Internet Space Terrorism article would be an understatement. It generated ~350 comments on EVENews24, the most comments generated since their Titan Adjustment article back on March 13 2012. Internet Space Terrorism generated more discussion than even SuicideGate; so for a few days, something I'd written was more popular than The Mittani.
(Cripes, it generated 45 comments on this blog alone, far more than any other post I've made.)
I suppose what surpised me the most, especially on EVENews24 [EN24], was the level of high discourse. Very few of the comments on my article could be considered sophomoric or crass. That's certainly not the norm for EN24. That's not to say there is not good debate happening in the comment section of any article on EN24, simply that you will find a lot of sperg in with the superb.
A lot of people got the point of the article. A lot of people did not.
The impetus for the article was a complaint from a carebear that an inexpensive ship should not be able to blow up an expensive ship. I was annoyed by that notion, especially given that the expensive ship's strength is in an industrial role, not a combat role.
To back up the premise of my post, that it doesn't take much skill or money to destroy expensive things, I tossed out a few real world analogues for terrorism. Thus began the point flying high over the heads of some readers.
Some people chose to focus on the EVE is Real argument. First of all, EVE Online is a game. It is no more real than Starcraft (all of Korea will likely debate me on that.) That's not to say that some basic truths of our real world cannot be translated into EVE Online. And one of those truths is that anything can be ka-blooied at a fraction of the cost of what it took to build/buy the thing to be destroyed. And that to do the destroying requires very little skill compared to the skill to pilot/build/manage the thing that is to be ka-blamoed.
But a lot of people remained incensed that something that took them two to six months to train into, cost them a third of a billion ISK, could be destroyed by someone in a twelve million ISK ship and with barely more than a week and half of skill training. "It's a game, and CCP should make it tougher to destroy expensive ships," the people cried. "Only expensive on expensive, and cheap on cheap."
That would suck a lot of the diversity out of the game, while making every ship a viable combat ship. Mining barges become battle barges? Um, no. I like that EVE Online delineates between combat and non-combat roles. You want maximum mining output, then you sacrifice combat capabilities (defensive and/or offensive.)
A number of readers then seemed to fixate on the two real-world examples that used suicide bombers as their modus operandi. As though all bombings require the sacrifice of the bomber. (The third example was not a suicide bombing, but was left unmentioned in their arguments.) "Gankers should have permanent death," the people cried. Um, no. I'm not even sure I need to argue why this is such a terrible idea.
Finally, as one commenter pointed out, my choice of analagous terrorist acts was deliberate. But not for the reason they pointed out. I specifically chose acts of terrorism against America, mainly because most Americans seem to think these are the only noteworthy acts of terrorism. Further, most Americans get up in arms when they are used, as though mentioning them, in relationship to anything other than the tragedies that they were, are heinous acts themselves. "How dare you use these tragic events to drive home a point! Americans died!" the people cried.
I could have mentioned the Bishopsgate bombing by the IRA, or the Lockerbie disaster, one of the many Mumbai bombings, the Madrid train bombing, or the battle for independence of Algeria from France. None of these involved suicide bombers. Nor did they target Americans. Likely, no one would have commented about them at all, certainly not with any indignation. So, yeah, I was trying to elicit the response I expected in that regard. And I got it in spades. Americans aren't any more precious than non-American victims of terrorism.
Now I'm thinking about battle barges. I have some ideas on this. Demand, after all, should be supplied. Some of the carebear comments have it right, in a sense, but their desire to have their cake and eat it too is all wrong. I think I'll write about this next. Maybe some new surprises for Hulkageddon VI.