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E - Everyone

Notes from the Evil Overlord Council: Subverting Individualism

by dragonfphoenix


How to go about integrating a unified system without attracting negative public attention.

Step 1: Develop a system able to be covertly manipulated in order to place the Overlord in complete, irrevocable control.

Step 2: Differentiate single units of the system so that no two are technically the same, while retaining system cohesion and compatibility.

Step 3: Distinguish various factions and manufacturers of the units, pitting them against each other so that the public sides with different variations without realizing their total embrace of the system itself.


Many Overlords have tried and failed to implement systems to expand their power. The primary failure was the discovery of their system’s true intent by intellectuals opposed to a monarchial form of government. This discovery was invariably caused by the unified public front the system presented: it was easy for the public, and therefore the opposition, to register and track the advance of the system and its prevalence.

The key to successfully integrating systems has been discovered to be diverting the focus from off the system itself and onto the actual components of the system. Or, to create variations of the same system, compatible with one another, yet differentiated so that humans may choose “sides” without realizing that they are embracing the system.

The foundation of the system must be something that humans need. Automobiles, telephones, computers, and televisions are good examples of technologies that humans have become dependent upon without realizing the embrace of a system. The Windows/Mac battle is an exceptional illustration of the variation factions. While both operating systems require conversion software to truly interact with one another, the device that software runs on, the computer, has been wholly embraced with little thought given to the implications of the device’s prevalence. Naysayers are quieted by the disunified front presented by the Microsoft and Apple corporations. This lack of coherence avoids the “clone syndrome,” red flags raised in the public awareness by a single, monopolistic implementation of a system. Even something as relatively harmless as the Coke/Pepsi debate largely ignores the fact that by choosing sides people are still embracing the system of soft drinks.

The system must have, in some manner, a way to shepherd the Overlord into control, or endue a form of power unto the Overlord while remaining desirable. In the case of global positioning technology, the ability to track the population is invaluable. By assigning beneficial uses to GPS chips, such as emergency or stolen item tracking, the populace is less averse to their implementation in devices such as their vehicles, computers, and cell phones. And willing participants are much more valuable than those coerced. Foursquare, a GPS-reporting software, voluntarily receives location information from users. This system provides participants with certain rewards, and the desirability of such benefits makes implementing GPS chips even more beneficial.

Another factor that deflects the public’s attention from identifying clone syndrome in a system is that, by creating the appearance of individuality, debates on the relative threat of a new system, or extension of an existing system, get pushed into the arena of intellectuals, thereby discrediting any true evidence from arising to threaten a system. Intellectuals are, and must remain, viewed as ‘heady, deep, and philosophical,’ well above the reach of the common human. So long as that form of intellectualism and ignorance remains, this implementation ideology will survive and defer revision. Therefore, Overlords are highly advised to maintain as low an educational level for the populace in their domains as possible, and to strive for factional integrity in their societies.

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1318 Reviews

Points: 23911
Reviews: 1318

Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:11 am
Hannah wrote a review...

Hey, Knight Dragon! It's good to read some of your writing again!

So, my first thought from my read through was how I loved that this was a piece that was actually speaking something to us about society, something that we need to learn, something that is essentially important to being able to function as human beings, but it wasn't presented in the usual lecture. It wasn't saying "dude, you guys are stupid for using computers and caring about brands", it was saying "Hey, look at this evil plan", but distancing it from reality by claiming it was the plan of some "evil overlord" rooted in fiction. We drop into the piece expecting some humor and come out of it thinking deeply about the way we participate in our lives.

I feel like this is something that could easily be published if it were cleaned up and made just a bit easier to swallow on the sentence level. You are prone to using big, smart words and long, involved sentences. These are the "smart" sentences. These are the "English major" type sentences. And we love them, but not as much when we try to get something into publication that's tending toward non-fiction.

It's just a little hard to drag ourselves through something so heavy, you know? So here are a few tips I would recommend:

In fiction, we want word variation. We don't want to get the same words over and over, so we use synonyms like "populace" or "common human" or "individuals", etc. Instead of just saying "people" or "subjects". I recommend seeing what it reads like to choose ONE term to act as the "scientific" term for a noun and using it consistently throughout the piece. This would serve as anchors for the reader to grasp onto -- yeah, I know what "people" means -- while jumping from one big, specific word to the next. It would let you keep a lot of your high diction while giving our brains short rests.

If you're really set on getting this ready for publication, I would say take the time to break this down sentence by sentence. First, simplify the sentence. Write a second version of this in simple sentences and see if there are places where you say the same thing twice. Second, try to color code topics of sentences, and make sure they're all in similar areas. With longer sentences, it's easy to get caught up in the temptation to just flow with your thoughts, but I think this would be stronger with a very solid organizational structure.

Lastly, definitely think about making at LEAST your abstract more simple. The abstract is your chance to HOOK the reader -- yeah, we wanna read about how an evil overlord takes over his dominion, etc. Use more humor up front to get us prepared and engaged. Right now it's a lot a lot of long words, and that makes us want to turn away before we start. Don't risk that!

I hope these suggestions are helpful to you!
PM me or reply to the review if you have questions/comments!

Good luck and keep writing!


Thanks for the review! As is, this was designed more to mimic memo/meeting notes (*sigh* Meetings...Blegh.) than a narrative/essay. Plus, I didn't intend to take this beyond YWS (at this point, at least). So I was happy with what I got.
But I will review your points if I revise this, as they are beneficial, as always. (The sentences were "smart" as a sort of mental barrier that is keenly aware of the gap between "public" and "intellectuals," at least that's how I viewed it when I wrote it. ;) )

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11 Reviews

Points: 1115
Reviews: 11

Sat May 31, 2014 3:19 am
Lornthalas wrote a review...

Well said! Just, uh, please refrain from taking the route of Emperor Palpatine in this fine establishment! The vocabulary was exceptionally astounding, though I am sure that for yourself this class of diction is standard, and I was especially impressed with the use of the word "endue." The concept there is, "rock solid" as some are fond of saying, yet of course the difficulty always lies in one's ability, or rather inability, to execute the plan. Still, the piece remains indubitably an excellent guid for all of the future Overlords and Emperors of the next generation….just so long as I am allowed to maintain the facade of equality and democracy and rule by the people long enough to become satisfied with my lot in life!

All in all, it's a great and stimulating read!

Thanks for the review! Glad you liked it. All food for thought free of charge. :P

But even the worst decisions we make don't necessarily remove us from the circle of humanity.
— Wes Moore, The Other Wes Moore