Sunday, February 2, 2014

Rambling: Shoring up the Soapbox

One of the negatives of writing whatever comes to the surface of ones mind is that some things won't go away until they are cleared out. It is easier to give in than to let it sit around. Today's mental clutter is about the CSM.

Now and then someone, says I should run for CSM. I normally stare at them stupidly. After a bit, I wondered, "should I?' and brought it up to someone. I was told no. I was not Eve Famous enough. I have no contacts and I have no chance as an unknown. Those things are true and cowed for my burst of wonder I slunk off and abandoned the topic.

Until it came up again. And a few more times. It made me start to really think about it.

I'm not a political follower of Eve. I watch the aspects of the game with interest but I spend no time in the politics of it. I live in low sec. I love low sec. I write a blog because I love writing a blog. I'm not eve-famous nor have I focused my efforts to become so. I'd have followed a different path. One where I sought more prominence, perhaps worked on more sensational things, or maybe self promoted. I don't know. To me, Eve Politics are something to be sipped while taking the pulse of some areas of the game. While loud and energetic they are not the entire game.

What I do know about myself is that I do love Eve and I do love Low Sec. Last election year I was disappointed when the possible low sec candidate dropped out. While the CSM is an active bunch they have their agendas and their areas. Mangala did reach out to us directly, which was nice. It didn't stop us from being an after thought. I don't have anything against that. Agendas and focuses are personal things. I'd prefer the honesty of an afterthought over the bitterness of a promised focus that was only a lie or the horror of a voice that does not know low sec attempting to speak for it.

But it brings up the problem that Low Sec needs a representative and like everyone else I've been looking around hoping one would appear out of the woodwork. Someone who'd be dedicated to the CSM thing but have a knowledge of low sec. That hasn't been happening and it isn't surprising. The space tends not to attract that personality type. The opinions, ideas, and thoughts are all there but that next step of going out and doing the CSM thing does not appeal to many.

And, I found myself doing something I disapproved of. I was looking for someone else to take care of a problem isntead of doing it myself. It isn't that I can fix everything. My furnace broke two weeks ago. I called a repairman instead of hoping someone else in the house would. In Eve, I've often taken it upon myself to do the things that I want to see done. Boosters. Market. Even writing long, detailed blog posts about the Events such as Eve Vegas and Fanfest. Sometimes you have to do the thing that you want done or at least try to do it.

I've mulled on it on and off for months. Mostly, the entire, "Who am I to do such a thing?" but the answer to that seems to be, "Someone who is willing to try to." Yet, I let myself get talked down about it with a wistful, "I'm not anyone." Yet today, I got tired of looking at my window hoping the magical, charismatic, focused, dedicated, low sec loving, candidate would pop out of the woodwork and announce themselves. I decided that may still happen but until then I might as well suck it up, push away my net of uncertainty and fretfulness and give it a go. Otherwise, how can I say that I tried?

I floated it around and I'm not surprised but still rather staggered by the negativity. Not a, "Haha, Sugar, LOL go away" negativity. More of a, "You won't win." And "You won't get enough votes." and "You won't back a bloc behind you," and "You need a sponsor so anyone will look at you."

It horrified me a bit. Not because I'm some random unknown low sec player. More so because that is the state of the voting. There was such a despondent negativity that I almost hung my head and walked away feeling dumb.

Almost.

The thing is that I have this bit of stubbornness to my personality. It is at odds with a lot of my nature. It is not malleable or flexible. And, as wave after wave of, "You'll lose," tinted with the wistfulness of, "Why try?" it sprang into existence. Normally when this happens flames emerge from my head and as if a dark beast has climbed from the pit ready to burn the world down before I back down from something. This time it just strengthen my spine.

The thing is that I know it may be a futile attempt. Being a no-body, no block vote behind me, not good at self promotion, and a social wallflower won't help anything. None of that actually matters. It has to be attempted. Someone has to try. And if failure happens, it happens.

I've been around for two elections so far. I've voted each time. I vote for the person who I feel represents the best. They may not represent me but they may have an area that they do represent that I can get behind. I don't vote by popularity or other peoples choices because at the end of the day when I complain or compliment the CSM I can say that yes, I tried to do what I thought was the best thing.

I'm not a politician. I'm not socially gifted. I don't rub shoulders. I have zero sales ability. I have positives and abilities, accomplishments and areas that I understand. I also have things I do not know and I'm not smart enough to not admit them. As I said in Jabber to my corp, I'm a chick who loves low sec and is willing to put the time and energy out for the task. It means making a step, intimidating or not.

A couple of months ago someone convoed me to say that my blog wasn't about low sec. What he failed to see is that what I write is almost always about low sec. Low sec, to me, is more than the semi-lawed area between high sec and null. It has a pulse and a life and people inside of it. It is its own flavor of space and to talk about low sec is to acknowledge all of this. From the logistics, to the market, to the PvE to the PvP. From the Dust Players to the raging Faction Warfare arguments they are all aspects of low sec space. I can't define low sec as FW or Pirates only. There is so much more there.

The game isn't only low sec. I know that. It isn't about CCP listen to my pet project! I know that as well. I know that there is much, much more to the process. Still, someone needs to be low secs champion through it all. As I said above, some talented, charismatic, connected, person may rise up to run for low sec CSM. Someone who isn't me. And if that happens, cool. But if not, someone is going to run and represent  it this year. I'll write something better and more professional later, that hits points and topics and all that stuff. But for now, I'm stating a position of where I will be. And if I do this, I'll do it my way.

For now, I'm going to continue discussing if Grimlock would really let Optimus Prime ride him in corp chat. We don't see it happening. He was too prideful and the the trailer clip makes us frown. Grimlock was way too obsessed with being in charge and, "Grimlock this," and "Grimlock that."

Thanks for taking the time to read.

30 comments:

  1. I think you'd be a terrific CSM, and not only will I vote for you, I will help in any way I can. There's nobody I would rather have represent me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. One thing that's obvious from the CSM 8 video that CCP did (it's shown toward the end of their live stream) is that the people on CSM aren't exactly a bunch of social butterflies. That's OK; it's really not their job.

    Also, you run a chat channel, so clearly you're capable of the necessary amount of social interaction.

    The way STV voting works, all you have to do to get a posse is convince other candidates to team up with you, so you end up on their constituencies' cards and they end up on yours. This is how we WH residents got two CSMs despite having the smallest population in game; it's how Proviblock got any representation at all; it's how Mike Azariah got on, by impressing both Ripard and Malcanis enough for them to urge their people to vote for him.

    I think you can do that. You have a refreshing distance from the received wisdom of the game, and a good analytical mind. You update your blog frequently, another plus. If you can meet the considerable time demands, you have what it takes.

    I'd put you on my slate, and I don't live in low sec.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So much of this.

      I'll be honest: I have my own person or two to represent me. However, at the same time, there's a whole lot of down-ballot left after the one or two votes I have locked in at the top. That's the beauty of STV systems. Also, IMO, as long as you have a core constituency that puts you first, you can leverage general intelligence and ability to get an idea across to get you enough down-ballot support to eventually get you in.

      I have no idea if you'd win, but, unlike RL elections, it doesn't cost millions of dollars and require taking over a year off work. You'd get a place on my ballot(s).

      Delete
    2. Winning is great and wonderful but not trying is the true point here. It is the thing that I cannot ignore.

      Delete
    3. Go for it. :)

      Also, to address the concern about splitting votes concern you mentioned below... again, it's a ranked ballot. Last year, almost everyone who filled in a full ballot ended up having someone on their ballot get in with credit from their vote. (The explanation of how everyone votes for someone is very mathy, and I'm not sure I can explain it myself, but I trust the proof.) Some people only put 2-5 people on their ballots and didn't end up getting anyone in, but that was rare.

      Delete
  3. "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

    --A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles", Ch. 7, Section 3 (1992)P. 190.

    While you may have issues with the mechanics parts of the game, you are passionate about the people and know enough to know that you don't know it all and that you can make mistakes. That alone will make you a good CSM candidate and worthy of being on my ballot card. Even if I don't live in low sec.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not utterly terrible with the mechanics. I simply know that others live and breath them the way I do other things. There is an intense technical understanding that some players have. It is something that I respect. Fortunately, I'm not so consumed with myself (or so I hope) that I cannot listen to them.

      Delete
  4. I'd vote for you and I'm what most would consider a high sec carebear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a low sec bear my dear, we can combine and form a midsec bear together.

      Delete
  5. I'd vote for you too, Sugar. Actually, you should talk to Mike Azaria about his four or five? runs at CSM (as mentioned above). Mike kept at it until the player base came to realize he was an asset - and one not prepared to put his part of the sandbox before all others.

    You strike me as smart and well spoken. I have no doubt you would serve the CSM and low sec well should you choose to run.

    Bollocks to that charismatic self-deprecation while we're at it. You have it in you to be an extremely valuable CSMer. Don't let fear or the possibility of failure deter you. Go for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More so than fear it is worry of splitting the vote if it came to that. But then at some point one must stop worrying and just act, no?

      Delete
    2. Hmmmm. EvE players, by their very nature, will game the hell out of the voting system, so thats really out of your control anyways. We need quality candidates first and foremost though... hint hint... :)

      And yes, life is too damn short for anyone to worry themselves to a standstill.

      Delete
    3. With STV voting system, the problem of "splitting votes" is a thing of the past. If I have to decide between you and another candidate, I simply vote for both of you, and one or the other will get the vote (or the next in row if neither of you makes it).

      While you don't represent my playstyle, I would love if you ran, because:
      * Your writing shows a mindset I can identify with. I am confident that you will make choices I can mostly agree with (even if not with the result, then with the reasoning that led there).
      * Last year, I had a hard time to fill my ballot. Ignoring most bloc-candidates and obvious trolls/slackers, there weren't 14 independents left to vote for. The more the merrier. Give people choice!
      * I hope you will endorse others, so even if you won't get elected yourself, hopefully the "next best one" filling that role will. Okay, you could do that without running yourself, but being willing to step in yourself will give your endorsements more weight.
      * Last but not least, I hope that you will win a seat and you will be a refreshing sight on the council.

      Delete
  6. Good Luck, Kyle! Put your hat into the ring. What could possibly happen beyond getting a few more eyes on your blog? Oh, and don't hang out too long on the fence; it doesn't suit you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I would endorse you. Wholeheartedly. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. You have my Talos and my Corp. If you run, I will do some campaigning in the german community, for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I would vote for you in a heartbeat and my corporate would be behind you too! And I'll also help you in your campaign in anyway! I love your blog and I know you would take it seriously. Please run!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would support you as well, simply because you're thoughtful and look at both sides of an issue ... and disdain much of the "nerd-sperg" that pervades EVE, and, I'm sure, the CSM too.

    Having someone on the CSM who doesn't have an agenda to grind and can look at things from both sides of the equation would be a real asset.
    CCP is frequently a victim of their own Kool-Aid as much as they are the Law of Unintended Consequences, and someone who can stop and think about something for a bit, then lay down pointed feedback, including the potential "exploits" and "unintended consequences" in a calm, rational manner is just what they need.

    Sadly, knee-jerk nerd-sperg is what most of the playerbase is about, and as with any democracy, the "leadership" is only as good as the "electorate".
    As I said, though, you have my support should you decide to run.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, there will probably be unpleasantness. It makes me sigh but everyone is here for their own reason.

      As for being open minded, I often say, "The world does not revolve around me." It seems silly to ignore everything else for my own ego.

      Delete
  11. You have the votes of this high sec carebear noob!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Understand if you choose not to run Sugar, but you're my first vote if you do. You get EVE and respect that those of us that play all have different styles. That is everything I want in my CSM reps.

    ReplyDelete
  13. If you run check your account status. Is Sugar on your media account? Some people have had issues about running like that.

    Also, you do have a small victory getting something changed in the game already. That counts for something.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right now she got kicked out due to the reset bug. If they still have weirdness about it I'll ask for removal if it gets reinstated.

      I will say that its beyond silly for a fan site to have running issues like that. I know its been said before. I have a handful of other accounts as well making it even sillier.

      Delete
  14. If you do have the time to take away from your RL and if you are willing to "out" your RL name - go for it.

    The blog alone makes you "eve-famous" enough to get somewhere.

    And your open-mindedness and willingness to work hard makes you a good candidate - even for someone playing the game ina completely different way from yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great post, am looking forward to more, with luck you can bring the idea's you want to support to the hi-sec carebears like me and with mutual interests move forward gaining support and get elected. Keep the fire burning!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Having lurked and read for my entire 1+ year EVE career, I would be more comfortable with you as my CSM representative than anyone else I know. You would have my (and all my alts') vote(s), and I'd probably convince a couple of friends who normally might not vote to support you, too.

    I think you underrate yourself as just "the low-sec candidate". To me you're really a well-rounded player's candidate -- you do or have done with genuine interest a wide range of EVE activities, often with an uncommon approach. I think this is somewhat unusual, and would let you offer an informed perspective on a broad range of issues.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gevlon suggests that you being "a lowsec pirate who likes frigs" are negatives. To me, they are positives. In fact, to me, you are all positives.

    Do make sure you want to make the time commitment, because I think we all want a happy Sugar more than we want a better CSM representative. But if you think you would like doing it, go for it.

    ReplyDelete
  18. You're interested in the job and you're not from a big bloc.
    That's two reasons to vote for you right there. So I will.

    The fact that your committed enough to run a blog about the game tells a lot too.
    Who says being tech-oriented or well connected actually helps being a good representative.
    It might help argue with a dev or get you elected but I believe it does very little to get you good at being a CSM representative.

    The fact that you care enough is a lot more useful.

    ReplyDelete
  19. You have my vote Sug! And as many other votes as I can pull in for you.
    -Telegram Sam

    ReplyDelete