Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Breakpoint Arrived

Okay, we got the Break up.

But if we don’t resolve the underlying problem, this Break ain’t gonna do anything.

Comments

Josh: he/him

04-08-2021 09:22:39 UTC

I agree.

So there’s three different ways that this conversation can go:

1) We discuss the underlying issues straightforwardly and rationally. This requires certainly the participation of ais523 and Clucky, and probably myself and others, and it requires those people to be vulnerable and engaged and willing to accept fault. This strikes me as the least likely of these scenarios.

2) We have another flaming row.

3) We have a discussion about how we, as a community, can build tools to enforce social guidelines, and then we start putting them into place, probably with a discussion about how to ban at least ais523 from the non-gamestate social channels.

My perception is that not everyone will be willing to accept the possibility of personal fault, and that’s going to make the first conversation tricky. For what it’s worth, I have not consistently lived up to my own expectations for patience and have occasionally interpreted what was intended as constructive engagement as hostile, and for that I apologise.

On the subject of #3 I have some thoughts and will be putting them up on the wiki in a second.

Josh: he/him

04-08-2021 09:44:55 UTC

Chiiika: she/her

04-08-2021 09:54:51 UTC

@Josh, if 2 somehow happens I would like to lock this thread somehow (via a CfJ?)

1) imo is what we need, but it is the hardest route to take. 3) can suppress this, but we won’t be any better out from this.

I will try to sync the discussion around here and Slack.

Chiiika: she/her

04-08-2021 09:57:13 UTC


My main issue is that I don’t like the prospect of playing with Ais. There are other people with these same issues, but at a volume generally within tolerance levels.
I’ve mentioned this before but Ais is too heavy-handed in how they argue and it makes me uncomfortable. Other people do this too and it’s not the best either, but Ais individually tries to humilliate their opponents way more and way harder than I’m cool with.
There’s a chilling effect to defending yourself (or others) against Ais, because you know that you’re in for a wild long-winded ride that seems way more trouble than it’s worth. I just don’t have the time or motivation to get into that as frequently as it seems to be necesary with them around.

Again, Ais isn’t the only person guilty of these things, and to a degree I’m very fine with it (and expect it) but there’s just too much right now.

-Cuddlebeam

Cuddlebeam:

04-08-2021 09:58:08 UTC

I’ll start by saying that I have no problem whatsoever in being told what faults I may have, because what bothers an individual person is up to that individual person. I can’t really say no to that.

That said, I am uncomfortable with something I see too often in Ais’ way of arguing, which is to try to humiliate their opponent (“Nobody but you believes this”, Locking a mere 1-hour old Proposal for safety, etc). Not cool.

The frequent walls of text that are often associated with them are also tiresome to wade through, I can’t keep up. So there’s a chilling effect in dealing with them - the best option seems to just not confront them to avoid drowning in further bs. Like, the Proposal I put up didn’t have any scams, and I deliberately tried to make it as short as possible to make analysis easier so that you can see that it indeed doesn’t have scams (at least anything deliberate), but it still gets slammed anyways, plus there was some nudging towards fostering paranoia about my Proposals, that there might be some scam in there somehow. Man, what else can I do? Make even shorter Proposals? I also want to game-design, add stuff that I like!

It’s frustrating to get againsted repeatedly, and that seemed to me what Ais wanted to accomplish to make happen against me. And I didn’t bring this up earlier because again, there’s a chilling effect in dealing with Ais.

Other BN player also do these things to a degree though, it’s not only Ais. But there’s just too much of it right now.

Chiiika: she/her

04-08-2021 10:07:32 UTC

@Josh is it possible to lock this thread in case flaming really happens?

Chiiika: she/her

04-08-2021 10:14:34 UTC

@Cuddlebeam I think I’ll need to also think if I’m also causing this clusterfuck.

Josh: he/him

04-08-2021 10:25:43 UTC

@chiiika Yes, it’s absolutely possible to close the thread if it gets out of control.

From my perception, we’re in the current situation directly because of ais523’s communication style, but there are other parties who have not lived up to their own best intentions. But for what it’s worth, chiiika, I’ve had no beef with you, so it’s hard from my position to see that you would be causing the situation.

ais523 has directly caused Cuddlebeam to idle out of the game, Brendan to drop off the slack, and me to do both, and had had constant rolling fights with Clucky. The last ais-drop in the slack drew critiques from pokes, Raven, and even Kevan, who usually doesn’t get involved in the sloppy stuff. Other players have exhibited frustration with his impact on the game and the community while everybody clearly just wants the current tension to end.

There are other dynamics and we should be prepared to investigate them but it’s clear to me that this is an ais523-specific issue. A hiaistus, if you will.

pokes:

04-08-2021 10:55:07 UTC

A fine clarification, the “critique about the last ais-drop” from myself specifically was a critique of 2016-Agora, not of ais.

Josh: he/him

04-08-2021 10:58:47 UTC

Noted, apologies

pokes:

04-08-2021 11:11:31 UTC

Re: Josh’s first comment, I prefer 1 to 2, and 2 to 3.

Are the draft Community Guidelines as written meant to have, if they had been in place, changed where we are now?

ais523:

04-08-2021 11:22:32 UTC

I am willing to try to engage with the issues, although I think it’s best that we should probably take a break first – the main benefit of having a break is so that we can cool down from this discussion in particular, and if we continue having it now while there’s no gameplay possible, it is likely to hyper-focus discussion on the issues and make things more rather than less heated.

Chiiika: she/her

04-08-2021 11:33:22 UTC

@josh I was caballing with ais last Dynasty, and didn’t stop him per se.

Josh: he/him

04-08-2021 11:43:20 UTC

@pokes I tries to put things together without overfitting them to the current situation.

Kevan: he/him

04-08-2021 14:40:29 UTC

My own sense over the past few weeks has been of a general shift in tone on Slack (and to a lesser extent on the blog), with people seeming freer to be a little more abrasive and to speak on behalf of others, to the point where I largely tuned out. Ais’s matter-of-fact style is certainly a poor combination with that and has been something of a lightning rod, but I’d put it more at effect than cause. But I don’t have a clear sense of where the tone has been coming from - and I guess that’s partly on me for not visibly pushing back against it when it’s bothered me.

Locking votes and posting walls of comment text seem well within the circle of the game, though, and I don’t think should be seen in themselves as problems with the culture of BlogNomic: if someone’s become known for locking proposals in a way that frustrates people, there’s likely a quorum who’d be happy to remove that option from them (or we should reassess locking entirely, etc); if someone’s posting lengthy dissections of scams that don’t exist or considerations that don’t matter, it’s easy to deflect that with a friendly “well, anyway” vote in favour.

Cuddlebeam:

04-08-2021 15:06:37 UTC

I disagree with that the issue is the matter-of-fact component of Ais’ style. You might’ve not have caught it from your mentioned tuning out, but they too frequently bring up arguments that seem more angled to try to demoralize the opponent rather than their position.

Clucky: he/him

04-08-2021 15:14:51 UTC

I overall think there are three types of behavior that has been occurring more and more recently (some of which I’m definitely guilty of myself) that I think we need to look into stopping:

1) Bad Faith Arguments

If someone votes against your proposal punishing the leaders, its not necessarily because they are in cahoots with the leaders acting as a proxy it could just be because they don’t think punishing the leaders is fair or fun. If someone encourages another person to take a closer look at a given proposal, it isn’t necessarily because they are secretly trying to get a scam through it could just be because they think its a bad proposal and want someone else to take a look. If someone makes a last minute move it isn’t necessarily because they are trying to stall the game it could just because that is when they had the time to make the move.

2) Speaking for others

Let people speak for themselves. Don’t be like “several people in slack were supporting this” when one or two people suggested doing something similar. Don’t engage in strawman arguments where you misrepresent what someone else is saying.

3) Refusing to listen to others and understand their perception of things is just a valid as your intent

It doesn’t really matter if you weren’t trying to make a bad faith argument. Or trivialize a sensitive subject matter. Or do something else that made another person upset. People can still take what you said in ways you didn’t intend, and when that happens dismissing their claims by claiming you didn’t do that and they shouldn’t have taken it that way just further expands the hurt.

Chiiika: she/her

04-08-2021 16:32:05 UTC

We should be assessing vote locking anyways.

Josh: he/him

04-08-2021 16:36:17 UTC

Vote locking is a fun strategy sometimes

Clucky: he/him

04-08-2021 16:51:36 UTC

Given proposals can’t pass for 12 hours after they open… would simply ignoring any vote cast in the first two hours of a proposal being open be that bad of an idea?

Jason: he/him

04-08-2021 16:55:28 UTC

Silently invalidating votes seems like a bad idea to me. Someone is likely to forget, then they might attempt to invalidly enact/fail a proposal, making the gamestate wrong.

Clucky: he/him

04-08-2021 17:21:33 UTC

Fair point.

Maybe just make it so you can edit within 2 hours regardless of votes? I’ve expressed concerns about this in the past where you vote FOR a good proposal and then they edit it into something bad and you’re still voting FOR it, but it occurs to me that an easy way to avoid that if you’re worried is to not vote FOR proposals in the first 2 hours if you don’t have the time to check during hours 2-12 and if you do, you’re choosing to take that risk.

Chiiika: she/her

05-08-2021 03:03:32 UTC

I think vote locking isn’t the main point of this discussion, but anyways a proposal slot can be put into good use when the hiaistus ends.

Kevan: he/him

05-08-2021 09:03:18 UTC

To a fair extent Nomic is a game about persuading the group to vote for proposals that maybe aren’t in their best interests, or to vote down those which are. There’s certainly room for arguing in bad faith and being misleading about earlier consensus, to get there, but that can cross a line.

I think the endgame of the relatively recent Mosaic dynasty definitely set a precedent for me - which has faded, but not entirely - that going full-bore ad hominem against an opponent isn’t crossing that line, and can get results.

Chiiika: she/her

05-08-2021 09:10:34 UTC

@Kevan if you think going full bore ad hominem in BN is acceptable, I think I should idle on your dynasties anyway.

Tho I may be misunderstanding what you’re saying: I ain’t sure if you are supporting or is against full bore ad hominem, and per your track record you don’t seems to be supporting these things.

Kevan: he/him

05-08-2021 09:16:20 UTC

[Chiiika] Oh, I am against it. I was the target of it.

Josh: he/him

05-08-2021 12:05:16 UTC

@Kevan - If the bad feelings surrounding the end of Clucky 7 are lingering then I truly and sincerely apologise.

At the time (and still, to an extent) I feel like we matched each others’ tone, to the extent where I feel that characterising the situation as you being the target of full-bore ad hominem attacks feels unfair (I certainly recall also being extremely upset at the way that that dynasty played out). If the implication is that my own dismay at that time was in some way performative or in bad faith then I can assure that it wasn’t. But that said - I do completely acknowledge that if I have moved past it and you haven’t then that suggests that you have a deeper well of feelings and hurt regarding the events of that dynasty than I do, and that deserves addressing.

We’ve obviously known each other for a long time, and played a lot of games together, and most of them haven’t gone anywhere near that poorly; I’d like for that to be the status quo from which we operate. I certainly don’t think that the tenor of BlogNomic should be anywhere close to where it was in that dynasty. While I’m not sure that Clucky 7 says much about what is considered tactically acceptable in terms of interpersonal attacks - I don’t think that anybody who participated in that dynasty looks back on it as a model to replicate - I agree that it may have opened some doors regarding the overall emotional tone of the game, which is usually more dry than it has been of late. At that time, the game becoming inseparable from the negative feelings that it has provoked, leading to negative feedback loops that only end up magnifying and intensifying the feelings of the moment. Would we be where we currently are without Clucky 7 having opened that door? I’m not sure, but the parallels between the two situations are striking - and it’s notable that we, with a relationship that is stronger and more grounded in mutual trust than some of those at the foreground in the present, have struggled to move past it entirely nearly ten months later.

In any case: my regret that the situation from that dynasty has lingered for you is absolute, and I remain committed to ensuring that nothing like it ever happens again. Happy to discuss that incident and this one further if it brings additional clarity or peace of mind.

Josh: he/him

05-08-2021 12:07:52 UTC

I might also want to raise that Clucky 7 and Josh 15 both happened at similar moments in the outside world: moments at which the tremendous tension of the crisis we’ve been living through had abated, for a while, but were starting to severely reassert themselves. We can’t discount the possibility that some of the tension in the game is being brought in from without.

Josh: he/him

05-08-2021 12:14:06 UTC

For newer players, the instigating incident of Clucky 7 was this proposal - which proposed to straightforwardly erase my progress, to which I responded aggressively.

Kevan: he/him

05-08-2021 13:33:04 UTC

Oh, no bad blood here, it was what it was: I’ve entirely chalked that one up as a game where you outclassed me politically. But that dynasty did feel like a high watermark which may have set a few precedents and let them stand:

Firstly that it’s okay to talk as if a proposal or argument was made in bad faith: saying “I see your deliberate scam here” rather than “I see a loophole here”, or “why are you lying” rather than “but that’s not true”. There’s always an element of this in Nomic, but I thought Clucky VII had more of it than usual (as I say in the comments on Ink Wash, the reason that proposal was so direct was because you were accusing many of my proposals, even benign ones, of being deliberate attacks against you), and it sounds like Clucky was under a similar cloud last dynasty.

Secondly that you can successfully defeat a proposal by focusing very aggressively on the player’s motives and grasp of Nomic, and that something as straightforward as yes/no late-game nerf is cause enough to do so. You expressed surprise that nobody proposed to weaken Glyphs last dynasty after a group invested heavily in them, and the reason I’d given it a wide berth was exactly that: we were now in a reversed situation where Clucky was a leading player and you the Emperor, and it was plausible enough that a Glyph nerf proposal would result in Clucky objecting that it was unfair, you rebuking me and vetoing, and the whole thing just locking in the idea that it was time to play it out and let Clucky’s team win. It seemed better to ignore that and move in other directions.

Josh: he/him

05-08-2021 13:40:41 UTC

Funnily enough, I think that there was a proposal somewhere in there where someone (I think ais?) demanded that I issue a veto. I didn’t, but it failed anyway.

Imperial styles is presumably intended to partially help with that, then? The Player Protection section seemed like an odd fit, to me, but given that you’ve said it makes sense that it would be weighing more on your mind.

Kevan: he/him

05-08-2021 14:58:29 UTC

I think strong, late-game nerfs are a wider cultural thing than an Imperial Style: if they’re so indisputably unreasonable that they’re possibly not even a part of the game and we’d expect any rational Emperor to veto, it seems bad to allow an Imperial Style that waves them through (just as we wouldn’t have a Style of “tolerates spam links”).

The veto itself isn’t really the point, though: even without a literal veto, a Glyph-nerf could have descended into the same outrage at the very idea of the proposal, if you and Clucky were of the same mind about late-game nerfs, and Clucky had seen in the past that attacking the player directly works to shut this kind of thing down.

The relevant question is whether aggressive attack-the-player stuff is part of the game, a valuable tool in a good Nomic player’s arsenal and a useful way to get a quorum or an Emperor on your side. Players presumably disagree and draw their own personal line on this - that feels like it could be a big factor in the recent tension, if one player intends “why are you lying about your scam?” as gameplay politics to swing a vote, but the other reads it as a personal attack.

Josh: he/him

05-08-2021 15:31:46 UTC

I think cynical attack-the-player is not valid, not part of the game and not a valuable play that we should encourage.

I think people get heated and that happens. I think if it became a systemic play then the game would become unplayable, but I don’t think that’s what happened in Clucky 7 and I don’t think it’s what happened in Josh 15 either.

There’s a secondary question to that, I think, around pre-emptive anti-player approaches. Is it okay to vote down every Cuddlebeam proposal, or every Brendan proposal, on the assumption that it contains a scam? What about voting down every Clucky proposal in the late game on the assumption that his proposals benefit his position?

There’s a continuum of behaviours that are optimal but infuriating. Skilfully arguing down individual proposals by your rival is an art of the game, but tagging an individual with the appellation of “shifty” and then letting the game slowly box them out, even to the point where their first proposals of the dynasty are getting killed off by edit-lock, is clearly malign over the long term.

Kevan: he/him

05-08-2021 16:13:00 UTC

So is “attack the proposal, not the player” something for the Community Guidelines? So that if someone opens voting by casting a terrible aspersion on the proposer, anyone can tap the sign and ask them to retract the comment, rather than letting it play out.

It seems okay to me to vote down a proposal that looks like it might contain the proposer’s favourite type of scam, even if you can’t quite put your finger on it: that’s a signal that the scammer needs to shake things up a bit, or spend some time writing unobjectionable bread-and-butter proposals. Players certainly shouldn’t be under any pressure to approve a proposal because they feel like it’s a scam but can’t say exactly how it would work.

Mechanically I’d say Ais’s early vote was fine: casting it will have generated some in-game ill-will which they might regret, and if it becomes a habit and a quorum are annoyed by it, we can enact any kind of mechanism for an in-game fine if they do it again. Their insult that even if Cuddlebeam were to edit the proposal they’d only be able to write “something that’s still broken” is the only real problem, to me.

Josh: he/him

05-08-2021 17:00:31 UTC

So is “attack the proposal, not the player” something for the Community Guidelines?

Sure thing.

Clucky: he/him

05-08-2021 17:28:08 UTC

“To a fair extent Nomic is a game about persuading the group to vote for proposals that maybe aren’t in their best interests, or to vote down those which are”

I’m not really sure I agree with this. There is an element of that, yes, but I don’t think you need to mislead people in order to successfully nomic. Its definitely a challenge to define where the line is though. Sneaking something into a proposal that you hope other people don’t spot I think is fine (as long as you aren’t trying to introduce giant scams early into the dynasty). Betraying another person I think is also fine, especially when the traitor is involved. But I think if you ever get to the point where you’re outright intentionally misrepresenting what a proposal does or how the rules work in order to influence votes… that to me crosses a line. Nomic at its core is a game about changing rules, not a game about social manipulation.

Vovix: he/him

05-08-2021 17:56:25 UTC

Hi, I’ve mostly been a spectator these past *checks watch* 12 months, because while I find Nomic fascinating, I don’t actually have the time and energy to keep up with the game on most days. Still hoping to play one of these days, though.

From a spectator/casual player’s perspective, I do remember instances, like Clucky 7, where it felt like arguments on in-game proposals turn meta, which can often be the correct strategic play because of the game’s very nature. Even if direct attacks on players are off-limits, I think you’d still see a lot of “This proposal goes against the culture of BlogNomic! (because it disadvantages my position and I have no problem making a similar one in the future)”, which I think is a lot harder to have clear rules around. The meta nature of nomic is what makes it so interesting, but it also makes it difficult to detach in-game decisions from out-of-game feelings like one does in most games. As an outsider, this can be off-putting, because it makes it feel like the game is less about writing/voting good proposals and more about how far you’re willing to go to get one passed/rejected. Ais’s tone can be frustrating, but it ultimately stems from it being an effective strategy to get ahead in the game. And I think it’s going to be difficult to maintain a civil tone when being hostile, while frowned upon socially, is directly incentivized mechanically.

I think recent arguments about pooling actually stem from a very similar underlying problem: There are very explicit in-game rewards for out-of-game cooperation. When private agreements make it so much easier to win, why wouldn’t you make them? Why wouldn’t you have a persistent cross-dynasty alliance that lets the involved players regularly win? But to someone not in the know, it can feel like a new player doesn’t really stand a chance at winning unless one of the already established groups takes them in. It’s daunting enough to join a new social group, even more so when the social group is actively cliquified for in-game benefit.

Ultimately, I don’t know what the answer is. The tradeoff between meta-game enjoyment and in-game profit is inherent in the nature of the game, and people will have different tolerance levels for it. Whether rigging the game as a secret cabal, or systematically attacking a particular player, one is still “just playing the game”, but some might say it damages their enjoyment of the game. But no one can say where the line is between “good play, if frustrating for whomever got outplayed” and “unfair play that ruins other people’s enjoyment”. There’s no one right answer, and I’m worried someone is always going to feel either unfairly constrained or unfairly disadvantaged.

Vovix: he/him

05-08-2021 18:02:21 UTC

“Nomic at its core is a game about changing rules, not a game about social manipulation.”

@Clucky I think that’s the issue, social manipulation will always be an effective way to change the rules in a game where a social majority is essentially omnipotent. And the threshold for how much social manipulation is fair game to get your rule changes through will vary from person to person, and enforced entirely through social contract, rather than being an obvious boundary inherent to the game. And a social contract can only work if everyone’s on board with the parameters. Right now, there is conflict, because there are players who don’t agree on what is and isn’t prohibited by the social contract.

Brendan: he/him

05-08-2021 19:09:23 UTC

Vovix, I appreciate your perspective as primarily an observer very much, and I think you’ve distilled some of the issues here well. I agree that there’s a tension between social contract and enforced rules that is not possible to eliminate. I do believe that it is possible to reduce that tension compared to the recent atmosphere, and indeed to reduce that tension significantly. I for one think it’s a worthwhile goal.

I don’t want to single out your comments for dissection, but this sentence struck me: But no one can say where the line is between “good play, if frustrating for whomever got outplayed” and “unfair play that ruins other people’s enjoyment”. I don’t want to speak for other players, but I believe from discussion on discord that you’re not alone in holding this opinion.

Maybe no one can say exactly where the line is, but we can narrow the boundaries around where it might be. It’s not against the BlogNomic rules to find out where I live, come over to my house, and punch me in the mouth for voting a certain way. Maybe I have too grand an opinion of myself, but I would like to assume that a hundred percent of the current active-player roster would find that unacceptable. If that’s an argument to absurdity, so be it, but it illustrates the point that there are places where it’s not impossible to find consensus. And there are more places yet where we can get to a majority vote.

Maybe you’re right, and “this goes against the culture of blognomic!” would become the dominant form of argument if we agreed to try eliminating the ad hominem. And maybe it would be annoying. But I don’t think the difference between an attack on an idea and an attack on a person are negligible. I think the history of this game shows that they add up to different effects in human behavior over time, and the rules say robots aren’t allowed here, so starting from the presumption of shared humanity seems reasonable to me.

Chiiika: she/her

06-08-2021 00:20:49 UTC

@Josh “attack the proposal, not the player” should really be CG or FP.

Kevan: he/him

06-08-2021 11:35:21 UTC

Vovix makes good points: for a deeply social game, it isn’t ideal that while the mechanical rules are published in black-and-white, the social ones are unwritten. Even the simplest forum Werewolf games often lay out basic behavioural guidelines, and it does seem like a big oversight that we don’t do the same.

I don’t think I follow the angle on “This goes against the culture of BlogNomic!” being wielded disingenuously to shut down a reasonable move from an opponent. That kind of thing might be effective in combination with a personal attack, where other voters fall nervously in line, but discussed civilly seems like it would just end up at “no it doesn’t”.

[Clucky] “Outright intentionally misrepresenting what a proposal does” is an endlessly fascinating one: that a “Quick Fix” proposal that repairs a problem and deliberately introduces a scam is all part of the game, but if the proposer is then asked directly if there’s a scam in there, it does feel like they’re under an obligation not to lie about that. (Which I think in practice just leads to a culture where we tacitly agree never ask that question directly, and don’t mind - or read anything into - people avoiding giving an answer.)

I think misleading voters without actually lying to them is a significant part of the game, though. If a player urgently needs ten more gold pieces for a scam, they might propose to give everyone ten gold pieces, and then talk at length about how important it is to stimulate the economy, that they’re selflessly helping some poorer players to get back into the game, that this is off the back of something another player had said, etc.

ais523:

06-08-2021 14:49:05 UTC

I think one major part of what I’ve been doing wrong is making comments too quickly, leaving them saying things for which the most obvious meaning wasn’t actually the meaning I meant.

Let’s take Cuddlebeam’s most recent proposal as an example. My thoughts upon seeing it were “this is an early mechanic that’s likely to end up really dominating play in the long run and taking it to an area that’s unfun – I need to vote AGAINST it in my present form”, and “if I point this out now, the most likely response is a change in the numbers, so that the proposal is less obviously broken – but it’s still probably going to end up dominating gameplay in the long run, especially as there will probably be attempts to change it after someone has poured all their resources into trying to exploit it”. So I decided that the best course of action was to edit-lock it immediately, while it was in a state which would persuade other people to vote AGAINST it.

I also tried to explain my actions at the time, but unfortunately, I explained them in such a way that it looked like I thought any proposal by Cuddlebeam would necessarily be broken (when in fact, I was thinking “any proposal that tries to introduce effects like these ones will necessarily be broken”, and wasn’t thinking much about who the proposal’s author was).

I think part of the cause behind this happening at BlogNomic, and not usually in other social deduction / social manipulation games, that I play, is that BlogNomic sometimes has a very fast pace of play. We recently lowered the proposal edit window to 4 hours – that means that in order to necessarily be able to comment on a proposal inside the window, I need to be online every 4 hours in order to get there on time. This is a strong incentive to do things like check BlogNomic when I wake up in the middle of the night – but at times like that, I’m not thinking straight and not very good at expressing myself, and am also very irritable. This issue existed even with the 8-hour edit window, and would exist to some extent even with no edit window at all (because most people don’t check back on a proposal after voting, if you want to argue it down, you need to get in early before most people have voted).

As others have mentioned, I think another issue with what’s going on is that we don’t have consensus about what the core rules are supposed to be used for. CFJs in particular have been very contentious, but even with proposals, there are lots of issues. One common issue is with proposals of the form “new definition + some uses for it”; such proposals often fail because people disagree with the uses (meaning that they don’t give much feedback on the new definition itself), but the definition on its own may also fail to gain support without an understanding of the uses (or because it can easily be introduced when the uses are added), meaning that it’s hard to get feedback on whether the definition itself is a good idea. Even something as simple as “should people vote FOR by default on early proposals with no obvious issues, or should they only vote FOR a proposal if they actively like it?” can be contentious. I think it may be worth going over all the core-rules-defined actions in BlogNomic, having people write up what they think appropriate and inappropriate uses are, and coming up with a set of guidelines based on what the majority / median responses are.

Clucky: he/him

06-08-2021 14:51:18 UTC

> I think misleading voters without actually lying to them is a significant part of the game, though. If a player urgently needs ten more gold pieces for a scam, they might propose to give everyone ten gold pieces, and then talk at length about how important it is to stimulate the economy, that they’re selflessly helping some poorer players to get back into the game, that this is off the back of something another player had said, etc.

I agree that all that stuff is fine. To me, where it would cross a line is if you were to argue “this wouldn’t even give me 10 gold pieces, because of XXXX” when you know XXXX isn’t even true.

lemon: she/her

07-08-2021 00:07:48 UTC

this is a big discussion that’s probably best left to people who’ve been here longer than me and are more familiar w/ the game’s workings, but as far as someone who’s got people experience i want to weigh in and say that i think that a major problem w/ ais recently has been one of not being considerate, at all. there are things u can do when ur talking to someone, even someone that ur pitted against, and make that conversation tolerable for both of u. idrk that being considerate is something that can be externally enforced tho.

ais, i think taking into consideration how your words will impact other people would help ease a lot of the friction u find when talking to others. it’s hard to figure out sometimes, but it makes a difference to try, and i’ve noticed times when other people have directly been telling u how words will affect them negatively and u ignored them and kept on saying those words.
and if u just don’t care, then… idk that all this is reconcilable. i for one wouldn’t want to play any sort of game with u at all, if that was the case

(and if, as u described, it’s much harder to be considerate when u deprive urself of sleep to play blognomic, u might want to consider not doing that. i don’t think that doing this to urself is doing u any good!!)

Clucky: he/him

07-08-2021 01:20:53 UTC

@lemon there is very little that is best left up to people who have been here a long time. Especially in discussions like this, the input of newer players like you is extremely valuable, cause it helps keep things fresh.

If we create at atmosphere on the game that the old timers can tolerate but new players find hostile and uninviting… we still need to do something about that because if we drive all the new players away the game will eventually die off as old players eventually stop playing for after reason

so please, don’t feel like your opinion here is less valued than those of us who have been here awhile (and that goes for any other newer players who might feel hesitant about speaking up)

lemon: she/her

07-08-2021 03:20:09 UTC

@clucky that’s a v good point!!! i don’t feel hesitant to share my opinion, but i spose what i was meaning to articulate is, i don’t have experience moderating communities like this and i haven’t been thru any prior eras of blognomic’s community to see what they were like. i mean, ais was a player many years ago, right? was there a similar amount of strife back then? if not, what’s different now? i don’t feel like i have the knowledge 2 answer these questions or know what to do w/ the answers, but if someone else has a take on them that makes sense to me i’ll support that. rn i think josh’s proposed community guidelines & resolution models seem pretty good!!

ais523:

07-08-2021 04:55:56 UTC

@lemonfanta: There was quite a lot of strife, but it was mostly different in nature (and at least at its height, during my first dynasty, I was the person trying to calm things down, rather than the person most caught up in it). My first dynasty, for example, had the Midnight Crisis (a surprisingly heated argument about how to define time), and very high levels of secret pooling which didn’t work out well for the vast majority of people involved (this was part of the theme of the dynasty; I was too inexperienced at the time to know it would be a bad idea, and being the Emperor, wasn’t part of any of the pools in question). The dynastic history for it contains a lot of documentation about the controversies in question, and is worth reading.

In other dynasties from the time period, we had proposals like this one which outright turned off one of the dynasty’s mechanics, for a particular player, because most of the rest of the playerlist were very annoyed at the way in which it was being used (the rule created by that proposal actually survived the next Ascension Address). DoVs based on tortured literal readings of rules were common and succeeded – those could get quite contentious sometimes. There were plenty of attempts to ban people. There was an attempted dictatorship scam by the Emperor, which was overturned by CFJ even though some of the voters thought it worked, causing the Emperor to idle in annoyance.

However, it mostly stayed under control. This was partly because we had IRC for real-time chat rather than Slack, and IRC was real-time and unlogged; your comments would only go to other people who were online at the time, and there was plenty of opportunity for clarification / interactive discussion, rather than having to leave comments that could be misinterpreted by people who came to them later (or that had to contain lots of detail to avoid potential misinterpretations, coming across as patronising). It’s partly because, although there was a sizeable minority of players who hated all the scamming and attempted rules abuse and the like, they were a minority and consistently got outvoted, so there was at least a shared understanding about what was likely to happen if a scam were to be attempted (much as some players disliked it). It’s also worth noting that big arguments about the rules most commonly happened in DoVs, which had the benefit of stopping gameplay until we’d come to a consensus about whether they worked or not, and the side benefit of not requiring corrective action – as I remember it (and the incomplete dynastic histories on the wiki seem to agree, but maybe both me and the wiki are just forgetting about them) CFJs were rare, and mostly only used for fixing things that couldn’t be fixed any other way.

There’s been a notable change in culture since then (which is observable by looking at the history of victories, and noticing the scams dropping off); at some point, the people who would admire and vote for even dubious scams ended up being outnumbered, rather than being in the majority. I don’t think that change is automatically a bad thing, but it did leave a sort of vacuum behind, in that it’s now become much less obvious what will happen in response to an attempted scam. All that said, some things haven’t changed; I can easily imagine something akin to the Midnight Crisis erupting in present-day BlogNomic.

lemon: she/her

07-08-2021 09:55:37 UTC

interesting info, thank u for sharing :0