t go right, BRAVE got blamed. BRAVE FCs ran PAPI fleets with BRAVE pilots in the ships, while simultaneously BRAVE got blamed for never showing up.

So when the war ended in, shall we say, not-PAPI’s favor, BRAVE, under the leadership of Dunk Dinkle, issued a public statement withdrawing from the Legacy Coalition and declaring that they were vacating their space in order to move someplace where they could get away from the politics of null and get back to trying to live their best Brave Newbies life.

They went to Pure Blind… which, at the time, was kind of wide open, with small groups living there, like We Form V0LTA. And for a while, everyone was happy with that.

Then FRT decided they wanted more space they could rent out. So they decided to move on Pure Blind. And they ordered their minions asked their friends in the greatly-reduced TEST Alliance Please Ignore if they wouldn’t mind getting the hell off FRT’s couch in Omist and going to Pure Blind to help with the war effort2.

That was last year. FRT, and Horde, after basically being fought to a standstill by BRAVE and V0LTA/BL0B, finally decided to commit their supercapital fleets to the punishing people for not meekly accepting the dominance of feudal landlords. Which, near as I can tell, is when BRAVE reached out to the new folks in charge of the Imperium and said ‘Do you wanna kill some keepstars?’

The PanFam/FRT main staging Keepstar in X47 comes out of its hull reinforcement in about 16h, I think, with another FRT Keep in Y-1918 in Branch coming out 2 hours after that.

Feel free to go watch the fireworks. Ignore the number of people dying, if you can. Just, you know, don’t ever make the mistake of thinking the null blocs give a damn about anything the Empires are doing.

There is no emergence of anything in HS/LS that is at all connected with the wars of Null.

1. FRT’s involvement in the war was performative at best, and they pretty much left early except for when PAPI basically screamed for max numbers for days ahead of time. Which, you know, was fine with Imperium leadership… after all, it’s what Mittens and Noraus agreed on when things started. Seems the only people who didn’t know FRT didn’t really care about the war… were Vily and Piggles. I’m not going to say that TEST got played from the start, because obviously, PanFam deeply wanted to see the Imperium destroyed, but… yeah, right from the start everyone but TEST knew that no matter which side won, TEST was going to lose. Either PAPI would win, at which point TEST, who were footing most of the bill, would find themselves fallen on next, or PAPI would lose, and Goons would have their traditional utter lack of sympathy for the brain-dead idiots who tried to stab them in the back.

2. There’s a reason most of TEST’s people from 3 years ago are in Horde, FRT, or scattered to the winds, these days. After 8 months of laying siege to a single constellation, PAPI leadership, fronted by PGL, promised everyone ‘give me 2 more weeks, and this is over’. They announced a massively expensive new Tengu doctrine (imported largely by the very people who were telling people to fly them!) to break the siege, and began the prep for their ‘final push’…

Which consisted of BlOpsing a tengu-fleet into the obvious back-end of the constellation where Initiative was waiting (BECAUSE IT WAS SO DAMNED OBVIOUS) and the covert-fitted Tengus died in the process of trying to refit for combat. At the same time, they fed close to a thousand Muninns into the spinning blades of 2 supercarrier fleets’ worth of fighters on the gate into the Imperium’s staging system. And before the fight was over, without so much as telling anyone else he was doing it, Progodlegend, architect of the war, importer of Tengus, mastermind who thought ‘hey, we can keep using blaster harpies against fighters even though all we do is die’… started unanchoring all of PAPI’s staging and extraction keepstars. All of them. Then, when they’d been forced to admit the ‘2 week’ thing was a scam to sell Tengus to line members(?!?!? Who does that crap?!?), Vily and PGL both step down and leave TEST leaderless WHILE EXTRACTING FROM A WAR THEY’VE JUST CHOSEN TO LOSE.

Seriously, anyone who ever follows either one of those guys again deserves to lose everything, I don’t care if they’re just standing behind them in a queue.

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Got it.

Well, the direct enlistment and the consequences of the mess you just told (Similar scandals and stupid moves will make people migrate between alliances as you said), could bring to interfere with the “Big 4” activity. Consider there’s a member of the Imperium who decided to fight for the Minmatar Republic.

Well, I hope that doesn’t go horribly wrong for them, then… my sources tell me there hasn’t yet been an ‘official’ policy announced, and if they’re in contravention of the one that does eventually come out… because of course one will… that could get awkward.

Thanks for this post Arrendis. I’ve been aware of these events without really understanding the sequence and relationships so a short, clear explanation like this is really interesting. Much of the posting on other GalNet fora assumes knowledge, is obviously unreliable or so filled with grudge splurging that it’s hard to wade through.

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Well, keep in mind that I’m still writing from the perspective of my own limited knowledge and POV. That obviously includes some things Joe Line Guy wouldn’t know… like Noraus and Mittens being pretty tight during the war and FRT more or less having a ‘yeah, don’t worry about us, we’re just here for show. Our real goal is make money and secure our own infrastructure across the north while these idiots attack you’ position about the war. (And for anyone who doubts that, just look at how FRT was immediately positioned to ‘encourage’ Horde to shift their focus westward and leave the space they’d formerly shared to mostly FRT ratters and miners.)

But at the end of the day, it’s still just my POV, and there’s a lot I didn’t (and still don’t) know about the maneuverings going on. For that, you’d need someone like a Black Hand director, and they’re not gonna talk.

With respect, Mr. Aloga, I don’t think it’s the tech that’s to blame. Cybernetics aren’t a new thing, certainly not in the Empire (though admittedly cloning kind of is). If they consistently eroded the soul/damaged the person, surely that would be understood by now? I could even see the Amarr banning them for that reason if it were so; they care a lot about the spiritual realm, even if it’s mostly their own. Going before their god maimed isn’t something I think most would be okay with.

My predecessor agreed with you, believed that repeated cloning eroded us. To me it looks like we’re contending with a much older spiritual enemy: power-- power, and a casual comfort with taking life I think might usually be rooted at first, in our case, in how little the cans of people we’re paid to shoot at look like people.

People tend not to pay much mind to those whose opinions can’t hurt them, so power has a tendency to corrode empathy for those who don’t have it. Combine that with a sometimes-even-cheerful relationship with death, and … well, look at the behavior of various warrior elites down history’s course, playing games of strategy among themselves with actual armies, vying for power and prestige with living, breathing humans as their pawns.

I’m not sure we’re very different from such folk. To me it seems like we’re callous, arrogant, and cruel in all the same ways.

Just another elite class of killers.


Here’s a notable difference: Capsuleer delusions of immortality. Those old-school ‘Warrior Elites’ went out to prove their worth and wagered their bodies and lives. They faced an undeniable risk of annihilation and non-existence, and accepted it.

What ‘risk’ do maniacs who believe themselves immortal face? What courage is there in someone who believes the worst he’ll suffer is the inconvenience of losing a ship—and replacing the tool is more a concern than replacing lives?

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Becoming a meme, like that guy with the cargohold-expanded Dreadnought ?

@Arrendis Dr. Valate has a good point, actually. In a lot of those cultures humiliation was seen as worse than death.

We don’t really … “do” death. Not in any consistent way, at least? We still do humiliation, though.

Although, not sure we really think of it as worse than (permanent) death ourselves, necessarily? Hm.

Humiliation was seen as potentially worse than death. But then, going down fighting was seen as the exact opposite of humiliation, in those same cultures.

And let’s face it: most capsuleers don’t give a damn what most capsuleers think of them. I don’t even know the meme she’s referencing.

I wonder if that’s true, though. It seems like feigned indifference to public opinion is quite a bit more common than the genuine article. Looking like you don’t care is itself a way of playing the social game.

That’s quite a claim there. Got any data, polls, anything to back that up?

I mean, a lot of capsuleers put on a front of not caring, but under all the bravado, all the cringry edgeness, do they “really” not care what other capsuleers think of them.

And if they truly don’t, is that a good thing, or is it a sign we’ve lost touch with the fabric of being a social people living within the confines of our socities?

It was an incident about… 16 years ago, I think ?

As I recall it, an egger flew an expensively-equipped battleship into a supercarrier camp, then attempted to avenge this loss by using a Revelation, that for some reason was equipped with a hugely expanded cargohold, rather than say, bigger heat sinks. Result was another, even more expensive, loss. All without support from his corporation or alliance which was based in an entirely different region. Because of “honour” or something. Anyway, a lot of other capsuleers became enraged, and a meme was created. “Honour Tanking”.
There were even some novelty art works sold to capsuleers as a result of this meme. A glass tank full of mysterious liquid.


Its not the technology in of itself. It is the cloning process, when the spirit transfers from one vessel into another where the erosion occurs. The more one has modified the flesh, the more “incompatible” it becomes with the spirit upon each transfer.

A decade of direct experience with one of the largest groups of capsuleers in New Eden’s history?

We ran the numbers, repeatedly: Something like 80-85% of capsuleers in New Eden are in larger alliances, most of those in null. That means for most capsuleers, ‘most capsuleers’ are actively the enemy. And they’re taught early on to care only about what their own group thinks of them—and not even all of that, really, just their own little knot in their own corporation, because most of their allies will never really know them enough to have a meaningful opinion.

And their enemies—who, remember, would be the vast majority of capsuleers in New Eden—don’t matter. They’re all mindless drones believing whatever their leaders tell them to believe, and they hate you for being you, so to hell with their opinion.

In fact, I’d say it’s a necessary reality of the naked tribalism that drives most of capsuleer society: most people are not part of your group, and the only social bonds you tend to care about in that scenario are the ones within your group. Kind of exactly the purpose of social bonds: securing and reinforcing the group.

If anything, multiculturalism is more a sign of losing touch with the fabric of being a social people, because being a social people is basically a behavioral method of reinforcing insular bonds. Multiculturalism means accepting other social models as just as valid, and letting yourself interact within many paradigms, diluting your strong, insular bond with your original group.

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