Thursday, October 30, 2008

Time to invoke the law.

From Naughty Dreamscape:

I think there is ONE way to get Linden Labs attention. Please keep reposting this, so that many will see it:

Linden Labs is a California Company. This type of action does come under the California Attorney General's Juristiction as it could be considered Consumer Fraud, according to my attorney.

If MANY of us contact the California Attorney General, they will investigate. Here is the contact information for the Attorney General's office:

Attorney General's Office
California Department of Justice
Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
(916) 322-3360

I would suggest calling them AND writing them. Please keep the following in mind when you do:

1. Their office is in the same time zone as Linden Labs, they are open from 9:00 am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

2. Be polite. Remember, they are just a fact collector and they are always on the side of the consumer.

3. Be clear and have a talking plan. Most likely, the person you speak to, will not know anything about Second Life, so be prepared to clearly explain how Second Life works and why you believe their actions to be illegal and immoral.

4. Know Linden Labs Contact Information:
Linden Labs, 945 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

5. Don't fear retialation from Second Life in any way. In California that would be a criminal act. They may not suspend cancel your account, or act in any adverse way against you for attempting to exersize your legal rights.

Good luck everyone.

The division that handles investment complaints is:
here or you can phone them: 866 275 2677

From Vryl Valkyrie:

Originally Posted by Vryl Valkyrie


Both of these Open Space sims actually built by the Moles who work for Linden Lab. Both of these Open Space sims are perfect examples of hypocricy and deception on the part of Linden Lab.

This is a prime example and can actually be used as evidence against them in a court of law that they are indeed in violation of the AntiTrust laws of the United States. They are monopolozing the economy and market to benifit them, giving them an unfair and unrealistic advantage over their competitors, the users of Second Life.

Speaking of attorneys, my lawyer has kindly offered to represent the users of SL (probono) pertaining to the Open Space sim issue. You can contact him via his website:

He is currently setting up an official petition to present to Linden Lab.

Once again, I really do love Second Life and normally I support Linden Lab on many of their policies but this time are they are just wrong. This action will hurt more than 50% of SL users. It will destroy the virtual and even real life dreams of many. I sincerely hope that they rethink this decision carefully.

Vryl Valkyrie

I don't live here any more

I don't live here any more

Broken by circumstance,
Left without a chance,
without place or romance.
The future is not glistening.

I don't want fortune,
I don't want fame,
I just want the past,
where everything was the same.

I came here to escape,
the failures of my past,
the marriage that is dwindling,
like late winter kindling,
It's not to last.

I don't want money,
more than I need,
I didn't come here,
out of aravice or greed.
I just wanted sunlight
instead of rain.

I just need someone,
who understands,
who can feel me,
without using hands,
and if you tell me,
that these are imagined lands...

I'll agree,
because you see,
I don't live here anymore,
I don't want drama or war.
That's not what this second life is for.
But now I've got a poverty of hope,
at the end of my rope,
but riches of memories galore!

Sometimes I try to write, and realize I already wrote it. I only wish the composer who wanted to set these words had stayed in sl.

But that's this place, dreams that die on the vine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Third Life

One reason this blog is named as it is, is because it was always going to be time to move out to the larger world. Second Life, for me, is basically over. I will help close up Yedo, but the 5th of December is the end for us. Linden Lab has chosen to behave in an unethical and criminal way, and other hands have made the decision for me.

That leaves what next. The what next is doing, and that means, for me, making art, and writing about the topics which flutter into my mind, through my fingers, to the keyboard, and out into the world.

This then is the after life of Lillie Yifu. She's not dead yet, but mostly, yes, she is gone. She's she now, for a long time, I thought of her as me. Dizzy calls entanglement with the avatar one key part of entering virtuality. If your avatar is "me," that is different if it is "a toon" or "it." It's different if your avatar is human "her" or "him" as well.

My first project is to collect all of my poems and put together a pdf of them, and put that out some place. People don't buy books of poetry by unknown people, and mine aren't good enough on the scale of the pageant of literature anyway. Or perhaps to be more honest, I will say more consistency from my hands is needed. Some are very good, while others don't work. But who is to say.

The second project is to finish the two novels I have started, one is a fable of America as it is, and perhaps will be, the other is my coming of age story. I think, or feel, rather that coming of age now is not looked at correctly, because people who are older than I am saw themselves as plugging into a system, and the question was selecting threads out of a tapestry. Don't get me wrong, I was there for a long time, but for me, coming of age has been the reverse process. Not finding my place in someone else's treadmill, but finding that the treadmills are that, that they shift and chimera (verb, intentionally, deal please) before your inner eye of hope.

One thing that reminds me of this was this New Yorker piece that a friend sent me too. It is on the age of "sexual debut" and the differences between two kinds of teenagers, which they divide by red and blue. I think that this kind of language is wrong, but the point of the piece, and of the researchers that they cite, is that there is a divide between educated late marrying metropolitan teenagers and young people, and more provincial and less educated teenagers and young people.

The argument is that teenagers, especially young women, who feel they have everything in front of them, and who weigh risks carefully, see youthful sexual intercourse as not worth the risk, even though they accept, in principle that sexuality and sexual intercourse are natural and normal. The other model is women who are in a socially normative environment that presses them to marry younger, and have children quickly. Leaving aside the broad brushiness of this, I have a few thoughts that differ.

I see there as being two bursts of coming of age, at least for myself and my friends. The earlier one is self-exploration. This will eventually involve sex, or it might involve what might be called mechanical sex. Doing it for the sake of having done it, with someone chosen to do it for the sake of having done it. Many of us have a floating category of sex that doesn't count specifically to encompass these kinds of encounters. Guilt as charged.

The second burst is the point where you are looking for someone to be a life partner. The first burst is about not knowing yourself, and being alone. There is a desperate craving for being approved of. That's why there is a good correlation between parental approval, and later first sexual intercourse. There is a glow to the attention that can't be denied. However, that peters out, with the lack of the high. That lack of high is rooted, I feel, in the moment where you are not searching for yourself and your own pleasure (which can be awfully hard to find) but for someone to be with. Someone to please and be happy through their happiness as much as your own.

That first flowering is an unconscious, or preconscious one, where as the second is one that is born out of a moment which is the conscious unfolding of needs as deep as the sea.

I have a few more things to say about secondlife

But not in this venue, and not until I've left SL.

I notice that reaction is as predicted: those who benefit are in favor, those who are destroyed are against.

But that is the keye, those who are in favor are merely made slightly happier, and those who are against are crushed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I am leaving SL

With a stroke LL decided the future. The old land barons should be toasting their good fortune. The mainland flippers should be snarfing up parcels. The os revolution is dead, killed by LL's fiat. It is a grossly illegal act. Anyone working for LL should realize that their paycheck is blood money, squeezed from small people who wanted to make money here by creating and selling.

It is time for me to go. I will convert this blog into my creative writing blog.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Well it looks like things are going to change, alot.

This means the end of the openspace boom.

Many of us will be out of business, or have to change openspaces back to normal estates, because the difference in tier is going to be very large. It means changing pricing structures and everything else.

Personally I think this is an unwise decision by LL, but clearly they want to get rid of the openspace rental business, and only have full sims as rentals. It may mean that we will have to combine and sell our sims to others, and hope to recover enough. Current holders will be contacted, and we will do what we can transition people quarter full sims as we can.

Nothing I can do about this, unfortunately.

The Second Life Economy

There is, in case people have not heard about it, a recession in the outside world. It is reaching the US and Britain, Japan, and is spreading to countries both core and peripheral. So it is no surprise that this recession is reaching here. It's also no surprise that old business models are dying in SL, even as new ones come into being. This is the edge of technology, not the staid and settled. The bad news then, is that there is going to be a lot of cutting back, and people will cut back here too. The good news is that there will be a lot of cutting back, and people will come here, to cut back out there. Which side of that you are on in the Sleconomy, is to some extent up to you.

Now my knowledge of business comes, mostly, from working in other people's businesses. I did the books for my ma from a young age, I worked in my ba's business. I help run a small business here in second life. There are lots of people who know more about business than I do, and so I can't offer that really great cogent business guru advice that people really need. But I can say what I've seen.

One is that there is going to be a big cut back in pure consumption. People who do things here and just pay for them at whatever price, are not going to do that as much. Another is that people are going to dream more here. There are lots of people who are going to treat modern Second Life, the same way 1930's glamor movies were an escapism. There are going to be more people with more long distance relationships, and more using second life as a test of real world ideas. That's going to mean these people will work doubly hard.

Another thing is that people are going to be in less of a hurry. The time in Second Life when it seemed you had to rush into get in early is long over. Our recession started here with the gambling ban, land crash, and bank crash in August of 2007. Second life has been in recession since then. LL responded by cutting prices and coming out with a new product: open space sims. They are responding now by increasing the quality of mainland, which has also crashed in price. People in second life have to realize something that you can learn from studying history: periods of economic downturn are not necessarily bad for creativity, in fact, they often unleash it. Some of the greatest works of art and music occured during wars, periods of financial and economic instability. Letters from great artists are sprinkled with references to how hard it was for them to make ends meet.

Second Life has undergone tremendous changes in the last year: sculpties, havok 4 and mono have made significant changes to the landscape. Content creators have gotten much better at content, and buyers better at finding it. That it is going to be harder for people who have gotten used to running vending machines for mainland to make money, isn't really going to change the way people experience second life.

In my time here I've seen how, over and over again, the bad information system of second life has been exploited by people who scam and engage in high pressures salesmanship. That's going to get harder and harder. People who aren't rushing to do things now, who have more time in their real lives, are going to be less willing to just pay to get the problem out of the way. Everyone is going to watch expenses more closely.

In summary, things are bad in real life, they are going to get worse. To the extent that a business person in second life can provide a haven from that, they can survive, even flourish. To the extent that a business in second life is dependent on bubblemania, scamming, and merely being in the way, they won't. I don't know which group I will be in, but at least I know what the challenge is, and am not running around spouting racist or paranoiac nonsense as a cover up for what is always the reality of business: provide things people want, at a profit, at price they are willing to pay.

[Well now I know, LL just put us out of business. So I am in the "gone forever" category.]

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Political Blackmail

No on 8 supporters blackmailed for their donations.

If anyone needs to know why I am firm about these things, it's because the dark creatures all live under the same rocks.

Energy with Watts and friends

"ENERGY AT THE CROSSROADS" - Eikios Commonwealth

The first in a series of interactive discussions on Ecology, Energy, Economics and Our Common Energy Future.

Hosted by Watts Larson

Date: Thursday, October 23rd 2008
Time: 5:00 PM SLT/PDT

On Eikos Commonwealth

The panelists and audience will discuss and debate the energy choices facing US in November.

Watts Larson is the director of the Northwest Solar Center at Washington State University.

In SL, WSU/Shoreline CC helps finance projects through the Green Islands Project.

The panel this evening :

Edsel Heinkel - * Smart Grid * Paul
holds a BS Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of
Massachussetts, and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University in
Florham Park, NJ. Currently, Paul is serving as the Comverge
representative to the Mid Atlantic Grid Interactive Cars consortium,
and is leading the charge toward embedding V2G capabilities into a
comprehensive Demand Response solution set for utility programs.

Jimbo Hoyer - * High Tech Space energy * Quote: "The
surest sign of intelligent life in the universe is the fact it has not
tried to contact us."

WilliamThewise Goodman – * Energy & Communities *
Owner of Etopia Island, an environmentally sustainable village. This
Island is a showcase for individuals, organizations and businesses
wanting to offer goods and services which promote a socially and
environmentally sustainable world.

October 2008 Intermediaries :

SL's Troy McLuhan, RL's Troy McConaghy
B.Sc. in applied math and physics from the U of S
PhD in astrodynamics from Purdue University.

SL's Paolo Rousselot / RL's Peter Lundquist
RL business - HeatSaver Thermal Shades - Office on Etopia Island with
new showroom under construction on Han Loso!
Heat saver shades

Host: Watts Larsson
Producer: Bevan Whitfield
Producer: Sloan Skjellerup

A Northwest Solar Center at Washington State University Sponsored Project

Some disclosures: Sloan's a friend of mine, so is Jimbo. I do work for his Virtually Speaking show. Watts is very knowledgeable, I've heard him in our salons for Outlook (more on that later today!)

Date virtually

Slate trashes LDR's carbon problems.

Wonderful, how to solve the carbon problem: young people should date people they don't like. Better idea, why not create jobs for us and make it so that housing isn't such a pain? I'm hearing from friends out in the job world that layoffs are coming and opportunities are drying up.

Well think of SL as carbon efficient LDR. A carbon offset for hormones...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How not to be an escort on second life

hmmmm... she should have come to me.

First, getting a good avatar, or good enough, takes about 2 hours of freebie raiding.

Second, the thing to do is to get to vox. Vox. Vox. Put this in your profile. You'll get offers, even if just for cyber.

Third, the thing to do is to go to "freelance" clubs, and then get an ad. You can get advice.

Fourth, speed of computer is much less important than being able communicate.

Three weeks. Hmmm, that's slow. Samantha! It's easier than that! Really.

But what's better about sl these days, is there are a lot more options.

Time to actually write I suppose. Getting started in any business in sl is about three things, learning sl, learning to create your content, and meeting people. The first part is learning the client and how to find things, including what is free and what is for pay. The second part is learning about the tools used to create the content that you are interested in. This could be in sl tools, or photoshop, or poser, or learning to use sound. The last part is about meeting people, and using contacts.

The best advice on the first part is to talk to people who are mentors, and to do a quick google search on the topics that interest you. A search on building in sl turns up useful links quickly. SL is communication rich, but information poor. It is hard to find things. But a search on freebies turns up fabulously free, which is where almost anyone entering sl should start for improving their avatar, including access to things like coupons.

The best advice on the second part also starts with a google search, but goes to using in world search well. Traffic is a weird thing. Too much means too crowded, and often a bot farm or newbie dump. Too little means too many empty hours. Middle upper traffic is the best indicator. Crowded enough to be filled with people at different hours that have some knowledge, and not crowded enough to drive experienced users crazy. Want to build? Look for a sandbox, like the one run by my friend Arthur Fermi.

The third part goes deeper. It comes from having a basically positive assurance about who you are and what you want. Having a sense of self and direction, more than being a shopper, is key to it. People who know what they want and project themselves, will work out.

So that's the three step advice for anything: search the web, search the grid, and search inside yourself to present to others the person you want them to see.

The Right to Be Out:
The Constitution is not a Closet

There is a right, it is often not spoken of. That right, is the right to be out. Who we are, in a sense of identity, is a right. To expose that right, whether our patriotism, sexuality, or religion, is part of the right to free expression. It is not in words, so many words, that it is displayed, but in actions and symbols. It is a right under siege, a right under threat, and in many cases, a right denied.

The fight against California's proposition 8 is part of that. To be married, to feel firmly in the good graces of society, is part of being out. Marriage is being out about a certain person, and a certain mixture of love, passion, association, and future. This is sometime cast as a right for a particular group, but really, the right to be out touches everyone. Because where people cannot be out, they hide, and they take with them those who do not truly know them. Consider the woman who marries a homosexual man, who, because of his fear of being out, denies it. Even to himself. How does she feel on the day that her marriage is exposed as a lie? The right to be out means also, the right of others to feel secure. Truths about the self should not be hidden.

Many people come to Second Life, not for the sex, but the right to be about about their sexuality. Here people can wear leather, silks, whips, or whatever other symbols of their inner lives and desires they need. Here men who feel like women, even if only part of the time, can express that. Here, people who identify themselves as furries, can be who they feel themselves to be, within the boundaries that they set for themselves.

This means it is important to defeat this pernicious amendment, because it denies the very right to free association, and the right of free expression, which are the reason for the other rights we have. If feminism means anything, it means the right to choose our lives and live them. Bigoted and hateful movements demand that other people affect a purity that they do not have. No homosexual men in the Mormon Church? No lesbians? Please, it is outside of belief that this is so.

The right to privacy is also the right to being public. The right to be with, means the right to protections. The right to love, is the right to love in light of day. We don't have separate but equal elections, schools, contracts, buses, or any other thing which is based on the civil rights that all have. Even now there is the Defense of Marriage Act, an odious statement from an odious age, passed by the odious generation, that nakedly declares that the words of the constitution are merely words, and they do not have to abide by any promise. There is no faith and credit to a nation, that denies rights state by state, after promising otherwise. We would not permit a state to bar marriages between two people of different faiths, or different ethnic backgrounds, and yet we feel comfortable doing the same thing based on gender.

I am not married, and maybe I never will be, I almost certainly will marry someone of the opposite gender when I do. But that's my life. Not the Mormon Church's life, or the Catholic Church's life, or the Southern Baptist Churches life. It is against the principles of America to impose religious law on civil contracts, it is unAmerican in the deepest way possible. You can have your religion, but you cannot, by any vote, establish it.

Vote, and donate, against 8, because a constitution is no place for a closet.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Giadan DeCuir is spamming pictures of his penis

Apperantly LL doesn't think this is a ToS violation, since he has not been banned yet.

This is probably not their best decision of the week.

The Price

The rise and fall of a high priced call girl.

Note the punch line: the pimp and the lawyers got the money.

Federal Judge May Resign over Use of Escorts

Colorado District Judge may face impeachment.

Another perk goes by the boards

Australian PIs no longer need to have sex to prove illegal brothel.

Fiji Sex Trade

Radio Australia on the growing sex tourism trade in Fiji.

Sex and Death on stage and sl

Reuters reports on a new production of Tales of Hoffman. Nudity on stage is a big deal in the opera world these days. For a long time it seemed to me that many singers would be paid to keep their clothes on, not take them off. But maybe there is method to this.

I think we have been through an age of cover ups... and well comb overs too. I think that there is a lust for the unvarnished and exposed in stage and art. SL too is a place where things are both hidden, and exposed. We expose parts of ourselves that don't have a place in the outside world, and even if the truth isn't the physical truth, it's an emotional truth. Opus wished for wings that worked, the beloved cartoon penguin is gone, but everyone is Opus, at least on some days.

Is this a conflict? On one hand to see the exposed flesh and reality, and on the other hand to expose spiritual truth even at the expense of analog truth. I think so, and not. So because people come here, often, searching for real flesh and blood. But how often are they not willing to pay the price to support it. I don't mean in money, but in emotional terms. I think not, because while dropping one's panties is one way of exposing physical truth to the inspecting eye of someone else, we often conceal. How often have I choked back things that I feared might offend someone, and thus deny me his affection? Too often.

The fear of exposing physicality is very real. Do we ever measure up? Can we ever really have that perfect round yet floating perky bust line? Well some of us for a while, but gravity, genetics, and reality, don't allow it for most people most of the time. The exposure is, in it's own way a concealment. It draws the eye away from the emptiness of emotional intimacy. Show skin to hide the absence of touch. Flash a smile, to dazzle, and in the glare of this false happiness, blind the inner eye.

For a moment, for a while.

Exposure to hide is a little death, we ease into it, knowing that we have given up an inner need, to cover over an inner fear. You can show sex on stage, and there is nothing wrong in this. You can show skin irl. And there is certainly nothing wrong in this either. But there are times and ways that it is spirit and not skin, that needs to be exposed.

I hope this trend in stage comes attached to an artistic honesty about the deep yawning hollow that we feel with this world we have inherited. Because it could easily be the last lie, and not the first truth of the glorious beauty of the human body, the source from which our sense of life comes, and life itself. The beauty of the body, exposed, can remind us of how everything else we do must come from it, and return to it. It is a sun to which our eyes turn, and a focus that pushes aside the ornaments we often use to clutter it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

In my better world

1. It would be illegal to sell twinkies to 12 year olds, or have coke machines in high schools. What is wrong with you people?

2. Video games depicting sex would be available starting at 14, but ones depicting violence would require age verification of being 18. Seriously, which do people do more in this world, kill people or have sex. It's absurd that many of my students arrive in a Freshman class more qualified to kill a girl on their first date than bring her to orgasm.

3. Meals would have a maximum of 1000 calories. Do we really need a muffin top majority in America?

4. Things like proposition 8 in California would embarrass people to put on the ballot. What's next, polygamy, chattel slavery, or beheadings. You European Americans have some seriously fucked up religious traditions.

5. Foreign language instruction would start in kindergarden.

6. Child care would have to be free for any woman employed 32 hours a week or more. If it can't support someone doing it, then maybe it doesn't really need to be done.

7. We wouldn't see industries get a 700 billion dollar bail out and then pay out 70 billion in bonuses. Clearly they didn't need the money that much.

8. No party would be allowed to nominate someone for the Presidency who looks like he needs a wick and belongs in a scented candle shop. Political parties would be discouraged from nominating people who would best be portrayed by Anna Nicole Smith, if only she could have lost 30 IQ points for the role.

9. Three star restaurants would have to donate half of what they make from their wine list to reducing famine.

10. The death penalty would be abolished, except for shoe makers that make heels that snap between the cab and the stairs.

11. Congo's rape epidemic would be regarded as a foreign policy crisis of the ahead of countries not importing US cigarettes.

12. Elected officials would have to live on a meals allowance equal to what the median individual lives on.

13. K Street would be turned into a flower garden.

14. Everyone would be registered to vote, everyone would get a mail in ballot, and the salaries of all elected officials would be multiplied by the voter turn out of the most recent election. If people aren't voting, clearly they aren't doing their job.

15. We'd send bankers who took phony mortgages, turned them into phony bonds, and sold them to small towns as a good investment, to live in some of the houses that have become vacant. Without heating.

16. Any city or state that subsidizes a stadium would have to spend at least as much on housing for the poor.

17. And while we are on the subject, we'd require that people would be able to recite their legislator's voting record before being allowed to play fantasy baseball. It's absurd that people know more about someone's ability to hit against left handed pitching when their mustache had been waxed more than a day before, than about what their representative to congress spends a few hundred billion dollars on.

18. The interstate high way system would have to come as close to breaking even as Amtrak does.

19. They'd drop lobbyists from B-2 bombers to convince a country we really mean business.

20. It would be a violation of the ToS to ask asl before revealing your own.

21. The last bus or train would leave 30 minutes after last call. To the person who nearly hit my roommate last Friday while driving home drunk, we've got your passenger's side mirror if you want it. It took a bit of work to pry it out of the street lamp though.

22. The most expensive football ticket would have to sell for the same price as the most expensive ballet/opera/concert ticket.

23. Tabloids/People/Us would have to show the pictures of the publicists who put the stories in them.

24. On a related note, all columnists for Cosmo would have to do a YouTube video demonstrating their lame sex tips.

25. Do not get me started on what would happen to the makers of shoes that don't come in size 4.

26. Price tags would have to disclose what the business actually bought the item for.

27. Unit prices would have to be the same for all comparable items. Not like by the ounce for one pasta sauce, and by the pint for the next one over.

28. People who leave gum under chairs would have to be stuck to the ceiling of the lecture hall for six months with the stuff.

29. Academically promising students would not be suspended for having a beer in their dorm room, while athletically promising ones get a free pass when their gf shows up in class with a black eye.

30. They'd get the American Idol judges to rate speakers at Department meetings.

31. There would, actually, be some reason to buy the text book for a class.

32. All architects would be required to go around in wheel chairs, so that their buildings would be assured to be wheel chair workable. Or else.

33. Yogurt containers would not spurt yogurt out at you when you peel the little metal thingee.

34. Packages could not use "NO TRANS FAT" in big letters, when they have 25g of saturated fat.

Friday, October 17, 2008

ACLU files suit over retromunity

ACLU files law sut to get retroactive immunity for telecom spying overturned.

Sacramento Bee:Equality is a myth, the right to bigotry is real

Of course we should equalize marriage laws.

However, some people would prefer the world of bigotry.

Once upon a time the right for people of different races to get married was considered a myth...

Once upon a time our right to be in the work place on equal terms was a myth. Which is why it is hypocritical for Margaret A. Bengs to take the stand she does, because she's the beneficiary of previous struggles for equality. Shame on the Sacramento Bee for publishing such obvious trash, and shame on the editor who felt that there is a place for naked bigotry in our public debate.

Keeping Up Appearances

It seems being old is in fashion.

But realistically, eating well and staying off processed garbage is better for your skin than most "high end" cosmetic products.

Skip the creams, and sticl with organic greens.

If You Want Peace, You must pray

If you want peace, then you must pray.
Pray with your body and not your lips,
pray with your hands upon your hips.
Pray with your throng'd multitude.

The boys, children into their middle age,
will use their toys of hate and rage.

Is it, must it, will it,
come to this?
All consumed,
by their bloodlust bliss.

But rising in the streets
from out of the air,
is our pulsing blood,
our moving prayer.

Will will not clean,
nor cook, nor sew,
until the boys, will come to know,
that spirit rises from the dust,
will it now eat, their machines to rust.

You can rape, if that is your will,
our blood and life, smash and spill.
But you cannot with bullets, bombs and grease,
make us walk in love.

And give you peace.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell
a cresting wave, a growing swell,
a tide that washes clean the war,
until no one will fight it any more.
You do not fight to protect our home,
nor kill to make it safe to be alone.
If you want war you must gun us down,
and leave our bodies smashed upon the ground.

But then, boys, who will bear your sons?
To whom you will give, your next generation guns?

Shovel all the land into that maw,
call it freedom, or shock and awe.
But we know it is satan's paw,
A script with corpse as pen,
and breath as ink.
That turns the nations to sewers,
and leaves only stink.

Only one truth, I have left to tell.
With our bodies we must pray the devil,
back into hell.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Turn the key

Offered without comment. Meaning I think people should read it even though I don't agree with it.

Desire and reality of pornography.

what a nobel prize for Paul Krugman means to a former pixel prostitute who likes pretty things

I had a long conversation last night that went into the very early hours of the morning with a friend of mine. At a certain point there was a "you should write about that" moment. So here I am, writing about it.

As you may know, economist Paul Krugman has won the Nobel Memorial award in Economics. Alfred Nobel did not establish this prize, instead it was established by the Bank of Sweden to piggy back on the Nobel Prizes. It comes with a hefty cash award, and is generally regarded as the most important honor for publicity sake in economics, though people on the inside, I am told, follow the "Fields Medal" more closely.

There are of course, political overtones to the award. However, it is also an award for the actual work done, and that work is in the subject of trade, capitalism and consumerism. And it touches on what I study irl. More specifically, the subject of consumer taste, which he wrote about in an important 1979 paper does, and part of my work touches on his theory, which has become known as the "New Economic Geography."

When I began my study, I did not know his work, and, honestly, I am not really competent to teach a class in it. Well, maybe I am, but let's put that aside for a moment.

No, wait, I can't. Let me explain his theory in simple terms.

People buy things, and they like a variety of differences in what they buy, and they like variety in choices. They like choices for their own sake, in addition to the choice they end up making. Shopping is, in itself, a pleasure.

Now, it's well known that a business that expands and has capital, can make each addition item more cheaply up to a certain point. This is called "economies of scale." It also works against consumer choices, because the more economy of scale, the fewer participants, and the harder it is for a new firm or individual to enter in to the business.

So on one hand, consumers like higher quality, lower cost goods. On the other hand, they like choices. These two things make it so that even firms that are no competitive on capital terms, can still remain in the business, if what they offer is different. In decision theory they spend a great deal of time talking about indifference of choices. What choices, don't really matter? If there is high consumer indifference, then there will be more concentration, because the capital advantage of higher quality and lower cost, or higher returns, will feed on itself. One company does better than others, so investors put money into it, banks loan to it, and it can invest in more capital, or buy up competing firms that offer genuine choices, and come to dominate the market.

Think Starbucks, at a certain point, they were rich enough to buy any one who was better, and better than anyone who wasn't rich enough. And so we get over roasted road tar as "coffee." Bleah.

OK now trade. His theory is simple: there is the advantage of capital production, and the cost of transporting the goods. If the cost of moving things is high, then economy of scale never really happens. Each firm competes in a sphere of a particular market. Some exceptional goods get moved if they are really better, but no area can overwhelm the others. However, when transportation costs come down, the area that a firm can sell to gets larger. As it gets larger, it can get to economies of scale. As it does that, it can then compete over a yet larger circle. The process feeds on itself, and pretty soon only a few centers of production dominate the market on a national, or even global, scale.

As my friend point out to me, the important part about Krugman's theory is that it explains several things that "old trade" theory didn't, and it predicts that there will be a dramatic shift from the natural monopoly of distance - that is, a firm is protected from competition because other competitors have a barrier in moving the goods - to the monopoly of capital and economies of scale. The playing field tilts, and the market changes rapidly.

Now, what does that have to do with art history? Well. Alot.

You see some kinds of art are very value dense, and ship easily. Like paintings. Others don't ship well at all. Like old buildings. Painters, themselves, are relatively mobile, and so can be hired. In the decorative arts, the aspect of capital is even more important, because most decorative arts are about producing high quality work in sufficient scale that everyone who is important can have it, but of sufficient barrier that they can't easily be duplicated. Even if that means royal intervention.

Take porcelain, which is something I spend a lot of time on. China established porcelain factories early. The most important of these was near the source of the right kind of white clay. This works because the clay is bulky and hard to ship, and by itself, not particularly valuable. It isn't easy to pick out from other white clays visually. It's just clay, until combined with the right feldspars, and fired with the right techniques.

When the cost of porcelain shipping was prohibitively high, Europeans used lower quality pottery. They didn't know any better, even though higher quality earthenware goods were available to them, the cost was high enough that it could never be the taste of the elites. However, once the cost dropped, suddenly there was enough porcelain to develop a taste for it.

And that's not in Krugman's work, but at that point New Economic Geography starts to take over, and in lots of ways. China initially had the knowledge of porcelain, and the capital. What it did not have was a knowledge of European taste, and it was hard to get this information. At first, Europeans did not have the knowledge of making the good kinds of porcelain, and so they made inferior kinds as they experimented. In the lingo of the trade, "hard paste" is the right kind of porcelain, and "soft paste" is any other kind. European's tried mixing glass with white clays, then figured out feldspar and so on. Finally in Germany hard paste was rediscovered, and then an way of making it at scale was discovered. Rapidly other European nations copied this, finding out which deposits of clay were the right kind, and what to mix with it.

So in the first stage, Europeans competed with better Chinese porcelain because it was cheaper, because of mercantile barriers, because of knowledge of local taste, and much cheaper transportation costs. As transportation costs dropped, this was no longer sufficient.

In the second stage, where the demand for porcelain became almost a necessity in the centers of wealth, the local European product focused on art. Even when a nation could make hard paste, the capital advantage of better art, and the rent advantage of being closer to taste makers, was enough to provide an advantage. This was particularly true in France. Think about it, someone who paints porcelain really wants to move up, and paint walls, and canvases and other things. So it is an advantage to be close to the centers of aristocratic demand, and not necessarily as important to be close to the clay itself. The people close to the raw materials make a better base, but they don't paint as well, or as much to the taste of the times. It isn't transportation costs of the thing itself, but information costs. It's hard to climb the court ladder if you are in some distant place.

The third stage combines the two. People specialized in painting porcelain, and there was a unity of art and technology. But this took a remarkably long time.

So back to Krugman. Krugman's theory is important for the development of artistic taste, because it gives certain lines where the market for art objects will shift from raw economic factors. What can be called a "phase change" by people who work in economics. However, where there are other phase changes, ones that are as measurable, clearly there is another factor at work, and that is a factor of information and economic rent in social space, not just physical space.

Part of my assertion is that these differences are, in fact, very much the same as the transportation versus economy of scale division, because what they are is specialization against economy of taste.

So that's my personal look on what Krugman's Nobel prize means to me, it is part of my work now, and I am grateful to the people who patiently explained why I should read some papers by a geeky guy at a geeky university, and look at how his papers had to do with the creation of aesthetic objects for everyday life.

How does this apply to SL.

In SL, now a days anyway, it was different once I am told, transportation costs are nil. And yet, a few producers do better than others, but the markets never collapse below a certain point. I am going to posit that there are centers of taste, and that the flow of information keeps many areas of inferior production in business, like about 80% of the shoe makers on sl, while at the same time creating a space for both big content houses, and new players, to vault in. There is, then, an economic geography to SL information, and it should be possible to measure the cost of moving information in SL, by measuring the economy of scale effect in that particular market.

This isn't completely my idea, I will admit, but I like the idea that by seeing which areas have quality, it is possible to see how expensive it is to move information.

What about you?

I have to confess, i don't spend a lot of time looking at myself ... meaning my avatar here .. once I ma changed. I like knowing that I have put myself.. meaning my avatar here ... well. But once that's done, what's as important is not looking. Having the confidence to go out and look at the world, at other avatars, at the flow of conversation and chat.

What about you?

Do you spend time looking at your avie when going about the world, or do you have some other pattern?

Why Dargo Skytower can't get laid

[5:33] Dargo Skytower: just tryin to make convo....
[5:35] Dargo Skytower: Blow it out your ass....
[5:37] Dargo Skytower: I,m sure you know what that means bud.

Football coming to Second Life

Sport takes another step forward.

"It's Not plug and play."

The hill second life must climb.

Kent Ensemble in the news

Theatre in second life gets a boost.

To Paint is to Remember

African modernist painter Ib Ndiaye dies having lived a long and busy life, where he went out into the world, remembered, and came home.

Is he one of the greats? No, but he was a master, mixing a realist sensibility, with baroque like drawing technique that focused on the tension between lines, and washes of shadow.

Burning a life

Former child television star's tell all book details sex for drugs as the reality of much of her life, until settling down and letting go of the celebrity dream. In her case, cocaine.

Sex is, in itself, a drug. Paralyzing and shaking, shattering and compelling. Life can slip through the cracks and crevices as we hunt for that one perfect thing, turning us aside from the one true thing which is in front of us.

Reality is also, a drug. Virtual or analog, feeling ourselves flow into the ebb and crest of events, trying to find some moment where we merge with it, and when we act, it reacts as we expect it to. That is what pleasure is for, to train us to meld with something else. Sexual pleasure, or pleasure in doing.

Which is why drugs work, they let people cut across this and get to the chemical moment itself, by passing the moment of flow, to get to the moment of glow.

When I searched for "sex" in google news I got articles on equal marriage, and a stream of articles on child sex convictions or allegations. It was a stark separation: people who just want to live their lives as their lives, and people who are cursed with a disease that they cater to, and in so doing destroy young lives.

The power of pleasure means that we would give up everything for scraps of it, or even more, for others to experience scraps of it at our hands. Or be willing to kill someone, body and spirit, to have it.

This is SL, we traffic in pleasure, and it can be the kind which builds or destroys too. I talked to someone who I met early in SL, she was the friend of a friend, and clearly very lonely. She's found someone, she hopes, that will make things work for her rl. They talk all the time, they are partners in sl. She is floating with happiness. SL can do that. Create a space which clears away the clutter of distance or even separations considered greater in analog life, and open a conduit where we act, and the other reacts, and there is pleasure, and the dance begins.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Witchcraft and the erotic

Greer reviews a book on witchcraft and witch hunts. She finds it shallow, and touches on the question of witchcraft and witch hunting having it's roots in misogyny. If so, why are we so willing to use it in application to other things that are not related to gender. I don't disagree that witch hunts are targeted at pounding down women more than men, though there are ample cases of accusations of supernatural evil doing against groups of men. But the practice of creating more ordinary black magic adheres, both in myth and in the pseudo-judiciary of other ages, to women.

These two parts, the relationship of the root to women, and the broader application to a genderless body of "them" struck me on reading a novel "Let Me In." It has been made into a film, and its focal point is a child-vampire and the boy who falls in love with her, and the complex fall out of the results of their entanglement. Blood death is feminine, and the fear the women of blood, and hence the dark side of fertility, is very deep.

This depth of fear, of the dark side of blood, is connected with not only our role as life givers, but our role as survivors. Disease generally spares more of us, than men. This and other factors related to the nature of biology of women, are linked with the social factors, of power, dominance, and the need to control bloodlines. Generally analysis tries to make this flow one way. But that's wrong. Human beings have been gathered in groups, stalked by disease, seeking power and reproductive advantage, since, well, before we were human.

This means that the biology and the societal aspects that make the suspicion of the older or outcast woman as what feminist theory calls "the other," grew up together. The bands of primates, their struggles for advantage, position, survival, lead to violent acts. Gorilla males kill infants from before their rise to power. Is it so strange then that we, primates, kill out of primal drives which find expression and excuse, even if those expressions are irrational? The patina of rationality, or at least narrative coherence, on the madness of blood lust, is a better theory than trying to have some sort of generative etiology of the witch hunt.

May be I should back up there. Often what primates do out of deep evolutionary drives doesn't make "sense" in that it has no reasonable chain. It works, on average, and that is why it evolved. That doesn't mean that every specific thing works, or confers an advantage, only that it is part of a complex of behaviors that on average, does. So, for example, bouts of homocidal rage may seem inexplicable, but they may well just be the down side of a kind of immune response which does.

Let me take an example. On average, women have much better immune systems than me. Diseases, other than those associated with reproduction and child birth, kill men more than they do women. However, that doesn't mean that the women who survive aren't infected, but merely that they have fought off the onslaught of the illness. Now think about the woman without children, especially older. She is, on average, likely to be the source of infection. A trop towards expelling such women who do not conform to the social group could well, on average, work as a survival trait. Even if it is irrational and wrong on specific cases, and irrational and wrong in our more symbolic society. A million years of being walking apes, will not be erased by our much shorter history of society.

So that's what struck me about the book, and I think it makes me want to see the film: the interwoven nature of human beings, where the negative traits and the positive ones are intertwined by biology, personal need, and society. All of which are locked in a deathly and ghostly embrace.

But let me finish the thought finally. The same things that make the outsider woman a danger, make her a prize. She possesses genetics or knowledge or both that, if woven into the fabric of the community, are valuable. This is why so many legends focus on bringing in the faerie to the community, and the role of the fertility goddess even in a nominally patriarchal monotheism.

This makes the witch not only an object of fear and loathing, but one of both power and desire, a priestess as much as a demoness. And more alluring for both. Men don't just burn witches, they burn for them.

4495 + 987 = 1

With all of the worries in the outside world, with all of the fears about the markets and the economy, with the increasing worries about homes and bail outs, there is something that should not be forgotten. Overseas, even now, men and women are fighting and dying in military uniform in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some 4495 in Iraq and 987 in Afghanistan. They are being crowded to the background by other worries.

They used to say they wanted the boys home by Christmas. We just need them home, and home remembered and not forgotten. As with many things they served to serve, and the arguments over whether we should have been in the war are not on their shoulders, but on ours. We sent them there, they went because they had promised to do so. In a world where bankers are tossing trillion dollar promises away like confetti, it would be good to remember that soldiers and sailors and marines have served for less than many people make, and have given all and everything for that promise.

We have made promises to them too. Let us hope we, all of the we in every nation involved, fill them with the same faithfulness.

Porn, blessing or curse?

This one made me laugh out loud.

Listed as a con for porn:

"Promotes promiscuity, especially in teenagers."

No survey shows this in any reliable way.

"Encourages extramarital sex, thus undermining the institution of marriage."

No survey shows this in any reliable way.

Porn, like any form of expression, spoken, written, visual, or some combination of these, is like any other. It is both a blessing and a curse, and it can't be judged as a category, any more than murder mysteries encourage people to go out and kill people.

We should recognize every form of expression as sacred, while at the same time relentlessly critiquing each act of expression. Though I have to say that I could do without spam.

Department of D'uh

Early sex education is good.

Really. Next we will learn that we should teach young children to count and learn to read.

Right now every child gets lots of sex education, on how to look, act, talk. From advertising and television and images. Children are sponges. Is it so bad to try and get a little bit of info in with all the tainment?

They should do this one in second life

Tim Miller's performance art to be done at the start of conference.

International performance artist Tim Miller will open California Institute of Integral Studies' (CIIS) Queer Bodies in Psychotherapy Conference with a special performance of "Sex/Body/Self" on Friday, October 17, 7:00 PM, at the Hotel Whitcomb in San Francisco. Tickets for the evening, which is open to the general public, are $25. For more information or to register, call CIIS Public Programs at 415.575.6165 or register online at CISS.

Portugal's Parliament buries marriage equalization

bills get only small support.

Clearly people have a long way to go before they get this.

MO man gets death in sex murder case

videotaped the woman he murdered.

Not a believer in the death penalty. But they can't find a pit deep enough to toss these people into as far as I am concerned.
I want to write more but I have to get going to class, there are thoughts whirling and churning in my head that haven't reached my fingers, quite, yet. Or something.

Anyway, I've been spending huge amounts of time on footnoting and editing the last few months, and the same impulses that made me want to come here and write in the first place, the liberation from being tied in with the acceptable ways of writing and speaking, are bubbling again. Stories are suggesting themselves.

Also things are bubbling in SL. I have reports on interop, ad farms, and other things, and they need to be written up.

But time is opening up, the students have sort of accepted the fact that, yes, they need to do the required work, and yes, I am watching them. (my habit: walk around the lecture hall while talking. I had one person playing an MMO in class. I had them stop, plug the computer into the projector, and show everyone the scene. I started talking about how it was made, and where the ideas and techniques came from. There was a certain amount of mortification, because ... hmmm ... his character had a rather round bubble butt. I'll leave it at that....)

National Coming out day

National coming out day post from Pam.

Everyone is in the closet about something, so come out, or help a friend come out, and just live your life the way you want to.

Friday, October 10, 2008

University looks into Sex in Second Life

though it seems in an unsystematic way.

Hint, the thing to do is set up a script and situation, and then log the results. I've done this, and the result is data, not anecdotes.

Putting the L in SL

The L Word in SL revisited.

CT supreme court equalizes marriage

Overturns lower court 4-3

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled on Friday that same-sex couples have the right to marry, reversing a lower court decision that had concluded that the civil unions legalized in the state three years ago offered the same rights and benefits as

It is important that California voters defeat question 8, which is attempting to restrict marriage in that state.

Every vote counts, because every marriage counts.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

On Ad Farms

There was a meeting on the ad farm rules today, unfortunately I was doing work for SL, and could not be there. There is an effort by a few land barons to hurl invective on this situation, and to make it seem as if all large land barons are against the efforts to control and limit the use of land griefing and ad farms. They don't speak for us here, and we are, in fact, supportive of these efforts and more dramatic steps to improve mainland experience for all users.

I've written a great deal about this topic, for some time, there isn't much more to say other than it needs to be done, and quickly.

NSA recorded and passed around phone sex calls


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rivers of Eden

Mine eyes, my eyes are teared with dust and grit,
at all the ages I have cried for you, alone and cried.
My eyes bleed the truth of you, for all that I have seen.

Is this all, for me to be left standing and staring
out an open door, as you trod to regions left unknown.
Where was once my happiness,
in the glorious noon of your love.

Where was then? Where now am I?

Having lost my self and soul into you.
Having fallen like arch angel from heavans dark,
into the land, that you promised,
of my fertility.

Where was then? Where, o where,
Where was then? Where am I now?

Where are the lush gardens you whispered of,
grown by touch of your hand?
Where is the ripening of the seed?
Where is any or all of it?

What is it that vanished illusion that I saw?
Where flowed the rivers of mine,
into desert Eden?

Where is it now? And what was it ever then,
only mirage and mirrored of the life.

Oh my eyes, bliss driven to agony, tears torrent
are that left in the light of ecstatic twilight,
that is scraped with ecliptic dusk.

Oh my eyes, they are see through dust and tears,
when once they were open blind.

Where is it now? It is where it was then.
In something called, something called,
a dream.

Let me sleep and dream of you.
Nothing but of you, nothing else for you.
It was all for you.
I can think of nothing but your locks asleep,
all ready in home and keep.
What once, what once, where.
Where oh where are you now?

Independent notices second life campaigning

For the US Presidency

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Soul Mountain

Archangel wings of prayer flow fire,
and leave us not forgotten.
Where have you come to us this moment
alighting and then fleeing to streaked heavans lost.

Why were your prophecies made to ridicule?
Why are you lost to us.
And yet you are so soon gone.

With which what and where we have
we have forsaken all.
Ribboned to ruins a rules and left
a Republic only of reminders.
Force fire and fear are our foes,
but they are our lords and masters.

From this day let me cleanse all hope illusion,
there is no life but the air I breathe,
there is no history but from these hands I make,
carved in cinder sided steles
that are the teeth of soul mountain,
whose roots run to the depths of our creation,
and have not been worn in a billion years.

They sneer upon all our epochs, depth,
as you, Archangel,
flee far upward,
leaving us behind to wonder and to gaze
at your coming and passing.

There is no life but the air I breath,
There is soul but the history carved on me
in this moment.

We must struggle now,
for not to breath is not to be.
If our voices are now lost,
then we will not have been at all.


I the news feed it talks about the bailout bill getting a second life. I know that this is the most ironic thing I can think of, because many of us are working here to create opposition, if not to passage, then to the world that the bail out bill comes from.

It is a strange mix of far left and far right that sees through this charade, with the center standing on the street corner trying to hail a 700 billion dollar cab.

There is no second act after this, it will be out into the unknown.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

MMO Glider Loses Lawsuit in WoW case.

Many of my friends are talking about this, and I am not sure what it means for SL, but clearly there has to be some relationship to the ways people access games.

That and it shows that there is something perverse about a game that people want to skip the game part of the game.