Sunday, March 30, 2008

Farhad Manjoo gets interviewed

But is it true enough

Rent an Open Space Sim in Linden

We are currently taking orders to rent OpenSpace™ (Linden Labs) Sims for a monthly price of $125 USD per month, with no up front fees. Talk to Lillie Yifu or Stirling Allen in world, send a notecard, or email me at

Current projects: Sculpture Garden, WikiHUD, Tesla

I have not been writing the last few days because I have been busy working on the information kiosks for the Yedo Sculpture Garden, a new sculpture called "Tesla," and an update to wikiHUD. These are related projects.

The kiosks have simple text on prims. Nice, but not really useful. However, I am also writing articles for the Second Life at Wikia wiki, so that wikiHUD will be able to read them. But that's where the update to wikiHUD comes in.

Two requested features for wikiHUD have been the ability to "walk" through an article, and the ability to have article URLs sent to local wikiHUDs so that people can have self-guided tours that are also updated regularly by updating an external wiki page
. So my programming project for the moment is to write this update to wikiHUD. As usual it will be free and fully open source. How this feature will work is that the wiki HUD can be set to listen, by the wearer, for chat on channel 7777. If it hears a URL, it will then either say this, or, if the wearer has it set not to, merely inform the wearer that a URL is available.

The other part is to add simple buttons to step through an article, so that people can read the article at a more measured pace. This is particularly useful for larger articles.

The purpose of this is to replace the "HUD filled with bloatcards" design that is currently used, and to make updates easier. The idea is to make it so that galleries , museums, and educational facilities, or anyone else really, to have information available to avatars, in world, at at the right pace.

(I'm also going to note that one thing that drives me crazy about Second Life flags is that they don't flap, so I added a timer that puts in some negative gravity every now and again to create that effect.)

I am testing the wikiHUD update today, but it will probably not be finished until later in the week.Thank you for everyone who has been sending comments and suggestions for wikiHUD.

Tesla is my latest sculpture, and it is the first collaboration. When Parsec was introduced, I called a "break through" work, and my mind was filled with ideas for using the same technology in a sculpture. Tesla is the first result of this thinking. It is still being worked on, but it uses the same basic approach: people wear gestures, the gestures translate sound of voice chat volume into chat, and the sculpture listens for these chats. Tesla is based on sine waves and damping, and I am waiting for the sound design to be delivered, which is really the important part of this project. I'll update people on the progress of this one, but I still need to do more work on my end of things.

Friday, March 28, 2008

LL to Sue Sierra Leone

[Note this is a parody.]

Today Linden Labs announced that it had sent Cease and Desist letters to the United Nations, Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, and the Republic of Sierra Leone for infringing on their trademark of "SL." The reason listed is that Sierra Leone's TLD of "sl" infringes on Linden Labs' trademark of those letters in the realm of computer services.

The Linden Lab's business department has said that they will vigorously enforce the trademarking of SL, and plans lawsuits against Microsoft,SL Industries and is considering others against SL Start.

In the press release the California based private company said that it's lawyers are researching sending a C&D letter to the Oxford English Dictionary for using words like "slime", "slippery," "slide," and "slander." According to the company all uses of S and L together constitute potential infringement.

Some common sense on SLicensing issues....

Kit's expertise really shows through in this clear bit of writing on the TM issue.

Sam Laszlo Spamming the Events Calendar

Exactly how is this a discussion?

Stop this before it multiplies!


We have got to make sure the events calendar does not become clogged with spam.
Diary on last night's Virtually Speaking with Jimbo Hoyer r.k.a Jay Ackroyd. Guest was Greg Mitchell of Editor and Publisher. We did Greg's avatar, and it came out very well.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Seeking Pleasure in a Virtual World: Revisited

“Whatever our values, we carry them with us into this place, and they are tested against a new set of possibilities and constraints.”

At first glance, from very early on in our marathon 2+ hour discussion, it seems that we have established that we are indeed moral beings. Oddly enough, a topic that has been bouncing around my circle of friends and acquaintances in both worlds, to one degree or another, and unbidden across varying circumstances. Even the populist media seems regularly to ponder this most existential of questions, with noticeable recent headlines about the sentience of viruses alongside the incessant opining of how war is probably wrong. Here we are at a stage of human evolution which affords us perhaps the time and certainly the energy to find ever more clever apparatuses to conduct our ongoing experiment of self-awareness, and yet one can’t help but feel that there’s a ruling minority of folks out there that don’t read writing left so rudely on the wall(s).

“Perhaps pixels are not as intimate or sacred as flesh?”

This is perhaps the heart of the matter, if not the matter of the heart. We all however agree that the level of personal emotional investment in SL can vary wildly, and reflects proportionately what one takes away from the experience. And that hearts break just as easily in-world as out.

“And those are mainly the creators and the people that get deeper meaning here.”

The old computer maxim still holds true: garbage in=garbage out, good stuff in=good stuff out. Turing would be proud.

“How many of us have noticed our analog avatar taking on traits from our digital lives? I know I have.”

“And in RL, I sometimes think of how [my avatar] would react to a situation. Because we are two different people.”

Aside from the humor value of trying to right-click someone to check their profile while you’re at the drugstore buying cat food, it seems that one can’t help but identify and at least at some levels acknowledge a rather surprising degree of cognizance of the multifarious aspects of our consciousness, vis-à-vis (pun intended) our personality development in SL. Being a vague Freudian myself (please forward all hate mail to my junior Literary Forensics professor), I see this as akin to giving our id and superego a doughy little homunculus to conduct a passion play on stage as large as the entire planet. But I’ve always been a romantic that way.

“And really, I see escorting as a form of therapay [sic] for the masses.”

“Well the fact is, sex is part of what keeps me here; engaging in it or not, it is in the digital air.”

Ah, the transactional romance culture; as unlike as Edwardian and Victorian, in ways, yet as constant as time itself. The world’s oldest profession may have been trumped by scripting (though I doubt it; I don’t doubt the first script was created to be placed in a pose ball), but it remains firmly ensconced in the human condition. It is something that we need, and it is in our nature to seek it, even revel in it—by rights and good sense we should revel in it, for it is an integral aspect of our own divinity, this power of creation and connection. We are troubled gods, indeed, but constant seekers, and SL is a wonderful garden to sow.

“But I’ve sought out people who prefer reading an erotic novel written for them only, on the spur of the moment.”

“To keep it here, to play the sexual and the sensual out as the experiences of our avatars, to respect their ownership of that experience, is the crux of what drew me to this talk. The development of that as an art form.”

After we ponder the wonders of creation, the revolutions of the planets, we try to express that to our companions, and thus Art is born. From cave painting to pixels, it is the engagement of the sense that we all seek, of knowing that we indeed have a higher consciousness without and within, and that it watches us, most amused by our every exploit.

I would like to thank all those that attended; it was a grand feast of which only a few morsels are presented here for your reflection. It was a wonderfully paced exchange of ideas; the conversation flowed like the wine of Khayam. Please note that the editorial content is mine alone, thought the quotes are directly transcribed from the discussion, with my own amendments to punctuation and spelling in the interest of readability. Also I apologize for taking so long to post the review; computer problems prevented me from doing this sooner.

I encourage all readers to pursue your time in both worlds ever-mindful, for that is the basis of a life fulfilled.

Shrutiyan Anatra, 27 March 08

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Virtual facts

Sometimes it is good to write a long piece. Sometimes it is good to write a short post. One important thing to remember out Second Life being virtual, is that most of our "Real Lives" are virtual as well. We run our real world by virtual facts, and have for a very long time. religions are virtual facts, so is money. So are novels, mathematical equations and laws. They do not have physical existence an sich, but are our constructions. When someone accuses SL of being virtual, well so is our real life.

This means that many things which we think happen in "real life," don't. They happen in the same place that Second Life happens. Second Life is merely a new way of visualizing and interacting with the virtual reality. that place where much of what we have from the past happens, where much of our lives is lived, and upon which we place our hopes and dreams.

We are, and always have had, virtual selves, from the moment we could create. The self in words, in writing, is a virtual self. It behaves by different rules. We do not know Socrates, only the virtual Socrates that Plato wrote about. We do not know Plato, on the the virtual Plato, that he and others wrote about. The future and the present will not know us, but only the virtual self. Every time you send a college application or job application in, before your real self has a chance to be admitted or hired, your virtual self must pass the test first.

OK, some name dropping time

Normally I can't dish, even when I have really good dirt. I'm in the hiding the dirty dishes business. More specifically, I am a dirty dish who is in the hiding dirty dishes business.....

Which is why it's nice when I can dish... and it isn't dirty. I was visiting with Parsec builder and fashion designer Eshi Otawara when in walked Charity Colville, half of the dynamic duo of Mega Club Sweethearts. Charity was hoping to purchase a gown that had been limited, and instead chose a gold creation of Eshi's.

The two left to tour the new Sweatheart's toghether, with Charity promising to wear the creation at the balllroom, and tell people it was one of Eshi's... and to expect a great deal more traffic...

5 Teleports, 5 straight log outs

Looks like "crash on impact" is in full force.

Three Linden Opera: Fancy a Fuck?

(This is out of order, it is from Act II of Three Linden Opera, but I've been having problems writing the lyrics for the end of Act I)

A gaggle of naked Noobs:

It's the only thing we want,
It's the gift for our pluck,
Hey ya sexy baby do you fancy a fuck?

We hang out with the orgies
Or we wouldn't get laid.
The only thing worse than not getting it
Is getting it paid
This new world is an adolescent panty raid,
Just say sex that's all that needs to be said.

All I have to do is demand you give me your phone,
Then I'll buy a ticket and show up at your home,
I don't care if your married, or all alone,
I just need to be there and give you a bone.

Free! Free! Free!
It's all Free!
That's! That's! That's!
The only way to be!

I've got an ugly face, and a cock like a truck,
But I'll treat you like my slave,
And you'll give me a fuck.

that's the only world we
want to be in,
and if mmmm nice pussy
doesn't get you off
then you must be la lesbian

That's right!

Free! Free! Free!
It's all Free!
That's! That's! That's!
The only way to be!

Oh the work a day where I have to respect,
And work like a dog to give you what you expect,
I can toss that shit out by the door,
Just pin you down and fuck you right on the floor!

I'm tired of manners,
And all of those games!
Deep inside you bitches are all the same!
Don't need to send you flowers,
Or listen to you,
Just scream in your face and then do the do.

That's right!

Free! Free! Free!
It's all Free!
That's! That's! That's!
The only way to be!

You'd better do it gratis,
Because I'm down on my luck!
That's all I've got to say:
Do you fancy a fuck!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

That hurts!

I want to look my age...

This is Your War, But Our Peace

Or why I have become an Obama Girl


You, thee with ragged eye, recite to mine, your victories
and turn the blood of my cousin into your memorial.
In this you take him from me, and from my generation.
You rob us, to put a flower on an old and moldering grave.
I do not begrudge your grief,
but do not steal mine from me.

You, with sagging chin, stroke it and tell me of your wisdom,
but you did not, and could not stop this war,
when I was too young to do it.
In this you condemn me to the next war,
which is coming as surely as this one did.

Do not tell me where all your young men went,
they would all be old men now.
I grieve for them, and the fallen of every war,
but do not plunder my generation of youth,
in the name of the battle of 1968.
I was not born then,
nor were the fallen that you have shoveled in
as the foundation for your war memorial.

this I know. this is your generations' war
you wanted it, and would not sacrifice,
your precious comfort.
So we have sacrificed our precious blood.

In that election past, I watched,
as your generation squabbled its old squabbles,
knowing that it would be mine that would be blown over sharp abyss
by the squalls of the years to come.

Where have all the old people gone?
Gone to marches everyone,
but not to vote nor to resist,
when will we ever learn.

I've watched the children of your elites,
steal and slurp, and then, like sheep you bleat
telling us that the way to do this and that is your way
this way, that way
No way out.
You took the torch and dropped it.
This war, how could you not have stopped it?
And what right does all this failure scattered all around
entitle you to the words
of fame, remembrance and renown?

The dead of the war to end all wars have their tree,
Why can't you let our words be?
Must everything be an advertisement?
A memorial writ for your aggrandizement?
Before we can sweep George Bush away,
we must replace the opposition that has let him have his sway.

Your day is over, done and gone,
and you must admit you got it wrong.
At each slippery moment you let him slip,
even when so often he was in your grip.


In morning's foggy chilly calm
I went to your wall for Vietnam.
The dew bled from the cold stone,
It's fifty thousand names would not leave eye alone.
But they are the names that from your limbs were cut,
The pound of flesh demanded by I know not who,
I know not why.

I truly wish they did not have to, in that way, die.
But is it so much to demand,
That we have our place in that hallowed land?

The grey air swirled with each passing car,
There was coming bustle of quiet from afar,
As other people's prince of peace,
Was praised by the wives of the lords of grease.
Some how this memory of a distant hill,
Their conscience appease,
There self-gratitude filled.

This war is not annex or mere extension,
It has its own space, it's own time dimension.

My tears flow,
But did you now,
How many around the world perished so?

How many in Cultural Revolution,
In Algeria's brutal revolution?
In Gulag's of Soviet's constitution.

How many die to day,
So that with soccer balls your children can play?
You tell me that you do not want blood with your oil,
You tell me that my thoughts deserve tin foil.

But I know that even if by the technicality of rules
Your elections have run right,
It is only fools
Who do not fear your revolution by night.


I choose change and hope because,
The world you leave behind is worse than it was,
we watch the ice sublime,
and perhaps the oceans will boil in time.

We feel the oil straw slurp and gasp,
and for all your flowers,
we are in its grasp.

We see the children who are sick and die,
and watch your McMansions spiral to the sky.
Is it too much to ask, or wonder why?
You idled by as our young men die?

Or returned not quite the same,
in body, brain, or spirit maimed?

You tell me it is not you to blame,
but that's another move in a childhood game.

You remember your few and forget the rest.

If 400 had been willing to go to jail,
then Bush's putsch might well have failed.
Instead you held your party on the mall,
cheered your place, but that was all.
We now have the wine of the fruit of that poison fall.

It is sour from the first, and age will not soften it.


I read the news today,
It had a story about that other war,
And how a self-stuffed so called pacifist
Documented in detail,
Every sign carrying protest,
Every useless rail.

But, but, but and a million times it is true,
Was that all you blighters could do?
Carry placards and vote for this or that,
While in other lands the devil grew fat.
You cannot tell me that that age of denial,
Was innocent and beyond guile,
The same people who demanded that Hitler be allowed to rise,
From Russian pogroms averted their eyes,
To tell the world about "present working socialism."

Whose blessings were the famine, massacre and political prison.
The edifice on which your pacifism is built
Is the profits of war, and avoidance of guilt.

Do not preach to me you old men,
When left to your hands, it would happen again.


This is your war, but it will be our peace.
The peace we've earned by watching our youth burn.
the peace we will pay for, paying off your debts,
the peace we will pay for in every day and every way,
from a world that is hostile to the stars and stripes.

Do not tell me turn burn the flag,
I've seen Baghdad burning,
and I know that nothing good comes of flames,
that consume a nation,
in solidity or symbol.

I listen as you screech at me, and hurl insults at my face
for not staying dutiful, like a child in her place.
Every incantation of inventive that you pile up
persuades me that you were and are
a generation locked in place,
and at no time did you start again.
I am sick of your generation,
of its tunes and times and rhythms and rhymes.

Go, and molder with the vinyl that once was the contours of
what seemed revolution.

But realize that the demon you have fed.
Is eating me,
I cannot bear his long teeth in my belly,
nor his claws that violate my sex.
His barb is pierced though my ear,
and into my head.

I know the evil which was loosed on this country,
and from this country on the world,
because it has swallowed up my decade whole.

I have heard enough of how great you be,
and am tired of the strut and prance,
of the war mongers playing greatest generation,
and of the peace marchers who cannot free
anyone of mine.

It is ended and over, that echo'd decade of your youth.
And you insist on stealing mine,
for one last turn upon the stage,
a vampiric rotted face,
rolling stones that have aged and withered
and gathered more moss in a day than me or mine
will earn our entire lives.

This is your war,
because you would not risk your comforts to stop it.

But this is our peace.
For whatever we may make of it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Most Discussions Aren't

The problem I have found with most discussions is they aren't. Instead people come in with stances, and they hold to them, setting absurd standards of proof to be dissuaded, and spouting absolute lies in their defense. I get angry at so called discussions, because almost all of them revolve around a troll, the troll says things that aren't true, and everyone else rises to the bait foolishly, and tries to change the troll's mind, which won't happen. The troll is there to prove that his mind can't be changed. Almost always the troll relies on two fundamental lies. The first lie is that the troll can't be a bad person, because that would break the discussion. The second lie is that the troll has good motivations. He doesn't.

In the case of the Iraq war, the first lie is that we were there to remove a dictator. We were not. Saddam could have been removed without invasion. No action that we took in the aftermath was designed to bring about democracy, but instead to loot the country, the way the precious artifacts were looted.

Anyone defending the war now is a murderer and a criminal. You cant' change the mind of a criminal, because the criminal knows his livelihood depends on continued crime. I've patiently watched the years pass by, but in this I will no longer be patient. If you want to be a murder I can't stop you. But from now on, when I meet a murder, that is how I will call him, because it is the title he has wanted and earned.

Why should I deny him what he wanted?

LyonFrench Korobase

Didn't like being exposed as a jerk on my blog. He came, insulted me, demanded I remove his name, and then, would not leave so I had to ban and eject him.

This is why I dislike men who are running around orgy rooms being egotistic and unpleasant. They have an attitude that women are free whores for their use, and that that is the way the world should be.

Culminating with that typical insult of egotistical men who have not been able to threaten their way to what they want "you are crazy!" His profile says he dreams of a world without religion and hard drugs, but clearly also a world without manners and where women are meant to be used and abused by awful men.

(and if he is going to spend as much as he does on clothes, he really needs to get some better shoes...)

Tres Jolie: Chou Chou

My dear friend Iota's newest creation...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blogging Joan McCarter

The program opened with questions on the PAA extension and the collapse of retromunity in the House and Senate. McJoan credited Senator Dodd's efforts in preventing the bill from being rammed through before the Christmas recess. She went on to underline that the House was angry at being taken for granted, and using the Spring Recess to pass the bill with little time to alter the final bill. She credits both Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid with having figured out the procedural combination which prevented retromunity.

The topic of conversation turned to speculation as to what the issues driving Senator Jay Rockefeller to support retromunity, and how two elections, the primary victory of Donna Edwards over Wynn, and the special election in Illinois, where the defeat of a Republican in a seat recently held by former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert shook the "blue dog democrats." McJoan talked about how primary challenges on the FISA issue had a direct impact on how members of congress voted. Jimbo Hoyer turned the conversation to withdrawal from Iraq as the next issue which will drive primary challenges.

McJoan then looked at the Oregon Senate Race, her evaluation is that a wave would sweep Smith out, but that Smith's caution will make it difficult catch him in a bad vote or careless statement. Larry LoRocco also faces an uphill battle in running to replace Larry Craig, but she has said that he is a great retail politician, and is the hardest working politician she has met. The swelling issue that she identifies as being important, and off the radar, is the "Real ID" issue.

The next topic was Iraq, first as part of the plan to withdraw from Iraq issued by several challengers to congress, then as part of the presidential race. Both agreed that the extended horse race has pushed Barak Obama to take a stronger stance against continued occupation in Iraq. Both noted that McCain had directly lied about "Al-Qaeda" being trained in Iran.

Over all McJoan was extremely optimistic about developments of the last few months, including the primary turn out, the benefits of the "50 State Strategy" of Howard Dean, the power of the internet and the blogosphere to mobilize specific resources.

Daily Kos' McJoan at Virtually Speaking

Democratic Political blogger and host Jimbo Hoyer will talk about the very event filled week.

6PM SLT ... what a scheduling conflict.

Lauren Weyland at Playboy

Second Life's premier commedienne.


Our Current Banlink Trust List

This is the list of sites we trust from banlink. If someone causes trouble in any of these sims sufficient for them to list them as a public ban, then that someone isn't welcome on any of our sims either. If you are not a member of Banlink and run a moderately trafficked location, then consider applying. If you are a member, then consider expanding the number of sites that you trust. Note that organizations such as NOAA, IBM, Phat Cats, Badlands(Bad Girls), Calla and the Heron Sanctuary are members.

Most useful is that many of the groups run public sandboxes, and cut griefers off before they spill out to other places.

12monkeysgaming 12 Ah
Abbotts Aerodrome Cubey Terra
Amethysta Estate Amethysta Rosse
Angel Isles Estates Cally Cosmos
Anthrogasm Basinium Dapto
area 51 kerunix Flan
Artificial Isle ZATZAi Asturias
Associated Northcliffe Digital Nikk Huet
Aussie Heaven Anezka Zuhra
Azureislands Sandbox Herry Maltz
Badlands Ghost Dancers Jesse Murdock
BadWolf AtlWolf Blabbermouth
B-Dazzled Island ric dulce
Beautiful Sin BamBam Rockin
Big Bambu Club Admin PreWired Frankfurter
Binary Sorcery Darrigan McLeod
blue dragon group femina matahari
Bondage Playground New Nighbor
Calla Haedon Quine
Cass Airfield Jim Perhaps
Celebraterian Furs Randy Vallely
CGe Technologies Extrems Brock
Charlies Angels Bosley Beresford
Claymore ThelDrakis Chama
Clown Town USA and Subsidiaries oliveeue sholokhov
Club Dragons Keep RoyalDragoness Yifu
Club HC HellCat Writer
Club Illusion Nellow Swain
Club Lava Neural Blankes
Club Pawprintz Ardic Danton
Club Serval Staff Elphias Kojishi
Coral City Jordguitar Flasheart
Cosy Island Melina Loonie
Crobar Industries Taryn London
Cub Conclave Security raven welesa
Damsel Island Association Lorelei Mission
Dark Bliss Dungeon Fetish Club Ailsa Cortes
Darkfang Island Yiffy Yaffle
Desperation Isle Wildefire Walcott
Diegoland Smitty Boyau
DinoPark Nargus Asturias
Divergence Island Silje Russell
Divisadero Management Haden Divisadero
Doolittle Developments Sabrina Doolittle
Draconian Estates Obsidian Stormwind
Dragon Estate Autumnfox Vesperia
Dublin Smitty Boyau
East End Properties Barb Carson
Elysium Gardens tingeling Hawes Garth FairChang
Family Options Chevonne Cazalet
Fantasyland yukiko Omegamu
Farhaven Farley Crabgrass
Fashion Victim Stephanie Misfit
Fermi Sandbox Arthur Fermi
Fetish World Chill3 Mills
FN Phoenix Kithrak Kirkorian
Fox and Ground Properties Ceera Murakami
Freaki Tiki Beach Bar and Resort Aries Piek
FTA Pine Mills
Furious Star Wars Avatars Furia Freeloader
FurNation Mythica Robbyfox Anzac
FurNation Sandboxes FireFox Breed
FurPleasure Sunray Susenko
Furry Sandbox Group Lancars Vezina
Furry Vermin Agent Strangelove
Furtopia CrimsonWings Eun
FX Property and Investment Fleche Xeno
Gay Yiffy Club Estate Kiroja Fluffy
haven Ishtar Writer
Haz Pazaar kamael xevious
Heron Island Paddy Wright
Heron Sanctuary Fleur Grier
Hinode Shima Racknar Prevost
Home Customs RoyalDragoness Yifu
House Elkhart Rochelle LaFollette
House of Nielsen Wyvern Dryke
IBM Jessica Qin
IGE Ike Gibbs
Indigo Crew FlipperPA Peregrine
Infinity Enterprises Mateo Infinity
Inner Child Fawn Hailey
Isla de Muerta Shad Raffke
Ivory Tower of Prims Avi Arrow
Justice League Unlimited Kalel Venkman
KalaciaEstates Chance Unknown
Kalmeere Sunray Susenko
Kanari Islands Nute Skjellerup
Karibu Shadowspawn Soothsayer
KDC land management Kyrah Abattoir
Kia Kaha Anthriel Zapedzki
Kingsfield Stan Pomeray
Kitsune Shrine Ash Qin
Kitty Tully Rentals Jester Spearmann
Leather Kisses Newfie Pendragon
Lil Devil Industries Colin Nilsson
Lost Furest Sandling Honey
Luskwood Michi Lumin
ManHunt Rhyph Somme
Mature Sandbox Waster Skronski
Meeting Island Meeting Island Council
Ministry Housing Association Dalik Tokhes
Moonlight Land Dianna Voight
Myth Enterprises Valek Hin
NCI Garn Conover
Neo-Modern Entertainment Lillie Yifu
Nepenthes Undying Love Laylah Yaseotko
New Paris MadamG Zagato
NOAA Hackshaven Harford
Noctris Extremis loebe Xi
NorthStar Grey Grayson
Noumenon Roleplay Super Calamari
ocean blue dance club Cazzy Halasy
On-Site Security Chartier Ballinger
Orisis Orisis Zeffirelli
Pacidlux Eddie Hagoromo
ParrotHead Harleen Gretzky
Phase5 Jillian Callahan
Phat Cats Jazz Lounge Smitty Boyau
Phoenix Estate Mgnt Phoenixflames Kukulcan
phoenix estate rentals Rick Langdon
Pieces of Eight Michael McLuhan
Planetfurry Guild Maxx Mackenzie
Playfurry etherkye Hansen
Plush Micron Augren Ferguson
PokerTechs Doc Kyger
PopFuzz PopFuzz Bamboo
Public Sandbox Group Bryon Ruxton
Pumacity Casey Benton
Purple Paw Prints Akumu Akula
Rainbow Canyon Shadow Garden
Rainbow Tiger Spike Nico
Republic of Lupinia Felix Uritsky
ring of fire alliance roberto trotter
RUCE Ron Overdrive
Ryder Isles Equino Faulkland
S&S Music Castle Syd Sidran
Sacred & Associates Estates Sacred Zabelin
Sagittaria Security Arkady Yost
Sandbox - Ghost Rooster Misfit
Sangha Daya Shan
SCM Industries Fatz Scheflo
Second Life Media Specialties Fresh Babenco Ice Brodie
Seychelles Islands Gabe Palmer
Seychelles Seacliff Island Alex007 Gray
Shade City Roleplay Geoff Schumann
Shadow Dominion SunShine Kukulcan
Shelter Sporked Friis
Sheridan Tengu Yamabushi
Silver Dreams Angel Fluffy
Simply Purple Mera Pixel
Sintimacy Istephanija Munro
SnowFox Land Corps Hideki Sautereau
StarFleet Command SLQ Halogen Plasma
Stepford Property Management Nina Stepford
Steve Steed Enterprises Steve Steed
Strapped SubMissive dj welles
sunset harbor Rick Langdon
SupportforHealing Industria Dowler
Suzukaze Estate Hiroaki Rhino
Sweetest Dreams Sweetest Sands
Tao Heavy Industries Chao Mu
Tech Expo Zimzim Yongbo
Tehama Land Owners Aryntha Caldera
TEST-TRAVIS Travis Lambert
The ARC Autotive Research Center Ollie Kubrick
The Ark Shadowquine Maltz
The Damned Baldi McMillan
The DarkSide Netherlands Niggurath Redgrave
The Dogs Box Paskis Robinson
The Forest Sandbox Waster Skronski
The Gin Rummy Danielle Ferguson
The Heron Sanctuary budley Allen
The Second Life Vore Club Freakus Freeloader
The Shadowlands Garaan Fitzroy
The Yiff Factory Felix Oxide
TheFelineConspiracy Tau Switchblade
Tossies home for wayward furs Tsu Goodliffe
Transylmaevia Maeyanie Mosienko
Tru Mystics RodneyLee Jessop
Tumble Arrow Avi Arrow
Underland Estate Anubis Chikuwa
Unsung Falls solidare tennant
Urbane Management Group Dnel DaSilva
Virtual Games, Inc. Jon Desmoulins
Waldos World Patrickj Ah
Waterfalls Employees AllieKat Stovall
W-Hat Masakazu Kojima
Wild Things! Ring Kumiko Rosher
Wolf Valley Mako Minogue
Wolfhaven Productions Traven Sachs
Wolfmont Management Badwolf Barbosa
Wood N Tap Restaurant Alex1 Richardson
WSG International Waylon Blackthorne
XO Andrea Book
Yiff Theater grumble Loudon
Zeta Furs Wolphin Fluffball

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's about the shoes

On the difference between grief and roleplay.

Casius has a lovely succinct way of putting things, and this one is hammer nail head.

Professional Griefers of Second Life

Yesterday I was griefed by this avatar, clearly a throw away account. Today I got this communication:

[8:13] Koebi Tachikawa: ...?
[8:16] Lillie Yifu: Listen griefer you want to fire cages around, there are consqeucnes.
[8:16] Lillie Yifu: This one is that people now know you are a loser griefer.
[8:17] Koebi Tachikawa: sorry, its only a job..
[8:17] Lillie Yifu: Who hired you?
[8:18] Koebi Tachikawa: sorry, privacy is one part of my job
[8:18] Koebi Tachikawa: a guy that didnt like this place
[8:18] Koebi Tachikawa: all i can say
[8:20] Lillie Yifu: well that's unfortunate for you, because you've just confessed to being a professional criminal. Which means that I have grounds for rl legal procedings.

If true it calls for immediate action on the part of Linden Labs. The grid is not secure enough to withstand attacks by professional griefer rings.

Most Guys Can't Find Ass with Two Hands and a Landmark
Or, some helpful hints on how to see and not just look.

Why Most Guys Can't Find Ass With Two Hands and A Landmark.

This is a post that could be too harsh. Honestly, I've rewritten it several times, because it is easy to go on too much about how guys fail to find sex on second life, or in the real world. Part of this is that most guys don't pay attention, and the other part is that most guys don't have the self confidence they need.

The reality, from the point of view of a woman, is that there are lots of guys, and very few men. You can be a flawed man, and that is still acceptable, because it is manliness which is most attractive. A guy is ruled by his eyes. His emotions surge and crest based on the buttons that other people push. To be a man is to be able to leap, jump, and turn at your own command.

The difference between men and women is not that it is any easier for a woman to find the right person. It is that if you lower your standards enough as a woman, there will be men willing to be with you. You don't have to be attractive, or even average. Any woman on sl can get a sex partner, of some kind, just by showing up at an orgy room, or joining a free sex list. IRL a single posting to Craigslist with the little of "I want it tonight!" will get, probably 100 responses in the space of a bit more than an hour. This is why guys who run around propositioning everything they see are annoying. We don't need them.

The reverse of this however, is our reality. That's what you have to start doing if you want to do well on SL, pay attention, and start thinking of things from a our point of view. It is just as hard to sort through offers as it is to make offers. There is no such thing as free sex, and that goes in both directions.

What do we talk about alone? Yes, shopping, yes, chick culture. But sooner or later the topic turns to "where are all the good men?" We ask our girlfriends who have good men where and how they met, and how they keep them. We ask the people who are newly enthroned in possible good relationships what the new man is like. The ones that don't chuckle about the guy passing through their lives, or bemoan being single.

So why is it with all these men wanting sex, and with women wanting to be in a relationship that has sex as a component, there is such a mismatch?

It starts from our reality, namely we don't have to be trying to get offers. Not at all. If I go to inventory, pick out my building clothes, which are nothing more than pants, sandals, an updo and a t-shirt top, I'll get propositions. That means when one of us is interested in one of you, specifically, we aren't going to vamp up.

Let me say a few words about being vamped up as a kind of frame around this discussion. If you see one of us wearing great clothes, it isn't to get you to ask us for sex. Most likely, it is because the person you see wants to feel sexy. Or because she has someone, and wants to remind him how sexy she is. In either case setting the sexy slider up, does not mean the fussy slider is down. If anything a woman who looks attractive, and knows she looks attractive, and feels good about looking attractive, is more likely to have a sense of her self-worth is more likely to have her defenses higher and her standards higher. It's like shopping, if I have the attention of the sales associate, I'm going to make her bring out everything that I might be remotely interested in. Vamping up is to make sure that if one of us notices one a man, he will notice back. The other offers are boxes of shoes that we didn't really want to begin with. If you are a guy looking for cheap random sex, then the thing to do is not to proposition the well dressed to kill, but to proposition the people who have intentionally or not, made themselves look dowdy and not put together. She's unhappy with herself, and therefore has a better chance of lowering her standards.

Instead, if we've got our eye set on someone, we want to send him a signal that we are interested, without sending a signal to a wave of other male attention. This is because we want to talk to him and not every various guy out there. If we are attracting other guys, it is simply to provide enough of a challenge to engage his sense of capturing the fair maiden from the crowd. This is why I say that most guys can't find ass with two hands and a landmark. Over and over again I've seen men have a woman interested in them, and not responds. So you, they guy reading this, are saying "so she should be more obvious!" But if she were, she'd be surrounded by those other guys.

So what should you do?

It seems to me that guys are always on the prowl, that they want to be able to meet anyone anywhere. However, we want some control. We want a place where there is enough of a barrier so that men who aren't really interested don't waste our time. We don't want to be just another number on your browse through the meat market. Really, it's not a turn on. We also want the barrier to be low enough, so that men will feel that it is alright. At work, it is delicate, because at work if you get the reputation of being on the hunt you are seen as desperate, and guys avoid the desperate, probably drunk, loser chick. Or you get the wrong kind of attention.

The other thing we want is some place where the man will pay attention. This is because we want to send him, and only him, signals of interest. Other people will tell that they are not invited to that oh so private party that is happening right in front of them. The rest of the world disappears, even if it is crowded, and there is just the two of us.

So what are you, the man, looking for. One thing is the touch. The touch is anything which shows that we've made a special effort. An example is no copy jewelry. It probably isn't just pillaged out of the outfits folder, we put it on for a reason. That touch says that we want to look extra special. The other touch is if a woman wants to go shopping with you. If she wants to clean you up, she's got a reason. The touch goes far beyond things like this however. The touch is when she picks you out, asks you for something, like say, to dance. It's what you hope for isn't it? A woman's touch in your life? Well then respond when the first one is offered.

Another thing to look for is, the follow. The follow is when one of us is willing to go along with your lead. We put ourselves in your hands. It's tough to follow a man. In real life, there are signals of the follow you don't get here, so you have to listen more closely. The follow is when a woman starts complimenting specific things, and asking those kinds of leading questions that are an invitation to show off. Not the general kind, but the specific kind. What the follow is asking is whether you can do things for us. Surprise us, maybe even shock us. Make something that flowers into our eyes and makes the world brighter.

The follow is one of your best opportunities as a guy. It's what you should plan for. And have a good plan. It's also something you can't force with too early by asking to go someplace alone. You see, the time to ask that question is when we already are alone, and the crowd is getting annoying. When it is time to pay closer attention. When the lag is intolerable.

Then there is the look. The look is the one few men fail to notice, but they often fail to follow it up. What is it? Well everyone knows it, it is the full on compliment, the press of attention. The compliments, the sense of putting you on a pedestal. When I am paid to escort, a good fraction of the time, it is just enough to go through the motions of the look and the guy is having his world rocked.

Now why do I put them in this order? Because the touch is the most common approach, the follow is next, and the look is last. If you, a guy, are waiting for the look, then you are missing out on most of your chances. As importantly, the thing to do after getting the look is to lead back down the trail. That's right, you make an offer to follow, and that often involves a chance for the touch.

Let me say what I mean more exactly by giving a kind of do and don't list. Don't say "do you want to go someplace more private?" It only works when you already have things in hand. Say something like "a friend of mine just opened a gallery, I think you 'll like the pictures of flowers she does." That's an invitation to follow. An invitation to touch is something like, "You've got marvelous taste, I've been looking for a carnation for this tuxedo, can you take me someplace that might have them?"

As with many things, the world is in reverse order for men and women. The look is something that generally comes at the end, not the beginning, of the connection. That point when we're bubbly and happy and giddy. Instead, feel your way along by touches and follows first, and the world will look different. I mean, women can tell which women are desperate, which woman is open to offers from unexpected quarters, and which women have their eye set on some man. If you start looking for women the way we look at each other, then you'll see a very different womanscape out there. Start looking at the women who are in the right places, who've put on the extra touch, who are showing signs of being willing to go where you lead them, and who have turned their eye on you and want to add that little touch that will make you oh so much better. If you think about it, that's because in a relationship, we want a man who can surprise us, a man who can take us places we've never been, and at the same time be secure enough to let us touch, tease and toy with even the most private parts of his external existence.

This is because what women want are men. Men are defined by the fact that they can't be lead around by their eyes. OK, no matter what we will from time to time lead you around by your baser reflexes. It's even fun. But mostly, we don't want guys who are chasing around getting lucky, but men who can make their own luck. All these signals, the touch, the follow, the look, are meant to weed out guys who aren't paying attention, and can't make things happen, and find the men who are.

Now here is the thing to always remember as a man. Getting to that giddy happy state of having the right man is hard. Just spend some time looking at women who have just fallen in love. What is the first thing they talk about? Uh huh, that's right. If you are a man who can make a woman giddy happy, then you have something that is rare and valuable. That's why serial propositioning, forcing things the wrong way, or being clueless, are death to your chances of getting what you really want.

So what about vamp hunting? I mean, I know you want me to dish on how to get the hottest best dressed woman in a crowd. Well, that's for another time. But before I do that, i am going to cut the other direction, and write something that I've wanted to write for a long time, and that is how to sort out the lame and the losers from the gems. If men make the mistake of being too easily distracted by the tramps and the vamps, then we all too often make the mistake of falling into relationships that are bad for us.

Iota Ultsch Interview

One of SL's many-talented, hyphen essential, women gives us insights into her success.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This Life, This Other Eden

New grant on immersiveness ANony who thinks immersion is doomed needs to look more closely. our virtual worlds are immersive, we transform them.

And they transform us.

Scientists have previously been unable to study the bystander effect, even under controlled conditions, due to ethical and practical reasons. However, the advanced animated humans and environments created by the NCCA will give scientists a unique opportunity to test the bystander effect in the context of a ‘controlled’ immersive virtual environment.

“We want to dramatically improve the quality of these social virtual environments,” said Professor Zhang, Director of BU’s Computer Animation Research Centre. “We also want to contribute to the growing body of research that uses virtual environments as a laboratory for social psychological research.

“Other studies have already shown that real people tend to respond realistically in virtual social situations,” Professor Zhang continued. “As our real participants take part in the study within the virtual environments we’ll be creating, we will measure their physiological, behavioural, cognitive and emotional responses to that environment. These responses will help us to learn even more about the bystander effect and should provide further insight into many other psychological phenomenon.”

Ironic that this comes up on the feed the same I did a piece on virtual rape roleplay.

Something Wonderful

Arthur C. Clarke has left the first world. We now have only the virtual self he left behind in the form of his writing. Arthur C. Clarke the virtual person will be as interesting an engaging as Clarke the living person was. It will even grow and adapt. It will not be the same, there is change, and there is loss. Time transforms everything. We have lost a core, an engine, a spirit of creation. But that spirit now spreads outward into the world. The funeral is not the end of a hero's life.

I read Clarke first in the form of the novelization of 2001. It did not impress me, and I set the work, and the writer, aside. The movie moved me however, and still does. 2010 the movie did not move me, until its final sequences,where a new star was born.

I feel that way about the internet, it is our new star, giving light into darkness, changing the shape of the world, and, perhaps, a place where new life itself may be born.

What is going to happen next?

I don't know, something wonderful.

HTML ona Prim

For those who are not following it, this is the situation. Quicktime can render more than just videos. Recently the 1.19 release of Second Life added the ability to wrap an HTML page through quicktime on to a single prim. This is done the same way setting a movie is done, and with the same results. It's a static representation of an HTML page on a prim.

The problems with this implementation are many. First, by linking it to the exploitable, and pointless, parcel system, it denies agents access to setting their own media without work arounds. Second, it is one HTML page per client. All media textures on that client will be replaced with the same page, though there are work arounds for this as well, at the cost of bandwidth.

The last problem is the IP exposure problem. For this reason it is important to repeat the reminder: never have media on on any SIM that you don't know for a fact that every aprcel is controlled by reliable people, and which does not restrict rezzing of prims to group members or the owner. Never. This means virtually every mainland sim must be considered "unsafe."

As far as what this does, it does reduce load on the asset server, which would otherwise have to house textures, and it does open the capability of displaying things to a wider audience of people. Using some technology commonly available people can display HTML on prims now, merely that there are limitations to how many can view it and so on.

This is then neither salvation nor damnation. It is an exploitable problem, and people who have reasons to worry about their anonymity will merely have even more of a reason to keep media off.

What would be better for the community would be to make the inclient browser more functional, because that would allow individual users to set their own information, and edit web pages. Also, more people should learn to use WikiHUD. Another useful thing rather than static HTML streaming, would then be to have a browser that rasterizes and wraps. This would get us away from Quicktime and its limitations, and away from parcel control of information sources.

Rape Play in Second Life

Being forced to have sex, or forcing sex, is a common fantasy. This is becasue the work of worrying and thinking about the future is a burden, and this is one way to turn all of that off. It is, if you think about it related to things like submission, put also to thinks like marriage fantasies. The future doesn't matter, so go to sleep that worrying thinking part of the fore brain.

Now what you will learn on Second Life is that selling sex is, at best, a break even proposition. Instead the way to make money is to sell access to someone else's free sex. Whether a formal ball room or an orgy room, the owners are taking a hefty cut for providing a place where people hope to get free sex from someone else. Personally I think any place that advertises "free sex" should be required to have girls on station to provide it, because if I were to put upa sign that said "free money" and didn't give out any, then I'd be in trouble fairly quickly. Could a sim owner really say that they hoped someone else would show up and hand out free money, and they were just creating a space which encouraged it?

In otherwords, rape play in second life, like most things, is a traffic draw for a mall...

I have a great deal more respect for places that set up a roleplay slpace, because they don't promise free sex, but they do let you bring your own.

I went out to look at the state of rape role play in second life, for the simple reason that no one writes about it. I also had the feeling that as with many things, there would be many people hanging around the edges, without the courage to come out and do it. As is usual, I had rules going in, so that I would not have my own reflexes or biases take charge when things got going. My first rule was that, unless required, I was not going to wear a victim tag. This is because this is rape play. I was going out to be raped. A guy who doesn't have the ability to at least start the roleplay, or make some kind of approach, isn't looking for rape play, he's just interested in free sex.

The first place I went to had two people playing out a rather ordinary lesbian sex scene. they were amateurs about it, but they were at least having fun. But of the three men that walked up in my vicinity, none hand the courage to do more than look and stare. The next place I went to a sub came up to me and wanted me to dominate him.

The next place had an established couple, and two guys doing the hop on a pose ball approach. Now I ask you, rape play where the vic has to throw herself in the way? However the master let one of the randoms in and things got going. The girl moaned in voice. Going is going. It was slut play, not rape play, but going is going.

I got randomly caged by Koebi Tachikawa, reported him to banlink and ar'd. It's clearly a throw away account. Come2Me Carter was attacking people with griefer weapons, didn't care that he was reported. He's a paying member, and many of them believe that LL will put up with anything rather than cut loose someone who pays. Come2Me Carter is a griefer, and seems to think himself immune: "That's what SL is for!" Two in one hour makes me willing to say that Force Park it seems to accumulate griefers.

Two other people started roleplaying a rough sex scene while I was filling out the reports...

The summary I would have here is that people who are interested in dark sex are more serious about actually having sl sex. This should be a lesson to newbs in orgy rooms, if you want random hook ups, don't be looking for someone's rl, and do take some time to be invested in Second Life, and you will be surpised at what you can find...

What I decided to do was simple join a group and ask. No one was available in the first rape group that I joined, and so I went back to the fall back plan ... asking on a free sex group. I quickly had an offer, his avatar was reasonably handsome and well equipped. The first place we went to we were griefed trying to do the scene, so we went else where. He was relatively able at the role play, and it certainly seemed to please him. But he said that his more normal fare is ordinary romantic fun. (Slightly editted transcript here. His name, and any references to by standers has been removed.)

In a way this tells me something very hopeful. Despite many people's thinking about dark role play and rape in sl, the reality is that what most people want is ordinary emotional connection. You are more likely to be griefed than find a partner for extreme roleplay, in fact during the time I was doing this I saw relatively ordinary slut roleplay going on.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm getting stale money transactions and having trouble teleporting

Any one else seeing the same thing?

We need some BA in SL

the tango's soul is having nowhere to go but out or up.

I love this blog design

It's sort of a sad story today... reminds me that I actually need to redo this blog...

There is an outside world

Mine's sort of in chaos right now.

that's why I have to prioritize. The big things are the musical instruments now that we have a better API available, wikiHUD, and Three Linden Opera.

My belief is that an in world text reading of the Three Linden Opera would be great fun.

Halcyon Shui: I have a right to Spam!

We all know that Abuse Reports come in two flavors. The kind which is on a short list of things LL actually cares about... which can have an account deleted within minutes. And things they don't care about, which are ignored. This is why SL Banlink exists. It is also why I post various misdeeds to the blog, because that is one way that people learn not to simply spam other people.

[2008/03/09 19:14] Halcyon Shui: hi there, apologies for the drive by IM, but i'm organising a private orgy at my apartment for a straners sex fantasy,if you're interested, please reply to this
-- End of Log ---
[0:16] Halcyon Shui: hi there, apologies for the drive by IM, but i'm hosting a private orgy at my apartment, if you're interested in joining, just reply to this

Halcyon Shui: only cause they don't have the time and they're really busy, but i only invite people that don't look like they just use excite and were born yesterday, but this is the second time i've picked up flack for inviting someone twice, so i'm actually apologising sincerely and have made a point only to ask someone once, which is not spamming

There it is from his own mouth, Halcyon Shui says he has the right to spam, so long as, in his sole judgment, the woman was asking for it. And it is all better if he is very sorry for having been caught. He also didn't learn from the first time. This is almost the definition of spamming, cut and paste come ons.

Welcome to Google.

After arguing with me for some time Halcyon admitted that spamming was lame, and that he would not do it any more. I'm keeping the post, because it is equally lame to post and then delete. But it is beyond lame to leave something in the wrong place. Every so often I have written in anger. A few people have had the courage to face the problem and discuss. I always value these people, it is an act of rare bravery.

Go in peace Halcyon, and find the best in all your worlds.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Two MegaPrims fixes in recent Havok 4 beta

SVC-1819 llSetPos no longer fails silently on link children
SVC-1760 Complex Large hollowed prim now rezzes and functions correctly again.

Thanks to the members of teh huge prims community that voted these issues up.

Friday, March 14, 2008

House passes PAA extension without retromunity

Veto likely unless house passes retromunity

I have to ask why this is even a possibility.

Upload Download Lather Rinse Repeat

I log in to my lover,
Upload Download Lather Rinse, Repeat
He is from far across another sea.
Upload Download Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
My fingers on keys flutter,
my heart it has a stutter,
on the screen my eyes a hover.

Upload Download. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

It's not what you think,
or maybe yes it is.
I only have eyes, for that face of his.
Crash out, Login, Deruth. Lather Rinse, Repeat.
I long ot hear the typing from half a world away,
he's always in my thoughts, each and every day.
He's in my dreams,
when into sleep I sink.
I don't care who he is,
because he brings me to the brink.

It is the clutter of words that pour forth
they crackle, brute and brittle as he takes me,
they whisper soft and sooting, as he holds me
in the coming of ever light that rapidly chases
to a silver dawn that comes hour after hour.

The red is burning, buring from the sun,
and flowering in my face, flush
a dreamscape erewhon.
It haunts me in the day,
I look for his face upon the city street.

I put our song in iTunes,
with its driving simple beat.
Upload, download, lather rinse, repeat.
It joined us once,
on distant moon,
where we once did greet,
and fumbled for a thought that would create entry
into this, the world we carried with us.

Upload, Download, Lather Rinse, repeat.

Now driving scattered shatter all the boundaries that we made,
we've shared every moment, and left nothing left unsaid.
I, gidddy with the ecstasy that stalks my shaking limbs
finally ache to join the flesh to flesh,
and be totally withined.

Push me, press me, penetrate me.
In load, out load, shally la
I am incoherent for this sin.

But that's the turn that struck,
when finally the eyes made contact
and found a truth that broke the contract.
My lover is like me.
My lover is a she.

That time my senses still experience,
as my senses then did whir,
no longer was the backdrop the sound of hard drive whir,
but beating heart, once kept apart.

And sixty times the solistice summer sun,
has touched her brow in its rhythm to be run.
Her life is muchly over,
and mine is just begun.

Our love is still within,
though other bodies do we don.

And so we retreated backwards, to the Second Life we knew,
there wasn't anything else, that I willingly could do.

I still hover on my keyboard,
and wait for every tryst,
my eyes they gleam like diamonds,
my pearl an amethyst.

What rift of fate has made us twain,
and still of one hart,
and denied us flesh and blood,
so we are apart.

But now and here we have and this is all,
and I push my mind back to shape,
before the dream kingdom's fall.

Upload Lillie Download, La La Lather Rinse Repeat.

I login for my lover,
who I love from crown down to his feet,
though never ever ever more,
in analog we meet.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dot earth Discussion of sustainability and SL

Fad, fact, or fusion of possibilities?

Second Life offers us chances to do things that cannot be done easily, or well, in the real world, or cannot be done safely. It also offers a chance to get the pleasures of consumption and travel, without as much of the overhead of hurling people's plasma all over the atmosphere...

Since the dot Earth is slow to update comments, I am going to post mine here. I'm going to start with thanking two people who spent time with me walking me through various points. I'm not, as should be obvious, a climate specialist, but I have passed enough classes on statistics and in the sciences to know scientific method and statistical reasoning. In the comments are two examples of how people lie in the public debate.

I'll start with the easy to dispose of misleading statement, what some people call a "factoid," that is used to try and defuse people's understanding.

"NOAA: Coolest Winter Since 2001 for U.S., Globe"

The image is from wikipedia and the source is listed as:

This image shows the instrumental record of global average temperatures as compiled by the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia and the Hadley Centre of the UK Meteorological Office. Data set HadCRUT3 was used. HadCRUT3 is a record of surface temperatures collected from land and ocean-based stations. The most recent documentation for this data set is Brohan, P., J.J. Kennedy, I. Haris, S.F.B. Tett and P.D. Jones (2006). "Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: a new dataset from 1850". J. Geophysical Research 111: D12106. doi:10.1029/2005JD006548.  Following the common practice of the IPCC, the zero on this figure is the mean temperature from 1961-1990.

This graph shows that while 2007 was indeed "the coolest year since 2001" this is only because we've had the cluster of warmest years on record. In fact, the headline could have been about how 2007 continued an abnormal cluster of very warm years. According to a mathematically inclined friend, last year is a further indication that something unusual is going on with climate, because under ordinary circumstances is a "wavelet oscillator," something which has a pattern of bouncing up and down over its general trend line. According to him oscillators are common in climate, I know they are common in biology. When an oscillator pattern ceases to be observed, it's an indicator of something within the model. He enumerated several possibilities, some of them affirming the hypothesis that something was disturbing the underlying system, and others that the system had what he called "an equilibrium" form. He pointed me to a recent paper on fish populations which showed that the relationship between a particular fish and its prey tended to either engage in wide swings, or remain very close to stable, but that transitions between these two states were considered to be an inidication of an outside disruption. He then mentioned some cases where the clustering against an oscillator was the indication of a local peak in a long term pattern.

What that means, I think, is that last year being slightly cooler probably means that global warming is confirmed, in a minor way, by the fact that while it was cooler, it was not much cooler, when ordinarily we would have expected a cooling year to show a significant drop below the best curve fit. You can see this from the graph, with a few exceptions, generally the wobble of global temperature is a cluster of warm years, perhaps a transitional year, then a cold year, or perhaps two, then possibily transition, and then back to warm years. Since the long term trend has been up, generally there are more warm years in a peak than cold years. That we've had such a large cluster of warm years is very unusual.

His last warning however was that you can go crazy staring at the charts too long, and it is always best to get back to data, experiments, and theory. By theory he meant mathematical descriptions of data that predicted the outcome of experiments.

That brings me to the latest echo boom in the right wing, a claim by a former NASA scientist that the equations used for climate prediction are "totally wrong." He hasn't presented his views widely, and I just got back an email from a friend in Europe who has looked at his original (which I could not find initially.) Here is the original.

His response was that the paper has several assumptions which are not proven, and which are crucial to the conclusion. He pointed me to which pointed to the most important one. To unpack what is being talked about, let me cite from the original paper:

identify EU as the total internal kinetic energy of the atmosphere, the
EU=SU/2 equation must hold. EU can also be related to GN through the
EU=SU(A-GN) equation. In opaque atmospheres 1=A and the 0.5GN = is
the theoretical upper limit of the normalized greenhouse factor.

According to Arthur Smith, this isn't established. Or more specifically, since SU/2 = SU(A-GN) is trivially the same thing, these aren't different equations, since A=1 and G<.5 means that this is:

SU*.5 = SU/2 * (1-.5)
.5 = .5

Without showing that there's any cause relationship between the two. The relationship doesn't have to hold, my friend explains, because he's simply multiplying both sides of an equation by constants and numbers that he's arbitrarily asserted.

My friend then went on to point out that on page 8:

It is practically the / UOLRS ratio
or the normalized OLR. The greenhouse functions are analogous to the
empirical NG factor introduced in Section 2.

That there are two assertions here, one is that the ration is "practically" the same, which would require proof that there are no other significant factors, which since this is what is being argued, makes the argument circular, and that being "analogous" isn't a transparent assertion either, Maxwell's inverse square law is analogous to Newton's, he said, but that doesn't mean you can swap one for the other.

Caught in this web of circular assertions and unproven assumptions, he draws a conclusion that doesn't work in the face of experimental evidence, that some gases do, in fact, allow some wave lengths of light to pass through, striking the earth below, which re-emits them as different wave lengths, that are then reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere and not radiated back to space.

Instead the paper asserts on page 9:

The popular explanation of the greenhouse effect as the result of the LW
atmospheric absorption of the surface radiation and the surface heating by the
atmospheric downward radiation is incorrect, since the involved flux terms
( AA and DE ) are always equal.

But he hasn't proven this, he asserted the hydrostatic equilibrium, he didn't prove it, since his proof is that it is empirically and pratically analogous, and there is nowhere a survey of data that shows this, or a citation to anyone else's survey of the data that shows this.

Instead he proposes:

The mechanism of the greenhouse effect may
better be explained as the ability of a gravitationally bounded atmosphere to
convert F0 P0+ to OLR in such a way that the equilibrium source function
profile will assure the radiative balance ( F0 P0 = OLR ), the validity of the
Kirchhoff law ( ED=SUA), and the hydrostatic equilibrium ( SU=2EU [my note, these are the equations mentioned in the previous excerpts).
Although an atmosphere may accommodate the thermal structure needed for the
radiative equilibrium, it is not required for the greenhouse effect. Formally, in
the presence of a solid or liquid surface, the radiation pressure of the thermalized
photons is the real cause of the greenhouse effect, and its origin is related to
the principle of the conservation of the momentum of the radiation field.

My friend notes that this is hand waving, that everyone admits that most of the heat stored in the atmosphere and oceans is because of the molecules themselves, but that the question of global warming is not about most of the heat storage, but about a rather small variation in the total which will make life very uncomfortable for us. And his proof is handwaving away small effects. I can understand that, a myocardial infarction, a heart attack, doesn't involve many cells as a total of the body. Most of the body is just fine, except...

At most, he tells me, that this paper argues against the kind of runaway heat death fears, which postulate that earth will become like Venus, which, he notes, is also not accepted in the scientific literature.

I'm going to underline that I am not a climate scientist, I could have misinterpreted what the blogger and my correspondent have said, and that all of this needs to be checked. But it hasn't been in an uncritical amplification of the paper by a variety of sources, none of whom have checked the numbers in any shape manner or form, and have, it seems, even less qualifications to do so than I do.

Hamlet's Book gets a glowing review from the Industry Standard

"a fascinating account...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Touching the 23rd Century

As promised, I am blogging on the discussion the other day about Soylent Green at thinkers, or rather, blogging my thoughts, since the discussion was extremely disappointing to me. First because there were two poles of foolishness. One pole was a series of defense mechanisms as to why we don't have to worry. These excuses are usually specious, or stupid, or both. They usually take the form of incontrovertibly true, but utterly irrelevant statements. Or they take the stance that the really terrible things aren't going to happen in the speaker's lifetime, so why worry about it. The other pole of foolishness is a metaphysics of the rights of the universe, often based on statements which are not provably false, but aren't relevant either.

We can laugh at 1970's dystopianism now, partially because many of the dystopian predictions did not come true. We don't live in a 1984 type state that pushes out processed calories and fake news. Or do we? I think that a good case can be made that we've just gotten much better at packaging fake food than the movie suggests, and much better at creating the sprawling megalopoli of misery all over the world. New York doesn't have 40 million people in it, but many cities around the globe have exploded in size, and the living conditions there, according to first had reports are easily as bad as the movie presents. People living amidst rivers of raw sewage, of example.

Their deaths, I think it is fair to say, make our lives possible. We not only eat people, we sit on them, walk on them, and pour them into our gas tanks. People naturally don't want to think about this.

The first pole is generally rightish on the political spectrum. It consists of statements such as there is plenty of energy and matter in the world. Well, that's true, but it is false as well. The question is not the amount of raw energy, per se, but forms we can use it. You can synthesize a vat of right handed amino acids. There is plenty of energy, there are all the basic nutrients needed for life. And a human being can't eat any of them. It's like there is more than enough processor power on the grid to do more than we do, but making it possible to get at it is a very hard problem that is taking up the time of lots of very smart people. I suppose there is some way to formalize the argument in terms of mathematics, but the essential thrust is that it takes more energy and time to get at the energy and matter than we can possibly get. Another rationalization is to talk about how in so many billions of years the death of the sun, or heat death of the universe, or something will mean it will all not matter anyway. Vacuously true. But that's like saying that everyone in the world living now will be dead in 1000 years, so why don't we just kill a few billion of them now in slow and painful ways now if it makes things a bit happier. These dodges pretend to talk from the great universal point of view, ignoring the fact that none of us are the universe. The universal consciousness, if there is one or more of them, will have to take care of it or themselves. The questions that face us are in the consciousnesses of people.

The other doge is leftish on the political spectrum. It pretends that the universe owns us, and that we should therefore retreat to some imagined pre-technological idyllic live in harmony with nature.

A sort of combination of the two is to presume some arbitrary technology that will solve all our problems, replacing the natural world with one of our own devising. The evidence is that such a technological world will have more, not fewer, problems of sustainability, if second life's crashes and problems are any indication.

This is why I want to make a very simple statement. That is that many of the people reading this blog, are going to touch the 23rd Century. Consider, it's not unlike that I will live to the age of 100. That means, roughly, that I will be alive until 2080. Now, I will meet people, very young people, perhaps my great grandchildren who are born at that time. I will hold them on my lap, smile at them, and watch their parents coo over them. That means that if they live to 100, then they will be alive until 2180. With only a very small bit of medical technology, 10 years more life span than is now the case, I will know people who will be alive for at least a little while in the 23rd Century AD. I know that CE is now the approved abbreviation, but AD has all those great literary relationships.

That's true of other people reading this too. So there are many of us, and more every day, who are concerned, rather directly with the world of 2300, because some of the people we love will be there when it arrives.

To me, if I can be again sort of obviously pragmatic about it, predicting what that world will be like, and what it's problems are, is hard. Some of the things we do now will make it to 2300, just as things like the clock face, as old as it is, are still with us. We don't know which ideas will still be common places 200 years from now, but we know that based on the past, some of them will be.

Breaking through the false sense of it not mattering in ten billion years, and the false sense that some how we should, out of guilt, toss aside ourselves in favor of something which no one will ever prove the existence of, and no one will every disprove either I look at the present and see that really, most people take the first form of denial. The world seems to work, and it seems like we don't need to do much.

We sort of have in technology a built in bias to escapism. We are in this new medium, and it is easy to believe that it will solve our problems. But it won't. Avatars produce a great deal of carbon to create, because all this runs on electricity, and as several articles that showed up in my google news feed on Second Life point out, that means coal burning power plants.

I'm going to leave it to others to argue about the causes in biology and human nature that are making us reach particular problems now. But any useful discussion has to focus on the problem we know, and can show. The world that we swim through, is changing, and many of the truisms and truths of the last century, are fading. And they will collapse long before many of us will die.

We touch the 23rd century, and it is touching us back. Talking about how there are plenty of bits of rock, or that it will all be gone in some far distant time, is really not thinking at all, but a rush away from facing what we have to do today, tomorrow, and in the years to come.

The Ides of March event: Seeking Pleasure in a Virtual World

The Ides of March event: Seeking Pleasure in a Virtual World
This is the inaugural round-table discussion for the Kama Sutra Institute. Our topic will be the pursuit of pleasure in SL--the many forms it takes, how it differs or aligns with 1st life, and to what ends it is taken.

Much of the press, both mainstream and in the blogosphere, regarding Second Life revolves around its economy (or un-economy, as some would have us believe) and pleasure-seeking (read: escorting). Fundamentalists take umbrage, those with an agenda manipulate, the Fortune 500 downplays, and...well, the fundamentalists again take umbrage. Yet every newbie signing in to Second Life for the first time will have their first sexual encounter (or at the very least be propositioned) within hours of being in-world. What happens in a virtual environment where most of the prevailing societal norms and constraints (and, indeed, those of the physical) no longer apply? While there are many outlets to seek pleasure in SL--from the very forward-thinking reality experimentation, beautifully-designed sims of fantasy and fancy, to interpretations of RL thrill-seeking (e.g., FPS games, roleplay, racecars and rollercoasters, et cetera)--the preponderance of escorting has raised many an eyebrow.

Yes, you can go newbie-fishing in the welcome areas, yes there are hundreds of sims where a roll in the hay (or sand, or clouds, or aether) will cost you nothing more than time. You can go to innumerable escort houses and nightclubs and titillate the night away (or your lunchbreak at work) for a nominal fee with any size shape or manner of public woman (or furry, or angel, or devil, or alien, or...). But there exists above the strata of the mundane a new, elite class of companion that seeks to enrich every moment spent in her company, who values an avatar that has taken care to present [it]self with distinction and knows that value for value is not lost on some, and who seeks pleasure in a manner at times innocent and pure and at times with the intoxication of a fallen saint.

How has this path been paved? And where does it lead?

That shall be ours to answer.

The round-table discussion format serves to exchange ideas among willing minds, expand the boundaries of the status quo, and in the best tradition of thinking people everywhere to elicit change in a tangible manner, one person at a time.
Several friends and SL luminaries will be invited to participate; seating for the general public is strictly limited to 15 and must be confirmed via IM to me directly; the parcel will be closed to those not on the guest list once the event starts.


Spitzer, Prostitution and Choices, a Personal View

As you As you would sort of expect, the fall of a politician causes a national examination of prostitution as an institution. I'll leave aside the double and triple standards that are going on here, because examining that is a job for the overground political blogs. It's also not my place to talk about the socio-economic roots of prostitution, partially because that field is cluttered with people who have made up their minds about prostitution, and bend, break or bamboozle their way to conclusions. Equally good cases for complete legalization and complete prohibition can be made, simply because you can find anything in human nature. The search for one root cause to prostitution is dooo oooo ooomed to failure.

The internet makes this a comodity that you can shop for like any other.

Let me instead write about this from the perspective of someone who has, for the last year, taken money to roleplay being a prostitute, and roleplay acts of sex, from ordinary to extreme, that span virtually the entire range of available pornography. If you've read about it, with a few exceptions, I've typed it or spoken it into my microphone.

During that time I have met thousands of people involved in working in virtual prostitution, or searching for anonymous cyber/voice/camera sex. Not hundreds, thousands. An average of 10 contacts a day adds up.

My view on the roots of prostitution is not what could be called the bad bad men theory, that a few bad men want something and abused women are hopelessly enthrall to the call of their money, nor is it the fallen woman theory, which is really the same theory, only it starts from the premise that women are abused and spread their legs as a result.

The people who I have met circle the globe. I have had partners, or offers, or colleagues, from the Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxemborg, Mexico, Qatar, Spain and the United States. And that's what I know of. I have met men and women as whores, madams, mistresses, masters and clients. Since SL allows anyone to play both genders, some of my clients have done both genders with me, as well as shemale.

I tell people that you can do things in Second Life that don't have names in real life. There is no word, in any language, for double penetration by a centaur. I looked for it.
Because of this view I believe, absolutely and unequivocally that sex for money, or sex for association with power is not driven by sexual abuse, unless the incidence of it is far higher than anyone, even the most blistering pessimist believes. It is not driven by economics per se, because almost all of the people who I have met could be making more money by working in real life. You have programmers earning astronomical, at least to me, wages, who spend their evenings as a female with black stockings and a skimpy panty making come ons on the corner of Amsterdam for sex that brings about 1 USD per hour of activity.

The sex industry on SL is worse than RL, because the actual money is made by selling content that the sex is a loss leader for. 50% cut? If only the girls who worked most prostitution houses in second life made anything like that, or even the tier that LL gets for providing servers for this. The fees paid for sex services are a tiny slice of the money made. Prostitution in second life is purely exploitative in a way that RL prostitution cannot be.

The visibility of the direct sex industry, in which I will include orgy farms because they are profiting by offering the hope of 0L whores, in Second Life indicates that prostitution is more than an economic institution, it is a social one, and it exists in the subterranean realms of our minds and libidos first, and only then does it get translated into something else.

Not to be too overly analytical about it, but Senator Vitter, and Governor Spitzer, could have gotten sex, even their preferred acts, without any sort of monetary exchange. Paying for sex was the thrill. And the women involved could have been getting the same return on their time, once adjusting for risk, in many other ways. Being paid for sex, at some point, became most palatable alternative.

I've been in the latter position. I've spent a year as a virtual escort, and not just as a for free roleplay. I realized almost on impact in Second Life that the economy requires you to either spend a fair amount of real world money really quickly to get set up and going, or it requires you to provide escorting services to others, since that is virtually the only entry level position in Second Life. Virtually the only.

That's what makes me believe that prostitution is not driven by bad men who want bad things, nor by fallen women, but by a dynamic built into human beings, which we play out. Primates swap sex for favors, you can see it in Chimpanzees and Gorillas. That human beings have a more complex swap, from our more complex sexuality and ability to both bestow and take favors, isn't surprising, or at least, ought not to be.

The dynamic is that on one party's part, generally the man, there is a desire to subjugate. That is break the will of the other person so much, that the other person is a pliant tool to their will. On the other person's part there is a desire to manipulate, create a focus of desire so great that the other person cannot help but to hold on. This is a relationship that exists in consensual forms as well, and going both ways. Every partner in a sexual relationship, no matter how meek they are, has dreamt of having the other merely serve out of subservience. Every partner in a sexual relationship, no matter how dominant, has wanted to have the will and the pressure of looking forward erased into an all consuming craving to obey.

This then is the tension between client and escort. The client wants to subjugate, or the feeling of subjugating. The escort craves to manipulate. The thrill for the client is that there is someone, a person, feverishly typing or vocalizing to keep them happy. Organ rental is not it. Penetration is merely the highest proof of subjugation. They aren't renting an organ, they are seeking catharsis into another person.

What we are seeking, is the whoregasm. The payment the proves the other person had desire for us greater than the monetary payment. That for at least a moment it was better for them to play with us, than pirate a song off the internet, download a free porn picture, or some other activity of leisure that this digital age provides for.

There it is: catharsis of subjugation, against the ecstatic moment of manipulation.

Of course the greater the subjugation the greater the payment. This is why the top end of virtual sex services overlaps the bottom end of real sex: because visually subjugating a beautiful young woman who is otherwise free to pursue her own destiny, is more powerful a fall then physically subjugating an ugly woman who has no other good options in life that she has the agency to grasp.

This plays out in some different ways. One of the most common things escorts here on second life from clients or potential clients is "I want you to enjoy it as much as I do." What we enjoy, is the whoregasm. Almost by definition, we aren't going to enjoy theporn scene as much, because you are paying us to do what you want us to do, without worrying about our emotional or sexual desires. If you wanted a partner who would enjoy it as much as you do, Mr. Client, then you would be prowling the dance floors and engaging in that dance of men an women, with its warm rising tides that flush over the face, and urge the curtains to be closed as the veils of open. How well I know it.

Dominance games run this in reverse, the sub hopes, in general, to be a free sub eventually, but they are hoping that subjugating them becomes so tempting as to draw the domme in. However, many, many, many, male subs use it as pure ruse. They want the same thing any other male wants: my phone number so that he can plow my furrow, he's just willing to throw in a few words to provide a façade.

What this means is that prostitution isn't the result of patriarchy, but instead is a stone that sits next to it on the same foundation. That foundation is that human beings are primates. Primates play dominance and submission games, as well as have subjugation and manipulation as part of the currency of the social fabric. That fabric is not made into some social construct, but is part of the basic grammar of personal relationships.

Patriarchy tilts the balance in favor of subjugation of women, it recognizes that dominance and submission are human currency, and then tilts this relationship by giving subjugators a free pass to engage in what would, in any other context, be called criminal acts. Banning prostitution doesn't ban subjugation and manipulation, murder, rape, incest, manipulation, extortion, or coercion.

So, like war and violence, there is no one evolutionarily approved way of playing this out. Prostitution, the institution, is different from prostitution, the response. Second Life has people playing prostitution, and many of the same emotional effects. Would that one day war be the same way: that people can get their fill of the emotional thrill throwing pixels at each other and taking trash on wiki pages afterwards.

So many people have asked me if I would "legalize" prostitution. My problem with the question is who would regulate it? Anyone willing to legalize is probably not willing to face the music of what that means in America. Anyone willing to regulate is not willing to legalize. Having a few small counties, ones otherwise in the sin business, legalizing prostitution isn't indicative of anything. It's impossible to have too many prostitutes there, because then prices would go down. Legalization, in fact, in Las Vegas and Reno, if you think about it, is a way of preventing other people from entering into a lucrative business, and regulating the size of that business so that it's operators profit.

I want to get back to the personal view: prostitution is a way of organizing basic drives that we are not going to soon eradicate. We practice prostitution in ways that present a socially workable face on drives which are deeply wound into our social fabric. This winds coil through our minds, and make it so that other choices are ripped from people, and they are forced, as I have repeatedly been forced, to go back to them. There are only two reasons people pay money on second life, to show status or make money. Since little money can be made from second life yet, it is showing status that is the driver of most transactions. If you aren't in the clothing or land business, and both of those are the sex business in large part, then you are in the direct sex business. People who ought to know better, who prattle about progressive and purer motives, aren't. Instead, they are involved in the subjugation and money game too. Merely, they hope the prattle will give them a big discount because they want a subjugation which is more socially acceptable.

It isn't really. At the heart of human society, and therefore SL, is a fundamentally ugly force, one which liberates us to greater pleasure by demanding and demeaning. A return, momentarily, to that edenic state of quiet monogamy without great social stress. The stress returns and we snap back to our more complex state. The subjugator seldom is successful in subjugating, the manipulator is seldom long successful in manipulating. This the subjugator moves on or piles force on force, the manipulator strives to more complex manipulations. And while this is going on, they decline to conjugate in the ordinary modes.

This may seem like a pessimistic assessment, but then, the topic is prostitution. In a real sense, people come to second life to play prostitutes, because that is the nature of our society, that is the roles we have. In the end, our work life understands only master/slave and client/slut. Once they know you are the first, they work hard to push you into the second. Whether they are a horny married guy needing to get off, or a respected institution that preaches something akin to social justice.

I would like us to get out of this mode, but I don't see it in the present time, because, I think, no society that is as a slave to its toys and distractions as ours is, and I mean around the globe, will ever be able to base its social interactions on anything else. Sooner or later we will want to subjugate people the way a teenage boy can finally master some first person shooter. Sooner or later we will want the pure reproducibility. Or, we will want the helplessness of smokers and their cigarettes, willing to burn every scrap of their health and free income on a burning weed.

When we toss aside that, perhaps, we will stop treating each other as prostitutes and clients, masters and slaves. Or at least, stop doing it so universally that it produces a miserable generation that feels chained to their cubicles.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I've been spending a great deal of time thinkng about my second life. And it is tiem to make some changes, but also for me to do a few things that I think are lacking. One is covering discussion in SL better. So from now on, when I can, i will be attending as many discussions as possible, and blogging about them.


The 1970s film Soylent Green depicted a grim future in which a massively overpopulated Earth had been almost utterly ruined by intensive farming, deforestation and fishing. Food prices are so high only the superich can afford fresh meat, fruit and veg, while the masses eat a bland substance called Soylent Green (which turns out to be made from the corpses of dead people!).

Will this grim tale always remain just fiction? Come and discuss with Extropia. All welcome.

1530 SLT