Whenever I venture forth unto the ice fields and asteroid belts of highsec to enforce the New Halaima Code of Conduct, there are always miners who vociferously object to the Code. Partly that's because they don't like the idea of being placed under someone else's authority. But some of the highsec miners genuinely disagree with the Code--often without having read it.
On occasion, I'll ask the miners what about the Code they actually disagree with, and what they would to improve it. I know they won't have any good ideas, but I ask the question out of respect. In fact, the highsec miners have to concede that they agree with nearly every provision in the Code; they oppose botting, for instance. And miners have different ideas about whether AFK mining is desirable.
When making their complaints, the one provision that the miners turn to again and again is the provision that calls for a 10 million isk mining fee to be paid to the Supreme Protector once every 365 days. It's amazing how parsimonious some miners can be: Their activity (ideally) nets them tens of millions of isk per hour, and my mining fee only requires them to contribute an average of about 28,000 isk per day. A pittance. Yet they would rather refuse to pay this amount than enjoy 365 days of blissful, bump-free mining. Their refusal makes no sense in economic terms, as many miners lose more than 10 million isk from lost mining time due to the bumps. Some will dock up for hours or log off much earlier than they planned. Some even dock up every time I enter the system. As I like to remind them, when they lose isk, they're still "paying." They just don't get credit for such payments. If you're going to lose 10 million isk anyway, it's better to have the mining permit to show for it.
How to explain their irrational behavior? When the logic is pointed out to them, they say their refusal comes from "principle" and that they refuse to be "extorted," even if payment is in their best interest. Their mackinaws may have ore bays full of frozen water, but their stated reasons for violating the Code hold no water: After all, we're talking about ice miners in highsec who "play" EVE AFK at a mouse-click per hour. They have no principles or dignity left to abandon.
Since the miners cannot offer any rational explanation for their behavior, we must therefore conclude that their behavior is based on irrational impulses. Being harmful to themselves and society, these impulses would be categorized as the byproduct of a "psychological disorder" by mental health professionals.
Having degraded themselves through a career of minimal, repetitive activity for "fun," the miners slowly transform themselves into bots. Most highsec miners claim to hate the bots, but their actions suggest they aspire to become bots, or as close as they can get. Sadly, CCP has enabled them by providing them with the tools of their addiction. Miners are now just one mouse-click per hour from becoming bots.
When a mere 28,000 isk per day is required of them by their Supreme Protector, the miners don't know how to respond. The mining fee shocks them out of their routine. It's not in the program, as they've never encountered the New Order before. The Code makes them question what they're doing. Just like bots, they experience total system failure, and they cannot respond in a rational manner.
It's a sad state of affairs, but the only cure seems to be continued bumping until they wake up. I do not claim to be a doctor, but basically I'm like a doctor for the miners, curing them of their sickness. When they pay the 10 million isk, that's the sign that they are well again. But payment is also a cure of sorts. In a future post, I will explain why payment of the mining fee is enormously beneficial to the miners.