Now that hours and days and months of reading, writing, and, um, "researching" are behind me, let me just air out a few other details from the Civ. piece.
1. You guessed it. The friend who controls foreign cities by starving out the population and repopulating it with his own people is Jonathan V. Last. Let us not forget he once defended the destruction of the planet Alderaan.
2. Joseph Bottum's strategy of winning at Deity was much more complicated than I let on. There are many conditions involved, such as selecting a single continent, choosing an ancient civ. whose unique unit comes early, building roads in one direction, gambling you will hit pay dirt (meaning you connect with another civ.). You must also reduce all funding on science in order to build as many units as possible. Then you send them out and overwhelm. I think Bottum once won by the year 400 B.C. Also, his wife won't let him upgrade to Civ. IV until he finishes writing his book.
3. Sid Meier is a very funny guy. When he was explaining the importance of decisionmaking, he says it is all up to the player to decide "Do I go for a barracks or a marketplace?" I asked him which is it. He said, "Yes."
I am sure there is more but it all seems to blend in now. Unfortunately I can no longer use the piece as an excuse for playing the game. But wait til I tell my wife about the piece I am writing on Vivid Video.
37 minutes ago