A fond hope of griefers, hackers, slackers, Chomskyist professors, JIRA furries and other assorted misfits (as Mitch Kapor would call them) is that they can find a place online that will serve as an Autonomous Zone where Anything Goes AND they can be legitimate. (Remember my translation of Dostoevsky? "Without God, anything goes." (It is sometimes translated as "Without God, everything is permitted" -- but that misses the actual context and meaning even if it enables you to ascribe a double entendre to Dostoevsky -- although Dostoevsky is claimed never to have said it.)
In his faux-thinky opus, it's not just that Senbad Babii, the ADHD-addled Herald writer, obsessive-compulsive SL profile stalker and griefer-enabler wants to flout the law or insist on that magic circle where the rules don't apply that all gamerz dream of.
It's that he wants to do that *and* be legitimate in doing so. He wants praise and respect, in doing so. Indeed, he wants to be on the leader-board with all the loot and win the game of nihilism with all the points. (BTW -- and possible Pixeleen alt -- although you wonder how Pixleen/Mark McCahill would have time for *another* alternative persona)
In some Russian villages, there was a pagan custom that once a year in the spring, the young men in the village could chase the young women into the woods and rape them. But that was once a year. And it was understood they couldn't *always* do that. And that it was still illicit and wrong. And it led to pregnancies and shotgun weddings at times. Other cultures have those kind of festivals when "anything goes" -- or least, foreigners visiting them think that, and the tourist industry thrives on it.
But it's only online that this notion of suspension of the rules in "carnival" or "festival" (a favourite theme of the griefer-professors) is a permanent undertaking or state, and one that craves legitimacy -- or else!
Senbad's sinister notion works like this: there are so many conflicting moralities from different role-players and cultures and even real countries in SL, that you can't insist on some sort of standard morality. So not only is it foolish to try, it's uncreative and restrictive and unjust.So don't.
Therefore, those uptight people who hate griefers on their lawn should just "let it be" and stop abuse reporting and denouncing them -- and get with the program.
See, it's not enough for these people to commit crimes that they know are wrong at some level -- it's that they want not only exoneration or even forgiveness but a *validation that it's ok*.
That's why they work so hard at this -- so obsessively, so furiously, so violently -- they want to turn the world upside down in nihilist ecstasy but then have it claimed as just -- as the New Order. Is it any wonder that the anarcho-socialism of the revolutionary movements led to the totalitarian Soviet state? Of course, there is always typhoid fever, there is always the slip of Bazarov's surgical knife, and then, the nihilism is over -- defeated by a higher (or lower?) order...
We know all about the word-salading, the "Gee, Officer Krupke" dance, the Eddie Haskell hustle -- that's all obvious. There's that notion that "the platform feature was being used as intended" -- when Robble Rubble pushed some object left on "anyone can move" to 4000 meters. In fact, that wasn't the framer's intention -- "anyone can move" was meant as a boon for collective builds and a boon to collaboration, not a disruption, but the griefers don't let that stop them.
And they want more, as I said. They crave more. They want validation that their New Order is the new standard. So it's important to not legitimize them in it -- and our very freedoms online are at stake. Anarchists do not bring freedom. They bring slavery. It's not a game, and every platform should push them back.
Of course, that grade-A douchebag Hamlet ne Linden Au rushes to defend them -- Hamlet would be a professional nihilist if it weren't for the fact that I suspect his New World Notes nihilist-pose blogging doesn't sustain a living, even with a few book sales -- he has to do things that are beyond even the gawker.com sort of nihilism, and make vampire games or flog Blue Mars (although he was let go from that gig) -- and we don't know what else.
While Tatero comes by her nihilism honestly -- she tells us that she takes care of two disabled people on call 24 hours a day with no respite and only eats "most days" -- Hamlet can afford to bite the hand that feeds him. It's probably all in the speaking gigs and their fees!
Hamlet haughtily quotes what he feels is the money graph of Senbad's anihilation of the good and civilization itself -- the opposite of crime:
[W]hen those residents playing in Second Life attempt to force other residents to conform to certain moral values and expressions, they are actually showing themselves to be unaware of the fact that not only is the Second Life playspace different to the outside world, it also contains an asymmetric morality and that if they are not prepared for this simple realisation, then perhaps they should not step inside.
Of course, this coercion, this force -- that *is* the crime I'm indicating.And it's a bald-faced lie, as well. It's not "other residents" forcing griefers to "conform to moral values" -- moral values like "not crashing my sim" or "not putting giant penises in my face". It's the griefers doing the forcing.
Those who refuse to comply with the overwhelming totalitarian force of the nihilist destroyer -- and totalitarianism is EXACTLY what Senbad is arguing and so is Hamlet -- *better not come online*. Online is only for the criminal, the gang, the thug, those with overwhelming force who can make others do their will.
The way out of this artificially-induced moral quagmire, which gets liberals all in a lather and makes them want to laugh along nervously with the outrageous and serve as craven enablers, is to stress the notion of free will and opt in/opt out. That is our salvation.
When Goreans or furries make an unfree world with their rules, there is, in the larger sense, an "opt-in" for the rest of us -- we aren't coerced *first* to be Goreans or furries, and then opt-out. We can decide to join these cults -- or not. We can log off even after we do join them.
Not so with griefers. There is no opt-out with a griefer. The griefer consumes and subsumes your magic circle and annhilates it. You didn't think having flying penises was a good idea at your press conference, but you have no choice. If Plastic Duck wants them there, they will be there, and fuck you, you don't have a sense of humour, asshole. See how it works?
The coercion and collectivism go together as they always do in these Leninist/anarcho-communist cults. Everthing has to be smashed in the name of the new as a group-cohesive project -- and you *have* to be smashed if you don't go along -- or else! Or else we will crash your sim!
Most people in SL navigate the magic circle issue by...not teleporting to sims with morals or lack of morals they don't want. If they don't like BDSM, they don't go to that sim. Hopefully, the BDSM return the favour, and don't clink their chains ominously on their naked, kneeling slaves in PG sims or mixed public events. (Most don't, but of course, there are always edgecasers, as we saw with the child avatars in Zindra, also).
Some people have rules against child avatars, or slavery or nakedness -- and generally those who want those things go to their own sims and don't push the envelop (of course, you get exceptions like that size/symmetry Nazi -- Penny.)
Senbad has been trying furiously for some time to get the bad labelled good, and the criminal to be declared the new civilized. He goes on and on and on like a broken record trying to accuse me of lies and other actions of bad faith on Rodvik's profile, which is the place where all the griefers go to strut their stuff. He keeps pouncing and falling, pouncing and falling, trying to get me to somehow commit a TOS violation or some act of "hyprokisy" -- it's pathetic to watch him cavort.
Of course, the entire bad-faith drama of the permabanned The Wrong Hand trying to universalize the particularization of the JLU aimed against *them* into some human rights horror was finally exposed even on Sharia-sluniverse.com True to their bad-faith essence, the members of TWH themselves began to act badly, threatening, stalking, exposing via their own servers or other means -- even as they accused the JLU of doing this. We had to marvel at the spectacle of Robble Rubble, who can't give up his griefing addiction and relapses, griefing and threatening to grief, even in the new anti-JLU The Pink Hands group; or the spectacle of Joshua Nightshade stalking and exposing somebody who criticized him and even calling somebody's parents at home (!). The undisputed facts remain: those accounts are permabanned because they did things that were wrong and in violation of the TOS; whatever you want to say about the JLU, they are still in the People list.
Hamlet tries to show off and be thinkier-than-thou with Senbad's piece, saying the issue is really multiple conflicting circles. Well, no. That's not it, actually. Because generally all the circles -- except for the griefers -- treat their magic circle as OPT-IN and do not force an OPT-OUT. Even the vampires have a garlic necklace you can buy for $0... where's the garlic necklace you can buy against the lying thugs of the Woodbury or The Wrong Hands groups and spinoffs?
When I log on to a MMORPG to shoot creatures or people, I opt-in to a war game. I may opt-in to a game where there are unexpected things happening or where newbs can get ganked, but it's an understood proposition -- it's a game, and I can not play it.
Not so griefing, when people take SL seriously, they socialize or do business in it seriously, and assholes come to *impose totalitarianism on them* just for the malicious glee of it (known as "just for the lulz").
There is more thinky stuff in the comments -- "different cultures would like their norms to be standard" pontificates Isabeal Jupiter quoting Sellin's Culture Conflict Theory, whatever the hell that is.
Well, no. Most people stick to their own kind in these lifestyles in SL, and while they may recruit, they don't impose. Goreans play all kind of capture RP and are a loathsome bunch with a disreputable and awful game, but they don't just randomly fall upon vanilla non-RP rental islands and try to drag away people there and make slaves of them. It's just not done. "Keep it on your own sim" *is* the moral code that binds SL, and it is one that works rather well, given the obvious contradictions in norms. It was always Philip's Way -- yes, he was going to bring ebil corporations to the idyllic hippie commune of SL, but they would "be on their own sims, you won't even see them."
....Except for the nihilists of Woodbury, who think they should impose their magic circle of communist nihilism by force and totalitarianism -- and try to lie about it, as if it is a graduate seminar thesis about creativity in virtuality.
British "progressive" Ren Reynolds (he's sure to deny being a socialist but "above all that") says in regard to his griefer-enabler Senbad:
SL does not have an overriding Magic Circle, indeed one of the competing overarching narratives of SL is one of capitalism, another is fantasy but one that is often cast as being hyper-real.
Of course that's not true -- I just got done explaining how it DOES have an overriding morality: "keep it on your own sim." Property and freedom of expression intimately combined.
Reynolds tries to out-gun the other eggheads in his super-nihilisms:
What’s more ludic uses of the space that are in direct opposition or conflict have no external basis on which to claim cultural or moral superiority other than those where people make direct appeals to supervening norms e.g. the case of age-play.
But that's just not the case. It's basic decency -- widely respected and widely followed -- not to barge into people's sims and impose your RP on them or harass them. *Most* people stick to their own sims and do their own thing and don't go on griefing raids. There are actually a rather small number of people who insist that their, um, ludic uses of the space have to trump your ludic uses of the space, ie. who use *force and totalitarianism*.
Of course there is an external basis for not crashing a sim or pushing a giant penis into somebody's face -- it's called "The Golden Rule," although Ren, with his point ruby slippers that remind us of that Wicked Witch of the East, thinks he -- and they -- are above all that, fawning over "emergent behaviour" -- of course, from a safe distance where their income doesn't depend on a sim not crashing.
(Not surprisingly Ignoramus Omnipotent, the edupunk, shows up in this thread and tells us that Wall Street is all a game and college is all a game, therefore because real life is a game you can do WTF you want on your land so fuck you -- the classic SL fuck-you hedonism taken to real life -- and back again to virtuality lol.)
Reynolds airily concludes:
Senban Babii of courses expresses a normative stance of their own – one of moral relativism within the context of SL, it seems this is no more justified than the opposite view, though it may be less popular.
Oh, please, stop being such a fucking *bore*. Moral relativism of the sort that involves "I get to crash your sim and spew goatse particles all over you" isn't justified in the name of anything -- not creativity, and not even anarchy. The real anarchists invoke high moral principles like getting rid of "money in politics" or "greed", they don't try to make you think Tub Girl is a visual delight. Moral relativism exists -- there are born-again Christians and gay rights activists in SL and the former might claim a moral absolutism and the latter may be no less rigid in their own moral absolutism -- but generally these types of groups don't directly clash so as to actually goad and harass each other.
Except of course for the Woodburies and the Bronies and the Wrong Hands, who all come out from under the w-hat, who claim the right to bully and annoy and stalk at will not only for the lulz, but to impose a deadly totalitarian order so that no one else can use the Internet as they please, freely.
It seems to me that in real life, most young boys who throw stones through a window don't think it is a creative act or a ludic use of the space or a norm-setting activity. They know it's wrong, but they may feel defiant or negligent or angry -- or they may feel that an excuse should be made just for them, if they are caught. Perhaps they might feel remorse.
Not so the window-breaker griefers. They insist that everyone accept window-breaking as chaotic liberation at their hands. Wouldn't it be fun, Senbad fantasize, if everyone could go around shooting -- shopping would cease to be mundane and mass-taste and therefore suspect for these taste-totalitarians, and would now be "fun" (for them) because people would be in terror as they innocently tried to browse through dresses.
I’d start to go on about how individuals are constantly changing the bounds of their circles (or frames) through a process of negotiation, but I won’t," Ren twinkle-toes concludes. And frankly, this is a load of crap. Most people don't feel a need to have terorist negotiation of the sort, "I get to crash your sim/I don't get to crash your sim." There might be certain boundaries pushed -- the child avatar in Zindra, the BDSM dom who insists on bringing his chained slaves to Thinker's meetings -- but this isn't to subject the space iself to terror or to annihilate the entire experience, as manipulative and reprehensible as it is (and it *is* reprehensible to impose slavery on a public event and it is reprehensible to insist on having child avatars in the adult continent -- full stop, and it's more than fine to say so.)
Griefers don't just push at the boundaries of the moral code -- i.e. saying or acting upon some impulse that furries are good or bad, or that BDSM slavery is good or bad. They destroy the frame of the world itself -- or insist on bending it to their own exclusive use of anarchy (and it really isn't anarchy, but more like a nihilist frenzy). In that sense, the griefers are always like the Algerian elections -- they are the last ones, because then the Islamic fundamentalists would come to power and end elections for good.
But as I've said, there's more -- they want the nihilistic frenzy AND the validation that this is "good". That is is "art". Or "creative activity" or "play" or "poking fun at people who take themselves seriously." At their worst (Julian Dibbell in Wired), like church ladies, they tell you that accepting the griefing of yourself is a path to self-awareness.
If the griefers actually staged a series of operations that were satiric in nature, say the Ad-Busters type of manifestation -- perhaps they might make their case for conceptual or performance art. But that's not what they do. Instead, they spend four years in a row, day in and day out, joining open groups "because they can," and then moving objects left accidently in share "because they can" and then raging that the platform providers should prevent their nihilist excesses.
In this, they are a lot like the Occupy Wall Street griefers who marched to the Brooklyn Bridge, linking arms and saying "take our bridge!" in an, um, ludic reorientation of the space, but then baaaawed that the police didn't stop them from occupying the bridge (!) and then arrested them. And witlessly or cunningly, it's hard to know which (and probably different for different occupiers), never being able to explain why they went to the bridge in the first place, if they really didn't mean to make trouble. Wall Street was in the opposite direction...