Sunday, December 15, 2013

Blogging and Propaganda

Having read a number of blogs and news sites, you’ve probably noticed that there are clear differences among the tones and writing styles of various bloggers, and they run the gamut on a number of spectrums: witty-dry, serious-funny, sophisticated-juvenile, realistic-biased.

When I started writing this blog, I honestly didn’t expect to cultivate a particular style.  The way I write here is the way I write all my fiction.  Granted, each genre and type of writing has its own conventions, and I tend to stick to those when appropriate, but tone, voice, and pace are pretty consistent.

But there are a few intentional choices I made.  One of those was my desire to include within each of my posts something that a reader could take away to make his or her Eve experience richer.  That might mean a lesson that they could emulate, a mistake I made that they can avoid, or a way of thinking about the game contrary to the way they normally do.

But the most important intentional decision is about propaganda.

When I started this blog, I did so because I wanted to increase my overall engagement with Eve.  I wanted to think about things I hadn’t thought about before, review fights in a different way than I had in the past, and generally increase my reflection about the game.  I encourage people to respond to my posts pointing out why I’m wrong (in the spirit of debate, of course, not ad hominem attacks).

But you’ll never see me post propaganda on this site.  For my purposes, I’m using a very broad definition – propaganda is anything I post which I don’t personally believe, specifically to influence your opinion which I don’t personally believe.  I can’t guarantee that I’m free of bias or that my information is 100% accurate – I’m human after all – but I can guarantee that I’ll never pull the wool over your eyes.

Part of the reason is so I don’t delude myself, or start to believe a false narrative.  That’s actually quite an easy trap to fall into.  And it wouldn’t help me in reflecting on how I play Eve for the purpose of improving.

But putting propaganda on this site would also negate any credibility I have.  When you write a blog, you’re really engaging in a long-term relationship with people you’ve never met.  That’s part of why I post under my character name.  I want people to know who I am, and hold me accountable if I say something stupid; that’s the only way I’ll learn and improve.  Anonymous posting is a huge problem with the Internet.

So, when you see something posted on this site, know that it’s coming from an honest place.  I’m not going to lie to you, or post with the intention of deceiving you for personal, alliance, or coalition gain.  I don’t engage in propaganda knowingly – but, hey, let’s be honest… we all believe some things that are probably not as true as we’d hope.  But I strive for objectivity, as much as any person is capable of it.

There’s an unspoken contract between a developer of content and consumers of content.  I don’t intend on violating that unspoken contract.  On Target Caller, you won’t spend your time doing the equivalent of watching a movie only to learn at the end that it’s all in a character’s head and never happened.

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