30 Jan 2013

Some Thoughts on Falcons, Winning and Urgent Means

In loving memory of all who have lost their ship to the merciless dice roll. They chose danger in the service of charity and truth. 


. . . these notes will certainly warrant discussion to some extent. But if they were to be covered and scrutinised in any sort of detail then the notes would be so long that only a true and dedicated student of ECM would read it, and he would probably be a Falcon pilot.

- Anonymous Falcon pilot.

Spaceship destruction is ordinary, as is death in the spacelanes. We are, after all some kind of recyclable superhero. I've walked down the long tunnels of the ancient capsuleer clone vats, not a wall of mortality but more a synthetic junkyard that laughs in the face of the mortals. Broken skulls with burnt wires dangling from the faces like some strange flower sprung out of the jaws of death. Yellow corpses, stacked bones, twisted in wreckage. I've looked into the eyes of the super-white skulls and stared deep into the darkness in between those eyes. I've tried to imagine the final moments before the silence and the feeling of loss, albeit brief. But does it really matter?

These superheroes, the ones who live by the warrior code, share the frustration of death by Falcon as if it is a brave nod to some ancient ritual, a sacrifice if you like. This feeling of strength is only known to a few, but those who know it, know it. It is hard for them to grasp the reasoning, the drive and the mentality of those who have put them to the sword in the most despicable of ways. But they will take their punishment, bow their heads and move on. There is no outrage on freedom, no tears and broken threats for the Falcon is, for those who go against it so much, a demon that they have to live with, a hazard of the job, a dance with The Devil.

So blossom the days of the Falcon, so great is its powerful dance, the merry days of battle all rolled up and left to chance. Oh Falcon thing of beauty, guard us in your peace. 

- Caldari Battle Rhymes. vol 6.

The three goods of violence---security, autonomy and power---can also be provided (on some occasions) by nonviolence. Is the Falcon the nonviolent party? If you for a moment jump into the mindset of the Falcon pilot, try to imagine his feeling of security and the loving trust of his jam strength. That security is a false security but it is in the mind, constantly bubbling away. Similarly, the autonomy that comes from making their own decision and acting as they think right. You tie these two together and you get ... power. The power that the Falcon breeds is admirable. The Falcon pilot certainly does not feel invulnerable, but the power that he has at his disposal is nothing short of mighty. He is the executioner who holds the sword, but he does not swing it.

Of course, who can know for sure if the above statement is correct? These are just words, right? It will sound like nothing more than nonsense to the Falcon pilot. All the more to their power! Still, there is a great deal to be said about practicing what one preaches, and living by it. In my opinion a saint can only practice nonviolence in peace and isolation; the rest of us (read--them, falcon, blob) have to do it in gangs.

I hope that this only makes sense to about 25 percent who have read this so far. I don't blame you for closing the page now if you don't get it.

In a radical twist I am going to bring Gandhi's moral calculus (1920-1946) into this to look at what I see as a comparison between my (yours too?) hatred for the Falcon and the link that I see in my mind between this ship and nonviolence, and the mindset of the pilot firing the jams.

1. "It is better to die helpless and unarmed and as victims rather than as tyrants."

2. "The purer the suffering, the greater is the progress."

3. "It may be that in the transition state we may make mistakes; there may be avoidable suffering. These things are preferable to national emasculation."

4. "We must refuse to wait for the wrong to be righted till the wrong-doer has been roused to a sense of his iniquity."

5. "One must scrupulously avoid the temptation of a desire for results."

6. "Fuck falcons."

One of the above was not from the calculus. The two main factors that I take from this are in the number one and two pointers. Number 1 is obviously screaming Falcon at you. I like to imagine this chain of thought is going through the head of the enemy as he perma jams me. If you take down some of his corpmates then you are a tyrant, in his eyes. He does not want a tyrant. A tyrant takes killmails and generates lossmails directly attributed to the Falcon and his friends. The Falcon pilot has the power to remove the tyranny away from the equation. You are the victim. While looking at number two in the calculus. A pure suffering, greater progress. I think this is easily understood. The aim is to generate killmails and minimise risks and losses. With no Falcon there is no progress. The rest of the calculus I will leave to your own imagination.

Is it the fear of losing? In a theatre of death and glory, admiration and ridicule, where the small chance that one person could wield hell on a small party of, shall we say, less than skilled foes, is the Falcon okay? Does this lack of skill make up for the loathing of the Falcon pilot? Is this alone a good enough reason for use? Of course, the Falcon is a skill intensive ship in one sense, it takes some serious skillpoints to be able to jump into. But, that's where it stops. No skill is needed on the actual battlefield, maybe say for a few bookmarking skills.

I am convinced that there are certain players in the game who live in acute fear of losing. This is bred from the top down. Efficiency is a fear word. Some big alliances spit out clones with the same mindset, droids if you like, and stamp into them the chain of thought from above. Obedient citizens they will become. Robots. Worshipers of a broken philosophy. I can't even begin to scratch at the surface of these people. But I know for a fact that fighting them is a battle. It is hard to crack an almost zombie-like trance, an army of bots--ECM soldiers. The blind leading the blind. But, numbers speak louder than words or comments on a lossmail. What I guess I am trying to say is the Falcon to these people is ... a pacifier (a dummy?) and it is a comfort to them. Imagine the scene if no Falcon pilot is logged in, a gang of crying droids, wailing and lost, the chance of fight and of bites and scratches inflicting pain and lossmail. No, if this happens there is no gang tonight. So they train for it. A vicious circle. Such is the condition of preserving the purity of the guardians' breed.

Let it be known to you that our love for them is so strong that we are heartily sick when we see them uncloak on the battlefield. Our symbol of hope, our key to winning. We are not content any more with the fiction of those beautiful things; for now we put down our Griffin and we will train and want for them in our reality. Glory be the Falcon.

- unknown ECM student plugging in his recon skillbook.

Your good and my good, perhaps they are different, and either forced good or forced evil will make a people cry with pain. Does the ore admire the flame which transforms it?

- Prince Feisal, 1917.

These people, I feel, cannot be changed. Their mind is corrupt and for them to even begin to comprehend the code with which some of us follow, well, it is very much an alien concept. It will never be understood. After all, we can bring our own Falcon too, right?



  1. evil things


  2. Beautifully stated and so true. BTW, the falcon is a despicable creation with or without calculus! (Ghandi or otherwise!)