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Gazette 1999-08-07
Articles | Archives | Gazette | 1999 Gazettes | Gazette 1999-08-07
     ___The Official AVATAR___________________________________
        ________                          __     __           
       /  _____/ _____   ________  ____ _/  |_ _/  |_   ____  
      /     ___ __    ____  /_/ __ \   __\   ___/ __  
          _   / __ _ /    /   ___/ |  |   |  |    ___/ 
       ______  /(____  //_____  ___  >|__|   |__|   ___  >
              /      /       /     /                   / 
     ________________________________________ 07 Aug, 1999 ___

         _    |
         `~-._|    
          `   ~ )Telnet to Avatar at: avatar.walrus.com 3000   
            -  //         Visit the Avatar web page at:
       ,,.--(_ ("""'^.     http://www.walrus.com/~avatar
      ;;( ,___, ,/~`;   
     ;' )/>/  '--,      
        | `   |"       
        "   "  "
     __________________________________________________________
     Table of Contents
     __________________________________________________________

          1. Editorial by Dizzy 
          2. Searching for Intelligence - By Mendek
          3. etiquette/trust/kindness/roleplaying! By Darii 
          4. A bit more on etiquette by Darii 
          5. And equal time to roleplaying by Darii 
     ________________________________
     1. Editorial by Dizzy 
     ________________________________

The guidelines that I give you for article submission are just that:
Guidelines.  Guidelines aren't millstones strapped around our necks that
to stifle creativity and fun. On the otherhand, Guidelines are also
important to ensure that you writers have a b asic understanding of what
makes an article acceptable for publication in the Gazette.  They are
something less than censorship, and something more than suggestions....and
I said all that to say this: 

What follows is the first ever All EXEC, ALL THE TIME, issue of the Gaz
since I became the censor...err, Editor. There is a wide divergence
between the genre and topic of the articles in this issue, and I love it.
Mendek talks about how you can hunt down aliens with an act of genuine
Giving and Kindness. THEN, Darii talks about different facets of the same
diamond that shines on Avatar. 

Their excellent articles below put me in mind of Robert Heinlein's
excellent A Stranger In A Strange Land ("One of the greatest science
fiction novels ever published. A Mars-born earthling arrives on this
planet for the first time as an adult, and the sen sation he creates
teaches Earth some unforgettable lessons"). 

Please read this issue more closely than you normally take your light
reading. Please. You'll find more than just guidelines for passionately
enjoying Avatar here. And like the Motrin IB advertisement says, "Life is
too good to feel bad." 

Diz
     ________________________________
     2. Searching for Intelligence - By Mendek
     ________________________________

Hello,
This is totally unrelated to Avatar.

SETI is the project name for the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence.
For years, a network of radio telescopes has been gathering data from deep
space radio sweeps, and big computers have been analyzing it... slowly. A
less ambitious project to cover the sky three times in the next two years
has started, analyzing signals on a relatively narrow band that we think
is most likely to contain a signal from anyone wishing to communicate on a
"universal" frequency. 

SETI is not well-funded. If you saw "Contact", it's true that Congress
de-funded the project some time ago. The big computers are pretty much
gone. But their staff of exactly six part-time people has come up with a
fascinating way to get the job done. If you are willing, you can download
software from their website which will run in the background and use your
"spare" CPU cycles to do the math on small data chunks.  This software
runs as a screensaver and shouldn't slow your computer down at all (it
doesn't run while it's being used). And, if you find an alien signal, you
get a prize :) (they haven't decided what, yet, though).. 

The website at http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/ contains the software
and a lot of information about SETI. They've had about 30,000 *years* of
CPU time donated already, and the number keeps climbing. If you'd like to
participate, please visit the site, download the software and let it run
whenever you're not using the computer (I leave mine on all the time
anyway). 

Also, we have an AvatarMUD team! When you've started your account, from
the website above you can click on "manage your account" and join the
"AvatarMUD" team! All the data analyzed by members of Team AvatarMUD gets
credited to the team (although if you find an alien, you can keep the
prize for yourself :)). Our team has several members already, roughly 1200
hours of donated CPU time (and 65 work-data units). Please join if you run
Seti@Home! 

Thanks for reading, and here's to luck in the search!  Doug/Mendek


     ________________________________
     3. etiquette/trust/kindness/roleplaying! (an introduction) By Darii
     ________________________________

I am watching the note boards with sadness. People I like and respect are
disagreeing and miscommunicating, with each other in a very public way.
That hurts us all. 

Avatar is a special place and I have always been very impressed by the
kindness of Avatar players. I play lowbie characters often, and have been
helped, without any request for payment or strings of any sort, over over
again. Sometimes it's help in the face of evil Fewmaster Toede, but mostly
it's being "taught to fish"  by Angels, Lords, Heroes, and mortals of all
levels. 

Even "mean-sounding" people are very kind when THEY see a need and choose
to help. I think some recent notes show "compassion fatigue". Some players
are very VERY tired of being badgered by those who are too dependent,
inexperienced, or, perhaps, timid about taking risks and losing their
hard-won eq to the dangers of exploration. 

 I have several requests:

1. Please end this thread now.You know which ones. Please.

2. If you often ask for spellups, eq, or to be a group "passenger", please
ask yourself "Is that fair?" and "Is this making me a better player?" Be
honest. 
3. If you are asked for help you don't want to give, please simply say,
"I'm sorry, I can't." NO explanation is necessary or expected. 
4. If you are helped, please say "thank you!" to the Imm Angel, or other
player who did the kind deed. True thanks make one much more willing to
give help again. :) 
5. If a player declines to help you, do not send angry and/or obscene
tells or notes. That tarnishes *your* reputation in this world more than
you can know. Honest. 


     ________________________________
     4. A bit more on etiquette by Darii
     ________________________________

Please read . Despite the fact that we've misspelled
"courtesy", it's illuminating. 

"In bad taste" is different from "is forbidden." As Snikt is fond of
saying, "the Immortals are capricious and unpredictable... they sometimes
overlook bad behavior, and, at other times, condemn it without mercy." 

INTENT is the key here, at least in my mind. Stealing a kill can be a
reprehensible act, serious role-playing, or the censure of one player by
another. Meanness comes back to haunt you. Kindness does too. When in
doubt, you may ask an Immortal for an opinion. 

Sorry, but it is *legal* to steal eq without killing the mob. Not always
nice... but technically legal. and...what goes around, often comes around.
:) 


      ________________________________
     5. And equal time to roleplaying by Darii
     ________________________________

Roleplaying is also acceptable. Not many do it well, but consistency helps
define your character, and makes people less surprised by otherwise
incomprehensible behavior.  If you play a meanie, don't be surprised by
the consequences. 

On the other hand, the meanest thief I *ever* knew, routinely hauled the
truly distressed out of danger and dumped the "hardest to get" 4 or 5
pieces of eq on the beaten, naked player before heading off, cackling, to
do more mayhem.  ..... and I, at least, never let anyone know what a nice
guy he was at heart. 

Sometimes the person behind the monitor even logs off the role-played
bad-guy, and logs on another character to do a CR or a rescue. Honest.
I've seen it happen. 

And then there is the word INTENT again. Over a period of time it becomes
evident when one is "role-playing" as an ploy to "get away" with bad
behavior... and the Gods react. 

 Movies, books, and Avatar have something in common...  they all require
the "willing suspension of disbelief".  While we are here we try, on
channels at least, to pretend that rl (and its complications) do not
exist.  We do not discuss Croatia, or the Serbs, or mass murders.  At
least not on chat or on channels. 

Partly we don't because we are an international place, with players of
vastly different cultural backgrounds beliefs, opinions, and experiences.
We are unlikely to agree on many hot-button topics...even with people from
our own very own countries. 

It was decided long ago that those issues that might senselessly divide us
would be avoided on public channels. Conversation here would be more
centered on the events of THIS universe... and discord would occur only
over the grooming habits of Trogs, the strength of sprites, and other
Avatar-shaking events. 

Please help us. Please avoid or help short-circuit topics that don't
belong here. That said, I will readily admit that sometimes breaking news
is SO upsetting that an Immortal may open a conference so concerned
players may *choose* to have a discussion, away from public channels. 
Please talk to an Immortal if you have concerns. Thank you. 

 
     -----------------------------------------------------------------
     The Avatar Gazette is what you've just been reading, and it is the 
     official newsletter of Avatar, it is published weekly by Dizzy, in 
     conjunction with The Avatar Staff.(Original concept by Asamaro).

     The Gazette is written in plain vanilla ASCII text to ensure that
     everyone can enjoy it regardless of computer type.

     To subscribe to the Gazette, send internet e-mail to
     gazette-request@avatar.walrus.com. In the body of your
     email put:

       subscribe username@hostname (MudName - RealName)
       eg subscribe snikt@walrus.com  (Snikt - Kevin Jagh)

     Your real name is optional for the Gazette list.
       eg subscribe snikt@walrus.com (Snikt)

     You can FTP back issues of the gazette from ftp.walrus.com in
     /pub/avatar/gazette.

     If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, criticisms,
     compliments, or (best of all) articles that you've written for the
     gazette, please send them to Dizzy via my e-mail address:
     dizzy@avatar.walrus.com.

     You can also view the latest issue of the Gazette while playing
     Avatar by typing 'help newgaz' anywhere in the game, or by surfing
     our web site!
     -----------------------------------------------------------------

 ________________________________________________________________________
 Distributed on the Avatar Gazette list ,
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 welcome, use: gazette-owner@avatar.walrus.com. For help send a message
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