Lens of History (39): On Matters of Morale and Hopelessness

STEC Archives, Print Document Division
Curator signature: N/A (Release authorized by document owner – West Virginia) Jer
Format: Photocopy of document for display
Object: Notes (Handwritten)
Location (if known): STEC Facility NBA
Time (if known): 1989

Curator’s notes: As STEC designed its countermeasures and planned against the Abyssal invasion, it was natural that the shipgirls themselves became active participants. Recognizing that there will likely be little time for formal and leisurely learning once the Abyssal War began in earnest, shipgirls would often sit in and attend STEC’s strategy sessions.

Here we show writings from Weavy (West Virginia), who often takes the time to document her thoughts in her diary. Weavy often took meticulous notes, and then returned to them to write down her thoughts at a later date.

Maintaining morale – the necessity of such during crisis

I think this is important for everyone – the people that I fight alongside and the people we’re trying to protect. It really makes me glad that we’re so far along the way in planning.

Abyssal DEMORALIZATION & countermeasures series Lecture 3/8 – Perception & Cognition

I sometimes wonder if it’s a bit silly to try to anticipate Abyssal attacks using our human frame of mind. I asked this question and the answer I received was satisfactory: regardless of what the Abyssal do or do not, we are concerned with our nature and humanity at large. So, it is useful to consider how people in general might react (especially emotionally) to the Abyssal threat. For example, the common Abyssal unit may not be aware that it is intimidating, but any sort of attack it carries out is rightfully categorized as terrifying to its human victims. 

Hopelessness – comes in numerous forms – functions via scale

Note: When we are thinking about these big issues, we assess the situation on a group by group rather than individual by individual level.

Significant – two levels

  • Practical People who are hopeless work less hard, fight less well, etc. This I remember from the Naval Academy!
  • Ideological On a broader level, we are attempting to preserve humanity. America was not founded on the spirit of listlessness or helplessness!

Hopelessness is not a natural state – often induced – unconsciously (human nature) vs purposefully (Abyssal manipulations). 

I remember this from the other lecture series! For most people, negative states of mind occur when certain needs are unaddressed. Often we mistaken wants for needs, and in all cases, the solution lies within the individual.

Common Cognitive (unconscious) Sources:

  • Anxiety This makes sense, though I think it really is another component of fear. 

    To reduce anxiety, STEC should remain consistently sober and transparent. The governmental institutions should do the same, and to be candid in their ability to address these anxieties. The citizen’s own obligation is to first assess whether or not the anxiety is “real,” then to articulate and communicate said anxiety up the “social link” – family/confidant – local community – so on.
  • Fear This is the big one, since most Abyssal units are naturally terrifying by virtue of their biological “design.” At a basic level, the instinctive reaction to an Abyssal is to flee. Fear-induced hopelessness often induces paralysis of both the figurative and literal sense, and is particularly dangerous when individuals are on the “direct” path of attack by an Abyssal.

    We’ve had a lot of different ways to examine how to deal with this response, ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary. On an individual level, we’re implementing plans for each individual to learn to confront and ultimately cope with the reality that is the Abyssals today. A step above that would be that there are many psychological, community-based exercises where STEC has found notable effects to defend against fear. These include gradual exposure to Abyssal-related materials (not dissimilar to how we treat phobias), continual education on what the Abyssals can do (the more you know, the more rational the fear becomes, and thus the more you could control that fear), and mental exercises to overcome self-defeating attitudes. Of that last thing is something STEC needs to be very active on – specialized task forces are already in place and prepared to deal with intentional or unintentional fearmongering. 

    Special emphasis is also placed in training local leaders – religious, social, or familial – and identifying individuals capable of shouldering a greater burden on behalf of their communities. 

    In other cases, we are looking to mass produce disposable one-use equipment for the civilian population at large. Personally I dunno if Chester’s term for them (brave balls) are entirely appropriate, but the gist of it is more or less just that!
  • Frustration This I think is actually harder to get at than the others. Frustration has a fairly broad definition, but I think the one that makes sense to me the most is the feeling that your actions or efforts are not producing the “fair” responses that you were expecting. Someone who is hopeless and frustrated would not be likely to respond well to queries of well-being, and so it is harder to measure this than the two other major emotions.

    I like the analogy used here in this lecture. For the citizen to meet their responsibility half-way, it is necessary for the citizen to understand precisely what they are frustrated about. The overarching theme here is insight and identification, where the goal would be for individuals suffering from this to be able to confide in others the nature of their frustrations. To accomplish this, naturally, we look again to the local “support network” (I think that’s just a fancy way of saying family and friends) to carry the weight first. For us to meet the other half, though, requires us to be very attentive. “Empathy and fairness are two sides of the same coin.” 

    Above all else, I found the emphasis on insight – the ability to examine the issue deeply – to be very insightful. In this upcoming war, after all, where our collective survival is on the line, “help me help you” is more important than ever. 

All occur due to purposeful “fanning” of the proverbial flames. Assume Abyssals may have own propaganda/specialized psychological units past the initial invasion wave. 

Goal is to convince humanity that the situation is untenable – STEC & other national initiatives incapable of fending off the Abyssals – Be aware of potential “up is down” psychological operations in attempt to induce mass hysteria or harmful behavior.

If the Abyssals are at this stage, they are CLEARLY not winning this war. 

STEC’s current internal assessment appears to work well, and we should strive to stay on course or improve as we need.

  • Maintain attentiveness of our personnel People like it when they feel like what they do matters. People are less likely to be frustrated when superiors are listening to their concerns. So on and so forth.
  • Communicate the successes of our operations, and be candid in our failures People like to know what’s going on. Interestingly, being frank about this actually increases personal loyalty to the cause – there’s a reason why that our people scored the only 0% on that CIA penetration test in ’88, and I guarantee it’s not because Jer reads minds – half the people don’t even know she exists!
  • Maintain our vision and be steadfast Honestly I kind of feel like the Soviets do this better than we do – maybe we should be plastering Avalon from ceiling to floor with patriotic colors and flags just once or twice. It could be done!

    I think it’ll be asking a lot of people (too much, in all fairness) if there is no way at all to win against the Abyssals. So, I’m thankful that we are here to see this through. I know we will. 
  • STEC leadership’s “scorecard” should be self-evident and the best judgment of STEC’s competence Just look at how much we’ve accomplished over these years! I wouldn’t want Mike’s job, but I know that everyone I work with closely find him to be one of the best things that’s happened to our organization. I think his particular style of delegating and trusting our “experts” combined with his personality is what makes it convincing to me. I know plenty of admirals that are more of a bragging type – Mike’s the polar opposite. 

    There isn’t an ounce of personal ambition there – you’d be hard pressed to find a single memo that could even be interpreted as pushing to shape STEC into “his” vision. In fact we literally moved him out of that shack of a room last month so he can finally get some proper accommodations. That’s why I feel that whatever his orders might be, we’re on board 110% because we see his dedication to STEC’s ultimate purpose.

Lecture series will be on hold for the week of 4th of July holidays.

Submit vote for meat item expansion by FRIDAY for the Sunday celebrations.

I feel like tenderloin’s kinda expensive… Maybe I’ll vote for the ribeye. Or the pork. NOTE: MAKE UP MIND BY THURSDAY.