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Old 03-20-2017, 01:04 PM   #76 (permalink)
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This is my perception, however I would think it's fair to say that the last couple of years has seen a turn away from the values that - at least in public - defined Western Europe and North America. The election of Trump, Brexit, Marine le Pen etc...
Who do you say has done the turning?

I ask because in the USA Trump lost the popular vote (to be fair, both sides were campaigning for the electoral college vote rather than the popular one, so who knows what would have happened if they had been after the popular vote) and Brexit passed by a slender majority of those who voted. Only about a third of the actual electorate voted for Brexit, as I recall.

Furthermore, I haven't changed my views about anything in particular since the Brexit vote (other than that my opinion of Jeremy Corbyn has sunk even lower) and I don't think Trump's becoming President has changed the views of many Americans (except that many people who voted for him are probably regretting it by now).

Certainly, as anyone old enough to remember will tell you, public attitudes in both the US and UK to same-sex relationships are completely different now from what they were 30 years ago, Trump, Brexit or anything else notwithstanding. Similarly, speaking as someone who was during the 1980s married to someone who'd come to the UK when Idi Amin expelled the Indians from Uganda, I can assure you that English xenophobia and racism are nothing new.

I think what's happened is that Brexit and Trump have made some people feel more confident in expressing their views. I don't think they represent a change, particularly.

Last edited by Innula Zenovka; 03-20-2017 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:17 PM   #77 (permalink)
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My experience has been from the very beginning that people in SL were generous with time and expertise, collaborative and friendly in world, and gave the utterly opposite impression once they got onto the forums. I think that goes for SLU too - if I were academically inclined I'd be intrigued to know how/why that happens. But you're really not the way you can appear, QED this thread.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:09 PM   #78 (permalink)
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My experience has been from the very beginning that people in SL were generous with time and expertise, collaborative and friendly in world, and gave the utterly opposite impression once they got onto the forums. I think that goes for SLU too - if I were academically inclined I'd be intrigued to know how/why that happens. But you're really not the way you can appear, QED this thread.

I rather strongly disagree that people on SLU are not generous with time and expertise. I've seen a whole lot of that when I was actively into content creation, and ever since.

And it doesn't just stop at SL stuff. I mean just look at the various threads.

I think what people *do not* want on SLU is to be seen as "subjects" by people who have not given any input into the forum - unless we have a lot of information about the aim and purpose of the research and how the subject are chosen.

Do people remember one rather new SLU person who managed to create quite a controversy and then say "hahahaha this is just me seeing how you all react". Psyke somebody? That made a lot of us feel used, and angry.

I am, in fact, "academically inclined" as you put it (I rather like that description). Academia, like it or not, has certain customs and principles and one is to have *reliable data* from a *representative population*.

I think SLU regulars can, and will, and do, provide good information to people like the OP. But the fact remains that we may not be representative of the overall SL population that is relevant for this work.

Samples need to be chosen carefully, or your results are skewed.

For example, there is not going to be much input to this thread from Trump supporters. Does this even matter? Well no... unless there is a discussion of "users' values' (and which ones?) or any political angle whatsoever.

And that's why I want to know what angles this dissertation will be seen from and exactly what information is needed (and why) before I would see it as serious research.

All that being said, I am not automatically against researchers or students "using" SLU. I just want to make very sure that there is no pre-existing bias or that SLU members are not seen as anything more than a highly eclectic bunch of somewhat liberal people... in general... who happen to have experience with SL.

Will you, Louie, also use the official forums? Other sources such as inworld interviews (and if so, how will you recruit)?

GOD we academics are a bore, right?
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:25 PM   #79 (permalink)
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I rather strongly disagree that people on SLU are not generous with time and expertise. I've seen a whole lot of that when I was actively into content creation, and ever since.

And it doesn't just stop at SL stuff. I mean just look at the various threads.

I think what people *do not* want on SLU is to be seen as "subjects" by people who have not given any input into the forum - unless we have a lot of information about the aim and purpose of the research and how the subject are chosen.

Do people remember one rather new SLU person who managed to create quite a controversy and then say "hahahaha this is just me seeing how you all react". Psyke somebody? That made a lot of us feel used, and angry.

I am, in fact, "academically inclined" as you put it (I rather like that description). Academia, like it or not, has certain customs and principles and one is to have *reliable data* from a *representative population*.

I think SLU regulars can, and will, and do, provide good information to people like the OP. But the fact remains that we may not be representative of the overall SL population that is relevant for this work.

Samples need to be chosen carefully, or your results are skewed.

For example, there is not going to be much input to this thread from Trump supporters. Does this even matter? Well no... unless there is a discussion of "users' values' (and which ones?) or any political angle whatsoever.

And that's why I want to know what angles this dissertation will be seen from and exactly what information is needed (and why) before I would see it as serious research.

All that being said, I am not automatically against researchers or students "using" SLU. I just want to make very sure that there is no pre-existing bias or that SLU members are not seen as anything more than a highly eclectic bunch of somewhat liberal people... in general... who happen to have experience with SL.

Will you, Louie, also use the official forums? Other sources such as inworld interviews (and if so, how will you recruit)?

GOD we academics are a bore, right?
You raise lots of valid points. I'm at work now, and will be until late, but I will endeavor to reply ASAP.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:30 PM   #80 (permalink)
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You raise lots of valid points. I'm at work now, and will be until late, but I will endeavor to reply ASAP.
No worries. For what it's worth, I paid for my Masters behind a bar, as a chambermaid, and teaching Russian to beginners (often at the same time, as well as full-time studies). Looking back on it, it was great fun. I remember being very tired at times, though.

But that was nearly 40 years ago. And it was worth it.

But in the spirit of SLU being helpful (and I really think we are, if approached... in a way that doesn't raise a few hackles, mind included... ready to share what knowledge we have).
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:17 PM   #81 (permalink)
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Well i for one think that his own (un)involvement with this thread should be some indication to him of why VR becomes decolonised.
I mean .. he pops in .. asks a question.. ppl post this and that and blah blah fishpaste..
some real interaction by the regulars here.
he pops back in .. k thnx.. bbl
no interaction whatsoever from his part.
zero
no questions about things said.. no response even to things said... no comments, no observations .. nada.
He is pretty much looking for an easy out for his study.
It is going to be lackluster at best.
He only chose VR because it is a hot topic recently.
Typical bland below average lazy student... or a good troll, who knows.

Must... resist...

must... resist...


AAAUUUGGGHHHH!!






Welp... so much for resisting.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:51 PM   #82 (permalink)
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He made some broad statements about his understanding of sl history and then asked exactly one question, "Am I correct in saying this is what happened? ". That is not a survey or a question that needs to representative.
The simple answer to that question is, no, he is not correct.

The problem is, he will get 10 different answers from 10 people as to what actually happened. Some will have points that are similar, others will be vastly different. It all depends on the perception and memory of the individual.

He's going to need two things: accuracy and a means to back up his facts. He isn't going to get either of those things on a forum. Both come from logging in and participating in the community. Once he's done that for say, 6 months, then he could come back and ask for clarity if he needs it.

Other than that he's done a good job of starting an argument, which may have been his goal to begin with. We only have his word on what he's really after and we don't really have a way of knowing for sure what he wants.

Paranoid? Maybe. Better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:42 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Thanks for the in depth response Innula. I see your point in that the move to Zindra wasn't particularly disruptive in the long run, however I do think the very fact people were forced to relocate in the first place is problematic. Maybe not so much for residents of Second Life, but as precedent for the future of virtual worlds im not sure this is a good thing.

Also, if there's an invitation to visit your Freedom Continent regions, I'd definitely be happy to take you up on that.

Louie.
People who owned land on the SL Mainland where they were hosting Adult Content had to relocate to Zindra. People on private islands weren't affected, so long as the owner of the island wanted to set the region's maturity rating to Adult (for the distinction between private islands/estates and the Mainland see this Wiki article -- it's not like private vs public spaces, or not necessarily). So I don't know offhand what proportion of Adult SL was involved -- the Gorean RP regions, for example, were hardly affected, since they were almost all on private regions anyway.

As to the Freedom Continent, anyone's welcome to visit -- you can find us on the map here.

If you want me to ask the person whose idea it all was in the first place, and who owns most of the regions, if she'd be interested in discussing the place with you and arranging a full tour, then send me a private message here (maybe after taking a look round the FC yourself) and we can chat about it so I have an idea of what to tell her you want to do.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:48 PM   #84 (permalink)
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The problem is, he will get 10 different answers from 10 people as to what actually happened. Some will have points that are similar, others will be vastly different. It all depends on the perception and memory of the individual.
But that's not going to be any different when he logs in and participates in the community - not even the tiniest bit. He'll ask the same question and still get 10 (or however many) different answers with the same dissimilarities borne from the same disparate perception and memory. The results will be no different between asking SL users inside SL and asking them on a forum outside SL, and simply being in SL in a time well after the events he's interested in won't itself add any special insight; so this requirement that someone interested in the history of SL must spend a few months inside SL before they should be asking anybody any questions about SL culture or history is really just arbitrary.

When you want to do research on literally any other kind of group of people in the world, the tactic is to go up to them and ask questions. Furries don't make journalists buy a fursuit and attend a bunch of furry conventions in costume before they're allowed to ask questions about the furry subculture. Star Trek/Wars fans don't make reporters wear Spock-Ears before they'll answer questions.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:07 PM   #85 (permalink)
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People who owned land on the SL Mainland where they were hosting Adult Content had to relocate to Zindra. People on private islands weren't affected, so long as the owner of the island wanted to set the region's maturity rating to Adult (for the distinction between private islands/estates and the Mainland see this Wiki article -- it's not like private vs public spaces, or not necessarily). So I don't know offhand what proportion of Adult SL was involved -- the Gorean RP regions, for example, were hardly affected, since they were almost all on private regions anyway.

As to the Freedom Continent, anyone's welcome to visit -- you can find us on the map here.

If you want me to ask the person whose idea it all was in the first place, and who owns most of the regions, if she'd be interested in discussing the place with you and arranging a full tour, then send me a private message here (maybe after taking a look round the FC yourself) and we can chat about it so I have an idea of what to tell her you want to do.
Thanks Innula, this is very helpful. As for a tour of Freedom Continent, I will take a look myself and get back to you if I think it would be worth your time to show me around.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:11 PM   #86 (permalink)
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When you want to do research on literally any other kind of group of people in the world, the tactic is to go up to them and ask questions.
What you're missing is that academic researchers follow ethical guidelines for asking questions related to research. We've had a handful of students -- out of dozens and dozens -- who showed up on SLU and actually presented themselves in a professional manner.

They provided their name, the institution for which they work, the name of their graduate advisor, RL contact information in case anyone had questions or criticisms, and an informed consent statement. They outlined their research and described the focus of their questions. They provided a reasonable estimate of the date of completion of the study and provided contact information for reading the results paper.

The OP fell far short of those standards, but his follow-up post made up for a few (but not all) of the missing pieces. His questions are informal, unstructured and he's thrown in boatloads of his own bias. None of it comes across as "research" to me, but the topics are interesting and I'm a sucker for some of the issues he raised, so I'm chiming in. Reluctantly and against my better judgment.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:24 PM   #87 (permalink)
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But that's not going to be any different when he logs in and participates in the community - not even the tiniest bit. He'll ask the same question and still get 10 (or however many) different answers with the same dissimilarities borne from the same disparate perception and memory. The results will be no different between asking SL users inside SL and asking them on a forum outside SL, and simply being in SL in a time well after the events he's interested in won't itself add any special insight; so this requirement that someone interested in the history of SL must spend a few months inside SL before they should be asking anybody any questions about SL culture or history is really just arbitrary.

When you want to do research on literally any other kind of group of people in the world, the tactic is to go up to them and ask questions. Furries don't make journalists buy a fursuit and attend a bunch of furry conventions in costume before they're allowed to ask questions about the furry subculture. Star Trek/Wars fans don't make reporters wear Spock-Ears before they'll answer questions.
Go back and re-read my post (and then re-read Beeb's posts). I said nothing about having to ask people questions in SL.

I was referring to the knowledge that can be gained from participating. A kind of knowledge that can't be gained any other way.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:44 PM   #88 (permalink)
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Ok put this in your paper. Eight years ago you could make a fun living for shits and giggles as a text based escort. Voice ruined everything.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:30 AM   #89 (permalink)
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Hi everyone,


In regards to the thesis of my paper, Caete brought up the dictionary definition of decolonisation. I’m looking at this idea not from the idea of a nation state, but rather from that of neoliberal politics. When I look at the history of Second Life, what I see is something that started out as a communal project. A world dictated by the people living in it. Something full of experimentation and possibility. Virtual worlds much like the internet in general seem to carry this utopian promise. Now I am by no means saying this has entirely disappeared, and I’m sure many of you can point to a plethora of interesting things still happening in Second Life. However, it does seem that some of that ‘freedom’ - for lack of a better word - was curtailed to make Second Life appear more business friendly. This is, in a sense, a colonisation of Second Life by neo-liberal values. I imagine that as a community, Second Life residents are probably pretty sick of academics/journalists/etc fetishising certain communities such as furries, but the fact that all of this activity was ghettoised to an age restricted area seems very pertinent. Particularly as we live in an era where the world is becoming more racist, sexist, homophobic and so on. This is what I was trying to get at in my original question, although re-reading everything that has been said I believe I was too vague.

My paper is not so much about Second Life exclusively, but rather I see it as one very important development in the history of virtual worlds. What struck me when reading and looking at all the information available online about Sansar is the extreme normativity of it. The queerness inherent to early virtual worlds like Second Life seems to have entirely disappeared. Is this something that concerns you? It may not, and that’s ok. Personally it troubles me, as I believe virtual worlds will become ever more important as VR technology develops in the future, and automation of labour gathers pace.

I hope this has clarified somewhat where I am coming from.

Louie.
you'll have to do some digging via google but if you strike gold (probably old forums and some blog posts if you can find them would be a good start) you'll find there was a movement to have ll consider us as citizens with voting/consultation rights over their decisions, rather than just derided residents and wallets for them to plunder. I don't think it ever coalesced into an organisation (although it may have and I've forgotten) but certainly the concept was quite frequently referred to during the period 2007-10. usually during times of trauma, when LL were doing something particularly cack handed that was pissing off the natives.

there were lots of references to the internet bill of rights too so if you can find any of them in relation to sl, you should find some useful bits.

your scope is broad, even for a masters. You might like to whittle it down a bit or go a bit deeper and you might be able to make it your phd too.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:40 AM   #90 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by louiegy
Hi everyone,


In regards to the thesis of my paper, Caete brought up the dictionary definition of decolonisation. I’m looking at this idea not from the idea of a nation state, but rather from that of neoliberal politics. When I look at the history of Second Life, what I see is something that started out as a communal project. A world dictated by the people living in it. Something full of experimentation and possibility. Virtual worlds much like the internet in general seem to carry this utopian promise. Now I am by no means saying this has entirely disappeared, and I’m sure many of you can point to a plethora of interesting things still happening in Second Life. However, it does seem that some of that ‘freedom’ - for lack of a better word - was curtailed to make Second Life appear more business friendly. This is, in a sense, a colonisation of Second Life by neo-liberal values. I imagine that as a community, Second Life residents are probably pretty sick of academics/journalists/etc fetishising certain communities such as furries, but the fact that all of this activity was ghettoised to an age restricted area seems very pertinent. Particularly as we live in an era where the world is becoming more racist, sexist, homophobic and so on. This is what I was trying to get at in my original question, although re-reading everything that has been said I believe I was too vague.

My paper is not so much about Second Life exclusively, but rather I see it as one very important development in the history of virtual worlds. What struck me when reading and looking at all the information available online about Sansar is the extreme normativity of it. The queerness inherent to early virtual worlds like Second Life seems to have entirely disappeared. Is this something that concerns you? It may not, and that’s ok. Personally it troubles me, as I believe virtual worlds will become ever more important as VR technology develops in the future, and automation of labour gathers pace.

I hope this has clarified somewhat where I am coming from.

Louie.
as for neo-liberal values. I think you'll find that all sl really has is people's values and they range from the knuckledraggers to the anarchic. if you look at it through a political prism you're missing the point. politics is a construct borne out of people's values and the political structures in here really only relate to LL.. if that makes sense.

I think it was Aristotle who once said that politics is the price we pay to live in communities and what politics we have is more cultural than governmental.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:49 AM   #91 (permalink)
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What you're missing is that academic researchers follow ethical guidelines for asking questions related to research. We've had a handful of students -- out of dozens and dozens -- who showed up on SLU and actually presented themselves in a professional manner.

They provided their name, the institution for which they work, the name of their graduate advisor, RL contact information in case anyone had questions or criticisms, and an informed consent statement. They outlined their research and described the focus of their questions. They provided a reasonable estimate of the date of completion of the study and provided contact information for reading the results paper.

The OP fell far short of those standards, but his follow-up post made up for a few (but not all) of the missing pieces. His questions are informal, unstructured and he's thrown in boatloads of his own bias. None of it comes across as "research" to me, but the topics are interesting and I'm a sucker for some of the issues he raised, so I'm chiming in. Reluctantly and against my better judgment.
university educational standards here in the UK has dropped considerably since user pays was introduced. now kids can get an undergrad degree just by turning up and handing everything in. Sad but true. The quality of undergrad work is terrible on the whole and probably reflects the decline in the use of reason here in the uk.

As an aside, Goldsmiths is an interesting uni as it has a very large proportion of mature age students (ie those who have been in the workforce and have returned to study). This of course has no real relation to his post but Goldsmiths is an oddity on the uni scene as it does draw in a wider pool of students than the normal fresh-out-of-highschool kids.

eta.. here's a bit of background on the college. I think it's interesting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldsm...sity_of_London

Last edited by Couldbe Yue; 03-21-2017 at 06:53 AM. Reason: adding the link cos it's interesting
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:00 AM   #92 (permalink)
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What kind of privacy and safety options need refining? And what kind of adverse affects do you think this has had more specific.
My comments were shorthand for an incredibly long list of missing features that have made living in SL just that much more difficult than it needed to be. In no particular order, I'll throw out the ones that have irritated me the most.

SL is a stalker's paradise, but even if you discount the psychos who can easily track your every movement, there's no mechanism for slipping into the grid unseen so you can just get some work done. Stopping IMs and setting alerts is basically a sign saying "I'm home, but I don't want to see you, go away," and that setting has had some technical drawbacks. This also has no effect on people who fly or TP to your studio once they see you're inworld.

The contacts list has Friends. That's it, you're either a Friend or you're not, despite the fact that there are many other types of contacts that don't fit that category. Customers, business associates, favorite designers, people you like but don't consider a friend -- they all end up in the same pot with your true social friends.

Despite it's supposed interest in luring RL business into SL, there are no mechanisms for creating a collaborative business inworld. Residents who grow their own creative endeavor into a larger company do so with hacks and workarounds, such as alts and groups.

Like Friends, Groups is a single one-size-fits-all feature that becomes very cumbersome, but it's all we've got. It's used for social interactions, marketing promotions, land ownership, and business collaborations.

LL had a vision for SL as a complete world where you could do anything and everything, and they arbitrarily closed off the ability to handle account business outside of the grid. If I want to send Lindens to someone, I have to log in to SL, even though there's no reason I can't do that from my web-based account. I can set my IMs to forward to my email, but I can't initiate an email message to someone inworld. I can't view or manage my inventory from my account either, which would be an absolute godsend.

By forcing us to log in to SL for the most mundane of tasks, LL are perversely just making it all that much harder to be a resident.

I've run out of time, before I've run out of items, but the take-away is that it's taken years for some very basic and enormously useful features to be enabled (full alpha, 65m prims, more groups, etc.) and other pressing residents needs are ignored completely. And when truly epic changes -- such as enabling mesh imports -- are added, they are inevitably crippled by lack of foresight or understanding. The most infamous being the assumption that mesh would not be used for fashion or avatar customization.

Will Sansar be any different?
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:13 AM   #93 (permalink)
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dont be too detailed Beebo.

Kids treat sl as an easy ride. If they were doing a dissertation on a german philosopher they'd learn german to read the originals, if they were doing something on another country they'd usually visit, possibly learn the language and certainly read up on the background and history *and* they would have usually done some study during the undergrad degree.

with vws, the kids think they can skip all that and just plunder forums. Holding down 2 jobs is no excuse.
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:33 AM   #94 (permalink)
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Thanks Innula, this is very helpful. As for a tour of Freedom Continent, I will take a look myself and get back to you if I think it would be worth your time to show me around.
Dude. Dude, dude, dude.

Pro tip: If Innula Zenovka offers to show you around a square meter of the ruins of Linden Village, it will be beyond worth YOUR time. She's one of our most consistently intelligent and wise members.

P.S.: Do not tell her I told you this. I'm trying to look cool around here.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:48 PM   #95 (permalink)
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cack handed



I thought I was the last one left that still uses the term cack handed.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:28 PM   #96 (permalink)
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When I look at the history of Second Life, what I see is something that started out as a communal project. A world dictated by the people living in it. Something full of experimentation and possibility. Virtual worlds much like the internet in general seem to carry this utopian promise.
I've been thinking about the assumptions and theory behind this project, largely wondering what Frantz Fanon would have made of your use of the concept of colonialism in this context, but I'd not really spotted this basic assumption before now, and I'm sorry to say that I think it's false.

Whatever you think you see when you look at the history of Second Life, you're looking at the history of a private company, Linden Research Inc, trading as Linden Lab, founded by Philip Rosedale and various other investors and venture capital companies. I am not sure when they realised it, but I think the genius of LL is that they twigged to the fact they didn't have to pay their employees to make much virtual content -- there were plenty of people prepared to make vast amounts of content for free, and to pay LL for the server space to host it.

It's a business, albeit a somewhat unusual one, but you have to keep that always in mind. It's not a communal project like linux. It's a successful Californian IT business.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:54 PM   #97 (permalink)
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Seems like Beebo was rather taken with your post, Innula.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:32 AM   #98 (permalink)
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Seems like Beebo was rather taken with your post, Innula.


Extreme lag on my tablet. I clicked the Agree button and nothing happened, so I clicked it again, and again, and again. The click must have cycled through every emote option.

Please note that my belated retraction of those extraneous responses in no way implies that I think any less of Innula's post.
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Old 03-22-2017, 07:40 AM   #99 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Innula Zenovka View Post
I've been thinking about the assumptions and theory behind this project, largely wondering what Frantz Fanon would have made of your use of the concept of colonialism in this context, but I'd not really spotted this basic assumption before now, and I'm sorry to say that I think it's false.

Whatever you think you see when you look at the history of Second Life, you're looking at the history of a private company, Linden Research Inc, trading as Linden Lab, founded by Philip Rosedale and various other investors and venture capital companies. I am not sure when they realised it, but I think the genius of LL is that they twigged to the fact they didn't have to pay their employees to make much virtual content -- there were plenty of people prepared to make vast amounts of content for free, and to pay LL for the server space to host it.

It's a business, albeit a somewhat unusual one, but you have to keep that always in mind. It's not a communal project like linux. It's a successful Californian IT business.
I agree with you that Linden Lab's primary objective of profit - as a commercial business - cannot be overlooked. Nothing truly utopian (if there is such a thing) could emerge out of such a context.

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I've run out of time, before I've run out of items, but the take-away is that it's taken years for some very basic and enormously useful features to be enabled (full alpha, 65m prims, more groups, etc.) and other pressing residents needs are ignored completely. And when truly epic changes -- such as enabling mesh imports -- are added, they are inevitably crippled by lack of foresight or understanding. The most infamous being the assumption that mesh would not be used for fashion or avatar customization.

Will Sansar be any different?
Thank you for the detailed reply Beebo.
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:02 PM   #100 (permalink)
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I'm a bit late to this discussion, but I don't think this has been touched on.
When a lot of businesses were coming in to SL, that included some of the big brand name clothing manufacturers. They thought they could come in, make clothes, stick their name on them, and they would sell simply for that reason. They made no effort to make sure their clothing was as good or better than the established creators - and frequently the things they made were not competitive. They failed miserably, as they deserved to do. (I never got sucked in to this; I was on a pretty tight budget in those days, and wore way too many freebies. I do remember the discussions, though.)
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