Well, I've only got a few hours before I must set aside my valiant fight against the FIC, in favour of doing my novel for the month of November. Not sure what to call this genre I'm going to be working in -- it's kinda like a nov-o-drama...nov-o-rama...a graphomaniac...um, kinda like a graphic novel, only 3-D, not machinima because in SL you aren't a machine...the avatar as the character of a living 3-D novel...it's not really a novel then, it's a movie, but since there's so much text involved..hmm...anyway I will be exploring these themes in the nov-o-dram-eo very soon, but meanwhile, such BAD ideas have been posted on the forums I MUST RESPOND because I know some residents and even some Lindens are nodding in approval.
First, I'm hoping Cocoanut will say a lot more about the mentor who is badgering her and harassing her and lashing out her poisonous tail on the forums, whiplashing her with set-up Linden warnings. If she won't, I will very soon because this sort of thing has to be exposed.
Now, as to the mauvais idees du jour. Not surprisingly, the commerce-allergenic Lauk, and the Euro-socialist-turned-capitalist-wage-slave Eggy Lippman (sorry, Eggs, but there it is) are up to their coniptions again about the unwashed masses interfering with their game play.
I've reflected before on this really dreadful concept of "United we stand; divided we run free at last" destructive, destabilizing concept of the body politic and civil society that the tekkie wikinistas are purveying in their mind-memes across the grid.
They all want to have little special enclaves where they can throw up the gates, mist up the surrounding area to prevent seeing any blight, and, um, I dunno, do what little special enclaves do when they can all hold hands around the campfire together and sing Kumbayah.
First, Eggy's vision:
- Color coded sim rating overlay, for starters. We had it on the hand drawn maps in 2003!
- Built-in support for Communities, separate from the current group system - groups of loosely connected individual sims or parcels that list themselves as belonging to a certain theme
- Color coded Community overlay on the map with mouseover description
- To keep things in theme, you need to have some membership management mechanism
- Facilitate parcel mobility so as to allow users to progressively aggregate parcel communities into a contiguous region over time
- Facilite the moving of islands belonging to the same Community into closer proximity on the map (right now you charge USD$50 for this, IIRC?)
- Linden would create a few seed communities (say, Sci-Fi, Medieval, etc) where players could list themselves, later adding the ability to create our own community for a price.
I'd love to have more information about the grid, but not for the sake of Balkanizing the grid, but for helping it to become coherent to itself and others. I'm leaning toward the One Grid sort of concept that I'm figuring is something like the One World thingie of the 1930s, but only because I'm thinking the grid, like the real world, is interdependent, and that creating some overarching values and norms of at least some minimal sort of the TOS variety if something else is required for civilization. I don't think creating all sorts of independent colonies run by arrogant tekkie and artie fucktards is really progress, silly me. I imagine they will break down into warring principalities...but maybe first they'll run up smack against the real problem of all these colonies: cost. Before, they could have a parcel, a half a sim. Now, to get their "freedom," it has to be a whole private island or nothing. That gets expensive, and my guess is that all this 'run free at last' stuff is just going to run out of tier money and be back poking around the mainland before you know it.
Eggy's colour-coding idea fits in with the more-knowledge concept and I'm all for it. I often wonder about land I'm looking at to buy whether it is M or PG and they don't tell you unless you land there first. Annoying.
As for built-in support for Communities, I think this is net-nanny, nanny-state, communist tripe. We don't need some government to set up this infrastructure for it. Anshe has already done this sort of thing in ruling with her iron fist. She's made some of her communities themes. If you don't mind having kind of ersatz, water-downed themes that don't really grow indigenously from a real sense of place and community action, and you don't mind getting the message "furries go here, Germans go there, gays go over there," well, it's ok, but I think people probably want some more freedom that that. These categories are going to be hard to define, and even harder to enforce. Hell, people can't even agree in the events working group started by the Lindens about events categories. what if I'm a gay, German, Furry? Do I request a pass so as to fly across all three of these sims?
So I'd be inclined to leave the identification and sorting of communities to the residents themselves by the naming of their sims and leave the Lindens/government totally out of it. Getting them in on this act only feeds their tendency to set up a corporatist fascist-type society/government of guilds and classes which is anethaema.
I'd especially hate any kind of membership management system run by Lindens, and not by people who make communities. Fix the group tools, and people can do this themselves. Give them more control and trusting ability in the tools, they will do this without having to make super-structures. And even without tools, leave top-down management out of it. People can already make groups well enough without messing with them.
As for moving parcels around, this is silly. What, we take 10 parcels off a sim and move it together somewhere out in the void...and leave what...blank space? new land? first land? on a server? Huh? But what happens to the geographic sense of place the Lindens are making on the main grid? I find this pretty serviceable stuff. They have telehubs -- which yes, are needed to create centers and which still have value for shopping -- they have dams and roads and lakes and builds of various kind that have meaning. I'm all for leaving that there and let people try to get along better. After all, it's the inability of the fuck-you hedonists to cede anything to the principle of rights for all that is at the root of this problem. Everyone wants the right to do what the fuck they want to on their property, although things like lag and particle and ugly views intrude into the enjoyment of the game for others. Some basic civilization norms could be disseminated better, but this will require the hard-core FIC giving up their hammerlock on the game's mores and norms -- since they don't reflect what most people want.
I don't want Lindens doing more content and building for this game. They do too much. It's supposed to be created by users. If someone wants to make Medieval World, let them buy a sim and make it. Keep the Lindens/the federal government/net nanny players like mentors OUT OF IT. The Lindens could, on the other hand, point toward better management of the grid with soft, generic, recommended zoning on the auctions. They could say for a telehub and near-telehub sim "these are the club and shopping zoned sims" and for sims located 800 meters from the telehub "this is the residential sim." There merely label it. People will do their own enforcing. It is soft, not hard law. It is doable merely by putting up a sign. Their inability to get over their own rigid liberal social-engineering codes is preventing them from just trying to point in a better direction -- and residents will take care of the rest.
Now, let's look at Lauk's post. Lauk is the person who, on the Community Round Table, had to answer to my good-faith offer to give no-rent or low-rent sims for various events with "I don't want orgies of advertising" and "all this business crap". I don't let neuralgic commerce-allergenic statements like that sit there and go on meming up the servers. I fight back. It doesn't matter if Lauk is 'a nice person' who 'makes beautiful things'. This utopian hegemonic attitude -- shoving the socialist utopia on everybody -- has to be stopped in its tracks.
Here's a point by point rebuttal not only to her, but to Gwyn, who was nodding, and the rest of the FIC:
This is a topic close to my heart and, as someone who has now spent a year consolidating my holdings in SL, I think I've a reasonably informed opinion.
Yeah, I've done the same thing, so I have an informed opinion, too, but it is diametrically opposed to yours, and I think my opinion is probably in line with a lot more of the player population than yours, so I think you can no longer safely go on merely insisting that the Lindens follow what you say.
Here are are some of my interrelated ramblings ( possibly the longest post I've ever made, please accept my apologies now ) ...
** Mainland Sim vs Private Island ownership.
I believe if you possess an entire sim, you should be entitled to use the estate tools, including land texturing and full landscaping. The current system of private island sims serves no purpose( as far as I can see ) other than to provide LL with the $1200 setup fee. I abhor that and smell a tinge of corporate greed that seems inconsistent with the rest of LLs dealings.
This is socialist clap-trap and guilt-tripping. The social-minded Lindens are actually charging the lowest they can for these islands, and simply had to raise their price when it became clear there'd be a much huger market for them once Anshe got into the island business and now has something like 70 of them. The islands have more features, more custom service, and have the full-time services of 2 Linden staff people on them. They cost money. Therefore it is not "greedy" to charge more for them but REALISTIC and JUSTIFIED and thank God, the Lindens made this distinction to value not only their own labour, but the extra value that developers and residents put on to the islands and their features.
So you might ask: "What about the discontinuity this would cause" ?
I say open your eyes and take a look around the grid ....
** The grid
What a pile of poo the mainland grid system is !
Um, no, actually not. I own about 10 sims worth of land, spread over about 40 sims. I and my neighbours have gone to huge amounts of effort to keep the sims nice, not laggy, residential, or mixed with shops. The hundreds of customers I have come and go through these areas are appreciative of it. There are dozens of other rentals agents, some with way more land than me, that do the same thing on the mainland. There's no poo on our land -- the only poo we're dealing with is the constant interference that socialists are making in our ability to do business freely in a free market.
To be sure, the mainland is filled with blight. But it's not blight to everyone. A lot of it is newbie freedom. These ugly builds and one-month clubs, and malls and so on that people try come and go and fade within 30 or 60 days and the sims settle down. They start to look decent and usually some set of forces come along to right them -- either one person or one group buys up all the land and at least makes it one sort of thing or some group settles down and makes residences on the sim and lives prettily happily. This is a natural process and should be left alone, except insofar as the federal government should be pressed into service more to disseminate more basic norms of good neighborly behaviour. A public service would be to take the rotation script out of the library, so that people avoid experiments with giant rotating crap and rotating signs on their stores as a free and immediate given.
Over the past week I spent maybe 3 hours, possibly more one night, simply flying around the grid. I do this periodically because I like to get out and explore. Most times I island hop for reasons I'm about to describe, but this time I decided to go around the mainland because I hadn't for ages.
What did I find ?
- 75% of the grid is basic prefab, what I call "middle american suburbia". ( ok it's slightly insulting but it's what I call it )
TOO BAD. That's how 75 percent of the people WANT IT. This game has SEVENTY THOUSAND PEOPLE IN IT NOW. Sorry, but socialists, aesthetes, and tekkie-wikis can no longer dictate the norms of the grid. People are free, they buy land, they pay tier, and this is what they want. It's actually an improvement over the idiotic sim-lagging sandbox experimenting that we had to face on many sims a year ago, where it was routinely accepted that asswipes could run submarines all over a sim and bomb everybody and lag the sim down to 37 just as a "cultural norm" from the tekkies -- sending all the householders packing. If people want to make a middle American suburb -- let them. It's a free country. If you don't like it, don't fly around the grid and look at it, don't scream about the grid -- which is way bigger than you -- go back to your sim, go get a private island, and put your trees and birds and socialist cooperatives on your sim and STFU. Really, that's all that can be said about this -- the Lindens cannot be in the business of legislating a tiny minority's aesthetic tastes and imposing them on the majority.
- 24% is malls and clubs
Good! People like to socialize and go shopping. Thank God for it. It is the lifeblood of the economy. Not everybody wants to sit up in a wacky tree in a raven avatar and spout socialist nostrums. Let them be, and get the hell out of their hair. Go back to your co-op and basket-weave and leave everyone else alone.
- 1% is stuff that I'm interested in.
To me that stinks, just 1% stops me long enough to admire or say wow, awesome!
Um, that would suggest that you are about one percent relevant to this world, and really ought to know your place in it. You can't take this one percent and then flip it and make the other 99 percent bow to your socialist and tekkie-artie vision. Get off it already. Go back and tend your one percent and get the hell out of my garden and my world and the world of 99 percent of the rest of the people. If you think you can expand this cultural and aesthetic norm of the one percent high-falutin types even to five percent, go work on it, but stop looking to bend the Linden project -- already socialist enough -- to your utopian vision. It rots. It has not merit. If it can expand beyond itself naturally, fine. I say this as someone who has supported fine art and architecture constantly in this world and am prepared to do more of it. But I'm not going to fly in the face of what the democratic public opinion is. It is not the one percent that appeals to Laukosargas Svarog. Therefore
Laukosargas Svarog needs to get the hell out of our faces and just go do her own thing and consolidate it and stop haranguing and pressuring the rest of us.
When I joined SL I'm sure that figure seemed higher so what's happened ? ...
Uh, could that have to do with your being in a tekkie-wiki with other techno-geeks and graphic artists type who make up a tiny minority? In fact, this game gives many people even with no abilities the tools to become more technically capable and more artistically creative, but you then cannot fault them for using those tools to build a middle-class suburban American dream. I think you'll find a certain percentage of those people actually aren't middle-class or American or suburban, either, come to think of it. What's happened is your precious clutch over this world has eroded -- thank God -- and now it can grow. If you want your own little percentage of it to grow, you need to shut up and get to work -- go make something, like the forum fascists always tell us to do. Go hold an event, a class, go buy a sim and make a world. Get off our backs!
- SL is bigger, much bigger. Bigger and more popular always equates to harder to find the cool stuff.
- More significantly: Many "artists" have got fed up with the mainland and left SL, or obtained private islands and hidden.
So? Let them. They can be smug and happy on their private islands, which may or may become the new golf, the new gated community, the new Bohemia, the new hell on earth. Whatever. Again, get off our backs with it. Make it, and let's see if it is any good. If it's harder to find the cool stuff, then what we need is less whining about it, and less ranting and raving about Lindens bringing this forward, and more resident-based efforts to sustain and bring it forward. Otherwise, it has NO AUTHENTICITY.
Here's a true story...
PersonA comes into SL, buys a bit of land, builds her vision.
PersonB buys the plot next door, builds his vision.
PersonA's vision is poles apart from PersonB's yet they are forced to build up to their parcel boundaries because the parcels are too small. Instant discontinuity
Well, that's partly due to the fuck-you hedonism ethic spread across the grid by you all, with your notions of tekkie-wiki Eminent Domain and Nobless Oblige. The first thing that Anshe does in Ansheland is put her foot down and say you cannot build out to the property line. So you don't. I do the same thing in my communities to the extent possibility. People can be asked simply to consider their neighbours. Most of the time they do!
What have the architectural elite done to build great, viable, good-looking homes (as distinct from sculptures) for 512s and 1024s? I know that Barnesworth, Ingrid, Juro are doing this to some extent but it's not enough and their styles are not for everyone. When the elites shut up and create something that can solve this problem of building to the property line to get space, let's talk. They haven't done this.
PersonC comes along purchases a plot adjacent to A and B. He's an asshole and a newbie, doesn't know about local light, has accidentally switched all his red and blue blocks to light material, swamping A and B with unwanted colour. Will not respond to IMs, has put up NO ENTRY bars on his 512 plot.
Turn your draw distance down, for one. Try to instruct, for another. I find that even non-newbies who are bona-fide members of the FIC are raging fucktards when I gently ask them just to change their for-sale signs not to huge ugly glaring neo boards or spinning orbs but something a little more effective and tasteful. Now, the colour-spread issue is gone in 1.7 but education is needed. Unfortunately, this type of die-hard little asstard on a 512 with lines up and spinning crap is an SL reality few people have successfully dealt with. Usually it goes away in 30 days. I think peer pressure and the dissemination of better norms have just not been tried sufficiently. I routinely negrated anyone I saw building plywood uglies way up in the sky blighting the horizon. Let them go in a sandbox if they want to play, this is a neighbourhood. I found they would build bigger and uglier but at some point, they stopped. I think more willingness to confront this behaviour, and less crabbing to the Lindens about it is what is needed.
I'm all for the use of forums to point out those people by name who do the following:
o build extortionist builds to force a sale at an outrageous price
o builds that lag the sim substantially with scripts, particles, etc.
o builds that obstruct other's access to their land on all or 3 sides
o builds that significantly blight the view for 4 sims and therefore impact on the enjoyment of all of their game.
What I found is that the awful FIC on the forums, starting with Weedy Herbst and many other vicious little net nannies, going back to the infamous Pahoa Jade thread, were so keen to defend the tekkie-wiki-woo of this world, that they failed to see that my norms are not about suppressing people's freedoms on their land, not about enforcing white-picket-fences, but developing a really doable, simple, four-point basic consensus on the worst offenders on the grid. If Lauk has bitching to do about the way the grid looks now, she needs to take that to people like Weedy who were and are such staunch supporters of "I can do the fuck what I want on my land."
PersonA can't sell because of C, so ends up releasing land in order to move fast.
This is indeed where the Lindens practice objective evil and possibly even greed. They let this situation go on like this because it's the single greatest engine to get people to buy more land. They roll out fresh pristine sims with the allure that people can at least escape the ugliness of C, because they don't want to make simple pointers to roughly map out communities in the very broad generic sense ("the shopping community, the clubbing community, the residential community"). People who are in the predicament of C need help. First, they need forums where they can publicize and pressure those who break those 4 norms I've outlined. If their beef is less serious, i.e. like April Firefly just not liking the glaring white of her neighbour's modernistic house in her Victorian beach front dream, well, there's a case where you say "Huge Pine Tree is your best friend...64 draw distance is your best friend...30 days is your best friend...community committees are your best friend."
See, this is why negrates were so great -- a negrate often concentrated the mind wonderfully, and got people to get their heads out of their asses and realize their ugly houses of cards etc were not appreciated by everyone online day after day, while they disappeared to Cancun for 30 days.
I was PersonA a couple of times in the past year.
So? We've all been there. No concrete solution is proposed here (like my four voluntary social norms spreading across the grid as a community consensus that the community begins to demand). Instead, the Lindens are supposed to bend and shift and change and move parcels off sims to voids and attach them to islands, like Tinker toys. It's outrageous.
I see this scenario in varying degrees all over the grid.
It's an exaggeration. For every blighted sim, I can show 10 sims that are doing a lot better than one thinks, as long as you don't expect them all to look like FIC-itecture.
** Point to Point teleporting
Not so long ago I had a long discussion with one of my best SL friends about p2p TP. He is totally against the idea. I am all for it. My 3 hour flight across the mainland grid has convinced even more of the need for p2p.
Go away from my world. There is no reason to demand that p2p has to be incorporated and obliterate my world, and the world of everyone who benefits from telehubs, their centralizing and thematicizing powers, and their shopping. Get off my back. p2p only reinforces little closed, claustrophobic networks of little overbearing assholes. Multiple that, and our world will be unliveable. Let both coincide on the grid.
He believes p2p will prevent people from exploring and has an almost convincing argument.
It's actually an utterly convincing argument. It means no more interaction, chance encounters, and most important, shopping an open, democratically accessible markets not controlled by the FIC and their little commerce circles.
I believe there are basically 2 fundamental types of people in SL: Creators and Consumers.
( ignoring or including those who simply use SL as a glorified chat room )
This is where I say a giant, big, fat GO FUCK YOURSELF as loudly, and as clearly as I can. This is fascism, and it will not pass. There are not two such categories, because creators often consume, and consumers often create -- and the thing they create, which might be an intangible like 'a relationship' or 'a home' or 'a group of friends' or 'a business' is just as valid a form of content creation as somebody who makes wings or the beloved-by-Lindens jet-pack. Once again, get off our backs.
Creators are, by their very nature, also Explorers and of course some Consumers are also Explorers.
Those who are not of the exploring frame of mind, already rely on friends to TP them and so don't see the bulk of the world anyway.
Actually, no. Creators are by their nature in this environment not the open-minded Bohemians and democrats we thought they were in Real Life, but little anal-retentive assholes who wish to control others. They are abhorrent. They flip "no modify" on their free products. They insist everyon p2p to them and don't want anyone to have choice in a marketplace. They are the types that think there should be a central command that force-ports everyone to them the minute they land in SL. Once again, GET OFF OUR BACKS!
Explorers will explore regardless of the existence of p2p TP. In fact oft times a combination of good map detail and p2p will aid exploration.
Baloney. Private islands now need zooming in to be seen. In order to use p2p, you need to know the p to p2, as I always say. This obvious, blatant fact is always overlooked so let me shout it out. IN ORDER TO POINT TO POINT YOU NEED A POINT TO TELEPORT TO DUH. How do you gain that knowledge? Only through exploration, openness, freedom of choice, democratic accessibility, and the presence of all kinds of big gathering places like clubs, not only help islands, can this happen. Most people go to clubs or friends and sort out there, without the technerati getting in their hair. Imagine coming into SL, and not being able to go anywhere to any central location, but having to rely on making a friend or going to an event and having the organizer tp you. It will create a lot of hardship and mainly a brake on freedom. p2p represents closed society. Telehubs and shopping and malls and casinos, as hated as they are, represent open society. If the FIC finds these things unaesthetic, then the challenge to them is to create large public events and large, capacious institutions that can engage and hold large numbers of people in more "aesthetic" or at least meaningful ways. The answer is not to put the California social engineers on this job.
** Themed areas or freedom of connection
Recently to my delight I've had people invite me to go live in their sims and build there, I'd love to, but I've grand plans of my own, it's my ambition to own an entire sim by the middle of next year. I'm well on the way now too. I don't particularly want to have to pay $1200 for an island. It's too much unless I can save it up in Lindens!
Um, great! Could you please just go and do that and get off our backs?
I'm sure I could rent land in themed islands but I'm not prepared to be beholden to a landlord other than LL.
Well, we realize you have very delicate sensibilities and the thought of doing anything "mass" or "gross" or "popular" would upset your fine equilibrium. So, um, keep saving, and...get off our backs! Most people will rent in themed islands though, to achieve these goals.
My ideal solution would be for a group of likeminded individuals to say, hey let's take our parcels and join them together to create our vision.
You know something? I like this idea, too. But I'll be the first to tell you that it is about as stupid, ignorant, and utopian an idea there is out there. I'm in the process of proving this once again. People don't like herding. If there is a group of likeminded persons, why, let them group. Let them pool tier. Let them buy a sim. Why make the Lindens stop what they are doing and horse around parcels? That's insane. What the Lindens MUST reply to this idiotic utopian bleating is to say, "Get your friends together, go on the auction, pick a sim for $1000 -- we have LOADS of them -- and BUY THEM. Split up the tier, and run it without us. Buh-bye." That's all there is to it. If you think that the geographic/place/sim/build equity you built up on other sims is irreplaceable, you're wrong. With the capacity to cut and paste and terraform and build just about anything anywhere, there's absolutely no excuse for telling the Lindens to move a thing.
This would mean
- A: Pulling down and rebuilding would be unnecessary.
- B: Themed areas would happen automatically.
No, they don't. Because people don't like herding. Tell you what. Find your group of like-minded friends. Do that much. Stop whining, and DO THAT MUCH. Then get back to us. AFTER you've determined they really existe (because they don't) AFTER you've justified to us why you can't go buy a sim for $1000 on the auction, well, maybe we could hear about why everyone should be stopping what they are doing on the Linden team and moving your parcels and sims around to suit your vision.
Of course I can see a few technical problems, wasted server space and such, but this is a "VIRTUAL" world, it's created with "SOFTWARE" ! eh ?
You know, if I were a Linden, grinding away on these servers day after day trying to make them work, busting my balls, trying to get this thing to stay afloat, if I ever met a person who told me I had to crack off little pieces of the server and put it in other places like this, I'd slap them in the face. Hard. And I just wish that one Linden, JUST ONE LINDEN, would send me an IM in the game, and say, you know Prok, I don't like you, you're a pain in the ass, but I do want to thank you for standing up to this particular BAD IDEA which would involve ridiculous, time-consuming, expensive machinations that no one in their right mind could justify, so THANKS PROK!
Like I said, GET OFF OUR BACKS.