View RSS Feed

Imperator Majora

A Commodisan Wit - Power

Rate this Entry
I'll stop farming for skeptical commentary on my motivations and delve in a new direction this week. Initially I'd wanted to comment on education (probably the most lucid subject I'd be talking about so far), and perhaps I will; but after the past few days I've simply come up with a few thoughts on Power, and now I spoon them out to you in the hopes there is something in them that might be mildly interesting.

To go on a tangent, one can approach the broad concept of power in a few different ways. Power in capability, and power including malleable stuff such as social gout, title independently of individual strength, scope, basically, a moral, social or authoritative dynamic overlayed on what you are capable of doing. The latter is, as noted, often governed by moral concepts, social obligation or authority that is typically accompanied by the power of consequence, while the former is purely what you are able to do if not accounting for consequences. A police officer in an authoritarian state may have the power to kill because they do not like you and get away with it; a police officer in a very quiet town in America (yes, bear with me here) does not have the power to do so as a result of the consequences of the action. Both, however, have the same amount of power in capability, and perhaps the one in the quieter, more socially governed society may have even more power of capability, for they may be able to gun people down in a spree who are in total disbelief at what you've just done while the populace of a volatile authoritarian state will practically expect that of you and perhaps be inclined to protect themselves. Context has a great deal to do with it, but there are other fields where this dynamic is simpler.

The power of a moderator on Total War Center may heavily exceed that of a moderator on a small time, ill fated Discord server made by someone on a whim who has no experience whatsoever in staff management, yet in different ways, this might not be the case. The moderator on Total War Center is subject to heavy authoritative governance as well as social and moral, as the consequences of abuse are great, and the consequences will easily result in their fall. Thus, their power to simply act is not especially large. Yet, for all they are not allowed to do soemthing, they do have the fundamental power to affect a great deal of people if they want. Others with other powers can undo it and then undo the unruly moderator, but said rogue would at least have the power to do that in the first place. Yet they do not have the technical power to remake forums or otherwise bend total war center without a good deal of political movement; they may have the power of persuasion, but it is not a power built into their account. The moderator on discord, likely a friend who has no more experience than the wild brigand of an owner, may be subject to all he does being undone by said owner, yet has most likely not just been given the power to permanently censor whoever they wish on the server, but also likely the power to adjust channels. Suddenly, they have the power to unmake the discord server for all it is worth, a far greater scale than anything the total war center moderator can achieve.

Yet again we introduce a new dynamic; your power in such a small time community is insignificant to the social impact of using powers on a forum of this age and magnitude. Be it eliminating a user from being able to partake in the legacy of the site or going rogue in a move that will color many perceptions, fairly or unfairly for the rest of the site's days potentially, the moderator on total war center has the power of a burst impact that can heavily impede the whole, even if it is nothing to the power of a rogue administrator with a potential hand in almost every pot or the socially weak, yet technically extreme power of a lower end technical staff given ACP access regardless of their authoritatively obliged limitations. On the discord server, you have a community that is but one among many trying halfheartedly to be the community of your attention, yet unlike TWC, its impact upon the people will probably be negligible if not nonexistent, even if the rogue moderator deletes everything and successfully bullies everyone including the owner into going their way. If anything, utilizing one's social power to maximum potential would have a higher damaging impact in that instance; discord servers come and go and it is easy to tab out or leave, yet there is a certain degree of obligation in a that many feel that will have more impact than any exercise of mechanical power.

This has all been very much a worst case scenario set of examples, examples that haven't applied for a very long time on TWC in any respect that I know of nor by any means a guaranteed outcome of the new discord server that could grow into something quite formidable indeed, positively speaking. But it is good to always consider the extent of power any user can exercise upon their surroundings, online of course, but certainly in real life as well; the smallest movements can make critical waves, be it in a physical happening or in shifting someone's mind to an outcome that would have otherwise never happened, or not happened in time. Every individual holds a tremendous degree of power if they only put it to the appropriate use; the feeling of helplessness is the feeling of not properly utilizing the power to change it. Of course, there are cases where it is not in your power, objectively or that you know of, to do what you seek to do, and it is often more expedient to use that power of change on things you can get more immediate results for or that will advance your standing in tangible ways rather than beating at a wall that, while subject to your tremendous power, is affected by the even more tremendous power of all who have resulted in that thing becoming the way it is. Socially built structures, while durable to a point, are also very fragile creatures, yet understanding how to break, fix, or change them can be a difficult question indeed. But make no mistake. The power is most likely in your hands, regardless of the scope you are placed in or even when another's power is executed to circumvent yours. After all, you have at least some degree of mechanical power that can inform the ability to do more, and you equally have the social power to make objective things malleable, such as railroading a democratic institution kept in place by an owner who believes in it into becoming something you want even if you are nothing to the whole in your technical power, or you cannot adjust a particular setting on something for lack of knowledge or physical capacity, but someone you know can.

There are many ways to consider and use the word, power; such is the way of linguistics that allow you to attach many things to a string of letters. But then, what we're talking about isn't the string of letters, but rather the result of them, the connotations that are universal that you just need to impress on someone one way or another, possibly using different words or just actions. My power of linguistics is rather weak, though it can be improved - less in the effort to understand (though I am slow as in that field too), so much as explain concepts I don't necessarily see in words, as compared to things I attempt to grasp and then share. Someone with greater power over them may be able to express all of the above much more concisely.


Eh, it's all perception anyways. May your perception have gotten something from this. If you already get it, excellent. If you're just more confused, well, I did hint my power of explanation is rather poor. Even if, by my own standards, I could probably use the power of capability to do better. But this is a blog post, and I am rambling - why should I?

I dunno. At least I still answer questions if they show up.

Comments