It's good to be the Emperor.

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:33 pm
gridlore: The Imperial Sunburst from the Traveller role-playing game (Gaming - Sunburst)
[personal profile] gridlore
Still thinking about a revised Third Imperium for Traveller, and making it "crunchier" and a better setting with more holes and internal conflicts. This is definitely going to be a "weak Imperium" build, as a strong Imperium simply clamps down on too many opportunities for things to go pear-shaped. So today, I'm going to look at the man at the top, the Emperor of the Third Imperium.

There's an old saying in the Imperial corridors of power; "the Counts make plans for the next year, the Dukes make plans for the next decade, the Archdukes make plans for the next century, and the Emperor makes plans for dinner." Although a bit over the top, the truth of the matter is that the Emperor is too far removed from his empire to really have that big an influence on matters popping up in systems that can be months away from Captial. This is why the Imperium has become decentralized, looking to the Imperial hierarchy more for support than real-time leadership.

But in a very real sense, the person of the Emperor is the Imperium, and all authority flows from the commands given by him or his predecessors. Those commands come in several forms.

Imperial Edicts are the most formal and powerful of the Emperor's commands. An Edict is law and will be enforced throughout the 11,000 worlds of the Imperium without question. In the Imperium's 1,100 year history, fewer than 400 Edicts have been issued. Over a hundred were issued by Cleon I and Artemsus in the first century of the Imperium, and these Edicts defined and shaped the state and how it was to be run.

Second in precedence are Imperial Commands. These are orders from the Emperor that directly address issues facing the state. A command might be issued to a Sector Duke to mobilize his military forces to support another sector or a command that a former Count-Elector is an Enemy of the Imperium and is to be found, captured, or killed. Commands are less formal than Edicts and expire once they have been carried out.

Warrants, Patents, and Charters are the next level of Imperial command. These are grants of authority from the Emperor to groups or individuals to carry out duties or activities. Every noble family has an Imperial Patent of Nobility and when a new person ascends to a position as Count-Elector or Duke, the Emperor will confirm their position with a new Patent. Any corporation seeking to do business on an interstellar scale will seek out a Limited Imperial Charter (LIC) which gives the company assurances of Imperial protection.

Warrants are a special case, as they directly give the holder the power to act for the Emperor. Many Warrants are limited in scope. Every naval officer holds a Warrant confirming his commission and allowing him to act for the Emperor inside Naval regulations and orders. Some Warrants have been vaguely worded due to Captial not having a good idea of what was happening.

This is is how Norris, Markgraf-Elector of Regina, was able to proclaim himself Erzherzog of Deneb. He had a Warrant in his possession which granted him full Imperial authority to take any steps needed to secure the Spinward regions of the Imperium from further threats. Norris decided that a united Domain under his leadership was the best answer to that. Strephon is still fuming over that trick.

It must be noted that many of these orders are first issued in the field, as it were, and sent to Capital for the Emperor's approval. This can take years for minor patents and commissions, so the standard has been to assume assent unless otherwise told.

Lastly, comes the Emperor's wishes or desires. These are minor commands that generally are used for issues inside the palace or dealing with the pomp and ceremony that surrounds the Imperial Household. The Emperor might state "It is the desire of the Emperor that Flumb fruit no longer be allowed inside the palace, or at any event attended by His Majesty." Wishes and desires are common when arranging large social events and ceremonials. It is commonly known that many of these orders come from the Imperial Family's large social staff and the Emperor considers such "mindless details" boring.

Day-to-day, the Emperor is a busy man. He is constantly dealing with reports of issues inside and outside his realm and tasked with decisions that can send thousands of warships into a battle or affect the economies of a hundred worlds. Luckily, just down the Promenade from the floating sphere of the Imperial Palace is the towering Moot Spire, where hundreds of nobles work to keep the Emperor informed and plot to keep him focused on their problems.

I'll cover them next.
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
It's Friday. July is flying by. We've had 34 consecutive days without rain, which isn't a record, but would surprise some people about Seattle. We have to go at least 18 more days before we'll tie the existing record. After the wettest winter in the recorded weather history, it would be appropriate if we broke the rainless summer record, too.

This week has been another of very long hours at work, so the links round-up may be small.

Anyway, here are the links I found interesting this week, sorted into categories.

Links of the Week



Creation and consumption.

Why every office should scrap its clean desk policy.

This Week in Economic News



The Cost of a Hot Economy in California: A Severe Housing Crisis.

This week in awful people



Fact Check: Does Oregon CPS "Err" On Believing Kids Who Allege Abuse?

Parents Who “Gifted” Underage Daughters to “Prophet of God” Will Go To Prison.

News for queers and our allies:



"American Gods" Super-Producer Bryan Fuller Reveals How TV Studios Kept De-Gaying His Characters.

Queer Geek News Roundup: July 16, 2017.

Bosom Friends: The Gay Anne of Green Gables Scandal.

5 Canadian Queer Beach Reads.

Science!



Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years.

Dinosaur that looked like a massive bird discovered in Canada.

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculation!



One of the greatest science fiction magazines is now available for free online.

Sleeps With Monsters: Stop Erasing Women’s Presence in SFF .

Before 'Valerian,' 'The Fifth Element' Subverted Sci-Fi Movies.

This Week in History



Local Japanese Americans remember their imprisonment during WWII.

This Week in Tech



Apple previews new emoji coming later this year.

Apple’s risky balancing act with the next iPhone.

Culture war news:



Why I’m Leaving the Southern Baptist Convention .

Rev. Barber: An open letter to clergy who prayed with Donald Trump - The Scripture cautions us to lay hands on no man suddenly, lest we become a party to his sins.

This Week Regarding the Lying Liar:



The Late, Great Jimmy Breslin's columns on Donald Trump.

A breakdown of the latest New York Times Trump interview.

News about the Fascist Regime:



Pope’s Confidantes Pen Blistering Critique Of Steve Bannon’s View of Christianity.

Why did Don Jr.'s emails surface? Because Robert Mueller is already changing Washington's lying ways.

The GOP failure on health care is just a hint of what’s to come.

Vulnerable Republicans Just Showed Why Fighting For Trans Rights Is A Political Winner.

This week in Politics:



Colorado to require advanced post-election audits.

Why isn’t voter suppression considered political corruption?

Farewells:



Martin Landau Dead at 89: Oscar-Winning Actor in Ed Wood, Mission: Impossible.

George Romero, 'Night Of The Living Dead' Director, Dies At 77.

Things I wrote:



Being reactionary – bad rules and good expectations.

Definitions matter, except when they don’t — more adventures in dictionaries.

Videos!



Christopher Marlowe was a Gay Atheist Spy (Yes, really.):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Caught On Video: Bison On The Loose In Gilford, New Hampshire:

Can't embed, so, click here.
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
I’m a word nerd, obviously, and there have been many times that I have based an argument upon the definition of a word. Sometimes, though, that is a disingenuous tactic—the person citing the definition is choosing one that sidesteps or distracts from the main issue at hand, rather than to engage in a genuine discussion. The argument becomes a matter of nitpicking and source citing and burying your opponent in a flurry of trivialities. It is a way to appear to win when all you’ve really done is, in essence, shouted the other person down...

(This post that actually about a sex scandal, abusers, and similar topics is at FontFolly.Net.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
I was reminded this week of the Dumbest Password Policy Ever™....

(The rest of this post about human nature among other things is at FontFolly.Net.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
It's Friday. It's the second Friday in July!

This week's round up is a bit smaller than usual. Still trying to figure out how much time I should put into this.

Anyway, here are the links I found interesting this week, sorted into categories.

Links of the Week



How This Year's Pride Gave Me Hope .

Digging in the Trash — THE BITTER SOUTHERNER.

Education: The Great Leveler and the Great Divider.

Happy News!



Disneyland’s Captain America talking to a guest in sign-language will make you happy cry.

This week in awful people



'Valuable' Clues Uncovered in Case of 4 Young Men Missing in Bucks County, Pennsylvania; Person of Interest Arrested.

Captain Awkward #992: “My husband is dating my mom.”.

Minuteman co-founder gets 19½ years for sexually abusing 5-year-old. All 3 of his daughters say they're also victims.

Fate of disgraced Joe Arpaio, who once said 'nobody's higher than me,' now in judge's hands.

News for queers and our allies:



Fraternity Brothers Say ‘I Do’ After 10-Year Romance.

The church’s trans epiphany will ease the way for others like me.

Rugby player at Pride parade sends crowds into frenzy with marriage proposal.

Small town, big pride: Erie, Pennsylvania.

This hero dad has become an advocate for his trans son.

Scott Frantz, offensive lineman for Kansas State, comes out as gay.

Science!



Super Gonorrhea Is About to Get the Trump Bump.

Science Fiction, Fantasy and Speculation!



Seattle Review of Books - Future Alternative Past: Dividing past the dividing lines.

Ship's Log: 12 Queer SFF Books with Upcoming Sequels .

Franchise Addiction, Movie Studio Dealers, Series Re-Visits, and Why We Need New (better) Drugs.

Friday Five: 5 SF/F Books that Ace the Bechdel Test.

This Week in Love Conquers...



A Widow’s Rage Defense of Patton Oswalt’s Engagement.

This Week in Tech



SoundCloud sinks as leaks say layoffs buy little time .

This Week in Covering the News



After obtaining his contact information through its accidental exposure by the Washington Post, a high school reporter contacted Secretary of Defense James Mattis for an interview - and it's a good, solid interview:.

This Week in Police Problems



Lawsuit Accuses Baton Rouge Police Of Excessive Force During Protests Over Alton Sterling’s Death.

Culture war news:



A massive pilot study demonstrates the subtle ways LGBTQ people are disadvantaged when seeking housing.

This Week in Fighting Back in the Culture War:



For the Second Year in a Row, Anti-Trans Activists Fail to Turn in Signatures for Their Ballot Measure.

This Week in the Resistance:



LGBTQ Rights Group Launches Massive Anti-Trump Effort For 2018.

This Week Regarding the Lying Liar:



The Trump-Russia Conspiracy Is Now Very Simple.

U.S., Russia Offer Conflicting Accounts of Trump-Putin Meeting .

News about the Fascist Regime:



The GOP health bill would cut benefits for very poor households by an average of $2,500 a year, economists say.

Republican Lawmakers Buy Health Insurance Stocks as Repeal Effort Moves Forward.

This week in Politics:



In Defense of Talking About Misogyny In a City That Hasn’t Had a Female Mayor in 92 Years.

Things I wrote:



Weekend Update 7/8/2017: Scandals and Schadenfreude.

We need to take the victories when we get them.

We’re living in the future, but a lot of people don’t get it.

Confessions of a gift-guilty packrat.

Zen, Bradbury, and the Hugo Awards – more of why I love sf/f.

Videos!



Kesha - Woman (Official Video) ft. The Dap-Kings Horns:



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

Selena Gomez - Fetish (Audio) ft. Gucci Mane:



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)

HAIM - Want You Back (Official Video):



(If embedding doesn't work, click here.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
Recently someone posted these images of a couple of paragraphs out of Ray Bradbury’s book Zen and the Art of Writing which is only one of the times he told this story. At the age of nine Bradbury fell in love with the Buck Rogers comic strip in his local newspaper, and began cutting out and saving the strips and so forth. His classmates at school teased him for loving such a ridiculous and unlikely story. The teasing eventually drove him to tear up with collection of carefully cut out comic strips. And he was miserable for some time afterward. The bit I found most profound in this version of the story was his realization that the classmates who made fun of the stories he loved weren’t his friends, they were his enemies. It was a realization that resonated deeply...

(The rest of this post, including my current Hugo ballot, is at FontFolly.Net.)

Confessions of a gift-guilty packrat

Jul. 12th, 2017 10:53 pm
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
I’ve written more than once about being a packrat, especially recently, as the process of packing, purging, moving, unpacking, purging some more has really driven home just how much stuff we had squirreled and stashed away all over the place. One aspect of the packrat I’ve only touched on briefly is the guilt over gifts...

(The rest of this post about gifts, guilt, and how they both relate to packrat tendencies is at FontFolly.Net.)
typographer: Me on a car in the middle of nowhere, eastern Colorado, age four (Default)
[personal profile] typographer
Some years ago I was attending a meeting of the committee that ran one of the local science fiction conventions. I had just joined the staff, and it was my first full meeting. One of the topics debated that day was a proposal that the committee obtain an email address that several committee members could check, because people kept asking why they didn’t have an email address...

(The rest of this post about technology, change, social class, and other things is at FontFolly.Net.)
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