The Erratic Oneironaut - Issue #65Of Rest Rooms and Toilets
Newsletter of the Mortal Mist Community
May 15, 2011
The greatest triumph here, I think, is finally removing the idea of an admin team. The "take me to your leader" conversation inevitably comes up when a new member pops into chat for the first time. The answer was "we don't have an admin team, but the aegis guild is sort of similar". Now what will the answer be? There is only the idea that was proposed at MM's inception to relate now, and nothing to distract from it or confuse it for.--AspirationRealized, from the End Of Aegis thread.
A couple weeks back, somebody outside of the United States asked me about the MineCraft public rest room built along the long road to my settlement. "Is 'toilet' a bad word in the US?" Um. . . no, I replied, stumbling around for a reason we don't just say it the way it is. Americans seem to love our euphemisms. I can't really explain why.
Mortal Mist was born as a simple concept; to create and grow a highly focused lucid dreaming site owned by all who freely choose to be a part of it. That is easy to say, but parsing the concept and implementing is an ongoing process. Among the many conundrums is how to deal with the traditional need for staff without creating positions of power and privilege. Though we have never had moderators, we did have an Admin team because the whole online forum schema has that Administrator thing built right into it. When we dumped the Administrator moniker in favor of "Aegis Guild," it actually required software modification.
It's pretty obvious that Aegis is just a euphemism for Administrators. We aren't fooling anybody. The Administrators/Aegis Guilders here do make every effort to avoid the traditional Forum Administrator role, but it is an imperfect effort. Aegis Guild members are still perceived as leaders, owners, decision makers, dispute settlers, holders of the power and prestige, etc.
So we of the Aegis Guild, in our omniscience and profound wisdom, have decided it is time to do away with the Aegis Guild. Well, kind of. We think. Maybe. Except we aren't quite sure how to do it. And even if we DID know how to do it, wouldn't an Aegis Guild decision about how to go about doing away with itself violate the very principle we are trying to reinforce?
Yeah, it's complicated. Anything involving humans is. And as if our inherent complexity isn't enough, we almost always choose to complicate things further with volumes of rules, protocols and procedures executed by layers of hierarchical government - which creates new power structures and ultimately leads to the inevitable corruption and exploitation of the governed. It is our bizarre, twisted nature. The vision of simplicity and member ownership is elegant but contrary to our very nature.Moonbeam
has composed a Manifesto summing up her understanding of the founding vision and intent of Mortal Mist:
1) All dreamer members are equal.
2) We decide things by consensus.
3) We do not have moderators. See number 2.
4) All labor is voluntary. (Obviously, since we are not paying anybody, but it's not going to be rewarded with what money really represents either--power.)
5) All labor is equal. Time spent at the forum interacting in DJ
's is as important as the technical skills needed to keep the forum running.
6) All power is corrupting. If the ability to wield power is necessary to perform the labor that is voluntarily performed for the community, then the individual initiative for wielding the power should lessen comparably to the amount of power. Anybody wielding power takes action with the consent and knowledge of the entire group.
7) We should not devolve into a democracy. We should have checks and balances.
There is no concise, poignant conclusion to this article. We're in unmapped territory, learning as we go. How do you build and grow a community based on a more perfect implementation of that simple fundamental idea? Ideas and visions are easy to come by. Acting and following through to success, however, is rare indeed.
What is YOUR vision for Mortal Mist? You are one of the owners; what you have to say is important. Please join the conversation here:http://mortalmist.com/forum/smoky-back-room/our-vision(s)-for-mm/msg114782/#msg114782
Do you have comments on or suggestions for doing away with the Aegis Guild? Join that conversation here:http://mortalmist.com/forum/think-tank/the-end-of-aegis-the-beginning-of-a-new-era/
--Moonlit Meadows Game Six Completed--by AspirationRealized
Game 6 of Moonlit Meadows has finally come to a close. The game featured a Moonlit Metropolis theme, making it the first to convey the game's roots with a mafia storyline. The story was written with allusions to the community of Mortal Mist as a whole, with hints of noir appropriate for both the dreadful circumstances of the story, and the era it occurs in.
This game gathered eighteen players, a new record for our games. Since February that number dwindled, with the noose of the Town during the day and the grisly murders of the Mafia by night, until only three players remained. Just one among them was the last player representing the Mafia, and in a brief but tense last phase, a mislynch lead to a Mafia Victory.
I'd like to congratulate Mario92
, and Emerald Wolf
for their victory in this game. And I'd like to thank everyone who played, or even spectated, for making this possible. I've seen the evolution of this community's metagame form, culminating in a very sharp and exciting game this time around. We are moving further and further away from shots in the dark into calculated gambits and targets whose roles are called in a most impressive manner akin to calling shots in pool. From the most active first phase we've ever seen to the Mafia pinning the Detective role the first night, into the final phases where the Vigilante's shot saved the Town from certain peril, this game has moments that the players will talk about for a long time.
A collection of links related to this game:
[spoiler}Every time someone was lynched, a ghastly jukebox would play on its own accord, despite being unplugged. The songs that came from it are all era appropriate, and each one curiously mentions dreams in their titles or their lyrics. A "soundtrack" of sorts has been collected and can be referenced here
The first post in the thread is a directory of sorts with useful information about the game. There you can see how each player was eliminated and when, as well as a (currently unfinished) play by play of every vote and every result of the game. On the same page is an elaborate introduction, the events leading to the story of the game. All of this can be found at the start of the thread, located here
Those who are interested should watch this thread for story seen from the perspective of the players themselves, as well as commentary from those who participated and my own commentary taking advantage of my bird's eye view of the proceedings.[/spoiler]MM
Mafia will continue to grow and the community will continue to improve, enhancing each iteration into a more and more thrilling game of psychology and nerve. The next game, Game 7, will feature a new "Moonlit Moguls" theme and will be moderated by Mario92. Watch the Moonlit Meadows forum and the Erratic Oneironaut for more information and an announcement when the sign ups begin.
--Monthly Events:Basic Task:
Eat lutefisk, then come back and describe the experience. Alternatively, complete one of your own goals, then come back here and report it.Intermediate Task:
Go back in time and ride aboard the Mayflower in its 1620 journey to create the Plymouth Colony.Advanced Task:
Meditate from within your dream, then come back and report the experience.Monthly Meeting Place:
Making it to Iadr's Dock while lucid and talking to another person, duck, turtle, fish, or other animal while there will earn a Gold Award. Making it to Iadr's Dock while lucid but not talking to another person or animal while there will earn a Silver Award. Making it to Iadr's dock in a non-lucid dream will earn a bronze award.
--Community and System Notes
We are a community rooted in something utterly individual; Lucid Dreaming. It is so easy to become distracted from that purpose. It's nice having fun together in other ways, so long as those diversions don't become. . . well - too diverting. The very management of the community can lead to something that exists for its own sake rather than to explore and promote lucid dreaming.To Explore And Promote The Art And Discipline Of Lucid Dreaming
was the line that kept going through my mind as we were getting things started here.
Maybe that should have been the title of this newsletter.
Until next time. . .
EXTRA!! From the growing and changing Mortal Mist MineCraft world. . . The Cubic ChroniclesYour number one source for all things happening in the world of Minecraft
A large forest fire sparked by lightning stripped a sizable area of all trees. Thanks to several members and pj's sapling reserve, the forest has been replanted and is stronger than ever. Kar's bridge suffered moderate damage in the fire, but all other structures were spared.
A new pub has opened up next to the bank. Some question the pub builder's motives for setting up shop next to the largest bank in the world. He was not available for comment.
Several members have banded together to take on a project of epic proportions. This grand undertaking promises to be the largest and lengthiest project in server history. Among the builders are PJ and StarSeeker. They are using 100% manually gathered materials. Any contributions are greatly appreciated. If you have extra hand-mined wood, cobblestone, smooth stone, coal, or glass, please donate what you can.
Aspir and mu have set aside their differences and are working together on developing new redstone products and devices. They have erected two new machines around the server. Since relocating, little news has come forth. I can only assume they are building something truly frightening.
This reporter is the proud new owner and CEO of Yoshi Laboratories. We bring you such devices as the space efficient and aesthetically pleasing spiral greenhouse, as well as the entirely safe* hi-tech Universal Matter Incinerator. Look us up. *Yoshi Laboratories is not responsible for injury or death that results from misuse of the Universal Matter Incinerator.
The subway continues to undergo renovation and expansion. New stops, junctions, and routes are to be expected in the near future.
Castles, castles, everywhere! By sea, by land, by air! Our little world now contains at least three castles. See if you can find them all!
This has been your erratic news update. Got a story or a project to share? Contact your reporter, Mario92!