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Straw Poll: Pro-Cancel Culture?

26-Apr-19 11:52 am EDT Leave a comment

On Net.Etiquette

26-Apr-19 11:25 am EDT Leave a comment

Recently, I had another discord.gg altercation which has seen me withdraw completely from the chat service for the foreseeable future. Admittedly, I’m growing weary of the “clique” mentality that pervades the system, and in particular with the emotions of those involved somehow growing so completely out of control (from my perspective) that, initially at least, there’s little sense to be made of it. It’s not that the complaints people may have are totally without merit (although invariably they are coming from a what seems a narrowly-defined group). It’s that I can’t understand how something like an inadvertent breach of etiquette could lead to someone becoming so angry as to label another person as ‘evil’ or ‘irredeemable’ — particularly when the consequences of doing so may simply lead to others who don’t share their own extreme reaction as feeling uncomfortable or out of place. Another consequence to this are those who react this way becoming stressed out themselves, which is the last thing I want to contribute to.

I’m writing about this issue with a degree of historical perspective and as someone who finds human beings conflicted, irrational and difficult to understand in most cases. This can lead to intolerance, belligerence and worse behaviours in some; although I must make the point that this isn’t a defense of my own behaviour nor intended to characterize me as “the victim”. But a recent straw poll of those in my own life (and on social media) leads me to conclude the people generally feel that when there’s evidence someone has violated a convention or social norm they should be spoken to instead of ostracized. So why has the discord service proven to be so different for me?

Once upon a time, many years back, there was a form of what’s now considered “social media” called NNTP or network news. At the time, it was unbeknownst to myself and my first business partner posting advertisements or discourse related to one’s own business ventures was considered “poor etiquette”. So when we decided to announce our new consulting business opening up online, we were somewhat shocked at the response being almost universally negative. Here we were trying to make a valued contribution and getting effectively black-listed for going about it the wrong way. Of course nowadays, the NNTP-like service called Reddit is host to ads aplenty and the etiquette changed radically — not necessarily because people started clamouring for ads to appear at some point. Regardless of how it came to be, what once yielded hate e-mail spamming ones mailbox changed to “acceptable” behaviour.

This isn’t to say that at some future date streaming a discord server won’t go the same way. (It probably won’t, in fact.) But auto-streaming to twitch, YouTube or Mixer (or any of 50 other services) is growing in popularity and contributes value by donating content. It might not be the most popular content, but it is a form of content contributed for the general consumption of all. Add to this the streaming brokers like OBS or Mixer (I think they have a utility that streams to their online site as well as YouTube) or others providing a means of controlling how and what content is presented and you have a recipe for updates to influence what gets published; all potentially without the direct knowledge of the presenter. Or perhaps one of the hundreds of discord updates that occur every year impacts presentation in an unfamiliar or unexpected way.

And then if this scenario prevails and people’s voices were heard from a discord server in a stream without advance permission: we have an apparent breach of etiquette with evidence. It might seem perfectly legitimate to consider me guilty of surreptitiously trying to broadcast content behind the backs of those on a private server, right?

Ignoring for a moment that “secretly” trying to do anything in public online is at best contradictory and at worst outright stupid, the question persists does such a breach of etiquette warrant labelling as “irredeemable” or even being kicked out of a social group (even one online)? And without being given the opportunity to try to explain what might have happened or examine the evidence particularly when the offending party had thought he’d been given permission at one point to continue a stream with parties on the server in question present (although I’d taken such permission to apply only to one specific stream — not a carte blanche permission to stream all the content that would ever be posted)? Evidence alone as it appeared was enough all without context.

For these reasons, it is my view that discord generally needs to be taken down a notch. It simply isn’t right that people are targeted in this fashion. And I did speak with a number of others who’d either themselves experienced the “clique” mentality I’m speaking of or who had been banned from servers (thus separating them from social groups) on the basis of what may seem dubious circumstances involving many different social dynamics. But to summarize, I posit that a violation of etiquette is not just cause to start slandering or hating your fellow human beings.

Discord, for its part, may not be to blame here in any way. There are those who want to “burn the whole world down” and do nothing but cause trouble and mayhem. That’s why discord lets you ban people, fundamentally, I think. Another chat service several years ago called “IRC” seemed to not have these same problems. But if people react in a rational fashion to social challenges and use the technology in a constructive way I think discord could be a very useful and powerful tool indeed.

Right now, it just seems to promote cliques and clique behaviour. And I question who, if anyone, that’s helping.

I should at this juncture for my growing English audience (or so the analytics say) make a few quick points to address potential interest:

  • if I did a stream on the discord Elite server in question, it was more out of habit and typically with a mind to disable channel dialogue from making to the broadcast (although in 1 case I believe it was deliberate)
  • if a deliberate streaming happened, it was done under the following circumstances:
    • I thought I had permission to do so, and/or
    • I didn’t think it a serious breach of etiquette at the time for some mindless reason; and
    • I have streamed on other servers before, including my own without issue.
    • NO EFFORT was made to sneak it by without the group’s awareness (as should be evidenced by it being public, unless you truly think me THAT stupid)
  • it may also be relevant to keep in mind that discord visualizations (which until tonight I wasn’t even aware were activated) DO NOT transmit into the V/R environment without the involvement of 3rd party software, which I do not use; those who think the profile icons of users on the server should somehow have clued me into what was going on are incorrect
  • I’ve counted 3 cases total during my own investigation, thus far, where streaming occurred and these are, at the admin’s “cease and desist” request, removed. If there are still others unaccounted for, you should:
    • send a message to me using discord or, if you have it, my commander’s email address with the URL included
    • notwithstanding the above deletions, there were a total of 9 sessions auto-cast to YouTube from the date I first stated using the server, to my best recollection; most of which seemed free of offending traffic
  • I will continue investigating all content and re-post sessions thought to be free of dialogue from the discord server in question.

On my YouTube channel, there was one case where I’d mistakenly cited the availability of this server as part of a larger service offering. I’ve posted a comment to the video (with highlighted reference on the video itself using YouTube’s rather broken tools for text editing overlays) citing the reference and this correction, but I do so again here to come completely clean on the subject.

I believe it is important for all to keep in mind that each of us is human and quite fallible. Pointing out errors tactfully isn’t the problem, however. We’re all capable of mistakes and errors in judgement, both on and off discord. And as Facebook scandals continue to erupt (something that’s likely to persist for the foreseeable future), chat services like discord are likely to only increase in popularity. Hopefully, as this type of social media grows we can all adopt standards of behaviour and etiquette that will serve to keep people growing their communities instead of limiting ourselves to serving baser instincts.

Let’s try to end “cancel culture”.

Fly safe, commanders!

Lord(Marcus)British Reacts to Trium Withdrawal

04-Mar-19 04:50 pm EST Leave a comment

LordBritish can get very, very angry it seems. Far angrier than even I (and I had quite a temper growing up many years ago). And now it seems to be taking the form of trolling, lies and insults on discord.gg (and elsewhere):

And with that, LordBritish contacted CMDR Alpha Station and had me thrown out of that squadron too. CMDR Alpha apparently wasn’t interested in hearing anything from me on the subject of what got LordBritish so riled since it was he and CMDR Farmere who, last night, had apparently become telepathic and started suddenly dictating what I was thinking about them and myself. Add to this suddenly revamping what I said and perverting it into something I hadn’t said at all – when I asked permission to record the conversation for later playback, they both refused without saying why. I was only interested in a record to ensure accuracy for the 3 of us to go back to. Perhaps they thought I had other motives?

Seeing I wasn’t welcome any longer and finding no way to resolve their apparent deep-seated issues with me (which had been festering for a while I’m now told) they came onto my discord.gg channel and posted the above. When I left the LordBritish server, I had not intented to return and was on to minding my own business desiring neither further discourse with Farmere or Marcus (LordBritish). So why the fresh campaign of slander, lies and insults? Because I’d blocked both of them to concentrate on my own business I didn’t see the above text right away and it was left there probably too long.

To those who caught it, this is apparently what it was all about — my decision to depart without accepting their re-imagined view of the conversation (and it was completely re-imagined). What had started as a silly argument about the facts of my education from a pair of game players who take themselves a little too seriously ended up perverted into something it never was in the real version. Apparently, they felt because there were two of them agreeing to some new version of what I’d said somehow that made it true.

Excusing the hypocrisy at their accusations of “pretentiousness” is one thing. But clearly, they’re not leaving this alone so I offer the above explanation in hopes it (and they) will all just go away. I know what I said and how I said it. Just because there are 2 of you doesn’t mean you can edit the conversation to your preferred version and stick it on me. Tell the whole world your version if you like — mine is still the correct one and if it wasn’t you wouldn’t have been afraid of recording further conversation for the sake of reference.

I will add here I can’t stand people who talk behind each others’ backs maliciously and this coupled with the trolling mentality I’ve started to endure is surely a clue even to these people — enough’s enough! Obviously, I erred here: I shouldn’t ever have wasted the time getting to know you 2. I can’t get that time back, but I can ask you not to waste any more of my time with your lack of ability to cope with this disagreement. Let’s just go our separate ways. OK?

Frontier Dev (FDev) Discloses Elite Refinement Schedule Through 2020

01-Mar-19 09:35 pm EST 1 comment

Frontier (the software design company behind “Elite Dangerous”) released the schedule of its forthcoming development of the Elite universe this morning (EST) with the revelation there are no plans to enhance the current edition of the Milky Way galaxy further. Instead, the company reports it will be sticking to a strategy of player retention while it completes some major upgrades to the simulated environment through to the midpoint of 2020. Through 2019 there will be a gradual replacement of “Community Goals” to player missions. Though the parameters given in the release from Frontier were quite vague, there is the possibility that some of the original storylines around Raxxla (a long sought-after planet within the gameplay) might be used to aid player retention.

Initial CMDR (player) response was extraordinarily negative with one initial reaction reading as follows:


Wow. Pretty weak Frontier. The promised Premium Content delayed again. After being delayed again and again. 
Just another announcement of another coming announcement. This one in 18 months. You have really outdone yourselves this time. 

— User “Cmdr Ultra

Another writes:


The white knights are going bananas trying to explain away this. 5 years between horizons and whatever the next dlc is. There’s slow…then there’s FDev development slow.

— User “Rambojambo

But CMDR reaction wasn’t universally negative — a number lept to FDev’s defense with comments like the following:


Whilst I’m sure late-2020 will disappoint many, I’m actually very pleased that FDev have learned from the LEP-fiasco of 2018 and are being up-front with us. We may not like the news, but at least we know.

— User “PiLhEaD

Another writes:


I think you missed the part where he said that [life account] owners get the whole new content for free…

Also I got news for you: Making content, especially as big as advertised, takes time.

And it’s not like they stop making any updates until 2020.

— User “Hellfire85

It is this journalist’s own view (as a professional software developer) that really given what we’ve seen in-game so far there should be no great surprise at the time being invested toward developing new features into the game in a manner consistent with its vision. When the Elite Dangerous project first began, they could add landing on planets without atmospheres, change mission structures and make other relatively superficial changes without too much effort. Also, they were working (at least in part) on a crowd-funded budget. The gameplay that resulted from this effort was a hair’s width short of miraculous.

But now CMDRs want to land on atmosphere-ready planets with the ability to fly through gas giants if need be. That means taking into account physics and graphics the initial engine just could not provide. And the gaming universe continues to change too — we’ve got StarCitizen (very-well funded by Hollywood corporate money) and now not just cinematics but full feature-length movies to contend with. Elite Dangerous 1.0 (if I can call it that here) just wasn’t built to deal with such niggling business realities. At the very least the players will need to see Earth-type planets from orbit with 20,000 inhabitants not already inlaid with apparent civilizations on the ground. They’ll need to see at most a scant few dim lights around a stronger-lit central hub. And that kind of dynamic means getting a software architecture into place that can meet such a demand.

Not to mention all of this needs to run seamlessly on 4 or 5 major gaming platforms, including the PC and virtual reality. That’s a tall order and after all the debugs and testing (I’m told they have it, despite the obvious bugs that have recently hampered gameplay) 18 months isn’t hard to see. You can likely get a shorter deadline, but Frontier still has ownership that expects to turn a profit over the long-term. Addressing these problems with a new software architecture in itself could easily add up to the proposed timeline. And I don’t even work at Frontier and am unaware of all the technical challenges and realities the teams there need to face.

Hopefully, the existing user-base will be tolerant over this intervening period as a new platform for future growth of the environment is developed. But keep an eye on Star Citizen and Squadron 42 — they won’t be out-of-the-market forever!

Guardian FSD Booster

01-Jul-18 07:25 am EDT Leave a comment

Elite Dangerous Servers Down (Again)

03-Jun-18 04:29 pm EDT Leave a comment

As of ~4:15 p.m. EDT / ~3:15 p.m. CDT (North America), it looks as if Elite Dangerous servers have gone down unexpectedly. Within a couple of minutes of the outage, the support site broadcast an “Issues Detected” message, but no details were immediately available.

Updates to this story as they occur…

____________________

UPDATE 04:35 p.m. EDT:

Service was restored.

FrontierStatusOK

Sol and Achenar Confirmed as Thargoid Primary Targets

19-May-18 12:05 pm EDT Leave a comment
E

agle Eye intelligence (brokered by ‘Lab 69‘ within Canonn Research has, as of this week, affirmed earlier predictions that both Sol and Achenar are the intended primary targets of recent encroachments by the hostile species into the core systems.  Both Earth and Mars in the Sol system and Conversion and Capitol in the Achenar system are next expected to receive protection from capital ships equipped with the still experimental AX-class weaponry researched by Aegis Corp. through its own research projects in the Pleiades Sectors of the Milky Way galaxy.  Aegis megaships will also likely serve as support bases into both systems when an attack looks imminent.

The full text of Eagle Eye intelligence output follows:

==+ NoSecrets v2.1.3 Log. License expires 17th Feb 3305. THANKS FOR 
UPGRADING +==
==+ [1041745480075058158] > Packet snoop established. P2P GUDP Packet 
identified. +==
==+ [1041745480075058175] > qTLS Tap OK, Auth: Mutual. Eve (v1.2.7701) is 
in the house +==
From: [Captain Rebuy (Canonn)|Canonn Institute|Col 285 Sector IX-T d3-43]
To: [Overseer Gluttony Fang (AXI)|Arc's Faith|HR 1183]
Subject: Eagle Eye Report Week 11 - 17/05/3304

Eagle Eye Report and Summary of the previous week:

For a second time both target systems were successfully defended with
LTT 8517 and Dalfur systems both having the Thargoid threat repelled. 
Well done all who took to their ships in support. Neither system are 
showing non-human signal sources at present.

Intelligence obtained from Eagle Eye this week shows the targets are 
Lalande 4141 and Lwalama, and NHSS have been detected.

Aegis Megaships were dispatched to Coquim and LHS 1453 (neither of 
which were Eagle Eye targets) and wrecked megaships were found in 
several systems nearby.

The other targets given to us by EE were decoded and have indicated a 
barnacle forest location, wrecked megaships, and an INRA base (Almeida 
in Conn).

All indications so far are that both Achenar and Sol are intended 
destinations.

--Captain Rebuy--

Report Ends…..

==+ [1041745480075058259] > qTLS Tap Dropped. Eve (v1.2.7701) has left
the building +==
==+ [1041745480075058259] > End of P2P GUDP Packet +==

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A quick review of recent achievements by CMDR Trium within the last 10 days.  Visit the VFL archive to review helmet-cam footage.

It should be noted here — despite recent comments made by figures in both the Federation and Imperial navies — no Federation or Imperial NPC navy vessels have prevailed in a Thargoid-to-capital-ship engagement.  (This includes task forces employing both the Federation’s Farragut-class carriers nor the Imperial Majestic-class battleships.)

Humanity may find itself ‘on the ropes’ if victories aren’t seen soon.  To say nothing of what might happen to our species in the event speculation about the Thargoid base structures actually turning out to be late-assembly baseships launching off of nearby planets.

One rather large outstanding question remains here: is Frontier timing the release of planet atmospheric operations to coincide with an even bigger Thargoid threat?  What about the possibility of Thargoid attacks on planet bases or (in atmospheric gameplay) population centres like cities on planets like Earth and Mars?

Further reports to follow as developments warrant.

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