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How about just having information technology strengthen the masquerade?

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  • #16
    Having typed up a larger post and deleted it halfway through, I'll leave it at this: The only techno-magical effect within Vampire that comes even close to what you're proposing is SchreckNet 2.0 and that got quietly retconned away, most likely because a supernatural "Fangbook" didn't fit the theme of the game.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post

      I took this to mean you were saying the mind-control technology proposed in the original post was reality.
      Well, to be completely honest, given how advanced data and metadata collection and algorithmic processing are when applied to fields like predictive analytics and advertisement optimization, it's honest to god not far off from the truth. Look no further than Amazon's data collection and use of predictive analytics to target product recommendations to browsers of its virtual catalog, and how creepy and effective it is.

      For example, let's paint a hypothetical. Let's say I'm at the "starting down the rabbit hole" phase of "I want to believe", and doing Google and Youtube searches on shit like vampires, werewolves, and maybe even keyword searches of words I might have heard but really don't know anything about, like "Ventrue" or "Ascension". That search history data is collected, processed, and the predictive analytics side kicks in, and flags me as "potential vampire hunter". Suddenly, I start getting targeted ads for science fiction and fantasy movies and books, goofball conspiracy theory documentaries, aliens who have traveled 40 light years to satiate anal fetishes, websites where performance artists talk about how the water makes the frickin' frogs gay, and "education services" like Prager U.

      See, here's the magic of this. I may not notice it, but my brain did. Seeing ads for kooky, fringe, incredible, and reprehensible shit puts me in a skeptical frame of mind. I unconsciously associate these "Ventrue" people and the gay frogs, and the whole thing is discredited by association. I rethink the rabbit hole I'm going down, because there be dragons...stupid, crazy dragons.

      The insidious thing is, if I'm aware how data and metadata collection, and predictive analytics, work, the effect is even stronger because I then know I'm getting these ads for a reason. That reason being, the recommendation algorithm must think I'm a nutcase. And yeah, I know Youtube's recommendation algorithm sucks donkey balls, but that's the exception rather than the rule and just go with it for the sake of making the example.

      This is the real world and the very real state of analytics and engine optimization. The tech sector doesn't spend billions per year on the behavioral sciences because it's fun. You don't need to be talking about rotes, rituals, Procedures, disciplines, or anything supernatural to get from here to there. This is regular-ass, mundane everyday shit we're talking about.

      And I haven't even started talking about fake news, media consolidation and vertical integration, media framing, and the 24-hour news cycle yet. We can have a hell of a discussion on how to mundanely keep the public uninformed and distracted on that alone.

      Maybe, try explaining it again a different way?
      Honestly, I was being more circumspect out of desire to be tactful unlike my usual fare here. I could have done a better job explaining myself, since I'm discussing a mishmash of about three distinct topics and how they relate to one another. My goal in pointing out PRISM was to shed light on how advanced, extensive, and insidious contemporary surveillance strategies and mechanisms are, and the sad reality is PRISM is just one part of it and only one of several revelations brought to us by the Snowden files. And in the end, nothing really ended or changed because of it, save perhaps tightened operational security by our intelligence community, which proves how normalized and entrenched the surveillance state is.

      This is a real world example of a system more advanced than anything ever published in a Technocracy book. Including the M20 material. And if anything can be said to be the Technocracy's wheelhouse, this is it. WoD can be consistently summed up as "just like the real world, but shittier"...how much shittier does it have to get, and how much shittier can it get?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Cifer View Post
        Having typed up a larger post and deleted it halfway through, I'll leave it at this: The only techno-magical effect within Vampire that comes even close to what you're proposing is SchreckNet 2.0 and that got quietly retconned away, most likely because a supernatural "Fangbook" didn't fit the theme of the game.
        You could do the veil entirely within the confines of Mage the Ascenscion and it'd work just as well. Honestly that's my default assumption. The only difference for Vampire then is that the Camarilla isn't actually behind the veil. You wouldn't even have to do a crossover for it, it'd just be another shared setting element (like Pentex which is used both in Mage and Werewolf).

        As for allowing technology to be as supernatural as I dunno, nightclubs or politics or whatnot I think instead of a supernatural facebook you should have isolated supernatural chats and stuff like that. Smaller communites, more difficult to find. We even have that in V5, one of the suggestions for the Companion (Manhwa? Mawhan? I don't remember) background is a nosferatu chatgroup.Place them in some seedy world of darkness version of the dark web and state how they don't tend to permanently store any records or do other stuff to keep secure.

        Hell maybe in addition to mind effects you could add in some supernatural effect that destroys records in a limited manner. 'any logs or recordings taken from this chat channel mysteriously self destroys in an impossible manner.' Oooh.

        Originally posted by Theodrim View Post

        -snip-
        Yeah basically this, just with an added effect to handle the permanent nature of information and ease of accurate recordings. In MtA it'd be the foci and consensus exploits(mundane science) technocrats would use to implement this effect.In VtM it'd be the stuff camarilla and mortal governments get up to.

        Also I think you could use all of the stuff you are talking about to help clarify information technologies and highlight what on one hand the mundane strategies and on the other hand the supernatural strategies are, because going by this thread if you were to actually implement it in a game you'd probably have to define it a lot better than I've managed here.

        As for Vampire, one cool thing would be to have one or two new disciplines that lets player characters interact with technology in fun ways. I think that's a place where you could design some really fun stuff to use in game. That would be less something to help make the setting more believable and more for the actual groups and players though.

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        • #19
          Theodrim

          Okay, now I get it better.

          It's one of those rare times when "a wizard did it" makes a project harder, and not easier.

          Step One: Identify people on the internet who are close to figuring out the Truth.
          Step Two: Feed them disinformation or discouragement until they stop asking.
          Step Three: If somebody just won't let it go, tag them and follow up as a "micro-breech".
          Step Four: Repeat with the other seven billion people.

          That seems quite do-able, with the resources of the Camarilla brought to bear.

          I am now Team Theodrim on this one.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
            It's one of those rare times when "a wizard did it" makes a project harder, and not easier.
            Well, in a certain light it's not even as complicated as all that. The advent of the Internet really flipped the script on its head, and the best practice in the face of major scandal or quite serious allegations is to not even try covering shit up. The Streisand effect kicks in and the cover-up becomes the story. The best practice really is to let major accusations blow over, and lean hard into the least credible and kookiest interpretations of the events and accusations, to discredit the whole thing by association.

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