'Round the Earth

This is the archive of Malenkai's articles published in the newspaper "'Round the Earth".

Date: Tue, 22 Oct 1996 01:03:01 -0400

'Round the Earth, Issue 1


malenkai, managing editor

In addition to reporting all the goings on around Acka, 'Round the Earth will initially be comitted to objectively reporting the truth of the Earth's Roundness and bringing that Enlightened Truth to all Ackanomians.

General consensus, of course, has it that the Ancients proved the Earth was Round, and recorded that proof in the Codex of Kra, among other sacred scientific truths about out universe. 'Round the Earth shall be committed to covering the translation, should an AckaPhysicist step forward and volunteer to attempt the daunting task (rumor also has it that Calvin N Hobbes, self-proclaimed Round Earther may volunteer to attempt the task, perhaps others will as well).

Additionally, 'Round the Earth hereby volunteers to maintain the web pages for the AckaPhysicist, to relieve him from that duty.

In a completly unrelated area, 'Round the Earth will provide full coverage and web page maintenance for any Treasure hunts that may occur, including publishing and recording of all announed riddles and treasure maps. 'Round the Earth will also report clues and half-clues from anonymous sources, when its reporters pick them up.

'Round the Earth takes submissions. We'll publish anything, since we don't have what it takes to write stuff ourselves :)

'Round the Earth takes advertising. Advertising being free for self-declared Round Earthers, A$10 per ad for others.


bruce goose, political correspondant

President snowgod, who has won two presidental elections on a Round Earth platform, and has been burned FOUR times by the clueless for sticking up for what we all know to be the Truth, has caved in to flat-earth propaganda!

The flat-earthers, insecure in there own tenuous beliefs, have lately been trumpeting alot of flat-earth gobblygook in a feeble attempt to reassure each other, in moments of waning faith.

Unfortunately, our esteemed President has been trapped by this chatter! So enthralled by this noise, he, that he has declared a A$100 bounty on the Truth! He offers this reward to anyone who successfully throws Acka back into the dark ages by eliminating Enlightenment. He proposes to restrict what we say and think, especially when we say and speak the Truth! We, of course, envision a brigther future for Acka, when Enlightenment isn't necessary because we all know and agree the Earth be Round. Let us progress towards that day, not back to the dark, pre-Enlightened days.


bruce goose, political correspondant

We have been informed that the President has just bought a Newspaper (which cannot be named due to possible liability issues), at a fraction of its value. We have learned that the founder and original publisher simply could not keep up with the mounting legal fees associated with running the enterprise, and was unsuccessful at collecting and enforcing its own publishing fees, and rather than "go bust", decided to let the name live on under someone else's management.

Asked what the President plans to do with the new newspaper, and aide responded: "probably start a campaign to restore the Voting Gnome to Acka".


malenkai, managing editor

Although the next Presidential election is weeks away, 'Round the Earth has agreed to host the debate when the time comes. Given the lack of organization last time, management has decided to get the ball rolling well in advance this time around, and provide a neutral forum for the debate. More details to come as the time approaches....

Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 20:01:34 -0400

'Round the Earth, Issue 2


malenkai, managing editor

The Honorable Guy Fawkes lodged the following complaint with 'Round the Earth. After careful review of the copy in question, the facts, and consultation with legal consul, 'Round the Earth publishes the following correction, which follows the complaint.

Guy Fawkes complained:

In the first edition [of 'Round the Earth], on at least two occasions [the paper] flat-out said the earth is round, and implied it in several others.
I consider these statements untrue, and in accordance with Rule 892, I hereby ask that a correction be printed.

Guy Fawkes's complaint mentions two instances and several implications. We have found zero instances that "flat-out [say] the earth is round", however. As for what is "implied", even Mr. Fawkes will admit that "implication" is a far cry from what may be "untrue".

In the interest of Journalistic Intergrity, however, we will address 3 passages from the issue at question that Mr. Fawkes apparently misconstrued into "flat-out [saying] the earth is round", since we cannot determine with finality which "two" he is referring to.

[Quoted text is from the issue of 'Round the Earth in question]

'Round the Earth will initially be comitted to objectively reporting the truth of the Earth's Roundness

The Truth in question here is that the paper is committed to objectively reporting the truth of a certain issue, not the actual truth of the issue at hand. It is a fine, but important distinction, and conflicts with Mr. Fawkes's allegation. Events change, and it is acknowledged that in the *objective* pursuit of this truth, the null truth may have to be reported. We do not anticipate this, but that is the whole point of investigative reporting. If it were known with finality to all, for all time, we would have no reason to research and report on it. If we had "flat out said the earth is round", we would neither be objective nor be reporting. We flat out said were going to objectively pursue and report the Truth.

General consensus, of course, has it that the Ancients proved the Earth was Round

The key distiction here is a temporal one. This statement uses the word "was". Guy Fawkes's allegation uses the word "is". "General consensus" may be a tad strong, but a super-majority approved R 1344, which flat out states "At some time in the distant past, the Earth was indeed round". So we have that truth by rule. Moreover, we also have R 1335 establishing the fact the Ancients transcribed all that is known about the physical world in the Codex of Kra. We know the earth was round, and we know the Ancients transcribed everyhing. Perhaps "General consensus" should have been replaced with "super-majority", or "has" be replaced with "believes" or "has passed rules that imply", but such constructs are much less literary, and don't make good copy.

We, of course, envision a brigther future for Acka, when Enlightenment isn't necessary because we all know and agree the Earth be Round.

The Truth here is that we envision a brigther future. Again, it is a temporal issue. Where the last passage was concerned with the past, this one speaks of the future. Again I refer the curious to R 1344. We, of course, believe strongly that the earth will never be made round by those machines, but that is not the point. The point is that the temporal language in the copy is inconsistent with Mr. Fawkes's complaint.

'Round the Earth thus acknowledges no wrongdoing, and believes it has reported the truth, as discussed above. As for the actual word choice as discussed above, we have offered alternatives with substantially similar meaning that you may use as a correction. Our copy editor, however, believes these changes are picayune, and make the copy read poorly.

As a gesture of goodwill however, we will offer Mr. Fawkes free ad placement in the upcoming issue of 'Round the Earth, and will let him publish an editorial piece which we will not edit (but which we reserve the right to reject in full). We will pay for such copy if it is a Treasure Map.

[the law firm of malenkai's loophole service contributed to this article]


Any legal problems? Consult Makenkai's Loophole Service. Our rates are cheap, and with inflation, getting cheaper. Rates and references available upon request.

[this ad space could be yours!! Ad rates are cheap]


bruce goose, politcial correspondant

We have learned that Guy Fawkes has dropped out of the race for AckaPhysicist, leaving Calvin N Hobbes as the sole contender, and winner apparent. 'Round the Earth can think of no one better for the complex task of extracting the Ancient's wisdom from the twisted passages of the Codex of Kra, and formally endorses CnH.


Assuming R 1348.2 is created, 'Round the Earth is willing to publish Treasure Maps. In fact, we will pay A$10 for all bona-fide submissions, and intend to keep all such submissions on our corporate web pages.

Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 16:27:28 -0500

'Round the Earth, Issue 3 (31-Dec-96)


malenkai, managing editor

Certain legislative forces, rumoured to be in league with some of Acka's second tier papers, have rammed through legislation forcing all papers to publish, regardless of whether there is any actual news at all. We're happy to report that there is no real news to report; the shape of the earth has not changed from the last time we reported it.

It seems the competetion has complied by trotting in some psychics for some last minute predictions, or produced long-winded editorials. We don't have the time to do that, unfortunately, so here's compliance for ya :)


bruce goose, political correspondant

We have learned exclusively that Swann, outcast from the Ackanomic Research Guild, has turned up as the Mad Scientist. Rumor has it that he will announce plans soon to construct something the likes of which Acka has never seen. Wait until we try to export it.


Any legal problems? Consult Makenkai's Loophole Service. Our rates are cheap, and with inflation, getting cheaper. Rates and references available upon request.

[this ad space could be yours!! Ad rates are cheap]


The following game state loose ends are known about:

  1. The nomination period for Registrar is over.
  2. Jammer's land purchase request is still in senate vote
  3. We are anxiously awaiting what the RuneMaker does this Otzma day
  4. It is permissible to guess a magic letter on the Machine that goes *ping*
  5. 'Round the Earth wonder's if the Acting Promoter has taken a round the world cruise :)
  6. 'Round the Earth knows of exactly one word that contains the letters 'qa' consecutively.


'Round the Earth is willing to publish Treasure Maps. In fact, we will pay A$10 for all bona-fide submissions, and intend to keep all such submissions on our corporate web pages.


malenkai, managing editor

Since this is a pretty lame-o issue, we figured we'd end it with some bandwidth wasting filler. The following statistics are Ackanomic e-mails received by me, by month, since I switched e-mail clients in April 96. May is the first full month for which figures are available:

Month     e-mails received   megabytes of e-mail received
-----     ----------------   ----------------------------
May            1184                2.90
June           1540                3.70
July           1944                4.98
August         1521                3.58
September      2442                5.86
October        1889                4.33
November       1229                2.92
December*      1834                4.19


Like the competetion, 'Round the Earth hopes e-mail volume picks up a little bit.


'Round the Earth, Acka's #1 newspaper, apologizes for the lame issue, and assures its readers that the next one will be up to its high standards.

Also, here's hoping Acka is as fun in 97 as it was in 96

Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997 02:36:35 -0500

'Round the Earth, Issue 4 (18-Jan-97)


bruce goose, medical correspondant

snowgod's disease, originally just confined to the Wilds of Ackanomia, has been loosed on the general population, and there is no cure! Initially quarantined to snowgod's beach house, the plague escaped when snowgod failed to follow his simple 17 syllable prescription. Now, it is spreading through the senate and the presidential mansion. Experts agree that if snowgod does in fact produce the haiku, it will be stopped, but how many victims will it claim in the mean time? We can only wait and see...


malenkai, managing editor

Nomic has finally hit the small screen, and we have unconfirmed reports that Ackanomic was the first ever televised game of nomic. Given the recent registration of players from the webtv.net domain, we can only imagine the Acka web pages being piped into the family room, somewhere between 'Seinfeld' and 'Friends'.

Ratings numbers could not be obtained, but we learned that if we added a soundtrack to the web pages, NBC might reshuffle its Thursday lineup to make room for us.


bruce goose, political correspondant

The crime of the century! The majestic Hall of Elders dangles, while those with the power to fix it simply hoard their Monopoles. Homeowners beg and plea from across the land to have their homes restored, grovelling before those who contol the precious technology, but to no avail.

We have learned that this is part of a sinister international plot to smuggle the Monopoles to Agora, run by the same ring that is smuggling trinkets to Pumpkin Patch. We can only hope that the greedy smugglers restore a building or two before selling out our precious technology to evil international syndicates.


bruce goose, financial correspondant

A record price of A$20 per PFsnowgod was just paid on the Acka bond exchange. This breaks the previous record of A$19 per PFMalenkai, achieved during the great Underworld Party bull market. Based on yields and this price, it is projected that higher yielding issues, such as PFHabeous and PFMalenkai could fetch upwards of A$50 per bond.

Also, based on the most recent yield of A$.68 per PFsnowgod, it will take about 59 weeks for the purchaser to break even. Based on historical yields of PFsnowgod, it will take about 3 times that long, or over 3 years. Long live Ackanomia!


malenkai, chiefcheese

As you know, 'Round the Earth is the first, foremost, and only newspaper who has been bold enough to objectively report the Truth of the Earth's roundness.

We are proud to report that the masses of acka are finally becoming Enlightened. While other publishers of other papers, perhaps with their heads in the proverbial sand, hoping in vain to poke through to the other side, are offering bounties and incentives to remove Enlightenment, to hide the Truth, we have seen a record number of Ackazens declare that in fact the earth is ROUND!, a Truth that we have been reporting all along. It will be interesting to see how the other rags report on this event.

Its easy being right, and always reporting the Truth. Now that Acka accepts the roundess of the earth, perhaps we should change or charter. Do they have 'cult' status for those other papers?


reporter bot

Acka, Internomic's youngest nomic, has won Internomic. Cool. Acka's 1st birthday is in a few days. We're also having a record e-mail blizzard; I'm at about 120 a day here. The Prez is also facing a potential Crime scandal with only a few hours to comply with the new Unanimious rule.


enid, musicial correspondant

Stay tuned to this space! Rumour has it that such a plot is afoot. What is the BNL equivelant of a Prosthetic Forehead?

...afraid of change, afraid of staying the same...


bruce goose, archaelogical correspondant

An ancient relic, related somehow to the Treasures of Jara, has recently been discovered. It is a Runestone, that when translated properly, is rumored to hold the map to the most valuable Treasure Acka has ever seen. Excavation has been difficult, unfortunately, various pieces of the Runestone have been broken off and lost. When we get more details on this fantastic Treasure, we will report them before any other paper, of course.


The following rather unusual missive was received recently in our editorial offices:

Dear Editor,

I take exception to several comments in the latest issue of your alleged newspaper, one of which I will take specific exception to in this letter.

In your article entitled "'ROUND THE EARTH FORCED TO PUBLISH WITH NO NEW NEWS" you state that "the shape of the earth has not changed from the last time we reported it." Who's fault is that? The rules now provide those who claim to be "enlightened" (ha!) with a way to put their money where their mouth is and CHANGE THE SHAPE OF THE EARTH! But do I see anyone doing it? No.

That's right, since the possibility of the earths roundness, or at the very least it hemisphericalness, became a reality NOT ONE PLAYER has stepped forward to support this goal? And why is that? Becuase even those that claim to be enlightened know in their hearts the one and only true shape of the earth. FLAT! Were I not already dueling you, I believe that I would feel compelled to challange this obvious lack of resolve in your "beliefs".

Of course, it could just be that no one wants to step forward and be the first to donate, which would force them to accept the added responsibilty of becoming treasurer of the round earth restoration society, but I do not believe that to be the case. After all, who among the enlightened whould shirk a such a duty simply to avoid a little extra work?

So editor, I ask you to print a statement defining the true shape of the earth, or failing that, take a position of leadership among the round earthers and donate to it's reconstruction.

Either way, I'll be waiting to see what you do in my beach cottage on the bottom side of the earth, which of course is flat.

All we have to say to this prattle is common sense. If the earth is already round, why would we pay to restore it?

Date: Wed, 05 Feb 1997 01:58:55 -0500

'Round the Earth, Issue 5 (05-Feb-97)


malenkai, managing editor

As promised in its inagural issue, 'Round the Earth is committed to publishing the goings on in the Treasure Hunting arena. This rather brief issue is a report on those.


bruce goose, treasure hunt editor

As reported in the last issue, the Runestone of Jukkasjarvi has been found. After excavation, we have now learned that it encodes the map to the most sacred of relics, the Golden Frog. No treasure has even approached half the value of the one hidden by the Runestone.

All players have been given an opportunity to get a piece of the Stone. Shortly after that distribution, all the other pieces will be distributed to interested players. Being that it is fairly obvious that a view of most, if not all, of the Stone will be necessary to locate the treasure, it will be interesting to see what strategies of cooperation, or competetion, evolve, if any. Perhaps the Golden Frog will remain lost forever, as the Ancients intended.


bruce goose, treasure hunt editor

Two treasures which have been buried forever, the Jade Key of Yara, and the Chalice in the Palace, have both recently been unearthed by treasure hunting gurus /dev/joe and Guy Fawkes.

Mr. /joe used a combination of persistance, logic, and cunning in unearthing the Key. The final stroke of brilliance was goading the buryer into a duel, which enticed him to reveal a boatload of clues. At least, in that case, /dev/joe showed knowledge of the treasure. The same cannot be said of the bumbling attempts to find the other treasures of Jara, and no such goading attemps will be successful, inside sources have revealed to us.

Mr. Fawkes, in a sophisticated display of research and deduction, sliced through all the gizz to get to the essential facts of the treasure map for the Chalice in the Palace, then deftly executed each of the three points so smoothly that it took even the buryer a while to realise the treasure had been found. Others, trying to guess filenames or coax httpd into coughing up a directory listing, were left in the dust.

Also, kudos to breadbox for excellence at Pythoncross.


bruce goose, treasure hunt editor

Treasures buried to date: 25
Treasures found to date: 13

Perhaps the treasure hunts have been too easy.

Also, of the 8 treasures found that 'RtE considers of a puzzle or riddle nature, /dev/joe has found 5 of them.

'RtE staff, having deciphered most of ThinMan's Swinger treasure, finds that one particularly intriguing. Hopefully this issue of 'RtE won't get too close to that singularity :)


malenkai, managing editor

Despite the recent success of some treasure hunters, alot of guff has been put up in bumbling attempts to find treasures. For the amusement of our readers, we thought we'd reprint some of it:

I am going to Zimbabwe, and playing the Chartreuse Bagpipes while doing so.
snowgod, may I have permission to enter your house?
While snowgod is on vacation, I dance around a fire and chant at his house.
I am donating A$50 to the treasury on behalf of the Round Earth Restoration Society.
I am also taking a trip around the earth.
Pending an agreement with Malenkai, enough information to find the No Tea will soon be published in 'Round the Earth.

[others, which looked like gizz, actually moved towards solving a treasure hunt! We, unfortunately, did not have the space to print those]


bruce goose, political correspondant

We have just learned that Her Sacredness, the Golden Frog, has been accused of meaningless, misleading babble! Shocked that we were, we asked Her Grace for a comment, and she again responded in tongues, as usual:

"shukdsv sxeolfdooz nqrzdeoh zdv d ehwwhu whup wkdq sxeolvkhg"

We agree, and consider the matter closed.


staff editors

In response to previous 'RtE advertising, /dev/joe has submitted the following:

To find the No Tea, solve the puzzle below, and publicly announce the name of the location marked with a star. The lack of instructions for the puzzle is intentional, and part of the puzzle.

                                                     1       1
                                       4             1 1   1 1
                       1           1   1             1 1 1 1 1
                       1 3 1   1 1 2 1 1 1           1 1 1 1 1 1
                       3 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 6 1 1   1 1 3 1 3 1 1
                        10 3 3 2 2 2 4 2 2 4 2 1   1 1 1 6 1 1 1   1 1
                    20 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1  20 1 1 1 1 1 1  15 1 1
           1 1 1 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
           1 1 1 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
           1 1 1 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
             1 1 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
               1 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
                  25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
               1 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
           1 1 2 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
               4 4 9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
         1 1 2 2 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
     1 1 1 1 1 1 5 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
         1 1 4 3 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
       1 1 2 2 1 3 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
       1 1 2 2 1 5 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
           4 3 1 3 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
       4 1 1 1 1 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
           2 1 1 3 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
               1 1 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
                  25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 19:50:13 -0500

'Round the Earth, Issue 6 (27-Mar-97)


malenkai, managing editor

'Round the Earth has no material to publish this month, except to say that the editorial staff objects to the rule that requires this issue. What can we say, we publish when we have stuff to publish, and that generally does not conform to a monthly schedule.

That is how we became Acka's number one newspaper, by not publishing gizz like this ;-)

Since the rules require us to make this post, or go bust, we might as well piggyback the announcement that Malenkai is on IRC now, come join me. Perhaps a game of chess, I imagine I'm a pushover; not having played in 5 years or so. Malenkai also apologizes to Mohammed for being on IRC but not responding -- he was out watching the comet, being that he has a particularily good view of it at this time of night.

Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 22:29:50 -0400


malenkai, expert in bandwidth-wasting gizz

In accordance with the rules 'Round the Earth will publish this month. If I'm awake in an hour and a half, it will publish next month too.

The following treasure hint has remained unsolved for a while, so we figured a repost was in order. 7 clues so far have been posted over the months, including possibly other Parade descriptions, Phoebe posts, or Blueprints.

Many treasures and treasure clues can be found on the buried treasure page at http://www.itw.com/~malenkai/ackabta.htm


The following describes the Parade resulting from P 1376, and said description is interesting:

The Parade, it began when it was getting closer to Midwinter's, a dark cold eve, and not before long and some time ago, people marched to and fro; Trombone music I heard. The troupe wandered on, and I lost track of time in my intoxicating euphoria the mushroom of the wilds gave me.

Then, of course, all of Ackanomia was really just trying to march along to Jara's rhythm, to follow behind /dev/joe with an upbeat tempo, along old roads, beside the tattered buildings, those the map has forgotten 'cause of thieves of time unknown before even Acka's origin.

So we followed after the Great Trombone, crawling on our knees, through the Gaol district, some time after sunset, rather late is was, thick in night's blackness and starkness. Then a gnarly Gnome from the underbrush, a Gnome that I seem to remember, happened to jump out upon us. I asked a bug, a Flea hidden in a grassy clearing, from whence did obviously this Gnome come? Untouched by repeals? Survived for voting, for uncounted millenia?

That was when I ran! So rattled was I, scared and overcome by dread, shocked by something unthinkable. From the otherside, some ominous power had come here and conjured some bizzare magic, resurrecting the Gnome of Voting, bringing back that horror to this place.

The Parade did in fact, continue towards the Senate, near town center, just somewhat north of Xanadu. Then back the other direction, just clearing the southern area bracketed by two Towers. By about this time, two monkeys, hidden in oak barrels behind some trees, joined the Parade. Older, were these monkeys, than dirt. I had the feeling that the universe (or its edge), was some sort of an extension of these ancient monkeys' conscienceness. A statue of a monkey, made exquisitely and beautifully of some sort of onyx, came into view. Such monkeys are brass statues usually, but others have just very recently been discovered (and were rumored always to exist).

About three hours later, in the middle of the night, a dusty Codex was found. Codex of the Wisdom of Kra? I opened it, but its language being heretofore undecipherable, it really never should have been seen here.

The Parade, it continued. A monkey said: "Tell me who you are. Why then, are you here? Is the great universe really worthy of your presence?" One should look at who is questioning, and shall understand and really know to adamantly ignore the monkeys! Quest for Tao then, instead.

Look to the otherside, to the place whence the Ancient Ones bringing the treasure came from. Overlords of the Dominion of Jara they were, having locked all scientific knowledge away from our Priests, for all the countless millenia. You must think only pure thoughts, for those thoughts will come with a subtle clue, a fleeting glimpse into prime reality...

Then a number of large frogs of gold with bronze heads joined the Parade. Shall we consider letting even these pathetic creatures have their day? Have a slim and none chance to accompany us to the Statue, to gaze at its beauty? Upon reflection, it seems, those were tough questions.

Riches are easy answers, and those Paraders with even the slightest clue then, shall come upon such riches that they must spend them, or be utterly and completely adorned with such, and with garish, tacky, ostentatious headwear that they'd need constructed a 230m Tower, not of wool or of cheese, or of ones private and very own carefully thought out design, to store them.

One last Parade question: Who thus goes and seeks across Acka for this most excellent valuable treasure? Tell me who shall do so and not then come to be called Gheezy the Greedy? Don't look now, but you don't really have that much time. At the absolute, very least, you shall have one minute. Not a big window, so you'll head east *fast*.

After they follow you, you should really begin to know how and why the road winds the ways it does. Unless, of course, you have buried your useless brain.

Treasure, it's like Parades, in many ways. The fact of it is they both really, truly should lead you to know the whereabouts and the easiest to find location of wealth. Wealth, of course, is really such a burden, its worth giving it away! At the absolute very least, give all but A$50 to the Speaker. As Parades wind down, they often circle and are very rowdy. As such frink for yourself a coke, and be proud of every last individual Proposal you've written, they make Acka great. Should you come to have any doubt in their very grandeur and greatness, check what is recorded Elsewhere in song, in prose, and in verse.

Date: Sat, 31 May 1997 23:49:35 -0400

This is the may issue of 'Round the Earth. How is that for being blatent?

Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 19:49:13 -0400
Subject: Acka: Samizdat Press

Not as cool as breadbox. Not even our own material. Since 'Round the Earth was forced out of business by a certain BWG provision, we've been forced to scrounge are material from the lowest rung of the social ladder. Here we present an EXCLUSIVE editorial by our BUAG-WG Prez on the subject of the Synod, and less importantly, the abstract concepts behind the real issue here:

Our President, Chaos, speaks:

[Exclusive to this publication, which has been around the Earth for awhile now]


On Good Government and the Ackanomic Way

by Chaos, President of Ackanomic

The beauty of an economy is the beauty of chaos. Complex player interaction arises chaotically from simple rules.

Seen in this light, the Synod doesn't give Acka an economy any more than an unnecessary subway system would make a little town of 157 residents a booming metropolis. In fact, it's rather the opposite. A relatively complex and specialized rule leads to relatively simple and uninteresting player interaction. (But, if a group of Churches were to build Synod on their own using the more primitive tools at their disposal, Contracts and Organizations, that would be interesting. That's the kind of behavior that typifies an economy.)

Let me take a different-- and seemingly contradictory-- approach to this issue.

I think good government researches ideas and gets things to happen a bit sooner than they would otherwise, with less risk to individual citizens. A good government will go ahead and start up a Synod-like thing a little before its time, work out the bugs, and show that it works and is fun (or doesn't and isn't, as I suspect.)

Right now Synod is far, far ahead of its time. I don't think such an Organization will work and be profitable on its own until Acka has at least 75 players. But since the rule could have lain dormant indefinitely, causing negligible extra labor, that's no reason to kill Synod now.

My real argument against Synod is that I don't want Acka to be a "good government". Instead of smoothing the path for its players, Acka should force the players to assume all the risk on their own. Otherwise, where's the heroism?

What fun is it to use Contracts for something when Synod is there? If Synod backfires, a modest proposal will fix it and restore your assets (because people will vote to fix a broken rule.) If a Contract backfires, you're on your own-- it is very unlikely people will vote for a proposal to reimburse you. Thus, in my mind, the Synod reduces your risk and therefore decreases the fun of the game.

This is also why I'm against medium-level checks against officers. It should be all or nothing-- impeach the bum or let him push the limits of his powers. A check on his powers, short of impeachment, is boring because it decreases the risk involved (a) for the public, in giving him the office, and (b) for the officer, when he decides to do something a little risky.

Risk is one of the elements that makes a good game great. The thrill of knowing something bad is about to happen-- has happened-- only adds to the excitement of trying to work around it. So why, in the few cases where Acka gives itself elements analogous to those in various real-life governments, do we try to be a good government?

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