Now that's a nicely organized proposal!
As a super minor polish, possibly change the "clarifies" in paragraph 2 to "defines". Also, you have the "creates" in paragraph 3 is italicized when it looks like it shouldn't be.
Also, I feel like most of the policy proposals I have seen wouldn't have the lists themselves italicized at their starts, but I could be mistaken.
All in all, much better organization and readability!
I followed your advise in changing 'clarifies' to 'defines.' On the topic of italicization, I know it might not be standard, but I made it so every time I stared a statement I italicized the word that world that embodied what that clause would essentially do. I have made a post in the forums so, keep it coming, but put it here: [DRAFT]Rights of Synthetic, Sapient, Biological Creatures.
In other news, I just did my taxes and it turns out the amount of tax I have to pay to the State of Massachusetts exceeds the federal tax refund I will get by about 300 dollars. Last year my refund was 200 dollars more than my state tax, so at least I felt like I had "won" something - though other people went around telling how much more money they are getting back.
Am I doing something wrong here? Do people purposefully give false information to IRS (like declaring school-related expenses that they didn't actually make) or is the tax system constructed such that non-resident aliens like myself are at a disadvantage compared to citizens? I do not expect anyone here to answer these questions, of course. I am just venting. Another tax return season, another breakdown.
I do a map elsewhere and not saying it's the case here but you want to know if a nation is going to stick around otherwise you are putting nations in and rubbing them out every few days not saying it's the case with you but you get someone really keen so you put them in and they move on or die in a couple of months I make a waiting period before adding, just saying it's a hard life being a map maker.
~ Official Government Post ~
Our voting on the embassy with Thalassia has ended, and with an overwhelming 16-1 vote, Thalassia shall be amalgamated into our mycorrhizal empire! shall be our newest embassy region!
Thank you to everyone who voted!
Also, if people are serious about closing some of our dead/zombie/inactive embassies, these are the relevant sections of Article 6, as far as I can tell:
6.1 Regions must have at least six WA nations in residence, and must have existed for at least six months, to be eligible for an embassy with Forest.
6.6 Any resident nation of Forest can call for the closure of an embassy with another region, provided they post on the RMB legitimate reasons for their proposal. If there is considerable interest from the Forest community, as determined by the regional government, either the designated foreign minister or the Forest Keeper will create the following poll: “Shall Forest close embassies with [region]?”
Should the poll pass, the government will initiate closure of the embassy with the identified region.
6.7 All embassy-related polls falling under this section shall be posted for a duration of three days, open to native residents only, and shall have the options "Yes" and "No" as their choices. The opening of a new embassy, or the closure of an existing embassy, shall require a two-thirds majority (67%) to pass.
6.8 Any given region can only be voted on for opening, continuation, and closure one time each during a given term of the Forest Keeper.
Your Foreign Affairs Branch,
I feel like that's common down in Massachusetts. I'm from Mass originally and still have a lot of family down there, and most of them have to pay State taxes every year yet they get some form of federal return. It's pretty ridiculous.
Thank you for teaching me a new word. Wasn't aware of this phenomenon.
A mycorrhiza is a symbiotic association between a fungus and a plant. The term mycorrhiza refers to the role of the fungus in the plant's rhizosphere, its root system. Mycorrhizae play important roles in plant nutrition, soil biology and soil chemistry.
Solid nation name. I wish for your nation a long and happy life.
"Artemis, with shafts of gold, loves archery and the slaying of wild beasts in the mountains, the lyre and dancing and strong-voiced song and shady woods and the cities of upright men."
Hey, ole Zeus also loved turning into a shower of gold for the ladies, make of that what you will. Some accounts also have him castrating his dad, which to be fair is what his dad had done to HIS dad.
My favourite Greek mythological kinkiness though has to be Pasiphae, who made herself a suit out of bullhide to pretend to be a beautiful cow, and attract the seed of the White Bull of Poseidon.
Those old stories, so much more fun than the Christian ones.
Well, it's difficult to judge gods by human standards. Zeus apparently raped Hera and she chose to marry him. Nature itself may have blossomed at the conclusion of their wedding. It was only later that she became the goddess of marriage. In one account, it was she that threw Hepaestus off Olympus and crippled him. Because he was ugly.
I'd have to do a fair amount of digging and source verification, but there ya go. Bear in mind the culture and society of Greeks at that time.
Greetings from The Union of Democratic States! I am Glaciosia, the Union's ambassador to Forest, and I bear word of our June Embassy Update, available on the NS forums : viewtopic.php?f=12&t=424340&start=76 , as well as your own. I look forward to another month of blossoming relations with your region, and I am available for any questions you might have.
That is quite fascinating. However, it is important to remember that carbon emissions have catastrophic effects beyond greenhouse effects. Much of the carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean causing acidification that can be fatal to many marine lifeforms (and anything that feeds on them). Also, if current atmospheric levels of CO2 were to double, human cognition would begin to be affected. That could leave humanity intellectually incapable of tackling carbon emissions outside of rooms with equipment to scrub carbon dioxide from their air.
On the topic of the environment, here is my product environmental impact analysis. It is frustrating how critical bits of information are hidden in order to greenwash everything. I would love to see involvement of neutral third-party organizations in the preparation of corporate environmental impact statements!
Apple touts its progress toward “using clean power sources and driving energy efficiency in [their] operations.” However, at least a third of that 100% is from carbon credit purchases. Passing the buck is not an ideal approach toward “using clean power sources and driving energy efficiency.” So, I consider their 100% claim to be greenwashing. However, my particular iPhone has a lifetime climate change footprint of “only” 96 kg CO2e (Carbon dioxide equivalent. Some gasses have greater impacts on the greenhouse effect than CO2 does.). However, I often use it in place of my PC; it is definitely more of an energy hog than a phone despite my efforts in building it to be as energy efficient as possible. Again, passing the buck is a cop-out but that shift compensates for a portion of that CO2e footprint.
Apple is doing quite a bit to reduce the footprints of the materials that they use in their products. The solder used on the logic board of my phone is 100% recycled tin and over half of the rare earth elements are recycled material rather than virgin material (mining rare earth elements has devastating effects on both the environment and health). The packaging used is made of almost 100% recycled paper. Again, recycling is not great because it uses quite a bit of energy:
“The majority of the energy usage of electronic goods happens during production, and recycling does not recover any of the energy used to make a product or the majority of its raw materials. Furthermore, recycling is not nearly as comprehensive or efficient as the public believes.”
Apple utilizes both good and bad approaches toward product longevity. The bad practices are their efforts to make their products unrepairable by third parties in an effort to compel people to purchase new devices if their existing ones break. A great practice that they have is offering iOS upgrades to all products until at least five years after their release. An Android device typically receives one OS upgrade after the version that it ships with.
In conclusion, do not blindly trust in corporations’ proclamations of “greenness.” Do your own research! Apple certainly bends the truth regarding their environmental impact. Recycling rare earth elements is definitely not as bad as mining them but Apple still depends on virgin material and recycling consumes a great deal of energy. Fortunately, technologies are emerging that will greatly reduce the environmental impact of mining rare earth elements. Until they emerge, using any quantity of newly mined rare earth elements seems very wrong. Please consider purchasing a preowned phone rather than a new one (I should have done this). You will save some money and greatly reduce your environmental footprint.
Apple (2019). Environment. Retrieved June 30, 2020, from https://www.apple.com/environment/
Veksler, D. L. (2017, October 15). Apple Is Not as Green as It Seems. Retrieved June 30, 2020, from https://fee.org/articles/apples-environmental-claims-are-misleading/
The original dispatch can be found here: page=dispatch/id=1382149
Great analysis. It would be nice to see more people do their own research into any corporation's claims. It's obviously nothing new that a company will bend the truth to sell a product, especially now as more people become environmentally conscious. And it's not like we're living in the pre-Digital Age; we do, after all, have things like iPhones at our disposal to do this kind of research ;)
And to add to the larger discussion of our impact on the environment, I'd like to announce the release of Forest's Ecological Footprint Report of 2020. Many thanks to each of the participants that were featured in the report!
Forest’s Ecological Footprint Report of 2020
A similar method of calculating the impact that each individual or collective populations have on the environment is to determine the number of earths that are required to supply the demand for natural resources in one year. Ideally, in an environmentally conscious and sustainable world, we would want this number to be no more than 1. As of 2016, the estimate for the amount of earths it would take to sustain the global population’s consumption needs was 1.69 (resources are being consumed 1.69 times faster than the earth’s ability to reproduce them.)3 This result suggested that the earth had reached its biological productive capacity of that year by August 8. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic response, the 2020 “Earth Overshoot Day” is estimated to land on August 22, a brief moment of respite in the face of historical rising consumption requirements and depleting natural resources around the world.4
In NationStates, Forest is considered one of the leading social, intellectual, and environmentally-minded regions. To bring to light this global issue that affects every living thing on Earth and is particularly concerning to Foresters, a voluntary survey of the region was conducted between June 16 and June 30, 2020. Twenty participating nations used the Footprint Calculator to determine their own EF, the number of earths (NOE) needed in one year to sustain their livelihood, their CO2 emissions in tonnes/year, and the percentage of CO2 emissions that comprise their total EF.5 Additionally, their individual results were compared to a real-world country with a corresponding EF for enhanced context.6
Nation (n = 22)
Number of Earths
Ecological Footprint (gha)
CO2 Emissions (tonnes/year)
% of CO2 (per Total EF)
Number of Earths
As a measure of an individual’s degree of sustainability, the EF and NOE calculations are commonly used to juxtapose one’s ecological impact with another’s to identify gaps or areas for improvement where necessary. According to this sample of participants in Forest, three nations (13.6%) achieved an EF and NOE below the world mean in both categories. Currently, if everyone lived like the average Forest participant, we would need a little more than 2 earths. The mean NOE of Forest, 0.61 above the world mean, ranks in the top 65% of all real-world countries, on par with countries such as the Bahamas, Libya, and Cyprus.9 Though it may seem discouraging, considering the target number for the NOE category is 1, the results are not far from expectations. Most real-world developing and developed nations fall above the world mean in these categories, and it is reasonable to infer that many of the participants reside in such nations. Factors such as the quality of one’s education, socioeconomic standards, governmental priorities at all levels, and family size are just a few of the ways in which our ecological footprint may be determined. The results of these two categories reflect how even for eco-friendly individuals, changing economic and environmental landscapes of the post-industrialized world make it increasingly challenging to meet optimal sustainability goals.
In 2014, the world’s mean accumulation of CO2 emissions reached 4.99 tonnes/year.10 Forest’s mean CO2 emissions of 6.0 tonnes/year would rank in the top 70% of the world in this category, alongside countries like Denmark and Iceland. Being the largest component of the ecological footprint, measuring the carbon footprint of an individual, let alone entire countries, can become remarkably exhaustive. Our food, transportation, and home choices, just to name a few, each comprise a small portion of our total carbon output. Factors that one may not even be aware of nor have control over; such as the extraction, shipment, and packaging of various goods and services; also make up an integral part of our carbon footprint. In terms of the percentage of CO2 emissions per total EF, Forest actually resulted in a lower portion than the world mean. While it does not reflect that the average Forest participant emits less CO2 than the average person in the world, it does reflect that their total EF is slightly more diverse in its resource requirements.
For the average individual on earth to eliminate his or her EF entirely would be not merely impractical, it would be impossible. Per the Footprint Calculator, if one were to live in the most environmentally sustainable way possible in a developed country, he or she would still need at least 0.6 earths. And though the hunter-gatherer way of life lends a sense of Shangri-La in the minds of the modern eco-warrior, the post-industrialized world beckons us to accept that we must instead look for rational ways to harmonize environmental sustainability with technological advancement, sooner rather than later. In a study on the eco-friendly changes that one can make to his or her livelihood, Wynes and Nicholas recommended “having one fewer child, living car-free, avoiding airplane travel, and eating a plant-based diet.”11 A few of the Forest participants, however, expressed challenges to these proposals that they currently face, such as living with family members who choose to eat meat, living far away from a grocery store, or unsuccessfully finding local foods that are not in plastic packaging. Still, small conscious choices in our everyday lives have the power to make a lasting difference on the earth. For example, if a growing proportion of society started to exclude meat for one day out of the week or bought from a nearby farmer’s market, our world EF could see a meaningful decrease. The Global Footprint Network also identifies ways to persuade our leaders of government to effect change. Calling upon our legislators to support renewable energy and efficient public transport systems is vital to the progress towards sustainability and lowering our EF.12 However we choose to find solutions to this global issue is ultimately up to us as individuals, but the cause does not move forward with just one person at the helm. As we know, our EF is multifactorial and interconnected, and no stone need be left unturned with the possibility for planting trees in its place one day.
No doubt the myths are problematic in their misogyny. The Pasiphae example I mentioned was of course a punishment to her husband King Minos, who refused to sacrifice the White Bull in the first place.
Kind of went something like:
Poseidon: Pray to me! Here, I will send a white bull that is awesome, sacrifice it.
Minos: Okay! Wait, this white bull is so nice! I'll sacrifice another bull instead, Poseidon won't know!
Poseidon: Disobedient King! I will punish you by having your wife fall in love with the white bull.
Pasiphae: Ooh that bull is sexy, let me put on this cowhide, so it will mount me. Oh I'm pregnant. Aiee my kid has the head of a bull, that was NOT a comfortable childbirth.
Poseidon: Ha, that showed Minos.
To which we with modern sensibilities would say "WHAT? He committed the sin and his wife gets raped by a bull?"
But to the psychology of men at the time that made perfect sense, because women were property, and if a wife got horribly abused clearly the person who suffered the most was her husband, whose poor honour was tarnished.
The myths of course aren't always the same, and some sources have Pasiphae being punished for her own sins (such as daring to compare her own beauty to Aphrodite). Also, later myths have Pasiphae cursing her husband for infidelity by bewitching his ejaculate to make it into a crippling poison that injures any lovers he takes. Because again, obviously, a cheating husband can be punished by killing the women he cheats with.
I mean, that sort of attitude tells us a lot about history and how awful it was. Though of course it's not just history either: modern Hollywood films still often go with the idea that a man gets punished by things happening to the women in his life, and it's the man's suffering we're meant to empathise with.
The viewpoint character in Taken? The poor dad whose daughter gets abducted. As opposed to, you know, the poor daughter who got abducted.
Anakin's mother gets tortured to death, but its all about the impact it has on Anakin.
Happily, people are now aware of the trope and its underlying sexism, and will often take care to avert it, but its surprising how often it comes up still.
The dangerous thing with this diagnosis, is the fact that in modern movies a person is not (or should not) simply be, a man or a woman, black, white, or any other color, old or young, they are characters and if one of those is the reason for the character to be part of the production, even (or especially) if they are portrayed positively, it’s still sexism, racism, ageism, or whatever. Also to defend Star Wars, we didn’t see torture from Han’s prospective ether, not because it’s sexist, but because it’s PG (Although, I can’t say anything for Revenge of the Sith).
I wonder if voters on November 3rd will have a collective epiphany that the so-called "administration" of "President" Trump has caused more harm and ruin for this country than all of the bad decisions of every single post-war president combined?
Hundreds of George Bush's administration officials are creating a super PAC to try to get Biden elected. You know it's extraordinarily bad when the last Republican president is trying to get the current Republican "president" removed from office.
Trump is a complete and utter disgrace. He ought to be exiled once his term ends. Send him to some miserable rock somewhere, like Bouvet Island. Poor penguins, though...what did they do to deserve that?
I will agree with you that Trump really dropped the ball when dealing with this Corona-crisis. For me it became abundantly clear that he couldn't make head or tails of the entire situation. He literally called it a hoax and downplayed it for months, later on he did a 180 and said he had "always treated the Chinese [sic] Virus very seriously" and that he even predicted early on that it would become a pandemic. However the point is not Trump being Trump...the point I believe Karock is trying to make is that a considerable amount of U.S. citizens elected this guy to be their president....or has "accepted" him in that role. If he has caused so much harm and ruin (which I am not disputing) how is it that he is still in office and even has a pretty good shot at another term as a president. The U.S. political process is rotten at its core. Trump is just a symptom. In fact I am willing to go this far that his election was in fact an attempt to bring in an outsider to "cure" some of it. But as I said this goes way beyond Trump and politics.
Since WWII we (the rest of the western world) has looked towards the U.S. for social and cultural leadership but more and more we are reaching the conclusion that we are looking in the wrong direction. The U.S. claims "wokeness" and moral superiority on the one hand but increasingly lacks the deeds to back that up. Not just in politics but as a country and as a people as a whole. How many mass shootings does it take to change gun laws, how many police brutalities does it take to change police procedures and the hiring process, how many clues does nature need to give that things are going FUBAR while the U.S. (still the world's largest economy) withdraws its participation in the Climate Change Conferences and how many deaths and infections does it take for people (including the president) to realise that this COVID-thing is the real deal and not just a hoax.
I don't believe electing Biden will change things much.....he might have some more intelligible things to say but like people I value politicians on what they do not on what they say they (will) do.
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek"......so where is this change that we are looking for?