Edited Transcripts

Diplomacy! with Frau Lowey and Baron Klaus Wulfenbach

Jedburgh30 Dagger: *clears throat*

Hello everyone! Ladies and Gentlemen, Viv, Serafina, Jasper and I are pleased to welcome you to the January edition of the Aether Salon – Diplomacy!. I would like to thank each and every one of you for joining us today.

As many of you know, the Aether Salon meets to discuss steam and Victorian topics on the third Sunday of each month, in Palisades and Academy, New Babbage. This is our 23th salon and I hope you are all as excited about being here today as I am.

Just a few matters of housekeeping before we get started. If you are standing in the back, please move forward onto the maze so that you can be assured of hearing the speaker. Please hold your questions until the end, and as a courtesy to all, please turn off everything that feeds the lag: all HUDs, scripts, AOs and so on. Please no weapons, non-Euclidean geometry, inflammatory rhetoric, or unapproved transmat devices. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Edited and unedited transcripts will be posted this week on aethersalon.blogspot.com so you can revisit today’s merriment, read transcripts of past salons, and for a laugh, peruse “overheard at the salon.” Please join the Aether Salon group and receive notifications of future salon events, click the lower right hand corner of the large brown sign by the entrance. We sincerely appreciate the support we receive from everyone in the community and we humbly thank you all.

Many fine people have contributed to today’s salon: We are grateful to Miss Canolli Capalini of Capalini Fine Furnishings for the wonderful salon chairs and to our own Mr. Jasper Kiergarten for his expertise in creating today’s craft. We appreciate all of you who have contributed to salon. As a reminder, all speakers’ fund jar donations go directly to the speaker.

Now I will turn the stage over to Miss Viv for the introduction of today’s speaker. Viv?

Viv Trafalgar grins

Thank you all for coming.

Known throughout the civilized grid for his nation of Europa, his yen for exploration, and his way with Science, the Baron has made it his cause to instill diplomacy and free exchange between all the steamlands. His humor, generosity, and support for both the arts and culture is exceptional. He’s also a fantastic dance partner, If we might say so without being too forward.

His Vice Consul, Frau LOWEY smooths the proverbial waters in many ways, and is also the hand behind the pen of numerous Primgraph and Prim Perfect articles. These include a host of helpful etiquette missives that I highly recommend. Her penchant for dance, building, science, and sociology is equalled by her ability to feel at home in many regions, including Steelhead, Caledon, and Winterfell, as well as Europa itself.

Today’s Salon has been sponsored by the Baron, and we cannot thank him and his Consul enough for their ongoing support – which has lasted two and a half years at this time

KlausWulfenbach Outlander bows from his seat

Viv Trafalgar: We consider them our friends and allies in our endeavour to bring you the best conversation in the steamlands and will always be intheir debt. Without further ado ladies and gentlemen, the Aether Salon presents Diplomacy!

LOWEY: Diplomacy: The art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations (particularly in securing treaties), including the methods and forms usually employed.

Diplomacy is dexterity or skill in securing advantages; tact.

All diplomacy is a continuation of war by other means.

All war represents a failure of diplomacy.

Diplomacy is to do and say / The nastiest things in the nicest way.

Diplomacy is more than saying or doing the right things at the right time, it is avoiding saying or doing the wrong things at any time.

Diplomacy is the art of letting the other party have things your way.

WULFENBACH: A diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.

As you can see, there’s a wide variety of opinions on diplomacy. A more formal definition, from a popular source, is ‘The representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and friendly relations.’

Let us set out some more definitions from a respected dictionary, as I have found some small confusion in the use of diplomatic terminology:

An Ambassador is: ‘an official envoy; especially: a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment’.

An Embassy is: ‘a body of diplomatic representatives; specifically: one headed by an ambassador’ and also, ‘the function or position of an ambassador’.

A Consul is: ‘an official appointed by a government to reside in a foreign country to represent the commercial interests of citizens of the appointing country’ This is descended from an Imperial Roman title, although the function has changed entirely.

A Consulate is: ‘the office, term of office, or jurisdiction of a consul’ and also ‘the… official premises of a consul’. In addition, ‘A consulate is similar to (but not the same as) a diplomatic office, but with focus on dealing with individual persons and businesses.’

One might compare the relationship of an Ambassador and a Consul to that of a military ship’s captain and his executive officer. The captain deals with external matters – communications of policy and practice with the ruler or his delegates, overall strategies and the unit’s part in them. The executive officer looks inward, handling the crew, disseminating the local applications of the policies received from the captain and ensuring all unit resources are properly used and distributed to ensure the highest level of functioning possible.

In that manner, a Ambassador deals with the desires and orders received from his ruler and negotiates on the highest level possible, dealing with the ponderous and far-reaching movements of kingdoms and principalities.

The Consul, however, will ensure that tourists and expatriates have their correct paperwork intact; will start potential new citizens on the right path to their desired country; will maintain resources on business practices, police procedures, and other local matters.

Let us now address some examples of diplomacy. The Vice Consul found this one example of a well-played hand – the aetheric address for the reproduction of the newspaper article is http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F00D17F63F5D1A7493C3A8178AD85F478784F9

LOWEY: You may read it at your leisure, of course, but the gist of the matter is that Austria found themselves bound by an unpleasant commercial situation which was causing hardship to its citizenry. The ambassador, after a dint of hard research, found a trade clause which allowed him to not only remove the hardship, but in effect punish the extortionistic behaviour of France.

An example of diplomatic ties assisting in war: during the French & Indian War:

French soldiers, aided by 200 Abenaki, Pennacook, Kanien`kehaka, and Wendat soldiers on snowshoes launched a surprise attack on the village of Deerfield, which was the northwestern frontier of the New England colonies.

The French and Indian force quickly retreated to Canada with their captives, many of whom never returned. The English forces did not have snowshoes, and were unable to overtake the invading forces.

The attack was a triumph of diplomacy and military strategy for the French. They had forged alliances with the Native nations, and by adopting a Native American technology (i.e. snowshoes), they succeeded in moving large numbers of men 300 miles through the snow.

A reknowned failure of diplomacy in one documentable future is that of the Shōwa imperial reign in Japan.

The Emperor and his court, emboldened by their national success in adapting to European influences without losing national identity, moved to impose a ‘Co-Prosperity Sphere’ uniting the Asian countries ‘the eight corners of the world’ under the rule of the Japanese Emperor.

The failure came in that all the time convincing the Japanese people about the gloriousness of this concept was time not spent in convincing the rest of the ‘Sphere’ of the same –

– and as a result, the Japanese participated in wars and atrocities for almost two decades, only stopping on becoming an occupied country for the first time in its history.

As seen by the recent unauthorized release of diplomatic documents, diplomats are still humans, and subject to the same faults as all other humans.

They can have unpopular opinions, and unconsidered moments.

The effects of the exposure of these faults range from acute embarrassment to possible damage of international relations.

Thus there will always be diplomatic secrets.

Some more embarrassing than others.

While some of these secrets may become the seed for jovial anecdotes years later, many will be changed by the intervening years.

WULFENBACH: At home, diplomacy is… not as effective. For those not familiar with the history of my Europa, the local rulers are, more often than not, Sparks. With the Spark comes madness, and those Sparks who survive their first great creation are not necessarily the most rational of rulers.

I have, in truth, suppressed border disputes based on ‘He looked at me funny,’ and ‘She insulted my newest creation.’

In situations such as those, the best technique has proven to be not calm, rational negotiation, but smothering force until they stop struggling and can be taken away to calm down. Only then, after they return from their ‘time-outs’, can we begin the rational negotiation phase.


Diplomacy on the grid is yet another matter. The usual resorts of failed negotiation – sanctions, siege, full-out war – are not as functional here as they are in other circumstances. When most punitive or hostile acts can be subverted by sitting or removing oneself entirely from not just the area but the grid itself, diplomacy gains greatly in value for dispute resolution, but even more for benign interaction.

Diplomacy has led to greater exchanges of information, of greater participation at events, and a greater selection of events possible. Consider New Babbage’s recent Fleet Week, where the biggest prizes were evenly distributed between the Steamlands. A nation bound by isolationism would not have had such excellent competition and challenge.

Channels opened by even casual diplomacy provide quick exchanges of information, such as reports of griefing to allow for proactive bans to protect as yet unafflicted lands. They allow for less troublesome exchanges, such as clarifications of changes from the Lab, or new devices that make tedious matters less vexing.

Diplomacy has led to the expansion of the Imperial Bank of Steeltopia to cross the waters to Cala Mondrago, where the bank itself faces the Magistrate’s tower in the middle of the market district. The system on which it runs was originated in Antiquity, which has a burgeoning internal economy based on a non-linden currency.

On a more intimate scale, diplomacy can be used between a peacekeeper or an experienced citizen to resolve issues of an inexperienced person accidentally littering a common area, using weapons inappropriately, or even merely miscommunicating by means of gestures, actions or phrasings which violate common customs.

In some areas, this might involve the wearing of a health meter (or not), or a matter as simple as inappropriate dress causing an upset. A calm voice and a ready ear can negotiate a peaceful resolution instead of resorting to official reports.

LOWEY: When the Consulate was founded in 2007 (Linden Era), the mission was fairly simple. We endeavored to aid the new residents from home to assimilate to the grid. In doing so, we needed to learn the laws, customs and traditions of the various Steamlands.

However, many things have changed in the years since. The Steamlands have expanded (in some cases explosively), then the Openspace crisis altered the landscape considerably. Old lands have faded into the mists, and been replaced by new lands with brave new views.

Along with the Steamlands, the mission of the Consulate has changed. The job has developed to include many aspects of an embassy, though not specifically for Europa. In some ways the staff have become unofficial ambassadors for inter-simulator relations.

Rather than limiting our actions to aiding the individual emigres to the grid and private concerns of commercial nature, we have endeavoured to increase awareness of the citizens of the broad spectrum of city-states and micronations of Second Life.

To that end, besides the offices we have in several states, we have supported endeavors such as the Aether Chrononauts Calendar project and the Steamlander forums, hoping to encourage intersimulator cooperation and dialogue.

Part of that mission has been the Grand Tours, identifying people who might host stops on the tour, assisting those who have not participated previously, and in one fit of madness, conducting a Tour ourselves.

I never said diplomacy *always* made sense.

WULFENBACH: To sum up, diplomacy attempts to solve, by means of reasonable discussion and fair compromise, issues of trade, cultural exchange and land use, on a scale from between two individuals to that of several countries.

LOWEY: The goal is to gain the cooperation of all parties involved to the good of all parties. Thank you for letting us rattle on this afternoon.

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander raises an eyebrow

Viv Trafalgar: Welcome to all who have joined us – we will begin questions in just a moment –

Jedburgh30 Dagger: I think we’ll now entertain questions for the speakers, please don’t blurt out, and we’ll get to them in turn

Linus Lacombe raises a hand

Jedburgh30 Dagger: Mr Lacombe?

Linus Lacombe: Is a plenipotentary (spelling?) a diplomatic official, and if so what is the role of that position in diplomacy?

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Ah. There are many possible variations in diplomatic titles and applications, depending on the originating culture and how the mission is constructed.

Annechen Lowey: It is rare that you will find a diplomat with full powers as a plenipotentary, in modern times. Mostly because of the speed of communication.

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: It is not a title in itself, but a modifier.

Annechen Lowey: However, it is not entirely unheard of.

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: An Ambassador Plenipotentiary could set foreign policy for his government.

Jedburgh30 Dagger: One thing I need to do as a matter of business, before any additional questions… Please make sure you all come back for the February Salon on the 20th. Our topic will be Romance!, and our speaker will be the lovely Lady of Skye, the Duchess Eva Bellambi

Linus Lacombe: Thank you for your answer, Frau Lowey, Herr Baron

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander nods

Jedburgh30 Dagger: Are there any more questions?

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Surely there are more questions out there. Any volunteers for the foreign service?

Jedburgh30 Dagger: I have one..

Jimmy Branagh raises his hand for a question, not for foreign service

Breezy Carver raises hand ..

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Fraulein Dagger?

Jedburgh30 Dagger: Have there been any times where the ambassador has had to step in when the consul has been “out of their depth”?

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Ahh… bitte, I should need more context. Here, or at home, or…?

Annechen Lowey: Hm, since they have different spheres, more of the modern offices do not have overlap.

Jedburgh30 Dagger: More with your own folks, as an example..

Annechen Lowey eyebrows at the Baron.

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: In the case of the European Consular Mission, I am my own boss.

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander grins

Jimmy Branagh raises his hand again

Viv Trafalgar: I have a question –

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Due to the inconveniences of the interdimensional gateway, full diplomacy is not possible – but the functions of a Consulate are more appropriate. I have never had to clean up after myself.

Jedburgh30 Dagger: Jimmy, then Viv

Jimmy Branagh: For Herr Baron an’ Frau Lowey both. Do you foind it more effective an’ long-lastin’ ta negotiate from a position of power, or from a position of correctness on th’ issue?

Viv Trafalgar: oh Jimmy – you go – I’m getting all sorts of strangeness from my connection

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Fraulein Writer was almost next, care to reconsider Fraulein?

Annechen Lowey studies the architecture…

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Power here is difficult to grasp.

Ceejay Writer grins. “No, no question, still pondering the foreign stuff!”

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: It is far more subtle than at home. It is more a matter of reputation and influence.

Annechen Lowey: There is always the question of proper application of power, as well.

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Correctness has rarely come into play here.

Breezy Carver raises hand

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: One moment, Lady Breezy. Emperor SteelCobra has sent chocolate and gold, it has no impression.

Breezy Carver smiles and thank you Jed 🙂

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Lady Breezy.

Breezy Carver grins now you mentioned you like to welcome the new .. yes ?

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: I suppose that could be said. I have always been fond of exploration.

Breezy Carver: how about say .. older residence that are not around as much but then seem to return ?

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander raises an eyebrow questioningly

Annechen Lowey: We do try to assist new residents, when it is applicable.

Breezy Carver: do you reach out to them as well and try to include them to join 🙂

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: We have an open group for emigres and fellow-travellers; the staff group is for those who intend to be put to work.

Breezy Carver: sort getting all to mix so to speak 🙂 ?

Annechen Lowey: It is difficult to identify them – but there is always the possibility that the resident who is three years old, has only spent five hours on the grid.

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: I should like to commend my Liaisons here, Herr Jimmy Branagh and Fraulein Bookworm Hienrichs.

Breezy Carver: yes .. or ones that used to spend time on the grid take breaks perhaps .. isnt it important for them to know they are still welcomed ?

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Lady Breezy, bitte, be more direct. Are you referring to a specific person?

Annechen Lowey: Yes, it is. If they ask for help.

Breezy Carver: no just in general. Nothing that exciting SIr. Ah they have to ask .. gotcha ! 🙂 Thank you 🙂

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: I have a long memory, and welcome those I have not seen recently.

Annechen Lowey: Just because someone four years old walks like a duck does not mean they are new, you see. 🙂 Some people make the choice.

Jedburgh30 Dagger: Do we have nay other questions?

Annechen Lowey: However, I try to maintain contacts with the places to get started, as well as the places an older resident who is new to the Steamlands may need to know.

Jasper Kiergarten: if there are no more questions, I’ll put out the craft

Serafina Puchkina: What is the craft for today, Jasper?

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Frau Lowey asked me earlier if we were going to have any graphical displays. I pointed out that showing pictures of 500-page treaties was rather dull.

Jasper Kiergarten: today’s craft is a high quality diplomatic pen and bottle of ink

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander watches Fraulein Stereo’s face grow red from the pressure. Captainess, you’d best speak before you explode.

Jasper Kiergarten: and thank you, and the Vice Consul

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Bitte sehr.

Stereo Nacht lets slip underbreath: “upcoming consulate event”… and looks innocent.

Linus Lacombe notes the diplomacy Herr Baron is using on Miss Stereo

Stereo Nacht: Ahem…

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: Ah. Fraulein Nacht would like me to let everyone know you are invited to the Consulate Games Day which the Captainess has worked very hard on planning.

Annechen Lowey: Ah, and sorry about not having pictures for the lecture – my view of diplomacy, beyond the classroom, has been an extensive number of meetings and multitudinous letters, leavened with a busy social calendar peppered with the occasional event in which I would have preferred to hide in the library.

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: We thank our gracious hostesses as well.

Serafina Puchkina: And thank you, welcomed guests and supporters of the Aether Salon. Please join the AetherSalon group, and if you are inclined, you may donate to the salon.

Beq Janus: do not forget to use the sign outside to show your appreciation while you are joining

Serafina Puchkina: Jasper, could you please give the tip jar contents to our speakers now?

Jasper Kiergarten: indeed

Klaus Wulfenbach Outlander: As the Consulate sponsored this event, the tips will go to support Der Hut des Jaeger in Winterfell, which hosts a weekly Poetry Slam on Thursdays at 5.

Serafina Puchkina: While Jasper is doing so, a reminder that our next salon is Feb. 20 and our speaker will be Lady Skye, Eva Bellambi. Thank you, Frau Lowey and Herr Baron. This was brilliant

The Consulate of Europa Wulfenbach is pleased to invite you to its first Game Day! An exceptional 30-hours long day, by decree of Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, extending from January 29th, 12/noon to January 30th, 6pm. (All hours SLT time.)

This event is meant to bring the citizens from all over the Steamlands together, and warm them up with a flurry of activities. Most will be held in Clos Normand, others spreading over all Consulate buildings.

There between the opening and closing balls will be
– two En Garde tournaments (a team and an individual one)

– two building contests (a week-long and an hour-long)

– a snowfight contest (rules to be added)
– a rally (lists of proposed paths, and starting hours for the commented tours to be added)
– a treasure hunt (rules to be added)
– free skating, table games and more!

Please look at the schedule below for more information on time, locations and rules when available. Some events require registrations, other you just show up; please check the rules of the events you would like to attend (when available).

(Updates of this notecard will be available at each Consulate buildings, and from the Consulate staff.)

Saturday, January 29th (SLT times)
12:00 noon Time limit for the week-long building contest; all entries must be ready for judging
12:00 noon Opening ball – DJ: Otenth Paderborn
3:00pm Opening of ongoing activities (snowball fight, rally, treasure hunt, games, open skating, etc.)
-Snowball Fight
(All over the steamlands; notecards with specifics will be added soon)
-Treasure Hunt
(In each Consulate buildings; notecard with landmarks and rules to be added)
-Open Skating and ice fishing (7seas)
3:30pm En Garde, team tournament
5:30pm Prize for the team tournament.

Sunday, January 30th
11:00am One-hour building contest
12:00 noon En Garde, individual tournament
2:30pm Prizes for the one-hour building contest, individual tournament, and snowball tournament
3:00pm Closing ball – DJ: Cerise Blackheart

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