Friday, April 24, 2009

arachnea weaves, and she weaves so well

Had to split this entry and the last one into two parts; it was just too long!

Lindal Kidd pulls us gently back onto task:

We're off topic again.

LL wants us to toe the party line. They will only accept comments on:

- How to define Adult content

- How to move people

- How to reliably age verify residents

- How to effectively filter Search for adult content

So, once again, my responses:

- You can't. We can't. Nobody can agree on this issue.

Lindal's got a point here, too.

Shockwave Yareach finally had enough:

I will not toe the line.
I will not cooperate and say what is or isn't adult on my land.
I will not be a party to this obscene abandonment of what SL truly is about and who it is for.
I will not set a bit for my land, my prims, my content, advertisements, anything.
I will not voluntarily move.
I will not involuntarily move.

And this is why this plan of Linden making will not work. Due to:

* defiance (I will not reassign!)
* ignorance (I have to do what now?)
* laziness (Yeah, yeah, I'll get to that eventually...)
* incomprehension (But what I do isn't adult...)

we will be left with a half-rated grid, where some things are correctly tagged for content, some are not, and some are misidentified entirely.

Leaving identification in the hands of the residents? Linden Labs' second great mistake in all of this.

Mdawg Fhang responds to Colleen Marjeta:

Have the 95% become age verified and your traffic will
remain the same. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

Sure, that's not too high up in the stupidsphere for anyone. But here's another question: Will all of the 95% get verified? Or will they simply leave, figuring, they'd rather not put up with the loss of anonymity, or figuring they verified before (by paying tier, by buying Lindens on credit card, by verifying their age on XStreet), and shouldn't have to now? Or will some of those 95% decide they don't need to verify, because they're not doing anything violent, and they can always stick with what they have?

It's a very, very narrow tightrope the Lindens are trying to negotiate...and someone in the corporate structure has decided the best way to walk it is with flaming chainsaws and cluster bombs to juggle.

Guess they like the challenge.

Ceera Murakami relates a tale about a military base in California. The whole post, of course, I recommend, but it boils down to: how is SL's economy maintained? We found out part of it came from gambling, when the gambling players left, and suddenly everyone in the service industries had to scramble for rent. We found out part of it came from the dancing girls and the escorts, when the clothing makers suddenly had to scramble because we stopped spending as much in-world.

Now, if we kick out the pornographers...I think every single maker of virtual goods will take a hit on this one, I really, really do. And I don't think Linden Labs realizes by even a tenth of total comprehension how staggering the loss is going to be.

Rana Nightfire snaps:

This third party company you've chosen has been busted on holding on to data for up to 3 years or more, not releasing it as LL has stated they would do.

As both yourselves and this third party, have flat out lied to the residents of SL I don't see how we can be expected to trust you. I mean, geez guys, you recently bungled your fees and double charged a lot of us and never returned the stolen changes you took, even after stating that you would.

I'm over 21, by how much is no one's damn business. I have never committed an illegal act and now you want me to commit one so you will have everything you need to tag me identifiable and then hang on to that data to do god only knows what with it, or sell it to god only knows who!

I will delete my account and spread the word of LL/SL's attempt to invade the public's rights as well as endanger them with their latest neo-puritanical big brother scheme long before I will give any of YOU the info you so desperately seek.

And another one. How many are we going to lose over this, that managed to hang on through the OpenSpace debacle?!?

Shockwave Yareach circles around to comments on the Terms of Service:

As they learned the hard way with Bragg vs. LL, the TOS is not a blanket protection and exemption from US. law. While LL has all the cards as far as what happens in their world, in the rest of what we call Reality, they are as bound by state and federal laws as the rest of us. And in this case, that's a good thing. And since the TOS is still a "contract of coehesion", it is legally null.

The Commercial Code of the US which states that you cannot take someone's legally purchased property without formal court due process, however, DOES apply. Forcibly moving someone from a desired location that they paid for to an undesired location is -- if they want to play in businessland -- breach of contract. And any business that would do such a thing will never have my trust for an inworld business connection with MY corporate name on it.

Oh, and LL... that credit card on your records? The platinum one? Look at its limit and who it is from. Okay? That's my personal play card... Imagine what the business card looks like? (don't bother searching - I know more about covering my digital footprints than you can believe.) And with the instability in your platform AND your dealings with clients, you'll never so much as scent the money within it.

It's a big threat, in a sense, but also, it's a fairly bold statement. We don't need to believe he's Someone Important, but he's telling LL they can check and find out themselves. And what if he turns out to be right, that's at least one heavy spender who was still in SL....who may very well leave now.

Selene Gregoire stuns me utterly:

Dale, I think you actually have a good idea... there is the teen grid where adults are not allowed... the adult grid where anyone under 18 isn't supposed to be (but many end up there) and of course the beta grid. So why not a Family Grid where those who want to be able to interact with [their] children or grandchildren etc can do so in SL. Without having to be concerned about mature/adult content. It would also provide a place for those who find adult content offensive.

My gods, how often the simple solution eludes us! This is breathtaking in its simplicity. No one moves; just develop a whole other grid. They've already got beta grid; LL runs private test grids; why not a Family-Friendly grid?

It's so simple, there's such a sense of liberating purity about it...and it's absolutely impossible. Why? Because the Labs will never, never consider such a simple, easy, nearly effortless solution.

Tragic, that is.

Ceera Murakami responded to a rather pithy comment left earlier by Wildcat Furse (essentially, on how people who are doing all this complaining would react if it were their kids in trouble) and left an excellent response. Unfort, for space, I'm just clipping the end of it:

I go to plenty of places in real life that my daughter can not go. Bars, nightclubs, and yes, on occasion an adult business. The fact that I can go there and she can not is a fact of life, not a reason to force those businesses out of town.

I know it's mostly a high tide of resignation, but in all honesty, I do find it shocking--and yes, offensive--that people in a virtual world can't seem to grasp that it's...wait for it...A VIRTUAL WORLD. It baffles me completely, it always has. I don't get how people can be confused, and believe me when I tell you, this comes from one who used to freak out when someone caged me (that's due more to my complete immersion in roleplay situations, than it is about me really thinking I was caged).

Think it through--if someone is honestly this upset about virtual prostitution, then what other fabulist conventions are they falling prey to? Do they believe the people on the television screen can see them, too? Do they believe the works of Laurell K. Hamilton are actually set in a Saint Louis populated by real vampires? Do they believe that pixel blood and pixel terror carries more weight than broken bones and injured real flesh? Do they believe that recorded moaning and pixels touching means there's actual physical sex going on?


Seriously, though. I know I get lost in the roleplay at times, caught in the story, because I write and because I read, and enjoy both tremendously. But did I ever, for one moment, one single moment, believe that my treehouse in Lumindor was an actual tree growing in soil? Of course not.

How can they? Honestly, how can they?

Under the heading of "...duh", Viciously Llewellyn proposes five very simple ways to fix the controversy:

1. All sex related "whatevers" move to above z=3012m

2. Maps no longer show locations for avatars above z=3012m

3. No unverified avatars above z=2500m

4. Zero prim Linden trees to cover empty lots

5. No unverified avatars allowed adult search functions

Well, now. That would solve many of the problems. And yet again, it's a simple, relatively painless way to smooth ruffled feathers and "protect" people, which the Labs? Won't touch in a million years of conference calls.

And Morganna Reggiane keeps it very simple:

The day the rumoured Teen/Mature merge happens is the day I leave SL. I do not PAY to play in kiddie worlds...I PAY to play with adults.

And on that, I set another entry off into the wilds...because I can't say it better than that. Yes, I play on Gaia...because friends of mine are there, and I in general don't socialize, I go in for events, or to change my little pixeltar's outfit, maybe every two, three months or so. Yes, I used to play on Neopets, but again, friends asked me in, and I was afraid to seriously talk with anyone.

My play spaces? Have mostly been RL, or on various journal sites, before this--LiveJournal, DeadJournal, GreatestJournal (when it existed), and so many others--because I wanted to interact with people that at least generally approached my own age. If I want to interact with children, I can walk away from the computer, I don't even have to leave my house.

But when I'm at the keys? By and large, by choice and by intention, I want adult conversations. And by that, I don't mean it has to be things that are censored in seventeen states; in fact, I'd prefer it wasn't. (I'm all for flirtation in public, and in private, many would say anything goes--but I am not formed from sex and moans, I have a working mind, and I like exercising it a great deal.)

I cannot see a single thing on SL that would keep me in the game, if I had to guard my appearance, my conversation, and my thoughts from possible untoward paths, just to behave around children in my way. Much as I adore certain of them, and enjoy talking with them...I don't want to spend my recreational hours bound by "child-safe" restrictions.

And I'm not the only one.

And again, the thought surfaces, and I must type it out--what is really behind this? Who's the one putting pressure on LL, or is it, as has been suggested, simply another way for Mitch Kapor to drag LL down from within? What is really going on?

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