Sins of San Dorado

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Ford Prefect
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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Ford Prefect » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:55 am

The emphasis on anti-corporate action brings to mind 80s cyberpunk and the social feeling surrounding growing companies. Sins of San Dorado itself features corporations that have reached that 'end state' of power, so I like the parallel.
FEEL THESE GUNS ARCHWIND THESE ARE THE GUNS OF THE FLESHY MESSIAH THE TOOLS OF CREATION AND DESTRUCTION THAT WILL ENACT THE LAW OF MAN ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Arty » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:34 am

Oh, there is nothing in here I don't like.
I know it’s a mess and it’s half-taped together and it’s old and busted — but it’s mine. And you gotta make that work, right? You gotta make your own stuff work out.

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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:49 pm

The Gang of Seven

The greatest megacorporations of San Dorado form the Gang of Seven. The Gang is an informal oligopoly / secret society whose intent it is to regulate relations between the city-state's largest companies through management of market shares, allocation of territories, the division of industry structures, the balancing of pandemonium policies and so on, thus preventing as much direct conflict between the corporations as possible. The current Gang of Seven consists of, in descending order of revenue:

1. Orphic Lodes & Petrogas (natural resources, electric utility),
2. SANDEX (retail & transshipment),
3. Helix Industries (automotive & weapons),
4. SinGEN (pharmaceutical, agro & food processing),
5. Sibyline-Hargreave Holdings (conglomerate),
6. AxumFinanz (financial),
7. Coldstream Delta Technical Services (telecommunications, computer services & software)

It bears keeping in mind that the Gang is not a government so much as an informal 'club' of CEOs and lesser Counts that exists only because the megacorporations know they have more to lose through conflict than there is to gain. All its deals are off the record, the products of backroom pacts signed in ink or blood, completely unpermeable to all outsiders but explicit to those involved. This shadowy and deeply unfair nature is reflected in the many disparaging sobriquets for the Gang thrown about on San Dorado's streets: the Outfit, the Serpent Pit, Club Perdition. At the same time the man on the street probably believes the Gang to be much more unified than it actually is. Because much as they may pretend to be operating in unanimous harmony, at the same time all the corporation in the Gang (and indeed all corporations outside of it) are secretly jockeying against the others by all fiscal, subversive and arcane means at their disposal.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:04 pm

The Community of the Companies of San Dorado is the governing body of the City of San Dorado. It was established at the founding of the city an uncertain number of centuries ago and is responsible for choosing the mayor, running (some) utilities and public spaces, appointing the chief of police and generally preventing the city from falling apart completely. Business and citizens are allowed to vote for its Board as long as they possess one or more shares in the Community. Its policies are direct extensions of the financial interests of the companies that control life in the city, and the Community itself is essentially a puppet of the Gang of Seven. Its current chairwoman is Mayor Emma Greyfriar of San Dorado.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:44 pm

"... that unknowable godhead whose dreamlike, visitant shadow manifest as deep currents, microrhythms and flash patterns within financial markets. The mercurial trends of her phantom presence are complex and chaotic beyond the cognitive limits of us human beings who fear and revere her who we have chosen to call Jyestha-Tyche.

Yet thousands upon thousands of those same limited, short-lived human beings, blind and bound under complex and arcane modes of behavior, together have created entities with their own distinct and inhuman drives:
corporations, the only things big and complex enough to engage with the deep idol, using rituals encoded in board policies to send shockwaves through the world economy and ripples through the markets.

And sometimes, something ripples back."


- From Atop The Altar of Greed, an eight page pamphlet that appeared on the streets of San Dorado and circulated among occult groups in the Sprawl. Written by the pen name Serapis Sevenray, most copies were destroyed in the wake of a series of fires and only fragments now remain.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:06 am

"Every trader worth his salt knows there's jitter in the exchange. It's why black-box trading don't work like it should. It's why some days just when you think you're riding the three lane highway your stochastics drop into the cellar for no damn reason, just like that. Some folks say there's a pattern to it. I used to know a guy who insisted he could predict future heat 'cause of trend lines only he saw. He could scalp real good, that fella. Then Stormbrink took him away for killing like thirteen prostitutes or somethin'. Painted his apartment with their blood and everything. Neighbours told on him 'cause of the smell. After that I figured if there is something down there moving in the deep markets, maybe we're better off not looking too closely, y'know? Back in school they used to tell us you can't look at somethin' without affecting it, disturbing it. Maybe... Maybe if you look down there long enough, y'know, eventually, something's looking back? Hell, I don't know. I probably shouldn't be talking about this."

- Noel D'Arby, former hedge fund manager, now wanted for crimes against the state.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:28 am

Dynamics-wise I wonder how the upper classes consider their own situation. Broadly speaking I think San Dorado upper society would be divided into two different kinds of people: pulled-up-by-their-own-bootstraps selfmade billionaires who know every dirty trick in the book because they needed all of them to get to where they are now, and on the complete opposite end of the spectrum there's people whose families have been gazillionaires for several generations.

As to the first group it is fairly obvious how they would think -- it's basically the modern rich writ large. The second is who I'm most interested in. I'm assuming they're not completely vapid, because if they were their fortunes would burn out and their companies would go down in a few years, so those who remain in the cutthroat environment of San Dorado's world of business must have something going for them. But I'd still like them to be deeply estranged from normal everyday blue/white collar mentalities, enormously nonchalant about vast sums of money and so forth.

Not necessarily shallow and fickle though. Just... If you're in a situation and money can buy a way out, they probably would take that route even when they could achieve the same result with a little work and no money spent. Want to lose weight? I could exercise, or I could have surgery. Let's have the surgery, because it's less work. That sort of thing. That I imagine would divorce them quite totally from the working masses, without turning the rich into stereotypical bubble-headed dumb kids. Not saying those might not be there either, but I'm more interested in seeing where society might head if money is literally meaningless because you have so much of it the family will be well off even if everybody sat on their asses for a hundred years. I suspect it might engender a mentality that would be totally alien to most of us, and that's probably at least as creepy as esoteric accountacy sacrifices.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Invictus » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:55 pm

I recall there being a line in Neuromancer about this, the way the ultra-rich can be totally removed from human concerns.

I think it's possible to extrapolate the second kind of upper class people from the real world as well, only turning them up to eleven. Oh no, they don't work to make money. Not even the people who work for them really work to make money. Their investment funds run on self-refining algorithms, their daily needs are served by staggeringly complex trusts that have been programmed for every contingency, the agents that actually act upon the world for them are such finely-tuned and -managed corporate personages that they can outsmart any upstart entrepreneur - and most importantly, they have long ago gotten so far ahead that the very system that everyone makes money in, the very rules in which even the first kind of rich people play their game, the very fabric of San Dorado itself is designed to channel all the wealth and power to them.

So deep and pervasive is their privilege that the average citizen on the street would react to the insight as though you've suggested that gravity may have been man-made. But if they themselves are aware of this, then they can get away with things that the noveau riche wouldn't even understand, make their influence felt with rituals that might as well work by magic. And by this assumption it's not like they even play by alien rules; they just understand their reality - San Dorado's reality - better than everyone else. That scary enough?
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
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REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:48 pm

Right; the economic topology of San Dorado is one in which the hyperrich function much like supermassive stellar bodies, they inexorably attract wealth the same way a black hole accretes mass. Newcomers can do very well for themselves but the system is rigged in such a way that sooner or later they almost inevitably fall into the orbit of one of the hyperrich -- or they're simply crushed outright.

Almost inevitably though. It's still possible to avoid being gobbled up, but it takes a very shrewd mind, an unerring ruthlessness, and a particular set of skills and awarenesses. In order to ascend the ranks of the selfmade millionaires and join the 1% of the 1% that truly rule the city they must accrue capital but deflect hostile take-over attempts, avoid assassination and learn to play a supremely volatile stock market harried by ruthless brokers, micro-trading computer systems that react in fractions of seconds and unpredictable deep patterns that nonetheless appear to always favor the established order.

The effects brought on by shifting large amounts of money around, the conversion or destruction of capital and other forms of economic entropy are, as we've discussed earlier, pretty much unknowable for any single person: you need a large and highly complex company, dozens of accountants and multiple divisions working in concert to bring disturbingly convoluted mathematical models into reality. However because the existing huge corporations and hyperrich are in direct competition and their individual (imperfect) models conflict with each other there is a certain 'noise' that a sufficiently skilled member of the nouveau riche can hide in and make use of to rise to the top. It's difficult and most don't make it, but it can be done.

I guess then the big difference between the hyperrich and everybody else is that most people work for money to pay the bills, but for the hyperrich money is a means to an end. They have so much of it they can afford to think this way, and as they use money to mold society, it molds them in return. At some point money becomes just an abstract thing, and so are things like jobs or the teeming working classes, they're just putty to be molded into the desired shape, not actually people. It's not even malice that makes them render thousands of people jobless, no more than hurricanes or earthquakes are malicious. It's just business, you know? Nothing personal. Besides, is it that bad to be out of a job? What is a job anyway? Just get a new one. When my helicopter breaks down I just buy a new one too, you know?
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:11 pm

I suppose a logical extension of what 'Vic wrote is also that these massive companies may be the engines of the city, but they're not at the wheel. They're owned by dynasties who are to billionaires what billionaires are to the man on the street. Even the incredible wealth of the greatest corporations' CEOs pales in comparison to the obscene resources commanded by these people (for a given definition of 'people').

As corporations toy with the lives of tens of thousands of laborers and office drones, they are themselves are only pawns in the intrigues of the families who own everything there is to own: companies, contracts, souls. Sinclair, Lethe, Despencer, Thiessen, Belseram; names whispered to exist beyond brands, corporate identities or even the demands of physical reality. They are Senior Management, and so far removed from the life on the streets they might as well by the stars in the sky or the rain that falls. For the masses of the Sprawl they are only myths, superstitions known only by nicknames from pessimistic apologues: the Son of Perdition, the Bastard Prince, Mr. Hades, the Queen of Cats.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Invictus » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:37 pm

I also suggest that the general economic shape of the world be sketched out - it's quite hard to imagine the modern sort of jetsetting transnational elite that only bases itself out of a single city and the one underdeveloped continent it is in.
"This explanation posits that external observation leads to the collapse of the quantum wave function. This is another expression of reactionary idealism, and it's indeed the most brazen expression."
-
REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 1 - Rey Quirino Versus the Dark Heart of the Philippines
"...a literary atrocity against the senses..." - Ford

REBUILD OF COMIX STAGE 2 - Advent Rey Returns: REVERGELTUNG
Coming NEVER

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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:53 pm

That's been on my mind. There has to be a world beyond the city limits, but at the same time that world shouldn't encroach on the claustrophobic sensation that San Dorado is impossible to escape. The hard boiled detective has to be able to put the boy on the plane out before confronting certain doom, but she cannot count on that outside world to come to her aid or even get lost in it herself.

It's a tricky balancing act. I suppose there must be a few places mentioned beyond the city, but the corps pretty much rule those places as well, and they're all pretty shitty?
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

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Re: Sins of San Dorado

Post by Siege » Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:10 am

The skyscrapers and mansions of San Dorado's very oldest and richest elites are so far removed from everyday reality that the city's poor literally cannot even see them. They exist beyond the twisted curtains of some financial singularity in a space entirely of their own.
"Nick Fury. Old-school cold warrior. The original black ops hardcase. Long before I stepped off a C-130 at Da Nang, Fury and his team had set fire to half of Asia." - Frank Castle

Fate don't fail me now.

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