An Evening with Milograd (Transcript)
Below is the transcript of PNN's An Evening with Milograd
<NewKervoskia>Welcome to the Pacific News Network's an Evening with Milograd. Audience members may submit their questions in the comment channel. We've got a lot of ground to cover so let's get started. First question of the night: Why did you betray TSP's trust?
<Milograd> I don't really think asking why I "betrayed their trust" is the best way of asking it, since, frankly, "breaking their trust" was merely part of the greater operation. And the answer to that was ultimately rather complex but essentially boiled down to a number of things.Contrary to what some people assumed, I hadn't been planning this for a while -- it was the byproduct of a series of realizations regarding the disconnect between the forum government and the in-game government, on top of concerns about the relationship between the endorsement cap and influence distribution.
<NewKervoskia> So the need for change out weighted the duty to the people who elected you as delegate?
<Milograd> Essentially, yes. Ultimately, though, I don't think a forum government can really "elect" anyone, or at least I have my doubts about it. Without in-game endorsements, I couldn't have become delegate. I think we've maintained a status quo of leaving the in-game population largely ignorant of the importance of their endorsements for a while now, or so at least that was the case in TSP, and it leads to the perpetuation of the masses' (dangerous and unnecessary) apathy in regards to who they endorse. So when one says I "betrayed the trust of those who elected me", I can't help but shake my head. A forum government of a few people "elected" me (essentially enabling me to break their endorsement cap restriction that otherwise can't be exceeded), but the people elected me through their endorsements. They didn't do so because of any platform or promise, they just did so. So I don't think trust was broken in that sense. They were very well able to withdraw them later.
<NewKervoskia>> Any nation is free to participate though - it's entirely voluntary - so how would your regime have benefited TSP?
<Milograd>The Coalition manages the in-game government as they see fit, in a top down sort of way. The SPSR was intended to do it the other way around.
<NewKervoskia> And an off site election isn't an endorsement from the people?
<Milograd> No, not really.
<Milograd>Well, that's the thing. I think off-site elections are an endorsement of the people in the beginning, or at least they once were; when the coordinators have little influence, endorsements are what defines their power. When they have a lot (which they accumulate over time), it ceases to be so insofar as radical opposition is more or less removed. But as time goes on, the status quo is more or less forced by high-influence nations.
<NewKervoskia>Influence is the issue then.
<Milograd>People cried "oh, but TSP is one of the regions least plagued by influence's flaws!" This is true and it is precisely why it made sense to launch in TSP. Even as one of the "least impacted" regions, it was still choked by it in the end. I mean, you can say "oh, but everyone is welcome to the forum!" but if you have an opinion that is unpopular with the forum crowd, you're obviously going to get treated like a pariah, and in most cases pariahs don't stick around. Unless you're like Hataria, anyway. A forum election is legitimate when its continuation is regulated by the people. It ceases to be so when it becomes self-sufficient.
<NewKervoskia> Right but the people who elected you are generally more informed, more involved in the community and more active overall than minnow Nation ABC. You have a basic duty to them.
<Milograd>Do I not have a basic duty to minnow nation ABC? I think I do.I treat them equally. It also doesn't help that the [unnecessary] ignorance of the minnows is caused and perpetuated by the actions of the forum clique. They don't educate them about the power of their endorsements.
I felt compelled to promote enlightenment in that regard. To open their eyes about how important their endorsements are and why they should distribute them methodically. And with informed decisions.
<NewKervoskia>Why did you choose to go rogue and overthrow the region's government, rather than using your term as Delegate to try to bring about change in a positive way that might have been more acceptable both in-game and to the forum community?
<Milograd> You cannot realistically tear down the oligarch's system within the confines of their system. It would have been futile. Of course, it was also futile to try it in-game, but that ties in to the point that was illustrated about the flaws with influence. I also cannot help but feel that that question is a bit charged. A lot of the changes were acceptable. There was a lot of excitement about the abolishment of the endorsement cap.
<NewKervoskia> So this wasn't just for lulz, though many have promoted that view.
<Milograd> Oh, don't get me wrong: lulz were had. But that lulz came on the *side* as we were trying to forward our agenda of serving the people and proving a point about influence.
<NewKervoskia>I'm going to move a bit further now. It's public knowledge now that Durkadurkiranistan (aka JAL) played a part in the coup. No one does this alone. There must have been others.
<Milograd> I got by with a little help from my friends, yes. It started small and grew exponentially from there. The original coordination vanguard consisted of three people, myself included.
<NewKervoskia> Who would you consider your core?
<Milograd>Well, three people had access to "Milograd", myself included. Then we had a lot of people I would consider invaluable participating on the RMB, on the forums, etc etc.
<NewKervoskia>How large a role did Durk actually play?
<Milograd> Well, he was in the management room every night with me and the third member of the troika. We handled the pre-update routine methodically and he took on a solid share of the workload in that regard. Of the three people who had access to Milograd, we all had different roles in handling updates. Usually, Durk handled clearing the banlist, I handled reactionary sleepers who were endorsing B&N and all non-WA nations, and person three handled incoming nations. At update, Durk would watch for nations pulling endos from me, I'd watch for nations incoming and endorsing B&N and/or switching, and three handled incoming nations. It worked very well.
<NewKervoskia>Did this third member act in an official capacity for a foreign government or organization?
<Milograd> Yes, but only in the capacity of aiding an honorable cause.
<NewKervoskia>Was it Eluvatar?
<Milograd> Obviously. No, but in all seriousness, I cannot disclose that right now at his/her request -- I will probably do so after his/her objectives elsewhere are completed in the near future.
Provided he/she consents, of course. He knows who he is and he is waiting. And yeah, it's a guy. As is everyone else. >:\
<NewKervoskia>Aside from the core who else had a significant impact?
<Milograd> That list goes on and on from the GP orgs who most people know about already, and onward. People like Leistung, Os, Ofly, Erusea, Praetonia, Jer, Motappaland, Andreeson, Jugovenia, PR, Lint Roller, The Notorious DTN, GWO (not Grand World Order), UWO, Dae, and so on all assisted dearly.In fact, Leistung personally coordinated our so-called "deathsquad". He was swell at it.
I could go on and on in terms of people who helped but we haven't the time. But heroes like Leistung, Os, Lint, Ofly, Erus, etc were definitely vital. As were the many others who showed up.
<NewKervoskia>When did it become apparent you'd survive longer than an update and what did you plan to do?
<Milograd>It became apparent after we fought off the UDL-TITO effort on Saturday major, really. Their force was crushed with ease and we had plenty of influence left to burn. And of course, burning influence was a part of the goal.
<NewKervoskia>But you never knew whether you'd make the next update.
<Milograd>Enh, we kind of did. after that. The only real question was when we wouldn't be online for an update. They couldn't stop us when we were. And alas, that came on Tuesday when I was at my doctor's appointment and JAL was at work. We had one person online but he was off his game due to RL concerns, and that's when we lost it. We had a great run though, as I see it.
<NewKervoskia> So you knew you'd make it, what long-term plans did you have?
<Milograd> Long-term is a bit of an exaggeration, I feel.
<NewKervoskia> Okay rephrase. What direction did you want to take the region?
<Milograd>Exactly what it said on the tin, really. We were going to run the SPSR as if it was described while fighting off invasions and discussing influence reform.
<NewKervoskia> Flipside- when did it become apparent you'd lose the seat?
<Milograd>I realized I would lose the seat at about 11am on Tuesday, when I was told I had to go to the doctor's. I knew JAL had work.
<NewKervoskia>And what was your first thought when the Coalition formed?
<Milograd>I was intrigued by the coalition. It was an interesting construct and crew.
<NewKervoskia>What did you think about some of the older nations siding with the Coalition?
<Milograd> I was unsurprised, but at least glad to see that they were being proactive about their region's management. I disagreed with them but respected their right to have dissenting opinions.
<Milograd>]And that they cared. Os was the leader of the Worker's Cadre for Political Justice and he empathized that a lot.
<NewKervoskia>And the broader Coalition? Not just TSPers.
<Milograd> I was, again, unsurprised. Same old story really. Mixed intentions, similar contributions, same result.
<NewKervoskia>Emotions ran high – were you angry?
<Milograd> Neg.There was definitely a lot of anger from some of my opposition though, as evidenced by the +1,000 telegrams I received over the course of that week. "For every refresh, a new message!"
<NewKervoskia> Looking at the aftermath, do you expect to forgiven or trusted by TSP again?
<Milograd>Probably not, but weirder things have happened. Though that's not overly relevant given my plans for the future.
<NewKervoskia>What would you have done differently?
<Milograd>I would have gotten the forum up quicker, promoted Comrade Colo quicker, widened the gap more on Monday major, and rescheduled my appointment. I'd also probably have toned the over-the-top rhetoric down a bit, though the semi-satirical nature of that was quite intentional. As were many things.But alas, 20/20.
<NewKervoskia>Earlier this week you publicly announced your retirement – but honestly no one really retires. Have you reconsidered and if so what are your plans?
<Milograd> Yes, I have. But between the personal hate I've received, the threats, the harassment, and the general treatment of me as a player, I haven't felt very keen on staying. (Since this started.) If I were to leave GP I'd go back to where I started, RP, but some recent events threaten my ability to do so easily so I'm on the fence there. Ultimately, I'd prefer to stay provided some circumstances, but I currently don't feel very welcome, if you can understand that.
<<NewKervoskia> Having never participated in a coup or supported those who did I have no understanding of what you're feeling.
<Milograd>Maybe you'll learn one day.
<<NewKervoskia> Nearing the end of the interview now. What is your biggest regret about the whole affair?
<Milograd> Hmm.Probably not talking to Southern bellz about it, to be honest. Quite fond of SB and I'm not sure where we stand at the moment, but alas.
<<NewKervoskia>Any words to those in TSP who aren't watching now?
<Milograd>I hope they all don't take it personally, really. There are some great folks over there who I've grown fond of over the years but game circumstances prompted me to act against them. That and, they should definitely abolish their endocap IMO. Or at least raise it. I ultimately feel that what happened in TSP should be looked at, to some degree, as an example of the potential we have in the GCRs. The week of the revolt was extremely action-packed, interesting, and had a *lot* of involvement. But this was only achieved by counter-balancing against the deadly cycle that influence and endorsement caps bring to the GCRs. Endorsement caps, at this point, really just strangle the masses. They entrench regimes further and further into security and thereby promote excess stagnation. By limiting how many endorsements you have you limit how much influence you can have and we all know how broken influence growth is already. A fair game (with fun) entails something where two sides have an equal chance of winning, really. But in the current set up, that's not possible. I wasn't able to eject my opposition and yet they were able to make a "game over" by ejecting me and many of my supporters in a few seconds.Do I think I should have been able to eject my opposition? Not necessarily. But if I couldn't do it to them it shouldn't have been possible for them to do it to me. It just kills the fight. I coordinated this coup in a way that displayed the broken aspects of this as clearly as possible.
<NewKervoskia>So it's fair game for foreign WA's to support you but anybody who supported B&N should be rejected?
<Milograd> Yes, so as to balance it.
<NewKervoskia> But isn't it about TSP and its people - the voiceless thousands?
<Milograd> Foreign WAs involved were only protecting the will of the people. Foreigners had the numbers to throw of the ratio of native endos to foreign endos between B&N and I and I tried to prevent that. But otherwise, not many dissenters were ejected. Some were, of course, but I'd consider it to be collateral damage. We had to purge every single nation that was purged due to the possibility that they were foreign reactionary agents. It's unfortunate but our hand was forced by the puppet flooding.
<NewKervoskia> But you don't get something for nothing. All accounts have to be settled. The foreigners expected more than just gratitude.
<Milograd> Of course. But nothing that infringed on the region's sovereignty in terms of management, of course. I mean, people are quick to cry about how I purged ~3,000 nations, but many of those were reactionary agents and they know it well. We put up the best fight possible to display flaws in the system.
<NewKervoskia> But 3,000. How many reactionaries could there be?
<Milograd> It was collateral damage. Unfortunately, there were certainly innocents in that bunch, but many were reactionaries. You have to cast a wide net if you're going to ensure that no foreign reactionaries survive. And we must remember that not all purges at bad; Hogsweat's purge, for example, was labelled as griefing but it was for the greater good. If I could have known who was and wasn't a reactionary in the bunches, I would have spared the innocents. But I had no way of knowing, so it was necessary to purge everyone.
<NewKervoskia>I understand casting a wide net but the fight was for the thousands of minnows and they were the majority of the ejected. Under influence, real reactionaries are the least likely to be removable in a coup. How do ejections of the newest members counter a party that exists solely among the oldest members?
<Milograd> Most of the people ejected were foreigners.Foreign reactionaries are different from internal reactionaries, as they are unwelcome. And "new members" were largely foreign forces, so that's a bit spun.I mean, like you said, there was a very large force against us. It was reasonable to expect a lot of them. We had to put up the best fight possible to prove the existence of many flaws, and I think we succeeded at it. The question now is whether or not people will pay attention to what they saw and try to push forward change, so that a more realistic solution to the plight of the minnows can be achieved. And by realistic I mean sustainable, sensible, and balanced.
<NewKervoskia>Do you think they will? And do you think the belief that it was "for the lulz" will minimize its impact?
<Milograd> If people are going to cry that it was "for the lulz", that's unfortunate but unavoidable. They're the ones choosing to disregard reality.What happened happened and it was for more than just lols. I said that. It's here in text.
<NewKervoskia>Final question and closing thoughts: How is this different from previous feeder coups though?
<Milograd> I would say that this coup brought in an unusual, if not exceptional, amount of participation, and was managed in a handful of ways previously unforeseen. It also had a lot of unique elements such as the influence conundrum, the rhetorical ironies regarding oligarchs vs. what we propped up, etc. I mean, the amount of people who were involved in this was highly unusual, IMO. That's my take on it, anyway. I am certain that many will look at this in retrospect with differing opinions. It was not meant to be a perpetual coup nor was it meant to be a "for the lols" purge. It was a statement, an adventure, a show, a call to attention, and a display of the potential for excitement that we could regularly see if the technical circumstances were different -- see, I tried to make influence "less necessary" throughout this entire thing. But the fight was futile from the beginning: everyone knew this. And despite going above and beyond in terms of sustaining it, it was doomed to end thanks to broken mechanics. I hope that we'll get around to editing them soon. There are some excellent suggestions in Sedgistan's thread about influence in the GCRs and I would strongly encourage everyone to takea look, post their thoughts, and encourage the admins to do something about it, finally.
<NewKervoskia>Thank you for your time, Milograd.
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