Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Calling All Linguists

I got an EVEmail from Agent Raqn Paudeen in which he made an interesting suggestion to help out his fellow bumpers. We have been encountering a number of miners who cannot speak English (or at least pretend not to). We've had our share of experiences with Google Translate, but what if we got some extra help?

Raqn's suggestion is to have certain common phrases get translated into other languages by people who actually speak those languages fluently. From what I've seen, Russian tends to be the most common language for non-English-speaking miners, but others report German being used with some frequency.

If you can translate such phrases into another language, leave a comment with the phrase and its translation. If we get enough genuine translations, perhaps I can make a future post with an abbreviated bumper "guidebook", like those pamphlets they give to tourists so they can ask people where the biblioteca is. Agents could refer to the post and copy-pasta them into local, startling the miners with the power of multiculturalism.

I know what some of you rascals are thinking, but no funny business! Google Translate and other speakers of the language will ensure that we don't get pranked into cursing the poor miners.

I'll offer a couple key phrases for translation, but don't get too inflexible. If you speak a language well, you probably know ways of making the translation seem more "authentic" by spicing it up with non-basic words. With that in mind:

"Hello! Are you at your keyboard, or are you another AFK miner or botter? Please respond within 5 seconds or I assume the worst."

"You have been found guilty of violating the Code. Pay me 10 million isk or risk bump. See for details."

"Your petty insults will gain you nothing. You must comply."

"Your name will be written with a Red Pen if you continue. Make your payment and join the New Order!"

Why So Much Buzz About the New Order?

Several days ago, I wrote about the "nerf New Order" threads that popped up on the EVE-O forums. Over the past week, there has been an even greater uptick in buzz about the New Order. The general discussion subforum has been filling up with threads that either directly address the New Order and its Supreme Protector, or otherwise delve into the topic of highsec mining and what needs to be done about it.

Some of this is in response to our Gallente excursion. I will address that more fully in an upcoming "State of the Order" post. Today, I'd like to talk more generally about why the New Order has gripped the attention of the EVE populace to a seemingly disproportionate degree. Since it's a related topic, I'll also speak briefly about the phenomenon of denialism.

Whenever one of these threads pops up, certain disgruntled forum residents blame it on "another James 315 alt". Actually, I don't post on any alts. Alt accusations are a form of denialism that's been around right from the start. When I founded the New Order a little over four months ago, anyone who stopped by Halaima local to voice support for me was accused of being my alt. Then my shareholders were accused of being either fake accounts or my alts. When the first bumper Agents appeared, they joined the ranks of my so-called alts.

The great bumper fleets we organized in October put an end to the in-game alt accusations. I don't often see my Agents or shareholders accused of being alts, though occasionally you'll see a denialist or two who thinks no miner has ever paid the 10 million isk fee.

While in-game denialism has shriveled up due to the abundance of Agents flying around, denialism is still present on the forums. Some forum posters don't play EVE or haven't visited our theater(s) of operations, so they haven't seen the New Order firsthand. (In the early days, some denialists questioned whether I had ever bumped miners in Halaima at all!)

Why does this kind of denialism exist? Because the average highsec carebear is absolutely terrified by the New Order and what it represents. The very thought of an organized society putting an end to carebear anarchy turns the denialists purple with rage. They would rather believe the New Order doesn't exist than contemplate the future we would create. If the Agents of the New Order didn't exist, they could write me off as a fanatic. But if the New Order does exist, and if it is a rapidly-growing movement, then all bets are off.

Then there's the question of why the New Order and its philosophical cousins are so dominant on EVE-O right now. The answer requires us to consider the nature of EVE and its playerbase. It's often said that the vast majority of EVE players stay in highsec. The percentage is difficult to track, since many lowsec and nullsec players have alts in highsec for making money (this shouldn't be the case, but it is, since risk/reward is so far out of balance). Nevertheless, it would still be fair to say that most EVE players do live in highsec and never venture outside of it.

EVE's identity doesn't derive from the masses of highsec, though. When people think of EVE, they think of the great stories of nullsec wars and shenanigans. Highsec and its sprawling populace are a void. There are few stories to be told in highsec. There are no empires, no territories to be won or lost, no sense of adventure. There's almost no community, no emergent gameplay, no content of any kind. When something does happen worth noting in highsec, like Burn Jita, Hulkageddon, Miniluv, etc., its origin is still the nullsec players, who briefly invade and then leave. Basically, highsec is a big vacuum.

Then came the New Order.

We stepped into the emptiness of highsec and began to create. And unlike the temporary events staged by nullsec players, the New Order is here to stay, and to grow. To take over. Forever.

For much of the EVE playerbase, the New Order is the only thing happening that is, or could, affect them in the future. Our vision and our Code are the only threats to their routines. Without us, they would continue to mine in silence the same way they have mined in silence for their entire history. And these carebears make up the majority of EVE.

Now the buzz starts to make sense. For much of EVE, we are the only ones shaking things up. We are the change. As the New Order continues to grow in strength and influence, don't be surprised if there are days when people act like EVE Online is the New Order Show, featuring James 315 and the New Order Show Band. For many players out there, we're the only channel broadcasting anything. The rest is just static.

Highsec Miner Grab Bag #10

Time for another dash of miscellaneous miner tears from the Grab Bag. Can you believe we're already to our tenth edition? Judging from the volume of tears generated thus far, we'll be in the triple digits in no time.

Our vacation to Tolle means plenty of new people to teach the Code.

But by now, we're well prepared. With a stable of helpful blog posts, every question has a detailed, professional answer ready to go.

I'm not sure I've been compared to the Taliban before. Probably, but Sheron Cristal had the courtesy to run through the obligatory Nazi reference with good speed.

For all the miners who complain about the Code, I have yet to meet a miner who could come up with an idea for improving it.

...Ice miner MINING JENNY lost all interest in the conversation after that. I guess some people judge a book by its cover. The proliferation of new Agents has taken a lot of miners by surprise. At first, anyone else who bumped was accused of being my alt. But what do they say now? In the next screencap, a miner eloquently expresses his reaction with an emoticon:

In fact, Mhick is probably one of the more articulate miners out there. Despite the distress the resistance feels at the moment, they do have cunning strategies for defeating us:

On the other hand, we usually get decloaked anyway in the course of our miner-bumping duties. By bumping miners.

At first blush, you'd think mack1 was just your average space lawyer spouting the same old lines.

Now there's a new one. Does anyone know about the "three guys" going to jail for poor EVE conduct?

More space lawyer creativity. If it were against the EULA to wrongly claim things are in the EULA, I know quite a few space lawyers who would get banned. And then who would try all the space cases?

It's true, some miners are closed-minded when it comes to the New Order. MinerBumping dot com is an excellent tool for winning hearts and minds.

Actually, I think extremist groups would be more likely to ban us than embrace us. Did you know that when you play Halaima backwards it says "Am I Alah?"

We close on a hopeful note. Sidrat Flush expresses a surprising degree of tolerance. We'll need him to join the New Order of course, but still, tolerance is a good first step.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Last Call for Broken Bounties

Our Agents have been very busy in Gallente highsec during our little vacation there.

The Aydoteaux system, right next door to our HQ in Tolle, is a popular ice-mining spot. It's also fertile territory for Agents looking to sell mining permits.

I stumbled into an ice field full of Code-compliant miners. Agent Tubrug1 showed me around.

Talk about gentrification! The neighborhood has much improved since the New Order moved in.

It seems our Agents' efforts have not gone unnoticed. The next day, Tubrug1 found a surprise when he logged in.

Some unknown person(s) placed a 600 million isk bounty on his head. Because bounties can be collected by anyone--including the target's own alt--this was essentially a free gift of 600 million isk from some misguided enemy of the New Order.

EVE players can look up the biggest bounties in the game. Because there's no incentive to give your enemy a large bounty unless you're totally ignorant of game mechanics, all of the top bounties are "fake" bounties that people placed on themselves to get on the "top bounties" list. Whoever put the 600 million on Tubrug1 may have given him the largest genuine bounty in EVE.

To add an extra pinch of absurdity to the situation, all uncollected bounties will be wiped out in early December, when the next EVE expansion is released. The new bounty system will also be broken, but in a different way.

As for my own bounty, it remains locked in at 106 million due to my positive security status. The bounty was placed on me over a year ago by miners angry with my suicide ganking--I had yet to bump a single miner.

Will anyone step forward to take responsibility for the giant bounty/gift placed on Tubrug1's head? Will disgruntled miners waste their isk on broken bounties after the new expansion? Time will tell!

The Curious Case of Capt Lynch, Part 4

Skeptics of the New Order question what we're all about. They have this idea that there must be some kind of ulterior motive at work. The answer is very simple: I am the Saviour of Highsec. As my title implies, mission is to save highsec. Nothing more, nothing less.

Sometimes entire corporations, alliances, or systems full of miners see the light and join our cause. I celebrate that. But my goal isn't to save 80% of highsec--otherwise my title would be Saviour of Part of Highsec. To save all of highsec, I must be equally willing to chase down and rescue individual sheep. Hence the Capt Lynch saga. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

After I posted Part 1 of this series, Capt went ballistic.

I wasn't sure what Capt's objection was. He had never asked me to keep the conversation confidential, and he seemed to be familiar enough with MinerBumping to know that I occasionally post chat logs here. As the comment section of the post ballooned to more than 40 replies, Capt's additional comments provided illumination.
I consider being portrayed by James 'cherry-pick of that private conversation very offensive. Like I said...remove this blog or I will take action against you. This is your final warning, James
While I've been threatened in the past, I believe this was the first time anyone has ever demanded I remove a blog post. A relatively innocuous one, at that.
Just...please just leave me alone. I'm not even a miner. My brother isn't one either...I haven't done anything to deserve being tormented like this. Where does it say in your code that you should torment kids to tears?
Capt remained as sphinx-like as ever. What torment? And why did he claim he wasn't a miner when he had clearly mined ice in one of my systems?
Oh...and I concider the reposting of comments I made IN CONFIDENCE, IE PRIVATE a breach of my IP rights.
I'm assuming in this case "IP" stands for "intellectual property", though I don't think Capt's end of the conversation qualified as either property or intellectual. Things escalated when an anonymous commenter began encouraging Capt to sue me.

It seemed one of our space lawyer friends had evolved into a fully-fledged internet lawyer. Now the New Order was truly at risk--I had found myself under "lawyer jurisdiction"!
Crime? No. Slander? Open to negotiation. Anything is possible since the website is located on an American server. With current legislation as it is, stopping this website is not unfeasible.
Unimportant questions like how posting a chat log constitutes "slander" were brushed aside. But this wouldn't be the first time posting a log was described as slander. That honor goes to Eno Bray, a pioneer in internet lawyering.
Mr. Peterson would also be at risk as well should someone move forward in filing multiple complaints with ENOM in regards to his...choices. You can laugh if you please, but the law is the law, and if someone so chooses to bring it against Mr. Peterson and his venture here, it will happen.
I'm still not sure who Mr. Peterson is. It certainly can't be referring to me, since everyone knows my last name is 315.

Capt soon learned posting legal threats on blog post comments wasn't the panacea it first appeared. So it was time to go to the old standby: The in-game "Help" channel.
Capt Lynch > I want to report the illegal reposting of materials from a private chat
Capt Lynch > on a public forum against my wishes
Nacim Izcrius > Petition.
Capt Lynch > to anyone from the new order...warn james...if he fails t5o take this down...I will report him to blogger
...Because the Help channel was so helpful when he reported me for failing to protect one of my systems from a can-flipper.
Capt Lynch > he had NO right to report without my permission
Tzel Mayon > Capt Lynch umm. if its illegal, then report it to the police. CCP can't do anything about it. And I am sure its not illegal.
Capt Lynch > it is PRIVATE chat...for a reason
Capt Lynch > he should have asked my permission first
Capt Lynch > he has 24 hours to remove it
Dirathor > hes quaking in his boots
Capt Lynch > and then I WILL report him to the authorities
When it comes to highsec, I am the authority. As a matter of policy, I keep things confidential when someone asks to go off the record. Otherwise, permission is deemed to have been given, enthusiastically.
Nacim Izcrius > Telling us isn't going to do anything, :P
Capt Lynch > oh...some of his moron agents like to come here alot
Cerishe > copyright law says a dude can own stuff you give him but that does not confer a right to re-publish
Cerishe > on the other hand its safe if the information is a common interest and you are both members of some group that info is re-distributed in
Cerishe > all provided re-publication is not commercial
Internet lawyering continues to be a popular sport, but I prefer the bumping of miners. In any event, the 24-hour deadline elapsed, and no doomsday occurred.

Agent Willy Bryan felt Capt's unsubstantiated allegations about Agent impropriety should not go unanswered. He challenged Capt to a duel.

Capt declined, preferring to spend his time on highsec missions.

Perhaps things would have ended there, but Capt wished to open communications once more.

Capt's manners hadn't improved. This silliness had gone on long enough, I felt. It was time to resolve the Capt Lynch situation once and for all.

To be continued...

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Perfect Election, A Perfect Democracy

Occasionally a misguided miner will question the authority of the New Order and its Agents to enforce the Code. If you encounter miners who challenge the legitimacy of my rule, you can help them out by directing them to this post.

The time for objecting to the Code and to my election as the one true authority in highsec is long past.

As it says in the Code, the law in highsec is the product of a democratic process. The votes have been cast, and now it's time for everyone to work together.

I roll my eyes at the hipster miners who say they don't want to be part of my "system". Miners, you are lucky to be part of my system. Now pull yourself together and follow the Code, for goodness' sake.

Rebellious miners who don't know their history will often question the source and/or legitimacy of my authority. It's crystal clear, though: I acted as proxy for all the players in highsec, and unanimously voted myself Saviour of Highsec.

For practical reasons, it would not have been possible to hold a vote in which every player in highsec cast a ballot himself or herself. But more than that, the highsec players were not ready to vote. It was necessary and appropriate for some qualified party to vote on their behalf, acting in the role of a guardian or trustee. I took time from my busy schedule to perform that service for all the thousands of players in highsec.

This is true democracy. Democracy is designed to represent the interests of all voters. Such a thing is only possible when votes are unanimous, otherwise the minority's interests will not be represented. By casting 100% of the vote in favor of myself and ratifying the Code, perfect democracy was achieved.

It was the only way the vote could have gone. It's not possible to represent the interests of all voters if any voter--for whatever reason--votes against his own interests. Once again, by voting on behalf of everyone else, I ensured that no errant votes were cast. If the miners of highsec were enlightened, this would not have been required. Of course, if the miners of highsec were enlightened, highsec would not need a Saviour.

Isn't that just common sense?

You Can't Block the Signal

In my quest to educate, improve, and enrich the lives of miners, I have taught them quite a bit about game mechanics. Specifically, I've tried to bust some myths about ways bumpers can supposedly be defeated. Some of these, such as counter-bumping and the "carebear stare", continue to be popular in spite of my efforts. Another tool, used less frequently, is the "block" feature.

Blocking another player makes their chat in local invisible to you, and it prevents them from sending you EVEmails, etc. When you block a member of the New Order who's trying to help you, you're no better than a book-burner. A burner of valuable books.

Highsec miner IceCruncher had barely gotten to know me when she decided to abuse the block feature. Who is IceCruncher, and why did she respond this way? She has no bio. Like many highsec miners, she belongs to a generic corp but mines on her own. Add it all up, and it appears IceCruncher is seeking oblivion. The New Order to the rescue!

After some random person directed profanity at me, Icecruncher blocked him as well.

Blocking people seemed to comprise IceCruncher's entire identity. Just when Agent Picard Azukond was making a really great point about how the real harassers in highsec are those who don't do what I say, IceCruncher blocked him. So much for the exchange of ideas. I thought IceCruncher's corp was all about "divercity"?

So maybe IceCruncher just hates the New Order and anyone who uses profanity in local. But Hughyee Riverleaves, a fellow ice miner, ended up in the crosshairs, too.

At this point I would suggest that IceCruncher's choice of Halaima as her mining HQ may not have been optimal.

Then came the day of our great bumper fleet. IceCruncher was overwhelmed. Everywhere she looked was an Agent... or a potential Agent.

The problem with blocking bumpers is, they can still bump you. And no matter how many bumpers you block, there will always be more.

After Agent Tubrug1 was blocked, Agent BillMurray helpfully relayed Tubrug1's question in local. IceCruncher proved the old saying that "no good deed goes unpunished".

Why do people who block others always feel the need to announce their blocks to the world?

IceCruncher was consumed by her suspicions. Even a nice, innocent conversation could be the prelude to one of her blocks.

The suspense was like something straight out of a Tarantino movie.

I didn't see that coming!

In the end, there is no blocking the New Order. Blocking bumpers is like trying to block the future. We represent progress. I look forward to the day IceCruncher joins us. But she's going to have a lot of unblocking to do.