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> High Level Negotiation Tactics
Laodicea
post Dec 2 2010, 03:10 PM
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I'm picturing a scenario wherein two extremely powerful groups come to the table. I'm talking about governments or megacorps. They all consent to having a detect truth spell used on them during the meeting. Would this ever happen? Why? Why not? It seems like if it did happen, both sides wouldn't actually talk very much at all. However, it does seem like a great way for a mediator to ensure meaningful negotiation. But who is the mediator in this case? Corporate Court? A Great Dragon?

What other negotiation tactics might be used in the 6th World?
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nezumi
post Dec 2 2010, 03:22 PM
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No fragging way. If I'm a megacorp (or government), I have things I am hiding, that I need to hide, for national security. I need to be able to protect that, and the only way to do that is to be able to tell lies to keep the corporate line. Otherwise can you imagine the chaos?

Bob: We don't want any security incidents. That incident with the Chechens was truly unfortunate.
Adam: Yes. [lie!]
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J. Packer
post Dec 2 2010, 03:45 PM
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QUOTE (Laodicea @ Dec 2 2010, 08:10 AM) *
I'm picturing a scenario wherein two extremely powerful groups come to the table. I'm talking about governments or megacorps. They all consent to having a detect truth spell used on them during the meeting. Would this ever happen? Why? Why not? It seems like if it did happen, both sides wouldn't actually talk very much at all. However, it does seem like a great way for a mediator to ensure meaningful negotiation. But who is the mediator in this case? Corporate Court? A Great Dragon?

What other negotiation tactics might be used in the 6th World?

I think the recent Wikileaks debacle should serve as evidence of why that would never happen. We tell one party what they want to hear, and then spin it in a different direction for a different party.

Leverage in negotiations often comes from an imbalance of information on one side or both. Nobody wants to have to lay all of their cards on the table.
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Laodicea
post Dec 2 2010, 04:14 PM
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Detect Truth spell doesn't necessarily lay all your cards out. It just tells if a person believes whether or not they're telling a lie when they speak. Although I imagine there's other magical measures you could take to find out more?
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Ascalaphus
post Dec 2 2010, 04:16 PM
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In any large, important issue, most of the negotiations aren't done by the big shots themselves. Months if not years of patient back and forth between diplomats and lobbyists happens first. For two major reasons: so that the big shots don't lose face if negotiations fail, and because their time is valuable.

Occasional meetings of big shots may happen to resolve simple but major points, after which another round of detail work gets done by the assistants. Negotiation is often incremental.

In most of those stages, it's very precious to both sides to be able to keep secrets. If your opponent doesn't know you're willing to pay 10, he might settle for 5.

Perhaps at the final stage where accords are signed there might be some truth-checking, to confirm that both parties enter into an agreement in good faith. Real-world treaties often contain a lot of talk about the extreme measures taken to ensure the treaty is solid (oaths on relics, promises to abdicate if the terms are violated and so forth). But often that proves to be empty talk, and lots of solemn treaties are worthless as soon as the ink is dry. So I don't think there'll be truth-checking.

Finally, I think a lot of nations simply will not permit any kind of spellcasting aimed at their leaders. They have too much knowledge and too much influence to risk it. Because you can't afford the risk that the opposing mage is capable of making a nasty spell look like an innocent spell. What if they mind-read the Launch Codes? What if they mind-control the president into signing an unfavorable treaty?
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Method
post Dec 2 2010, 04:42 PM
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The easy work around to this is to ensure that your negotiator believes everything he is saying is the truth. He doesn't need to know all the facts if someone is feeding him the information in real time through AR... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/devil.gif)
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Draco18s
post Dec 2 2010, 04:59 PM
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QUOTE (Method @ Dec 2 2010, 11:42 AM) *
The easy work around to this is to ensure that your negotiator believes everything he is saying is the truth. He doesn't need to know all the facts if someone is feeding him the information in real time through AR... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/devil.gif)


This reminds me of Foreigner from the Quintaglio Ascension series.

Quintaglios can't lie, because if they do their snouts turn blue.

Massive spoiler. Read the books instead.
[ Spoiler ]
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Laodicea
post Dec 2 2010, 05:04 PM
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QUOTE (Method @ Dec 2 2010, 10:42 AM) *
The easy work around to this is to ensure that your negotiator believes everything he is saying is the truth. He doesn't need to know all the facts if someone is feeding him the information in real time through AR... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/devil.gif)



Smart. Do they kill the wireless in all such negotiations with multiple rating 10+jammers? Just to stop this?
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Ascalaphus
post Dec 2 2010, 05:17 PM
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QUOTE (Laodicea @ Dec 2 2010, 07:04 PM) *
Smart. Do they kill the wireless in all such negotiations with multiple rating 10+jammers? Just to stop this?


Suppose a US president goes into a negotiation room in China, and suddenly all communication is cut off. How does the Secret Service react?
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Laodicea
post Dec 2 2010, 05:26 PM
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QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Dec 2 2010, 11:17 AM) *
Suppose a US president goes into a negotiation room in China, and suddenly all communication is cut off. How does the Secret Service react?



I'm assuming all parties are consenting to all of this. Obviously if anyone pulled any of this without the other parties consent, it would be bad.
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nezumi
post Dec 2 2010, 06:01 PM
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It doesn't matter. If you can't wirelessly 'rig' someone, then they'll use psychosurgery, or create and implant an AI, or use a spirit, or... When you're talking about corps with hundreds of trillions of nuyen behind them, and a few billion on the line in any given deal, they're going to find a way to do that. And then you're right back where you started, knowing the other guy may be lying (except it's worse now, because if you don't have a hundred trillion nuyen available, you're now at a significant disadvantage).
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Method
post Dec 2 2010, 06:14 PM
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Yeah i think when you consider the inherent complexity of any high-level negotiation, both sides already know that the other is going to do anything they need to (including lie, cheat and steal) to look out for their own interests. Thats just the nature of the game. Its like the US negotiating with China about the price of tires while their hackers continue a daily assault on our cyber infrastructure that should rightly be considered an act of war. We know they're doing it. They (obviously) know they're doing it, but we have to negotiate the price of tires because no one wants to start WWIII. Its dumb, but it is the way the world works.
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Faraday
post Dec 2 2010, 07:02 PM
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QUOTE (Method @ Dec 2 2010, 12:14 PM) *
Yeah i think when you consider the inherent complexity of any high-level negotiation, both sides already know that the other is going to do anything they need to (including lie, cheat and steal) to look out for their own interests. Thats just the nature of the game. Its like the US negotiating with China about the price of tires while their hackers continue a daily assault on our cyber infrastructure that should rightly be considered an act of war. We know they're doing it. They (obviously) know they're doing it, but we have to negotiate the price of tires because no one wants to start WWIII. Its dumb, but it is the way the world works.

I dunno about you, but I'd be happy not having WWIII happen in my lifetime.
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Nath
post Dec 2 2010, 08:06 PM
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QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Dec 2 2010, 05:16 PM) *
Finally, I think a lot of nations simply will not permit any kind of spellcasting aimed at their leaders. They have too much knowledge and too much influence to risk it. Because you can't afford the risk that the opposing mage is capable of making a nasty spell look like an innocent spell. What if they mind-read the Launch Codes? What if they mind-control the president into signing an unfavorable treaty?

The tricky part is, Analyze Truth is a Detection spell. The magician cast it on himself (or anybody else in his team). A ward may prevent him from entering the room with the spell active though.

As a side note, remember Analyze Truth works on people. It's doesn't work on writings or computer files.

Nowadays, it is routine for high-level businessmen to remove the battery from their Blackberry (or whatever they use) during sensitive talks and put the battery and the phone on the table, in front of them. The real talks do not start before everyone did so. That is, security experts consider it a risk that phone OS can be hacked with a rootkit to simply shut down the screen when asked to shut down the phone, and not to ring or display incoming call from a given number, automatically picking up to transmit ambient sounds (the only visible result being battery going down really fast). I would expect the same or similar behavior in SR (especially since comlink never run low on battery !).
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Smokeskin
post Dec 2 2010, 08:15 PM
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Preventing negotiators from lying about "facts" I could easily see all parties agreeing to. A problem I see is like Method pointed out, simply feeding your own negotiators disinformation so they can say it with conviction. Basically the whole concept falls on its face.

A big impact is that statements like "you have to give me more on this parameter" or "I can't go lower than this" can suddenly only be used when it is true - and then it becomes powerful statements. Even "this deal is beginning to look bad for us" would mean a lot. It might actually make negotiations easier and better for both parties. Many negotiations end up suboptimal for both parties because they're not communicating honestly. When you try to make a low value parameter seem more important to you than it really is, so you can give in on it later to gain larger concessions from your opponent, and your opponent does the same, that often ends up bad for everyone. But the problem is you get totally screwed if your opponent does it and you don't. Classic prisoner's dilemma - and perhaps Analyse Truth could fix that.
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Laodicea
post Dec 2 2010, 08:19 PM
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QUOTE (Smokeskin @ Dec 2 2010, 02:15 PM) *
Preventing negotiators from lying about "facts" I could easily see all parties agreeing to. A problem I see is like Method pointed out, simply feeding your own negotiators disinformation so they can say it with conviction. Basically the whole concept falls on its face.

A big impact is that statements like "you have to give me more on this parameter" or "I can't go lower than this" can suddenly only be used when it is true - and then it becomes powerful statements. Even "this deal is beginning to look bad for us" would mean a lot. It might actually make negotiations easier and better for both parties. Many negotiations end up suboptimal for both parties because they're not communicating honestly. When you try to make a low value parameter seem more important to you than it really is, so you can give in on it later to gain larger concessions from your opponent, and your opponent does the same, that often ends up bad for everyone. But the problem is you get totally screwed if your opponent does it and you don't. Classic prisoner's dilemma - and perhaps Analyse Truth could fix that.


You've stated what I was thinking far more eloquently than I had formulated it.
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Ascalaphus
post Dec 2 2010, 11:41 PM
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Analyze Truth is a weird spell. It can read someone's mind without being cast at that person; that person doesn't have any chance to resist it. That's really really strange.

The existence of even one such spell suggests that other spells like that may be possible.

What if one of those other possible spells gives one side a huge advantage in negotiations?

Why would the other side risk it by allowing magic in the negotiation chamber?

---

Is it me, or is Analyze Truth a really horrible metaphysics/mechanics-breaking spell?
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Method
post Dec 3 2010, 01:05 AM
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QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Dec 2 2010, 05:41 PM) *
Why would the other side risk it by allowing magic in the negotiation chamber?

If you're talking ultra-high level negotiations like between heads of state, I don't think they would. I think any spell casting in the vicinity of, for example, the President of the UCAS would be identified, scrutinized and dispelled at the slightest hint of threat to national interests.
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toturi
post Dec 3 2010, 02:16 AM
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QUOTE (Faraday @ Dec 3 2010, 03:02 AM) *
I dunno about you, but I'd be happy not having WWIII happen in my lifetime.

I was thinking that given that there are dragons and such that live multiple (meta)human lifetimes, these characters may have a different view on the matter. Perhaps they might want to get WWIII over and done with and get on with the rest of eternity.
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ProfGast
post Dec 3 2010, 07:13 AM
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I think a lot of people are looking at things the wrong way. High level negotiations may well have magically/technologically enhanced limitations, which is in many ways what makes them high level. Magic would have many limitations though having diplomats capable of Assensing, at the very least, seems like it would be just good sense. You can take Dune as a fun model and have "Truthsayers" as neutral mediators in these sorts of things, and if you wanted to keep things confidential, liberal doses of Laes and the like are easy remedies.

Also recall, Knowing Truth does not mean you can get a complete upper hand. Word games, as well as personal beliefs or the previously mentioned "need to know" negotiations could go around it.
It's rather bad manners diplomatically to ask questions like "Are you planning on invading here?", but a way a diplomat could reply "No, I am not" (truth due to self not going to invade) or you could use evasive actions such as "There are some parties in our government who believe it to be a good idea but there is not yet any consensus" thus using the statement as a threat etc etc.

More than that, you can then use situations where truth is analyzed, to purposefully say things that would be read as untruths in order to control what the opponent thinks. It becomes not a question of IF you're telling a lie, but WHY.
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Saint Sithney
post Dec 3 2010, 07:30 AM
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Programmable Assist Biofeedback: The truth is what we decide it is.
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Saint Sithney
post Dec 3 2010, 07:34 AM
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Way to drop packets, local switch...
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