Off-Topic Thread

(Teinyhr) #2362

Just one of the many reasons why the Federation must be destroyed.

(Evi Polevhia) #2363

Reporting from inside Federation space right now. These stories are greatly exaggerated. Usually.

(Arrendis) #2364

Is that supposed to wipe away the fact that they’re one of the approved methods for controlling slaves within the Empire? ‘Sure, they’re legal and all, but hey, the people using them are hypocrites!’ Yeah. They are. So is anyone who claims that a society that allows such things is ‘civilized’. Principled people have an obligation to object to things their leaders do that they feel are wrong.

Mind control being subtle does not make it any less mind control. The only universe you can interact with is the one you are aware of. Control what the slave is aware of, and you control how they react to it. You decry the Sansha’s product as ‘a maimed version of my own mind’, but that is exactly what a mind having its perceptions filtered is.

(Aria Jenneth) #2365

I acknowledge no duty to object or resist. I acknowledge the duty to keep my oath and play my part.

You have no authority to say what is right for me, imperialist. And I’ll die before I let you impose your vision of this world on me.

(This is why I think the Matari will not succeed in wooing the Caldari to your side. In the end, the notion that I should take your side in your grudge against the Amarr is founded in the idea that there are certain values everyone should share.

Though the Amarr and Gallente might agree, the Caldari don’t believe such a thing. … and neither do I.)

(Also, one thing I can agree with Veik on: irony is fun.)

(Arrendis) #2366

Except of course, Aria, that exactly that principle is the thing I’m saying.

I have no authority to say what’s right for you. And the Amarr have no authority to say what’s right for anyone else. They certainly have no authority to force their will on anyone else. And if you truly believe that you have any right to die before you let me impose my vision of the world on you, then you cannot tolerate the use of TCMCs. Because that’s exactly what they do.

And if you’re going to sit there and say that there’s a reasonable case to be made for Caldari society being based on the idea that ‘it’s totally ok for everyone but me to have to sacrifice, but there are no universal principles that apply to me’, well, I think you’re full of crap. The entire Megacorporate system is about shared sacrifice and working toward the greater good for all, not just for those at the top.

Unlike, say, the Empire… lofty claims or not.

Edit: Also, ‘Imperiumist’.

(Aria Jenneth) #2367

So-- this gets fun fast.

The Amarr (probably) have no cosmic authority to say what’s right for anyone else/force their will on anyone else/etc.


They sincerely think they do.

Just as I don’t recognize your authority to tell me what’s right and wrong, I don’t see myself as having the authority to tell them what’s right and wrong (though I do sometimes have a few remarks to make). If the Amarr feel they have a duty to try to convert the whole world and unite all of humanity under God and Empire … well, it’s kinda unlikely to happen in my lifetime, and actually it seems a little unlikely to happen at all, but it’d be kind of interesting if they succeeded.

I have respect for beliefs sincerely held. That includes beliefs I don’t share, which, let’s face it, is normally most of the beliefs held by anybody at all. Of such things are paths made; on such things the worlds turn. A heart full of purpose is something I admire-- carefully thought-out, examined, understood purpose most of all, so I tend to gravitate to intellectuals and similarly thoughtful souls.

Usually if a position doesn’t strike me as very carefully thought-out I tend to start poking a bit; it’s something you and I have a little bit in common, though I’m not usually interested in winning so much as teasing out details or highlighting areas that might need some development … or else, amendment. Friend or foe doesn’t matter much, as long as the path’s interesting.

And if the cause requires the person to try to do something to me I don’t wish to go along with, I of course don’t just let them. That doesn’t mean I necessarily have to hurt anyone, though. The Directrix is quite aware I’ll be a hard mark to Reclaim, and I don’t resent her trying. Happily her methods and my feelings about those methods mesh pretty well; I study and learn, and the Society keeps sort of gently suggesting that their theology is not only interesting, but true, and I keep not disagreeing too loudly while nevertheless maintaining my own beliefs.

Maybe one day I’ll convert. But I’m a little stubborn, so it might be a while. The dynamic’s actually a part of my service.

I don’t actually resent your efforts to bring me to your side, either, though I’m happy to hold up a mirror when you’re being noisy and claiming the universe is on your side. Probably you’re no more likely to succeed in winning me over than the Amarr. I have my own path, my own heart’s purpose. And it doesn’t include siding against the Directrix.

I don’t resent those who stand in our way, either. They’re mostly just doing what they think is right, or otherwise have their own reasons I don’t care to judge. But I don’t have to judge them, to kill them.

Like I keep telling you, this is personal for me: a debt of gratitude, of honor, and of trust. You won’t be able to turn me from it. It’s my path in this world. And if that path is objectionable to you and yours …

Well, it would be, wouldn’t it? That’s your path.

But this one’s mine.

And whatever you say and whatever you think, I’ll walk it still.

(Alizabeth Vea) #2368

Arra and Aria on the forums. :popcorn:

(Arrendis) #2369

And this, Aria, is where the internal inconsistency comes in. Her methods with regard to you and your feelings about those methods mesh pretty well…

And so right now, you’re involved in military action to supplement the violent suppression of people who hold the same viewpoint you do. Their crime, it seems, is not being you—or at least, not being able to get away with it by dint of personal power and connections.

Which brings us back to the point you’ve evaded and obfuscated by making this all about your experience in the Empire… as usual

Widespread, systemic abuse, specifically of the helpless. People being killed and injured by the millions regardless of offense or innocence, with no legal recourse[1]. Inconsistent laws where the outcome depends entirely on personal wealth, power, and connections.

That is not civilization. That is barbarism, wrapped up in a high population density and lots of large buildings and byzantine rules to make sure the people in charge get to stay in charge, and everyone else stays yoked. That’s a system built to resist ‘improvement’, and defy those who try to actually civilize it.

And for all your pontificating about how ‘nice’ and ‘kind’ the privileged elites you surround yourself with are to you, another privileged elite, you cannot natter that away with words that amount to ‘I’m obedient to the person who’s nice to me because I made a promise that says I have to do the thing I want to do: protect Luna and her family’. How do I know it’s what you want to do?

If someone wants to make you do something you don’t want to do (which is doing something to you: forcing you to do it) you don’t let them.

“I do what I want and don’t let people make me do things I don’t want to. But when someone else tries to act the same way, screw 'em, I’ll lend military support to the people killing them for it. Because I want to. After all, I do what I want.”

This is what your position comes together as, Aria. No, you haven’t said those words all at once, but that’s how the different parts of what you’ve said come together.

I’d really love it if you could show me the difference between you and Veikk, given that. Other, you know, than the fact that you criticize and decry her as ‘untrustworthy’… for being just like you.

  1. Yes, Kahah is in the Khanid Kingdom. The Kingdom has been welcomed back into the Imperial fold, and at no point did any Imperial authorities more influential than Samira say ‘maybe this orbital bombardment thing is a bad idea’, and she’s not an Imperial authority at all!
    1a. And no, Kithrus doesn’t count as either an Imperial authority or more influential than Samira. She, at least, got a reaction. He just got ignored.

(Aria Jenneth) #2370

And that, is imperialistic moral universalism. It’s also deeply arrogant: making justice, which, again, I don’t see exists in this world, a prerequisite for civilization.

By your standards, the Achura were not a civilization before the Caldari came-- a claim the Caldari themselves certainly don’t make. Arguably neither the State nor modern Achura is, even now. But, you know? We think we’re a civilization, and, you know what else? We don’t need your endorsement.

Suffering is a constant presence in this world. The world is full of cruelty and sorrow. Maybe you have a way to change that, but actually I doubt it greatly.

The Amarr think they do have a way to change it. Actually I doubt that, too. But it’ll be interesting seeing how they fare. And, whether they succeed or fail, or just wind up in a sort of endless cycle of trying to convert what might as well be the endless sea of stars, I’ll have people here I want to make sure are okay.

As for your people, they have you to look out for them. I don’t have anything against them, but my duty’s more important to me. So no, I won’t help you and I won’t get out of your way.

If that makes me a barbarian to you, well, that’s fine. I accepted that your people mostly won’t look at me kindly when I accepted this position in the world. But don’t make such partisan claims about what defines a civilization and expect me to just accept them, imperialist.

The thing you keep accusing me of obfuscating boils down to this, Arrendis: I don’t care a lot about your grudge. It isn’t mine. You have a grudge. I have a debt. Your situation does not negate mine. Your people aren’t mine, and I don’t see you or any other Matari howling in outrage over the plight of the Dissociated, the non-persons of the State.

Your concerns appear limited to your own. Just as mine are.

To me, you’re just another arrogant dreamer trying to inflict your vision on this world. That doesn’t require me to act against you any more than the Amarr. But it won’t inspire me to join you, either, or even to let you do what you want without interfering.

I have my own goals here. Certain Amarr are part of them. You and yours aren’t.

(Arrendis) #2371

There is a world of difference between laws that are circumvented by the corrupt exercise of power and influence, and laws that build that corruption into the system.

Frankly, I don’t know enough about them. Are there more of them than there are slaves in the Empire? Because it kinda feels like focusing on the bigger problem isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Maybe if they had an advocate who raised awareness of the issue, rather than just flouncing off to go play lapdog someplace more convenient…

And again, this all comes down to ‘I’m going to do whatever I want to do even while I moralize and say people who do exactly the same thing shouldn’t be trusted’.

Still not seeing the difference between you and Veikk.

(Alizabeth Vea) #2372

I am quite sure I did. Many times. In many places. I think I am influential enough. After all, if Lord Sarum didn’t like my plan of ‘kill rebels, protect non-combatants, and accept surrenders’ he would not have asked for Para’nashu forces. If he didn’t approve of my conduct and the conduct of my forces on the ground, I would have been relieved.

“But wait, didn’t you use sub-orbital strikes, Ali?” you ask.

I did. Against spotted targets. These were strikes against enemy concentrations prior to a combat drop of the 4th Mountain Marine Regiment en mass into the badlands. Force recon teams and pathfinders had been inserted into the Draka Badlands many hours prior with the objective to locate good DZs and spot enemy troop concentrations. This is vastly different from bombarding non-combatants kettled into slave ghettos.

At least seventy-five percent of counter-insurgency is political in nature. I have some thoughts on that, but I am going to hold them until they are more developed.

(Melisma Ramijozana) #2373


Maybe I haven’t talked with you specifically about this much, but it’s open knowledge that my co-chair is a disassociated Caldari – who lost his status largely due to me, and only retains his citizenship on a technicality.

I can’t say that I’m an expert on the situation, but my clan and I have learned quite a lot about how Caldari societal structure and bureaucracy works of late.

(Aria Jenneth) #2374

Pfft. Seriously, Arrendis?

She’s an actual, literal socio- and/or psychopath-- and that’s IF she’s a real person instead of something much weirder.

I’m just a person with a lamentable truth habit who comes from a culture that doesn’t train people to feel guilty if they don’t take personal responsibility for all however-many trillion humans there are at this point.

But hey, maybe you’d like me to demonstrate my antisocial personality next time I find you in disadvantageous circumstances by going and getting a kettle of boiling water instead of spending the whole party trying to figure out how to get you out?

(Arrendis) #2375

‘I won’t let anyone make me do things I don’t want, but I’m perfectly ok with anyone I don’t personally have an attachment to (or is that use for?) being slaughtered in droves. I’ll even help, with no care as to empathy or morality’.

Yeah. I can’t tell the difference between that position and a sociopath who just happens to find associations with me, Luna, and others, to be currently useful.

If that’s what you feel like doing at the time, I guess?

(Aria Jenneth) #2376

Hmm. So-- a Dissoc capsuleer has … by nature of capsuleerdom, managed to escape most of the sting of that status. For a person with means and connections, it can mean stuff gets a little awkward in places-- or a lot of freedom they might not otherwise be used to.

The more traditional meaning is …

The Caldari have this old custom, from back on Caldari Prime. It hasn’t been literally in effect for centuries, at least not very widely, but, it’s well remembered. In the depths of a long, deep-frozen winter, when food’s running low and there’s no end in sight, the time might come where Grandma and Grandpa need to go and take a long walk in the snow.

And if Grandpa doesn’t want to go? Filial piety is important. Family is important. But even so: you kick him out. You have to, for the sake of everyone. You send the elders out to join your ancestors, and treat them as dead from then on.

Symbolically, that’s what a Dissoc is: someone who’s been purged from their community, sometimes for frailties or crimes (similar to getting fired), sometimes just because they got unlucky and there’s no use for them anymore (similar to getting laid off in particularly cruel fashion). Caldari citizenship and legal identity comes through one’s parent megacorporation, so a Dissoc is formally no longer Caldari-- or even, legally, a person.

In theory, it’s done to strengthen those who remain. But, since the Caldari mostly don’t live on Caldari Prime anymore, it’s not a reliable death sentence even for people who are pretty helpless. So they fetch up kind of in the unregarded corners: shanty towns near Caldari settlements, or in the ductwork. Sometimes they’re treated okay, and given some informal protections even though it’s not legally required; sometimes they’re exterminated as vermin.

Caldari don’t take slaves. That’s one thing you can’t do to them, and stuff like a scheme to sell Dissocs to the Guristas is the stuff of major scandal. Otherwise … there’s nothing stopping citizens even from killing them.

The State’s said to offer both the best and worst conditions among the empires. The best is pretty easy to see; just go visit Jita 4-4 and go out for a meal while you’re there.

The worst … that’d be these poor souls.

If I understand the law around my own circumstances correctly, if my predecessor had been able to be located alive, I’d also have lost my personhood in this way: kicked out of my place in the world, with no legal identity or rights. And because I’d have been not only a legal nonentity but also a problematic person, I’d have been dead immediately after.

So it goes. But it might make me a little more sensitive to such things.

(Aria Jenneth) #2377


Okay then: despise me all you want, Arrendis. The world won’t bow to you, and neither will I. Join Miz in her bitterness if you want. Drown in it alongside her.

I’ll do what I recognize as correct for me to do, even so.

(Arrendis) #2378

Can’t say as I’m particularly bitter about it, Aria. Just that I don’t see the difference.

Which you’ve already said is whatever you want to do.

(Aria Jenneth) #2379

Oh, I don’t flatter myself that Miz is especially bitter about me. She’s just this judgmental fool endlessly frustrated that the world doesn’t recognize her wisdom and bow to her whims.

As for what I want … what I want is to keep my integrity, to repay someone for a deep and profound debt, and also not to blacken the tapestry of this world more than I must. (On which topic I don’t consider you a fit judge, thank you very much. I leave that to the Directrix for a reason.)

So, sure. I’ll do what I want.

(Melisma Ramijozana) #2380

I understand, and like I say, my awareness of this topic is mostly filtered through Shorai. But I mostly brought it up to deflect one of the points you were making–namely, that you didn’t know any Matari who care about the issue. Although I guess you’re right in a way–despite my efforts, you still don’t really know me, and I don’t know you.

Where I’m from (a very small part of the Sebestior homelands) we also have this custom, and we’ve used it much more recently. Not during my lifetime, but several decades ago, recent enough for it to still be fresh in our minds. Our reasons for this sacrifice go right on back to the Day of Darkness, actually.

It’s fine. I’m sensitive to slavery. In particular, circumspect discussions of slavery that treat it like some kind of historical, theoretical wrong that doesn’t exist and need to be eradicated right now.

(Mizhara Del'thul) #2381

Oh dear, ran into someone else who doesn’t fall for your attempts to hide utterly selfish and ethically bankrupt choices behind fuzzy philosophizing and sizable word clouds, did we? Shun and demonize them. Call them ‘bitter’ and liken them to me, while all they did was look at you from a rather different perspective than mine and saw the same thing.

Must be dismissed, must be ignored.

The more I see of your path, the more I actually feel bad for you, you know? This is one of those paths that have continuous points of no return. Littered with lines that can’t be uncrossed. I wonder, will you some day stop and try to preserve whatever humanity you have left, or will you just keep going until you have to shed even that to avoid the howling in the back of your mind about how you’ve become so…

… well, that’s not necessary for now, is it? We’ll see. One day. For what it’s worth, I’m hoping there won’t be too many lines behind you when you do. If you do.