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Checking my Corners

To often words become bad through their usage in an individuals culture. When I ran for the CSM, I shied away from the word politician because of the negativity I associated with it. But, if one looks at the definition of a politician I am one. It was a very hard thing for me to accept because I had attached such negative weight to the idea. Yesterday, I realized that I had the same problem when it came to the use of agenda.

I was reading the comment over on Tal's blog. I often do not agree with him and sometimes he makes me very angry. But, I value his perspective in Eve because he is intelligent and articulate and it is much, much to easy to get caught up in ones own perspective and opinion. Even if Tal and I will never see Eve eye to eye, knowing how he views Eve and what motivates him improves my understanding of the game and potential experiences inside of it.

But this isn't about Tal's post. It is about the comments and a discussion in which the idea that everyone has an agenda came up. This particular point of the topic caught my attention more so then the argument that they where having. Different opinions where clashing aginst the shore of personal belief. That is an ugly, violent thing. I found myself wanting to not have an agenda and I was treating an agenda like a bad word.

I slowed down and stared at it. I know what agenda means. But at some point I had attached an emotional meaning to it as well. Agenda had become a bad word in relationship to Eve. Something dark, manipulative, and goal oriented to make the situation come out with me on top. I shied away from the word because I found it to be negative.

But agenda is not an automatically negative word.
a list, plan, outline, or the like, of things to be done, matters to be acted or voted upon, etc.
That makes the negative aspect something that I picked up along the way in my desire to be open minded and often neutral. It also left me wondering what my agenda was. Am I trying to manipulate people? I don't think so. I do try to convince others to look at or even take up my world view. That left me uncomfortable. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it neutral? What do I want from them?

People to do what makes them happy? To accept themselves even if other's don't accept what they want to do? I want people to not treat each other like shit. I want to be a good CSM that people can reach out to. I want to do things by example. I'm willing to share my mistakes and pains to help people not go through them themselves. I don't want to be anyone's boss. All of those things would qualify as an agenda.

Good? Bad? Neutral? Can I clearly assess that? It is still uncomfortable.


  1. I think it helps to actually own your agenda. Be transparent and upfront with yourself. It makes it easier to then reflect on other people's views, and so hopefully refine and improve on your own.

    1. This, very much. You have to be aware of why you do what you do. Otherwise, you're simply being ignorant of yourself.

  2. Don't think of it as having an agenda — think of it as having a vision. Having a vision and promoting it was what the community elected you for.

  3. That was a tremendous discussion in the comments! So many perspectives!

    A lot of my way of looking at the world is based on my study of philosophy. I don't believe it's possible to take any action (including writing something or helping someone) without pursuing an agenda. To act requires the pre-existence of motivation to act, and that motivation is rooted in a goal, or it wouldn't occur.

    The Buddhists even recognized this fact; action is a form of violence. But I don't view this as a bad thing. Contribution, creation, construction, uplifting, betterment... these are all violent, hostile actions that view the world as it is and declare, "It will be otherwise!" And that's okay.

    If, as I believe, all things are constantly "becoming" and never "being" - or, are constantly evolving and growing, and are never static and unchanging, then the only crime against another is to deny them stimuli to react to. They have the means of considering what I write and making up their own minds about it. (And if they can't, only powerful stimuli will trigger the critical faculty within them!).

    I tend to very jealously guard the definitions of words. Connotations are cultural hangers-on to the denotations (definitions) of words, and I tend to enjoy looking for ways to break apart the connotation from the denotation. Sure, that means I spend a lot of time in discussions with people asking how they're defining a word so I understand what other baggage they're loading onto it, but I just love that kind of stuff.

    1. I have no background in philosophy. A lot of my blog is simply a thought journal where I chew over things and try not to be a person I'd be embarrassed of.

      When you say that you don't believe its possible to do anything without pursuing an agenda, I shudder. That type of line is exactly what made me write this. When you say that I want to stand up and fight that statement and promise to never behave that way.

      My life isn't often composed of motivation and goals. I find each day brings what it does and I do my best with it.

    2. If you have no motivation or goals what is causing you to expend the time and effort you do on EVE and the community that surrounds it?

    3. I enjoy both things. I wanted to help. I made promises based off of my beliefs. I keep my promises.

    4. I stopped commenting on Tal’s blog a month or so back when I finally discerned his approach to blog discussion is fully and completely identical to his PvP preference. There’s no genuine investigation afoot, only ongoing attempts to bludgeon his opponents into submission. He writes with the intention of winning, not learning. It’s all and only about the violence. Apparently such approach motivates him and his disputants and I’ve been known to partake, but the carefully honed limitations imposed by the ropes around the battle ring can feel a little restrictive.

      That’s not to say one can’t learn anything by reading Tal’s blog nor to say that one won’t find interacting with Tal a beneficial experience, rather it’s just to say that one has to be aware that if you read and interact with Tal you must accept that your place in his world is opponent/victim only.

      For far too many of us just wanting to understand is something that happens at rare moments near the end of arguments when you realize that who’s right may not be essential if you discover something in the process. I kept waiting for this to happen with Tal. It never did.

      On the other hand, you Sugar are much more about the discovery. It’s refreshing. As agenda’s go, ‘discovery’ is a good one.

    5. These are the words I tried to give to him when I finally decided to stop viewing/commenting on his blog: "There’s no genuine investigation afoot, only ongoing attempts to bludgeon his opponents into submission. He writes with the intention of winning, not learning."

      It is very disheartening that one who says they study of philosophy that they do not use an equal amount of effort to see the opposite side i.e balancing excess and deficiency or even i.e. finding symmetry. And since he has no room for true discussion, I cannot ever go back.

    6. And Tal. please link where you got your information on Buddhism, because I was brought up in the "Middle Way", for lack of a better way to explain it in English.

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. Anon, I'm completely wrong on Buddhism. I could swear i read it somewhere, but your comment made me look it up, and you're absolutely right! Thanks for the challenge and correction!

    9. [original comment edited for being grumpy at the time it was wrote...]

      I really value (even though I STRONGLY disagree with much of) Tal's stance and 'take' on EVE. It is just proof that EVE is a hugely multifaceted verse with an immense and diverse variety of playstyles and players... (you know, those we agree with, those we disagree with and those we simply can't grok at all...) =]

      As for "Agenda's"... well, like dandruff and religion (IE dead skin & 'belief's') everyone has 'em, whether they know it or not, and most spend an inordinate amount of time messing with and talking about em...

      There is no real 'altruism'... as R. A. Heinlein said (in the Notebooks of Lazarus Long)...

      "Beware of altrusim. It is based on self-deception, the root of all evil."

      "If tempted by something that feels “altruistic” examine your motives and root out that self-deception. Then, if you still want to do it, wallow in it!"

      IE, if you can figure out what YOUR 'agenda's' are, and you are not OK with em, figure out how you are fooling yourself and do something about it it... then once you are OK with them... GO for it!

      [Much of how I view the world and react to it is encompassed by that small yet wise tome...]


    The problem isn't definition 1, it's number 2. More important than that, the clandestine bit above the textbook definition.

    a plan or goal that guides someone's behavior and that is often kept secret

    You can have an agenda if you want and try to convince people you're right about it, so long as you're above board about it and do it sparingly. Part of the problem with our politics here in the US is it never stops, the party lines are rote repetition so we stop actively listening.

    As for people being nice to each other online..... ?

    1. But two doesn't remove one and become the entirety of the definition.

      The penny arcade comment simply makes me ask why does the discussion about treating people well on line so often lead to an acceptance that it can't be done?

    2. I actually have a couple ideas about why, but they come off as half mad ivory tower ramblings of the sort written by people who've spent too much time in academia. Theory divorced from reality.

      If you actually want to discuss this, I'll write them up later assuming I remember. Vacation started 10 minutes ago and I don't have time to organize them into a coherent whole before hopping a flight.

    3. No worries. I don't want to create a fight that needs to be hopped in.

  5. Having an agenda is good...

    The negative connotations come from liars with secret hidden agendas. People who claim to be doing or standing for one thing when the truth is they're really working towards something entirely different... Something they know their supporters wouldn't like at all.

    1. I was going to comment on the same, Agendas are fine and normal everyone has one. But those with hidden agendas are what bring the negative connotation.

      When someone promotes an idea they don't necessarily agree with or directly care about because it will help their undisclosed personal agenda is often when people start questioning other's agendas.

      For instance a pirate that likes to blow up ships but has no interest in Factional Warfare might lobby for FW changes that would benefit neutral pirates, while not caring about FW in the least.

  6. Nothing wrong with an agenda per se.

    Unfortunately I find that sometimes agenda's get pushed with little or no regard for others. Personally there is very little that agitates me as much as the wilful ignorance and disregard displayed by some individuals and groups where this is concerned. The inability to see any other way than the "my eve" way.

    This to me harms the game in the long term for a majority of players. This harm or perceived harm is why I think one has to object when this is spotted.

    Why? Because the stuff bloggers write changes eve. (I have some nasty examples here, but for the sake of brevity I will omit - for now).

    Please note that this is not aimed at you or another individual. It is not a continuation of a prior engagement. It is just a notice that we should be vigilant and an encouragement to state your own case - whoever you might be.

    I have a load of thoughts on this, but I will conclude with this:
    1)When stating your (counter) case, please try and take into account the preferences of others.
    2)Agendas do not have to be mutually exclusive.
    3)Be nice (leaf from the sugar book that I will try to implement).


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