Wednesday, 9 March 2016

An Anarcho Syndicalist in #tweetfleet

So it has been an interesting couple of days . For those of you afflicted by my tweets in #tweetfleet you can now relax as normal service is now resumed. However the whole story behind what motivated me to do that, and the things I learnt from doing might be interesting to some of you. It certainly surprised me.

I'll try and get the motivation for doing this out the way quite quickly because that is straight forward. I have come to loathe the CSM and haven't been shy about saying it. It should be torched for the reasons I laid out in Crossing Zebras back in January. It is only my opinion and I hadn't told people to vote or not vote or indeed shove a list of endorsements down anyone's throat for them to blindly follow. If turkeys want to vote for Christmas that is entirely their choice and one I respect. I'll just enjoy the "I told you so" meal later was my thinking. However it didn't work out that way.

Of all the Eve fora, Twitter is probably the most light hearted as well as being informative. It is the one I engage in most. When the CSM election started, there was naturally a lot of noise and even some excitement about it. But the tone quickly changed to one of calling people dumb and negative for not voting. Even CCP got in on the act. To be fair, much of it was tongue in cheek but the case for not voting is genuine and most people won't vote. Calling the majority of the playerbase dumb, is well just dumb. It was a voice that needed to be heard and I arrogantly decided to try and convey it.

Many will know I am an ingame carebear. Some might know I role play a closet anarcho-syndicalist . I won't bore you with why but if  someone accuses me of being pro or anti some group or other they are rather missing the point. I am anti ALL groups. Happy to work with people but never to work for people. While we are both refuseniks in our own way, when someone compares me with Gevlon, as has happened on a couple of times, we really are on opposite sides of the spectrum. Anyway, I mention this because this became the basis behind my anti CSM tweetrage. For those that missed them I give you a selection below:

You get the picture. Not exactly Marx's dialectic but he didn't have to contend with a limit of 142 characters. What then happened was interesting. What started as a grumpy guy sperging turned into more of a social observation. Most people ignored me initially for it was the utterings of a madman and hoping I would go away eventually. I expected this and I also expected to lose followers. But the opposite happened and I gained some. Nothing spectacular but more people were switched on than were switched off.

As I ploughed on people started to challenge me both seriously and in fun.  But they were almost entirely from a very select group - CSM candidates and non aligned ones at that. Now they obviously have a vested interest. They are struggling to pick up scraps of non block votes. But the only counter argument they could put of any merit was that a non vote was vote for the blocks. But STV guarantees the Imperium and PL are going to get seats regardless so point is moot. But interestingly it was a popular view yet no one is campaigning in the manner I briefly did to appeal to the anti block vote. In fact most of the candidates seem to be talking to each other in the #CSM slack channel rather than campaigning to the electorate. I am really not sure where this complacency comes from. At no point did anyone defend the CSM as an institution or address the contrived points I was making. So most people just don't care (and will likely not vote) or they agree (and will likely not vote). No one is selling the CSM.

Step in CCP...
Hmm.. so why didn't they do that this year? CCP Guard comes to the rescue!

Not an overwhelming response and unfortunately it turns out people are more interested in a pencils and pens than the CSM!

Then things really got weird... or should it be desperate?

So much for putting the case for the CSM as an institution then. There was nothing for it then but to do CCP's and the CSM candidates job for them. I went for the jugular.
You will notice that CCP Fozzie deleted the message I retweeted. That particular tweet had been an extremely provocative message that directly undermined the role, work and purpose of the current CSM. The CSM complained bitterly about it yet it remained. Up until yesterday that is, when my stupid little campaign allowed him the opportunity him to reflect and delete it to replace it with this:
At little victory and my work is now done. The CSM has hope if attitudes change. But the onus is on you candidates. If I can achieve something - (a little something but something the CSM never achieved) with just 4 days ranting why can't you? Stop talking to each other get out the and make a fuss. Fight for your game and win the respect of your peers.

Finally, a shoutout to Nosy Gamer who was almost the only person to tackle me full on and do it with humour. Vive La Revolution!


  1. Cheers, I was hoping you'd write a post-analysis of your anti-CSM campaign. Does it count that I was amused by your tweets? Just too ambivalent about CSM to put much effort into engaging about it generally. I noticed that Fozzie had deleted his original tweet that you linked. :eyeroll: Pretty sure the original tweet was shared on r/eve or FHC as a graphic capture.

    If the CSM is so important to CCP, you'd think they'd put a pretty, highly visual promo for the election in between the Fanfest and Recruit a Friend ads in the Launcher for the duration of the election. But nope. Just the default news item shows up (published over two weeks ago to announce that voting is open). As soon as one more news item is added, the CSM election news item will disappear from view unless you use the scrollbar. How can they expect anyone to care about CSM -- especially among the ranks of new players -- if there's no effort to promote it via what is likely the most commonly viewed out-of-game screen of all?

    1. You are allowed to be amused :) I know precisely what Fozzie said at the time but I respect his desire move on from that position. Whether the desire was voluntary or mandated I don't know but it is a better place for the next CSM to start.

      The messages from CCP are mixed. I think there is a new drive from CCP Seagull and the changes in the community team reflect that. I sense the devs, or at least some of them are making sure to be seen as supportive but finding other convenient priorities and reasons to sabotage it. But so long as the CSM has no tangible documented purpose it is impossible for anyone to be held accountable. So the ideas you suggest slip off the radar because no one will be put in a hard place for not doing it. In effect, Seagull saying a thing doesn't make it a thing.

  2. I countered your tweets as not voting is just giving all the CSM votes to the blocs. As an anarcho-syndicalist, they pobably will not even pay you for the work you do for them :)
    CCP clearly shows that the CSM is useful to them. Why in the world would we leave all the seats to the bloc groups and their mindless drones?

    1. With the greatest of respect you didn't and you are still missing the point.

      My point was to further discredit the CSM shambles by loading it entirely with block candidates. It will be so obviously unrepresentative that CCP would only have one choice. To shut it down or risk losing customers. Null sec only represents a small proportion of New Eden in terms of player numbers.

      CCP have not show any desire to use the CSM if you have been paying attention at all to this years CSM. Even CCP Seagull has recently said they need to find a useful purpose for it. Even in a good year the CSM provides nothing that can't be done by other more representative means. Other games do just fine without it. If we didn't already have a CSM we wouldn't invent it.

      You ask "Why in the world would we leave all the seats to the bloc groups and their mindless drones?" Pay attention. The majority of Eve players DO NOT VOTE. So (consciously or not) plenty of people already do to use your words "leave all the seats to the bloc groups and their mindless drones". And guess what? The sky didn't fall in.

      Good luck with your candidacy

    2. So ... Only large blocs care enough about the game to be involved the CSM process.

      CSM is reinforced as having a special place for nullsec blocs, and special influence.

      Other player groups have declared they don't care, so don't need a seat at the table.

      Large Nullsec get more influence, and other groups miss out.

      Is this the outcome you are after? I know that some other bloggers are happy with this.

      I have an alternative solution.

      Players lobby CCP with what works for them.

      For some players, this is blogging that sometimes gets seen by CCP. Good for long form conversation.

      Other players it is a forum or reddit comment that gets drowned out. Good for joining the 'meeee tooo' crowd

      Some players will interact with a few devs via tweetfleet. I have joined tweetfleet, and the signal to noise ratio is not what I would like it to be.

      Large blocs will have relations at CCP anyway.

      The CSM gives non bloc players a louder voice than they otherwise would have. This is why I am running.

    3. Apologies but I am limited to wriring this using my phone so won't be able to give you the response you deserve.
      My view is the CSM is and always has been irrelevant as I stated in more detail in ny CZ article. It is about celebrity and drama.
      The blocks believe they gain advantage of intel. Most players don't play the Null game despite all the noise it generates so the issue is only really the disproportionate amount of dev time null gets. That has little to do with the CSM and more to do with the noise the null community makes more generally. The election is just theatre but gives it a veneer of legimacy. Remove the veneer by not voting and it becomes obvious how predjudicial the CSM is. The blocks won't have any more or less influence than they currently do.
      Now to your solution.
      1) The moment you sign the NDA you become unaccountable to the playerbase and therefore useless despite your good intentions for the next 5 years
      2) You will only be working to CCPs agenda. They haven't told us what they are working on in the next 12 months. Depending on their agenda you could well be surplus to their needs. Again effectively useless despite your good intentions.
      3) If by some fluke you happen to be aligned with there agenda, some CCP devs may on a whim decide to cold shoulder you. So again you become useless.

      Personally I would prefer it if you just carried on with your excellent blog because you provide far more value to Eve players there than you will ever do on the CSM. Good luck with your campaign though all the same.