Wednesday, April 22, 2009

all the signs that I find have been underlined

O3D arrives, in a non-urban display of technique. But Unity 3D, so we're told, is already on the rise.

And look--robot penguins!

Back to the old thread before I get all caught up in the new one, but an announcement first.

After having thought this over, this is mayhap the calmest locale for this decree.

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN (and if I have to say more than that, I'll likely say it personally, and with a suitable amount of high explosives): I AM NOT YOUR PERSONAL SLUT FOR HIRE.

I have been out of the escort business for nearly two full years. I have been out of the trade of Companion for more than two years. I cannot be bought for sexual services, I cannot be rented as anything other than a charming hostess accompanying a spinner of vintage-to-modern music through Radio Riel.

Which brings us to point two: I have tried very hard to get this point across to you, but I DO NOT GIVE REFUNDS. I certainly do not give refunds for services contracted OVER TWO YEARS AGO. You may officially now stop holding this over my head or I swear to my gods, I WILL MAKE THIS PUBLIC.

*coughs* Please note, that's only directed to one of you, and he may not be reading. But I felt it had to be said.

Now, then. Rene Erlenger spoke to Linden confidence:

You mean the same sort of confidence when LL decided that FREE accounts would be an awesome you've slammed the "reverse" gear and [asking] all those same FREE accounts to go and get verified one way or another!

Shouldn't LL just admit that allowing FREE accounts back in 2006 was a huge mistake and contributed to a lot of the current problems (Bots, [griefing], teenagers sneaking in)

Near as I can figure, Linden Labs never admits to making mistakes. EVER. It'd be some kind of switch for them to start now.

I will say, 2006 was an understandable boom to the grid's population. I came in then, Duchess Gabrielle Riel, and many, many others who own businesses, clubs, have a ton invested in the day-to-day life of the grid.

But along with us, the crowd of the mostly responsible, came everyone else--the griefers, the hackers, the tweeners, the YouTubers who saw sex vids from SL and had to come see, the gold spammers from other games who thought they'd finally found a way to turn a profit in SL, all the twisted parade of the broken and the botched.

Do I think that means ban anyone who has a free account, or restrict them to the point where "proper" verification means are employed so they'll have the freedom to visit adult areas? No. I do think that means that those who want to age-verify for Pornodelphia be given a list of options, that work for all of SL's user base, domestic and international. I also think those options should include ones that are not tailored to US data-mining, or reselling of names and addresses.

Because that one, for me, at least, if not anyone else? Is VITAL.

I want to quote a rather large portion of Morganna Reggiane's reply to Nany Kayo, because I think it's that important:

I shop at Home Depot, Walmart and Loblaws just like everyone else in my community from teen welfare mothers to Bay Street bankers. I am a Cultural Anthropologist, have taught at university and been an active member in many professional associations and fora.

My daughters go to school right along side children of crack addicts, erotic dancers, teachers, white collar professionals and autoworkers. I was a active and vocal participant in the PTA at both of their schools, attended every Girl Guides meeting and banquet and was a designated "safe" home for my Neighborhood Watch.

I am a REAL WORLD Domme and have been for 30+ years. For the past 4 years I have hosted a monthly Munch at a local [restaurant] which has full disclosure about the nature of our meetings and the assurance that we will act appropriately in accordance with all bylaws pertaining to public decency and liquor control laws. These munches are not hidden in some back room and are open to anyone over the age of 19.

Exactly WHO do you think we are? We are your neighbors, your co-workers and your friends. We may even be a family member. What we do is legal between consenting adults and if some peeping tom used a telescope to look into my private home as defined by the boundries of the land the police would ARREST the "pervert"...SL would ARREST me under this ill defined policy.

I joined SL to get AWAY from such [blatant] bigotry, intolerance and ignorance. Due to this decision I will be removing the referrals links from my Munch website (3000 views per month) and Fetlife profile (20,000 active members) as it is no longer an open environment where adults can safely explore all aspects of their sexuality with assured anonymity.

This is not an empty threat. Fetlife I think has far more than 20,000 members, and it's far more than simply a kinky personals site--it features forums, interactive discussions, educational opportunities, and chances to gather in RL, both intimately and in large neutral groups--so Miss Reggiane removing the referral link back to Second Life is costing them all those eyes.

Maybe they no longer want those eyes, but trust me--do you want people in world who are intelligent, articulate, and can afford the cost for leather outfits that are custom-designed to be buying Lindens...or do you want obedient little drones who don't want to be offended, or buy anything in world because it's full of sex and violence?

(Yes, yes, I know there's a middle ground, and I know there are angels and idiots on both sides of the argument. Nany just ticks me off entirely.)

Wynochee LeShelle's excellent forum post, cannot be condensed, but for the sake of brevity, I'll try:

Originally Posted by
Blondin Linden
Forgive my ignorance, but why wouldn't link-take-drop work?


have you ever tried to link a - maybe . 257 prim house + base + additional interior and decorations, incl. all coffeecups, ashtrays, cigarettes, the milk bottle, the trees around the house, the nearby full [equipped] gallery, the loft at the other side of the self-developed street, the moonshine house, the zero-energy-house, the garbo gallery, the factory, the street itself, the nearby office building, the nearby second gallery with hundreds of frames and art-pics and the architecture and prefabs shop you made, all advertisings and corporated signs and customer service items, the demo buildings, and the second private home, the sky box...some vehicles and the other 5000 prims of half a sim, including some very small and some mini prims and some invisible or transparent prims and some whatever prims, a perfect setup [which] fitted to the more or less wavy landscape - then take all that stuff, while many of the prims are [set] to one owner, many of the prims are [set] to [other people, groups, and services] and to take that all as a bundle and to drop that somewhere into a different sim half with a different landscape...

She goes on to indicate other concerns, like the phone ringing in the middle of picking up the main build section, or your connection going down, or finding out after you've selected everything and moved it that you've left pieces behind, or if the sim area isn't a standard 512 or even 1024, but 64000+ total sim of land...and more.

Then she brings up how even the difficulty of moving isn't the worst of it; the worst of it is all your customers, your clients, suddenly have no idea where you went, none of their landmarks work, you have to revise every XStreetSL entry you have...and that's not counting any blog or website entries you have to go back and change.

It's a massive undertaking, one the Lindens have perpetually and constantly diminished as, "What's the big deal, it's just prims, pick 'em up and move 'em!"

Nany Kayo, Nany Kayo, what is the grid to do with you...

Quite honestly, I don't think any policy change would take the sex industry out of SL. People involved in sex trade are not known to be a sensitive or subtle bunch. I woudn't worry that their feelings are going to be so hurt they stop selling sex anywhere and everywhere they can get away with it.

I know I said I was going to stop quoting her, really makes me wonder. I mean, yes, there are women who deliberately sell themselves for little or nothing. There are women who believe "escort" equals a tattoo that says "PUT [CENSORED] HERE" with arrows pointing at the nether region and/or the mouth.

But the professional ladies of the Pearl, when it operated in Caledon? The lady Companions and male Companions who staffed Le Jardin, when I worked there? The wonderful, sensual furs who work at Seven Tails Brothel? These are intelligent, caring people who are dedicated to the art of craft, not simply "o baby o baby do me". These are, on more than rare occasion, very subtle people, for part of the art of the courtesan is that it's not only about sex, that what we do--and what I did, for I'm rather formally aligned to not seeking at this point--is part and parcel of the psychology of interaction, be it sexual, mental, or emotional.

It's obvious to me that Nany has never bothered to look beyond her narrow and limited view at all the possibilities, before her mind snapped shut and mangled the rest of her thinking.

Rayne Keynes joins the exodus:

I have talked to the estate owner where I live and work, due to the content of our estate being 90% "Adult" she would flag her estate as adult. As a result fully half of my employees and probably close to 75% of my patrons would no longer be able to get into her region, let alone my business.

[ ... ] My liquidation has already begun. I have cashed out $150 this morning with more to follow from the sale of my land and L$ transferred back to me from my Alt account. having an extra $600 to play with this month in the real world will be nice.

And another one gone...

Storyof Oh had a question on page 150:

Am i seriously reading that a Linden isn't familiar with the problems of linking and moving items?

Yes. Yes, you are. Let that sink in for a bit.

Rene Erlenger adds the comment we've all been avoiding:

[ ... ]an EstateOwner that has mixed content, is going to have to make some tough will eventually displace more people & businesses than Mainland.

Only truth.

Then Blondin turned on the definitions again:

[The] way that I am personally judging these are by asking myself 'is the theme overtly sexual'. I can't help be feel that the theme of a strip club is overtly sexual - even if no sex takes place.

So now it's officially photorealistic depictions of nudity via image, media or animation; all graphic depictions of sex; all extremely violent images, media or animations; all images, media and animations concerning drug use; and strip clubs. Great.

Ceera Murakami ponders real estate futures:

Unless Linden Lab takes direct action to prevent it, (which would be 180 degrees contrary to every recent offering of large areas of land that LL has managed), then the instant they make it possible for individuals to voluntarily purchase land in the new XXX continent, the greedy speculators and land flippers and land bots will swoop in and try to buy up all the land, and then try to resell it at extortion rate prices. And they will have a monopoly on land suited to Adult activities.

I really want to know how LL intends to prevent that nightmare.

Me too. Guess we'll learn in June.

Cinda Noel adds her opinion:

And my thought is at that point I will stop buying hair, skins, shapes, clothes, and gadgets, and stop tipping clubs and people and probably stop going to SL altogether. If I can't go hang out with my friends, what's the point?

My alt will still be required to enter SL for the occasional client project but I don't see us doing as many of those as we did in 2007 - 08.

And another one down.

Ceera Murakami responded to Deltango Vale's question on the process of the process:

Originally Posted by Deltango Vale
Folks, don't you see that by playing the definitions game, you have walked into a trap? You have accepted LL's premise that definitions are good - and you are running around like squirrels in a cage without questioning the validity of the cage itself.

Dear, we tried challenging the cage. And LL said quite clearly that the action to move Adult Content was not negotiable. That the only thing they would listen to was suggestions on how to kill the victims with the least fuss and bother.


Grady Vuckovic has an issue:

Either LL:
a) is stupid.
b) thinks we're stupid.

Please! LL show some intelligence and DON'T implement this! It's probably the LEAST wanted change you've ever suggested, doesn't that tell you something??

As for who is affected... a quick look at my friends list: about 95% of everyone I know.

*snickers* While I don't think LL is stupid as a whole, nor thinks we're mentally challenged as a population, it is a funny way to sum up the whole issue.

And at the top of page 160, the thing that made me throw up my hands and give up on the forums for at least the next twenty-four hours, Nany Kayo's chipper little response:

I hope we can have our kids here. I really do. you...are...



Gods, I am so damned glad I'm off the market, dating-wise. I want NO CONTACT with anyone under eighteen!

This is just ridiculous. She's a mental case.


Astrofiammante said...

This morning we pulled our RL business out of Second Life.

It had no adult content *whatsoever* - we were just a little web design agency who wanted to be across the Next Big Thing, the 3D-web, when it went mainstream. So we opened an office accordingly as SL seemed the best prospect for that.

Now we're gone. Specifically because we will not have Linden Labs dictating what we can and can't look at, and we won't buy our SL freedom at the price of selling our personal information.

So much for creating a more business-friendly environment.

I've put my Caledon land on the market. Most people there seem to be saying: "Don't worry, it won't affect us." Hard to believe I know, but I do like to venture off the Caledon sims occasionally. And even if Des is able to keep the worst of the vicissitudes at bay, I'll still face being crippled every single time I press the teleport button.

So to say it's all OK because it won't affect Caledon directly - even if that is true - is not really an adequate answer.

I'm letting the meter run down on my rented Mainland holding, which is in the grounds of a monastery, of all places. Somewhere further than XXXcontinent is harder to imagine - but if LL intends to fillet my SL experience until it is worthless, no more dollars are going on anyone's meter, especially not on the Mainland.

I'm going back to my personal Open Sim installation, where my avatar looks like it's made of plasticine, where I am going to have to learn to make *everything* from scratch - hair, skin, clothes, the complexities of some new scripting language, and where I will have to play on my own until I've mastered the complexities of running a 3D graphics server.

But that's *still* better than content filtering.

Sorry for the long comment, Emily. But I just feel sick this morning. Hopefully we might meet in-world one day - when the distributed grid comes along and makes it possible.

Astrofiammante Seminario

Emilly Orr said...

On the one hand, I have to shrug, and understand, because it's ridiculous for a game geared--by every press release they've ever issued--towards adults; they're treating their residents like the children they're telling us they're trying to protect.

On the other hand, I admit to more than a fair bit of outrage, because game or not, there are parts of the grid that are my home; I have in truth established a Second Life on the grid, a Second Life that supports and enriches my own, rather than detracts from it, and being told that I will likely have to age-verify in some draconian and likely invasive--and unsecured!--way, just to go shopping of an afternoon, let alone everything's just stunningly, stunningly bad thinking on the part of the Lindens.

The "Caledon will be fine" attitude I held at the beginning of the ranting? I no longer hold. Now, that prospect of one parcel Adult, one sim Adult hangs over me. Now I look at everything and wonder darkly--would this be banned? Would this mean I have to relocate?

As a personal home, likely not. But most of my homes are skyboxen above Caledon, and work studios within those skyboxen. And, we being who we are, Mr. Allen and I frequently work on adult-oriented products (though admittedly, few have been released for sale on the grid, and none will ever be offered for purchase in Caledon).

But even with those distinctions, is that enough? And even if we didn't build odd and intriguing toys, even if we built peasant skirts and clapboard house trim...I'd still wonder. Possibly wonder more whether Caledon, as much as I adore it, is where I want to stay...or whether I should make plans to move to Ursula just in case...or whether or not I should even stay on the grid.

I, for one, think everyone lost over this staggeringly ill-conceived decision is a blow to the community as a whole.

Rhianon Jameson said...

I started and deleted a longer comment several times, and eventually concluded (a) I need to think a bit more and (b) it may be better suited to my own forum for my ramblings. I'll try to be brief.

Miss Seminario, if you and Mr. Merryman indeed cross the wine-dark sea and encamp in Open Sim, I shall miss the two of you until we meet again. I hope you reconsider, but understand your reasoning.

Miss Orr, I completely agree on the subject of interactions with Young People. I have two charming nieces who, if they think of me at all, should be praying for the continued good health of their parents. I also have two rambunctious young nephews, and *I* pray for the continued good health of *their* parents. In neither case would an extended visit improve the pleasure of any party involved.

Finally, consider a Turing Test variant with respect to children on the grid: you really have no idea who is on the keyboard at the other end of a conversation. If the person acts enough like an adult that you cannot tell the typist is a child, then (naughty acts excepted) it doesn't matter.

Emilly Orr said...

I have admitted, I'm not a parent. Though I wanted to be, for more than one reason, it's impossible, and I restructured my life so that it was easier not to want what I had no chance to have.

But I am not anti-children, I am not even against the thought of children in virtual worlds--I think in many, many cases, there are significant, and positive, changes that can be wrought to the benefit of children, in terms of learning, in terms of understanding other cultures, in terms, even, of socialization.

And yes, by that selfsame Turing test I have likely walked away from many (at least by the definition of age) adults, because I am foursquare for clear communication when possible--which to me, never includes omg srsly? u r sooo rong.

But. And it's an important but. Many of us came to SL because it was a defined adult environment. Not for the virtual naughtiness--I know, when I joined, I had zero intention of doing what I did--but because here, at least, we were assured that everyone was at least legally an adult, with the rights and responsibilities of adults.

Are we protesting because we don't want better controls to keep children off the adult grid? No, we've been begging the Lindens for such controls for years now! But the heart of the protests--for me, at least--is that we, the adults, are being turned into children in need of "protection". That all of us, those who want more "predictability", and those who want the unexpected alike, are being told what we can and cannot do, in a world founded on the concept of No Limits.

"You can live your dreams in SL.""Do whatever you want, be whatever you want.""Your world, your imagination."These are all words that have been spoken, or written, in the machinima used to publicize SL, in the press releases sent out about SL, in conversations with the Lindens when asked about the vast potential of the platform. Yet now, we're told that we can no longer make those decisions.

If we can't, then who can? And if the Lindens say they do, and remove everything from the grid that we were told we could do...then why are we playing? For me, that's one of the core issues, which exists with or without children on the grid.

They dream too. But the world they dream of entering may be dust and ash by the time they arrive.