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Everything posted by Kinzvlle

  1. Doesn`t seem to be active here like it used to be. 

  2. I know i`ve been gone for quite a bit but wow so much has changed here.


    1. Westwind


      *chuckles* Folks always want to change things once in awhile.  Nice to see ya 'round!

  3. Bah life let me be, I want to sit on the internets all day

    1. Rogamark


      I had one of these days myself today, I hear you :(

  4. Kub may have left you pancakes but I`ll leave you cake! So as Dean (not sure if I need to be masked or not) here are my first round of requests. If there grey I may or may not have copeid them from my campaign thread. Clubs: Adding a club sub thread, for peoples to host clubs. A book club, film club, breakfast club, and etc. Special projects and research: Taken from the uni in TEP, a place for special projects, research, scientific, economic, and politic papers to be written and published in a journal. ORS, or any office or any one could request a project or paper. It`d work in showing the uni not just as a dead piece of forum but the meeting place of the forums acdamic minds. Plus it`d be kinda cool. Teachers Lounge- A private forum for the dean, his helpers, and the teachers to discuss things and plans and set up. That`s it for now enjoy you`r waffles and whipped creams!
  5. Allready got Mill to set it up for the updates. What type of area do you guys want for this? Really we can just place most of the lectures in the auditorim, with some non lecture threads in the main uni area.
  6. Forgot to slip on last night, makeing up time

  7. Kinzvlle

    University forum requests

    The unis rebuilding. When you admins have time I have a few sugestoins of how to make all my subfourms look neater. some of these may be leaving or changing we shall see. Depends on what dierectoin I want to take. For now: Put the clubs under the auditorium subfourm Put specie projects under the study hall. I`ll talk with Ham and Huts on the upcoming event and get back to you and threads for that if we need any. Mainly what the auditoriums for but still want to talk with the home office incase Hut has another of his famous good ideas. I`ll get back to you.
  8. *wears fancy dean hat* Sounds good to me! Might want to see if we can get a few more last mintue lectures but if not we should be fine, I hope. West would be good being that at this point he`s a walking history book but he`s said lectures aren`t his style before IRC. Mabye try and get some people who have varying POV to other lectures, to add some flare spice, and well draw more people in. Wider pool if you will. Also what lectures and such do we have planned so far? I skimmed the post but it`s midnight, soo.
  9. MAKE SURE TO WEAR HARD HATS IN A CONSTRUCTION ZONE! With my return I wlll begin changes somethings in the uni. Right now this is just a notice but later on this thread will be used to announce changes and plans.
  10. Kinzvlle

    This or That?

    Snuffly noise, less loud then coughing mostly, and I tend to get mini coughing fits and people start to notice and just....no no coughing. *ahem* toothache or headache?
  11. Kinzvlle

    This or That?

    Blue best color ever! Even my name is blue! Buying goods with money or the barter system?
  12. (I`ve been slacking on my times dutys, but wanted you guys to see this) [big][big]"Back to School" for NS Universities? [/big][/big] FEATURE | KINZVLLE Are NationStates Universities a "dying breed"? Kinzville considers possible causes of their decline... Earlier this year I became the dean of Equilism University. When I first arrived in Equilism, I was engulfed in the sheer wonderment of the university. The dean at the time had worked tremendously hard before classes ended and the whole institution grinned to a halt. The same phenomenon repeated itself again when all of the teachers, besides my Assistant Dean, failed to accomplish anything with their courses. Granted, this is partly because I started right before the dreaded "summer hole". However, I reckon this is not the only factor playing a role in the decline in the University, 1. Real life: This is all a game. Real life comes first, surely, in all matters. Sadly when it comes to something like teaching a course, this can take time that many simply do not possess. Between typing documents, researching, editing, and teaching a class is no "lunch break" feat. Make no mistake: I am in no way blaming professors, just merely identifying real life as a key factor. 2. Losing interest: At one time or another, we are all guilty of doing this . In fact, the more you do something the less dopamine intake you get from that activity (brain fact). While losing interest halfway is by no means not a sin, it is a problem for the University. While a student losing interest is normally not a huge issue, a teacher is a whole new can of worms. Especially, if you are using the "class system" which Equilism uses, where any truancy by professors leaves a class stranded with no teacher. 3. Focus on the wrong subjects: Courses on World War II or the culture of Finland are amazing and fascinating, but they should not be the focus of a NS University. The last term the university was active, all of the courses were Non NS based (with the exception of Role Playing 101). We have to remember this is NationStates, the school ought to train new (and veteran) members in the fields of fancy and interest in regards to the actual gameplay sphere. 4. Necessity: As dean, I did attempt to get classes restarted but there was one snag... they weren't seen as necessary, and really are they? Most military training is done internally for good reason, same with Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy. With countless guides available on a range of subjects, I had to wonder if these classes really were needed... We at the Equilism University are considering new arrangements, while those at the Europeia University are already transitioning from ongoing classes to pre-made courses with detailed guides. With this method, all the materials and information are provided, but can be worked on at a student's own pace and, since it is all to be presented as a finished project rather than post-by-post, a teacher's departure does not affect the overall system as much. Of course, as with every system, there are flaws. First, it takes quite a long time to, not only get a class prepared and refined, but for an entire class to be completed. With this preparation time, I have to wonder whether this process is any slower or faster than that of open classes? It varies but the benefits outweigh this, I believe. The biggest issue with guide-led classes, however, is that just reading a guide isn't always what is needed to learn! Hands-on, practical learning can be extremely critical. The East Pacific may have found a compromise, however, between Europeia and Equilism's education systems: a system based on guides, in addition to a number of Q&A sessions, and supervised practices. Regardless, there is still one more factor that help determines a university's survival. Are they relevant? As I stated earlier: with the way most subjects are taught there may not seem a pressing need for more training for these areas. Without that need what purpose does a university fill? This answer varies from region to region, topic to topic. Some fields like speech and debate fair better in a classroom than say immigration. Some regions would rather outsource training of ambassadors and such to public-run universities, while others still would view that as unsafe and prefer to keep it in house. Rounding back to the topic, are NS Universities a dying breed? Regardless of the ideal system, the pulse rate of an academic institution is tied to its relevance. Not just in terms of actual relevance, but also in term of the public's perception of their relevance. If players see a value in keeping these institutions afloat, investing their time in there and maybe even attending classes, then mark my words: there will life. Sadly most universities nowadays have not found that enthusiasm and their "pulse lines" slowly but surely flat-line. As with past universities, many do hold great potential, but they may never live to realize it. There are some regions where universities may still grow and prosper, but for the most part, "the university" as a institution has outlived its relevance.
  13. Kinzvlle

    This or That?

    I don`t like nether, nor bread but roast beef is better then turkey I suppose. E book or pyschil book?
  14. Kinzvlle

    The FUTURE!

    I wamt to see if the other region is willing before making anything official. Though I feel I should talk with Mill and the FA department, about it.
  15. As you folks know I tried to get things running here but didin`t have the workforce for it. Recently a friend had proposed to me merging with another regions news agnecie with the same issue and working on a cross regional pappar. Thought I`d run a poll and see public opoin.
  16. *blows dust off of the deans desk and sees all these people in the schools courtyard* Huh, oh guess I came back in time. I like the ideas put forth so far. As for drawing farther from each NS feild and landscape we could talk with FA about posting about it in Embassy's and such. Get some people from toher regions and such.
  17. So with the hetic of school I began to fade away from NS, slowly reworking my way back into the fry.

    1. Rogamark


      Take your time. RL is important, obviously, but I'm really glad to see you around :)

  18. Since my last poll only saw my ass dean, voteing I want to see who if any one is paying attoin here. See it as a roll call.
  19. Kinzvlle

    Challenge for Foreign Office

    Could jut Immigration back as the thrid office if need be. Though I like the idea of that being under the home office.
  20. Kinzvlle

    Who`s paying attion to the uni

    No need to say sorry.
  21. Kinzvlle

    Challenge for Foreign Office

    That could be made clearer in the constitution.
  22. Kinzvlle

    Challenge for Foreign Office

    I support, 2nd or whatever to this challenge go Rog! Hope you'll still be my Ast dean though.
  23. Kinzvlle

    The Rejected Times: Issue XXVl

    Uni forgot to put it in this issue, but I have a editorial on NS Universitys which most of you should find interesting.
  24. Issue XXVI. August 13, 2014. [big][big]Grub Bans XKI Delegate ![/big][/big] Benevolent Thomas accuses Grub of slander. COMMENTARY | THE CHURCH OF SATAN & UNIBOT 10000 Islands: The Land of Infinite Paranoia. In a sudden and unexpected move, 10000 Islands Delegate, Benevolent Thomas, was banned and ejected from the region. Shortly after, Grub posted an announcement on the Regional Message Board explaining the reasoning behind his actions. "As a sitting Delegate of 10000 Islands, Benevolent Thomas has been secretly planning on starting his own offshoot region while in office," says Grub. "To have a sitting Delegate actively planning on starting their own region while in office is disgraceful and goes against the very ideals of that office". One would presume, the way Grub phrases it, he has concrete proof that Thomas would have recruited from 10000 Islands and that Benevolent Thomas did intend to start his own region, although the evidence has not been provided. "The plans of Benevolent Thomas were all in secret and it was only when I confronted him that he admitted to his plan," says Grub. "He claimed that he did indeed plan on leaving the 10000 Islands once his term was over and would start his own offshoot region. He also told me that he wasn't planning on trying to take any 10000 Islanders with him. I did believe that he planned on riding out his term, but I did not believe that [he] wasn't going to try and take from our region to build his own." Yes: beware the double negatives. Although Benevolent Thomas specifically told him that he did not intend to poach from 10000 Islands, Grub decided unilaterally with no evidence to the contrary that Thomas was lying to him. The former delegate's feelings on the matter were made clear when he changed his national pretitle to "Disgraced Delegate" -- later replacing that with"Slandered Delegate". However, Grub states that Thomas "undermined" the rules of 10000 Islands, although he has not referenced any laws to support his claim, 10000 Islands has a tradition of Grub arbitrating problems instead of addressing issues through a court system. This is most certainly not the only controversial decision to ban a player that Grub has made. Several others already have commented on the matter, many complaining about the lack of due process in this issue, but many still are concerned about how Benevolent Thomas's removal seems to be more or less coinciding with a personal fallout with Grub and Anime Daisuki. "Thomas posted a swear to me," says Anime Daisuki, "Basically telling me off in an angry tone, saying that I disrespected him by speaking to him that way. I was surprised at his sharp reaction which I put it to a bruised ego. From then on I decided to stay away from the guy". Anime Daisuki condemned Benevolent Thomas's "premature" promotion in TITO and argued his changes to TITO, including the use of IRC and cooperating with other defender organizations, were unilateral and ignored major conventions. As of late, the political climate in 10000 Islands has between deeply divided by those open to cooperating with other defender organizations and interacting with the international sphere and, at the other end of the spectrum, the isolationists. Some have speculated that Benevolent Thomas's removal from office and the subsequent smear campaign has been more or less an isolationist political maneuver through fear and paranoia to remove 10000 Islands's most internationalist delegate in half a decade. Is this what is to be expected by all future citizens? Is this the kind of distrust they can expect from their founder? If so, even I would not wish to return to such a place. [big][big]TRR Officer Elections Close[/big][/big] Elections posed a tight finish. COMMENTARY | UNIBOT Elections for The Rejected Realm's next cabinet has concluded. Only a day ago, it would have been anyone’s guess as to which candidates would rise to the top and secure a plurality over the other candidates – many candidates were separated by a single vote. Since only four officers can be elected: Christian Democrats, Guy and Yohannes, having amassed the largest count of votes, secured their seat in the cabinet as officers, but two other candidates, The Church of Satan and Kogvuron tied for votes and faced off in a special run-off. The rules of the run-off were always ambigious, see "Weird Laws of NationStates" for more details, but the speaker chose to have the officers decide the tie-breaker. With Yohannes and Christian Democrat's votes going to Kogvuron, Kogvuron has been chosen as the fourth and final officer for this term. With the elections this close, some have proposed that The Rejected Realms would be better served with an alternative voting model that considers voter preferences and eliminates the “spoiler effect” – this led to a region-wide discussion on the merits of preferential block voting versus the single-transferable vote versus traditional plurality block voting. The hope is to achieve a functional democratic voting system that implements majoritarianism without sacrificing the executive's pluralism or the simplicity of plurality voting. For The Rejected Realms, these latest elections are a sign of a resurgence in the region, with a long list of talented candidates placing their hat in the ring. While for Christian Democrats, former WA Officer and Guy, former Foreign Affairs Officer, these elections proved to be a resounding endorsement of their incumbencies. Christian Democrats, who was voted recently as The Rejected Realm's most popular executive alongside Unibot, built the new WA Office from scratch over his term, while Guy negotiated a well-received treaty with The South Pacific and an Osiran Non-Aggression Pact. Ryno and The Church of Satan are long-time natives of The Rejected Realms, while Christian Democrats, Guy and Kogvuron are more seasoned gameplayers from The Rejected Realms, whose names probably ring familiar to many of our readers. Hallowell is a respected up-and-comer reject, while Yohannes and Sciongrad are new to gameplay, but by no means new to NationStates. Yohannes hails from the roleplay community, where he rose into great prominence as the second largest international commerce and trading nation. Meanwhile, Sciongrad is a “global disarmament policy wonk” from the World Assembly, where he is noted for passing GAR#242, “Biological Warfare Convention”. The Rejected Times briefly spoke with Yohannes, one of the new arrivals to cabinet, who told us that he was very surprised by the election's results and feels an immense sense of duty to the region for entrusting him with an executive portfolio. "I know that I have a lot to learn," says Yohannes, first-time Officer, "and will most probably make mistakes now and then.. but I will try my best to contribute to our lovely community, and the region, of The Rejected Realms -- I will work with all of you, and look forward to get to know each and everyone of you!" The current election as expected has brought with it a balance of both experience and some fresh new faces to cabinet, proving the power of elections in shaping and propelling a region towards an exciting new direction. Next stop: Awesome! [big][big]The New Pharaoh Speaks[/big][/big] INTERVIEW | THE CHURCH OF SATAN The Church of Satan speaks with Osiris's new Pharaoh, Cormac Somerset... The Church of Satan: So, getting straight to the interview, if you would be so kind. To be honest I'm rather excited for this one! Cormac: Hey there! Glad you're excited for the interview, I am too. The Church of Satan: We all know your extensive history with Osiris. What prompted you to go for pharaoh once more? Cormac: There were a couple of different reasons. First and foremost, I felt like I had a strong platform of ideas that would benefit Osiris over the course of this term and hopefully do a lot to improve activity. Activity was strong when the Osiris Fraternal Order was established in December, but it has slumped a bit with the overall NationStates summer lull. My hope was and is that the ideas I've brought to the table will get us back on track with high activity. The Church of Satan: How do you feel about it this time around? Were you at all hesitant about going for it? Cormac: I was a little hesitant. There has been a tendency in Osiris since the region was created for the people of the region to step back and let strong personalities lead, and simply follow. One of the major goals of the Osiris Fraternal Order has been to end this mentality and create a region of leaders, or as Detective Figs (Astarial) would probably have put it, build a sense of community self-ownership. My concern is that I'm someone who has been in Osiris and particularly in its leadership for some time now, so I was hesitant that I could end up recreating that atmosphere of "Hail Pharaoh!" in which one person leads and everyone else follows. That isn't healthy for Osiris, as there will always be people who seek to exploit that kind of political culture. That said, the best way to prevent fostering that kind of political atmosphere is to be aware that it's a possibility and actively seek to avoid it. I've nominated an active cabinet, with a combination of veteran and fresh faces, all of whom will be active and will shine in their particular roles. We also have some newer folks in the Deshret who aren't afraid to speak their minds, even when they disagree with the Pharaoh, and I couldn't be more happy to see that happening. Even if I disagree with them and I'm passionate in arguing my position, I'm glad to see them holding their ground. And most of all I'm glad to see all of us tackling disagreements in a civil manner, and through normal political means, rather than threatening coups d'etat or pulling stunts to intimidate each other. Osiris has come a long way over a few months. The Church of Satan: So who have you nominated for your cabinet? Cormac: Treize Dreizehn for Vizier, James for Regional Affairs, Treize for Foreign Affairs, Zaolat for Media, Severisen for Security, and Zeorus for Justice (Attorney General). The Church of Satan: These fresh faces, what is it about them that made you decide to give them a shot? Cormac: Mostly their enthusiasm. James has been enthusiastic about getting involved with both integration and culture, and I think a strong dose of enthusiasm is what both of those areas need. Zaolat, while hardly new to Osiris, is new to the OFO cabinet andhe's been excited about media as well. I've found that enthusiasm often trumps experiencein terms of many cabinet positions, because those who are more excited will often also remain more active. I also think it's important to promote fresh faces and talent, so thatregional leadership doesn't become a revolving door of the same people term after term. New players don't want to get involved if they don't think they can advance. The Church of Satan: How do you think their enthusiasm will work in conjuction with the experience of the veterans? Cormac: I think their enthusiasm will work well. The veteran members I've chosenare also quite excited about their roles, and are among some of the most welcoming peoplewe have in Osiris. So I think they'll get along fine with new faces in cabinet. The Church of Satan: Do you think this term will go better than previous ones? Cormac: If you mean better than my previous term last summer, almost certainly. We're not starting off with a month long coup by Gatesville, so we're already doing better! The Church of Satan: What are your current plans for Osiris? Anything you feel could be improved upon? Cormac: My plans are to focus more on regional affairs -- integration and culture -- than we previously have. This doesn't mean foreign affairs and military activity will be dead, but they're going to be a secondary priority. We need a more active community, and a big part of that is simply having more people in the community and giving them more to do. So that will be a big priority of this term. Another priority will be media, with a new regional newspaper called The Osiris Oracle. We're hoping it will offer an alternative and a second major media presence in NationStates gameplay to compete with, well, you guys. Although foreign and military affairs aren't going to be a primary focus this term, they remain a priority and there should be some developments in both areas that will be of interest to Osirans and our friends abroad, very soon. The Church of Satan: Osiris is much different from the last time you were pharaoh. Previously the region was independent. I noticed that you removed the "raider" tag from Osiris. Does that mean it is strictly imperialist or is it still, as I've heard often lately, imperialist-raider? Cormac: Well, we shouldn't exaggerate the importance of removing the Invader tag. We've been having a regional discussion about tags since I took office, and we basically decided that tags like "Anti-Fascist" and "Invader" don't describe who we are. Osiris is an imperialist region, and both anti-fascist action and invasion are aspects of Osiran imperialism. But neither tag really defines our region so we decided to remove them. Osiris isn't imperialist-raider, though. That should be clear. We're an imperialist region, and our military activities are geared toward pursuit of our regional interests -- something we have in common with independent regions -- as well as projection of our military power as a demonstration that we are a region to be respected in world affairs. Often that does mean actively raiding, for training purposes as well as to support the efforts of friends and allies. But as we've now seen twice in the region Liberal Haven, we're very open to defensive operations as well when they're in our interests. We certainly have a respect for the sovereignty of other regions with active communities that is not characteristic of raider regions, particularly a respect for the sovereignty of fellow Feeders and Sinkers. The Church of Satan: That being said, do you foresee any changes in your decisions as pharaoh as a result of this? Cormac: I think there will be some clarifications made, and perhaps some new policies enacted to flesh out a more independent approach to imperialism. I don't really look at these as "changes," though, as we've been headed in this direction for some time. Admittedly, the Osiris Fraternal Order began with a much more "raider" flavor than it has currently, but we've been headed in a more independent-imperialist direction since Lord Ravenclaw was Pharaoh. The Church of Satan: Osiris at the very least being imperialist, how do you think it will affect foreign relations? Specifically, since Osiris signed a non-aggression pact with TRR, do you feel it will conflict with the other 3 treaties you have with TNI, LKE and Albion since they are at war with them via the FRA? What would you do if the 2 sides clashed during your term? Cormac: I don't believe our non-aggression pact with The Rejected Realms will conflict with the treaties you mention. It's important to note first what non-aggression is: It's a commitment to avoid aggressive action against each other. Full stop. It isn't a commitment to mutual defense, and while we aren't at war with the Founderless Regions Alliance we respect that our allies in The New Inquisition and The Land of Kings and Emperors are at war with that organization and its member regions. We won't take any action against The Rejected Realms, but we also wouldn't act to defend that region against our allies, and of course the non-aggression pact doesn't require us to do so. I will note, however, that the Osiris Fraternal Order respects the sovereignty of all Feeders and Sinkers. We signed a non-aggression pact with The Rejected Realms due to the troubled relationship our regions previously had, in recognition that we would like to move forward with relations that are built on a much stronger foundation. But Osiris is committed to non-aggression, in practice if not in law, with all Feeders and Sinkers. Moreover, if any Feeder or Sinker is invaded by any force that is not in a treaty alliance with the Osiris Fraternal Order, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone to find us supporting the legitimate government of that Feeder or Sinker. Both diplomatically and militarily. Our treaty allies remain our first priority, but our commitment to the sovereignty of other Feeders and Sinkers is a real priority for us and one that we will continue to pursue. The Church of Satan: Awesome interview! I look forward to the next one. On a side note, good luck with The Osiris Oracle. Cormac: It was a fun interview, and thanks! So there you have it. Things are looking up for Osiris and maybe we can all see a reign of stability in Osiris that will last for years to come! I'm Bruce Noland, Eyewitness News and that's the way the cookie crumbles! [big][big]TSP-Lazarus Treaty Passes[/big][/big] COMMENTARY | UNIBOT Funkadelia (left) and Kringalia (right) as they signed the treaty earlier today. Two storied game-created regions, Lazarus and The South Pacific have entered a formal treaty arrangement. The treaty was passed unanimously in Lazarus’s congress and was support heartily in The South Pacific were it passed with 83.3% -- smashing the necessary 60% threshold for passage. The introduction of the treaty, titled a “Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between The South Pacific and Lazarus” marks an incredible recovery of relations from the last year when Belschaft, delegate at the time, unilaterally declared The South Pacific’s original alliance with Lazarus dead after Lazarus had chosen Milograd as its new leader. Kringalia, Belschaft’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, had not been informed beforehand of this decision and succeeded in negotiating a popular Non-Aggression Pact with Lazarus – always maintaining that The South Pacific would eventually revisit relations with the Mother Sinker. It appears as though Kringalia has made good on his promises, but the same can be also be said for Glen-Rhodes, TSP Minister of Foreign Affairs, whose top campaign priority was the negotiation and passage of the Lazarus treaty. Glen-Rhodes was the main drafter of the treaty’s well-received text which emphasizes non-aggression, cultural and military cooperation, in addition to laying down the groundwork for his grand vision for a pan-GCR security network. We spoke with both of the region’s delegates, who were very positive about this development. Kringalia called the treaty, “exciting”. “This is a region with whom we have cooperated in the past, both militarily and culturally,” says Kringalia over milk and cookies. “I am fully confident that our already strong bonds will get even stronger with the passage of this treaty. We are already planning some exciting activities between the South Pacific and Lazarus, which will show the strength and maturity of our alliance”. Chairman Funkadelia said he very pleased with the decision, adding “this is a wonderful new beginning to a relationship that can only get warmer from this point”. For some commentators this treaty may signal changes to the geopolitical landscape with the diplomatic prowess of defender regions growing, but for many others this is just a positive revival of an old friendship. Lazarus and The South Pacific are slated to work together next with the upcoming “rock-paper-scissors” tournament being organized by The Rejected Realms. Recently announced, the event will see these three regions square off against one another in a unique cultural competition where regions select their weapon, rock, paper or scissors, using their regional polls. Can’t wait! [big][big]Canadian Invasion Escalates[/big][/big] TBH place password on Canada COMMENTARY | UNIBOT Despite initial assurances that this mission would not aim for the griefing of Canada, The Black Hawks's lead, Jakker, has placed a password on the region. The full destruction of Canada would require such a long-term investment from invaders that it appears unlikely, but invaders could use the password to help prevent a liberation attempt and sustain a longer reign to torment natives and continue to grief the region. This is a common tactic for The Black Hawks - with their high-profile occupations of Catholic, Capitalist Paradise and South Pacific following a similar pattern of abuse. The occupation has run for a week thus far, already amassing forty-five ejections of native residents. With a regional password now in place, invaders will only need to eject, not ban natives -- since they will not be able to return to their region while it remains passworded and closed to new arrivals. Ejecting residents, of course, requires less Regional Influence than banning residents -- meaning the whole process of griefing Canada has become more efficient. Given the password is now in place, the "pilers", soldiers who supported the lead invader initially to inflate his endorsement count, are no longer needed in such high numbers (dropping almost thirty endorsements). These pilers can return to their headquarters or serve a role in the wider effort to maintain invaderdom's hold on its other ongoing occupations, Ixnay and Anarchy. Both occupied regions have also been recently password by invaders - actions which required an international response and a humanitarian clarion call from the WA Security Council. Already discussion has begun among established authors over the potential drafting for "Liberate Canada" to free the region of its password. While the invasion rages on, players are reminded that the neutrality that Canada has held sacrosanct for decades posed no protection from the appetite of invaders. "Canada has always welcomed those on both sides of the Raider/Defender debate," says long-time native, Almonaster, "and we have done our best to stay actively neutral. We have a very open and relaxed political climate, and would like to keep it that way. Both of the raider leads were citizens in good standing, and could have legitimately run for delegate, simply by agreeing to abide by our constitution. Their press when they took over clearly indicated that this was a flag raid, and they would withdraw. We were not best pleased, but in typical Canadian style rolled out the welcome mat and threw a party. The UIAF were largely silent and disciplined while there, and have indeed (partially) withdrawn". Almonaster had less nice things to say about The Black Hawks. "Jakker on the other hand has reverted to type, and has been busy kicking out long-term residents, gloating about it, and suppressing RMB posts," says Almonaster. "He has clearly broken his word on "no decimation", and seems to be settling in for a long stay. For those who understand British understatement, I think we've reached the level of 'slightly miffed'". Those who can be invaded, may always be invaded, say invaders. [big][big]PBV for TRR?[/big][/big] OPINION | CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS Christian Democrats considers Electoral Reform for The Rejected Realms... August is election season in the Rejected Realms (TRR); and, not surprisingly, the issue of electoral reform has come up again. For those not familiar with the region, TRR elects its four executive officers at regular intervals; and, after elections, the delegate, as the head of government, assigns the winners to various roles according to their particular talents. Currently, the plurality-at-large system is used: each citizen votes for four candidates, and the four candidates who receive the most votes are the winners. I believe this method is flawed for several reasons and have suggested (again) a constitutional amendment to adopt preferential block voting (PBV). Here, I give a short description of PBV and briefly outline its major advantages as a voting system. PBV, basically, is the multi-winner version of instant-runoff voting (the alternative vote), the system that Australians use to elect their House of Representatives. Each voter casts a preferential ballot on which he ranks all the candidates from first to last. The person or people who tally the votes count all the voters' first choices. If no candidate has majority support after the first "round," the last-place candidate is eliminated, and those votes are redistributed to voters' second preferences as if the last-place candidate had never existed. This process continues until a winner is found. Under PBV, successive instant-runoff "elections" are held virtually using the exact same ballots. Instant-runoff counts are repeated over and over again with the winners from the previous "elections" being eliminated at the outset. In this way, one can convert individual preferences (be there ten voters or ten million voters) into a collective list of preferences: this is the electorate's favorite candidate, this is its second favorite candidate, this is its third favorite candidate, etc. PBV has the advantage of being majoritarian (i.e., no more spoiler effect): no candidate is ever elected, unless he is supported by more than half of the citizenry. Second, PBV reduces negative campaigning: candidates have an incentive to get themselves ranked as highly as possible on every voter's ballot, not just the ballots of a small group of citizens. Third, PBV reduces strategic voting: it is no longer necessary to sit around and wait to see how others are voting to see how you should vote or to see if you should edit your earlier post in the election thread; instead, each and every person is free to vote for his genuine preferences whenever he wants without having to worry that his vote might be "wasted" or that it indirectly might "help" candidates whom he disfavors. In short, PBV would provide TRR with a unified set of four officers, each of whom, in his own right, has majority support. Electoral outcomes genuinely would reflect the region's views, minus the political "horse trading" that occasionally leads to the election of widely unpopular or largely inactive candidates. Furthermore, motivated newcomers to the region could find their way into the government more easily by appealing to citizens to give them their second or third "votes." In other words, the adoption of PBV would make TRR more democratic. Whether or not the citizens' Assembly will adopt the system, though, remains to be seen. [big][big]Change “is a coming” to Osiris[/big][/big] COMMENTARY | KINZVLLE Cormac Somerset, notable Osiran, has recently been elected the new Pharaoh of Osiris, with many thanks to a platform that promised change and a push forward towards progress for the great sinker. Within his platform, Cormac argued that Osiris ought to ensure more of a direct and streamlined orientation and integration process, while also focusing on cultural activities as a strong priority. In regards to media, the delegate argued that Osiris needed to provide an alternative voice in the media sphere for imperialism. On Foreign Affairs, he spoke of building on Osiris’s already strong, mature diplomatic foundation, in addition to appointing a committee to serve as policy advisers and fully integrating Osiris’s military into the ISRA command structure. Cormac also argued that a reorganization of the Hedjet (cabinet) was sorely needed. Of course, promising change may have put him over the edge in the polls, failing to realize that change (at least far as voters are concerned) could have equally sharp consequences for his tenure. Thankfully for Cormac, he is delivering thus far. One of the first changes that Cormac has “made good on” has been the reorganization of his cabinet, in addition to the whole bureaucratic system. Apart from a more streamlined application process, the brunt of the changes, however, were made with a shuffle of several priesthoods. Ma`at, which oversaw Osiris’s World Assembly Affairs, has been absorbed into Horus which oversees foreign relations. Ptah, which was once the Ministry of Culture, has been absorbed into Isis, otherwise known as Integration. Apis, a new priesthood, has been created to oversee Osiran media, which was formerly covered under Ptah. The merger of Culture and Integration may reflect the importance of these areas, in regards to Cormac’s priorities for this term. Meanwhile, the creation of Apis suggests that Cormac is laying the groundwork for his idea for a “pro-imperialist” media outlet. The pairing of World Assembly Affairs and Foreign Affairs, although a bit unusual, corresponds with Osiris’s recent public announcement which promoted sovereigntism as a holistic, far-reaching ideology. Cormac’s new cabinet consists of both old faces and some new. Treize Dreizehn for Vizier, James for Regional Affairs, Treize Dreizehn for Foreign Affairs, Zaolat for Media, Severisen, former pharaoh, for Security, and Zeorus for Justice. Delivering on another campaign promise, within the Priesthood of Horus, Cormac has established “The Foreign Policy Advisory Council (FPAC)”. This committee serves as the Pharaoh’s Board of Advisers on state matters. This committee is comprised of seven ex officio members and three additional members invited by the Pharaoh. However, over only the past few weeks, the committee has already shifted more than a game of musical chairs – some new appointments were invited into the fold, North East Somerset and Rachel Somerset were removed for unknown reasons and other members have switched places. At the time of this writing, the ex officio members of the committee are Cormac Somerset, Treize Dreizehn, Severisen, Vaculatestar, and Venico BrightAxe. The committee also includes invited members, Aincora, Bran Truine, Common Sense Politics, and Joshua Bluteisen. Nonetheless, in a season of change follows a storm of controversy. In particular, Cormac’s stance on griefing led to some fierce disagreement from the public. A veto of the “Colonies and Territories Act” sparked controversy when Cormac said that he would not allow Osiris to lead any griefing operation. Of course, this only applies for leadership of a mission, not support missions. Griefing, a widely despised practice outside of invader and imperialist circles, hurts Osiris’s image abroad and isolates them from having stronger diplomatic relations with non-invader circles, argues Cormac. Venico, former delegate, most notably voiced his opposition to restricting Osiris from griefing regions, arguing it was necessary for the military’s activity – a claim which Cormac disputes. Overall, it can be said that running and winning on a platform of change soared Cormac through the polls. Indeed, it seems as though his promises of change are in the process of being implemented without much of a hitch, although not without their share of controversy. [big][big]Rumours of an “Imminent” Retirement for Krulltopia[/big][/big] COMMENTARY | UNIBOT "Hey, look, pal, I don't want to buy a suit!" "[Laughs] No, this is for your coffin". "My coffin?!" Emperor Krulltopia recently celebrated his fifth anniversary as Emperor, but already rumors are spreading that the Bunny Tyrant may be retiring shortly. The rumors started last week in #the_north_pacific among other social channels, claiming that the Emperor intended to resign his position as delegate after August 28th, the eleventh anniversary of Francos Spain’s rise to power in The Pacific. Krulltopia has seen The Pacific through a difficult time for the region – inheriting leadership over the region following an unsuccessful civil war and a decline in Francoism as an ideology. Over the past couple of years, Krulltopia has spearheaded the transition of The Pacific from a Francoist state to a Post-Francoist state – facing internal challenges from Former Senator Gaspo, among others, who advocated for a special brand of imperial independentism that rose to prominence in the ideological vacuum, amidst the launch of the Sovereign Confederation. Feux, NPO Senator, told The Rejected Times that “the rumors are just rumors”. Noting that he and fellow senator, Elegarth had laughed when they first heard the rumors. “Non-Pacificians are the first to claim they know everything about us,” says Feux. In all actuality, Krulltopia is often tight-lipped about such details and it is unlikely any rumors could emerge from a credible source. Over the years, his inward style of leadership and deliberate absence in the international sphere has been mistaken for inactivity, so much so even that it is very likely that Krulltopia could continue as delegate for many more anniversaries to come. [big][big]Is a “Rachtatorship” Good for Balder?[/big][/big] EDITORIAL | UNIBOT The title says it all, Unibot investigates the question of the hour... In an unexpected announcement, Queen Rachel dismissed the Statsminister and assumed control of the Riksraadet. The move was justified by the monarch on the basis of improving Balder’s activity in a time of crisis for the sinker which has been plagued with inactivity for the past several months. Affectionately, one Balderan called the new administration, the “Rachtatorship”. It is impossible to know for sure whether this move will actually improve Balder’s activity – critics of the move in Balder have argued that it will not, while supporters are adamant that it will greatly bolster the region’s activity. I would, however, like to first look at the basic features of a region that promotes activity in any general region, then apply that model to Balder’s case and see whether this most recent initiative in Balder passes muster or struggles to impress. Conceptualising Activity What is activity? It’s participation. So to figure out what generates activity, we have to figure out what generates participation. First, I have to disagree with other academics – the source of activity isn’t “drama” or “chaos”, or even satisfaction with a region. It’s very possible to hypothesize the “Happy Inactopia” – a region where citizens are satisfied with their region and their government, despite its gross inactivity. In fact, in many inactive regions, satisfaction with the status quo is quite high because satisfaction is not an indicator of activity. Nay, satisfaction is undermined by our natural cognitive bias to embrace the status quo, lack of exposure to alternatives, loss aversion and our social and political inertia. Sometimes maintaining the status quo is just “easier” and more convenient – with those sentiments comes with it complacency and even genuine contentment. Meanwhile, activity is most certainly not “chaos”. Although “drama” (i.e., social conflict) is often a result/consequence of activity, “chaos” is more or less a political synonym for enforced activity or an engineered crisis. Certainly, events can and have motivated players to maintain their activity for a brief period of time in response to an immediate threat of deprivation or oppression, but maintaining that kind of long-term participation from players requires more than a threat, but a whole system that inspires, promotes and encourages their participation. Activity = Satisfaction Activity = Chaos We can also rule out the notion that activity is a product of a specific political structure – saying that authoritarian states are more inactive than democratic states is simply poor research. While the New Pacific Order might be considered inactive now, it was one of the leading and most active governments at one time. Meanwhile, some democracies like Pre-Revolutionary Lazarus or Balder have been plagued with almost endemic inactivity, which makes it no different from The West Pacific’s gerontocracy. Nay, sustainable activity begins first and foremost with proactive leadership that gets people involved. Most regions struggle to maintain their activity if their leadership is inactive and it is the pro-active approach among leaders which leads to any semblance of a resurgence of activity for a region. But activity is more complex than just to say you need people to inspire others to get active – there are many structural features of a region which can encourage or discourage participation. The most active regions, I have found, are like “living projects” which are constantly evolving – I like to call this kind of openness to change, “Lability”. When a region is labile, it has low political inertia – it’s constantly trying to progress and pursue perfection. One of the greatest obstacles is the mantra, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Successful regions pursue a “if you can make it better, make it better” mantra, which propels their discussion forward and keeps people interested in contributing to the region and shaping their region to be more relevant to them and their generation. Without lability, a region feels like it is in an “end state” for its users, which begs to question why anyone would see their participation as anything but redundant in that system. Let’s not put the cart before the horse however, all of this is greatly restrained if a region simply does not have the recruits! You can have the most pro-active leader and the most labile region in NationStates, but if you do not have the recruits and the fresh blood, there is nobody to participate in any potential activity campaign. This is why the problem of chronic inactivity is a spiraling, downward phenomenon – recovering from inactivity is not simply a matter of becoming active, it is a matter of closing an “activity gap” or breaking the glass ceiling. You need activity to become active – understand the paradox? This problem is partly a physical limitation, you need people to participate, but also a dynamic social phenomenon, people participate when they see others participating (out of presumably some deep-sated informational cascade). Beating an informational cascade requires a lot of laborious recruitment, some shrewdness and a lot of luck. However, even if you have all of these things, new recruits coming in the door, an active leader and a serious axe to grind for the status quo, you have still got to be concerned with how your region is organized. Traditionally, there are two schools of thought on this issue: The Cosmopolitan is a meritocrat that values the merit and contributions of residents, while The Regionalist is a communitarian that values demonstrations of loyalty from residents. To some extent, both have the right idea. If a region is not meritocratic enough, individuals will not feel as though they can succeed or rise to success in a region which may lead to talented individuals leaving said region out of frustration. The selection of individuals based on negative features (i.e., an autocrat might deliberately surround himself with incompetents to avoid a coup), popularity or loyalty alone, is bound to discourage talented residents who may not excel within those selection processes. The departure of this talent slows down the growth of participation in a region, thus emphasising the importance of meritocracy. Similarly, social cohesion is vital to the growth of participation in a region – if individuals feel they are a part of something greater than them which poses a solid identity and strong cultural dimension, it encourages them to contribute and cooperate with their fellow region-mates. Likewise, it is the perception that one region is different than other regions which attracts people to participate in the former, presumably unique region over others, thus the contributing cultural factors that predicate social cohesion are also quintessential to building a strong, positive pattern of activity in a region. We could articulate this general conceptualisation of activity as the formula above and it will serve as a tool for us as we proceed to analyze Balder’s approach to reviving their region’s activity. The Rachtatorship: The Pros and Cons The Good By taking direct control of the cabinet, Rachel is asserting herself to take on a more pro-active approach in rebuilding the region’s cultural and social infrastructure. The long, arduous process to revive participation in your region begins with a force for change that can inspire others to get more involved. It must be said that dismissing a leader that had continued to be inactive in their position and overseeing the recovery for one's self is a classic stable of pro-active politics. While there may be issues with how this initiative has been handled (which will discuss in a moment), letting an authority figure simply neglect their duties is not an option for any region which wants to pursue a more active course for their region. The Bad One of the main problems with this political maneuver is, however, that although letting the Statsminister continue in their position was not an option, there were other options than assuming direct control of the executive for one’s self (e.g., placing someone else in control or justifying an open dialogue about constitutional changes with the Statsminister’s inactivity). This bridging of the Monarchy and the Cabinet is a sign of an even less meritocratic Balder. In a region which already reeks of a horizontal hierarchy, where players rise to prominence based on the relationships they maintain with those higher in the rungs of power – a closing of the gap between the (already enormously influential) monarchy and the executives, provides a signal to residents of an even greater preponderance of cronyism. "Toe the party line, keep in the good books of the top dogs and shut up” might be a fairly straightforward procedure, but overall it is a crony selection process that undermines the region’s meritocracy and discourages bright, more forthright talent from sticking around, when there are dozens of other regions similar to Balder where players can succeed on their own merits without the glass ceiling that this initiative lowers. The Ugly The real shame of this whole crisis is that Rachel has the opportunity to nurture a much stronger Balder, but her response thus far, to dismiss the executive, leaves her with only two clear directions. First, she could use her newfound status in the region to encourage her loyal cabal to spam more regularly, while she benefits politically from this power-grab and consolidates her political and social influence over the region. Rachel benefits enormously from this strategy – using the inflated forum post counts as a public vindication of all of her “hard work” and leadership. But make no mistake, the region does not benefit from this kind of scenario – constrained by an influential elite, little open and genuine political and constitutional reform would be pursued when such activity could upset the balance of power. That is a recipe for prolonged inactivity – procrastinating in the areas of change, renewal and reassessment for another political season, until the consequences become all the more volatile for Balder. Alternatively, Rachel could use her place in the executive to oversee and accomplish a bold reconstruction and rebirth of Balder. However, that kind of change requires a serious compromise from the Monarchy in term of their influence over Balder, but it also requires an open mind about the current political, cultural and constitutional arrangements and how they could be changed to ensure the region recruits more and finds new faces to participate and contribute (without elites worrying about the blowback from immigration on their own influence), values and rewards contributing members and develops a stronger identity and cultural dimension. Yelling “Fram Balder!” does not ‘cut it’ – you want players to truly identify with the region. Ultimately, it is Rachel’s decision whether to take the easy road and put Balder’s systemic issues on the backburner, or take the high road and threaten her own position in the region to give it a brighter future. As fate will have it, the contentment that people have for the status quo, as I discussed earlier, often delays this decision, but every so often a popular political dynasty in the Game-Created Regions faces that difficult choice of whether to roll the die and continue the victory lap or open the region to new possibilities. This decision, the final act… the day we dread to live, makes kings out of folk heroes and stories, good and bad, out of kings.