I got the crazy idea last week that the #Scourgemobiles of AnneMarie Otoole (AKA AnneMarie Oleander) were being mitigated. That perhaps the constant abuse reporting that many of us are doing was having an effect. Lindens were said to be hovering around examining some of the rez zones. It seemed like now there were *less* of the cars.
This was entirely anecdotal, based on one of those cases where "you go to the doctor and the symptoms disappeared" syndromes. I brought a Mole I know to see them -- he didn't know what I was talking about. We waited and waited -- and they didn't appear. I always find them all over the place as I'm working around Ravenglass and Maryport -- in the sky, on the grass, sometimes even on the road! And of course the Linden sea, near Carnforth. But all of a sudden, they were missing. About 20 minutes later, one came and ran over the Mole, and he understood my point.
I then went to one of their spawn points, and they didn't seem to spawn. Again, I waited 20 minutes, and I began to think that in fact they were now on a 20 minute timer.
Not true. They actually come much more frequently, and not always on a timer.
I was inspired by Qie's train exhibit in SL8B which shows a map with vehicles to think of it as a whole system that perhaps AMOT has on a website or data visualization or map API to watch, and she may be manually controlling it or goosing it or tweaking it all over the place (they come so obnoxiously and randomly and without drivers, that you tend to think of them as wind-up toys randomly unleashed on the world that just keep spawning and causing havoc, but she IS controlling them). She may be trying to coincide with peak or low concurrency to test different things.
That SOME Linden or Lindens SOMEWHERE are giving this a pass because it's just a big old test and data dump and they love stuff like that seems CERTAIN. Lindens testing and working on sim seams swear they aren't tacitly encouraging AMOT. Michael Linden says circumspectly, "You can make a giant rolling potato with 20 noses and a big sign EAT AT JOES and put it on our roads and we won't say anything." I'm surprised there isn't something like this selling on SLM by now. What he means is that the Lindens don't care what is ON the roads; they just build them. They won't seem to act on the question of whether the vehicles are manned or unmanned -- it's like the ridiculously long time it took them to develop a policy about bots in stores and "traffic infusion" because of their love of artificial intelligence. They are agnostic -- for now -- on the issue of whether vehicles have drivers. Maybe they believe that they can't tell. Or that they don't need to tell.
Well, how to really get a picture of what is going on and make the case to them that these things are a scourge that should be eliminated if not at least mitigated? You can watch some of the rez zones, but where are they all? And they seem to be all over -- but how many of them are there, really?
To tackle any problem, you must first monitor it and get a sense of its scope, not just based on anecdotes (although those are a good place to start in our closed society without free media.)
I discussed the mechanics of this with Cinder Roxley, who had already been following the issue and figuring how how it worked, and she came up with the Active Object and Avatar Collission Detector which you can buy for L$25 on the SLM here. A bargain at 10 times the price.
What you do is rez this box near a Linden road on your property -- I put mine at Route 66, which is a car rezzing area intended for real drivers in the SL Public Land Preserve -- it's a build made by the famous Bonecrusher Slate in the early days. It puts an invisible prim over the road and vehicles go through hit and the result is, walla, a collision detector. Of course...this makes collisions on your sim, which always ads to lag, but one of them can't hurt -- I'm just suggesting that you not put out 10 of them, you won't need to.
You will be SHOCKED at how many of these things there are. First of all, within 72 hours, I established an interesting factoid: there is a rough ratio of 1:2 live vs. unammend vehicles, i.e. the #Scourgemobiles are DOUBLE the normal real drivers (and you will find out that despite all the negative press about sim seams and Linden roads, in fact LOADS of people drive around and have a lot of run -- all kinds of amazing vehicles). The pods don't show up, or didn't at first -- they are getting under the radar possibly by not being on physics and not colliding?
So you will get reports to your IM or email that look like this:
[10:08] Collision Detection [CB]: "YavaScript Pod S6 (Northeastern)" (8f797d07-86d7-58f0-f2e1-8f0accfea35f) passed through me and is owned by secondlife:///app/agent/14cdc82e-ad76-4673-9d5c-411b16673975/about . Last object passed through me 66.848050 seconds ago.
[10:08] Collision Detection [CB]: Live Drivers Detected: 109 || 233 are unmanned automated vehicles.
[10:08] Collision Detection [CB]: "Cammari Crescendo" (9255eea4-bc85-44a3-b5e2-16629e54bf5f) passed through me and is owned by secondlife:///app/agent/9255eea4-bc85-44a3-b5e2-16629e54bf5f/about . Last object passed through me 3.965443 seconds ago.
[10:08] Collision Detection [CB]: Live Drivers Detected: 110 || 233 are unmanned automated vehicles.
[10:09] Teleport completed from http://slurl.com/secondlife/Belarus/56/57/24
[10:09] The region you have entered is running a different simulator version. Click this message for details.
[10:18] Collision Detection [CB]: "Bugatti Royale V#1835" (83742361-be5d-7696-73b4-3dc59b094a77) passed through me and is owned by secondlife:///app/agent/5d9c1ef5-58a8-4317-a4d8-7fc0da7af645/about . Last object passed through me 587.577900 seconds ago.
[10:18] Collision Detection [CB]: Live Drivers Detected: 110 || 234 are unmanned automated vehicles.
[10:18] Collision Detection [CB]: "Bugatti Royale V#1835" (83742361-be5d-7696-73b4-3dc59b094a77) passed through me and is owned by secondlife:///app/agent/5d9c1ef5-58a8-4317-a4d8-7fc0da7af645/about . Last object passed through me 0.114329 seconds ago.
[10:18] Collision Detection [CB]: Live Drivers Detected: 110 || 235 are unmanned automated vehicles.
[10:23] Collision Detection [CB]: "Steam Tractor V#1835" (b03c7650-dd66-3c0f-0036-d786b2a094d3) passed through me and is owned by secondlife:///app/agent/5d9c1ef5-58a8-4317-a4d8-7fc0da7af645/about . Last object passed through me 299.029100 seconds ago.
[10:23] Collision Detection [CB]: Live Drivers Detected: 110 || 236 are unmanned automated vehicles.
[10:23] Collision Detection [CB]: "Steam Tractor V#1835" (b03c7650-dd66-3c0f-0036-d786b2a094d3) passed through me and is owned by secondlife:///app/agent/5d9c1ef5-58a8-4317-a4d8-7fc0da7af645/about . Last object passed through me 0.111606 seconds ago.
[10:23] Collision Detection [CB]: Live Drivers Detected: 110 || 237 are unmanned automated vehicles.
And of course, you can easily discover that:
AnnMarie Oleander, 5d9c1ef5-58a8-4317-a4d8-7fc0da7af645
AnnMarie Otoole, da2cfe5f-b652-4b65-94a1-ce9b54c73b1a
See what I mean?! Cinder has now fixed it so that it goes to web pages too, but now I'm forgetting how to access that.
You can do several things with this: put it out and mute it, so it doesn't keep bothering you with messages, but keeps score of totals of unmanned vehicles; put it on an alt, and let it talk to an alt; just let it go into offline messages, after you have linked your IM to offline email (something everyone should do anyway to cease this endless SL excuse of "messages capping").
So my plan is to get a bunch of people -- 10 or even 100 -- monitoring their sims, and coming up with some kind of sample figure. If someone has a lot of mainland, they could put out a lot of them (I have land spread over 50 sims, about 14 sims' worth of land, so I will put them out when I can if I can figure out a more convenient way to aggregate their reports than just manually counting them.)
It seems to me that as one tactic, we could get the Lindens indeed to mitigate the frequency of these pernicious devices, the scourge of our sims. They could be limited to one every 30 minutes. They are certainly coming much more frequently now, more like once every 5-7 -- and they aren't on a timer.
If the Lindens protecting this pernicious device somehow "need" to have it load-test with higher numbers, they can have the higher numbers come at times of the day when there are less people. If these Lindens "need" the test to be with high concurrency, they don't have to have it at EVERY time of high concurrency, but can have it once a week.
These things are controllable. They are scripts and code, but that is the concretization of human will. Human will can and should be restrained on something like this when it impacts the entire public interest. Indeed, the constant deluge of these things on land, road, rail, sea and air is a violation of Community Standards No. 2, which says you cannot interference in the enjoyment of Second Life of another person. That's basically "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" -- and is as good as that will get in California.
The abuse reports aren't sticking -- like many other things before them (ageplay -- yes, the Lindens didn't use to prosecute simulated child pornography -- ad farms, bots, Redzone). But they will, once people can get a handle on the size and invoke Community Standards 2. Argumentations about resource hogging or sale of devices on Linden land aren't holding -- they still constitute ads and on that grounds alone should be removed, but the actual drop-down menu urging you to buy the #Scourgemobiles now seems to be removed from most of them, possibly due to ARs and Linden intervention.
So pick up a Collision Detector and start complaining.
As we know from Twitter, an outside service, not from the official Linden blog, Rodvik Linden wasn't able to come to the birthday (he responded to me, of all people, in a tweet saying he was out of town on the road but hoped that folks had fun). Later in the week, however, he did clock 41 minutes on the SL8B grid just to rub shoulders with the masses -- but not give a keynote, which seemed disappointing to many.
I didn't find Rodvik's interview in Massively really to contain any information or anything of news or philosophical value -- maybe I missed something. The good news is that he got an interview in a high-trafficked game web site so Second Life still has that much mojo. The bad news is that nits with little beefs can still ruin the reputation of SL in the comments precisely because in 7 years of operation, LL still hasn't gotten the governance problem under control. Some idiot who lost $30 US in purchases in Second Life from a merchant who refused (or was unable) to solve his consumer complaint can post in an interview like this as if his problem is common or isn't fixable. In fact, it's not so common because most merchants bend over backwards to fix consumer problems because they want to sell stuff. Those that don't and rip people off get drummed out of the corps pretty fast. In a scripted, digitalized world, stuff is more fixable often than in RL, although of course it has its frustrations. And ultimately, you can't blame LL over this problem -- it's not their job to serve as the complaints clearinghouse for merchants any more than a RL government should interfere in business to that extent -- other than by passing good laws and encouraging self governance. In all these years, no good consumer rights organization has ever emerged, because too many pixel corporations wanted to make Better Business Bureaus that they thought would involve featuring themselves as Better rather than devising rules for everyone, including themselves, to abide by.
But the point is that you can't extrapolate your little $40 problem to the entire world -- most people do NOT have this experience and those that do mainly tend to fix it; those who have in fact been ripped off by merchants in SL can find various solutions, starting with simply quitting to attempting an interstate small claims court petition (which are extremely hard to do).
There've been odd rumours going around about Linden Lab starting some other non-Second Life Haily-Mary sort of project, like Blue Mars smart phone app for avatar dressing. It's funny, when I saw the @rodvik tweet that sparked this rumour, I thought it just meant that he was encouraging people who interviewed to ask him not just about SL but about his other game design pass-times -- I guess that even taking a demanding job like the CEO position at Linden Lab, Rodvik, a long-time and seasoned game designer, perceives his own worth and conceives of himself as a figure in the gaming industry who exists above and beyond this particular position now.
Then I spotted a tweet from a fellow named @Troy Goodfellow, who said he saw a new war game design from Rod Humble -- and I began to wonder if being CEO of Linden Lab was the ultimate game...
Rodvik's new war game is called STAVKA OKH -- "stavka' means "general staff" in Russia or "command" in Russian.
Funny, Rodvik, now at the helm of what often seems to me to be a pixelated recreation of the Soviet Union (cue "Mike Moderator" excising my legitimate speech from the public forums, cue Governor Linden land-glutting $1/meter abandoned land) -- is making a Soviet war game.
I have a friend who is one of those old-fashioned wargamers with board games and pieces and strategies, he even goes to all the conventions, so I realize this is quite a popular sort of passtime.
I would have stopped there and turned the page, but then I got to thinking.
I've been thinking more about games-as-literature since the Brown v. EMA Supreme Court case (which I must blog on at Wired State soon), where the judges ruled that violent games are a form of free speech, i.e. literature, i.e. publishers' rights. A judge even invoked Raskolnikov's axe-murder of the old woman pawn-broker -- reading it in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is chilling, and one concedes Dostoevsky's free speech and form of literature here -- what if it were possible to make a really realistic 3-D rendering real-time creation of a scene where you pick up an axe and hear it crunch into a human skull and have the blood spatter on you? Is that immorality now, finally, or is it still literature? The judges said it was literature, leaving the moral problem still pertinent, even if the legal one is temporarily "fixed."
So, thinking about how games can be literary forms, I was moved to not turn the page, and keep reading.
Perhaps Rodvik has created a metaphor for Linden Lab's management! Could he be fashioning in Aesopian fable form a story about his travails at the Lab?! Is "the dictator" Mitch Kapor?!
Here's what he writes about the Soviets on the Eastern Front battling the Axis during World War II (typos kept intact) -- but you be the judge if it has any greater application to our little world:
First, on Winning the War:
The central front is key and but can be flanked by the northern and southern fronts. Often a massive force aimed at the central front can be defeated by a smaller force if it has flanking advantages in the north or south.
Quite often taking a season to build up a strong reserve as you trade space for time can be very beneficial (if your planning staff come sup with it of course).
Then, what he calls "Designer Notes":
My interest in systems of power within organisations drove this game. Roles such as these high rankings officers are common within many organisations. That of the middle or high ranking executive a couple of rungs from the top. The role has these characteristics
The person does not make plans- (in the game the staff does that)
The person dcomendt not implement the plans - (in the game the soldiers and lower generals do that)
The person does not even have the final say on whether the plan is to be chose - (in the game the dictator does that)
The persons future success is not tied to the success of the organisation - (you can lose the war but win the game)
This creates an interactive pattern that the game explores. The person must balance helping the organisation, pleasing the boss and looking out for number 1 while at the same time considering the ethical implications of their actions.
These roles are not fictions. Men such as Adolf Heusinger http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Heusinger and Grigory Kulik http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grigory_Kulik had dramatically different postwar fates. With Heusinger rising within the ranks of NATO to become its chairman and Kulik being executed by Stalin, even though Huesingers side in WW2 lost and Kuliks side won.
The last factor that impacted the design was an ethical issue. The Eastern Front's military campaign cannot be untangled from the mass deaths which occurred across the area during it. After the war the military of the losing side claimed not to know about the genocides, the winning side had no need to do so. I chose to use this 'turning a blind eye' or not , by the "Fully support the Party?" choice.
Gosh, I'll say...Bloodlands indeed...
Yes, I'll be the first to concede that sometimes a cigar is only a cigar...
Not surprisingly, "Mike Moderator" has sent me a "warning" for my post opposing Penny Paton's short avatar oppression (*sigh*) and all my refutations of Penny's authoritarian little gambit have been removed -- good thing I saved at least my first post.
Of course, what's *really* abusive and oppressive is insisting that everyone in the world has to resize themselves to accommodate the minority identity politics of child avatar boundary-pushers and edge-casers, and the Short People's Liberation Front.
What is this *really* about? In part, yes, indeed, it is about the child avatar lobby -- the argumentation that all the world is "out of scale" is one they use constantly to gaslight people on their legitimate moral revulsion. It's also about obsessive and neuralgic little geeks who get math correctitude up their ass and begin to want to impose it on everyone out of a sense of "what's right".
Penny has merely upped the ante in using an argument used before that height "uses up more land and prims." All this comes on the eve of some kind of change from Linden Lab about prim counting -- when mesh comes in, if it is scripted, this will "count as more prims." What I'm not clear on is whether prims, as distinct from sculpties or mesh, that have scripts in them, will suddenly "count more" or what's up. The idea of charging for script usage like prims is something I myself have advocated -- I think it would help to curtail the massive script abuse we see, in many areas, and lately in the Scourgemobiles of AnneMarie Otoole -- imagine if the rez zones got charged for how many scripted items were rezzed per day (the question of how to charge scripts is interesting, because they are always "counting" on the sim's performance, even when not executing and in use, so I wonder if this will be calculated over time.)
But what's this REALLY all about? It occurred to me today that if it weren't about height and proportion, it could be about almost any other thing -- the Scourgemobile "vehicle rights" that AnneMarie Otoole is demanding to impose on the entire grid, even on other people's land; on ARC scores; on who knows, avatar toenail polish. Someone could start complaining that it's unfair that you can't paint your avatar's toenails in appearance mode, and have to buy workaround tatoos that take up attachment areas... Attachment areas themselves are political, as the third-party viewers put in more of them and the clamour goes up to put them in the official SL viewer. Only a few years ago, the big bugabear was this supposed "impediment" that caused builders to have to change the default *protection* of permissions and intellectual property that is *server-side* into one that would enable builders to permanently reset their own default to always-on perm-free creations. This was one of the two JIRAs I opposed that led me to be banned from the JIRA. Interestingly, Lindens who first signed up to work on this, including even employee no. 2 Andrew Linden, fell away. The JIRA never got done. Good! There really wasn't any builders' demand for it -- it was the open source cultist lobby, amplified by the copyleftist Techdirt that was pushing it.
So again, what are these things REALLY about? And why are they happening now?
Well, they are about the ever-green and avaricious yen of coders and designers to rule the virtual world. They want CONTROL of the look and feel and functioning of the world, they are used to being given their way when they whine and lobby with JIRAs and blogs, and they are rearing their heads now because they feel threatened.
What is making them feel threatened? Well, it isn't just the disruption about to happen with the entry of mesh, which will have the usual windfalls and SL winners and losers and gnashing of teeth that every undemocratic, forcible change causes. It's this: more people are joining Second Life, it's getting easier to use, the viewer 2 is getting better, more new, ordinary people are coming in the world, and as always, this threatens the power base of the FIC, the coders and designers who feel the world should exclusively be "theirs" and never cater to mass taste, dumb down to mass use, become accessible to more amateurish creation or even simple consumption.
Always at times of growth in SL, this Feted Inner Core of coddled and privileged folks who have the ear of the official devs and put in features and bug finds with political zealotry themselves begins to howl. "Just wait until the world grows!" Cocoanut used to say in many a forums argument with these people, because she knew that their sectarian and elitist arguments would wither when more and more and more normal people -- ordinary, everyday people who use virtual worlds instead of build them -- came in the door and challenged the insanity and cultishness of these freaks.
So that's why we're getting this huge, bald grab for power on the height question, because the world is already established as favouring mass taste in becoming more idealized and taller, the world is already rightly revulsed by creepy child avatars or simply unimpressed with men who make infantalized female robot avatars as their Cyberpunk Ideal based on all the stupid war games they've played. Generations of skin makers have in fact catered to the desire for tallness -- and that's ok, it's a virtual world, you get to do what you want, hopefully, and not what some nerdy little nuisance in the Buildings and Textures section of the forum wants -- with his little coterie of abuse-reporters.
Hamlet has -- outrageously -- proposed monetarizing the height issue by *charging* for avatars above a certain "proportionately-scaled height," i.e. the 7-foot avatar. Can you imagine that?! What an *asshole*. That shows you the deep, deep creator fascism/communist coder roots that Hamlet ne Linden Au, once notorious at The Well, comes from. Yes, that red-brown coalition is common in the Silicon Valley amalgam of ideologies -- monetarize for me with some oppressive, fascistic idea, force the masses into conformity with some coder collectivization ideal like this height nonsense.
Some of the comments under Hamlet's piece make sense -- how can you possibly say there's a "standard" in a virtual world anyway? The notion that you "must" import real-life standards don't make sense in a world where you can be anything you want to and fly and build any outlandish thing you want. Of course, coder-cultist Melissa Yeaudoux claims in fact "meters" *are* the standard. But units of measurement aren't the issue; the notion that an avatar "has" to be a standard, average size based on real-life sense of proportion is the issue.
Doreen Garrigus argues that there are no standards in SL, it's a mish-mosh, and that has to change. Well, why? There is a typical average -- and the idea that there isn't, and that it can be scientifically proven by measuring the total mass of avatars is misleading. Look at most gatherings of avatars, look at the heights most people tend to chose. Sure, if you take the total population of everyone who pulled a furry or cardboard box or robot skin on themselves in their day-long sojourn in SL that never repeated, you might find some lower height. Sure, if you collect enough random data, you can make stupid points like "the number of avatars of 6 feet is equal to the number of avatars of 7 feet". But if you actually ask people what they want in a democratic and transparent poll, and actually study what they *chose* inworld, you will see that the Short Liberation Front is just a sectarian shill.
Perhaps the mesh lobby is in on the SLF, too, because they have to think of a way to make all old content obsolete -- since introducing mesh alone will not likely achieve that. What better way than to insist that everything that came before was "incorrect" and we must have a "New World Order" that "correctly" sizes people? If the Lindens actually fell for that gambit, they would demolish all old content and devalue everyone's purchases. They are capable of such a thing, of course, but I actually don't think they will go for this -- it's too complicated, and they likely instinctively know it would piss off too many people.
Then comes the smiling and cunning Penny to protest prettily that she isn't really overthrowing the world with a sectarian gambit, but just, um, adjusting a few things and "making the world better":
My stance is not to limit avatar sizes, but to provide better starter sizes, correct size information (there's actually a bug in the appearance editor misrepresenting avatar height), and better camera placement. This would allow people more freedom in deliberately choosing their avatar size, rather than being forced into one extreme just to be "average".
Correct? Says who? And if you impose a "correctness," that *will* in fact limit sizes. Changing camera placement options would literally force a view on the world. The idea that this actual authoritarian forcible change to the world would "allow people more freedom" is just a typical Orwellian Newspeak. How does it allow people "more freedom" to undo the organic nature of the world that accommodated most people, that was freely chosen by most people, and which, if changed, would break oceans of content?! What's *forced* is changing the majority of people to be shorter, to make the shorties here "feel like they are the center of the universe."
Ann Otoole's idea that sliders enable better automatic proportioning is a separate issue. That seems fine -- because it's not about imposing a norm on the entire world but making creations more flexible, if I understood it correctly.
What is it about Hamlet that would make him suggest an idea to Linden Lab to piss off most of the population with a tax on their heights, chosen freely, as ideals in a virtual world? What *sheer assholery* would make someone suggest shit like that?! Again, it's that demand to have power and influence, and that hatred of the masses and the democracy of the average users that's really at stake. He's feeling the heat, and feeling all his beautiful wickedness melting -- the Lindens just cancelled his vanity email forwarding that still said "secondlife.com," and he's invoking his Well cred again.
Hamlet has been howling about a core base of users who refuse to change -- well, of course, he's among them, and it's not the group he thinks.
I suspect that the Lindens are not going to re-do their height system. They might improve the choices and automatic reproportioning options in appearance mode -- they might not, as it sounds like a lot of work. if Penny's little fascistic lobby gets any steam -- and I suspect it won't, beyong the ageplay lobbyists like Imnotgoing Sideways who are giving it an artificial amplification now -- the Lindens might throw a sop or accommodate it with some widget change, but I pretty certain the Lindens will never charge people for being tall, and they won't accept the argument that they are tier-grubbers because they let people be tall. The heart of Penny's Marxist-style and climate-change authoritarian-type argument is that we "must" reduce sizes because of her "science" involved in finding that tall people use up more prims and space and bigger builds.
Peggy Paton, one of the illustrations to her thesis that the entire world needs to be resized, which you can read on the forums in the Building and Texture section, where it doesn't really belong.
Tateru Nino raved about this piece as a "must read" -- it's a forums post which serves as a classic showcase of aggressive child-avatar lobbying and identity politics trolls who try to forcibly refashion the world around them.
Tolerance is never enough for these types; they want to take over and suborn everyone else.
The outrageous premise of the stubby robot child of SL with adult female features plopped on her in a rather creepy way is that the entire sizing and proportion functionality and features of SL are "broken". That's because "people aren't really 6'3'' or 7'1"" and therefore we must resize the entire world.
It's breath-takingly ballsy software hubris -- but also quintessential child avatar lobby outrageousness. They hate feeling like a despised minority, so their solution is to re-cast the world in their image and make everybody else fit into their "vision". Yuck.
Penny not only argues politically for a new notion of "the right size" (to accommodate her own choice of stubby little iron-maiden female robot trolls), she argues that we can't "really appreciate" the giants and the grotesque monsters because our own avatars are "too big".
Worst of all, she claims that because most people chose these taller avatars, that take up larger builds, that more land is bought as a result (snort) and that there is even an implied Linden tall people's conspiracy to suck more money out of SL -- especially in collusion with greedy landlords. Yeah, you knew this would have a Marxist angle in it sooner or later lol.
My avatar is one of the taller ones -- and that's fine. Most people pick a height taller than they are in real life. The Lindens instinctively made Ruth, the first woman and the prototype for all avatars, 6'4'' and taller than many people in RL because it is an *ideal*. Most people do NOT wish to be children or edge-casing little iron-clad child-women trying to force the world to wrap around them. They don't find stubby folks attractive; they especially find children creepy. And that's ok. It's ok for there to be a norm -- it's one freely chosen.
If you don't like it, make your own sim and fill it with tinies or biggies or kiddies or whatever the hell you fancy. Don't demand that the makers of Second Life re-proportion the avatar sliders or that skin-makers take up new size charts or that prims themselves be counted differently. That's nuts.
What's especially hypocritical of her complex and involved over-the-top restyling of the world to fit her lobby is that while she's willing to be "anti-sizist" and fight that northern male first world ice people blah blah height thing, she's not willing to move the slider to "normal" on her boobs and hips and stomachs. Her boobs are pushed up balloon-sized things that don't look right on any avatar of any size as normal boobs aren't that big and pushed up, or at least are rarely so. But there, she's not willing to look at "reality" but is arguing and arguing for a reconditioning of the world to fit her "vision". My diagnosis: this is a guy with a female SL avatar with a basic hidden hatred of women.
Below is my reply to this aggressive gambit -- it could be removed by hyper-vigilant mods.
I spent some time coping with the aftermath of the largest attack on Ravenglass Rentals and the SL Public Land Preserve in its history, and I had to stop for awhile. Literally hundreds of people have been affected on more than a dozen sims, and some of them don't read group messages and don't even read my answers to IM (the old "messages cap" claim) and are still sending me angry or puzzled messages, as if I would deliberately put a boulder in their living room they can't remove. (They can, once they realize it's a matter of one click in terraform mode.)
I've had some tenants refund, even after I spent hours fixing up their land -- several areas were particularly messed up, Ravenglass, which has a lot of little parcels, and St. Paul's Cathedral plaza. Messing up terraforming is faster than putting it back, yet griefing still takes time -- Rimpoche went to each individual lot or store and jacked it up to ruin the landscaping and sink the building and furniture.
Notre Dame de Cyberie could be destroyed because, as I already explained, it was in group ownership -- a function of what happens when you use "buy as a group" on land to put it into your group, and the objects on parcel sell -- they turn into group-owned objects, which requires individually selling them to yourself for $0 on hundreds of prims, a project I never found time for (I've found time for it on other builds, what a chore!). If your question is, why didn't you buy the land as an individual and then convert it to group land later, the answer is, because we didn't realize at first when the Lindens first put in that "sell objects with land" function that it would work that way, and it was also hard to take tier in and out of groups sometimes.
Usually I keep "move, copy, manipulate" group objects as a power in the group *off* -- although it has been on for years at a time without incident. I turn off "sell group objects" now until requested on an individual basis because of TV griefing or theft -- "move, copy, manipulative" is also a griefing vulnerability, but you have to weigh whether having people freely be able to move TVs once they have deeded them (that's mainly the use case) outweighs them having to contact me every time they want to do that, if the exploit vulnerability is closed. For now, I have it shut off, which means requests queue up to move things.
I'm going to try to get ahold of the original builder and see if she has a linked copy (unlikely, as it was made in the era before rez-foo boxes) or is willing to rebuild -- and since I've received a number of generous donations, perhaps what I could do is pay her or another builder to work with it. I started trying to do it myself -- boy is it going to be hard, like a puzzle. Yes, the Lindens roll back Mainland sims when they want to. I've gotten them to do it -- rarely. But not on a sim where you only own 6048 m2 of the sim, and there are multiple other owners. Even so, trying to contact all the other owners and make a petition to the Lindens might work -- just one more angle.
What I'm interested in as well is psyching out the "why" of this attack. My working hypothesis now is that it is the work of a very troubled gay man who is not "out" in RL, is conflicted about his homosexuality, experiences deep hatred for women, especially older women, is over-attached/involved with his mother, is absolutely hypersensitive to any criticism (mama's boy), has experienced a number of RL and SL failures or obstacles or setbacks, and has lashed out at me as a visible public figure, where he knows his griefing will get maximum visibility and effect.
This attack was obviously the result of a long-standing grudge or obsession, as it was planned over time, methodically, and cunning. Bubble Warrhol, who I'm fairly certain is an alt of Rimpoche Kiama, who I'm fairly certain is an alt of Troy Vogel, took the time to pay a month's rent, sit quietly in a rental for 3 days, and then methodically attack every major community in a list, after gaining the use of the group tools as a paying tenant. And don't forget this Rimpoche went through every single listing in the Sacred Places service I have, correcting the list, and handing in corrections, so he was thoroughly familiar with all the land preserve places.
What is my evidence for the supposition that Rimpoche Kiama=Troy Vogel? Well, studying the footprint of Troy Vogel and Rimpoche Kiama online and in world, I can see that Kiama's build of Usonia is filled with Troy's furniture, and their builds are remarkably similar. The chances that somebody would go and buy that much furniture is unlikely, even with an FLW obsession -- it's more likely that he just filled it up with his stuff from his main account. The churches are all very similar. Troy built FLW knock-offs and churches, including one where LGBT was welcome; Rimpoche built FLW knock-offs and churches, worked on the SL gay parade, and filled up his profile with an odd combination of sacred and profane. Troy lets us know in his SL profile that he is married in RL, which likely means he is not manifesting as gay in RL unless he happened to be in one of the few states permitting gay marriages (a relatively recent development), but Rimpoche lets us know he is a fighter for gay rights.
I don't care about somebody's orientation, in RL or SL, or whether they are at odds. It isn't anyone's business. Until you make it their business by savaging them brutally on line and destroying their business and property and most of all, harming tenants uninvolved in whatever dispute you have with me.
Fuck with my land and my tenants and my build? I will engage in Internet sleuthing and pop psychology on your motives and madness, big guy.
As I've often noted over the years, there is a certain kind of usually conflicted and hidden gay man or SL female who is male in RL who lashes out and hysterically harasses and bullies me not only because of their parental issues, but simply because my fearlessness enrages them, my willingness to be critically outspoken, and my own transgendered avatar. This is some kind of strange and vicious malice based on fear and envy and loathing -- it's a strange but as I've come to see very predictable pattern.
As we saw from the FLW episode, Troy is an unbelievably thin-skinned little whiner, unable to take the most normal, acceptable call for accountability. Remember what this was all about nearly two years ago: my asking the perfectly normal and legitimate question of why his store was on a mall next to the FLW museum, taking payments for his knock-offs to his avatar, when the Lindens were touting this FLW museum as an educational, devoted, non-profit work. It was the right question to ask, and it was perfectly fine to sell furniture and even have artists make money from that furniture -- but I thought the public had the right to know about all this.
Interestingly, Troy was an asshole not only to me, but must have been to his fellow FLW devotees, because they cut him lose. He wasn't listed in later renditions of this project, for the time it had RL permission from the RL FLW people (until they withdrew it, saying SL was not an environment where they felt they could secure their IP rights.) It was soon after that whole scene broke up that Rimpoche appeared.
I don't know if in fact those in that circle knew that Rimpoche was Troy, but Rimpoche gathered around him a following of sorts on Taliesin Shores (named for the FLW compound in RL), with a monastery, a huge church, a group that met and prayed, major traffic from tourists/explorers, etc. It would be interesting to see if any of those people would like to explain why this gorgeous church and sim was taken down by the architect himself, and then disappeared, and other parcels sold. Maybe it was just a financial issue, like all "DeathWatch" sims. Maybe it was a quarrel with other people or supporters. You can still see the one Usonia build.
Now, Rimpoche may be a completely separate person, and the alt of some other person entirely, but my hunch is that it is Troy reinventing himself after a series of failures or difficulties. It's odd that he'd do that, given that Troy, on the other hand, has gone off to Open Sim to do stuff, which one would think is enough of a new venture, but there it is: I don't think you need much persuasion to accept the hypothesis that Rimpoche is Troy. And of course Rimpoche is Bubble -- both Troy and Bubble show up on visitor tracks of affected sims, and Bubble rented several days before the attacks. Now, both Rimpoche and Bubble are gone from the People List, so likely the Lindens found evidence of the relationship on their server logs after my abuse reports.
So I wonder why now? I hadn't had any interaction with Troy in ages. I would have no need to. Rimpoche himself contacted me several times being "helpful" -- too helpful. In fact, I had to ask him a number of times to send me the card of dead links he had deleted because I wanted to make sure nothing was incorrectly removed. He was basically hyping his own place and selections, but you always have to wonder about "helpful Hals" like this -- even then, he may have been planning an attack.
Looking over my blog for the last few months, I don't see anything that might trigger his decision to start attacking me -- to start killing chickens and crushing eggs -- except possibly a post criticizing Ina Centaur for so irresponsibly deserting her supporters and dumping her big build and Shakespeare project. But that didn't involve Troy or Rimpoche to my knowledge, so why would he care?
My hunch is that it was simply the combination of personal RL and SL failures leading to having to give up sims and land and builds, perhaps that post also highlighting that sort of situation, and the decision to retaliate against me simply because I'm there, as an outspoken public figure, for whom he already had great antipathy. When I called him out in an expose post and he wasn't able to somehow intimidate me with threats of libel suits, etc., he decided to retaliate even more viciously.
Like his main Troy Vogel, Rimpoche was quick with the threats of libel suits and TOS abuse reports and calling "his" Lindens to settle my hash -- and it all came to nothing. Impotence and rage. That might trigger the determination to mount a massive retaliation attack on my rentals and the cathedral, but it's odd, a certain amount of time had passed after this post and the threats.Imagine, being so obsessed about something in a game, basically, in a virtual world, that you would hold a grudge and plan for weeks on end to make a huge hit.
What can you do about psychopaths like this on line? Well, I don't tell people to "get help' because if they could "get help" they wouldn't be psychopaths. I could tell them to get over their conflicts about being gay and just be gay in this day and age, it's ok, Mom and Dad will just have to learn to adjust, and better a spouse find out now before there are kids than find out 10 years from now. It's all good. All kinds of families are made today out of different types of people, it's OK. And grow up, and stop filling your life with impotent rage and lashing out at parental figures and hoe your own row.
Amber Linden on DJ Stage at #SL8B
Shoes are pretty cool too.
Here's the dope:
She says she's
going back for the fat pack!
Incorrect report earlier
that she was DJing,
she is just AT the DJ stage.