Knowledge Changes Everything

Knowledge Changes Everything

A little knowledge goes a long way.  It can change how you interpret a situation.  How to judge right from wrong.  Thoughts.  Feelings.  Actions.  Knowledge changes everything.

I finished reading The Empyrean Age about a week ago.  The book was mediocre at best.  One wonders how it got published in the first place.  Forgettable, unappealing characters filled it pages.  A spotty, inconsistent narrative added to the first sin.  In short, I would not recommend this piece of literary garbage to anyone…

…unless they really enjoy political discussions.  These diversions into the inner workings of the various governments are the sole reason I finished the book.  Foiritan and Shakor.  Sarum and Gariushi.  Heth and Midular.  Each of their motivations and actions shaped the EVE story that we have today. And in this group, three characters stood head and shoulders above the rest:  Foiritan, Gariushi, and Heth.

On one hand, you have President Foiritai and Otro Gariushi.  Both strong men from radically different backgrounds and cultures.  Ostensibly at odds with each other (Gallente vs. Caldari), each does everything he can do separately to prevent a way between their two nations.  When that fails, both gamble fortune, reputation, and political capital in a joint solution.  Neither can be described as anything other than strong-willed, determined, and brilliant diplomats with eyes firmly fixed on the proper prize: peace and prosperity for both nations.

On the other hand we have Heth, who from almost the beginning is shown to be a short-sighted sociopath intent only on making the loudest statement possible.  In a classic case of two-dimensional villainy, he cares for nothing but forcing the Gallente to suffer.  Why fix the internal broken economics of the State when you can point a finger at the Gallente and say, “Gallente r bad.  We r gud.  Kill Gallente!”

Worse, the civilians of the State go along with it.  Long beaten down by Executives whose opulent living is downright deplorable, these indentured servants accept every hateful, bigoted word that exits Sociopath Heth’s mouth.  Hopeless people are given hope for a change, and they latch on to it.  Ludicrously good diplomatic solutions are dismissed out of hand.  Why?  “Gallente r bad.  We r gud.  Kill Gallente.”

So why the mini-review of The Empyrean Age?  Longtime readers of this blog know that in a time not so long ago, I was heavily pro-Caldari.  I’d read the 3-4 sentences available of who the Caldari were, what they stood for, and thought “Hell yeah!”  Now?  Hell no.  Knowledge changes everything.  Like the characters above, let’s compare the two nations.

On one hand you have EVE’s largest military and strongest economy (the former surprised me too).  The only true democracy in New Eden.  Concepts like personal liberty are prized possessions.  These people look to avoid war where they can (see the above-mentioned diplomatic solutions), but have the firepower and gumption to take the fight to their enemies when they need to.  Victims of violent hate crimes.  An entire planet’s population held captive to the whim of a madman.  The true good guys in the Empyrean War.

On the other hand you have the cluster’s smallest people group.  A stagnant economy failing due to megacorp trade and production restrictions.  People forced to work “for the man”, because there are no alternatives.  No sense of individuality, every citizen is a faceless peon going dust-to-dust working for the State.  People who take the easy way out and start a war, rather than try to fix their internal issues.  Hopeless aggressors who refused beyond-stupid good incentive packages, and opted for rage.  The only “good” guy, a model for whom Caldari *should have been* is murdered with the full acknowledgement and acceptance by him whom all Caldari would rally around.

I know which sounds better to me.  Oh how wrong I was in the past, offering my support to a bigoted, hateful nation.  Screw the Caldari.  Gallente are fighting the good fight here.  Viva democracy.  Viva diplomacy.  Viva the Federation!

While White Talon won’t be joining Gal Mil directly, we’ll be putting assets in play to assist in the war effort.  Stay tuned over the next 4-5 days.  Andre, chatgris, XG…let’s chat if you have time.  Matthew Geary in-game, or email at bastionATwhitetalonDOTcom.