Thursday, August 19, 2010

hey, give me space so I can breathe; it's too close for comfort

Facebook will have to become a lot more invasive to match Mexico's death of personal privacy. They're essentially turning the entire city of León into a giant retinal scanner, and tying it in--of course--with tracking databases that will keep track of criminals versus upstanding citizens.

Scary? You bet. Futuristic? Hell, yes. Dystopia, here we come.

As tipped by Warren Ellis, Kim Boekbinder's first EP is out, and it's available for download for nothing at all, or to purchase. As Miss Boekbinder says, though:
"You can download this for free, but if you give me money, I can make more music. And eat. I like food. And music."
Help her out, if you can, or spread the word yourself. Near as I can tell, apart from a few echo effects, the first track is just her, a keyboard, and hand and foot percussion. The second track sounds lush and electronically produced. "Gypsy", the first track, reminds me palpably of current Rasputina melodic structures. And the fourth track is very much like life in N'Awlins, from sleepy mornings with café au lait and beignets to sitting in sidewalk cafes, eating muffaletta and listening to music from sidewalk performers just out of sight.

She's worth supporting.

A while back I talked about the upper teen classes mainstreaming on the main grid. I think at this point I should make something plain. When I speak negatively about "children" on the grid, I don't mean teens like this. I mean teens like this. Okay? We're not talking about good teens. We're talking about bad teens.

Now, I know, there are a lot of amazing teens--and amazing children, as well--out there. What I'm referring to when I speak negatively on the issue is the spectacular fubar moments, the documented why are they that STUPID moments, the I can't believe they actually DID that cases. The rank and file have little to worry about; most of them aren't honestly interested in Second Life in "that way".

What I'm honestly worried about, with the potential flood of incoming older teens, is:
  • increased grid violence (potentially leading to international lawsuits)
  • increased grid coverage in negative ways
  • increased griefing
  • increased paranoia that all 'the kids' will be copybotting
Though, while we're on the topic, though, there was something in that video that palpably struck me. Their law expert, Parry Aftab, said "As long as you're not delivering real sex, in real life; as long as you're not touching someone for money, it's just talk. And talk is always legal when adults are involved."

Which was fine as long as the Labs maintained their stance on Second Life being eighteen and over only. What about now? Sixteen and seventeen year olds are not counted as adults in most jurisdictions, national or international; so, while it's still not real sex under the stipulations, it could be considered as sexual involvement with minors. Easily.

Which should scare those in the sex professions to death right about now. Me? I'm still saying Linden Labs is playing a long-haul version of take-back: "Yeah, um, we were wrong about the sex stuph, let's not do that anymore, mmkay? Thanks, great, perfect, buy a Linden home, buh-bye!"

Phhht. Maybe it's just me being irascible and out of sorts, of late, but seriously--it seems like an inescapable (and rather quick-paced) march towards the shore of grid-wide PG ratings, no (or only "approved) user content, and subscription-only service. Am I wrong? Or does this not seem like exactly where we're going?


Fogwoman Gray said...

I honestly don't know about the teen issue. My experience with the so-called adults on the grid is enough to make me despair for humanity. The youngsters are going to have to work pretty hard to measure up to a lot of the asshattery I have seen from folks far, far older than 17.
Of those I have met who identified as either new grads of teen grid or kids (at Oxbridge, mainly) the worst were just dumbasses doing silly stuff or shooting. The best were amazing people.
But I also have less at stake from the standpoint of potential consequences in dealing with teens, so take it for what it's worth.

Emilly Orr said...

I'd say easily half the grid has nothing to worry about. Anyone in a PG zone who's not restricting their own content is foolish anyway; anyone in Adult zones, while they have to accept that everyone verified Adult actually IS, is--legally, anyway--fine as well: they had every expectation that those they interacted with were actually age-verified to be Adult in truth.

It's everyone in the middle that needs to worry--and especially, roleplayers and social gathering places in Mature sims. What's the dividing line for teens in Mature areas? Is there one, or are they supposed to be restricted ONLY to PG locales?

In the wake of the announcement, I've noticed another disturbing trend: many merchants have locked their stores to people younger than a month on the grid. Why no 30-days-or-less avatars? No idea. But the two seem to be connected.

Sphynx Soleil said...

Why no 30-days-or-less avatars?

Now THAT I understand - because it's commonly thought that a lot of griefers use a throwaway alt - which will usually be under 30 days.

I'm not saying it's right... people with a grudge or who feel they've been slighted will still be a$$holes...but for anyone using an account they just made for purposes of doing something stupid? Yea, it'll put a dent in that.