For anyone who doesn't live on the Second Life grid, this next may be hard to understand, but there actually are people who are clamoring for a representative democracy to be enshrined as the ruling body of SL at large.
At least, I think that's what they're asking for--sometimes, it's hard to tell. They seem to want something significantly beyond what we have, with Linden Labs at the top of any diagram, because they own the place. They seem to think by and large that, simply because of their place on the grid, the grid should be democratic in nature.
There are a few problems with that, which Honor McMillan has ably taken on in a recent blog post, but I just wanted to clarify one section of the point.
Think democracy. Democracy as we know it, on a daily average level, in the US, say. (For those of you not in the US--you're generally better off, so just read along with your typical bemused smile.) Just for argument. If you really want the type of democracy the US has--and the Lindens, for some brain-dead reason of their own, decided to go along with you--you would have:
* Representatives for the furs
* Representatives for babyfurs
* Representatives for the dragons
* Representatives for the cultured furs
* Representatives for the neko population
* Representatives for the Caledonian Catgirl Brigade (because really, they ARE their own thing)
* Representatives for the fur herms (and boy, are THEY their own category)
and everyone else. And that's just one flavor of non-humans. What about:
* Representatives for porcelain dolls
* Representatives for fetish dolls
* Representatives for Rubberdolls (and there'd have to be at least seven people for that one community, because otherwise, there's no one to break a tie vote if they ALL start screaming at each other)
* Representatives for dark RP communities (and would they then split into one--or more--for each of those communities?)
* Representatives for the demons
* Representatives for the vampires (and those would have to split again into at least three different groups by my count also)
* Representatives for werewolves
* Representatives for weres in general
* Representatives for constructs
* Representatives for Avarians (and again, would that be one voice to speak for all of them, or a multitude to speak for every type?)
* Representatives for historical RP communities
* Estate representatives (and would it be one per sim, or one per sim chain owner?)
And past that:
* child community reps
* adult community reps
* "Adult" community (for yes, there is a difference!) reps
And that's not even all of them, there's more out there that I'm not even remembering off the top of my head. But we're not done. What about:
and more. And then there's:
and more; Second Life is incredibly diverse. Plus we can toss in:
* Labor Party members
Who else would fit into there?
And beyond anything else, would we need space for the extreme fetishes, the extreme belief systems, because if there's one thing I've learned about SL, it's that extreme thinking fits right in. How would we bring all these diverse interests together?
Not only that, but can you seriously tell me that a devout Muslim can sit next to a full-on dominant in leather with a girl in slave chains and red silks at his feet on one side, and a hermaphroditic demon Mistress with a fully pierced, spiked, and dripping exposed member on the other?
Or how about that self-same slave girl in red silks sitting next to a Femdom advocate who cannot conceive of any other lifestyle than weak men submitting to her will? Hells, sit her next to a Gorean male. Can they get along long enough to even vote on an issue, whatever that issue is?
And folks on SL, by and large, they're a mouthy bunch where their particular whatever is concerned. How do you get all these people to agree on a location to meet, yet alone the topics of the day? Beach people, proper Victorians, casual strollers, winter skiiers, mermaids, sea monsters, Westerners in boots and cowboy hats...and what about the dress code? Long skirts, short skirts, amount of cleavage appropriate? Can anyone show up in a veil and not cause controversy? If it's PG land that would leave out the serious fetishists anyway...
Of course, all of this is beside the point. That point being--it's still Linden Labs' playground. We just play there. It's our right to say whether we play there or not, and to a limited extent, how we choose to play--but we can't stand up and 'vote' that the swing set is taken away and replaced with a bakery, f'rinstance. Because we don't own the place.
We just hang out and swing. People really need to understand that, once and for all.
(All right; next up, Operation Squeegee!)