CSM 8 Voters Guide – Endorsements, Anathemas and the Lost

csmlogo-blackThis is a continuation of my 4-part Voter’s Guide for CSM8.

Below I will detail the candidates that I think are most important for you to know, either because I believe they will make excellent CSM candidates, or because I believe they will make terrible candidates.

Think of an endorsement from me as a personal, individual stamp of approval regardless of the election mechanics. This means that due to the mechanics of the STV system, I will not be voting for all of these people, and some who are not listed here will be on my slate! I’ll expand on this in the Voting Recommendations post. This is also not a list of who I would consider a “balanced” CSM, which I will handle in a post outside this guide.

Thirty-five people made the pre-election ballot, and it looks like most of them are going to make it to the full ballot, so as you build your list of 14, here are 12 (endorsements) you should be happy to have in your list, and 3 (anathemas) you should not vote for under any circumstance unless your goal is to drive reduced productivity, capability and representation. Finally I’ll take a brief bit at the end to discuss a few who have left the race that would have either gotten an endorsement or anathema tag from me had they stayed in. The remaining 20 I call “The Muddy Middle” and will be the content of the next post in this series.

Endorsements

The twelve fall into three distinct groups: At-Large/Independent, Nullsec Bloc, and Wormhole. Within those groups I will list candidates alphabetically – ranking will come in a future post. You should feel good when voting for any of the endorsed folks below. I think they have a good mind-set for the CSM, good experience and viewpoint to bring to the table, and an understanding of how much work is going to be involved (and they have that level of bandwidth to contribute). I think they have some of their own goals, ideas and agendas but understand how to work with others and will help solve problems that are broader than their own world.

At-Large (Independent) Candidates

These candidates are not specific to any bloc, effectively independents. The CSM needs independents, this year more than ever. Listed alphabetically.

  • Ali Aras. I had never heard of Ali before this week. Her posts were a breath of fresh air, and her CZ interview cemented my impression of her. Her stories are the stories we wish all newbies could tell after 18 months in the game – a self-made corp leader and content-maker. I think she will bring the real point of view of a passionate new player to the table and I hope she gets in. While she is in theory a sov null player, to call her a bloc candidate would be laughable. She is effectively an independent who lives in Providence.
  • Mike Azariah. While I like his blog and think he’s nice, Mike almost didn’t make this list, until I listened to Voices from the Void Episode 68. Mike does a fantastic job of steering the conversation and making the null guys (strong guys like Malcanis and Kesper North) think – bringing up the level of conversation simply by being there. I think he can do the same in Iceland. Mike also brilliantly equates the CSM to the old parable of the blind men describing an elephant – his point being that balance in viewpoints is critical to seeing the whole picture.
  • Psychotic Monk. In balance with Mike, I think the griefers also need a voice, as do folks like Ripard and Trebor. Monk is remarkably articulate and logical in the way that he presents his ideas. As Trebor put it “I hope he will be the Alekseyev Karrde of CSM8.” This matches my thoughts exactly. I’m glad that disaster James315 (See The Lost below) dropped so that the far superior Monk can pick up his votes.
  • Ripard Teg. Simply put, Ripard is the most prolific writer on the subject of EVE that I have ever seen. No, not all of it is perfect, and I don’t always agree with him. But the man has clearly shown both breadth and depth of insight, understanding and capability that I have seen from few, if any, others. He has been the fly in the ointment of the last two CSMs. He is a prolific PVPer, industrialist, incursion-runner, guide-writer and tournament pilot. It is time that Ripard has his chance, and I think would be a solid choice for Chairman.
  • Trebor Daehdoow. I’ve endorsed Trebor previously, and that endorsement stands. Long story short, while he says many things I don’t necessarily agree with, Trebor will bust his butt, ask uncomfortable questions primarily as a devil’s advocate, and be a much-needed transition enabler between CSMs. While he could go for Chairman, I would pick Ripard or Mynnna if it were mine to vote on – the chair should be new blood.

Nullsec Bloc Candidates

Some of these folks will tell you they are not bloc candidates. While strictly true, the reality this year due to STV is that a “bloc candidate” is now equal to “anyone on The Mittani’s or Sort Dragon’s official voting list”, not necessarily a publicly-coalition-endorsed figure. If you are a null bloc voter, these four should top your list. Ignore your orders and move these guys to the top. Again, listed alphabetically here.

  • Artctura [CFC/FA]. Atrctura brings some very interesting and refreshingly different ideas to the sov war mechanics discussion, and at some level argues for dynamic system security much like Mary Titor or myself. He argues for a long term plan with iterative steps, which matches CCP’s already-stated direction and plan. He has a good blog started and shows communication chops as well as an approach that CCP can live with as a business and still achieve the goals most null guys would want. He’s got an interest in CREST and IT. His philosophy on the game is a solid one. Dear Mynnna: Artctura should be high on GSF’s list.
  • Malcanis [HBC/Initiative]. Malcanis is one of those who won’t like me lumping him in here as a “bloc guy”. He is trying to run as an independent but reality is that he will probably be somewhere on the list of every sov null voter as he should make the the lists of multiple coalitions. And well-deserved too; he is a very impressive candidate. He has broad experience. He has great ideas for how to tackle the “little guy” problem in nullsec and looks at it through the eyes of his corp rather than the HBC. His highsec manifesto is an excellent set of ideas that show he gets the reality of why highsec is the way it is. There is a reason why he is endorsed by both nullsec and independent candidates – he’s just that good. Malcanis could also be Chairman, but I like the idea of him being the XO to the chairman’s CO … a reality check.
  • Mynnna [CFC/Goonswarm]. I’ve been watching what Mynnna says and bantering on Twitter with him for the last several months, since I posted on Local chat mechanics and he responded in kind. Unlike all the other #1 bloc choices, Mynnna has been visible outside his own shell, both from CFC and from the economics perspective. He’s smart. He’s non-provincial regardless of the fact that he is the lead candidate for the Goons. He is open to change and calls out what he thinks doesn’t work in the game even if it’s not all good for the Goons. He calls things with the good of the game in mind. In working with him in minor ways on TheMittani.com, I also have a chance to chat (or watch chatting) with him in TMC Jabber, and he’s just as believable a guy behind the scenes. I won’t be voting for him, but only because he doesn’t need my vote. I think he is a viable, intelligent choice for Chairman as well.
  • Unforgiven Storm [CFC/Goonswarm]. This is another one who will tell you he’s not a bloc candidate. But (Dear Mynnna:) he should be. Storm has a very solid understanding of industry. His (unfortunately, and I would submit inaccurately-named) blog is well-done, and goes into great detail and much of it makes a ton of sense. His ideas are sometimes unorthodox but often enough he offers both simple and complex choices for tackling issues, which shows flexibility and an ability to shift on the fly and offer different ideas for solutions and different levels of available coding effort from CCP. Read his blog, and give him a spot on your lists.

The Wormhole Bloc

In the interest of differentiation, I will not take the easy route and endorse every single wormhole candidate. However, I will point out that the plain fact of the matter is that all five will get on my vote slate in the end, and the reason is that they would all make good CSM members.

The Wormhole 5 also have a wider view of the game than the vast majority of other candidates in my “Maybe” list, particularly many of the null bloc candidates. While wormholes may be these guys’ primary focus, it is not their only focus or area of expertise, and they welcome the wider discussions and can contribute to them. Most of them are widely experienced in multiple kinds of space. There is not one of them I hesitate to give a vote of confidence. Any one of the wormhole candidates would be well-placed on your ballot. If you want to hear a discussion between all of them to get a better idea of which you like, take a listen to the Down the Pipe Podcast Debate.

However, here are the three that get a personal endorsement from me:

  • Ayeson. Ayeson is the kind of guy I love to have in the “Wormhole BroPact”. Yes, we shoot Hard Knocks in the face, but they give as good as they get, and only SSC and KILL rank higher on the all-in/”no fucks given” school of wormhole fighting in my opinion. Hard Knocks aren’t always appreciated in some parts of the wormhole community, but we like their upstart willingness to play David to anyone’s Goliath, and that spirit is embodied by Ayeson. His development experience and CREST focus will also be valuable on the CSM.
  • James Arget. James is one of my favorite people in EVE. You can read why in great detail in my Pre-Election Endorsement of him.
  • Nathan Jameson. While I know James best, I have known Nathan longest. Nathan is a true wormhole success story; CEO of the largest remaining wormhole corp, Talocan United. He also was a very early supporter of my work on Shattered and in Arek’Jaalan. Nathan is a supporter of new players, expanding wormhole space participation and supporting the community at large. It is also undeniable that he has done the best job of the wormhole candidates in communicating his campaign.

The Anathemas

There are a small group that simply DOES NOT deserve your vote in any way. I don’t care if your leadership tells you to vote for them, don’t. Listen to the linked Crossing Zebras interviews and it will rapidly become apparent why to avoid them. These will do nothing productive, and may in fact reduce productivity or confidence in the CSM and should be avoided at all costs. There are a couple of others in the “muddy middle” than may get moved down to this tier in the future as well; stay tuned.

Do not vote for these people:

  • Fon RevedhortCZ Interview – An avowed neo-Nazi whose Jita Park thread got so controversial that it has been locked for a few days already. Listen to the interview. EDIT 4/3: Mercifully, CCP has disqualified Fon due to these views conflicting with official CCP connection of the CSM. He should not appear as a choice.
  • Sgurd Battersea CZ Interview – Whether you believe he is a poor cute lost newbie, an elaborate troll, or someone from another playstyle pretending to be a poor newbie, the bottom line is that he will make a terrible CSM member. Utterly, blindingly clueless. Listen to the interview. According to Poetic Stanziel, Sgurd has dropped, but don’t get caught with him on your ballot if that happens to be wrong.
  • Travis MusgratCZ Interview – Travis is a bloc candidate so bad it makes the bad bloc candidates look awesome. Travis says he cares about “the little guy” but what he really means is anyone but him and his handful of friends. He sees no need to communicate. He sees no need to know what’s going on in the rest of EVE. He is primarily running on a platform of being buttmad about titan nerfs – something everyone else in the game knows will never be undone. He will be a waste of a perfectly good chair. N3 voters, throw off your chains and vote with your brains. Listen to the interview.

The Lost

Since the beginning of this race we’ve lost a lot of folks in it as well. I wanted to quickly highlight a few.

People I Wish Were Still In

  • Marc Scaurus. Marc, who had to drop for RL>EVE reasons, would have gotten an endorsement from me today. He’s a great community participant and supporter, a solid collaborator at TheMittani.com, and an outspoken champion of good causes. But perhaps even more than I am disappointed that Marc had to drop, I’m disappointed that no one else stepped up, and that Lowsec has no candidate this year. That, in my opinion, is tragic.
  • Hunter Blake. Hunter was a fine candidate, but what I really miss is his reason for running. Yes, I’m one of those terrible people who think a Dust rep on the CSM would have been a good thing. Instead, CCP decided to make an entirely separate council for Dust. I’m not sure that’s good … for either Dust or EVE.

Good Riddance

I had these people pegged for Anathema even before they did me the favor of dropping out on their own.

  • James315. His candidacy screamed “obvious troll” from day one. It did the job – it set the agenda for the highsec discussion in all of Xander’s interviews and most other venues. But he was too caustic to actually be a functional CSM member – he would have been a distraction and a needless sideshow. Psychotic Monk will be a far better candidate for the griefer/ganker class, and ironically likely has James315 to thank for raising the profile of the issue.
  • Night Beagle. In case you were wondering, pretty much no one in the wormhole community took this guy seriously for a second. That’s why we all laughed as his corp was dragged out of its hole and ejected into k-space. On top of that, his “idea” for a pure democracy for every single question was obviously not a workable approach to private NDA’d discussion, and anyone with half a brain could see it. “Research paper” my ass.
  • Xenuria. While he managed to hold it together for his interview with Xander, he was an even worse controversy and distraction magnet than James315 would have been. The CSM is not here for your personal crusades for non-game stuff. I think CCP made the right choice in refusing his application. My only question is why they didn’t refuse Fon Revedhort’s too – he would also be a controversy magnet and terrible marketing.

Up next, an analysis of the candidates in the middle and voting recommendations for the STV main CSM election.

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