is a free political simulation game founded by author Max Barry
back in 2002 (previously
). Loosely based on his dystopian corporate thriller Jennifer Government
, the game starts
by asking players to provide some national trappings and answer a few civics questions, then generates a virtual country with a matching political outlook. Periodic policy decisions
like mining rights and compulsory voting allow players to further modify their country along axes of social, political, and economic freedom
, arriving at one of twenty-seven colorful government types
like Tyranny By Majority or Scandinavian Liberal Paradise. There's also a healthy roleplaying community -- players can discuss current events in the General forum
, practice wargaming in International Incidents
, form cooperative Regions to debate internal affairs (many of which form their own communities
), and elect Delegates to send to the World Assembly
(so renamed after an amusing cease-and-desist from the real-world U.N.
). Their collective history is thoroughly recorded in the 35,000-article NSWiki
, which provides a detailed legislative record
, gameplay guide
, and profiles on many of the 90,000 active nations
, 8,000 player regions
, and countless characters
that currently make up the game world.
posted by Rhaomi
on May 9, 2011 -
"The United Nations-authorized intervention in Libya has pitched ethical issues of the highest importance, and has split progressives in unfortunate ways. I hope we can have a calm and civilized discussion of the rights and wrongs here." Professor Juan Cole
of the University of Michigan writes An Open Letter to the Left on Libya
posted by dvorak_beats_qwerty
on Mar 27, 2011 -
In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year
, NATO may lose in Afghanistan
, the UK gets a regime change
, China needs to chill
, India's factories will overtake its farms
, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum
, the stimulus will need an exit strategy
, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2"
, African football
will unite Korea
, conflict over natural resources will grow
, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled
, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable)
, technology will grow ever more ubiquitous
, we'll all charge our phones via USB
, MBAs will be uncool
, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest
, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world
. And so the Tens
The Economist: The World in 2010
. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Nov 14, 2009 -
From A-lister to Aid worker: Does celebrity diplomacy really work?
Rock stars," asked Homer Simpson, with his customary sagacity, "is there anything they don't know?" Only these days, of course, it's not just rockers but movie stars
and businessmen – and indeed anyone with an above-average
public profile – who, for one reason or another, are intent on telling the rest of us how the world should be changed for the better.
Or at least
, that's how it seems. So much so that a conference of eminent professors
of international relations assembled recently in The Hague to explore
the modern phenomenon of what they call "celebrity diplomacy
", amid fears that it has reached the point
where superstar lobbyists are damaging the traditional workings of international diplomacy and global politics.
posted by infini
on Jan 16, 2009 -
Bush and Aznar pre-Iraq Invasion--
Transcript of their private conversations in Crawford, Feb 22, 2003: "Quedan dos semanas. En dos semanas estaremos militarmente listos. Estaremos en Bagdad a finales de marzo", le dijo a Aznar.
("2 weeks. In 2 weeks we will be ready militarily. We'll be in Baghdad by the end of March", he told Aznar.) Consider this historical documentation. Full transcript here
, and audio clips in first link. [more inside]
posted by amberglow
on Sep 25, 2007 -
Clean water is a right:
"The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual report on human development
. It denounces the world's complacent disregard for such unglamorous subjects as standpipes, latrines and the 1.8m children who die each year from diarrhoea because the authorities cannot keep their drinking water separate from their faeces. The study
is both coldly analytical and angry..."
posted by kliuless
on Nov 24, 2006 -
"In the Name of Politics"
(NYT) Rev. John C. Danforth, the outgoing US ambassador to the UN, Republican Senator for 18 years, native Missouran and Episcopal minister worries that the Republican Party is turning very literally theocratic. In this short editorial he states "the only explanation ... is the extension of religious doctrine into statutory law."
(Just as a side note, we're taking applications.)
posted by blacklite
on Apr 10, 2005 -
Lawmakers ask that U.N. monitor election
"A group of congressional Democrats, led by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, has asked the United Nations to monitor this year's presidential election." Fortunately, the UN said no. Unbelievable. I hope that everyone that signed this letter will lose their seat in the November election. What a shameless publicity stunt. "Besides Johnson, Democratic members of Congress signing the letter to Annan were Julia Carson of Indiana; Jerrold Nadler, Edolphus Towns, Joseph Crowley and Carolyn B. Maloney, all of New York; Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Corrine Brown of Florida, Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, Danny K. Davis of Illinois and Michael M. Honda of California."
posted by Oxydude
on Jul 7, 2004 -
US demands war crimes immunity But human rights campaigners said the Iraq prison abuse scandal proves that the US needs to be held to account.
"Given the recent revelations... the US has picked one hell of a moment to ask for special treatment," said Richard Dicker of Human Rights Watch.
-- the annual renewal of US protection from international prosecution for war crimes when serving under UN auspices comes to a vote on Monday.
posted by amberglow
on May 22, 2004 -
Friday Doublethink Fun.
"An extraordinary communication
from the United States to UN representatives around the world has been leaked to Greenpeace. In it, the U.S. warns that the simple act of support for a General Assembly meeting to discuss the war will be considered 'unhelpful and directed against the U.S.'"
But really now, do we actually expect the U.S. (which claims it fights to "democratize" the Middle East) to welcome discourse and listen to what the majority of the world may think?
posted by fold_and_mutilate
on Apr 4, 2003 -
Dr. Robert Muller, former assistant secretary general of the United Nations, and one of the people who witnessed the founding of the U.N., says the global body is fulfilling its ultimate purpose: "Never before in the history of the world has there been a global, visible, public, viable, open dialogue and conversation about the very legitimacy of war".
posted by alms
on Mar 16, 2003 -
Doomsayers refuted yet again,
this time by the United Nations
and the Institute for International Studies, who independently released studies declaring that humanity is, for the most part, in the best condition it’s ever been. (Former MeFi-er DenBeste comments here
.) With more and more studies reaching similar conclusions as Bjørn Lomborg
's "Skeptical Environmentalist" and the CATO Institute's "It's Getting Better All the Time"
, I'm on my way to buy myself a new pair of shades. The future does indeed look bright!
posted by dagny
on Oct 11, 2002 -
Anti-Idiotarian Coalition/United Blogging Nation?
It seems all this talk of UN bias has has some bloggers so frustrated and angry that they feel it's time to band together as a political force, and the beginnings of a movement are taking shape
. Legal actions, media attention, and even a full fledged political party are all ideas that have been bandied about. They already have a couple of legal eagles and prominent blogging figures
offering services/resources. All they need now are t-shirts.
Oh wait, they have those
too. One Nation, under Blog...
posted by mikhail
on May 2, 2002 -
The United Nations: Non partisan independant arbiter of international matters or hyper-politicized arena? You make the call
posted by BentPenguin
on May 1, 2002 -
What's going on America?!?
Influential Republicans and Democrats in the House have threatened to hold back $244 million in dues to the United Nations if the United States does not recover a seat on the Human Rights Commission next year.
posted by twistedonion
on May 10, 2001 -