Comic 1705 - Meeting Adjourned

14th Jul 2021, 12:00 AM
Meeting Adjourned
Average Rating: 5 (12 votes)
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Ryu Santos 14th Jul 2021, 12:17 AM edit delete reply

Imagine what New Troy would be like if Cent-Comm wasn't around.
Old Geezer 14th Jul 2021, 12:37 AM edit delete reply
Consider she was also taking a large CYA position, I'm sure New Troy has done its own more than fair share of appropriating the "Spoils of War".
Evervigilant 14th Jul 2021, 1:26 AM edit delete reply
If Cent-Comm wasn't around New Troy would probably be a smouldering crater. Still remember Cent is an AI and doesn't think like humans. If she follows the usual pattern for AI's she sees moves ahead in multiple probabilities. She has access to almost any information. She knew to a very high probability exactly what was going to happen in the meeting then only nudged things here and there to keep it all within expected parameters. In most sci fi the biggest challenges an AI faces is still being able to relate on a human scale, and not just get bored or frustrated with humans and delete them to simplify things. LoL
Old Geezer 14th Jul 2021, 9:55 AM edit delete reply
Concede what you said in most cases however nothing Cent did approached the challenge thrown. Still maintain Cent "harvested" both wetware and firmware from military conflicts and as such is now in CYA mode to deflect or put off embarrassing questions about NT actions.
mjkj 14th Jul 2021, 12:47 AM edit delete reply

Yeah, you should have stepped in a bit earlier, Cent...

@alt text: indeed... Noctis, please ask!!!!
Gilrandir 14th Jul 2021, 12:51 AM edit delete reply
That apology seems so empty and insincere. And the request to keep an open mind seems so … pointless. But I suppose it is what it is.

I wonder if any of the subtext and strangeness about the Ward/Mara dynamic will ever be revealed, or if it will just be shuffled off-screen and forgotten ASAP?

Acantha even directed her thanks to the wrong person, since it was Noctis who stepped in, not CentComm. CentComm just piled on after the fact in (one supposes) an attempt to save face for New Troy.
HiFranc 14th Jul 2021, 1:24 AM edit delete reply

She’s looking at Noctis.
Lurker314 14th Jul 2021, 1:32 AM edit delete reply
Certainly, Noctis did step in, but her efforts to restore decorum were rejected by C. Slimeball and his puppet. If our Princess were better versed in the ways of diplomacy, she could have shut it down herself, and I expect Centcomm was holding off in no small part to give her the chance to do so. Clearly, however, she was out of her depth, and with the Regent not in the room, there was little hope that he would have succeeded where Noctis failed.

This is one of those cases where it would have been a LOT of fun for Grandma to have been in the room.
Gilrandir 14th Jul 2021, 4:49 PM edit delete reply
She is looking to her right, and Noctis is over her right shoulder, I agree. The eye position might even suggest she is looking toward Noctis -- but CentComm is also 'screen-left' (i.e., to Acantha's right). And, as a retainer with a strong sense of formality, I feel that, if Noctis was being addressed she would reply to her liege's expression of gratitude in some way. I feel it is just a little ambiguous for whom Acantha's thanks are meant.
Lurker314 14th Jul 2021, 1:34 AM edit delete reply
"I...request that you retain open minds..."

Yikes! Centcomm's been hanging out with the diplomatic corps to get that one. That's a very solid smack-down of C Slimeball & puppet.

Still, I expect that Grandma would have had even more fun.
megados 14th Jul 2021, 5:17 AM edit delete reply

It would have been great to have seen Athena's handling of this, yes.
Just_IDD 14th Jul 2021, 2:29 AM edit delete reply
I want so much for one of Councillor Slimeball's companies to be implicated at a high level in the profiteering through this illegal brain trade.

I do wish there was a way to see the alt text for the image on mobile.
megados 14th Jul 2021, 4:56 AM edit delete reply

"I do wish there was a way to see the alt text for the image on mobile."

There is. Tap and hold on the page. It reads, "If Noctis asked, Cent might just open the window for her to drop these two out."
One-eyed Mike 14th Jul 2021, 2:55 AM edit delete reply
It's important to understand that the Councillor and his PA are right. New Rome has been a violent and criminal state for a long time.

Acantha and Maxus are nice, and the Cassians have decided to make nice too. But look at what they stand over.

New Roman rule is based on violence, both explicit and implicit. Acantha told them tbat she has seen vioence all her life - and she is only a teenager.

It's a slave state, no matter how they pretty it up. It's nice that a few slaves are treated well - that doesn't fix it.

The state's attitude to AIs is awful. And the Cassians are killers, built on stolen software and hardware.

The Councillor and his PA are wrong to raise these questions at this meeting, It's not relevant at a meeting to discuss a major existential threat. During the Second World War, western leaders met Stalin to achieve the defeat of the Nazis - even though Stalin killed millions of his own citizens.

However, they would not be wrong to put this on the agenda for another time. It is unfair to treat this as "politics", just because of a prejudice against one kind of politician.
Some Ed 14th Jul 2021, 7:56 AM edit delete reply
For all that Drakestone and 5-1-6 are correct, they are far more wrong for violating the security briefing with this. Bringing this up in a security briefing has a potentially chilling effect on future security briefings. To ensure that all necessary parties feel comfortable attending future briefings, I feel CentComm should make a stronger statement. Unfortunately, it feels like the proper delivery of that statement could need to be complicated.

I feel like this should probably be followed up with a message just for those two as soon as feasible telling them exactly how badly they messed up, and exactly what it will cost them.

After the security situation is handled, that other meeting, with this as the only agenda item, should be scheduled. At the end of the meeting, CentComm should then announce a reparations reduction of some degree, as previously told only to Drakestone and 5-1-6, in part as thanks for contributing to the joint effort to handle this threat, and in part to try to quell any future inappropriate topics at security briefings. I'm thinking something like either "we'll consider the first x payments as made" or "the reparations for this practice during your brother's reign will be reduced by x% over what you just agreed to."

The problem with announcing such a reduction before the negotiation is that Nova Roma could then be willing to accept higher reparations, knowing that they'll be reduced. But the negotiations should not happen before the security threat is reduced.

If the reduction was all of the reparations prior to Maximus' regency, it would be easy to announce it beforehand. However, it sounds like that would be a massive amount of consequences for Drakestone's gambit, possibly too much for New Troy elites to accept.

Of course, Cent-Comm can only make such a statement if she has the clout to do so. Most of the time, it feels like she does, but every so often it seems questionable.
robnot 14th Jul 2021, 8:15 AM edit delete reply
my understanding.. they were invited because they " had waster contacts (info) ." and he was on the council ,,. IE: she has to have a token council presence when dealing foreign state.
BUT instead of helping they used it to push their agenda .. sooo ,,. for Pinky that was a win - win ,,. the council presence that did nothing, that they could have.. and prove at later time that council presence is NOT needed in 'some' state meetings..
Lurker314 14th Jul 2021, 1:13 PM edit delete reply
I'm sorry, but I got C Slimeball's number the moment he stepped into the room. He doesn't give a ***'s *** about justice. By bringing up optics the way he did, he's clearly making a threat to Cent. He's wanting to pocket a few billion while looking like he's fighting for justice.
Lurker314 14th Jul 2021, 1:31 PM edit delete reply
C Slimeball & puppet are most definitely NOT right by any measure.

1) There are LOTS of ways for NR to have obtained the brains without resorting to any illegal actions. Most critically, there might well have been some hush-hush deal decades ago in which they were transferred in a completely legal fashion. Did you know, for instance, that Iran had plates to print US $100 bills throughout the eighties? We gave them to the prior regime. To straight up claim that the brains were stolen at the behest of the prior regime without any supporting evidence is pretty much "Have you stopped beating your wife?" territory.

2) As for citizens being imprisoned or enslaved, again, I say, "Because....?" If you visit Saudi Arabia, and decide to have sex on the beach, expect to get caned or some such as an added bonus. If the imprisoned people visited NR under their own will, they became subject to NR laws _by choice_. If they became criminals or slaves under the laws of NR, well, oops. But, you know, this is why we have _diplomats_. It is literally a significant part of their job to help citizens that get crosswise to the law in the host country. Of course, if the NR government were purchasing slaves from wasters, that would be a different issue, but again, this is a case-by-case matter.

NEVERMIND that our Princess's life is literally in the hands of Centcomm at the moment. NEVERMIND that she herself was recently murdered by Prince sub-hatrack. NEVERMIND that the purpose of this meeting is to build positive relations while dealing with possible Omega-level threat.

This behavior is outrageous, and, frankly, so artless I have to start wondering how he managed to get on the council in the first place.
megados 14th Jul 2021, 5:07 AM edit delete reply

I am still left wondering why Councillor Drakestone and Mara 5-1-6 were invited in the first place. Their contributions to this meeting were non-existent, except for disruption, and their insistence that all the criminal activities throughout the Wastes be laid at Nova Roma's doorstep.
One-eyed Mike 14th Jul 2021, 5:43 AM edit delete reply
To me, it implies that Cent-Comm is not almighty, and must consider the wishes of people - whether this is by her choice or by her underlying programming.

We already know that she is subject to human guidance, possibly even override, by a leading family.

Let us stand back momentarily from the "all politicians are evil" trope. Note that the councillor is the only person present who was worried that Acantha was a teenager, and might be traumatised by the video scenes they saw. Her dismissive answer meant that she had previously been traumatised, and no one else present took this up.

So, maybe he is there to give the view of ordinary people who don't see killing as natural, and who are horrified by the thought of fraternising with the vicious state of New Rome.
Guest 14th Jul 2021, 8:43 AM edit delete reply
Keep in mind that the "counselor" and his assistant are the only two in the meeting that would NOT know exactly what Acantha had been through in her life. Her brother was a monster on all levels, and the rest of the family wasn't much better.

Now, on that note: Mr. Oligarch seems to have forgotten or missed an important lesson. If you know yourself but not your enemy, for every victory you will suffer defeat. He got his point across and disrupted the meeting. Victory. He's pretty much shut down and now has at least one dangerous individual mistrusting him forever. Defeat.
Oldarmourer 14th Jul 2021, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
To me, it implies that Pinky is well aware of self-serving politicians and how their greed can be used to strengthen her own position.
They were included primarily to give Acantha a look into how the political system works in New Troy and how similar it is to the Senate in Nova Roma, people seeking power over others because that makes them feel special and the lengths they'll go to in search of it.
These two petty politicos couldn't be more transparent if they were made of glass, and both of them put together have all the concern for 'the people' as an upset Murderturd in heat.

Acantha should take one thing away from this...
"Diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice doggy' until you can reach for a stick"
Lurker314 14th Jul 2021, 1:35 PM edit delete reply
One-eyed Mike: Dude, you apparently haven't seen enough of the world yet. That wasn't concern, that was a slimy attempt to drag our Princess's emotional state down so as to make her easier to manipulate. She slapped him down (good for her), but clearly isn't yet ready to play at this level.
Oldarmourer 14th Jul 2021, 4:09 PM edit delete reply
That and his "you might be traumatized by this" was utterly condescending and a not so veiled suggestion that she was unfit to be there...
Apparently he forogt that gladiorial matches, toi the death even, were routing in Nova Roma and that as a member of the 'royal family' she would in all likelihood have a reserved seat and be expected to take her turn giving the thumbs up/down...notto mention that douchey's public executions were mandatory attendance, even for her.
Nope, 'councillor' slimeball was being deliberately insulting and trying to belittle Acantha in front of everyone.
I sincerely hope she invites him to Nova Roma then watches him puke at the next bout...maybe Feelie can be his escort and point out the particularly gory parts so he doesn't miss anything.
Oldarmourer 14th Jul 2021, 4:11 PM edit delete reply
After all, we wouldn't want him to miss out on any opportunities for 'cultural exchange'
megados 14th Jul 2021, 7:23 PM edit delete reply

@One-eyed Mike, I was not laboring under an assumption that "all politicians are evil", however when I see them attempt to subvert a high-level security meeting, in a condescending and reprehensible way toward foreign dignitaries, then ignoring the protestations of said dignitary, as well as her aide, such that even the one who invited them has to slap them down, and remind them of their places, it goes a long way toward giving a negative impression, don't you agree?
Tokyo Rose 14th Jul 2021, 9:57 PM edit delete reply

It's largely our fault (mine and Cent's) that they came across as badly as they did. We skipped all the bits of the meeting where they would have been contributing good things...because, well, we're not strategists or political analysts and we can't believably write that sort of thing >.<
Gilrandir 15th Jul 2021, 2:17 AM edit delete reply
And there is a reason why, in real-life, people often get impatient at the apparently glacial pace at which high-level negotiations are carried out. In RL you have layers and intermediaries all carrying out the gentle overtures and indirect hints we readers are suggesting would have been more cordial — but that wouldn’t really make for riveting storytelling either. ^_^

I admit to liking the Councilor more than his aide, but I can accept that neither of them is as toxic as the worst possible interpretation of what we see here.
Oldarmourer 15th Jul 2021, 3:24 AM edit delete reply
Are you sure it wasn't because there weren't any of those moments ?
I thought they were put there just to egg Pinky on...
megados 15th Jul 2021, 5:11 AM edit delete reply

Thanks, @Tokyo Rose for clearing that up. It does explain the one-sidedness there seems to be. Part of my interpretation was bolstered a bit, by the accompanying Alt Text, which sort of piled on the disdain. I'll wait, then, with a more open mind.
Oldarmourer 15th Jul 2021, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
"...because, well, we're not strategists or political analysts and we can't believably write that sort of thing >.< "

No, you two create a world and a wordscape to go with it that gives us something to talk about and even ponder upon.
Whether our ruminations and interpretations are viable, plausible or even reasonable, we have fun making them and that's what you bring us, fun, a commodity that's sadly in short supply these days exactly because of people like Councillor Sleazy and his trained seal.
We don't say it often enough, but thank you and please don't stop giving us this little break from reality, even if it's sometimes a little too close to reality ;)
One-eyed Mike 15th Jul 2021, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
I guess I came at the Councillor and his PA with no pre-conception as to their evilness. That pre-conception produced the name Slimeball used by some commenters.

Each of their comments seem to be well-meaning, on the face of it. They shows humane sympathy for a young teenager, and a desire for reform of an evil state.

This is not relevant in a discussion about the very existence of humanity. But it shows innocence, not a Slimeball nature.
Some Ed 21st Jul 2021, 9:09 AM edit delete reply
I feel like I started this meeting with no preconception of the Councillor and his PA, but I formed a conception of him in the process.

I've seen too many people like him recognize that something might be disturbing to some person of importance for a proceeding, only to have them respond to the person admitting it was a bit disturbing with "Ok, we should proceed without them, since they can't handle this." If they managed to get away with that, then as soon as the person was out of the meeting, they tried to propose things that the person they just had removed would not have stood for - and would have had enough clout to have them thrown out. Sometimes, these slimeballs succeeded.

But that wasn't enough to make me form an opinion, because I am also someone who would have concern for others in the fashion that he expressed, but would not have the same follow through. Depending on the sequence of pictures that had been shown that we didn't get to see, or possibly pictures we were shown but different angles of them, I might have even mentioned the concern for her for the hope that I could suggest we not keep looking at such images so that I wouldn't have to.

But then they brought up the money topic. They were shot down, and they pressed forward. They were shot down, and pressed forward. Shot down a third time, and... all for something that should have never been brought up in the first place. If he felt it was really urgent, maybe just raised as a, "If we're done with everything else, here's something we'll need to talk about later when we've dealt with the current crisis and you're more fully recovered. I'm just raising the issue now so that you will know to be fully briefed on it when we're able to have a more appropriate meeting for it."

I recognize the allegedly stolen goods topic was discussed along with "the Roman slave trade" topic. However, if they were really concerned about the optics, they would've talked about that and only that, not their personal economic losses. Since they raised their personal loses first and then the other, it feels like they mentioned what they care about, and then thought, "Oh, wait, we should also not look like money grubbing evil scum, so this other thing."

When they go on to talk about it more, it's again, allegedly stolen goods first, slavery second.

When Acantha starts to say she can't just something, 5-1-6 puts words into her mouth to make her sound weak. But Acantha previously stated why she couldn't just, and it wasn't power. She. Was. Not. Prepared. For. This. Talk. But they went ahead anyway.

The only reason to go ahead anyway was they wanted to try to get her to agree to something while she was unprepared. Therefore, they are not innocent. Having determined a lack of innocence on one point suggests that it may not be appropriate to assume a lack on another point that could very well be connected with the one lack of innocence we're aware of.
Morituri 15th Jul 2021, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
To me this reads as 'Cent wanted to see how far Acantha could be pushed and how easily, but knew that pushing her hard enough to find out would sour Cent's future relations with New Rome. So she brought in these two to do the pushing in such a way as to not be seen as personally responsible for it, let them push until a point of hard resistance was reached, and then shut them down.'

It was very important for her that that point of hard resistance was reached. There was a chance Acantha would just give in, and she wasn't about to give that up. It was only when she saw that Acantha just yielding wouldn't happen that she stepped in to deliberately claim responsibility for shutting them down.

This way, she hopes, Acantha will perceive Cent as the rescuer rather than as making a hard probe of her ability to push Acantha around. Acantha knows her limits and will to protect Nova Roma have just been tested. She's being invited to attribute the test to some relatively minor faction rather than to Centcomm herself.

Is this minor faction real? Probably. If Cent wanted to see pushing, she could probably find people who would push without prompting from her. But IMO they're probably here specifically because Cent wanted to test Acantha and see whether Acantha could be pushed around.
Lurker314 15th Jul 2021, 6:36 PM edit delete reply
That's a suitably...devious ( for Cent-comm, but...far more risky than has any value. If our Princess, or Maxus, or Aeneas, or any of the three Cassians here figure it out, then that pretty much ends any more meetings of this sort at least until Acantha gets home, perhaps for quite a bit longer.

Our Princess is a minor, not even fully ascended, present for life-saving medical treatment. Anyone suspected of being involved with this outrageous treatment is not going to be viewed with kindness.
Morituri 15th Jul 2021, 9:53 PM edit delete reply
These people are probably idealists (or ideologues) who consider that Nova Roma ought not be enslaving androids. Or anyone else, really, but it seems within New Troy's power to deprive Nova Roma of androids. Human slaves, OTOH, can be produced with unskilled labor so you can't really cut off their supply.

I can't say I'm in complete disagreement, but if they'd asked they'd know that Acantha and Maxus both already have an intense dislike of slavery as an institution and an intent to do better. They'd have gotten further and been less offensive if they'd offered to cooperate in any way they could to end android slavery in Nova Roma.

Unless they are really about the payment rather than the slaves, and here just to push a profit motive. In that case fuck 'em.
Centcomm 16th Jul 2021, 8:14 AM edit delete reply

Key point here.. Acantha and Maxus.. and all of NR. think of slavery as 'normal' keep that in mind.
Morituri 16th Jul 2021, 9:14 AM edit delete reply
Unless I misremember, Maxus at the very least has been personally on the pointy end of that stick as a gladiator. He may think of it as normal but I'd be surprised if he wants it to continue.
megados 16th Jul 2021, 9:32 AM edit delete reply

Thinking that slavery is normal, doesn't mean they don't think about change. It's just that all of NR thinks it's normal, too. Most, if not all of the enslaved might also want change, but don't have the power to do so. Even if Acantha were to make a decree, along with Maxus upholding it, the Senate is another hurdle to be overcome. Add to that, there are many in NR who enjoy the status quo, and would be against change. In the end, if change is to be had, it has to be orchestrated properly, over time, and even then it might lead to civil war.
Centcomm 16th Jul 2021, 5:51 PM edit delete reply

he honestly doesnt care as far as Nova roma is concerned but he knows New troy has a issue with it. thats about it.
Gilrandir 16th Jul 2021, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
@CentComm, your comment raises an issue that I consider significant, and often overlooked in discussions of this type: the distinction between ‘normal’ and ‘natural’. To me, ‘normal’ is just ‘what we are used to’. In the context of a society, it implies a stable and ongoing situation that the speaker accepts as the status quo. While ‘natural’ implies some sort of inherently preferred or fundamental state that arises from the underlying structure of the Universe.

For societies constructed by men to address social and political problems which arise, ‘normal’ can include monogamy, polygamy, slavery, civil rights, cannibalism, veganism, capitalism, communism, etc., etc. All different answers to the questions “What’s the best way to keep people safe? Keep people happy? Raise children? Etc., etc.?”

If, however, you think there is a fundamental or destined ‘plan’ for how people ‘ought’ to live together, a right way and a wrong way for societies to work, then you start asking yourself ‘What is ‘natural’ for a society?” If you think that all societies are purely the result of mortal innovation, then there can be lots of ‘normals’, and no ‘natural’ at all.

It makes perfect sense to me that both Acantha and Maxus would think of Slavery (as an institution) being ‘normal’.
Oldarmourer 16th Jul 2021, 4:48 PM edit delete reply
Slavery, as much as it's disliked and should be, is the default human condition.
A conquered people, or tribe, or family in the next valley, has no other use to their captors and every single cuture on Earth has practiced it at one time or another and some still do today.
That doesn't make it right, especially if you're going to be one of the slaves because you can't defend yourself adequately, but it doesn't make it go away either.
There are levels and varieties of 'slavery' from "you owe me this amount so you'll work for me and I'll keep your wages until it's paid off" to the more complex "we'll hire you but you'll be paid in company scrip that you can only spend at the 'Company Store' where a day's food costs more than a day's pay. We'll graciously let you start a tab, but remember if you leave before it's paid off we'll send the Sheriff after you" to a simple "your tribe lost the fight, come with me to the slave traders, and put these chains on first".

This all takes time and more importantly the will to break and solong as a society sees it as a fair and reasonable means of dealing with people, you'll never stop it. It's said there are more slaves in Africa and the ME now than there were in the 1800's and the number is rising.
Nova Roma seems to be about on a par with Roma Anticuus with slaves having certain rights and slave owners having certain responsibilities (except for douchy) and it probably won't more than a gentle nudge to move slaves from actual servitude into the ranks of the 'wage slaves' we have in what we laughingly call 'civilized' society.

Note to any SJW's itching to twist my words because you refused to learn history:
Go fuck yourselves, my family came to North America in the 1700's because they'd been living pretty much as indentured servants and their 'owners' were cutting back on inventory.
Centcomm 16th Jul 2021, 5:49 PM edit delete reply

SJW's have no place on this website as far as im concerned. Our work is totally free of woke BS too..

If by chance there is any woke bullshit.. its totally by accedent.
Morituri 16th Jul 2021, 7:31 PM edit delete reply
'Woke' in the sense of having a strong idea of right and wrong, and trying to be morally good, is an ideal. But there are near-misses that ruin it. The Pollyanna is just bad writing. Characters that are self-righteous can be interesting and compelling but not really morally good. Characters that are hypocritical may talk about morality and ideals but they're just evil. Again hypocrites can be interesting and compelling characters - every piece needs its adversaries and flawed actors after all.

'Pollyanna' characters annoy the hell out of me. They're the Mary Sue that always has things work out exactly the way she thinks they ought to without any real work or betrayal or hardship or painful choices that leave someone hurt. They bring up their ideals and everybody else just agrees, and then they do what the Pollyanna wants and it makes them all happy, because the Pollyanna is "obviously right" because that's what the writer thinks. Way too many writers do that. But it sucks, and most of those stories get rejection slips.

'Self-righteous' in the sense of insisting that everyone else should have exactly the same ideals and try to be good in exactly the same way is idiotic, disrespectful, and offensive.

'Hypocritical' in the sense of insisting that others should have these ideals and try to be good, while you yourself don't, and probably only want them to so that they'll be easier to take advantage of, is deliberately evil.
Oldarmourer 16th Jul 2021, 7:46 PM edit delete reply
'woke' as it's being used today is little more then bullying, it's "do what we say and think the way we tell you to or you'll be punished", in a way it's slavery at it's lowest level, controlling the mind so the body won't be told to do or say anything that doesn't fit what your 'masters' say is acceptable.
Oh, and the money, don't forget the people leading this new mind control regime and becoming wealthy both in money and political clout all because people have been conditioned through the last 40 years to think that they're responsible for the sins of their ancestors and to never question anyone who tells them what to do.
I never suggested this forum coddled 'sjw' or 'woke' diatribes, seems to me a few tried a while back and learned the error of their ways, I just get so tired of the utter hypocrisy thinking I can be told what I'm thinking without them ever pausing to listen to anyone's thoughts but their own and their complete and unshakable belief that whatever new 'wokespeak' dribbles out of their pieholes is somehow relevant let alone mandatory for anyone else to follow. 2+2=4, the only exception is gov't accounting and in a binary or trinary system ;)
Morituri 17th Jul 2021, 12:34 AM edit delete reply
Yeah,it bites. It's not evenly applied though. Like in boycotts. A caterer boycotts someone they think is morally wrong and refuses to bake a cake for their wedding. An Internet company boycotts someone they think is morally wrong and refuses to publish material the provider thinks is offensive.

A boycott's pretty much the same thing no matter who does it, right?

Thing about that is a lot of people get offended by or about boycotts, but almost everybody picks exactly *ONE* of these boycotts to get offended by.

A boycott's a boycott. It's refusing to do business with someone who offends you. I think it's okay no matter who does it. I only ever hear the word 'woke' in this way meaning someone's offended, from people who disagree with me about that.

megados 17th Jul 2021, 9:25 AM edit delete reply

I dunno. "Wokeness", to me, is when a person, or group "discovers" something and go on to try to school you on their views. I guess this topic came up because of the slavery issue. Lately, there is a lot of emphasis on that part of history, with all kinds of talk about stuff like reparations, etc. (which I am against, since the time for that is long past, and I refuse to be made to pay for others' mistakes) but the "woke" people are trying to seemingly get revenge for the past.

The present is here now, there's enough to do today, and not get bogged down in the past. History is there to learn from, not live in.
Morituri 17th Jul 2021, 10:13 AM edit delete reply
Oh. In that case you mean Self-righteousness. It seems very prevalent in America today. Everybody is taking sides and then getting all kinds of offended at anybody who isn't on their side and trying to force them to do things in the ways they'd do things. One side calls it 'woke.' I don't care. It's the same thing.
megados 17th Jul 2021, 3:36 PM edit delete reply

Yes, it's a specific kind of self-righteousness. They feel it's a sort of "earned" self-righteousness, in that they looked at some issue, gained more "awareness" (God I'm sick of that word), and decided that if you don't agree, they're going to explain it at you.
Gilrandir 18th Jul 2021, 9:31 PM edit delete reply
@Morituri, I would not for the world deny that many people are often hypocritical in accepting boycotts of things of which they disapprove, while decrying boycotts of things they approve.

That being said, I would like to offer a point I think is worthy of consideration. In addition to the many specifics of individual boycotts, boycotts can be divided into two general categories: there is the refusal to _purchase_ goods or services from a supplier, and there is the refusal to _provide_ services or goods to potential purchasers.

The reason I suggest that these distinctions are important is that, looked at in this way, it becomes easier to analyze whether the boycott is a purely private affair, or a government-subsidized boycott, which amounts to a limited form of monopoly. I personally have no problem with private citizens, using only private property, choosing to exercise their right to choose how their money is spent, and how their efforts are expended. However, public moneys and subsidies are so pervasive these days that it is easy for ostensibly 'private' institutions to still be receiving public money, but attempting to exercise boycotts against citizens who are members of a Constitutionally-protected minority. I think, in general, those kinds of boycotts are different in kind, not just degree, and deserve to be treated differently -- i.e., prohibited.

Private is private, public is public -- but don't claim the advantages of supping at the public trough while also claiming the privileges of private enterprise. At least in my opinion, that is rank hypocrisy.
Some Ed 21st Jul 2021, 9:53 AM edit delete reply
I very much agree with the distinction between `Normal` and `Natural`.

I've experienced discrimination that was definitely `Normal`, but IMHO, neither `Natural` nor `Just`.

I feel like Maximus, given his history, would probably have a similar sentiment to how my father tends to be: he wanted institutional systems that had discriminated against him due to specifics of his background that had no basis. Dad usually agrees with me that those institutional systems should be reformed. However, his idea of reform is still what I consider oppressive.

Likewise, I feel, given his past, Maximus would probably feel that certain things about NR's slave situation should be reformed. However, it wouldn't be too surprising to me if his reforms would be "we tweak this ever so slightly", to such a degree that NT would think they've done nothing. In fact, I could easily imagine that as Regent, Maximus has already instituted those reforms, at least on paper. Actual response to the paper always processes at a slower pace, so they may not have happened yet.

I'm imagining these to be very specific practices that Maximus saw or experienced while he was a slave. They could be as minor as, "Once when I was a slave, I was given 50 lashes. It was utter torment. Even I nearly died from it. I don't think anyone should ever have to go through with that again. So I'm limiting this to 45 lashes at the absolute most." (I'm imagining this with the 50 lashes being something similar to the real world 50 lashes laws I remember reading about, in which the lashes were sufficiently weaponized that it would take someone like Maximus to survive 50 of them, and there were even people who'd die from significantly less than 45 of them. It was considered a death sentence, not a torture. Reducing the maximum from 50 to 45 is certainly an improvement, but really not sufficient.

It feels to me that Acantha could have a position anywhere from, "I've not heard about anything significant enough about our slavery system to want to change it" to "This is a problem, let's end this."
Guest 17th Jul 2021, 3:12 PM edit delete reply
Something that also needs to be considered is that CentComm is being constantly monitored by Agamemnon due to her previous actions in New Rome. Due to that I don't think Cent can afford to be devious in her actions toward other states or heads of state.
Oldarmourer 18th Jul 2021, 2:46 PM edit delete reply
It doesn't seem to be so much that Pinky doesn't intend to be devious, it's that Pinky doesn't want to let Agamemnon catch her being devious. ;)
Gilrandir 20th Jul 2021, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
This sentiment, @OldArmourer, would seem to contradict the sentiment expressed in Bound By Words. Devious is one thing, disingenuous is another. I would prefer to think of CentComm as being less reprehensible than you suggest, but her conduct with Master Loyola (”Late Arrival”) does imply a certain fundamental lack of scruples which goes beyond her lack of understanding of humans.

I prefer to imagine she only lacks honor and integrity when it suits the story, rather than all the time.
Demarquis 18th Jul 2021, 9:33 AM edit delete reply
"Woke", properly speaking, as intended by the people who popularized it, means becoming aware of the institutional racism that is, and always has been, baked into US society. It's called "woke" as an analogy to "waking up", as in the majority becoming aware of the privileges they have enjoyed, without earning them, at other people's expense. Nova Roma, as depicted, is probably in need of some awakening, since is seems likely that slavery has become nornalized to some degree there.

Although these two are assholes and not doing much for the cause of liberating NR slaves, assuming they even care about that.
Oldarmourer 18th Jul 2021, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
There is not and never has been an 'Institutional racism" of the kind that's being preached from the multi-million dollar jewel-crusted soapboxes. That's the biggest problem today, people trying to blame everyone for the actions of a few, going so far as to say a newborn baby is 'inherently racist' minutes after it's birth while forgetting a certain 'pay for pray' preacher that ignored the truth in order to jump in front of misinformed mob and ruin the lives of several young men on imaginary charges while profitting from it...or the latest 'leaders' who, as is the norm for this sort of thing, end up with multi-million doallar mansions while the money that was extorted from businesses and individuals to 'combat racism' quietly disappears...
I'm sorry, but I was a University student once and todays' batch don't even have the luxury of being able to hear different viewpoints like we did before deciding what they think is unassailable fact and that history doesn't count because of 'feelings'...
Demarquis 18th Jul 2021, 7:37 PM edit delete reply
Perhaps, I don't follow your references and I have no idea what specifically you are referring to, but the general idea that there has been and continues to be a racist element in American laws, employment practices, educational systems, justice, health care, and cultural norms is very well documented. It's a truth that is easy to misrepresent, as it neither explains all institutional outcomes (it is only one element within them), nor can an honest and complete telling of history ignore it (things happened which can be explained in no other way). A sense of objectivity is difficult to maintain in the face of so much passionate polarization, but it's essential if people are to become informed regarding their shared past.
Oldarmourer 19th Jul 2021, 12:39 PM edit delete reply
and who gets to do the 'informing ? and what do they have to say that's so unquestionably correct ? All that being 'informed' means is "do what we say, or else". The ones claiming to be able to 'inform' us are race-baiting liars who only want to see goverments bow to their will so they'll be the ones calling the shots. No thank you, I like my history the way it happened, ugly or not, not the way someone else thinks it should have.
Oldarmourer 19th Jul 2021, 12:55 PM edit delete reply
Who's going to do the 'informing' ?
What makes them better than any other ?
Sorry, I like my history as it happened, ugly or not, and I have no interest in anyone who tries to change it.
'woke' is nothing more than an attempt to gain some sort of control over others and falsifying history to gain that control is something nobody should stand for.
The previous reference was toward a certain mr sharpton, I'm surprised it wasn't obvious and I try to avoid using exact names here to avoid the sjw mindless howlers from congregating after some search engine sniffs it out.
Demarquis 19th Jul 2021, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
As I say, the history of institutional racism in the US is extremely well attested to in historical sources. I recommend reading "The Color of Law" by Richard Rothstein. It covers legal and institutional racism in the US since the Civil War in a variety of different forms, but primarily in housing. The book is heavily annotated, referencing original documents in many cases (for example, the thousands of "land contracts" that white home owners were once required to sign promising not to sell or rent their property to black people--doing so would be a violation of their contract and open them up to legal liability). This is just one of hundreds of examples one could cite. The existence of legal segregation in employment, education and health care for over a century is infamously known. The justice system was inherently racist for generations following the war: white people could get away with murdering blacks in many localities, including state sanctioned violence, while the reverse was not true. And of course the effects of over a century of legal discrimination do not disappear in a few decades, so we are still living with it today.

This is real history, man. No one is making it up.
Centcomm 19th Jul 2021, 6:29 PM edit delete reply

I understand that you guys feel strongly about this and and i respect that you feel strongly about this. but please keep the comments about the 'comic' and not real life.. if you want to continue, please take it to private messaging or i have a discord for the comic..
Discord Link Datachasers Discord

or hit me up for a invite on discord. Galina Kotko#8112
Demarquis 19th Jul 2021, 7:01 PM edit delete reply
Will do. Looking back, I'm kind of surprised you let us go as long as you did.
Centcomm 19th Jul 2021, 7:48 PM edit delete reply

i was busy.. >_<
megados 19th Jul 2021, 8:21 PM edit delete reply

Once it got to a certain point, I decided to let it be. I took you up your discord invite, though.
Centcomm 20th Jul 2021, 5:33 AM edit delete reply

its open for all! :D
Oldarmourer 20th Jul 2021, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
That's the heart of the problem right there...
People smell money and decide we need to be 'informed' and then tell us they'll be the ones 'informing' us and what they say is sacrosanct when they don't even believe it themselves.
I'll inform myself thank you.
Morituri 20th Jul 2021, 11:20 AM edit delete reply
That's not what it means.

"Institutional Racism" (poor choice of naming IMO) is when some form of discrimination provides economic (or other) advantage for no reason beyond the fact that other people are doing it. The bank that refuses to take mortgages for Black families inside a "red lined" zone is making a decision that maximizes short-term profit: because *other* people are bigoted they value houses in that red-lined district more highly, and *their* mortgages make the bank more money.

The loan officer has no hate, no animus, no fear, etc for black people; the loan officer is just making money.

But the problem is that some people acting bigoted provides the reason for other people to act bigoted, whether there's any actual bad feelings behind their actions or not. And by acting bigoted, this person has provided motive for others to act bigoted, continuing the problem.

That's "insitutional racism" because institutions have developed reasons to act bigoted, regardless of whether the people operating them are actively bigots or feel hatred or anything.
Oldarmourer 21st Jul 2021, 1:29 PM edit delete reply

And programs or cash payouts that you're inelegible for unless you're a 'visible minority' aren't racist ?

If you spent your time acting like something out of a 'rapper' record instead of working at getting the tools to get a job you aren't allowed to be refused (unless you're a white male) then that's your fault.
And for anyone, regardless of race, trying to get a half million dollar mortgage while working part time at McDonald's isn't discrimination, it's just wasting the bank's time asking.
That's what caused the last fiasco, people who should never have been qualified for a mortgage were allowed to take them out and it was illegal to refuse them, even if they took out more than the house was worth to buy suv's and other crap too.
Then when they couldn't keep up the payments they just walked away, leaving the lenders on the hook and the rest of the borrowers and taxpayers had to pay for it.
The same goes for student loans...if you can't pay it back, don't borrow it and DON'T tell me I have to pay it for you.
Gilrandir 21st Jul 2021, 3:35 PM edit delete reply
Do New Troy Banks offer CDOs?

A movie recommendation for folks: "The Big Short." Perhaps a bit dry for some. I really liked the job Steve Carrell did in it.
Oldarmourer 20th Jul 2021, 8:00 AM edit delete reply

Centcomm 20th Jul 2021, 8:43 AM edit delete reply

test confirmed!
megados 20th Jul 2021, 10:27 AM edit delete reply

Gilrandir 20th Jul 2021, 11:23 AM edit delete reply
Assuming standard rules of precedence, I believe 104. ^_^
megados 20th Jul 2021, 1:08 PM edit delete reply

Correct, @Gilrandir, but now Oldarmourer is just gonna copy your answer XD
Oldarmourer 20th Jul 2021, 12:21 PM edit delete reply

can't see that or any others on the DC page since yesterday, I'm either persona non grata or the CF server move screwed something up
megados 20th Jul 2021, 4:21 PM edit delete reply

I can see all of your posts, @Oldarmourer, maybe try restarting your device? It might have the the page cached.
Oldarmourer 21st Jul 2021, 1:22 PM edit delete reply

Apparently my ISP is just really slow on reloading DNS, even if I did do a dnsflush as soon as I read the CF forum entry about it
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