Sunday, September 30, 2007

This Is Me. Lillie.

Two eternities ago, two eternities ago, my father's mother was born by a fishing boat near the sea. My father's mother's father was the local doctor, trained in both Western and Chinese medicine. He had just set the broken arm of a young boy who had been working on the boat when a boom had slammed into it, and he had fallen on the rocks that the sand held together like mortar. My mother, his assistant, came with him of course, and her time came and took her while she was there. Her water broke, her fever climbed. She was dead before her baby was born. My father's mother's father had to reach in and pull his new child out into the world.

That night he burned his wife's body, and sent the ashes home to her family, keeping only the ashes of her heart, which he cremated separately. He called her ai-ren at a time when such things were not done. Since in the dialect of Beijing, which you call Mandarin, "ai," pronounced with the falling tone, can be love, but it can also be a gasp of regret, or it can mean to hide, he from that year forward marked that day of the lunar calendar as "the hidden day."

I am not sure how much of this is true, but it is true in spirit, if not exactly in flesh.

My father's mother became a doctor, because there was need of them. She went to England to study medicine, and so learned English. She stayed in Hong Kong for a few years when she was young. She met my father's father there. He too was a doctor, he came from the north, and his face was strange and wondrous to her eyes. His father had been a warlord.

That warlord father had gone riding out into the country side after an inconclusive battle made him lose enough face to be sent from the north capital. He rode through his smaller holdings, in the places where there is no rice, only wheat, and the people even eat cheese made from goats milk and wrap it into their dumplings. He came one day on a low slung hou-tong. It was better kept up, the family had had mandarins in it for dynasties without counting, and had seen the mandate of heaven wheel through all the animals of the zodiac. Still in all they were poor, but had ambition. But for two generations disaster had befallen them: they had many daughters, and in the first one son, and in the second no sons at all. The little bit of silver that they had stored up through the centuries was depleted by the 6 daughters of the first generation. And totally cast to ruin by the 5 of the next.

And in this even worse still, the oldest daughter was a tragedy of tragedies. Though fair of face, though skilled of fingers, though able to write with bright and skilled brushstrokes in the styles of six different schools of calligraphy, the foot binding did not take. They could not marry her to court, upon which all their hopes of remaining comfortable rested. They had tried to hide her in the garden of the hou-tong, leaving her to tend the cherry trees and flowers. It was against custom to marry others before her, and no important family would take her unfoot-bound, nor risk the bad luck of taking the second while the first was unmarried.

He came riding that day, three horses in tow behind him, his packs loaded with his supplies. His body guards rode behind him, and behind them walked three archers and a pike man. This was his whole army at that moment.

They stopped by the well there, and pounded on the door, hoping to ask permission to water their horses. The retired mandarin, then too blind to do anything but carve figures on grains of rice and tell stories, did not move. His wife did not move. His concubine did not move. And so on down to the two servants and the girl who scrubbed the pots.

But heedless the hidden girl sang brightly, and walked to the gate and opened its heavy oak, bought from Russian caravan traders in the dynasty of the Ming, before the hated Qing had over run the civilized world, and bound with heavy iron which had magic casting in it. She looked brightly at the on comers. She was not afraid, and had a willow switch in her hand that she used to herd pork. Before anyone could say a word she had reached out to switch the hand of one of the archers who was undoing his trousers to piss at the wall.

"This is not the back alleys of a brothel or a house of spirits, go piss in the fields where it will help the wheat."

The archer was stung and amazed, no woman had ever spoken to him thus since he was a child. And he slunk to the fields to piss and shit, and stirred it into the ground as his parents, themselves peasants, had done when he was a boy, before he had run away to be a great warrior.

The warlord father laughed and laughed. He laughed and laughed. He bent backwards and looked up as he laughed, he bent forwards and looked down. And then he saw an amazing sight. He feet, while dainty and tiny, and bare of any shoes, were perfectly formed. She could stand, and walk. He realized he had noticed this, and missed it by noticing it. He had thought her a servant girl. But her finely cut cheek bones and willowy figure, her delicate hands, stained with ink. Stained with ink! Her long finger nails, the small diamond in her pierced nose. These all screamed that she was a lady of quality. And though she had a pig switch, the embroidery on her blue jacket must have taken a month to do with fine hands.

She was a lady. A lady, he thought, who might be of use to me.

"I would see your father. For I have business to speak with him."

She drew herself up to her fair height, as tall as the average peasant man and said.

"My father is old and tired, and what business you have with him, you can have with me. If you need water and feed for your horses, we can give that, I see the ring on your finger and the sword at your side and the teeth of your horses, and I know you to be some general or warlord. I am sure that you have others out of sight who could take what you want if you call them. So be it, my sisters are in the third floor and the servants will die to protect their honor. But my mother is still young enough, and you can all rape both of us if you like. Because that would be a fortune, since I am unmarriageable."

She set a cold eye on him, and almost defied the company of warriors to do what reputation has such men to do in these places. She was not wrong, if they had raped her, it would have been a good excuse to sell her as a concubine, and thus open the way for her sisters, the oldest of which was still, just, in the right age.

Warlord father looked upon her, and looked upon her. He had thought to buy her as a concubine, his wife having died in childbirth to give him a sun who had lasted only six days before departing this world to chase his mother. He did not laugh.

"The business I have, is that I would marry you. I would make you mistress of my fields and paddies, I would make you the counter of my coins, and the voice to my servants. I have many wars to fight, and my citadel must needs be taken well care of while I am away. A woman who is slave to a pillow, however silken it may be, is of no use to me as a wife. I will buy five of them, I think, when I have won the world. But I need a wife now who can ride to my holdings, and fire a bow in defense of them."

"I can do these things."

"I need a wife who can read and write, as well as a mandarin, to whom I can send secret instructions to, who can read the law, and find the clever ways to evade it, who can dazzle a court with her wit. I see by the ink stains that you tend characters as well as pigs. I need a wife whose mind is as agile as her feet."

"I can do these things."

And he looked at her, and for the first time in his whole life, his desire was hot for more than a woman's loins. And she looked back and him, and felt a flush across her face. For here, finally, was a man.

"So you see, your father must give assent to this business."

"He does through me. Provided you pay the dowry." Even in her heat and yearning, she was shrewd. She saw he needed her, while she only wanted him.

"I will do this thing."

And so, the story told in my family goes, they were married. I do not believe a word of it, even though I wish and wish and wish every single day, that it happened just as that.

And so from them came my father's father, and he was the agun, the leader, of his family name. He gave this title, in turn, not to my father, but to a cousin who was clever with people and wanted it more. My father's father would prove in many ways how wise he was, especially after Liberation. But this is not yet that eternity in my history.

My father carried only for the deft movements of his hands and the talents of his quick mind with money, and did not care for pomp or title and respect. This was clear even as a boy when he would cheat at cards or dice, and while everyone knew, no one could prove it. He won the coins, but lost the respect, and he smiled as he ate the moon cakes he could buy.

An eternity ago, an eternity ago, my father was born, beside a boat. And he was hurried trundled on to it. The place is Qingdao, and the people who had remained in the twisted roads of the old concession, hiding from the new government, were pouring on to this, one of the last of the European boats. The day was sunny I am told, and the wind gently rocked the long needed pine trees that grow like twisted claws up from the earth. The breeze was heavy with salt, and my father's mother, crying, gave her son to a cousin to raise, until, she hoped, she would see him. It would be many years. And her face was always creased with tears after that. She never would stray from the sea again, both because the salt kissed air reminded her of her perpetual sorrow, and because she hoped that every boat that came in would bring him back, or leave with her upon it.

In that same eternity my mother was born, and lived her child hood on the mainland. Her life gathering secrets around it, secrets that I only later learned. She too was seen to be quick and clever, and her hands nimble. She shocked the family when at ten she announced that she would be a surgeon. When asked why, she said because she could already cut the leg off a frog and sew it back on. She produced a frog which she had done this too, over a week before, and it was able to hop, and no infect festered.

They smuggled her out, because even then cultural revolution was gathering on the horizon, and such a light would surely be put out.

This I know to be true in every detail.

It is strange in this world, how two people, gathered up from the strains of Han from north to south of China, should meet at 11 in Taibei, in a wooden floored dance room, and awkwardly entwine their fingers at the instruction of their teachers, and slip in stuttered steps on a dance that continues in its strange way, even unto this day.

My father does not tell the story well, his version is short. My mother could spend a day and a night over every glance and every word, reliving the touches and the sounds, petting every frill of her dress, and remembering the place of every lock of his hair. The truth, I know, lies somewhere between her novel of the highest happiness of her life, the day she knew she had met the man she was going to marry, and his obvious embarrassment at knowing that he had met the woman who was going to obsess him even as he pumped his cock into half a dozen other women during their marriage.

It would be, and always would be, that shining face, in that shining moment, that he would awaken to. I know this, because every paper from his hand that I have ever seen, is covered with two things. Endless writing of her name, and a sketch of a child becoming woman's face, with two luminous eyes that glow out from it, like stars that break the night.

From that first shy smile of his, and her unyielding gaze, came the passion that would, just before the beginning of my eternity, make me.

This is me. Lillie.

Lucifer's

We have seen this a dozen times, a big build, a mall, and lots of camping in the hopes of getting attention and cracking into the stable of long running clubs. The latest challenger: Lucifer's.

The build itself is extravagant with the now de reiguer overload of sculpties, the color scheme is red and black. The mall is already filling up, and as is common, they charge a great deal for ads. I can't say whether they will be effective, I've rented one, and will report back on responses.

What is missing are dancers. I've been there several times now, and there has never been a single dancer, just campers and freelancers.

This contrasts with the Galaxy which is taking the other approach of events and social providing first , and mall second. Historically speaking, getting revenue first is more important. People often pay for bad pixels before they pay for good dancing and escorting. The content at the Lucifer shops is slightly better than run of the mill, with "Intimacy" having some tight clothes with lots of skin, which generally goes over well.

Any good? Impossible to say yet. But generally places that have all camping and no girls or boys, stay all camping and no girls or boys.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Important new curator hire at MoMA

Will cement late post-modern in the role of the musuem.

This is part of a large wave of hires at MoMA focusing on the late pop-era. Several young curators are already on staff. Expect to see significant acquisitions being pushed.

Chatter in the modern art world has been about a significant turn over in the MoMA generation that has pursued building buildings and making MoMA a global brand name.

VR Themed thriller

VR used as a device for "they are hiding the truth from us" thriller.
Mappa novus

Very powerful.

I watched this one twice

Elusyve gives you something to think about.

Moon in the House of Resonance 1

It came with the fall rains. My nose went from sniffles to a heavy brick lodged in my face. It hung on for days

And on this particular day, I was particularly aware of it as I walked back and forth between my dorm and classes. The last walk back was particularly miserable, as the grey swirled, and threatened to turn drizzle into downpour.

I drew one of the dorms far away from the main campus. You know you have it made when you have a house in the suburbs. Honestly, we were going to be in the digital coverage area any day.

My pleated tartan "look like the Catholic school girl that I am not any more" skirt slapped against the flesh just above my knees. All of the sudden everything on me was sensitive. I pulled my shoulders up, even though I was comfortably under the pink hello kitty mini-umbrella that had been my constant rainy day companion since my first year of high school. It was precious a link to the time before, not before in childhood, but to the last year where I still felt breathing room in my future. Before the march to med school had become the long march to med school.

Innocence? No, I lost my innocence before I knew I had it. I have always stared at people, and always felt an pleasant awareness of my body, in its limbs, surfaces, and core. Always. I am different that way. I learned in ballet class that many people can't tell if their foot is pointed if their leg is behind them.

At that moment a vicious blow of wind turned my pink precious inside out. It plumed into a mechanical flower, pink fabric flapping away from metal petals. The wind, if anything, picked up and tore the fabric away. It became an unfurled flag, announcing the coming of fall, the leaving of another piece of my past. I bent down and folded it. While I did so I looked clearly at the old bricks of the side walk and felt a pane of water slap onto my back, drenching my white cotton shirt onto my back. I could feel my bra strap outlined, because underneath it was sort of damp as opposed to drench. Beads of water had formed on my back.

I stood up and surveyed the falling water that fogged my glasses, giving me the sense that I had just been pushed under the surface of a pool. I could vaguely see the white of a fence, curled around with the brown of dead summer climbing roses. I remembered that two houses down the next narrow side street, one of my study partners was staying with the parents of a friend. He had a room in the attic. I could run back to the hot chocolate shop, the library, or make a mad dash and hope that someone would be home.

Once there I skittered past the gate and down the tight fishbone terraced walkway between the bushy green holly, and around into an alcove doorstep. It was a Venetian style doorway with white woodwork and an ornamental keystone in a Federalist motif. The house exuded a graceful maturity with its gray granite window sills, while sheer curtains visible through the windows that were so old that the flowing of glass could be felt as much as seen. Within peeked out elegantly appointed rooms with gold walls and furniture.

I knocked. And waited.

I knocked. And shivered. And sneezed. And waited.

I knocked. And rested my back against the white wood side of the doorway. And coughed. And slid down to sitting. And waited.

But there was, eventually, salvation. A tall, blond, gaunt-faced curly haired figure came bounding down the walk way, his steps like walking on a trampoline or the bounce of a puppy in first taste of first summer's high grace. Finally.

I sneezed. He looked down at me. I clamped my knees together and brushed the skirt in. Fortunately its wool was heavy enough that my legs were still dry, and the stone floor had not leached all the heat out of my body. I held up the demolished pink "Hello Kitty" umbrella by one finger through the loop of the strap, the only part sill working after the collision with the torrents of wind. I sniffled.

"Um. You look like you made a bad decision. And is that rain, or have you been crying?"

It was probably a bit of both, I had been crying for, something, realizing that another piece of my girlhood had somehow managed to be stripped away from me, leaving nothing in return.

"Can I come in?" I put on my best bright voice, but the blocked nasal passages made it sound as if I were a humming bumble bee trying to approximate human speech with beating wings while dodging housewife armed with a can of bug spray. Monotone, and yet desperate at the same time.

He chuckled softly. He did something that I did not even expect, he offered a hand down to pull me up. Being much taller he had to bend his knees. And even more to my surprise, he was not awkward despite his height, but knew to bend at the knees more than the back. I almost floated up even though his face sill towered above mine.

I knew I didn't look very kissable at that particular instant, and was only a little disappointed that he didn't at least make a motion to do so. Not that I would have let him. Yet.

Instead he surprised me again, lifted my hand up and kissed me on the back of my hand in a kind of formal way. Clearly he knew how to do this.

"Can I come in?" Feigning impatience, but also head pounding.

"I don't think I have anything that will fit you." He allowed a half sarcastic roll in his voice.

We walked into the kitchen in the back, which was impressively appointed with the prosumer level of foodiness: French copper pans, a large sleek stainless steel refrigerator, a double doored oven with independent controls, and an indoor wood grill gas range combination. It was all kept meticulously in order, from out of the pantry came a woman who was clearly the maid: a chubby Latina with round features and a heavy boddy that was not quite equate, but came in three stacked oval masses on top of legs made indistinct by black hosiery. Her features were dominated by big cheeks and a button nose. Her eyes were calm, and neither dull nor bright. Her hair was very dark and pulled back very tightly and covered with a black hair net. Her dress was not maid uniform, but maidish in its completely unfashionable cut, and lack of ornament. She allowed her self one string of pearls, but they were of unusually fine quality compared to everything else she wore. The other out of place item was the sheer size of the diamond on her engagement ring, and the quality of the light that sparkled off of it from the bright incandescent overhead fan lamp said that it was both very clear, and had a very high quality cut.

My friend was already pillaging the refrigerator, pulling out jars with one hand and containers with another. In rather halting Spanish he asked the maid to get me tea.

I nod. But I am half bunched over with urgency to go to the bathroom.

The maid looks at me, looks at my friend with a faint reproving look.

"I think the young lady, she is in need of a warm shower. I can dry her clothes."

My friend drops the food on the counter, and airily waves in the affirmative.

"Of course Yolanda, of course."

Yolanda, half walked, half waddled towards the back stairs.

"Come along miss…"

She allowed the pause to hang in the air has her frame filled the doorway. She did not look back, but had that stance of command that servants get when they are leading around their foolish and hapless… superiors is completely the wrong word here… around by the nose.

I sneezed. And it was hard enough that I looked hard at the marble tile floor with inca throw rugs on it, and then saw the whole of the back of the kitchen spin up with its mission hill style hutch filled with geometric blue, green and black rustic pottery dishes for everyday, and the rack of ordinary wine glasses. It took a moment to orient back on her, and rasp out.

"Lillian."

I was not used to having servants, but I was kind of familiar with other families that did have servants, partially because back on the mainland it is rather normal. I knew the look that had to be on her face as we walked up the angle of the back stairs, with its rubber runner. This door opened up to gold carpettted white walled hall filled with small decorative stands, cases and picture frames. I was lead to the white door of a tiled bathroom.

I expected her to wait outside the door, instead she began methodically starting the shower and testing the water. She looked at me as if I were particularly slow. I stood there staring for a moment as she looked at me, framed by the sunshine yellow with white outlines of flowers shower curtain, realizing that she expected me to undress.

I'm too cold, too wet, and feeling far too sick to really argue with her. I realize that I have not even dropped my book bag, which is fortunate, since I have an extra pad in it and two tampons. I let the bag slide off, and on to a plastic covered oval stool in a rococo inspired design. I close the door with my foot, in my first coordinated move in at least an hour, and unbutton my white blouse, reach around and unzip my tartan skirt, which simply flops to the floor. I kick off my shoes, bend down to peel of my white knee high socks. And then first the left and then the right foot luxuriates in the deep piles of the spa cotton bath mat, I feel like I am standing on a cloud. A dry, puffy, cloud.

I unhook the front of my bra and feel a wave of relief over my skin as it comes free and my breats float to their more natural position. I have worried since I was 12 that my breasts would sag, but they never had. I catch myself in the mirror, a slightly tanned shape amidst all the bright white and yellow. My short hair is plastered in mats around my head. I stare, seeing how out of place I am against the puffy towels behind me. I drop my panties. These are, as you would expect, my ratty heaviest day panties. Red. Cotton. A bit worn. Some stains that have never quite managed to come out. I've had them for three years. I methodically unroll toilet paper, fold my pad. Wrap pad in paper. I am about to toss the pad in the garbage, when I see a small plastic container. It is even labeled "pads."

It is this small detail, which more than any other I have seen so far, underlines the kind of life that the people here live. I wonder how they can even put up with a college student. I begin to feel a shake in my chest as I worry about whether they will take things the wrong way. I finish rattling my panties down, step my legs out of them, having gained some roundness since I stopped ballet two years before, and stand back up. Yolanda has gathered everything up, takes the panties without ceremony from my hand, opens the door, turns around to face me and eases it closed, and it shuts with a slight automatic click. I take the moment to slide the bolt in to place, it too has a spring, and clicks lightly.

The mirror has begun to fog at this point. And my skins already goosebumped surface gets even tighter as I realize that I'm cold, and the water is warm.

I sneeze.

Moving in small mincing steps across the plush mats, I stand at the edge of the tiled shower stall and pristine white tub, and just let the warm, damp air pour off the shower. I finally step into the tub, but not yet into the stream of water. At first I think it will be too hot, but within moments my fingers have entered the stream, and found it to be almost perfect. I stretch my hand in, there is an immediate shock of pleasure and a rolling wave of goose bumps.

I plunge into the shimmering pulsing streams of water, and see a dial on the wall which changes the shower.

Of course.

I play with the dial, and feel the shifts in the shower spray. I finally pick the most vigorous of massage settings, and let it hammer the quakes and quivers out of my muscles. But the sting is too great, my skin rapidly grows red, and I dial to the other extreme of the softest flowing rivulets. I stand their, hair warmed by their caresses, body smoothed and comforted by the flowing embrace. I stand there for some time, feeling the paths of the water stream shift over my skin, over my curves. I am still not used to having hips as round as mine are. When I face away from the shower, there is still something peculiar about how it feels.

I luxuriate there, and begin to get guilty about how long I have stayed. In my parents home, showers are cold, and short. "Too much water!" can still hear in my ears, ringing with my mother's voice.

I grab the fluffed dark blue towel from the side handle. I rinse one more time to make sure that I feel clean, though I have not used any soap. I engulf myself in the folds of the Egyptian cotton and and dab, rather than buff, myself dry.

It is at that moment that I stare down in shock and horror to see a spot of menstrual blood on the white bathmat. I stare for how long I don't know. Then I look away. It's not my fault. I say that five times.

I sneeze.

I wrap myself in the towel, grab a smaller towel and wrap it around my head like a turban. I have no clothes. And I decide, at this point, to do something foolish and daring which makes absolute precise sense. I open the door and make a silent quick tip toe dash down the hall, up the back stairs to the attic and up to the room my friend lives in. It is painted a French provincial green, and has strange angles as it is dominated by a dormer. There laid out is a more typical college student habitat: a single bed, a guitar lying against the wall, a small worn wooden desk with a laptop on it, various paper back books in an old shelf, and papers all over the chair and desk.

I lie down on the bed, the towel still wrapped around me, I pull the throw pillow over me. I go to sleep. I go to sleep because I cannot bear to stay awake a moment longer.


Many hours later I peel my eyes open, I have wrapped myself in the bed spread and am tangled in towel, throw blanket and thick white fabric. Sitting on the edge of the bed is my friend, he is staring at me with concerned blue eyes.

I realize that my head is throbbing, my throat is burning. My nose feels like it has a ring in it and is being pulled away from my face.

It is dark outside. The rain is still falling in sheets, and there now a constant whistle and bite of wind. Some twigs from the maple tree outside scratch against the window and woodwork.

I pass out again.

(con't)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another day, another would be digital despot

The Kiwanas Club does it, the AMA does it, the International Red Corss/Red Cresent does it. The American Bar Association does it. The Nastiona Association of Securities Delaers does it. Accrediting agencies do it. So, largely, does the world art market.

What is it? Well yes they are all having sex, but they also do "it."

Self government.

In many cases these organizations have some form of recognition from one or more governments.

Right now the self-government movement on Second Life is at a cross roads, it can continue down the path of virtual violence and micro-fascism, or it can change.

There are two important areas of conflict that self-government must address to be effective: the conflicts between residents, and the conflicts between residents and those who control some or all of the infrastructure of the virtual world. In both cases the self-government attempts that are being made in Second Life have turned to virtual violence as their solution.

The most obvious example is the Open Letter Project, which relentlessly and resolutely demanded virtual violence against some residents for the benefit of others. Their solution: throttling, could not be better named. It was also, as events have shown, incorrect: the time when casinos evaporated and traffic plunged was also the most unstable in Second Life in my time here. The Open Letter Project was of the same brood as throwing chairs through the windows of Chinese shopkeepers in Djakarta. "They" are the problem. Since I, and much of the active population of Second Life, is "they," it is no wonder that the Open Letter did nothing. Instead, it was demands from corporate clients that made Linden Labs shift to stability issues, and only after they had implemented their list of defensive features, their way, with little change from resident demands.

The same tendency to virtual violence infects the "Metaverse Republic," despite the high sounding rhetoric of their website, one of their leaders, Ashcroft, is very clear: he is a brutal, arrogant,nasty, dictatorial tyrant who sees the only necessity for a state that I be able to inflect enough pain on the people that it seeks to tyrannize, and that the real mechanisms of power be put out of reach. His is a police state, like China. People vote in China, there are courts in China, there are laws passed by national assemblies with representatives. There is no Democracy, there is no justice. The "Metaverse Republic" they seek to set up, is by their own admission, going to be based on nothing more than enough powerful land owners adopting it, with the resulting large ban power. Everyone else will then, in their vision, be forced to accept it.

It is not a Republic, but an oligarchy bent on taking over second life, and enforcing the narrow and vicious agenda of the people who run it. It is a horror, and no matter how I hope to soften these words, sitting down to write them, I can find nothing redeeming in their ideology of writing a constitution by conspiracy, imposing it by fiat, and maintaining it by tyranny, with vast safeguards designed to prevent any future will of its members from doing what they do not like. What they seek is the ability to use the large powers of landowners to ban to terrorize and impose their version of "justice" others. There is little street crime in an authoritarian state, but the economic interests of the citizens of this "Republic" would be as much at the mercy of arbitrary and capricious decisions as before.

All it would do would be to make it possible for those who are wealthy and powerful and have the ability to use the mechanisms of their Republic to grief people out of second life to do so. It affords only formalistic protection to everyone else. Freedom for the wolves, means death for the sheep.

The Metaverse Republic is not alone. In our moment, across the developed world, people use technology because, in a word that I am learning new meanings for all the time, "unilateral." That is what appeals to using ban powers is that they don't need to work with anyone they don't le, they just mass ban them. This was a problem with ban-link once upon a time, people would manipulate it to ban people because of personal fights.

It is telling that Metaverse Republic, and I say this in the same way I would say "Republic of Iran" or "Republic of Libya," cannot even work within banlink to produce a broader consensus of what kinds of behavior above and beyond griefing would be banned. They can't even get along with their friends, but threaten, and demand resolute submission, with vicious and attacking rhetoric, gross illogic and unremittingly authoritarian language. They already behae as if they are in power now, merely it waits for the moment where their revolution by night can take place.

This is the nightmare we have now: a small group using technological advantage to impose their will, regardless of laws and rights, on others, and grangin gonly those rights which tey feel are important to protect their interests against others. It is also the disease of the age.

What everyone hopes right now is not to, in that old cliché "build a better mousetrap" but to put up a bridge over a river, and then blow up any one else's attempt to build bridges. The leaders of Metaverse Republic admit that their only interest is imposing their system on others, and that they do not engage in commerce or other activities. They have no understanding even, of the problems that are faced.

Even more amusing is that they foresee, openly, a Second Life blakanzed into many Republics, each one banning and imposing its will on who ever it likes, however it likes. That is there Second Life: where you might be banned from large chunks of the world, at any time, for any reason, for breaking laws that you might or might not have a say in.

It is a black vision of night and fog, and no serious person should lend it credit.

And I say this as as strong a proponent of the rule of law in Second Life as you will find. Our neo-feudal becoming neo-aristocratic system is a maze of impositions, demands, and anarchy, which tax anyone's ability to make their way in this environment. As an escort I am constantly reminded that we do not have a good escrow system, as a builder I see over and over again how the permissions system does not allow the management of Digital Rights, for either buyers or sellers, in a way which consistent with their rights in most of the United States or other developed nations.

If anyone should be susceptible to the stated goals of the Metaverse Republic, it shoud be me. And it is I who sought them out, only to find a narrow, self-important group of meglomaniacs who cannot be trusted with any sort of power of structure, because their basic ideology is that power grows out of the barrel of a ban.

They should, if they were honest, name it "The Committee of Public Safety," coming with it s GUI guillotine to a Second Life near you.:

Their principles are:

1. Despotism:

They are writing a constitution, you are not invited, and they don't care what you say. They demand rigid ideological unity behind their established "principles" to participate. Maybe they should hand out little red books?

2. Tyranny

Power grows out of the barrel of a ban, when enough large land holders subscribe, you will be forced to comply or banned from large parts of SL. If you aren't a large land holder, your consent does not matter.

3. You have no rights

Only those protections that the committee of public safety deem important will be put in. All other rights will be banned and made, in their own words "impossible" to vote. They want to be the unelected self-appointed super legislature that ties the hands of all the others.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ten Book's Open Letter on Arsheba


Dear Arsheba Family and Friends,

Since July of 2006, Club Arsheba has captured the imagination of the residents of SL, new and old, and through good times and bad, managed to achieve the impossible, and that makes us mighty.

We have helped to fuel the “boom” that brought Second Life to its peak activity and popularity, and always strived to improve the way we serve our staff and customers, and that makes us survivors.

Sadly, Second Life is now six months into a crippling economic depression, fueled partly by Linden Lab deliberately crashing the real estate market, and partly by their refusal to do away with a corrupt traffic rating system that no longer serves the best interest of the residents of Second Life.

The practical upshot of all this is simply that I can no longer afford to maintain the club at this present large scale of operation. In order to survive this drought and emerge alive on the other side to see better times, we need to lose weight.

The largest overhead we have is land, and we are using a lot of it. Land costs money, and lots of land costs lots of money. Money we don’t have at the moment.

That means I’m left with no choice but to sell off Jendragon and Galadriel regions. Right there is $600 per month in region fees that isn’t paying for itself. Anyone currently living there will have the opportunity to move to land on White Shores, the four-region island.

Furthermore, I must give up my home and make that coastal land available for rental. And as the website matures and more of our internal operations are moved to it, it means sacrificing our beautiful campus as well, and the large parcel of land that houses our escort rooms. Escorts will need to maintain their own private places to take clients.

On top of that, there is the matter of our Club, which currently occupies an entire region. The current economic climate simply cannot support operation on that scale, so I’m forced to look carefully at the idea of moving our club to a smaller parcel of land. The mini-club, originally created for the SL 4^th Birthday expo exists, and with a few modifications, it could serve us well during these difficult transitions. I have rezzed it in Belith region in order to take a closer look at how it might be made to serve our needs.

No decision has yet been made about the disposition of the Arsheba2 region. We may be forced to sell it outright, or convert it to additional beachfront residential and light commercial real estate.

None of these steps do I take lightly, but we have endured periods of great transition before, and always emerged stronger. We have a strong team and a strong name, and working together, we can and shall survive.

Contrary to popular myth, running a club is not a profitable enterprise. I have poured many millions of L$ into our home, and absorbed losses that I would prefer not to quantify, all in an effort to maintain a continuously improving standard of employment and organization, and a home for us all. If I was in this for the money, I would have quit a very long time ago. It is my responsibility to you, my family, that has kept me going this long, and that is what drives these proposed changes, with our survival foremost in mind.

What matters now is that you do not think of this as the end of Arsheba. It’s only a new beginning for us, and that is a far brighter possibility than the inevitable decline we’ve been watching over the past six months, trying to survive at our current scale in the face of the downward spiral of SL in general.

Some of you will quit. Some of you will stay. Those who have the courage to remain, look to each other. Embrace. Revel in what we have built together, and don’t give up on each other or our home.

I would like to thank our amazing Staff, and especially our VIPs and Arsheba Friends, Residents and Merchants, for all the support you have given over the past year. We would not have made it this far without your effort and sacrifice and encouragement. That is what will see us safely through these dark times, leaner and meaner than before.

Our goal right now is to modify and move into the mini-club, get things rolling there, sell off the regions we can’t maintain, and fill the rest with residents to help pay the crippling bills. If you want to be a part of the solution, then stay on, help each other, buy some of our land and make a home, and let people know about it. Talk to people looking for residential or commercial land. Tell them how easy it is to obtain. Direct them to http://arshebaparadise.com . If we can get the four or five remaining regions to 100% occupancy by mid-October, we will survive. If you are a Friend or VIP, visit our main site at http://arsheba.com . Sign in. Express yourself and show your support and enthusiasm. Forums are coming online for non-staff to be a part of the magic, so let our staff know that their work is appreciated.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Ten Book

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Giggle

Some one writes almost as badly as she thinks.

She doesn't like what I think I said, but then proceeds to show that she has no idea what I said, or what she is talking about. I might be sympathetic to some of her viewpoints, in that she clearly seems to be against exploitation of individuals by those who have economic power, which is something I believe too, but it is very hard to get at what.

There are issues of thought, for example declaring that all dichotomies are wrong, which is a statement that lacks soundness, when I made an assertion which is not pulled from the air, but backed by our growing experience as to how Second Life is being restructured, and what the results are.

I'd urge this author to drop many of her ideological blinders and hatreds, and look. Second Life must make the transition for people fiddling with prims by hand, and to a system where people can specialize and improve their quality and productivity. Now this can be imposed from the top, by people who have money and advantage, or it can grow from the people who have mastered some level of second life skills and spread outwards. There are no other groups of people who can do this, and therefore, the only models for second life involve these two classes of people. I'm sorry if that isn't a palatable assertion, but it is also difficult to avoid. That is, capital must come from groups that can produce it. I know that is a very Marxian statement, but it grows out of traditional ideas as well.

From this a number of things follow. The traditional Marxian, say the average sociology professor, would then argue that because only two classes have what could be called the "objective" means of production, the question is one of consciousness. The holders of out-world capital and funds are conscious of themselves as a class, and the in-worlders are, largely, not. From this he, and we are talking he's here by and a large, would predict the out-worlders overwhelming the in worlders based on the out-worlder's superior capital position and consciousness.

My argument is that there is another kind of capital in play in second life: that is social capital. Social capital is the quality which neither Linden Labs, nor the out-world establishments have: the ability to create the vibrant social networks which are the engine of activity and connection. People come to SL for people, and that is the great advantage that in world has.

I know I am not being original here, but over and over again, when small, underfunded groups of people have turned back large well funded groups, it is this social advantage, this authenticity, to use an over-used word, which provides, in the end, the dynamism and force. Some authors have estimated that royalist sentiment in America was almost equal to independence sentiment at the eve of the American Revolution. But it was the revolutionaries who created not just a political, but a social movement. Jameson's pioneering study on how social change from aristocratic to egalitarian norms was more powerful than even the event of the Revolution itself.

In this context the creation of anti-slavery as a revolutionary ideal is found, in among other places, the paragraphs struck from Jefferson's declaration by the Continental Congress, and in the writings of James Otis in 1764, as cited by Bradley in her 1998 work on the rhetoric of slavery as a social movement in Revolutionary America.

What is rattling around second life is the realization that hobbyist labor is being used and abused to extract value by people who do not have the ability to create organic social movement themselves. The result is often seen by the failure of their business. However, the ultimate maw for hobby labor, is LL itself, which charges people a good deal to participate in Second Life at a high level,and burns through their labor rather freely.

If there is to be a non-corporate model of second life, then, it must harness this social movement aspect to second life, and create a structure where the people who are key to it can earn their livelihoods through it, or ultimately we will have a world of rotating for sale signs, and corporate builds.

Second Life is a pre-capitalist society, arising out of a Late Capitalist or even post-capitalist society. One has to be wary of this, because capitalism, like the theater, is always on its last legs, always in danger, and always being eaten by those who would substitute barriers to entry, natural monopoly, network position, legal advantage ad money for innovation, specialization and competition.

Right now Second Life's economy is a virtual guild system, with those who ahve wrested certain techniques from the world eager to use these barriers to make money from thse who come after. While this is often celebrated as "capitalism" by the people who are on the other side of those barriers, it really is not. There has been buying and selling, and using trade secrets to gains and keep wealth since we have impressions on the sides of clay pots. If that were capitalism, then the Code of Hammurabi would be capitalist.

No, it is the specialization and dependency of labor on capital which defines capitalism, as opposed to other systems where there isbuying and sellling, However right now it is the dependency on existing knowledge or traffic, that is rent, not capital, which defines Second Life. This barrier to entry is driving away new people, and therefore it will end one way or another. One way is by the collapse of SL, but the more likely is the collapse of our present way of trying to annoy people no end, and make them pay to make annoyances go away. This worked when people came here because of their sexual fantasies and needs, it works less well with ordinary people who may have these, but don't need to be here for them.

So what we are facing is a transition from feudalism, with its personal loyalties and rents, to an eventual capitalism. However, intermediate to this is a system where those who have the power of feudal relationships attempt to use them to bludgeon competition. They are capitalist in the sense that they seek to acquire capital advantages, but primarily anti-capitalist in that they want to ban forms of capital that undermine their rents.

In the modern world this was the period from roughly 1400-1800, when the feudal system was increasingly incapable fo coping with the changes wrought by the transition from a muscle economy, to one that could use mechanical energy: clocks, water wheels and sails, to good effect.

In world history sails lead to new agricultural products: potatoes, tobacco, cocoa and so on, as well as cheapening existing trade goods such as spices. Gunpowder lead to conquest of the Americas and influxes of gold and other valued items. Both together opened trade in china, tea and other manufactured goods.

The surplus brought on by the improvements in agriculture, the opportunities brought on by the need for a mechanical economy, and the challenges of the luxury goods created the conditions for factories, which are named for factotum, or people who carried pieces into place and for mills, which ground grain, grist and other items into usable form.

In our world the industrialism of scripting and prims is this kind, but it will give way in front of what is the steam engine of SL technology: libsl, which allows for things such as zombie pods, land bots, copy bot, and direct input into second life. This reality, of the power of direct input by program into Second Life, has overwhelmed every area of activity it has touched. Land bots have driven land buying and selling into automated mode, copy bot threatened to wreck SL's economy, and zombie pods are replacing camping pods as the way to puff up traffic.

But the real power of libsl will be the ability to replace the heavyweight front end of the client with more specific front ends. For example, an interface for building which is efficient and clean, and allows for rezzing of prims in groups and batches quickly, and client side design that includes scripts, mega and nano prims, as well as ordinary prims.

This transition can be in the hands of a few big players, or in the hands of many. But without the, excuse the academic expression, consciousness of being a productive class, and the, excuse the metaphysical one, presence of such a group in the minds of Linden Labs and others, it will be withheld from the large body of residents, and used to flatten the economy.

The merchant class is not, by itself, capitalist. It engages in buying and selling, but is more dependent upon political position and natural monopoly, rather than the capital itself. They may be consumers of capital advantage, but they do not increase the capital advantage in the society as a whole.

However, their dependence on capital to trade, and the pressure that capital inequalities create at both ends, mean that the societies at both ends must develop capitalized forms of production, and eventually capitalism, to withstand the pressures of previously stable monopoly production. Those who make clay cups in an era where china can be imported, have some catching up to do.

The need from SL then is the creation of an economic hub, one which will put the best producers directly against each other visibly, but also create a visible counterweight to those who advertise heavily outworld about their capabilities, and attempt to prevent an honest comparison of capabilities and results in world. This need, for an SL-metropolis, or metatropolis if you will, is the one which my proposal addresses, and which dozens of small, disjointed groups are now pursuing.



Bibliography

Bradley,Patricia Slavery, Propaganda and the American Revolution 1998
Crichley, JS Feudalism 1978
Dobb,Maurice Studies in the Development of Capitalism 1946
Jameson, Fredric "Postmodernism or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism" 1991
Jameson, John Franklin American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement 1925
Brenner Merchants and Revolution: Commercial Change, Political Conflict and London's Overseas Traders, 1550-1653 1993

The Disneyfication of the Web

If you check out Dolcett on Wikipedia, you find a blank page. Now I find his work intensely juvenile, offensive and in every respect unworthy of artistic attention, but there is no denying tha the is "notable" within the range of being pbulished and haveing a fan base. One can do a search for Dolcett on Second Life and get several sites. No Limits borthen even has a sword ctting off a breast, from two different angles, just so there is no mistaking what it is willing to allow. Manu's rooms has a Dolcett Snuff room.

Clearly this is a word, and people know what it means.

Dolcett's infantile hostility is not alone in this society: mainstream movies like the Saw and Hostel series feature dismemberment. As does the real world. The deletion log from wikipedia breaks their own rules about notability. The German wikipedia, for example, has not purged this information.

I believe that this kind of infomration should be available, if for no other reason than to warn people about what lurks in the human heart.

References in the past on second life include a story in the Second Life Herald, a reference on the now closed Second Citizen Forums, and Second Life Slut's post from August 2nd of this year.

FORE-heads

The cut of the dresses is good, but the cut of the hair is terrible.

What was who thinking with that hair style? You know the one on mean the moment you see it. Black and white can be classic, and it is very in right now, but terribly done. The coiffs here look like something out of a business in the box.

Clearly we've been allowing the wrong people to run with scissors.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More SL Wonkiness

Objects showing up without group all night. Chatters not listening for no reason. Cannot get any work done.

Cosmo gets all duh about sex again

Right now Cosmopolitan has an article that shrieks that it is about 10 things he wants in bed! And then turns out to say mind numbingly obvious things: sometimes he wants to take you, sometimes he wants to lie back and be pleased, sometimes he wants you to get yourself hot, sometimes he wants to seduce you, sometimes he wants it to come out of nowhere, sometimes he wants to plan it all day. Sometimes...

Well, you get the idea. Fashion magazines have been recycling these "maybe cold, maybe hot, chance of showers, maybe not" articles for a long time. But they don't really get at what makes sex in a relationship work.

I think there are two big sex secrets. Men have to never take it for granted. Women have to never use sex only as a reward for things being perfect. These are the two killers I see over and over again in relationships. At a certain point, the guy things that the girl is like his reliable pick up truck or computer. Turn it on, and it works. Maybe it needs some maintenance from time to time. Get a quick nookie, and the go off to watch some sports or kill some time in a guy way.

So that is my piece of counter advice. Guys, whenever you are just killing time, spend it on her. You know when you are killing time.. Do you really need to read every football commentator, is there really any value to spending time staring at one more screen of porn? Do you really need to send off one more email in that internet flame war, or run through your circle of favorite sites one more time in hopes that something has happened in your world in the last 10 minutes? If you are pushing the reload button on sites just to get a fix of stimulation... it is definitely time to be asking yourself what chore needs to be done, whether she's also alone killing time with a stupid romance novel.

The time you kill, kills your love as well.

Girls! Don't be a ho!

That's my simple advice. A ho is someone who always wants payment for sex. The moment having sex with you is all about doing what you want, when you want it, the way you want or there is no sex. Congratulations dear, you are a ho.

Now the problem with being a ho is really simple. Your competition is giving it away for free, and by the time you are doing this, he's probably killing time. That means he can kill time cruising the internet for sex.

You see when you first started having sex, you had sex with him for all kinds of reasons. Simple dividing line: after you get all emotional and carrying on and crying, is the next thing that happens sex? If not, then the relationship is in trouble, because guys put up with our emotional storms, because they think that the next thing that happens is we run to them, hold them, and have sex. Or at least give them a clear shot to get us all hot and bothered.

So those are my two sex tips: killing time kills love. And don't be a ho.

Because when a guy is killing time looking for sex on the internet, he's likely to find it. And she will undercut you dear. Most assuredly.

And guys, if she is in a room alone stewing, then when she finally does letting all the anger out, it isn't going to lead to hot make up sex, but that cold give the back night where both people wonder what they doing there.

In SL People take off clitorises all the time

The same thing happens in Egypt.

In SL, you can put it back, and no one ever dies from it.

Duh-Dun

I don't think that Fred Thompson could have gotten re-elected as the New York City District Attorney jailing women who have abortions.

Gone but not forgotten

The Webb Amendment.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Oh No! It's attack of the 1970's!

I'm just going to hide out in SL until necklaces like that and make up looks like that and colors like that go away.

The Age of Rembrandt


There is a light and a darkness to the Dutch golden age. It both attracts me and repels me. On one hand, no age has a view of the human body less congenial to my own than this period. It is a suffocating cloistered time, filled with bustle and fabric. People are houses to be draped.

On the other hand, no other age has given my memory so many faces. If it is the human face that presents art in it is most intimate, I have been so often gripped by overwhelmingly private ecstasy faces with Rembrandt, always smiling behind the canvas, and his subjects. They eyes, in particular, shine out in the dark.

If you set foot in a museum only once this year. Then this is the exhibit is the one to visit.

The Age of Rembrandt, filled with vast human tension beneath a serene dark light that glows shadows. The painting by the way is be de Witte, it is "The Inside of the Old Church at Delft."

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Wrong Notes and Wrong headedness

Mr. Enniv Zarf wants to be judged with the immortals of music for his piano improvisations. He demands that his work be seen as ground breaking. It is not, it is a dull and derivative early post-Cagean mire. A pimple that should have been popped, without even a full awareness of its antecedents. Faceless, artless and interminable even at a few minutes.

Friday, September 14, 2007

It's only good the first thousand times

Hat tip to Ms. Supercharge for finding this one!

Join or Die


There are a thousand scattered islands and a million shattered dreams on Second Life. The flowers of old SL are falling, leaving behind denuded trees, but this is a cold spring, and most will not see the life of green again.

Old Second Life, if it wants to survive, must become a civilization. A civilization is interconnected, and it has close contacts so that ideas and competition can flow fast, and no one who has ability is out of work for long. To have a civlization means having a city. Once upon a time SL could be a town. Everyone knew everyone else, and everyone could more or less get along with everyone else. But that was long before me.

The creation of a City which is Old SL at its best, a concentration of its best, is the topic that I am going to plow into.

Vint Falken, as usually is on top of the large stories quickly. The "Wal-mart" moment has arrived, when large sl organizations can use their cash flow from rent, to make content for virtually nothing. Did anyone think it would turn out different? Who, in their right mind, thought that with a government based on the writings of John Locke, apologist for monarchy leavened with money, that we would not take the same road of a favored few surrounding the king, as he waged war for power and prestige. People may think that Second Life is based on Snow Crash, but really we have more in common with The Baroque Cycle: masses of detritus, complex and arcane psuedo-alchemy in the form of the Linden Scripting Language, and a wobbly grasp of nascent physics, economics, and capitalism. In essence Second Life is 1720 with skyboxes. And don't think the sex was a difference, it was a very bawdy, sexualized age, that the Victorians spent decades "Bowdlerizing." We are even all bald under our wigs. For them, it was about lice. For us it is other bugs, but the same result.

As a pixel prostitute in this sprawling negalopolis, that is it is a drain on the world, not an addition to it, I have seen the sewers of human desire, and the pains of need and hope. It is suffering that drives our second lives. Suffering because in Real Life, people cannot find something so simple as a lesbian lover, or a girl to fuck to night, or a career that recognizes their talent, or a venue for their paintings, or a concert hall for their music, or a gallery for their sculpture, or a theatre for their plays.

It is suffering that is the brand on our cheeks.

This neo-baroque age will drive itself towards the same form: a king, his money that he prints at his pleasure, his land that he graciously allows others to use, and his close coterie of favored merchants, lords and patent holders. The nobility of SL. They get favored deals, inside treatment, special access, and policies designed to drive their competitors out of business. Is it no accident that mainland supply of land is broken at just that point where only people who have below market rate sims can make a living being land earls? It is certainly no accident that only favored people will be able to get their own open source sims and upload that content to the grid. Are you, the content creator going to compete with Anshe who has a flow of rent money, favored status on SLX, and her own sims to develop content, free of sl service interuptions and asset server problems, where she can have her people code around problems and then have those work-arounds for her content put in the main code? Of course you are not.

That's not open source, is oli-source, for oligarchy.

There are two and only two models for sl. One is that SL is AOL of VR. A few people amking content, many people searching for anonymous sex hook ups, and advertising raining down on them like mana from heaven which pays for it all. The other is the E-Bay of VR, where thousands of people make and package, and then millions of people shop and do.

The AOL model is the one that Linden Labs is working towards. The in world content providers, are basically standing in the way of LL having a circle of favored people around it who make all the real money. Up until now inside contacts and the trash that is the mainland have been enough to prevent much in the way of real business from flowing down from the favored few to other people. But even that situation is not sustainable, kings crush all potential opposition, they use the power of the coinage and land to do it.

LL's aristocrats told it that it needs to bring more people in, they fear that other content universes, particularly the teen friendly IMVU, are growing faster and will over take Second Life as the place that advertisers must go to "be VR." It will be that flow of corporate dollars that will make or break ACS, Sheep and Millions. And they don't want competition. The aristocracy never does.

Oligarchic mercantilism works. The king wages war to get colonies and power, the aristocracy extracts the money from everyone else to do this, and in turn gets part of the glory. A few members of the middle class are made into aristocrats by running everything. Other people put their money into the whole scheme, only to have it blown up, John Law style, by financial meltdown. Running an illegal bank is just as illegal as running an illegal stock exchange, and yet Second Life has done nothing about illegal banks that meltdown. Perhaps because the illegal banks turn around and pour their money into land, which becomes tier, which is revenue to the King.

King Linden is not particularly a good king. He's like most kings, in that he has grandiose dreams of conquering the world, and schemes to get there. He sees enemies all around, and believes that every coin should bear his likeness, and that it is really his.

The ASC Wal-Mart move was merely mishandled: she and they will be back. The reason it was furniture is because retention of paying customers, tier paying customers, is key. So every Linden they spend on an in world builder, furniture maker or other person is one less linden for land, which is tier, which is taxes.

The heart of every tax revolt is not that taxes are too high. Consider that property taxes in Second Life amount to 50% per month. I don't know any place rl that can collect that kind of tax. If it were about how high taxes are, then the taxpayers would be doing more than circulating an ineffectual open letter asking the king to oppress the peasants some more. That is what the Open Letter is: a request to the king to oppress the peasants. I am one of the presents that Christiano seeks to oppress, and so are tens of thousands of other people who are just as upset.

The heart of a tax revolt is "taxation without representation." I know, no one can be a zealot like a recent convert, but so I am. Democracy is the first step that must be taken, because without the power to limit King Linden to mess with the economy for the advantage of himself and his favored few, there is no hope at all. A friend of mine points out that E-Bay sellers are very fast to cry murder every time EBay the company threatens their livelihoods.

The second thing that Second Life needs, is capitalism. Second Life's population is the most anti-capitalist you will find in America. It is pro-property, but property is not capital, and pro-property is not capitalism. There was property for thousands of years before capitalism. There are societies without real property that are capitalistic, and there are societies with property that are not capitalistic. Equating property with capitalism, a egregious meme if ever there was one, is like equating hydrogen with fusion, sex with love, or Britney Spears with live performance. They might be associated, but there is nothing that requires it, and often nothing related about them at all.

Capitalism is based on, and I feel ashamed having to say something so obvious, capital. Capital is not property, capital is that which improves the productivity of labor. A prim is not capital, a script that rezes prims in a loop, is capital. Property is often against capitalism, and specifically against the spread of capital. Instead property wants to hide information, and then charge for it. This was the time when Newton didn't publish the calculus for fear that his competitors might use it. He wasn't paid very much for being a genius, he was paid for coming up with navigation aids, matching the various coins and their weights and so on. Thus, he did not release one of the single most important discoveries in the history of the world. It would be decades before Newton's ideas would spread outwards, even as everyone knew that he knew more than anyone else.

In Second Life people are constantly reinventing the digital wheel, and they then hope to turn around and charge for that. Well Anshe Chung will play that game better than you. She's easier to find, and can have many more digital wheels to hand to her artists and content providers. I make things, I spend 80% of my time doing things I am very sure have been done before. Only about 20% of what I do is new. Of course 10 creators who are spending 80% of their time each on rediscovering basic tricks and ideas are going to do less than 10 similarly talented creators who start with the 80% in a box and are told to go to work. Of course they can charge much less, because they are buffered by the rent income stream, and they are taking much less time to do everything. The task that takes me an hour, writing all new scripts, will take someone with those scripts in a box 10 minutes. I've amazed people by doing just that: pulling out things from my bag of tricks, and in minutes having things working.

But once the newbie is fleeced, he or she leaves. Since retention and growth are everything, the game of oldbies making money from fleecing newbies, is going to have to end, it will end by the oldbies learning that it must end, or it will be put to an end by LL/Millions/Sheep/Anshe. This is because every newbie you fleece, they can't fleece. They also believe that they can fleece that newbie for more than you can. They may be right.

Capitalism says that you should only be able to make money from what is new or unique, and that people should specialize. Since people right now are busy selling each other "the sky, is blue," no one trusts buying scripts or other capital, and no one releases basic capital to the world, lest there be competition. That is going to come to an end, and this week's furniture dump is part of that reality.

The cloudy obscure market, where people don't know what things cost, and can't find them to make good decisions, ends one of two ways. Either, and this is what LL wants, there is a trusted monopoly which everyone goes to and buys from, or there is a competitive market place, where people profit by letting information out, not by keeping it hidden. We all know who wins the monopoly game, and if you are reading this, it almost certainly is not going to be you.

Once the single trick pony content creators are gone, next comes the ones farther up the scale. Even June and Vindi are not immune. Then will come the network monopolies. How long would Xcite last, if every newbie who wanted it got free scripted genitals? Not long is the answer. Not long. And if almost every newbie is coming in through a community, then that will happen sooner or later.

The third thing that Second Life lacks is liberalism. This is the part that is going to stick in the throat of many people reading this, because I know that many of you, even friends and lovers, are anti-liberal. Liberal is the root of all evil. Liberalism is socialism. And so on.

While I will offend many people, perhaps people I need to get this project of saving Second Life off the ground, there is no saving second life with out Liberalism. What is liberalism?

Liberalism is no more, and no less, than the realization that a few infected rats can spread the Black Death. Liberalism is the realization that people do not have the right to let infected rats loose on the streets, even if the rats belong to the people letting them loose. Liberalism realizes that Democracy and Capitalism are robust, but they have weaknesses. This realization is not new, it started with all the people that we genuflect towards in the late 18th century: Jefferson, Smith, Kant, Madison, Hume. Those dead white European males, who were fumbling their way to the question of how to organize the world, without having a king and a church to do it with.

Liberalism then says that those actions which destroy Democracy and Capitalism should be banned or controlled. This is the part people don't like, but it is also the part which makes capitalism what it is. Capitalism is based on the idea that no on can get ahead, without making other people better off too. Capitalism works when there are no free lunches. But that is the right that people want out of unregulated property dictatorship: the hope that they will own something where there is a free lunch, and it doesn't matter whether other people are better off, they still have to pay. Libertarianism is the church of the free lunch. There is no such thing as free sex, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Or at least, not for long. Could you turn over please? King Linden likes mustard on both sides of his sandwich (named for a corrupt earl who built bad ships and then gambled away the extra money, and needed something to eat without getting grease on the cards. You should thank him, it was his ships the French fleet sent to the bottom off of Jamestown leading to Cornwallis' surrender.)

This means restrictions, people don't like looking over their shoulder. But without those restrictions, money flows not to the people who make things better, but to those people who can make things worse and collect money. Ad farms. Land griefing. Camping pods. All reduce the value of being a renter, let's stop saying own since King Linden does not believe you own anything, and has said so in a court of real world law, in a particular sim.

Democracy is how people fight out the differences between restrictions of the few from griefing the many, and restrictions which are the many trying to hobble the few. Like capitalism, democracy isn't perfect, it merely argues that no one else can do better for any length of time. The market may not have the right price, says an economist friend of mine, it is merely that no one will consistently have a better price for everything and their relative values. Democracy might not make the right rules, but in its absence, the people with the gold will make the rules.

I have gone on a long time with abstraction and history. I am breaking my own rule against writing about the big picture. So let me get back to where I belong: the present, the small picture and what we should be doing next.

Right now dozens of groups have realized that making a community, having a portal and being part of the intake of new people is crucial to survival. But dozens might as well be zero. A dozen user continents will be driven out of business, or to the margins, one by one. There were 13 colonies.

All of these efforts must be in one effort, and all of them together, which will represent a great deal of revenue, must demand a free one time relocation of an island into this user super-continent for any sim owner who is part of it. The super continent must then strip the mainland of good second tier content providers by offering them the deal of: sell us your mainland for 0L and we will give you land in this new continent. Mainland must be turned into the place where newbies run around with one linden woodies saying "wanna fuck?" and a sandbox out of which new people learn the trade. The wasteland let's call it.

The last time I posted this I got a tirade from some individual of lesser intelligence about the free market, which we don't have on Second Life, King Linden's economy would not be judged a free market by the real world, and that's not a guess, I went and asked. It then ended with a plea to another commenter to interfere in the market! This individual said "who is going to invite people in, you?" Accusing me of being power hungry... how dull and typical. No dear dear, King Linden, and Millions and Sheep and Anshe is going to invite people. And you are not invited.

This super-continent would have to be a city, it would have to put vendors of the same kinds next to each other, so that people can quickly and easily compare offerings. China's cities have their districts, so do old American cities. Until search works, and that means a search not in the hands of the king and the aristocracy, this will be the best we can do. Sims must be gridded for high impact, medium impact and low impact use, so that we don't have the case of two clubs sinking each other in the same sim.

If all these little groups can get together, then it would be possible to have a thousand sim super continent. One bug that would have to be fixed is that user continents don't appear on the LL world map above a certain zoom level. There are other minor ones.

But the first step is to get a "National Assembly" or "Continental Congress" of everyone who provides services and produces good content to use the leverage of hundreds of thousands of dollars of tier to push LL to stop putting King Linden's fat thumb on the economic scales.

It is as old as "No taxation without representation."

And it is about coming out of this virtual wasteland, filled with its palaces built by aristocrats while the rest live in squalor, and building the city of tomorrow. Because that is what second life needs to become: a civilization.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Welcome to Google Ahmedhanna Beck

SL's competitors are adverstising "free 3D chat." I think it is because they realize that second life is crawling with people like this, and that they hope to steal away people who are sick to death of an abuse system which has a pot full of cold wet noodles to deal with people like this.

This took place in a sex dungeon area, but it is also a commercial area, with ads and shops.


[17:59] Lillie Yifu: de rez the sign
[17:59] Lillie Yifu: right click on it and select
[17:59] Lillie Yifu: detatch
[17:59] ahmedhanaa Beck: yes
[18:00] ahmedhanaa Beck: u look nice
[18:00] ahmedhanaa Beck: wana have sex?
[18:00] Lillie Yifu: Dear if you are too clueless to derez a big sign
[18:00] Lillie Yifu: you doon't have a prayer of pelasuring me
[18:01] ahmedhanaa Beck: ?????
[18:01] ahmedhanaa Beck: i dath it
[18:02] ahmedhanaa Beck: datch
[18:02] Lillie Yifu: dear I will be straight forward. I have sex for free, and I have sex for money. Poeple who walk up naked with a large sign attached, saying "wanna fuck" have to pay ot have sex with me. Because it is boorish and stupid
[18:02] Lillie Yifu: now run along and hope to find soem free slut
[18:02] ahmedhanaa Beck: wana fuck or not?
[18:02] Lillie Yifu waves her hands in dismissal
[18:03] ahmedhanaa Beck: u r so stupid
[18:03] ahmedhanaa Beck: and silly
[18:03] Lillie Yifu laughs in his face.
[18:04] ahmedhanaa Beck: asshole
[18:05] Lillie Yifu: and you expect to get laid by treating wome this way?
[18:05] ahmedhanaa Beck: u r just an ass not awoman
[18:05] ahmedhanaa Beck: lol
[18:06] ahmedhanaa Beck: i think idont wana fuck u
[18:06] ahmedhanaa Beck: u r dirty
[18:06] ahmedhanaa Beck: u dont dserve money


There's more of course, including the de rigeur threat against my rl.

The Secret Self

London takes a ride on the other side.


London writes confessional literature about SL in a way that I don't. In part because as an escort, I am a blank face on which others scrawl their desires. My own are submerged in my sl work. London by beingan amateur is far more able to explore and write about what she wants to do, and what she does, than I am.

A billion of years

It's not me you know, who is waiting here,
troubled on the end of a humming internet line,
waiting for you to say something, anything.

It's every minute of evolution, that drives me.
I can feel the pulse of a billion years making me crazy.

And yes, oh yes. I'm crazy.

But not for you. Nor about you.
But for this, this shivering between my legs,
that rattles up my hips.
This quaking in my midriff.

It shakes me in the heart and the lungs.

My brain is clouded. It's not me here.
Not me in my skull.
The words no longer coalesce out of the dew of my thoughts,
my can'ts, won'ts and isn'ts
have all become oughts.

And while last night I fended away your touch,
it wasn't from disdain, but wanting too much.

It wasn't me there, in my body, but all my fears
the fears made up of a billion years.

I know I will close this call,
I know you will be here tonight
waiting by the door, hoping I will let you in,
not just in, but in, and in, and in, and in.
Into me.
My body.

But do you care if it is into me, or just the needs
the needs that hold me at their mercy?
The merciless mercy, that drugs all my pains.

What your petting does to me,
what your caresses drive me to.
How my skin aches and chafes for the wont
and want
and wanting.

My clothes seem to burn and irritate,
my nerves are to awake.

Yearning with the vigilance of a billion years.

A billion years ago, nature, in wicked wit and wisdom,
cut a gulf between our genders, and then sealed the porous boundary,
to rock rigid anatomy is destiny.

Over that gap of a billion years, I stare at you, and you at me.
It is not us here, but the war of a billion years.

I want that you that is a swimming fish,
that plunges ahead in the dark.
I have an ocean of love for you my fish.
The ocean of a billion years, when first the fishes flew
flew through the salt of the water.

Reach me.
Take me.
Drag me beneath that weight.
Hammer into me with that force.
And my mind will subside into my skin, sealed off from you,
whoever you are, on the gap and that gulf.

Reach me.
Take me.
Drag me beneath.

The static I hear,
the crackle of deep space in the line,
is older I know.
It laughs at me from eons when only hydrogen stars burned bright in the ageless night.
from star dust to stardust

But even with this, I am patient,
for I have been waiting, for your words
for a billion of years.

Shaggy Cioc scamming escorts.

Xiomara Mendes: Hi everyone. Be ware of the model talk of Shaggy Cioc. She talks you into buying a card (450L$) so you can model for good cash. In the end you end up in an emtpy box. Also reported to Linden. Please stay away from her.

Xiomara is someone I trust, so this is a serious warning.


[8:51] shaggy Cioc: hi
[8:52] (target of scam): hi there Shaggy
[8:52] shaggy Cioc: would you like work as model for fashion parades?
[8:52] (target of scam): how much is the pay?
[8:52] shaggy Cioc: earn much money
[8:52] shaggy Cioc: 6000 lindens for 10 hours totally in one month
[8:52] (target of scam): oh wow...ok cool
[8:53] shaggy Cioc: come in the office
[8:53] shaggy Cioc: hello
[8:53] (target of scam): hi there shaggy
[8:54] (target of scam): sorry i am still rezzing
[8:54] shaggy Cioc: no problem
[8:54] shaggy Cioc: as work it's simple
[8:54] shaggy Cioc: you wear many kind of clothes
[8:54] shaggy Cioc: gucci
[8:54] shaggy Cioc: ferrè
[8:54] shaggy Cioc: armani
[8:54] shaggy Cioc: etc...
[8:54] (target of scam): ok
[8:55] shaggy Cioc: italian style
[8:55] shaggy Cioc: walk around a plaza or on a red carpe
[8:55] shaggy Cioc: we have the animations of avatar or pose balls
[8:55] shaggy Cioc: make some pictures
[8:55] shaggy Cioc: and have fun
[8:55] (target of scam): ok cool
[8:55] shaggy Cioc: a fashion parade long 2 or 1 hours
[8:55] (target of scam): are the clothes also provided?
[8:56] shaggy Cioc: we have 24 hours of events in various lands
[8:56] shaggy Cioc: yes
[8:56] shaggy Cioc: so you can work directly on line
[8:56] shaggy Cioc: at first you can choose a personal card to be member
[8:56] shaggy Cioc: we have two
[8:56] shaggy Cioc: the gold card 450
[8:56] shaggy Cioc: the vip card 250 lindens
[8:56] shaggy Cioc: both long one year
[8:57] shaggy Cioc: with the gold you can enter in our stuff
[8:57] (target of scam): whats the personal card?
[8:57] shaggy Cioc: private party in houses or clubs
[8:57] shaggy Cioc: and have a discount of 15% on the new clothes prices
[8:57] shaggy Cioc: personal card to be member
[8:57] (target of scam): oh ok..:)
[8:57] shaggy Cioc: so we can registered you in our archive
[8:58] shaggy Cioc: which kind of card do you prefer?
[8:58] (target of scam): the gold card
[8:58] shaggy Cioc: ok
[8:59] shaggy Cioc: after your money i give you the landmark of the stuff
[8:59] shaggy Cioc: you go there
[9:00] (target of scam): ok one moment so i can red..:)
[9:00] shaggy Cioc: ask all the info you need
[9:00] shaggy Cioc: ok
[9:00] shaggy Cioc: they give you the shedule times of work and places
[9:00] shaggy Cioc: all the fornitures
[9:00] shaggy Cioc: and you can choose a name of a group
[9:00] (target of scam): ok cool and i can escort too here?
[9:01] shaggy Cioc: yes
[9:01] shaggy Cioc: if you want
[9:01] (target of scam): okies
[9:01] (target of scam): do i pay you?
[9:01] shaggy Cioc: yes
[9:01] (target of scam): 450L?
[9:01] shaggy Cioc: yes
[9:01] shaggy Cioc: now you can go there
[9:01] shaggy Cioc: and ask all you want
[9:01] (target of scam): okies..:)
[9:01] shaggy Cioc: see you soon
[9:02] shaggy Cioc: bye
[9:02] (target of scam): byeee
[9:03] (target of scam): ok am i in the right spot? lol
[9:03] (target of scam): i am in a box
[9:04] (target of scam): shaggy?
[9:06] (target of scam): who can i ask questions to? i am in a box


There is the full log.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Report: Thefter from Aboubillal Korobase


ATTENTION: ok all was just hit with a money taking script here at hedonistic Isles name is Aboubillal Korobase comes in form of gift given NEW Dick-Xcite seems targeting men pass on to all groups. Security for Hedonistic Isles, Buford Slade


One confirmation.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Why not... a community?

Communities are how Linden Labs provides entry points, in Triangle of Fire, I talked about how there should be a user super-continent of the best of SL now, including its best clubs, venues and so on, that are sim size.

Well then, why not a "Community" as the Azure isles are? Why not assemble a pleasure district which has the clubs, and so on? Why, instead of scattered islands floating like corpses in the water, a "Community?"

Again, LL should facilitate this by relocating islands for free, and a government, a kind of oligarchy of the mode of renaissance Italy, be formed. The community itself could provide better entry, though that should be the common experience through the web site.

This doesn't obviate the need to end traffic/camping, but it would concentrate content that is user generated into a show case, and thus provide an entry point for outworlders looking for the best in world providers, rather than the hit or miss of self-promotion, and the increasingly clotted world of search.

It can be done, it should be done, and I think something like it must be done.

Poem

Not X rated, but not for here either.

Part of the on going project of writing a novel "This is me, Lillie."

This project grows on me, and the pieces are lying about scattered on these two blogs: all the poems and most of the narrative moments. These precious fragments are dear to me... and I hope that when it is possible to step back and see them, people will watch the brush strokes resolving into the subject.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Rip Off Alert

I buy things from Kinky-O. I had a request for the Yuki brainless sex doll package, and so purchased it. It is nowhere close to worth what they are charging. It has a freebie quality shape, a freebie quality AO, with static poses that are common freebie poses, and a skin which simply does not make it. The picture implies a facial gesture it does not have, and the hair in the picture is also not there.


So I will say it: Kiny-O Yuki package, at 788L is about 100L worth of goods. Terrible. Dog. Rip-off. Enough to make me never ever ever ever want to buy anything from them again, simply because it is an expensive dog, and I now simply cannot trust their quality control.

BTW the note cards were unreadable too.

Put this under "800L Freebie rip off from Kinky-O."

There, google is now going to find it. Since we live in a second life where returns are almost unheard of, the only thing a very dissatisfied customer can do, is be like me and say "never shop from them unless you've seen the good, because their signs lie and they might well be ripping you off."

Uggh. And people wonder why SL has flattened out in growth. There's Caveat Emptor, and there is Second Life.

I'm so xcited.

Pixel wants to know about xcite.

As a happy xcite user, let me say that the auto cybering is the least of the reasons to have it.

The core of xcite, is the HUD. I know I have written this before, very early on in my blogging about Second Life and Sex, but let me go farther.

Xcite parts provide animations, and you can purchase sounds, the provide visuals, in the form of particles to show orgasm. These additional bits add on top of the use of the HUD as a form of communication. For sex acts, the flow of script cyber helps break up and punctuate your own typing.

So let me talk about the thing that moves me when I know it. Instead of my partner doing one handed typing, he or she is exploring my body, and my body responds. They communicate their actions, in animation, mouse click and cyber. The ability to juggle these things is... hmmm... like a man who can kiss, caress, penetrate and look into my eyes all at once rl. It says he is in control of all of his parts, and able to use his whole body and mind to make sensastion flow to me.

The very "onemorethingtodo" nature of xcite is part of what helps me imagine what the other person is like irl. You don't need xcite to sl-sex well, but once you do, the use of it as a way of drawing someone in becomes a lure, a proof of mastery.

Because while someone can be good at sl sex and not use xcite well, almost everyone who is bad at sl sex, uses xcite badly. Either as a push button trigger substitute for their own imagination


Or just not at all.

Or they will show desires y xcite that they cannot, yet, bear to type. There is a certain man who has his hands on Lady Lillie's Hips (I renamed the HUD, "Lady Lillie's Dirty Mind") and is fingering it as fast as possible. I know what he needs. The same is true with every other part, people can't keep their hands off of what they want. And in the realm of desire, that is communication.

For those who are good at using xcite, at playing my body, feeling, that imagine dfeeling, of hands roaming over my body, as his or her fingers are softly petting the mouse and probing my virtual body. Yes, that inspires the imagination, the physical imagination, which is so key to that elevated experience on sl.

Just closer your eyes right now, and imagine the spirals and traces of a lover's finger tips, tracing ornate patterns, moving form here to there, choosing options, pressing, sliding, teasing.

And imagine that as he is sliding that mouse gently, that he or she is really wishing for his or her touch on your skin, as much as you wish for his or her touch to be upon you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

ohmygodigottahaveit

Everyone is talking about it.

iPod Touch.

Are you listening LL? Every year things have to get better, not just a bit better. Much better.

Are you listening SL? We can't live with people trying to sell each other 2005.

Stability of this platform is crucial, but just as crucial is a constantly improving flow of content. Right now, the model we have is slowing us down.

Leegin, DRM and Second Life

The current supreme court, according to a lawyer friend of mine is "the most monopoly friendly court in a century." I will take his word for it. What I do know is that the decisions that are coming down from the United States Supreme Court touch on issues here in second life. One in particular is the case of Leegin v PSKS, which struck down an almost century old rule that "minimum prices" are always illegal. Not necessarily legal, but not necessarily illegal either. In fact, i would argue in the case of digital goods, maximum prices are almost as devastating to competition as minimum ones. Consider how the "FreeView" television makes it very hard for anyone to enter the tv market in Second Life.

In the case of physical goods there is a limitation on how low merchants can go, because they have to physically pay for the object. In the world of digital goods, where it is often possible to make unlimited copies of something, a minimum price might well be the only defense against every wholesale item turning into a freebie.

However, there is a larger issue here. And one of the problems that I fnd when searching through thinking on second life, is that almost every proposal treats this place as if it were a closed cut throat came of poker. People demanding thet LL tilt the playing field one way or the other, so that some particular group of people have more power than others, and the ability to enforce monopoly prices.

But this is not the case. The reality is that Second Life is in competition against other places for people to spend their time, effort and money. If people are busy slitting each other's throats and exploiting newcomers, those newcomers would leave. The sad reality is that copybot and the freebie ooze have helped retain people, myself included. I would not have stayed if forced to stay in the chimpanzee with lipstick waddling like I had a full diaper phase for long. Nor are the wages paid here for services sufficient to make it worth it. In a world where many of us are paid sub-minimum wages for Szenchen China, charging first world prices is a good way of driving people out.

However there are solutions, and there are root causes of problems. Let me point out the root cause of the problem: we are spat out ugly ugly ugly. People are not willing to pay to get to 2007 standards of acceptable, when they can, and are, going elsewhere. Now what they don't realize is that they could look much better here eventually, but I've read enough accounts where a reporter or other person wanderd around sl for a week, and could not find the exit from newbiedom, to side with content providers against users unequivocally.

As is often the case, I think, the solution is to realize that SL is not a market economy, and it does not have a working economy at all at this point.

When I started escorting, I charged 400L :15 and had to pay a 20% club rake. Meaning 320L :15 effectively. I charge 5 times that now for vox, and that is walk up, some clients pay me more, in effect, to be free for them at their convenience. The same thing is true with content creators and providers: they need to be able to work their way up the scale, and learn the craft. Right now, that is very hard. Either you are a designer with a following, or you are forced to sell in bits and pieces, and watch much of your work go into the freebie system.

The solution here isn't to give people a set of powers that are "not obviously illegal," and then invite others to use not obviously illegal technical means to circumvent them. That damages everyone all the way around. Instead, the solution is to realize that there are newbies coming in, and there are new designers and content creators whose work can be purchased and offered to newbies as a way of improving the quality of starting avatars.

The way to do this would be to change the start page of avatars, which are obsolete and too few, and have LL purchases the rights to much of the better freebied content out there, the prices of which are very modest indeed. People could be walked through builing an avatar, from shape to skin, to hair to cloths to shoes and accessories, which is much more like the process of building an avatar in world. The content could be turned over every 6 months, on the assumption that a designer has made it or not by that point. Designers could be paid a bounty for each avatar that goes premium who selected their goods in the sign up process. LL wins: more retention. New designers win: a market for goods that is in line with the quality they are producing. The community wins, because once content is no longer selectable on entry, it would be released into the public domain, forming an open source base where new variations could be produced.

No it won't make greed fueled dreams happy. But it would grow the content creator class with chances early in their career before they have a large base of merchandise, it would make it so that people would not drop in looking like playdo. Top designers command a premium now, and would continue to do so.

The business in a box racket was always open to abuse. I've seen the advertisements that promise people the ability to sell bad skins, ones below skins that are already in freebie circulation legitimately, for "1000L each!" You can't cheat an honest avatar, many of the business in a box contents are just not good quality. However, the ones that are are the ones that suffer: there is a perverse incentive to distribute the good, and ignore the bad.

But then, when I started escorting I didn't know how to use lockmeister, didn't have xcite, and had a sex bed that broke on me while a client was there. We all need to learn, and there need to be entry points for those who have just crossed the threshold into salable product. The "business in a box" route is not working, and it would take legally marginal technical changes to make it work. While banning it would be legally questionable, after all, one of the most important rights that a person can and should be able to sell is the ability to resell in turn, the present arrangements are driven by the difficulty of breaking into being a designer. A designer who has made one or two items of a particular kind is not going to develop a following, nor be findable.

Therefore, there needs to be a road opened which will both get people started, and curb business practices that have not served sl well. This fits in with ending the traffic/camping system, and finding ways to in world aggregate content so that shoppers can more easily compare goods and services. But even by itself it is a needed change: give sellers the DRM control that they should have now. Give buyers the assurance that their content is not going to be DMCA'd away, and a better starting place for their second life.

It won't do much for camping farms, but it will do something for sl.