Book 3 - Page 36

Book 3 - Page 36
Comic - Book 3 - Page 36
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-D- wrote:
Small correction: It's not stable/unstable it's egalitarian and non-egalitarian, where non-egalitarian states are more unstable and have tendency to spread.
...
DVL wrote:

Too neat. Too easy. Probably essentially untrue.

Maybe. However, it's a model that has been verified by historical data.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2 ... d-out.html

That link is behind a paywall, but I found the following by searching for "Deborah Rogers" and "egalitarian":
article, full paper.

article wrote:
The researchers used a computer simulation to compare demographic stability and rates of migration for both egalitarian and unequal societies. They found that class structure provided unequal access to resources, thereby contributing a destabilizing effect on the population, and driving migration and the expansion of stratified societies.
....
In environments where the availability of resources fluctuated from year to year, stratified societies were better able to survive the temporary shortages because the bulk of the deprivation was absorbed by the lower classes, leaving the ruling class – and the overall social structure – intact. That stability enabled them to expand more readily than egalitarian societies, which weren't able to adapt to changing conditions as quickly.


paper wrote:

Case histories from the archeological literature on the spread of stratified societies constitute a rich source of relevant observations. As a test of the explanatory powers of our model, we summarized 15 such studies....

The results of this analysis...provide modest support for our model.... Because both our analysis and the case studies themselves are based on qualitative assessments, there is no legitimate way to assign statistical probabilities to our findings.
Chit Rule Railroad wrote:

That link is behind a paywall, but I found the following by searching for "Deborah Rogers" and "egalitarian":

paper wrote:

Case histories from the archeological literature on the spread of stratified societies constitute a rich source of relevant observations. As a test of the explanatory powers of our model, we summarized 15 such studies....

The results of this analysis...provide modest support for our model.... Because both our analysis and the case studies themselves are based on qualitative assessments, there is no legitimate way to assign statistical probabilities to our findings.


A published paper gives higher confidence than random poster's thought on political matter. If the paper is faulty it will be redacted/corrected by another. Qualitative and meta-analysis don't disprove the paper either.

The article asserts what I assert, that unstable societies spread their instability around. Most human societies operate with consistent overall availability of resources, because trade and agriculture, seek to minimize effect of fluctuations.

Unequal societies also have an array of maladies that will make them hard to live in. That array of maladies is confirmed by a larger set of studies.
Quote:
It appears to raise prevalence of poor health, mental illness, crime, violence, and other societal ills [56], [80], [81]. Inequality reduces cultural diversity through disempowerment of local minority communities [82]. It may harm working relationships within businesses [83], inhibit economic growth in developing countries [84], reduce sustainability [85]–[88], promote corruption [89], and play a role in destabilizing economies [90]
Kalirren wrote:
Lipkin wrote:
Does this update fill anyone else with dread?


Yep. *raises hand* This talk of single points of failure raises the immediate specter of one of them failing in this book. The rules of drama practically dictate that it will be Stanley. Whether it will be by death or by some other means has yet to be seen.

Parson is also becoming a lot more ruthless.


Stanley does indeed seem to be destined to fall victim to the Plot Reaper.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ThePlotReaper

Stanley is the Overlord of Parson's side and therefore Parson will never be able to enact a grand strategy of his own until he's in charge of himself. Parson's already at odds with the control over his actions that Fate and Duty and all that jazz are trying to exert over him. This battle with free will also involves Charlie; Charlie's eradication of Jillian's jester as a tool of the "only enemy worth fighting" indicates that he knew it'd be there - was he trying to erase her free will, or her connection to Fate? It's probably one or the other. Either way, Parson's desire to encourage free will in his underlings can only really be explored once he answers to no-one. Either Stanley will die, or Parson will find some way to be his own man without fear of disbanding.

The thing that suggests that Parson isn't as ruthless as you think is the line of thinking that he's tended towards in his free time.

http://archives.erfworld.com/Book+2/115

Seems to me that sometime before the battle for Spacerock, Parson invented agriculture. A way to sustain a side without the need for conquest. And that's exactly what he identified it as - he was later forced to use it as a military tactic, but his notes indicate that he was more interested in its non-military applications. He recorded it in his Eyebook too, I believe, so Charlie knows about it and doesn't seem to have demonstrated any interest in trying it. In fact it seems to have happened at around the same time that Charlie started considering Parson the most dangerous being in Erfworld. Is it because Parson knows a way to convert Erfworld from the War Economy it currently depends on (and that Charlie thrives on)?

Anyway, Parson's remaining unfazed by Stanley's goals of world domination and taste for stabbing people in the back doesn't mean that Parson likes it - just that he's not surprised. He compared the speech to the speeches he gave when GMing new games, and one thing that's noted in the Dungeon Master Guide 4th Edition is that you need to identify your different players's motivations. Stanley is a Slayer (he enjoys combat for the sake of combat), Instigator (he enjoys poking hornet's nests and stirring the pot, doesn't have the patience for being cautious) and Power Gamer (he enjoys getting progressively more powerful and dominant over his enemies). Wanda is a Storyteller (mostly interested in the overall plot that unfolds). Sizemore's an Actor (likes to explore personal growth, likes talking, doesn't much care for combat). Jack's a Thinker (enjoys solving riddles, coming up with clever solutions) and Watcher (doesn't become too involved, just enjoys the spectacle of everything). Maggie's motivations are still kind of murky, as Parson/the audience doesn't know exactly what the GMTTA wants. Ansom, Ace and Antium are still kind of unknowns. In fact, Wanda is also kind of an unknown to Parson, as he doesn't know what we know about her.

So he's kind of GMing right now and trying to get a feel for what kind of gameplay will engage and stimulate all his players... just like a good GM should. Right now Sizemore's not enjoying how the game's being run, so presumably he'll try and address that. And like most GMs (who are only human), he also has his own preferred game style that he'll try to subtly mix in without anyone noticing. Hence, diplomacy. The suggestion of diplomacy immediately engaged Ansom, who immediately had ideas and suggestions without even needing to be asked. Ansom seems to be an Actor too. Parson can probably work with that and encourage that. If Parson's as sneaky as I think he is, he'll even be able to introduce a lot of his own ideas through Ansom (making them seem like Ansom's ideas) and distract people from the amount of influence he's exerting on the side's direction, i.e. not seeming too overbearing/threatening to his teammates by making it seem like the ideas come from a lot of people and not just him. This is what a good GM does - they play the game they wanna play while satisfying the motivations the players have. Parson isn't just a military mind.
-D- wrote:
The article asserts what I assert, that unstable societies spread their instability around. Most human societies operate with consistent overall availability of resources, because trade and agriculture, seek to minimize effect of fluctuations.


Which is all well and good, except that I object to the notion that stability is equal to egalitarianism.

The paper concludes that stratified societies are good at making more stratified societies by externalizing risk to lower classes and squeezing out more egalitarian societies.

Quote:
Unequal societies also have an array of maladies that will make them hard to live in. That array of maladies is confirmed by a larger set of studies.


Sure, and if you're a Roman citizen and not a slave, life is still better for you than it is for the slave working the salt mine. America still profits by neocolonialism to the point that you have African mudfarmers who have no idea what cacao is for and why all these white people seem so interested in buying it. Nevermind conflict minerals and oil.

You can very well have "stable" upper class societies where some people count as people and others don't because of their race/religion/whatever. Secular humanism and liberalism doesn't follow from stability and prosperity like night after day. I think it's confusing the cause-and-effect.

If you want to make the case that egalitarianism is the optimal spot on that game theory chart, then okay, I might agree with you there.
Nice update, I like seeing Parson focusing everyone, thinking grand strategy.

Though I do hope he's just manipulating Stanley at the end there. Not really doing much to dispel the image of non-royals as... well, Stanley, if you're planning on confirming their biases by going into alliances with the intent on betraying people. Since we have seen sides that seem legitimately trust-worthy and reliable. Jetstone itself seems one, if you make it a friend.

Course some royals are no different, but we haven't really seen a non-royal side that shows non-royal rulers are as varied in attitude and outlook as royal ones (Slately vs. Jillian vs. The So-Be-It Union vs. Posbrake).

Then again Stanley is starting to sound almost royal with his Titanic mandate belief. Was he always this convinced Toolism and Fate were right with him?

oslecamo2 temp wrote:
Let nobody say that Stanley doesn't plan big!

Also, the people calling him stupid for not wanting an heir should remember that Charlie doesn't have an heir either. He only has archons and golems. And considering the amount of heirs we've seen backstabbing their rulers, that's actually a quite sensible thing to do all things considered.


Though Stanley and Charlie run very different sides, and go about obtaining their goals in very different ways. If you never leave your impregnable, hard to reach bunker then not having an heir isn't as much a risk. If you want to be out in the field leading from the front it is.

And of course it might well bite Charlie one day, if he is doomed to fall. Not that I think it'd bother him - he seems like an all or nothing sort of individual. If he can't win I can't imagining him going "well, at least my side will still exist in some form".

Quote:
Ansom always was up for world conquest ever since he joined GK.

He was also perfectly fine with serving as an officer for Hamster, so I don't know why Parson's worried about that in this update.


I think it's a sign that Parson's getting a bit more socially savvy, while still not being especially adept at it. Ansom is showing signs of not being happy, of something being on his mind, but Parson is just attributing that to him feeling put out about not being Chief Warlord anymore.

Personally I suspect (and hope Parson will realise if so), that Ansom might have other things on his mind - Jillian, Slately etc. That Parson's now also saying "so, lets make friends, then stab them in the back when they've fulfilled their use" might also come to play on his mind - GK's behaviour did seem to be a contributing factor in Oss turning back, after all.
El Chupacabra wrote:
DoomBlahSong wrote:
At the end of book 1 Parson claims to be a player, so... what does HE want? What is Parson's grand strategy? It's very mature and pragmatic of Parson to find a path of least resistance with Stanley, but I'm frustrated because Parson doesn't seem to be trying to manipulate Stanley to reach his own goal, he seems to be thinking only about survival. I think what's going through his head is "Okay, I'm stuck with this idiot overlord who has delusions of invincibility, wants to destroy everyone in the entire world who defies him, and is stupid enough to TELL them about it. How do I survive this?"


I know he's typecast as an idiot, but I'm a bit unsure as to whether his goals (or even his belief he's invincible) are delusional... It seems like Erf is destined for war, so I would expect everyone who pops would have a mindset geared for conquest. Sizemore is the aberration here, not Stanley.


I think Erf is more "geared for constant war" than "geared for conquest". Erf forces sides to be aggressive if they want to maintain armies big enough to protect themselves from aggressors... cruel cycle. But actually get good at conquering other sides? You end up with a side too expensive to protect as well, that'll struggle to expand further - hence Haffatons ghost cities.

We've seen a few sides now (namely Old Faq, and The So-Be-It Union) who'd lost interest in waging war on others, and found creative ways to ensure their survival without being aggressors. We've also seen some that look like, if they felt they'd be left alone, probably wouldn't be overly aggressive either (Delkey). I suspect a side ruled by Trem in different days would be the same.

Others seem content to participate in never ending border wars (I'd put both Jetstone/TV here), and the occasional grand campaign that might result in conquest of another side. But very few sides seem to be interested in "World Domination", or even going out of their way to permanently end sides. Jetstone seemed to be surrounded by sides it might have been able to conquer, but seemed to mostly be on peaceful terms with. And the rulers of the biggest sides (Jetstone, Unaroyal, TV) were even friends.

The only dedicated conqueror, other than GK, that springs to mind is Haffaton. Perhaps it's just that none of the others have had the chance - maybe Jetstone would have been aiming for what GK is if Ansom had attuned to the pliers. But then again maybe not.

So I don't think Sizemore is that much of an aberration, or that Stanley is that representative of a norm - just most sides just don't have the luxury of entertaining those sort of mindsets, (which is good or bad, depending on ones point of view).

Spruce wrote:
Sizemore has been acting like a grade-A angsty teen: "Baww baww! I was a superstar and everybody loved me! Baww baww! I can build killer golems but I don't want to be the one to use them because it makes me more responsible for what they do! Baww baww! My holiday resort is not neutral anymore!" Janis has been much more mature about the situation and understanding why they need Parson. She thinks of the bigger picture and not just what is easy for her.

And I kind of like it! Being a bit of a hypocrite makes him more human as a character.


Are you sure the reason for the unhappiness is because he's more ostracised in the MK now, and not because, you know, everything going and that his side are doing kind of clash with his personal ideology/philosophy?

I know if I was Sizemore I'd been rather unhappy. Heck, I'm not Sizemore and I'd be unhappy to the point of resistance if I was part of anything seriously talking about conquering everyone/magic changing everyone's mind to support us regardless of what they believed before - even more unhappy if I was magically compelled to help.

KonradKnox wrote:
Stanley won't disband Parson, no matter how much he threatens it. He's too greedy to do it.
He had more than enough reason to disband parson in book 1 before he took off, but he did not. He's too pragmatic.


I think so too. As much as a buffoon as Stanley can be, he's no King Scroffula. You might have to butter him up for him to openly accept good ideas, but he'll generally go with wise council from what we've seen.
So The Tool needs to make some sort of declaration to normalize relations with his neighbours, pointing out that the recent hostilities were in response to an unprovoked attack on Gobwin Knob by a coalition of sides.
Quote:
At the end of book 1 Parson claims to be a player, so... what does HE want? What is Parson's grand strategy?

Parson is a Catspaw of the hippiemancers, destined to end the permanent state of war or some such. Pfft. Hippies. Total conquest is one way to do that. A better way is trade.

The main purpose of war is to entertain the Royals and to cull the numbers of commoners. A secondary purpose is to resolve family disputes among the royals. The First World War can be viewed as basically a squabble among cousins about the disposal of an inheritance (said inheritance being Europe).
PaulMurrayCbr wrote:
So The Tool needs to make some sort of declaration to normalize relations with his neighbours, pointing out that the recent hostilities were in response to an unprovoked attack on Gobwin Knob by a coalition of sides.


I'm pretty sure that sort of declaration would achieve exactly the opposite, especially when the people you're wanting to normalize relations with are the ones you're accusing of an unprovoked attack.

Doubly so since, well, it isn't all that true. Jetstone's campaign against GK was disproportionate - fuelled by the royal biases of Jetstone - but it was still in response to GK being a bit of an aggressive bully in the neighbourhood. Remember, the destruction of Milquetoast was the catalyst for the RCC to form and attack, even if members of it had personal agendas (putting a non-royal ruler in their place).
Smart Cuttlefish wrote:

I think Erf is more "geared for constant war" than "geared for conquest". Erf forces sides to be aggressive if they want to maintain armies big enough to protect themselves from aggressors... cruel cycle. But actually get good at conquering other sides? You end up with a side too expensive to protect as well, that'll struggle to expand further - hence Haffatons ghost cities.

We've seen a few sides now (namely Old Faq, and The So-Be-It Union) who'd lost interest in waging war on others, and found creative ways to ensure their survival without being aggressors. We've also seen some that look like, if they felt they'd be left alone, probably wouldn't be overly aggressive either (Delkey). I suspect a side ruled by Trem in different days would be the same.


Old Faq thrived in war. They paid their bills by having a flying mercenary go out there in search of bloody trouble that would be profitable.

However one interesting thing is that big sides willingly divide themselves, with the faction allied to the old, which indeed leads to eternal war as old friendships are forgotten and backstabbing ensues.