Friday, January 2, 2009

I'm a lost cause, not a hero

Tigerlily Koi has lost her mind.

Perhaps I should state that in a less inflammatory fashion, but...well, let me lay it out for you.

Go to Calla, her rebuilt-to-cause-more-lag store. She has free demos on her hair, which is always a plus. She offers hair camping on certain styles--also a plus if one has the time. She has three lucky chairs.

These are not bad things.

She ran, on average, before this week began, L$200 per style of five thematic hair colors, in a run of thirty different options (though the last five are multipack options, with the very last being "all shades in this style"; those five are priced higher).

Now she's come out with new hair colors, an entire new line, and raised the charges across the board to L$300 to compensate--only, on all the old styles, available in the old range of colors, I'd still get five different tones per each color bought. In the new styles--even though the entire row of shades lights up when I click it--I apparently get one.

For L$300.

Each color.

For me, personally, a raise from L$200 per five shades, to L$300 per five shades, doesn't break my bank. I mean, really, Falln offers four shades of hair for L$500 per shade, and I've bought that. But L$300 per shade puts them on level with Cake, and Cake hair is already known as ridiculously expensive--people go to Cake because they can find styles no one else has, or that easily resize for larger furry heads.

Calla doesn't have that track record. So, with all of the above taken under consideration...Tigerlily Koi has lost her mind.

Moving on to something else. I think I've reached one of those internal breaking points, I truly have. I am watching friends and peers of the realm alike leaving Caledon, rather than stay and fight the decay. I am hearing people from all social levels in Caledon closing ISC chat, rather than stay and listen, and be offended. I am hearing from friends that they leave the window open, but rarely participate, just in case Des makes an announcement that they need to know about.

And now, much as I respect Des--and I do, deeply--he's essentially said he doesn't want to get involved:

[0:54] Desmond Shang: anyway, I see it this way:
[0:54] Desmond Shang: I am no better than the rest of you
[0:54] Desmond Shang: and any team of moderators would largely be no better
[0:54] Desmond Shang: and the danger of a clique, or perception thereof
[0:55] Desmond Shang: would probably make things worse, not better.
[0:55] Desmond Shang: I decided early on, that if I was going to make a mistake, it was to be 'too light' with powers.
[0:55] Washmy Beardmore: astute.
[0:55] Desmond Shang: I'm open to any and all comments, of course
[0:56] Desmond Shang: but that's my guiding philosophy
[0:56] Praxilla Maryjasz: hear, hear
[0:56] Washmy Beardmore: Bravo


Which is fine, 'ruling with a gentle hand' is fine, but it leads inescapably to one point: if our guiding force will not restrain people from offending others, then one way or another, it will happen by other means. As Duchess Diamanda Gustafson agrees:

[0:56] Diamanda Gustafson: I'll only say this Des. Clique or not clique, mods or no mods, things will find their way of taking care of themselves, one way or another. ANd tha'ts just human nature.
[0:56] Desmond Shang: well I'm not saying it's the best way
[0:57] Diamanda Gustafson: Noone wants you to take sides. That'd be the only problem I'd see.
[0:57] Desmond Shang: but my humour runs along the level of Austin Powers


Since I'm now being labeled a "Chat Nazi", then let me continue being overbearing for a moment: we may not need chat moderation, or even moderators appointed to the task; we definitely do not need two separate chat groups; but perhaps what we do need is a list of guidelines for public chat.

Any of you reading this are welcome to add to this next list; I likely will, and revisit this post in future off and on. But these are things I think are necessary for ISC chat, and mayhap, in fact, for Caledon as a nation-state in Second Life:

Be tolerant. I will say this is chief; in fact, it's one of the virtues of Caledon, along with innovation, civility and cake. Know that not everyone may share your values set, your political outlook, your income bracket, your sexual preference, your culture or your country--but that something has drawn us all together here, and it is in our best interests to tolerate others as best we can, foibles and flaws alike.

Be civil. As long as you can be, as long as you're able to, this is also chief. Be civil, be respectful, while keeping your own integrity and sense of self intact. Treating others with tolerance and civility doesn't mean you lay down and are a doormat for anyone else who wanders by; it means you know the proper social modes, and are able to restrain yourself within them, as is proper and dignified.

This leads us inescapably to my next point: Be polite. And by "be polite", my meaning is specific: be socially polite according to the eras of the time you have chosen to live within. Unmarried women in Caledon, if you do not specifically know of any titles of peerage or partnership status they may hold, are Miss, then Last Name; for the example, as I am not (publically, on the profile) married in world, I would be Miss Orr. Exceptions to this are when one knows someone well, and can then be slightly more familiar, to wit, Miss Emilly.

For married women, it can get trickier, but if you know their partner's name, and they have no other title, then Mrs. Last Name, for instance, or simply Mrs. Their Own Name. If they do happen to have a title, and you know it, then Title Last Name--for example, Christine McAllister is no longer Miss McAllister, she is Lady Pearse, Lady McAllister-Pearse, or Lady or Duchess Argylle (or Rothesay, or whatever the new sim becomes, if they are breaking it up by former title). If in doubt, Mme. McAllister, or even Mme. Any Last Name, if you don't know who they are, is not out of bounds. It shows respect, that you are willing to address another avatar socially in an acceptable neo-Victorian manner.

For men, it's slightly easier; Mr. Last Name works most of the time, titled or not; though if you know they possess a title, then you are encouraged to use that. For example, Elrik Merlin, if you do not know him, would be Mr. Merlin; if you do know him, he would be Laird Brideswell, as Brideswell is his land.

You will rarely be taken to task for addressing any avatar seen (or addressed in chat) as Mr. or Miss Whomever; it shows you are at least making the attempt. The only true error in address is addressing by first name alone, unless one has permission to do so; my best example, of course, is Duke Argylle, Sir Edward Pearse; while I should default to his title (and sometimes do), I can plead the more familiar address of "Edward" due to long friendship, and my position as Best Man at his wedding with his lovely wife.

Perhaps my readers are thinking I am being overly restrictive. Every culture evolves, every culture grows and changes, certain behaviors fall by the wayside, others are embraced wholeheartedly...and with most other cultures, I would generally agree.

Caledon is not one of those cultures. Caledon is a theme; Caledon is a moment trapped in time, in a sense; Caledon does not, per se, evolve, as we understand social evolution. Instead, Caledon brings us the innovation of steampunk fantasy, the scientific exploration of new and intriguing things (new to Victorians, it must be said), within the social and cultural standards of that time. To be Caledonian is then, in this sense, to be that steampunk-driven, neo-Victorian individual, with the only significant cultural overlay that is beyond such a time that of the netizen of modern times, tolerating much that might not be fully accepted in the 1880's, nor dealt with openly--and by this, I do not mean references to child sex, rape, or testicular shredding (as has happened in ISC in times past), but such modernisms of thought and ideal that will always creep through.

Perhaps we only pretend to be such people. If so, we should, at the least, pretend to be better people.

Finally (for now), my last proposed guideline: Be aware. By this, I also have a specific meaning in mind: be aware of the reach of ISC chat. There are currently one thousand seventy-three members of the Independent State of Caledon. Most do not speak in ISC chat. Most simply note the window opening, at this point, and close it in frustration and dismay, not wanting to deal with a night of misbehavior, mishandled flirting, audacious bending of ToS precepts, and the utter lack of principles and civil address.

Before anyone reading this points the finger back at me, yes, I freely admit: I have flirted in chat, sometimes outrageously; I have been scandalous; I have pushed the edge of decency in public. I know this. And I am not alone.

But if my actions provoked people to close the chat window, in dismay, disgust, anger or hurt, I would like to think that would wake me up, at least somewhat, to the danger of my chosen behavior. I would like to think I would seek reform, not further public degradation.

Most of the time, if any one person says they are leaving chat, due to misbehavior in channel, there are ten people who never say a word closing their windows quietly. If two say such a thing--as happened tonight--that means at least twenty that walked away.

How long must one spend, walking away, before one begins to wonder why they remain in Caledon at all? And this chancre at the heart of Caledon may have begun in chat, but it is now spreading to the public streets. How soon before Caledon becomes the mainland, at this rate?

How far do we have to slide before we realize we're slipping under? Drowning, not waving? How far before most of us simply get up, and live elsewhere? This is not what any of us wish to see, and certainly not what Des had in mind!

And this is not the Caledon any of us would be proud of, to help, to succor, to shield.

If anyone has any 'chat necessities' they wish on the list, I am more than amenable to discuss.

52 comments:

Sphynx Soleil said...

Is "Mme." the proper address when the gender is unknown (or uncertain in the profile due to androgynous look or nonhuman-head-only)?

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

Mme (without the full stop) is the correct abbreviation for Madam in French. As many people in SL have taken first names where the gender cannot be determined (like Sphynx) Mme. can be used as useful tool, though it's not "correct" as such.

Otenth Paderborn said...

Through a combination of inattention and intentionally closing ISC (mostly because of inability to keep up with the volume, although at times because I found it inane drivel), I haven't directly experienced whatever seems to be going dreadfully wrong in ISC. I've been known to thwack (or to threaten to thwack) someone, but it has been a long time.

I have decided to try reinserting a bit more formality into my conversation in Caledon, and I suppose I shall try to pay more attention to the tone of ISC chat. The inane drivel, however, is all in the eye of the beholder, I fear, and shall always be with us.

Baron K. Wulfenbach said...

Fraulein Emilly,

(I am more familiar with you because you are on my staff, of course.) You stand bravely on your soapbox, but not alone. I will do what I can to support the genteel Caledon I expect to encounter.

On a more specific subject, the abbreviation 'M.' or 'M', depending on from which side of the Atlantic your punctuation originates, is a well-used gender-ambiguous title, as it can stand for Mistress, Master, Mademoiselle, Monsieur, My Lady, My Lord, etc. (especially since most are translations of the noble epithets). Sir JJ Drinkwater uses 'M~', I believe, and the tilde adds a distinctive touch.

Lastly - sometimes the 'inane drivel' is the most entertaining. It all depends on the mood of the listener, and will vary wildly as to tolerance of same.

Yrs.,

K. Wulfenbach

Eladrienne Laval said...

You already know and it has been stated by others and in my blog what I think of this topic. However, it is not behavior that is limited to chat. I've been in Caledon a long time now and the very fact that other longtimers are leaving has been of concern to me.

Caledon has never had a truly "enforced" RP, but one of the things that I believe attracted so many of us to it in the first place was its civility and politeness. Its novelty was that it was not the mainland. You could count on intelligent, polite conversation and forms of address. I even used to jokingly call our more formal way of speaking "Caledonian dialect" because it was so distinctive.

The thing is, as "older" citizens of Caledon, it is our responsibility--as in any other society--to help pass along the culture. If we all leave, who will do that? But I think a lot of us were thinking "Does anyone even care anymore?"

Emilly Orr said...

Sphynx: "Mme.", "Mm.", and/or "M~" are mostly social conventions those of us in Radio Riel have developed for large gatherings. One does not always have the ability to move one's camera when hosting or playing music; and we are a larger nation now than before, we do not intimately know everyone these days. So if "Stephanie Adams" (to pull a random name; I do not know if there ever was an Adams last name) walks in, we can be reasonably confident of "Miss"; similarly, with "John Adams" (to keep the last name), we could easily use "Mr.".

How'ver, the first time I met Xero Silverstar, he was grey for a very long time, and nothing in his profile (which sometimes, is difficult to pull in the middle of a bustling event) at that time suggested a gender. At that time (it being very, very early in the morning for me, as I'd been hosting one of the several Many Midnights gigs), I defaulted to a general welcome to "Xero Silverstar", full name; but that didn't set well with me (though he did not seem to mind at the time).

Say, one is at a dance. "1wuz Gray" comes in. Nothing by physically looking at this Tiny avatar (usually) states positively or negatively a gender. Pulling the profile (if possible) does not give one a clue as to gender until the first life mention (and even then, sometimes profiles will not load, and nothing there is definitely stated outright). Assumption will give one "Mr.", but what if that's not the correct answer?

"Mme." is shorthand for "Madamoiselle"; "Mm." is shorthand for "Madam"; and "M." or "M~" are (generally) gender-neutral, and are more or less invented forms of polite address. We needed to do something other than addressing by total avatar name; in a pinch, it suffices.

Emilly Orr said...

Edward, thank you for the correction, I was in error. So "Mme", no stop, can be used to address young unmarried women as well as matrons? Does that then convert over to "Mm", no stop, for gentlemen?

Violet Schnabel said...

Most simply note the window opening, at this point, and close it in frustration and dismay, not wanting to deal with a night of misbehavior, mishandled flirting, audacious bending of ToS precepts, and the utter lack of principles and civil address.

Admittedly, I've been one of that silent group, who simply shuts the window when it pops open, just from past experience of those very things, night after night.

Coming to Caledon, because of the sense of community, the civility, the intelligent and creative people here..it was disheartening to feel "what's the point?..it's turning into a dress up version of the mainland now.." Not a good feeling.

What I hope that this brings is perhaps a renewed sense of community and more conversations on what brings us here and how we can protect the special place we have, while adapting and allowing for growth.

Emilly Orr said...

Duke Murdann,

That may be a large part of it, to be sure, that there are simply so many Caledonians now, it's difficult to keep up. I'm currently deciding whether or not I object to the level of "inane drivel" or not, as that's always been there, in any online forum or group.

I do think initially, I am objecting to certain bits of the inanity; namely the "lol"/"lmao"/"ty"/"oic" chatter that ISC sometimes falls into with certain gentles. Don't misunderstand me; everyone uses net contractions now and again, and, depending on where we are, those and smilies ( :) or :D or :0 or 0.0 ) are also convenient social shorthand, and we all use them on occasion, myself definitely included.

But if it's line after line after line of "lol" or "rofl" or "u tc" (which still stuns my processor for a moment before I effectively translate that as "you take care", for instance)...that's when the accusations of "mainland behavior" creep in, I think.

Some conversation shorthand happens, and all of us generally understand and use such shorthand; and I am not saying that is a bad thing. When there is an over-emphasis on conversational shorthand, though, over other modes of communication...I think that's my defining line for "inane and pointless drivel".

Baron Wulfenbach,

I entirely expect this, as I am on your staff, and work closely on occasion with you and Frau Lowey on tasks. And thank you for further explaining the "M."/"M" controversy; perhaps through these few responses, it will finally codify (for me, at least) some set mode of gender-neutral address, when necessary.

And humor varies, tolerance can and does vary; one person's inane drivel or "spam" may be someone else's highly entertaining bit of fluff. I do understand this. And, for the most part, I'm not objecting to this.

Where I stop dead is rarely on the level of shorthand interchanges or humor, for the most part (though last night was something of an exception). I stop dead when someone jumps on the bar created with a word in the virtual "meeting place" in ISC chat, and pours alcohol down their naked limbs for other gentles to suck off their toes. I stop dead at child bondage. I stop dead at torture. I stop dead at mentions of rape, even so-called 'humorous' ones. (And I am not mentioning anything here that has not happened in ISC, while I've been paying attention to ISC; and who knows what happens when I'm not in world?)

With a nation that comprises over one thousand discrete souls, one must realise that not everyone will appreciate everyone else's sense of humor. This is a given. Where my objection comes in, however, is on commonly understood (or what should be commonly understood) rules of propriety. I cannot escape the conclusion (from what I understand) that social politeness, codes of genteel behavior, should take precedence over what many of us have come to term "mainland behavior".

If I'm wrong in this, then I'm wrong, and will eventually accept it. But I cannot give up until at least there is a general understanding that these social rules are acceptable to most, or discarded by most. From there, we shall see what happens with Caledon as a whole.

Emilly Orr said...

Miss Laval, perhaps that's my problem in all of this. I make a distinction between "roleplay" (someone pretends to be Elven; someone pretends to be an otter; someone pretends that cavorite keeps their airship afloat) and "polite social rules" (social behaviors and constructs that, regardless of whatever level of rp is ongoing, should be observed).

If someone isn't "going along" with the rp, to me, that means that they are behaving more or less as they would in the real world, but with the added gloss of civility and polite address of the late Victorian 1800s.

But if that is assumed to be the roleplay under discussion, then the social norms, behaviors, and civil intent of neo-Victorian life are disposable, unnecessary, and exist insofar only as roleplay in Caledon is accepted at large.

Perhaps that should be the topic of discussion at some point--is polite social address (to pull just one example) of gentles in Caledon roleplay, or necessary behavior?

Emilly Orr said...

Miss Schnabel:

And sometimes, not even a dress-up version of the mainland: while I'm not always careful in what I wear (summoned in from elsewhere on the grid, for instance, where I was not appropriately attired), I at least try to keep in mind that I must be on my best behavior if not properly attired. At times, however, I am beginning to notice that certain gentles aren't even bothering to dress according to the period, and see no harm in this (and no, I am explicitly not referring to Miss Callisto's mode of dress, here; while short, there are always vintage touches to what she wears, and moreover, the EGL/EGA attire found in many places in and out of Caledon is considered socially appropriate, by and large).

As evidenced by last night's contretemps, I have already decided that if there needs to be a "bad guy", per se, in all of this...I'm willing to accept the title. And I fully agree that it's not a title I wish to retain for any great length of time.

But if my overplayed sense of decency at the least spawns dialogue, as to what we as Caledonians want from Caledon, and each other, then I will consider it a sacrifice I can accept. My friends will understand, and my enemies will just chalk it up to more ill feeling, which they already possess in full.

I am not a scalpel, for all my desire to be, I am a sledgehammer. I will do my best to apologize as I smash through the damage in Caledon, but I will not give up. Not yet.

Caledon is too precious to allow it to become just another IRC chatroom, just another AOL board, just another dating site. I cannot accept that we cannot behave better, and retain the sense of community and acceptance most of us understand as the heart of Caledon, without sacrificing ourselves in the process.

Icterus Dagger said...

And still, after all this, what is one to do with a Governor who won't govern and with remaining "veteran" citizens going along with that?

ISC Chat is only ONE of many problems plaguing Caledon. I have found it odd that many of the avatars I have seen since coming back were actually citizens, not visitors or lost noobs. I mean strict Victorian dress and speech has never been needed nor forced on anyone, but at least some attempt at decorum was there.

Des' attitude in this (assuming it was not restricted to chat moderation) makes me sad. Is Caledon a neo-Victorian or steampunk "nation" or not? Does it not matter as long as the $L's are flowing in? When does a "vision" become superfluous?

I don't know, but in the remaining time I will be in world, I will strive even harder to lead by example and promote the finer things in Caledon.

You don't stand alone in this, Miss Orr.

And your last lines made me laugh as I thought of "Erik the Viking" and the sinking of High Brazil. [Terry Jones Voice]"Rest assured, Caledon is NOT sinking!"[/Terry Jones Voice]

-iD

Sphynx Soleil said...

My watchphrase, of sorts, seems to apply: "You are not alone". :)

I've enjoyed my time in the ISC group specifically because it's NOT mainland gossip, drama, and "lulz". I feel guilty for what I see as promoting some of this with my own behavior, as sometimes I comment while not having all engines going, so to speak.

Normally I would agree with The Guv's method of handling things, but on this...I happen to agree with you. I do believe Proper behavior is part of what makes Caledon actually *Caledon* and not just Yet Another Transplanted Mainland, and I've missed that in group chat, to the point where some days I am also closing the group chat window.

Gabrielle Riel said...

You are *not* a chat Nazi Em. You are just the first person to have the courage to address this topic.

I have posted on my blog about it.

http://gabrielleriel.blogspot.com/2009/01/death-of-politesse.html

~ Gabi

Desmond Shang said...

I would like to answer the following:

>>Des' attitude in this (assuming it was not restricted to chat moderation) makes me sad. Is Caledon a neo-Victorian or steampunk "nation" or not? Does it not matter as long as the $L's are flowing in? When does a "vision" become superfluous?

Thank you Icterus for bringing this up. The following is certainly not directed at you, it's just general commentary.

* * * * *

Folks, let me be very honest with all of you - I don't talk much about this stuff because well, it's a bit crass. But it's time.

I passed on yet another management position last March (engineering directorship) to remain being casual, running my own small company, and doing Caledon. Yes, in RL I get opportunities like this aplenty. Not uncommon for someone with my professional background.

Were I "in it for the money", Caledon would be gone already. Long. Gone. Even forgetting about the perks, I make about triple the income that Caledon brings in as a corporate exec; even more as a consultant electrical engineer. Yes, I'm still active from time to time even in this economy - I've been in either engineering, management, import/export or consulting (or all four at once) since 1991. I'm currently working about 70 hours a week between RL and SL. During the holidays too. You guys don't see it, but I can be pretty worn out sometimes. This very post may be small expression of how worn out.

If you see me offline: be appreciative: I'm ensuring I don't burn out. I'm not off playing Warcraft while the $L roll in. I'm probably working my ass off on my RL corp (it's tax time again), hanging out with my kids, or sleeping. I'm a workaholic. If you don't know that by now, you don't know me at all. I don't magically stop being a workaholic when I'm not on the grid.

Let me tell you why I chose Caledon and my small RL business instead of my old career. Quite frankly, it had to do with flexible hours and family time. I drive my kids to and from school. I spend afternoons and evenings with them. This is why I log in so late, by the way, and miss most everything that happens before 9p SLT. Being a corporate exec may sound snazzy to some - I know it has that appeal. But here's the truth: it's working one's tail off to make the owner of a big corporation even richer than he currently is. I'll stick to my tiny one, thank you.

I'll never be rich: I've got 3 kids about to enter college. I'm cool with that fate.

But to hear I'm 'in it for the money' - this is crazy talk. Serious crazy talk. Caledon is very inefficient at making money per the hours I put in. Half those hours are offline by the way, answering emails, making textures, plans, accounting, dealing with our service provider.

Second point. I have feelings too. Believe me, when I see something on chat, when I read things on blogs - how do you think I feel. I've got dozens of notecards a day and tons of resident stats - enough to soundly disprove much of what I read. But I don't. I let people have their say and let them sort it out. People have been predicting the doom of 'the good part of Caledon' since Kushiel put a gothy blood fountain out on her lawn back in March 06, 47 regions ago. (I miss Kushiel, she rocked, and I never said a single word about that fountain just so she wouldn't be bullied by the neighbours). A gothy fountain, and the ruckus was bigger than this one is now. No joke. I was sad when she got bored of it and put it away.

It's principle. I could *easily* moderate anybody on group chat, for anything. But there is a big dangerous presumption: that I would be a good moderator.

I've worked for other people, I've managed a lot of adults in the workplace, I've dealt with a lot of others, I own my own company, and in all that I have learned something. There is *nothing worse* than a tyrant.

Should someone post hate speech, then yes I would act. But other than that, I am going to treat you all... like adults. Adults that already know how to behave in civil society. I don't need to teach any of you anything, and furthermore I can't make you play nice. You are all too clever and would find a million ways around it. I can't babysit chat 24/7, nor should I have to. Some of you may remember how disastrously moderation went on SL's official forums. People, they *deleted* general forums after that experiment. That's how bad a clique of moderators and the backlash can be.

Even just one mistake with regard to the overuse of authority is pretty unforgivable. I've been the underdog all my life, I've been that odd guy that the cool kids never thought would amount to anything. When I grew up, suddenly I was the cool kid, suddenly I could call the shots. But memories of being the underdog make me very cautious.

And here's why. All of us - every single one of you, myself, everyone - has been an absolute turd from time to time. In front of large groups, too.

I'm going to practise what I preach: tolerance, civility, forgiveness. There are limits to that, but someone is going to *really* have to provoke with hate speech before I'll ever moderate. It is in the covenant: free speech rights. They are there for a reason, and a founding principle I believe in. If it's too much for some... I hardly know what to say.

Can I be pushed to the limit? You bet I can. Are there problems with a very free society? Sure are.

But here is what I see. This is very seasonal. Winter holidays especially - everyone is online for a long time, everyone gets annoyed easily near the end of it. Just wait for Valentine's too - it's a minefield of unmet expectations for many. Knowing all of you, as I do - I don't talk about it, but there are painfully clear trends. I am usually cleaning up the land mess after relationships explode, for instance.

Moderating people when they are at their most SL-burnt out and annoyed at the end of winter holidays is a recipe for disaster. A moment's reflection should reveal that. The proper course is letting everyone get some sleep and some new perspective, and choosing on their own to get on better of their own accord - not me or appointed reps of mine handing out smackdowns. If pushed, I can moderate all right. I've done plenty of hiring and firing, RL. But I'm not Solomon. I promise I'll screw up, not know the backstory, not know whose secret alt pushed what hotbutton on an otherwise decent individual. Folks, let's not go there in the first place just to learn it's worse.


Maybe it takes knowing absolutely everyone to see those kinds of trends, I don't know.

What I do know, is that most of Caledon's citizens don't chat on group channel, never comment on the blogs or post in forums. They just live here quietly and like to see it all go by. These folks are the most civil of all. Caledon is really working, for most of them. How many of you know Wayne in Highlands, or Paul? How many of you know Jackal in old Caledon? How about Abbie Alcott? Or Rosamariquita in Penzance? Or Jim Lumiere or Praxilla? I'll bet most of you don't. Scan down the group list and see who you don't know - all of you, just check it out.

Create the civil Caledon you want from within, and it will become that. No momentary outburst on group chat can really take that away, any more than a child behaving badly for a moment will ruin your life. We choose our own reaction to the world, and how we do says a lot about us.

Dead silence is far more socially instructive than any other response on the chat channel - I pray you all take that course as necessary.


Very, Very Sincerely,

Desmond Shang, Guvnah
Independent State of Caledon

Emilly Orr said...

Thank you, Des.

For the record, two points.

One, I never thought you were in it for the money. SL in general is very inefficient in making money.

And two, which is, perhaps, more important: I hope you're right. I genuinely do. I hope it's all seasonal disaffection getting out of control, the last six months of a very bad year for most of us, whatever the cause--I do.

My fear is that this is only going to get worse. And I'm going to do my level best not to splash acid indiscriminately, but I will react when something goes beyond the pale for me--and you know me, you know there's not a lot I haven't seen, done, or been paid to do. If it's enough for me to react, I think that says something.

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

The French are rather particular in their abbreviations. If the last letter of the abbreviation is the same as the last letter of the word, there is not full stop. Thus Mme for Madame. For Monsieur the abbreviation is M. since the last letter is not in the abbreviation. The abbreviation for Mademoiselle is Mlle.
Americans initially went with the simpler idea of if it was an abbreviation it had a full stop (or period) after it. As with most things this has changed within the modern world. Some, like U.S., usually still retain the stops in between the letters. Others like PC or TV almost never do.

Des, no I don't think you're in it for the money. But I also think you're so busy with the basics that other things are either too hard or get put aside to be reviewed and forgotten. I realise it's a very fine line with something this size. Places like New Babbage or even Steelhead have had concerns and discussions about similar subjects of community behaviour. But they're both very small in comparison. I think Lunar would have a nervous breakdown if he had to manage Caledon for 6 months. When Caledon was smaller, leading by example was easier. Today there are whole swathes of people living in Caledon that I've never even seen as names in chat, much less met "in person".

Em, I'll add to the "you're not alone". The question is how to deal with it. Do we, like Otenth, simply shut the chat window and remain ignorant? Do we start etiquette classes in the bizarre hope that those needing it will actually turn up?
I don't know if I have the answer, but we can but try. If all else fails we can set up a commune or something. Bohemians were Victorian weren't they?

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

Oh and Des, for the record, Jim Lumiere has had his share of hissy fits. :-)

Anonymous said...

I really think the focus on titles and moderation is slightly misplaced. I can't see moderation working, and I think misusing or ignoring titles is a very minor affair compared to the following, all of which have been seen recently in chat:

-- swearing - 'fuck', 'crap', 'shit', 'effing', etc, we have seen it all
-- vulgarity - coy references to fellatio, telling ISC that one is heading off to the toilet, for God's sake!
-- advertising one's products or non-Caledon land
-- inane prattle, which I have parodied in private conversations as 'I'm making a nice piece of wood!', which has sadly been recently outdone by even more inane utterances
-- discourtesy, such as criticising someone's event while it is taking place and suggesting people go to one's own event instead, and numerous other examples of all types
-- repetitive blather about the size of one's inventory, lag, how evil Linden Labs are
-- discussion of subjects that have absolutely nothing to do with Caledon, such as anti-virus software
-- mockery of non-Caledonians, such as 'mainlanders' and 'blingtards' - after all, we are supposed to be tolerant

Over a year ago, I remember people lamenting the loss of wit, eloquence, graciousness and good manners in ISC chat. I therefore hope that no-one reading this takes it personally; this is a long-standing issue and no single person or group needs to be singled out as culpable.

Emilly Orr said...

Anonymous: I agree with your points, and I also agree that I have failed some of them--to wit, inventory chatter, when it comes up, and other things that I could simply not discuss, as they are all hazards we endure being part and parcel of SL.

It's not just the incidents of last night, but for several weeks now, I have fought against joining the chatter because it's *not* necessary that I wade in and discuss the latest movie, or fast food chains, or types of beer, or lag, or any of the other mundane things we could reserve for other places. But sometimes a chance comment pulls me in anyway, and I'm not always as good as I should be about pulling away again.

Edward: I just don't know. At this point I'm honestly thinking being seen as little as possible is a good thing; what with Miss Callisto and Mr. Vayandar screaming for vengeance, so to speak--but to pair with that, would anyone attend anything I set up?

Duchesse Gabrielle (and when you have another form of address you'd prefer I use, do let me know): I admired your post. I do see this as not a problem of a few weeks, but rather more than a few months, and it may take twice that long to resolve. I'm still not sure *how* to solve it--but surely, being aware of the problem helps, even in some small fashion?

Emilly Orr said...

Mr. Dagger: I think leading by example may be the best alternative. Because, rp or not, enforced dress or not, Caledon was always polite, or at least civil. In miniskirts, in full Victorian bustle gowns, in t-shirt and jeans, in tuxedos: there was always the thread of tolerance and understanding to link us.

I now must decide where tolerance ends and refusal begins, and if my tolerance should grow larger to expand over some of my objections.

Sphynx: Thank you. But yes, simply closing the chat window--choosing not to participate--doesn't stop the flow of ill deeds and ill words, it just removes them from your particular view.

Still, if that's what the community at large seems to want, it may become the only alternative, at least for a while.

Sphynx Soleil said...

True, it doesn't stop it...but being a relative newcomer, I don't know that it's my place to actually SAY anything about it.

Emilly Orr said...

Is it mine? Is it any one specific person's? We do what we do, and we do what we must, when we must--whether we're "supposed" to do so, or not.

Icterus Dagger said...

Des: I must admit that bringing up the subject of $L's was meant to tweak you into responding... and it worked! Sorry about that. Thanks for clearing things up regarding the hectic life you've chosen.

The focus of this comment discussion still appears to be ISC chat. Well and good. I can always close the window if it gets annoying. The corollary to that in living in Caledon is closing Caledon - well, TPing out for a while to other lands or going off world. Then it just becomes a fun place to visit, not to live in. That might be fine for shop keepers and what not, as long as one is shopping. But for the vitality of the community, we would be lessened.

Of course, Caledon has ever been tolerant of "ways of living." Heck, I play a demon in Caledon. We have always had things that Victorians seemed to trill about: Demons, vampires, fairies, etc.

I'm willing to give Des the benefit of the doubt. Even to the point of staying on in-world in one form or another longer than I planned.

Let's not give up the ship yet.

-iD

Christine McAllister Pearse said...

Well said Em (or Miss Orr ;-D). For the titles aspect of things, I have never made an issue of being addressed as Miss McAllister, even though I've now been partnered to Edward for...oh...a year and a half or so (which is quite a long time by SL standards). What has stopped me dead is being called Christine by a complete stranger at a formal social setting. I've just replied, addressing them as Mr/Miss depending and hoped that they'd take a hint.

I've told Edward that me getting so upset with the turn of the tide in group chat has me feeling like a crotchety old fusspot, but quite frankly, I've come to terms with that and would rather be a fusspot with manners than someone "hip and cool" who is rude, vulgar, inappropriate and shocking. I know I'm not perfect either, but things have changed and not for the better.

Granted, we are all adults and should not need to be babysat, but at the same time, I wonder if some of these people would go to an elegant afternoon wedding reception and start flashing people in RL, as their conduct in ISC is on par with that behaviour. The internet grants us a level of anonymity and so perhaps behaviour becomes a little more free and uninhibited (sometimes a good thing, but sometimes not).

Anyhow, to wrap up my blathering on (my typist has a cold and her head is a bit fuzz today, my apologies), thank you again for opening up this dialogue...it's needed to happen for quite some time. Perhaps the silent majority will take heart and things can be changed for the better.

Diamanda Gustafson said...

You're not alone, Christine.

I guess my major issue is that since Caledon is "XYZ", why do people choose to be "ABC" while in it. Is it nazi? so be it. I know I put another facade of myself when I'm in Caledon/Steelhead/Whateverhistoricenvironment, and a different when I'm in, let's say, the Wastelands, (which most of the folks out in ISC chat would dismiss as "blingtardia" because it is not Caledon? Ha!) which is a post apocalyptic community reeking of talent, and, yes people, manners.

It is within the human nature to push the rules, but there has to be a standard. That's all. This is brewing for a long, long time. I don't agree with Des that it's a matter of post holiday mental state. If it hadn't happened now, it'd simply happen next month, or next week, or tomorrow. Just with different protagonists. Because the problem is out there, and failing to see it is, well, failing. If addressing it makes me an old spinster of any other name that someone might choose to call me, so be it. I'm too self secure to care.

CoyoteAngel Dimsum said...

That anyone would even use the term "chat nazi" is reason enough to ignore them. I can see, too, that my habit of not paying strict attention to ISC has paid a negative dividend in that regard.

Thank you [all] very much for your thoughts and comments, and I am bothered in no small degree that the very point of Caledon's existence is under siege, regardless of the intentionality involved.

Those of us who have been in Caledon for a long time might be said to have a greater responsibility to bring newbies up in the way that they should go, in my opinion, especially since decently polite behaviour makes Mr. Shang's life a bit easier.

I will endeavour to pay more attention to ISC chat and coughly politely when I believe that things are, perhaps, getting out of hand.

Elrik Merlin said...

I think the terms in the Caledon motto are certainly well worth bearing in mind at all times. Those things about Caledon are one reason I'm here.

Thankfully, being on GMT I seem to miss most of the "action" on ISC. That being said, I know I haven't followed all the guidelines all the time...

I am concerned that too many people who care will leave. That does actually worry me. I have had several opportunities to move elsewhere recently (and I really can't justify more than one location in-world). I've turned them down because I have a lot of loyalty to Caledon despite being here only a little over a year. I want it to continue to work.

I am more concerned about politeness (or its lack) than correct modes of address, though the latter is something I need to be aware of in my role as a Radio Riel presenter. The main one for me is the difficulty of determining gender in the heat of an event, a problem that Miss Orr identifies. I definitely need a gender-neutral term of polite address: "M~ lastname" sounds like the best I've heard suggested to date.

Miss Orr kindly uses me as an example, but in fact if people are nice to me they can get away with calling me any of several things without upsetting me. And I try to do as I would be done by. I hopefully manage it most of the time.

- Brideswell, Rothesay SE

Kamilah Hauptmann said...

First off, I support the Guvnah 105%. The remaining 5% of the 110 goes direct to his email or in our face to face interactions where I beat him about the head with a tuna. I am the only other person (that I know of, I haven't checked lately) in Caledon with the power to muzzle someone in chat. There's been one time I would have done it, but he left the group voluntarily after a parting shot and hasn't been seen since.

Until I see something the likes of an out of control screaming names/racist slurs/what have you, it ain't going to happen. Ditto that: There is nothing worse than a tyrant. Don't get me wrong, I -like- power. Enough to use it judiciously and conservatively.

A point of my perspective and observations, pardon if I ramble, I'll try to at least make paragraphs of the miscellany. I -try- to keep the ISC open and frequently do keep it open long past what is good for my blood pressure. I'm getting better at that. It's not worth a stroke or a heart attack. (Worry not, I've good medication, it's just my family curse.)

I -do- like a good meander and babble. I take part in them. Occasionally I've had the gumption to take the lead and march off to Aldo's and call out, 'I'm here!' Lo and behold, avatars show up and we chatter and natter and have a good time. I didn't spend hundreds of hours on my avatar over three years for nothing. Aldo didn't build a beer garden for nothing. For builders in a project who like side chat, I didn't leave 1000 prims free in Lionsgate for nothing. Sandbox there to your heart's content. (Pun!)

I never got to say goodbye to Ari when she left. She'll be gone three years this coming summer. People leave, sometimes with a slamming door, some like a ghost, most somewhere in between. Blessings to all of them, I miss you all. But not enough to deny you your life's path for my own selfish interests.

Awhile ago group chats had an interesting bug. I'd like to see it return for awhile. :) Whenever someone piped up in a group, you could see everyone online who immediately closed the window as a '*NAME* has left the chat session'. Someone would say something and immediately the screen would fill up with these and scroll down. That was over a year ago. I wonder how many times the screen would roll now. Those are all the people not interested in hearing 'HUGS *NAME*!!!' Which is fine, dandy, unfortunately it has a very rotten side effect I find most offensive. It's filtered out people who might actually want to hear Desmond's announcements. Des actually does give first dibs things, or takes input on queries in there, and there are many many who kill the window on the first mention of 'HUGS *NAME*!!!' That Caledonians are not getting these announces is just not cool! :( Does that mean everyone needs to STFU? No. It means we need a tool to use.

In my project pile is such a tool where people can touch a box to be added to a list. Desmond will have an announce to make, touch the box, and everyone who's subscribed to it AND is online will get a one liner IM: 'Announcement pending in ISC. To open the group chat if you've closed it, select the Group in the Groups window and choose the IM button. To unsubscribe from this notice system please go to *PLACE* and touch the sign.' Or some such rot. This, if actually used, would solve that ethical problem.

Other technical problems:
-Chat scrolls up the screen in almost all cases, you've no choice. This is disruptive to avatar to avatar meetings, scripting things that spit out diagnostics, and since the screen darkens with the chat, makes it hard to build, texture, etc. when things really get rolling. I think I've seen the screen go to the 3/4 point once. Add to that some timered object whispers on whatever I'm working on and the text runs off the top of the screen with ease. But that's just me bitching. It's an SL problem I wish they'd fix.

-I'm an estate manager. If I kill that window to do any of the above, and someone needs help/griefer alert/sim down/borked, I can't hear you. Some smart cookies in the Commonwealth group call out on that one. Others call me directly; that's most welcome as well. (Correct semi-colon use?)

-I get one or two a month of people asking re-admittance to the ISC group, citing they left in frustration from the constant natter. My advice to them? Mute anyone they find irritating. There's not a whole lot else you can do if you want to keep the ISC available. I can't rightly take my own advice, for obvious reasons.

-I wish I'd had this retort at the time, but I wasn't very swift. A 'HUGS *NAME* ' popped up, and being in a foul mood at that particular millisecond I replied 'Get a room.' The retort came back to the effect of 'This is a room'. Actually, no, it's not. It's the ISC channel, an official channel, that makes it the Towne Square and a megaphone. No I'm not going to demand people use the channel the way I wish they'd use it. I abuse the channel myself sometimes. It' fun! I like it! When I'm in the right mood for it. I rather like most of the chatterboxes in there. But here's my personal standard for me, one which I frequently fail and thus, like Desmond, do not claim to be a perfect moderator and should err on the side of too light handed, I shall endeavour to look at what I have just typed, and picture myself in the Towne Square with a megaphone and ask, 'Would I in my right mind bellow this through this thing at maximum volume from atop this soap box in the Towne Square?'

Hoping I made sense,

~Kamilah Hauptmann,
Vicereine of Caledon (For those inclined that means Your Lyonesse or Your Excellency, everyone else can call me Kami. :) )

Emilly Orr said...

Lots of responses. I'm going to tackle them out of order.

Your Lyonesse: Excellent points, all of them, and thank you for saying that. I adore the concept of the little gadget; it might make one more step of work for Des, and be something of a problem maintaining for the gadget owner, but it sounds lovely.

I also adore your concept of standing with a megaphone and shouting in the town square: that is far from the worst way to think on it. Would I walk from the telehub in Victoria City to the carts, for comparison, and shout at the top of my lungs "Is anyone awake?" Some people may be sleeping. Some may be deep in conversations of their own, or building, or, for a myriad of reasons, not wanting to pay attention.

I've failed this standard many times. So have we all. But it's good to keep in mind, that we aren't simply discussing things with a group of our closest friends, but that what we type goes out to everyone within range--and that 'range' is very, very large indeed.

I am toying with the mute concept. At best, it makes my life easier and I won't get quite so upset. At worst, I face the tangled ethics of it, which is my own personal bane, and I'll deal with it. My problem in muting, however, is somewhat similar--if I mute someone because of something they said on ISC chat, then if I run into them at an event, say, that I am hosting, I will not be able to interact with them effectively. That's not good, either.

Emilly Orr said...

To tie up the rest (also out of order):

Miss Dimsum, esteemed builder, very esteemed texturer and owner of Lovelace (now Teslace?): I may be wrong, but I believe I hear a note of reproach in your comment. Let me be the first to inform you, then: I did not originate the term "Chat Nazi". It was handed to me, in ISC chat, and became the term that stuck in my craw longest, so was added to my initial post.

Perhaps that's all that the community chat needs, as a whole: gentle nudges now and again towards more fitting modes of behavior. Self-rule has always been something that Caledon, by and large, excels in--this should also be true of ISC chat.

Emilly Orr said...

*scrolls back up to see whom she's responding to next*

Lady Christine: I think that's all I ask, really, and the sole utter point of this: courtesy, respect, polite behavior towards one another; when did these become so easily dismissed by people? But more than that, you bring to mind an unintended point, I think, but one I'm now considering.

One is at a formal ball, dressed, of course, for the occasion. One is making polite conversation with one's dancing partner, or polite conversation with those between partners. Out of the blue, one is addressed by one's first name, by an avatar one does not share any sort of intimate relationship with.

At a formal ball, with our best manners, this would be shocking in the extreme. I have been applying the same level of shock and dismay to "Hey Em" shout-outs in channel, from people I don't know--but now I must consider, is ISC chat meant to reflect ballroom formality? Is that perhaps part of the problem?

Maybe I've been wrong all along--in that ISC chat is not now, mayhap never was, the genteel tea house, the formal ballroom, the meeting place where business and politesse intermingle and converge.

Maybe it's been a pub all along, and the side effect is, on occasion, drunk people. And drunk people forget a great amount of the time on what's proper address, what's correct public behavior, what's not to be done in public...and that's more or less okay, because at least they're doing it in the bar, and not at home.

If that's the correct outlook, then yes, I've become the dourly prim fusspot in the corner, nursing a pot of catnip tea, deploring that pub-level behavior is occurring at all. When what I really need to do is swagger up to the bar on occasion and demand rum and gunpowder, or else...simply leave the bar when I'm not in a drunken sharing mood.

Emilly Orr said...

I think I'm down to the last two responses (at least until the next round). So...

Duchess Diamanda: Having been to the Wastelands, I must concur on at least one point: there is a stark beauty to the build I find very whelming, and more art than anyone can shake the nearest zombie at--it's simply stunning in a lot of ways.

While I have fallen into dismissive tone--"Tch. Mainlanders."--on more than one occasion, I have friends on the mainland. I have friends on private (non-Caledonian) estates. Hells, I have Goreans on my friendslist, and the one thing all these disparate people have in common is that they are fun, they are witty, and they are polite (and exes don't count).

Maybe we're back to the elitist notion of the common denominator being--well, common. As much as I'm against such thinking, and I don't mean "ignorant" to equal "stupid" here--there are people in my RL family who are excruciatingly polite--and never made it past the eighth grade.

But maybe part of this whole issue is that I've been making the assumption that everyone in Caledon knows the basics of behavior--and maybe I'm wrong in that, too. Maybe part of the problem is that we have folks in Caledon who don't understand what it means to be Caledon--because they moved to Caledon for vastly different reasons than the rest of us. Maybe they moved to Caledon because it looked like a stable sector of SL that wouldn't soon go away, with nothing whatsoever to do with a fondness for the past, or even a mild affinity with neo-Victoriana.

In this case, if it's true, we have a whole new class of non-steampunk, non-Victorian, Caledonians--Caledonians who are modern in dress, behavior and speech, and who do not see their actions in ISC chat as anything inherently wrong, because that's how they behave all the time.

Emilly Orr said...

And Laird Brideswell: I continually maintain up to two (and sometimes three) dwelling places in world; formerly, this was due to having an actual home, a 'business' home, and on occasion a roleplay home (having lived in several RP sims: they tend to be very odd places to live).

Caledon is still the better deal, in terms of pure finances: I pay L$475 per week in Penzance, I pay L$950 per week in Morgaine, I pay L$2000 per week (for far less prims) in Lunitarium.

And, by and large, it's still the better social deal: while we are working on developing a society on Lunitarium, it's just starting out, and it still looks very much like a tract housing development (this will, I have no doubt, change in time). Whereas in Caledon, I have friends, I have work, I have all the marvelous things that made me fall in love with Caledon in the first place, still--the trees of Tanglewood, the gothic hush of the Moors, the cavorite mines, the thrilling heights and depths of the Highlands--and all the other sites to see, in all the other Caledonian sims. Some great builds, some great concepts, and I will not deny it's people as well as place that keeps me in Caledon.

But, as you, I am more concerned with the apparently abandoned concept of individual politeness, and the thought that people would rather leave Caledon, than work to fix it--because they believe that it can't be fixed.

Too much damage? I suppose it depends on your perspective. Myself, I think--I hope--that there's still enough to save, depending on what people want to be in Caledon, and want Caledon to become for them.

Baron K. Wulfenbach said...

Another post to link - Fraulein Emilly, your namer, I believe:

http://brazenbabbles.wordpress.com/2009/01/05/caledonians-untie/

Emilly Orr said...

Baron Wulfenbach: this has been brought to my attention. He informs me that I'm not to take it personally, that he used such a term "generally". I remain unsure as to how one can deliver such a scathing epithet generally, but that may be my issue, and I shall deal with it.

That link is at the bottom of my next post, and I am endeavoring, very deliberately, not to provoke, as much as possible.

Baron K. Wulfenbach said...

Fraulein Emilly,

As Fraulein Kamenev said last night when the epithet was mentioned in conversation, it skirts perilously close to Godwin's Law by its very existence. Your replies do seem well-tempered.

I have put forth an attempt to make a positive addition to this discussion: Bitte, if I might persuade you to respond.

Yrs.,

KW

kara-timtam said...

I confess to being part of the problem. Sadly, my learning curve has not kept up with my enthusiasm and I need to work on my Victorian social skills. I hereby publically commit to this project as something of a New Year's Resolution. Hailing Duke Odenth as "Hi Neighbor" is thoroughly inappropriate, particularly since he probably doesn't even know I own a private residential sim island for my other group directly to the north of his archipelago. [blush, scuff toe in dirt]

Is there such a thing as a Finishing School for Young Ladies or other themed instruction in appropriate comportment? I would sign up in a heartbeat.

Very truly yours,
Kara Timtam [Miss]

Emilly Orr said...

Miss Timtam, I think anyone who comes in and earnestly tries to learn is not part of the problem. Perhaps you don't know everyone, and know how they're meant to be addressed; I don't think, at its heart, that that's really the issue.

It's the continual misbehavior, the private communications being ignored, in favor of continuing to act in bad fashion in public; that's what galls. Those that come in and want nothing to do with Victoriana because they're 'not' Victorians. Those who come in and use language that would make sailors blush to hear it, and think that's an effective way to win arguments. Those who enter Caledon, and night after night, are obscene and offensive, and don't seem to care that they're obscene and offensive.

That is what is truly bothering me, in all this. Not the new friends who may not know the difference between a Duke and a duck at ten paces.

Desmond Shang said...

Just to let everyone know - I have been reading along the blogs lately and not saying too much (I replied on Otenth's blog just now but it's still a comment awaiting approval).

One thing I don't want to do is get into pointless arguments on blogs. That's counterproductive, and generally entrenches people into their opinions rather than making anything better.

Personally I think the entire conversation is a good one, and if I can find some positive methods to make things better I'll certainly do anything reasonable. Negative reinforcement is highly problematic in a world where Cliques A and B carefully watch for *any* excuse to get Cliques C, D and E reprimanded. It's very easy to enable that sort of tit-for-tat behaviour, and I very much don't want to be anyone's tool.

The wrong policy, no matter how well intended, would turn us into Stepford overnight. Enlightened moderation always appears to be enlightened... until it's *you* that's being moderated.

* * * * *

Caledon is about to open its doors to a fair number of new residents. Not just new to Caledon, but new to the grid itself.

Culture shock is assured. Look at statistics in real nations, and see how different we truly are. Caledon has equal rights regardless of gender (ERA) - something that has not passed in the USA yet. Caledon does not discriminate with respect to partnerships. The 'government' of Caledon keeps its nose out of your personal matters and real-life-lawful businesses. This is a very free society, more free than perhaps many people have ever been accustomed to. Maybe a little too free, and with that, incurring more responsibility upon individuals to behave.

There is a separate group for newcomers to the grid. But even with my light touch I fully realise that new resident welcome areas and groups can run into problems quickly. I don't have much time to set up policies, and about zero leeway to 'get it wrong'.

Make no mistake, this newcomer group is going to be moderated. I've been reading through the opinions on this debate with respect to how I'm going to handle that.

Who do we all generally agree has enough compassion, sensitivity and wisdom to get it right, to lead and make such decisions? That is what I have been watching for, while everyone debates.

It is really beginning to look like only a very few remain neutral across all the factions, cliques and societies. I always strive to be utterly neutral as best I can, but clearly I too can be a polarising influence. Better for me to learn from this than ignore it.

Such debates have come up before, and it was one of the main reasons that Kami was given the powers of Vicereine nearly 3 years ago. It was my wish that Kami took on the task; it was not asked for. In fact, it took plenty of convincing.

Put any number of yourselves in Kami's position - the ability to kick and ban anyone or anything on sight with few repercussions. Imagine your worst enemy with that power too. Ask yourself if you could act with as much restraint and social skill.

I hope everyone can see why I made the choices I have - and perhaps not agree with me, but at least understand that I am applying principle and restraint as best as I can see how to do.

The world will be watching soon enough, and how we treat the new and inexperienced will say more about us than anything.


Desmond Shang, Guvnah
Independent State of Caledon

Emilly Orr said...

I still say manners are important, but maybe they mean something more comprehensive to me than just formal address. Otherwise, I agree with everything you've said. I know it's a slippery slope; I know people in Caledon don't always get along, and that the easy way out would be to ban at will. And I know the EMs, even granted those powers, do not. Their restraint is laudable and admirable. I do not now (in this blog or in ISC at large), and never have, taken any EM to task for choosing not to do something that may have resulted in negative repercussions down the line--even when such a decision, on at least one occasion, went against me in a problem between me and another resident.

Conversation is starting to occur on this issue, though. At the least I think that's a good thing. People are wondering over what's good and bad, what's helpful and what's not, and looking at their own behavior. These are not bad things.

We will always have those gentles who tear down the social structure just to tear it down; every society has malcontents. I may be viewed as one of them past this point; I can accept that.

But someone had to say something. And if it wasn't me, believe me, it would have been someone else. I know this, all too well.

Icterus Dagger said...

Honestly, Miss Orr, it might have been me. I was half a minute from reviving my short-lived pathetic blog to raise just this issue when I read your blog and heard some comments from some residents getting ready to leave Caledon.

You are much more eloquent and better connected than I could ever hope to be.

For that, I am truly thankful.

-iD

Cathy and Audrey said...

I think I fall in the category of offender in this debate/revision/hand wringing.
I am not new-new, but not old Caledon. I have been listening for a year now. I came in not knowing all the old titles and found it very hard to come up to speed. Over the year I was able to participate more as I felt the formality dropped. I was less intimidated.
This is not meant as any kind of criticism, mind, merely an observation and recollection.
For me the greatest charm of Caledon has been the wit and nonsense of ISC channel. There has been plenty of stuff I haven’t had time or energy to follow but I don't close the window. It doesn’t bite me.
If it wasn’t for the channel, I am afraid I don’t know that my heart would have been captured by Caledon. I love architecture, the buildings are fine, a hoop skirt is fun to wear for a while, but I come to SL for community.
I see Caledon's community in ISC channel. Whether that is what it was intended for or not.
I appreciate the compliment that Des pays us when he allows us to be grownups. I don’t want to be policed. I like to fit in with the society I have been chosen. I endeavour to fit the expectations of the community. But I wouldn’t stay for 5 minutes in a regulated state where I must watch what I say with vigilance or risk expulsion or reprimand. That holds absolutely no charm to me at all.
And can I add.... if you are silent, and your expectations are unexpressed, then leaving doesn’t bring any kind of change. People cannot adjust their behaviour to fit a community expectation if it isn’t demonstrated. Provide an example that others aspire to, educate people who are not aware of the traditions.

Emilly Orr said...

And to batchfile (at least some of) the replies again.

Baron: you should note my reply on your journal; in fact, I should check back to see what others have said, it's an intriguing topic.

Mr. Dagger, you are more than welcome, though I don't know if it's that I'm better-connected, or just mouthier. Over the past two days alone, though, while tensions have been higher (for a variety of reasons, not solely this one issue), the conversations have been deeper, more involved, and even the frothy chatter seems to possess more substance than surface gloss.

If nothing else, that change alone makes me humbly grateful that Caledon possesses such true, glorious souls within it, of grace, and wit, and charm. It's an unaccountable relief.

Emilly Orr said...

And Miss Fotherington: it was never my intent to even appear to suggest we need moderation as a group. Or that we need moderators, in order to straighten up and act properly. I meant what I said that Caledon, at large, is extraordinarily gifted at self-policing: by and large, it is, we are, and this is a very good thing.

All I wanted was for people to think, before they posted. To remember part of what we all love (or at least, most of us, I might need to revise) about Caledon is the incredible depth of intellect, variety of experience, and giddy wit that Caledon possesses in her citizenry. We are learning tolerance, gentle persuasion, empathy, mayhap, for each other, and these things are not learned easily for many of us. But they are values, set forth in the Covenant of Caledon, as well as in conversations with Des (and more than those times he's commented on this entry), that we agree are important to retain and reflect, as much as we are able.

What I don't want is "sex on the dance floor", to pull a mainland term from my past. I don't want half an hour of conversation using the words "thong" and "dick" repeatedly--and pairing them in exactly the way you're likely thinking. I don't think we need four-syllable curse words shouted at us at length, simply because Des chose to join with Winterfell.

We are better than that. We are a people with wildly varying backgrounds, life histories, employment (or lack thereof), health (or lack as well)...there is such variety in Caledon it staggers the imagination. We are above such puerile displays. We are above ten minutes of "roflmao"/"lol"/"omggg" line after line.

Or at least we should be. That is all I wish for Caledon, that we begin living up to our magnificent promise, once again.

Icterus Dagger said...

I think that is part of the issue here: the many of us are getting our social "fix" primarily in the group chat, rather than going to places and meeting each other. It's like we are using our avatars to log into a chat room. Is that wrong? Probably not. But it does make for a less enriching experience of Caledon, in my opinion.

One of the early things I found so great about Caledon what that instead of pinging me in IM or shouting out if I was in world on chat, my friend in Tamrannoch would walk several plots over to my workspace behind the Sanitorium and talk to me. Watch me work. She invited me back to her place for tea, and we'd meet up with several others.

I'll not get into the whole issue of an avatar pretending to enjoy tea and delicious cakes. The point was we had a nice group talk, in a lovely home with a gracious hostess. Can we do the same in a group chat? To a point, yes. But then why not just log into AIM or Yahoo! Messenger?

And again, the issues at hand are not restricted to ISC chat. The same lack of manners and at times willful flaunting of the "theme" happens outside the chat and in public.

I know there are groups and friends that still do meet in "real avatar" and sit around drinking tea or punch. I know there are still interesting events and dances. I see enough of Caledon in Caledon to be hopeful. It's the trend that concerns me, and perhaps just talking about it can spur some change in the trend, or something.

-iD

Otenth Paderborn said...

Miss Timtam, I must confess that when I heard you say "hi, neighbor!" I chose to reply with a /me waves because I wasn't quite sure where we were neighbors. I recognized your name, but since I host and DJ parties, that really doesn't mean much. I am quite bad at attaching names to my memories of a person (I'm better at the memories than the names). I assumed that you were another new resident of Caledon Oxbridge Village, actually!

I look forward to examining the map and visiting your sim.

Emilly Orr said...

See? Miss Timtam, all is not lost!

Mr. Dagger: No, I agree with you, it's not just ISC chat. The sadness is, I feel like when I am not working some gig, in or out of Caledon, or designing some future build, or attending an event with friends, I don't have the time to do anything else but spend that time with my loves.

This has led to a significant amount of time not spent walking around Caledon, which was, I will be honest, a former love of mine. In fact, when Cape Wrath finally arose, last year, I took great pleasure in Mr. Allen and myself walking from our (then) home in Penzance, through Brigadoon, Morgaine and Wellsian, to Cape Wrath. It took us a little over an hour, but we had such a sense of accomplishment afterwards.

Perhaps I need to somehow find time to wander about again. Because there are social events that occur, and it would be nice to move beyond the narrow scope of current vision.

Magdalena said...

I stop dead when someone jumps on the bar created with a word in the virtual "meeting place" in ISC chat, and pours alcohol down their naked limbs for other gentles to suck off their toes.

Yeah, that was my bad. I have, on occasion, gone too far, and I suspect I've been muted because of it. That said, what is the etiquette for reasonable correction?

I have other thoughts, but too fatigued to articulate them. Good posts, good comments ...

Emilly Orr said...

My dear, I was doing my best to avoid names, as it has been a while since the incident, but I'll admit, that was a night that stunned on several levels in ISC chat. And it wasn't all you. You jumped onto the bar, but there was also "bush-rustling", shall we say, of a distinct type, and other bizarre occurrences.

Perhaps it was just a strange night, we chalk it up to hormones and alcohol, and move on. I have no idea.

As to reasonable correction, I think you're doing it. You've set up a lovely place at Wit's End (and I keep meaning to go back), you have friends in the community, I think you've passed the stage for apologies, though I do recall you made some at the time...or at the least, a few days past.

I toss it up, I admit, as an example, but trust me, two--three, now--nights ago, the half-hour of the nipples-and-genitalia debate convinced me ISC can go farther than you ever dreamed.

tya said...

heheh... thx...

Emilly Orr said...

Tya,

You're...welcome? But for what, precisely?