Smiling Friends Social Club (Player corporation)

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All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt

SFSC.png
Name Smiling Friends Social Club
Ticker [URPAL]

{{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:Hearts And Minds Alliance|p1|p2}}|

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| style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Alliance | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | Hearts And Minds Alliance }} |- | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | CEO | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | {{#if:Praxis Astra|Praxis Astra|Undisclosed}} {{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:| | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Director(s) | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | {{{directors}}} }} |- | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Founded | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | {{#if:July 4, 2011|July 4, 2011|Undisclosed}} {{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:| | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Founded by | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | [[{{{foundedby}}} (Character)|{{{foundedby}}}]] }}{{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:Inctive|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:Inctive| | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Status | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | Inctive }} |- | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Headquarters | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | {{#if:|{{{headquarters}}}|Undisclosed}} {{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:Smiling Friends|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:Smiling Friends| | style="vertical-align: top; background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Public Channel | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | Smiling Friends }}{{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:http://heartsandmindsalliance.org%7Cp1%7Cp2}}%7C |- |}}{{#if:http://heartsandmindsalliance.org%7C | style="vertical-align: top; background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Website | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | {{#if:heartsandmindsalliance.org|heartsandmindsalliance.org}} }}{{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:Hearts And Minds OnlyPraxis Astra For All Eternity|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:Hearts And Minds OnlyPraxis Astra For All Eternity| | colspan=2 style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #303030 solid; horizontal-align: center" align=center | History }}{{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:Hearts And Minds Only|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:Hearts And Minds Only| | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Alliances | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | Hearts And Minds Only }}{{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:Praxis Astra For All Eternity|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:Praxis Astra For All Eternity| | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Former CEOs | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | Praxis Astra For All Eternity }} |}


Template:Warning

Smiling Friends Social Club[edit]

SMILING FRRIENDS SOCIAL CLUB IS CLOSED

SFSC is the executor corporation of the Hearts And Minds Alliance

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

Sun Tzu The Art of War

"Grab 'em by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow."

Anonymous Alliance Executor

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

Praxis Astra

Those other alliances only care what ship you fly at the Hearts And Minds Alliance we care about you.

Spy stuff. Protection or Predation according to your predilection. Information. Psychological Warfare. We don't care if you use your powers for good or evil, just that you use them. Welcome to our laboratory, our labyrinth, our smiling Tar Baby. The three alarm five ring circus.

Below is the link to our web site. Unlike most EVE organizations, because we do not have a corporation in the conventional sense, the web site is critical.


http://heartsandmindsalliance.org


Dotlanmaps SFSC Stats

SFSC Forum Thread

Smiling Friends Social Club Web Site

Join us or infiltrate us it will work out the same in the end. How do we do it? Come see!

You do not apply to join the Smiling Friends Social Club. The Club is just an advertising device.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

Our Hearts And Minds (TM) training. A mental martial art.

Neurotechnicon A Manual. How to destroy them from within. How to protect them from those who would destroy from within. How to play EVE "against" yourself. The Metagame of EVE.

The Technocrat A Manual. The Creation, Care, Expansion, Manipulation and Management of EVE Corporations and Alliances

New Players Have More Power Than You Think A Detailed Explanation why you don't have to take as long as you think to get to the Inner Circles of power.

Warp To Zero My autobiography

Corporation Security The EVElopedia article on corporation security

Voice Comms EVElopedia article on voice comms

Link to an excellent guide for brand new players by Praxis Astra

http://heartsandmindsalliance.org/index.php?option=com_kunena&func=view&catid=4&id=45&Itemid=200

Please feel free to convo evemail or join Praxis Astra in our public channel

Smiling Friends


Extremes, are allowed, permitted, and grist for the mill. The idea here is to use your character as a tool to trick yourself to learn stuff as well as have fun. We want better game players and meta game players. Smiling Friends is a laboratory, classroom, theater, advertising vehicle. SFSC is also not exactly a trap, but certainly a labrynth. And never lose sight of the fact that SFSC is a toy. We know it will delight some of you because it delights us. And any number can play.

Join us or infiltrate us, its all the same in the end. How can we make that happen? Come and see. Many people who are spying on us are also our most trusted agents.

The one thins SFSC is not is a weapon. Our members are that. Our motto is the dead honest truth. While other corps only care what ship you fly, at SFSC we care about you.

SFSC is also a way to connect that 1 in 1,000 players who actually want to play this stuff with each other. So we're an advertising device.

Neurotechnicon A guide meant to serve the interests of everyone who reads it. If you're too stupid to understand that knowing exactly how to destroy groups also means you know exactly how to help them then, well, you're just too stupid.

The Technocrat A guide that shows how to build. Community. Teamwork. Exprit de Corp. The mirror image of the Neutotechnicon. Dos and Dont's depending on whether you want to destroy or build a group. The Creation, Care, Expansion, Manipulation and Management of EVE Corporations and Alliances

There are a lot of layers to this toy. The public face. The joke hidden under the public face. The jokes hidden within the joke. Its my Tar Baby. Fight it and you get stuck. Embrace it and you're held fast. There are exits, more than I know about. But all the ones I know about are trapped and tricked in the hope that we have to learn something to use them. It had to be a labrynth. And the answer is, yes, I am a prisoner of my own device. The joke's on me if its on anyone. Any other way just wouldn't be as fair or fun.

And, finally, for all you fans of irony, Smiling Friends Social Club in the inner circle is just exactly that: a group of friends who enjoy playing this game for these purposes. A club. An alliance of mind and heart. Just like any other corp.

You Choose Your Level Of Involvement[edit]

Freelancer

Predator says, "I only gotta sell out four more of these guys for my new Tengu. That guy Praxis really came through. I wonder how much he'd be worth"

Protector says, "I've got to prove myself to be worthy of their trust!"

The first tier Freelancer. You are paid for services rendered, with a smile thrown in. And the occasional bonus you hadn't looked for. We have pay scales and missions aplenty to keep the part time spy and mercinary fat and happy.

Handpicked Predator AND/OR Protector

Predator says, "Hihihihihiiiiii. He was funny. Eyes all wide. Hahahahahahahahahaaaaaa."

Protector says, "I had to stop it. It was wrong."

The second tier are the Handpicked Protectors AND/OR Predators. Only artists, the still functional but insane, the mad scientist, the alchemist, the traveller in the untracked wastes of human perception need apply.

It is to you I say: Yes. I'm here. Let's do it. What we always do whenever we assemble in groups of more than one. Come on in. I'll jump through your hoops and once I've proven myself to you we'll talk. And you know I don't have to promise you. Anything. I'll do what I always do for you because I won't be able to help myself.

Protector AND/OR Intraspecies Predator

Both say, "You mean I got to do that to him for his own good? I love being me!"

At this point we are doing it for the art. For the love of it. You don't need us any more. Except as smiling friends. Evildoer or Lawman, you will be expected to play your role with consummate skill, passion and ruthlessness. SFSC Director or not, you will be part of the Inner Circle.

Rules of the Game[edit]

You don't have to play by these rules, obviously, but then you can't be in my club. That'll show you.

Excerpted from Warp To Zero

The First Rule of Acquisition: As a merchant my best asset is handshake deal in a network of long term relationships.

The Second Rule of Acquisition: No matter whose it is, blood is expensive.

The Third Rule of Acquisition: Money is just another form of information.

The Fourth Rule of Acquisition: Never let YOUR greed become a cost of doing business.

The Fifth Rule of Acquisition: No matter how tempting, do not believe your own advertising.


The Hearts And Minds Credo (excerpted from the Neurotechnicon)

Honor is all the more an honor among we who can so completely withhold it. My honor makes my treachery sharp. My word breathes life to my lies. Like the sides of an invisible blade that only I can break."

"When I can't see the funny side, that's when I know I'm beat."

Praxis Astra Warp To Zero

Rules of the game: Only one.

We remember the difference between fantasy and reality.

We do not ever for any reason attack anything outside the game itself. Posting "angry" or disinformation emails on someone's website is psychological warfare. Messing with their web site is vandalism. Starting silly arguments in their chat room is good clean fun, messing with their chat room is messed up in the head. I will not tolerate people who use racist, or inflammatory language that addresses things outside the game. Saying that someone's alliance sucks and that their Amarr ship sucks etc etc is tactics. Insulting their nationality or whatever is besides the point and makes you and only you look bad and makes me feel silly to be associated with you whether anyone knows it or not. Do not do ANYthing that messes with CCP. That's just stupid and I don't associate with stupid people.

Scams And Exploits According to CCP[edit]

We are fantasy bad guys here.

Anyone who starts getting confused about that will wind up feeling the full force of all the scorn and derision I can heap upon them before we google for the name of a mental health professional near them.

My Rules[edit]

I will treat you honorably, even when we disagree. There are two reasons. One beyond my control and one that's a question of aesthetics. First, when you in the business of treachery, betrayal, spying and fraud, turns out your word is the catalyst that makes all your other assets work. Just as importantly, by being honorable I get to enjoy the rich irony of running an organization dedicated to terror, traitors and lies using friendship, frankness, and fairness. Better than dark chocolate.

I won't pinch pennies but I won't stand for being defrauded unless I really like you in which case its ISK I'd give you anyway that you're having more fun getting from me through theft. I won't come after you if you betray me. I just won't play with you any more. I consider that punishment enough.

Your character will be paid for results and only results. Hard work that results in a near miss results in nearly getting paid. I reserve the right to keep my counsel about anything I might want to give you extra on your next mission because I believe you did it even if you didn't prove yourself this time.

Proof of your Dastardly Deeds is mandatory. Screen shots, chat logs, recorded chat room convos, email copies, and corroboration by other agents within the organization will be required. I reserve the right to not be convinced by your (doubtless) sincere account of not having any proof of a given claim.

Pay scales for missions are subject to change without notice unless you and I have made a specific agreement.

Praxis Astra and how I play the character

Praxis lives by a pretty specific set of rules. If I had to identify him with any character from science fiction, it would be Thufir Hawat, the Master of Assasins in the series Dune by Frank Herbert.

Who is Thufir Hawat?

Thufir Hawat's meat and drink was treachery yet he would never dream of harming his family, friends, allies. The man actually had trust for and was trusted by the people around him. For me, the carbon based life form who plays Praxis Astra, the only way I can make him do what I need him to do is play him as being treacherous and trustworthy, killer and mentor. Its a lovely paradox and if I were to play him differently that's how I'd consider myself able to "lose" playing EVE online. Its an aesthetic consideration I think appropriate and healthy for the kind of twisted obsessive that I've heard plays EVE Online.

Praxis Astra, like Thufir Hawatt does not do what he does for the money. I have fiscal constraints in Real Life to live with and don't want to play a character who is worried about ISK.

Praxis lives very simply. He pays no alliance fees, defends no infrastructure, doesn't want a capitol ship. All of his money gets re invested into the business which means of course his agents. Its either that or pile up ISK in his wallet and that's not what I want to do with him.

Ther's a scene from Wilson's Illiminatus Trilogy that sums the perfect moment that defines the SFSC.

Illuminatus Trilogy

The trainess has been observed by the assassin masters for years, and undergoes an arduous initiation made specifically for them. They are brought from this to a room where their Teacher bids them be seated.

The Teacher asks the initiated student, "What can you tell me about this experience you have had?"

If the student answers, "Praxis Astra is Our Glorious Leader and I live to serve his Plan," then the Teacher replies, "Welcome to the secret society of spies thieves and assassins. Please report to your new commander after you leave here."

If the student answers, "We really should discuss strategy as colleagues, Praxis Astra and I," then the Teacher replies, "Welcome to the ranks of the Smiling Friends Social Club would you join us for some Quafe and Scheming?"

Praxis

Five Steps To Join[edit]

1. Read the questions below. Cut and paste them into an evemail with answers. Email this to me, Praxis Astra.

WHAT IS THE NAME (NOT A CHAR NAME) YOU WILL USE ON THE WEBSITE AND TS3 SERVER?
WHAT IS/ARE THE NAME(S) OF THE CHARACTER(S) WORKING FOR SFSC?
CHARACTER IS PVP, INDUSTRIAL, BOTH?
CHARACTER SKILL POINTS (APPROX)?
MISSIONS IN NULLSEC OR HISEC OR BOTH?
YOU WANT TO LEARN SECURITY OR PREDATORY OR BOTH?
WHICH SHIPS CALDARI GALLANTE MIMNITAR AMARR DO YOU FLY?
IF A NEW PLAYER DO YOU WANT TO BE PLACED IN AN AFFILIATED TRAINING CORP TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY FIRST?
IF NOT A NEW PLAYER APPROX HOW EXPERIENCED ARE YOU?
Evemail this to Praxis Astra when you are finished.


2. Put me on your watch list and convo or email me when you see me next. I'll look for you too.

3. After I look at your questions we'll talk in the Teamspeak 3 Server Voice Comms.

4. We find you a suitable Prove Yourself Mission.

5. You register for the web site and read the Neurotechnicon.

Make Your Own Role[edit]

We are nothing but adaptable. If you've got something interesting and fun in mind, speak up right now before you get sent on something you didn't want to do. Even if its not feasible at the moment, we can certainly match your Secret Evil Plan with the corp Secret Evil Plan.

Spy

Spy

Short term missions. Intel gathering.

Team Coordinators

Instead of fleet commanders or managers. You now have the option of bringing a Mission to the Inner Circle and get funding, support. Agents will be given the option of working with you on the Mission.

CEO in Hearts and Minds Alliance

Has the option of placing an alt in SFSC with the title "Team Leader" H&M agents can verify your status by emailing or chatting Praxis or your Handler, ISK can be moved to your alt, and we can assign accesses to it. Will always have an alt in SFSC thorough which to coordinate Team(s).

Assassins

A special breed. Where the personal touch is essential. Actors. Predators. Equally content to wait or to strike. Willing to do anything to get that frozen corpse.

Leveraged Sellout Brokers/Recruiters

You must be good at two things. Leading the virtuous down the path to perdition. Convincing the true SFSC candidate that we might be worth taking the risk of being loyal to. Security Analyst

All agents are security analysts. For themselves and us. But we also do straight up and down security analysis for other organizations, including targets that we take a liking to (after ops are over of course.) Our Glorious Leader takes a special delight in reading one of these well done.

Saboteurs

Thieves, con men. The "smyler with a knyfe under his cloake." (Chaucer?)

Psych War

If you like breaking your opponents of their will to live. You are willing to use fear and death and the thing even more powerful than either (See the Neurotechnicon)in order to achieve the SFSC mission.

Watchers

Only the most talented actors, the most trusted agents, the ruthless chilly fanatics and terrifyingly patient will qualify. Sent in to accomplish the most delicate task of all: transmit information to the Inner Circle from deep cover. Report only to the Inner Circle.

Alliance Director (Inner Circle)

The Inner Ring that runs the actual operations of the SFSC and is entrusted with the Roster, the Death Lists, and The Secret Evil Plan. These players have to be actually interested in both creating and destroying community. Should Our Glorious Leader ever decide that the SFSC has done everything he wanted it to do, his successor will be drawn from this pool. Don't consider this unless you really do want to spend most of your time in EVE coordinating the intense efforts of small groups of highly talented near megalomaniacs.


Final Report on Smiling Friends Social Club[edit]

Since its inception in July 2011, SFSC was fully active for about 15 months. It has been about a year and a half since SFSC has been active in any meaningful sense aside from contact with the occasional player who wants some conversation. I've had a lot of fun documenting what happened for you guys over the years and it seemed fitting to share the final wrap up for the inhabitants of New Eden.

SFSC was a failure in some ways and a success in others.

I was, for example, utterly unable to organize a spy network around a cult of personality despite the very best of intentions to be the Old Man on the Mountain of New Eden.

In more ways than not, SFSC was meant as a caution and curative to the many players who would prefer that the spy stuff just doesn't happen and play EVE pretending that it doesn't. No way to measure this but its reasonable to assume that some players who read my stuff were made more aware because of it.

As a place for training and even solace for the gamers exploring their capacity for treachery, there's no way to measure but we did provide the social network for it and some of the folks were social.

We trained anyone, especially if we thought they were spying on us for another EVE organization, in the hopes that they'd send in more spies so we could train those guys too. It didn't matter to us.

(What was the SFSC training system? I could go on for pages and have in other places. At its simplest it broke down to the following five steps.

1. Began with questionaire students had to send Praxis. 2. Interview with Praxis or SFSC "Director." 3. Reading The Technocrat and Neurotechnicon. 4. Beginning the first mental recalibration: Golden Rule Exercise. 5. Learn by doing: An assignment suitable to the student's stated goals. Ex: Recruitment/security officer , diplomat, scouting, assassination, researching possible targets for infiltration.)

I had a LOT of fascinating conversations with the people who claimed to be students. I steered a lot of new players into much more interesting EVE careers than they were bargaining for. SFSC as a work of art and entertainment was a success.

In the end, there is no measure of the success of the organization aside from the hits on the website, and the emails from and conversations with the people who told me the training and/or reading my stuff was useful to them.

SFSC was a failure from the standpoint of profit, despite my best intentions. I had all the ISK I needed from other stuff I was doing and just didn't want to bother with customers and all these people who would have had their own ideas about what to do with our agents. In retrospect, the whole thing probably would have worked much better if I'd brought that dimension into it. It just doesn't help your image as a cult of flesh eating assassins that you have non profit educational corporate status.

At its height I had 78 agents who'd agreed to various missions on "my" behalf. Almost all of these characters became inactive a month or two after going as far as infiltrating an organization. Of the few who remained, most of those sent word at some point that they were just going to hang out where they were and goodbye. Of the remaining, all but a handful went off on their own without another word.

During the year of its most intense activity I was voice interviewing between 5-10 applicants a week. Somewhere in the area of 600. The total number of applicants who never even made it to an interview but who only sent in a questionaire was about six times that. If one in five applicants made it as far as a voice interview, that is a generous estimate. Interviews were from 5 min to an hour long depending on how interesting I found the guy. (And with only two exceptions all applicants were guys or faking it so well they convinced us in Teamspeak.) Some take home lessons?

It is amazing how many people will believe you are evil simply because you claim to be.

Almost all the security measures people take are cumulatively more costly than the things they are supposed to protect against. In order to have your agents spy on things successfully, they have to have something to spy for. Being a part of a community is the only real defense against most people going native or getting bored. SFSC was not a community.

The fatal flaw of SFSC was my disinclination to actually be anything other than an educator. I was never all that interested in playing "against" anybody.

The Secret Evil Plan of SFSC was to put people into positions where they could do what they said they wanted to do with their virtual lives and then to step back and see what they actually did. Since what about half of them actually wound up doing was going away and not communicating with me any more, I 'd say we had limited success with this.

The agents who did make it in and wreck havoc were almost all doing so before they met me.

Any spy master should reconcile themselves to being a part time Human Resources Officer for the corps they send infiltrators into. Its exhausting being uncertain of the people you are dealing with all the time. Even in a computer game.

Over 98% of the job of a security officer is reminding people (also known as nagging.)

The voice comms are the achilles heel of the spy. Its happened in the SFSC voice comms that a player recognized another player's voice from playing with them almost two years earlier. Oops.

The better the security officer, the less credit they will get because their results are essentially stuff that doesn't happen.

The only good security officers I met had an instinct that could not be taught. The bad guys would say something, do something, have something in their employment history that would ping on their radar.

Decency, honesty, and trustworthiness abound, especially in New Eden. The vast majority of players have to be thoroughly provoked before they will resort to treachery despite the absence of any real consequences. Who woulda thought?

The reverse of this is that there is a tremendous amount of power in being willing to do bad things to people you know. (The Dark Side indeed.) Crime Does Pay in New Eden. All the more marvelous that there isn't more of it.

SFSC was my best bid to make New Eden a bigger and better place for all of us. This is perfectly understandable since I'm a better writer than EVE player. I'd like to think that the Smiling Friends was worthy of being one of the things that EVE is known for.

Thanks to Doctor Steele who was the one and only of our resident Masters of Evil who was there from start to finish. I also thank Prayer Slayer for giving me my very first job as a security officer when I was only a 3 month old player. There are a lot of others I remember with respect and affection.

And finally I admit that If SFSC was anything at all it was my love letter to all the inhabitants of New Eden and to the game of EVE itself. It was literally my heart on my shirtsleeve. My time with you guys has been very productive and I enjoyed spending time in New Eden with all of you.