Sunday, May 31, 2009

An observation from "The Tall Book"

Arianne Cohen on choices in life:

Height makes a great case study, because height statistics are easily quantifiable. Tall women have half the birth rate of shorter women. "It's not related to lower fertility," says anthropologist Boguslaw Pawlowski, the pre-eminent mating patterns researcher. "It's the same with short guys. They are not limited by sperm quality or hormone level - they've got problems with finding a partner." In the population at large, women typically date men who are 8% taller. This is a boon for the women below the 50th percentile, who have 99 per cent of men to choose from. A 6ft 3in woman is looking at less than 3% of the male population. Extrapolate freely to the choices you make in your own life.

I had six months with Alan to let Dodson's words marinate before the relationship imploded. The truth was that despite getting along famously, we had little in common. No tall joke could save us. And in the two years since, I haven't kissed anyone taller than me. Don't get me wrong, they're still tallish - the 6ft DJ, the 5ft 11in triathlete, the 6ft 1in actor. But my dating pool has expanded by 3,000%. I'm happier.

Earth Water Fire Heavan

The soil is stuck between my toes as mud.
There leaves a stream of foot prints behind me.
It bakes to gorges for the ants,
who reflect how these hills were born.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Why not just call the sim Dachau

Everytime Ll puts in content or transaction controls, it breaks the grid. This time is no exception, their recent adult content campaign, while it is necessary to sell to corporate clients, is worse than the breakage after the gambling ban. Crashes are proliferating, and the mechanisms to enforce create zones of unusability. More over they are going to force people on to 1.23 soon, while that build is still hopelessly buggy and crawling with problems. 

The Lindens have set up a series of "oatmeal" sims to test their new found totalitarian spyware. Why don't they just call it Dachau? Or Gitmo? Or some other place befitting what it is, an attempt to set up a thought police system that monitors thought crimes? Because that would be bad marketing. 

Now realize that I am in favor of segregation between sex seeking behavior and other places. I don't want people hitting on me when I enter a business conference, I don't want to have a skybox and then next day a strip club goes up next door with people spilling over. There's no question in my mind that behavior needs to have it's time and place. However the content controls don't do that. When landing in the PG sim, what was the first thing that happened?

You guessed it, an IM saying "Hey sexy!"

I then tried to walk on the PG sim, and it kept crashing me through the land down into negative numbers. That's right PG. I am on 1.22 but am verified, it would not let me into the adult area. So the answer to what is going on is very simple: it is broken, it is borking the rest of the grid, it does not work. I found a way to get into the sim easily enough based on a well known bug. They will fix it, but there will be many others.

Finally it makes me believe that the new avatar rendering, where only the final baked copies, are for nothing other than copy protection, and to prevent "naughty bits" from ever touching other people's computers.

Now LL allows child pornography in second life, in that it does not ban people who skirt the edges of obvious even when they do it in public and are reported. So they cannot take any kind of moral high ground here: they do not enforce the ToS or the law when it is not convenient to do so, but are spending virtually all of their programming resources to do this. No wonder so many techies abandoned ship. 

This is what LL spends it's time doing: breaking the service that people pay money for in pursuit of goals of questionable utility.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dkos's KagroX on VS Tonight

It is at 6PM SLT at n World Studios. SCKendrick is the host.

Dreamtime Identity As Virtual World

Far off in Dreamtime, there were only people, no animals or birds, no trees or bushes, no hills or mountains.
The country was flat. Goorialla, the great Rainbow Serpent, stirred and set off to look for his own tribe. He travelled across Australia from South to North. He reached Cape York where he stopped and made a big red mountain called Naralullgan. He listened to the wind and heard only voices speaking strange languages.

This is not my country, the people here speak a different tongue. I must look for my own people. Goorialla left Naralullgan and his huge body made a deep gorge where he came down. He travelled North for many days and his tracks made the creeks and rivers as he journeyed North. Goorialla made two more mountains, one of the Naradunga was long made of granite, the other had sharp peaks and five caves and was called, Minalinha. One day Goorialla heard singing and said, "Those are my people, they are holding a big Bora." At the meeting place of the two rivers, Goorialla found his own people singing and dancing. He watched for a long time, then he came out and was welcomed by his people. He showed the men how to dress properly and taught them to dance. A big storm was gathering, so all the people built humpies for shelter.

Two young men, the bil-bil or Rainbow Lorikeet brothers came looking for shelter but no one had any room. They asked their grandmother, the Star Woman but she had too many dogs and couldn't help them. the Bil-bil brothers went to Goorialla who was snoring in his humpy but he had no room. The rain got heavier and the boys went back to Goorialla and called out that the rain was heavy. Goorialla said, "All right come in now." The Bil-bil bothers ran into Goorialla's mouth and he swallowed them. Then he began to worry about what the people would say when they found the boys missing. He decided to travel North to Bora-bunaru, the only great natural mountain in the land. Next morning the people found that the boys were gone and saw the tracks of Goorialla and knew that he had swallowed them.

You may never see these lakes or mountains, but after the rain you will see his spirit in the sky , which is the rainbow. This is the reason why he is called Goorialla the Rainbow Serpent.

The Dreamtime Identity

The "Dreamtime" of the indigenous Australians is a virtual world. Since there is no commonly accepted definition, we are still in the range of analogy. However, the most crucial point is that Dreamtime is recognized as a different time from real time. Dreamtime has its own properties and its own rules. The state of virtuality is maintained by Derridaidian play. Something becomes part of Dreamtime the way a twitter topic rises: people accept it and use it. A hill gains a song line, when people recognize the hill, and use the song line. Dreamtime also has correspondence in that object in Dreamtime have real equivalents, hills, events, people. (Archaeology of the Dreamtime Josephine Flood, Yale University Press 1983, rev 1990)

The time aspect of Dreamtime cannot be understated, the time structure of Dreamtime is that it has an infinite past which set the state of the world, a past where actions happened that are reduced to songs and stories, a present which is the telling and the observing of Dreamtime, not the doing. Finally the future is part of the present, in that prophecy, and return are incorporated into stories, including stories of the removal of the Europeans. As a time structure, where eternal past, perfective past, imperfect past, and unrealized future all cohabitate, essentially differentiates Dreamtime from the real time world. 
Flood draws a picture of how complex the Dreamtime apparatus was, with trade networks, ceremonies and gatherings forming the crucial core of the maintaining of the integrity of the stories, and paintings and other objects used to make physical and visual the concepts. A virtual world turns principle into to visible and audible, and this the dreamtime did.

No single individual was the arbiter of Dreamtime, instead, Dreamtime, the collective, was seen as the arbiter of human morals. Meggit in 1964 summarized the situation of the Dreamtime thus:
this was balanced by thecomplexity of their religious ideas and the elaboration of their ritualactivities, which the people themselves regarded as intrinsically signi-ifcant techniques for ensuring productivity of man and nature. Thesestemmed from, and were important features of, the pan-Australian totemic philosophy — the view of the universe that regarded man, society and nature as interlocking and interacting elements in a larger,functionally integrated totality. According to Aboriginal belief, each variable in the system had an eternal, moral commitment to maintain itself unchanged for the benefit of the others and to contribute to the proper functioning of the system as a whole. As the mythical ancestors and culture heroes of the long past Dreamtime had defined the characteristics of the totality once and for all when they had participated in its creation and shaping, any subsequent change in any variable would inevitably affect the whole — and that for the worse. Thus it was the duty of every man to ensure, mainly by magico-religious means, that the status quo be preserved, an obligation that obviously ruled out most possibilities of cultural innovation, whether in the sphere of technology or of law.

This kind of world-view emerged clearly in the Aborigines' attitudes to their homeland, be it the narrowly bounded habitation of a coastal fishing group or the vast domain of wandering desert dwellers.

The territory was of course the main, if not the sole, source of food for the local unit. Even if, as was sometimes the case, the group hunted and foraged freely in the districts of similar neighbouring units, it had unequivocal title only to its own land, to the land with which it had spiritual bonds. That is to say, tribesmen did not acquire or inherit only the right to exploit the material resources of the tribal country; they also received the double privilege and obligation of maintaining the sacred tracks and sites of the ancestral and heroic beings who created the land and all its inhabitants. Here maintenance did not mean mere protection from trespass or desecration but rather that certain groups, associations, or lodges oft ribesmen were also expected to preserve and transmit unchanged the detailed myths and songs that recounted the exploits of the Dreamtimecreatures and to perform regularly the quasi-historical and religiousrituals that re-enacted the events of the Dreamtime.

In short, the Dreamtime was not unlike a large computer system, which ran somewhat without reference to the people using it, but which had to be maintained, by symbolic means. Maintaining the land was done by maintaining the stories. The stories represented the true virtual land, which present activities represented deviations from.

In modern times, we would call them "malfunctions."

Meggit's interest was in whether the aboriginals exercised self-government. Early observers from Eyre forward did not see what the natives did as "government," in that there was no command and control system where orders where given and followed. But this is a rather narrow view of government, because while commands are one way of multiply power, they are not the only way. Economic power is another, but the aboriginals did not use much in the way of economic power. A third kind, which they possessed, was cultural power, and despite there being hundreds of languages and dialects, among only a few hundred thousand people, the system was continent wide. This means it covered a larger area for a longer time than any other stable religious system before writing.

The argument for Dreamtime being a virtual world then rests on the following points:

Separation the first and most obvious pillar is that it was seen as separate in time and space and mode of participation from the real world. The story above begins with this assertion. Note that serpent is not an animal but a person.

Correspondence Never the less, the Dreamtime is the real world, in that every object and event of importance has a corresponding piece in both worlds. Even pieces that do not exist, such as describing the still towering barrier reefs that the first people crossed to come to Australia. Stone artifacts are found under the sea, where these reefs are now. In the story above, the territory of the rainbow serpent people is defined by the mountains that he makes as boundaries, the gorges and the rivers that are their sustenance. However, it is not a simple demarcation of area: there is the story of unification of the wandering serpent, who then swallows the two boys. This means that there was a union of groups in this area. The serpent sacrifices the two boys, and is an outcast as a result, in a very old pattern. Since the world snake is creating this entire region, it is the boundaries of Australia, and his people came from over the sea. This myth then represents events of as long as 70,000 years ago, and at least 50,000 years ago. That it does so comes from it's description of geography, which is not that of the present, but of the time when Australia was drying out.

Interactivity People can change the Dreamtime by adding stories, as stories were added after the European invasion, and these changes resist and accept. Not all new stories spread. In another version of the myth, the boys are cut out of the serpent, and have become rainbow colored birds, Goorilla then flees and instead of being a rainbow, is a shooting star. That there are different versions is interactivity, but the interactivity is also affirmed in the myth: people can over turn the decision of a spiritual god. 

Another indication of cultural evolution is the evolution of paintings, from the first period which depicts extinct animals, to the land period where hunting animals are show in the "polychrome x-ray style" which shows spines and internal organs, to the estuarine period which focuses on fish, to the contact period. First they lived off of the native life, then they hunted the animals that were too swift to easily fall, then they fished, then they were conquered. 

Impersonality No individual is in control. This point is also made by the paintings: the changing of the world was not something the natives could control. They could slow change, and you can see why from the long history why they saw change as bad: from a wet fertile continent, to a dry and difficult one, to an invasion. Change means change for the worse in their long context. 

But these are traits of a virtual world, not a definition. The definition is found in the ability of individuals to absorb themselves in the "world" and for it to react back. It must have "worldness." As the name implies, dreams have while they last, the seemingness of wordness, but it fades, it does not have persistence, which is an attribute of impersonality. Games have interactivity, but they are only forward interactive. I mean this in the broader sense of a game. Thus I can read a novel, but I cannot change that novel. I can only change how other people read that novel by writing in turn. Games are forward interactive,  virtual worlds are two way interactive. This creates a range, from pure games, to the worlds. However, since the real world has aspects of both, there is no collapse into one form. Instead, both have  degenerate form. A world or game that loses its players, or becomes completely idiosyncratic, ceases to have the features of a world or a game

This in turn highlights an important conflict that will be detailed later in the quest for virtual identity: that of optimal against anti-pessimal strategies. An optimal strategy is one that has the highest mean return, an anti-pessimal strategy is one which avoids the worst unacceptable outcomes. As the story shows, the pessimal result for the boys was being swallowed, having too few huts was culturally optimal, but not anti-pessimal.

The Australian Dreamtime then, shows us what a virtual world without electronics, or even paper, looks like. It as a separateness which none the less produces a correspondence, it is interactive both with words and actions, and it runs independently from any individual desire, rather than being arbitrarily changeable.

What does this mean for virtual identity, to do that, we need to look at the Shaman as a figure and why he represents a virtual identity.


Arden, H. 1994 Dreamkeepers: A Spirit-Journey into Aboriginal Australia

Flood, J. 1983 rev 1990 The Archeology of Dreamtime, Yale University Press

Meggitt,M. J, 1962 Desert People, Aboriginal food-gatherers of tropical Australia, Proceedings 9th Technical Meeting, International Union for Conservation of Nature

Meggitt, M. J, 1964, Indigenous forms of government among the Australian Aborigine

M. K. Organ, 1994 Australian Aboriginal Dreaming Stories: A Chronological Bibliography of Published Works 1789-1991

Povinelli, E.A., 1993, 'Might Be Something': The Language of Indeterminacy in Australian Aboriginal Land Use, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.

Wolfe, P., 1991, On Being Woken Up: The Dreamtime in Anthropology and in Australian Settler Culture, Society for Comparative Studies in Society and History.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dreamtime Identity Begins.

Identity has three parts. There is inner identity, that is how we feel or experience ourselves. There is presentation, that is how we assert that identity to others. 

Inner identity is something our brains do. It is not a noun, it is a verb. It is an activity to create identity inside. This is evidenced by cases where people lose their identities. Dissociative Identity Disorder maybe rooted in a seizure, or seizure-like condition, of the left temporal lobe producing several identities which can co-exist. 

There are also short term identity lapses. These have no exact understood physical reason. The most common is the dissociative fugue. This is characterized by a person simply leaving their old identity, often fleeing to some place far away, or forgetting the details of their old identity. It is not common, but not that uncommon either. At two tenths of a percent of the population, you probably have met more than one person who has experienced it.

It is for these reasons that critical theory describes identity as "constructed." However an even better way of putting it is that identity is maintained. The assemblage is still present, and in the case of dissociative fugue can be reassembled.

This is inner identity, or rather inner personal identity. Even when the personal identity is lost, other kinds of identity remain, such as national or gender identity.

There is also role, which is how people present their identity. Role and identity are related and reinforce each other. It is an old observation that people become the parts they play. When most people talk about identity, what they really mean is the interaction between inner identity, and role, that is the expression of identity. 

Roles involve both habitual behaviors, and provisional ones. The involve props, activities and other "proofs" of identity. Much of role creation involves creating habits. This means that role becomes part of the substance of inner identity, we keep doing our role even if we forget the identity it is part of.

Then there is the public identity that other people ascribe to us. That is, the name on the driver's license, or on the user account. The face, the  style, the pieces which allow people to place us in the world. To see where we come from, to see what we have at risk. Our public identity is often associated with what we have to lose.

These are not isolated in the sense that we have an inner identity which is pressured if it is not accepted, we present that inner identity, and learn behaviors that get the right response from the world. If a person has an identity as an athlete, they will do what needs to be done to run races or whatever their competition is. If a person has an identity as a femme fatale, she will learn to dress and walk and talk the part until it works.

Identity fragments when the inner activity of identity can no longer take the behaviors, memories, touchstones of identity, and get the results back from the world. When people treat us because of our public identity in a way different than that accords with our inner sense of ourselves, we often shift that public identity.

Now, since one can't start out with a successful identity, and because we often want to try on identities that we cannot wear, there is "play" and imagination. We often dream or imagine ourselves with other identities, whether it is a different body, or job, or spouse in a dream, or playing a game. We call them plays because people play identities.

Identity then is three parts, and virtuality is the place of creating a different road to identity. The first road that I have described is the road through interaction with a fixed outside, and a largely fixed analog avatar. It invovles shaping that avatar, and the inner identity, to match what works with the interaction of the outside. In a virtual situation, the world, and the avatar, are changed to meet the identity, and the interaction is with this changed avatar. Since there is no firm line, all real changes also involve some amount of changing the world: making acceptable what was not. This goes back to the triad of the negotiation of desire, possibility, and acceptability. Inner identity is linked to desire, the role is possibility, and acceptability is public identity. 

Virtuality has existed as soon as people could take imagined identities, and begin constructing or making real totems of those imagined identities. A shamanistic figure, is a virtual identity. These identities merge and are fused, with the virtual being a more powerful name for the real than the real itself. 

To understand this, consider the dreamline stories of first Australians, who arrived there over 40,000 years ago. They then split into a variety of language groups. The describe characters and shapes, for example in indigenous astronomy, one figure in the sky is the "emu" which is not stars, but the black patches in the milky way. They also describe locations. One location described is the area around the great barrier reef, parts of which are now submerged. The aboriginal description matches the geography some 10,000 years ago. For comparison, Homer's Iliad is not even 3000 years ago.

The landscape of australia is then filled with dreamtime stories, through which the aboriginals moved, and from which they came. The dreaming is a metaphor for inner identity, and the virtual identities which fill it. They connect with the real world, in that they take places, characters and realities from the real, and are more real than the real world, in that they are more vivid, more powerful and more memorable.

My next post will look at the nature of the Dreaming and Dreamtime, and talk about how the shamanistic elements of dream time show a virtual reality, which is the collective creation of the story telling and transmission of those stories. This produces a definition of a virtual world: an intersubjective truth whose consistency is not maintained by externalities, but by inter-textualities, and inter-oralities.

Changes coming

Though what, yet, I do not fully seem to be able to articulate.

I <3 the sensibility of this blog

background image and all.

I was there

On an awful plain, windswept with blood, 
the stench of skins still strained in the air,
as the few remaining wailed at the twisted limbs, 
now scattered on the earth like fragments of jar.
Pointed this away and that away,
bits of smaller and larger size.

Walk with me for I was there, 
there with the dead and dying,
there with the bleeding and the crying,
before the cities sacked by empires too numerous to name,
to anonymous to blame. 
Look upon your evil and its roots.
Yes, they are that old.

Feel the crunching under foot,
feel the sloosh of mud without water,
where the jackals lap the river without rain, 
that flows into the ultimate sea.

Walk with me, for I was there.

Walk with me, and sweep the soot that clings,
I'll show you the true sport of kings.
The pyres built with meticulous care,
The gaudy costumes of a mid-summer fair,
the harvest has found along the road,
a few hagard women as it's sullen load.
They are the witches that will soon roast,
while to holy heaven, the others toast.
Hail, the holy, brethern and host.

I am with them as the fire consumes,
the bone presses out and leaves the skin,
showing the frail tents within.
Walk with me, for I am there.

Shiver as the timbers creak,
while chained together bodies leak.
From the hold into the brine,
from out of line,
and out of mind.
The middle passage claims it's growing due,
as shrill shrieks slash and stab the air,
silenced moments as their breath is through.

Touch the shanks and chains,
rusted with the etching stains,
that come from bits of bone, and brain.
Breathe in the sounds of market clamor,
the auctioneer with his unholy glamor,
waves a hand,
to make person property.
Holy, holy, property.
That thing which you now worship like a Christ.

Breathe in the sweat of ages,
that will be bondaged to the whims and rages,
of a so recently down trodden race,
that now disfigures the African face.

Walk with me and look upon your sacred truth,
look upon the tortured visages,
held in thrall to that which was once then,
of what you are now.
Realize that if you had been then,
instead of now,
you'd have a slave behind your plow.
Nothing has been learned from all the passing of days,
from then and there, to this and here.

Walk with me for I am there,
stung by the same laden air.
Walk with me for I touch my hand,
to those torn from their native land.

Walk with me for I was there.

Walk with me before the gates of old Nanjing,
as the bayonets did sparkle and gleam.
Hear the staccato rhythm just so
of skulls smashed on rocks to pinkish snow.
Smell the belching fumes of gas,
as people are bulldozed into ash.
Feel the clacks that ring through hollow air,
of thoughts that blink to no longer there.
The melody high above all the dinn,
a sound to bestial for any ape,
are the squeals of pain, the grunts of joy,
whose score is written as rape.

Walk with me for I was there, 
among the defiled, doomed, and condemned.
Among those sent to slavery and their end.
With those shafted by sharpened steel,
holding hands of the beheaded.
Walk with me and see your evil as it was,
Shreds of gore hanging from Tokyo Tiger's claws.

Walk with me, for this your evil is writ
with bowels sliced open to empty shit.
What you do now, is what they did,
pouring forth the foul that makes air fetid.

Comes screaming down from highest heights,
the prowess of many mights,
that sears the lungs to crisp and black,
sending soul across the border,
never to come back.

This is Gaza, in the here.
The date is this very year.
The hospitals are shattered to fragments,
and the children within,
are lost to life,
ended with barely begin.

This is Gaza, where the babies just born
from their mothers are by explosives shorn.
bathe in the beauty of this modern war,
but like all the ones before.
The grand children of the slaughtered innocents
now turn their minds to primer on Guernica carved.
So many millions lost then,
so many lost now.
Never again, has become,
has become ever again.
Always again.

Walk with me, for as I wept acid tears
for those who were flushed to ash,
now I bend on the soil stained,
and weep them all over again.

Those to whom evil was once done,
have done evil in return.
Walk with me for I have just left,
as the smotes from sky leave a parcel cleft.
But not long to stay, for there are so many places to go,
from African Zaire, to beheadings in Mexico.

I wish I could appear as lady of light,
scattering feathers and petals in my wake,
taking up the broken bones, 
mending them to wholeness make.

Walk with me and we will find 
the next place where the pulps of people
are severed from the rind.

To this our scattered bodies go,
for the future will remember what we already know.
The world will have to under carbon haze a burn,
before the next generation will start to learn,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

This is not America. These are not words you are listening to.

As everyone knows by know, California's Supreme Court, decided that all it takes is a majority vote to take a group's fundamental human rights away. I wonder when Prop Slavery is put up to a majority vote. After all, slavery is in the bible too.

So is polygamy now that you mention it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Advice on catching a liar

Cosmo as usual, has it wrong

They focus on uncomfortable body language, which is not good, because men are often more uncomfortable telling the truth, than lying. It is one of the reasons they lie in the first place. It is more comfortable to say they did something, when they did not, for example.  Men are uncomfortable talking to women in their emotional life because men fear what they see as our disproportional emotional response. They fear our tears and our anger. One response they have, is to lie. Another is to avoid. But that means that you can't tell from his being uncomfortable, or even with holding, that he is telling a real lie. Men often feel harsh things, and don't say them. It isn't always what needs to be said. 

So if you look for uncomfortable, it could be the uncomfortable truth that you are missing out on.

So how do you catch a liar? The simplest rule is this: let him talk. Even be sympathetic in your voice. That's very important. Why? Because if he thinks you are suspicious, he will get careful. He will make sure he remembers things. If you quiz him with questions, he will try and close down discussion. If you press, he will get angry. Now that could mean he is protecting a lie, but it also could mean he wanted to tell you something and feels you cut him off. It also means he won't want to talk to you, because it is unpleasant.

No. Let him talk. Let him embellish. Let him go on. Now, after he has had a chance to talk, and you've drawn him out with sympathetic questions, look for two things.

The first is that he lacks details. In every important, or even moderately interesting moment, in our lives, we remember other details. While women are, in general, better at remembering details, that's not the case for really important moments. There is a freeze frame effect. We make associations. If a person is not telling the truth, but has created a story, they will have more trouble mentioning irrelevant details. Why is this? Because at the moment they were happening, we did not know them to be irrelevant.

The other crucial sign of a lie will come next. He looks too good. Men will, if they think they are getting a sympathetic hearing, as opposed to an interrogation, will try and turn things to proving their worth. They can't help it. Even if he looks bad, it is to look good, in the sense that he is playing for sympathy. Very rarely can men avoid taking the rope that you feed out.

So first, listen sympathetically. Once he gets going, ask about what seem to be irrelevant details. If a guy says he saw someone wearing a baseball cap, ask him which team. He will have noticed, because that is a thing he notices, just like he notices the size of a woman's breasts. Each time he must fabricate, it burns through more of his energy. 

The problem with trying to unravel a thread, is that first it promotes hostility, and second, very few people's real stories hold together. In fact, if there are no loose ends, that is more often a sign that someone has gone over a story. Our real lives have holes in them, and we seldom are right about everything that did happen or why. Asking for explanations invites fabrication even when the person is telling the truth. Asking for details invites fabrication, only when it is already going on. 

But this is in the context of his story, first let him get to his point, because his point, if he is lying, is the center. All roads lead to it. Until you know what he wants you to believe, you can't know what he is protecting. 

So don't hang him by his thumbs, give him encouraging signs, and let him finally have  story that collapses under its own weight, or is starkly absent of every thing that would mark it as real.

Thalia's board

Thalia's taste is like Couture UK in SL from about a year ago. If that is your thing, you will love her clothes. What she is however, is outrageously generous for people who join her group, and runs huge Midnight Mania boards.  One can get an huge swath of wardrobe by  just joining her group, putting in picks and spending some time sorting. She's good, mastering the total range of skills, and treating people very well. You could pay a great deal of linden for clothes worse than this.

I like everything I got there, and will go back and shop later. But I had to pas this on for as long as she is doing it, because it is an amazingly good five minutes to spend, and at the size of her current customer base, it is not exactly a secret.

So have Christmas in June. And thank Thalia by remembering the next time you have some Linden crying to get out of your purse, which designers have been generous to you.

Cisgendered Transgendered and VR

I am not a trans-sexual activist, nor is trans-sexuality an area of study of mine. However, the discipline, as it exists, is confused. So let me begin with something that is not the majority view, but which accords with what I see in second life.

A Matrix of Gender

Dr. Bushong posits that there are five semi-independent parts of gender: Genetic, Physical, Brain, Brain Sex, Identity.

Genetic gender is our chromosomal pattern, which is mostly XX or XY, though not always. 

Physical gender is how that pattern expresses in primary and secondary characteristics, which while it overwhelmingly falls into line with XX or XY, has a significant number of variations, including ambiguous genitalia, Turner's Syndrome, or individuals at the edges of what others are comfortable with identifying.

Brain Gender is the functional operation of the brain. While this might seem the same as physical gender, it is not, in that the brain has a function independent, and a development that is not exactly linked. This is because brain gender is influenced by androgens, the way genital development is, but can go in a different direction. There are genetic women who receive a strong dose of androgens in development, some develop typically male brain patterns, without being particularly male in physique. This is because there are two parts, the gonads have to produce androgens, but the rest of the body have to receive and react accordingly. Many people have different patterns of reception, and some small number of males have AIS, which means they have no ability to react to testosterone and other androgens. The look like women, later, including many secondary sex characteristics in some cases.

Brain Sex is a concept which is more specific to Bushong, in that it describes patterns of behavior that are expressed. There is a physical element, but also a developmental element.

The last is Gender Identity, that is the gender, or genders, that we feel inside ourselves. What he calls a "self-map." This is not related to activities, as this former college football player shows. People can be in any walk of life, including such male stereotyped ones as computer programmer. The most visible example is Lynn Conway, who lived as a woman for decades before being "outed."

To this I will add one more category: gender expression. This is how the individual deals with the totality of these gender pieces, and combines them with the other parts of their lives, and the society around them. There are limits to expression, and those limits vary with time, place, and purpose. Gender expression is the relationship then, between individual, and their perceptions of gender normativity. Normativism means that people are pushed to behave in bands of the bimodal distribution. Norms, while they leverage underlying statistical tendencies, and realities, for example, men can't have babies, therefore pair bonds that aim for reproduction can't be two men and monogamous, are not firmly fixed to them. High heels are not programmed genetically. Nor is watching football. Nor is Nordstrom, or particular brands of beer.

In Bushong's paradigm, because the parts of identity vary, few people are purely one gender or another, but have a matrix, or mixture. There are two large clusters which can be identified as "male" and "female" norms, but the number of people in these norms will vary with how strict they are. If a mother tells a son not to cry to "be a man," that establishing a range of "maleness." One which her genetic, physical, brain gendered,  brain sexed, and gender identity son is not conforming to at that moment.

He divides people who are not monogendered into "cross dressers," "transgenderists," and "transsexual." The first are generally heterosexual males who "wear women's clothing" and may even fantasize about becoming a woman, the second are people who present in both genders and even establish more than one identity. The third are defined by a hatred or antipathy to their physical gender, and want to transition that gender to more closely match their gender identity.

While not endorsing every element of what he presents, Second Life affirms that there are a larger number of people who do not fall within the duopoly, my new favorite word it seems, of male and female as defined by the society they live in. Societies have often created a third gender, in the form of castrati, or eunuchs. Men who have had their testicles removed, and are therefore, physically no longer functional males, and no longer have the influence of large doses of testosterone. They can function as males, including one Admiral of the Chinese navy who was a eunuch.

In Second Life, the ability to more totally present as another gender is an important sub-group of the population. While the more celebrated is the "physical men presenting as SL women," there are also physical women who present as sl men. Often for the simple reason that women are pervasively harassed in many contexts, such as combat games. In a world where someone will try and spam a vampire bite, and then ask for free cam sex, there are good reasons for not wanting to be women when participating in an activity that attracts that kind of male. The "middle" is much larger than irl. Now this is self-selection at work, since SL provides for it. Consciousness is visible here, as this transgender freebie from E! Eclectic Apparel shows.

The DSM and Transgender in the Real World, and the Clark-Northwestern Clique

However, one reason for this is the trouble that occurs in first life. The majority view is not as easy going or as detailed, but instead represents the underling normativism of society. There has been some notice of this in real life because of the impending revision of the DSM-IV, that is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder or "bible" of the diagnosis of metal disorders. As Madeline H. Wyndzen talks about on her site:
Academic psychological perspectives on the psychology of transsexuality are represented by peer-reviewed journals such as the "Archives of Sexual Behavior" and are codified in the mental illness models of the DSM-IV-TR as Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and Transvestic Fetishism (TF). This psychopathology treats transsexuality, cross-dressing, and other mixed-up genders and sexualities (e.g., BDSM) as inherently bad things about us. They're not. Gender bending, gender queering, and transgenderism in society can expand our understanding of gender, sexuality, and other categories our cultures create. Can sexologists refrain from placing value judgements upon those with gender dysphoria and instead refine the way we understand the psychology of gender, atypical gender development, and gender role socialization? I hope that by bringing a personal and non-judgemental scientific approach to understanding transgenderism, I can help transsexuals, cross-dressers, and mental health professions grow and develop as persons.
The reason this has gotten notice in the real world, is that there is a major revision of the DSM coming, called DSM-V. This has caused controversy that ranges beyond this issue, because the DSM is a very powerful normative device. Despite petitions, this is still a cultural enterprise, rather than a scientific one strictly. It is also mostly involved with the mine details of terminology and diagnosis, not with particulars. However, this is not very much help, if you are one of the particulars that DSM-IV treats in an unjust or unhappy way. The people who are labelled as having GID, or Gender Identity Disorder, are one such group.

In the DSM-IV, Gender Identity Disorder is described, and this places a powerful normative stigma against it. GID is potentially "on the chopping block" in this revision. There have been protests in San Francisco to underline the opposition of a community to the way that the DSM-IV characterizes their state of being. Others have written about the politics of it, but placing Dr. Zucker, who is a proponent of training people not to express trans-gendered impulses, was a pretty sure way of getting a response similar to putting John Yoo on a panel to define torture. The Clarke-Northwester Clique, itself far from a majority view, dominates the panel. And this has flowered into a public contest, and may well yield change. But don't be too sure.

Second Life and Gender Normativism

Everyone is queer on Second Life, in that everyone must construct their identity. It is as hard for a physical male to construct a good male avatar with the correct anatomy, as a female avatar. Hard in some respects. And more costly. This queer reality reflects itself in the converse: people who want to engage in gender expression which violates their perceptions of gender normativity.

Gender expression is fluid in both directions, an individual in second life can express a different gender than rl, or they can express something which is not gendered, but which gender makes a useful stand in for. This can be seen by analogy. In past eras, men often retired to become monks. This was a way of renouncing interests in the world. A physical male, playing a female in second life, has renounced interest in finding an rl relationship with a female in much the same way. He might not feel female, but being female in second life allows him to express what he does feel. The same is true for men who play their ideal female in second life. They don't feel female, they feel something about women, and showing it as an example does that.

The tension here then is not merely people who feel, or want to express part time, a gender different from their rl gender, it is that expressing gender in second life or any VR, can serve other purposes as well.

A word I learned in searching for the material for this post, is "cissexism," which is a 1995 coinage, which defines people who have the same inner and outer gender as attempting to impose a norm against which "trans-" the opposite of cis in Latin, do not conform to. Thus Zucker and Blanchard are "cissexist" because the impose a normativity on individuals.  If this sounds like complication, realize that every word that describes a group should have an antonym. Since transgendered describes a group, the antonym is... what? Cisgendered has been proposed. Until this morning, I did not know the words cis-gendered or cis-sexism existed.

I don't think in this category for VR, because even the simple division proposed by cis/trans breaks down. In SL I see a monogendered/heterogendered reality. There are people who are one gender in their minds, and while they may not match this in their bodies, they think of themselves as "men" or "women." There are those who do not, and can happily log on to SL, have a Slesbian relationship and go back to being men in real life, or they can have a party going female alt, and a serious male alt, and no one really knows which one is their physical gender. The monogendered hate the heterogendered, because the monogendered still want a correspondance, one to one, with the physical. Your avatar, is you. 

This gets me back to normativism. 

Normativism is the belief that people should be forced to conform to ranges of behavior. Now human beings are norm seekers, we learn the norms of language and behavior, and we seek to express within, and against, those norms. Norms often imply transgression. It is not the norm to shout "fuck!" But there are times we do. Norms have many advantages, in that they reduce the time to find things out about people, and the frictions of mismatched purposes. If something is a serious meeting, norms prevent it from decaying to mere chatter.

Norms are open to change, as marriage norms have changed, as work norms have changed. Introducing a new word, is a way of changing norms. We change norms by challenging them, by behaving in ways that violate the norms, and still function. As other people see a functioning non-normative situation, acceptance grows. The most obvious example of this is equal marriage. The longer it goes on, the more same sex married couples are seen as just like all other married couples. The more they function as married, the more marriage, the norm, is expanded.

Normativism, is the belief that the advantages of norms so overwhelm all other things, that there should be no escape from them, and people who do not conform, are to be dealt with harshly. Normativism is not just in favor of norms, but in favor of preventing people from changing norms. Normativism is permission to violate norms, in pursuit of violating the people who violate norms. A normativist believes he or she is entitled to deal with people who violate norms.

We are all normativists in some circumstances, in that there are norms that we feel we cannot function without. My case: I am strongly normative about violations of respect for women, simply because I spent so much of my second life dealing with them, and because so many people enter second life in areas where the norms of not demanding cam sex on first IM, are violated routinely. 

The anti-trans normativists believe they cannot live, specifically, with men who present as women. Porky is, to note, a trans individual, she is physical female, and makes a big deal about it, and yet presents as male in second life. Yet she hates physical males presenting as second life females, to the point of obvious pathology.

Their reasons are varied. For many of the males it is obvious, they want the chance for rl hookups. They see every female they meet as a potential sex partner, and demand that the information they need to filter out unacceptable sex partners: age, sex, location, fuck hunger, as being more or less the first things that are exchanged. For them, imposing norms which put women in the appropriate fuck box save a great deal of time. If they have to spend time, they want to impose the costs of their search on others. For others, however, it is mere normativity itself: they can't see themselves as ever wanting to be another gender. The monogendered want their monotonicity to be a norm, because they do not understand any other norm.

That is, mostly, where I was when I came here. I learned otherwise.


Gender is a word that covers a matrix of inputs, and produces the output of gender expression. There are two major clusters of gender expression which we define as male and female. There are good reasons to have these two clusters based on ordinary desires and the physical need to reproduce, but the clusters as defined go far beyond those needs.

In the real world there is tremendous bigotry against both trans-gendered individuals, that is people whose preferred gender expression does not match what norms would require, and against hetero-gendered individuals, that is people who do not want to fit into either gender cluster all of the time. This is seen in the treatment by the APA of gender identity, and has come to a head as a narrow clique dominates the revision of the DSM-V. This has produced political conflict.

VRs, by allowing gender expression more fully than is possible in the analog world, allows people to both express a different gender than in the physical for its own sake, and to express other inner realities in gendered terms. 

Like sexism, fear of the transgendered, and the hetero-gendered, and self hatred by trans and hetero people exists. It is similar to stigmas against particular "race," word in quotes, and sexual orientations.

If I pick this up again, I will write on how trans and hetero gendered individuals are treated like homosexuals were before, say, the Stonewall riots, that is used, but kept closeted as a legal servant or slave class.

Cis, Trans, Mono, Hetero, and VR

A History of Other Sexes, Condensed

While we assume there are two large clusters of expression known as "male" and "female" directed by reproduction, there have been other genders from time immemorial. The Sumerian contains a creation myth where a goddess, Ninmah, fashions a being without sex organs, and tablets describe people who are outside of the normative of reproduction as having neither sex, or being "man-woman." Plato recounts a myth of creation that is similar, there are, originally, three genders.

For the moment, let me accept this division and survey some of the examples of creating a third gender. One is in language: many languages have Masculine, Feminine and Neuter genders, including Latin. However, in general we think of the third gender as a class of people.

One of these is the "eunuch," whether physically created, or by personal action. A monk for example, has renounced reproductive competition. This cluster of other gender exists for a variety of reasons. One is political. An example from early imperial Japan was caused by the heavy ceremonial duties imposed on the titular emperor. So, many emperors abdicated to be able to actually exert influence in a practice know as "cloistered rule," or Insei system.

If this sounds strange, realize that the Catholic Church has pursued official celibacy, and the Pope is a kind of cloistered ruler.

Physical eunuchs are one of the larger and more obvious regions of creating an additional gender. They have been created since written records, and perhaps before. They have been used, as the name implies, to protect and serve in circumstances where a male guard was desired, but one who was not capable of fathering children.  In the court of Ming China, this form reached a kind of zenith. Located in Beijing, the "North Capital" to which the Ming dynasty relocated away from Nanjing, or the South Capital, the emperors constructed a vast palace and government complex known to westerners as "The Forbidden City."

In many cultures, where penetration defines masculinity, homosexual men adopt transgendered habits. They need not be physically castrated, though some are. What is more important is adopting a particular role. The long history of Hijra is an example of this kind of intersex space, in that they are men who take on the functions of women, and often the gender terms and clothing of women. They are refered to in Kama Sutra as "the third sex."

While the male as female is celebrated, it is known that many women have functioned as men, including Anna P.

Another category is from theatre, where in many cultures women are forbidden to act on stage. Shakespeare's theatre had no women, nor did classical hellenic drama, from which all Western theatre comes. In China Beijing Opera has only male actors. Men playing women become a third sex in the context of theatre, and in some cultures, in their private lives as well. Popular culture caught a glimpse of this Dan aspect in "Farewell My Concubine," written as a novel first by Pik Wah Li, or Lilian/Lillian Lee, and later brought to stage and screen.

The summary here is that there is a long standing recognition globally is societies that some individuals renounce behavior associated with "male" and "female" clusters, and this is often part of renouncing reproduction or other totemic roles. It is also associated with performing the sexual role without ties to reproduction, whether as a sacred prostitute, or as a male who has the receptive role in sex, particularly in cultures that define maleness by penetration.

This is associated with sexual orientation, political need, or personal expression, and as well with totemic significance of people outside of the male/female clusters.

The Nature of the Third Gender

From this we can see that while the normative cluster of male and female is very powerful, virtually every society has had times and places where people were not part of the normative clusters of male and female, and were allowed, or required, to express and live in a different group. This could be imposed, as Ming Eunuchs had to rise by entry into the class through castration, or it could be by some degree of choice.

The common threads are two. The first is the impulse behind the male/female normativity: reproduction, and behind this the desire to impose some regularity on inheriting, or patrilinearity, matrilineals need no such construct. There is a requirement then for sex and personal functioning outside of this area, and it is filled by a variety of individuals who, by renouncing reproduction as a motive, are granted particular places, and particular privileges in return. 

However, reproduction is as much an excuse as a reason, and reproduction, ultimately, must be the reason for gender fluid individuals. The number of them suggests that there are evolutionary values for having gender fluid individuals as part of the population. It suggests that reproduction, while it is a driving force in normative gender roles, is also a Trojan Horse for that other part of normativity: getting what you want from people. Sex is not just about reproduction, but about the pleasure of sex, and the ego of sexual domination. Having targets ready to hand is as important a part of this as having breeding. Otherwise, VR sex rooms would not exist, because there is no breeding going on there, and men there have much higher percentage roles to reproducing. In fact, if a man really wants children, it is easier to get there than getting sex without responsibility is.

This is a topic I can write about with crystal authority: the purpose of sexual normativity for many of its devotees, is so that they can have a clear playing field to prove their masculine domination of being able to get free porn with tricks, traps, berating, and begging. The overwhelming strategy of men in such places is to demand normative information, and either repeatedly beg for sex, or to try and assert that the woman signed a contract to fall all over the first cock waved in her face, often sticking out of a pair of pants, by being there. I'll have more exact numbers on this in not too long. There's no reproduction, but there is a great deal of normative pressure.

So why?

As we know from biology, the competition for reproductive opportunities is intense, both within genders, and between them. The interests of the species, as a whole, is successful production of fit individuals, however individuals within the group have an incentive to cheat by making things worse for the species, but get more of their progeny. It is a wire. Too much, and the species, or group within it that carries their genetic material spirals the drain. Too little, and individuals won't get their genes into the next generation.

This brings me to the gender fluid. 

The competition between men and women for advantage often centers around the resources invested. At a minimum a man invests the time to find a partner, and some small amount to inseminate her with his sperm. Then, he can be gone, and while the chance of a fit individual resulting is low, he can do this many more times than a man who helps rear the child, and has a higher chance of doing so than a man who reaches a pinnacle of worldly success that allows him to keep a harem, legal or allowed.

We all know of people who end up raising children from very short term affairs. So clearly, this form of reproductive strategy works well enough for the men who practice it to leave copies of themselves. But is it the only one that works? Are all men pump and dump, fuck and forget, stick and split, only waiting for the chance to do so?

I would argue not, consider the cycle of the currently labeled "secondary transgendered." The are often very successful as men, they breed. Then, as one anonymous essayist put it "the bell goes off." They tend to excel as men, they have children, then they transition. This is not unlike the classic cycle of a buddhist monk, or, for that matter, Franz Liszt, who had children, and then took on minor religious orders when this was over.

But that is an extreme, the norm is what drive the situation. Consider the man with some degree of gender fluidity. Theorists would call him queer, but that is also a normative label, to push people into a particular expression of fluidity. Let us take such a man as we find him. First, he has some behaviors, or some sympathies, which make him more able to understand, even mimic how women function. This is not to say he is not a guy, does not leave a trail of clothes around the house, and eats things that look and smell like road kill, but he is not in the category of men who are mystified by women's language, relational outlook, and so on. He talks more, and understands the need to talk. He may be more verbally skilled. He is capable of understanding, and thus has a higher chance of being able to raise children that he has to adulthood. He may or may not even identify this with femaleness. We are speaking, for the moment, strictly of gender fluidity.

Now how does this happen? The reality is from evolution is that fixed is unusual, variation normal. Consider the story I told in the first part: androgens are sent out to the body, and the parts of the body respond. But they don't respond equally. In extreme cases they do not respond at all. There is a natural variation in how much response, how much production, and where in the body there is response at all. Instead of calling men "male" in traits, we should say that they are "androgenized." 

A man with differing sensitivities to androgens can be more male in some ways, because some parts of his body are not using androgens at the same rate. He has advantages in some kinds of reproduction. Since the same strategy does not always work, he will have better or worse chances depending on the time. Sometimes settling down works, sometimes it does not. Because he is a better care giver, and not dependent on chance, he has a higher chance of being able to breed with a woman who is sickly. This might seem a disadvantage, but it can be an advantage. He gets access to genes that the sower of wild oats does not have, and sickly could merely be a strong variation of something that is healthy if moderated, or in another circumstance. Allergies for example: too high an immune system might be bad where health is good, but good when health is bad.

These together show that some touch of gender fluidity in the variational pool is to be expected: it is a strategy.

The normal estimates of trans-gendered expression look at people willing to jump the very high hurdles to reassignment. Just the physical process looks terrifying: hormones, multiple surgeries, long rehabilitation to new gender. Then there is the psychological adjustment. On top of that the social adjustment. I'm not sure I've ever wanted anything as badly as the person who wants to fully transition must want it.

However, in VR, these do not exist. Gender choice is just that, choice. Anonymity makes maintaining that choice easier. And in SL, it is easier to equip a female. This leaves aside the man who is expressing something other than a desire to be female, in his choice of avatar.

However, some degree of fluidity, even if it is more in sympathy than reality, does not require anything more extreme than being willing to learn arts appreciated by women, accept roles and places that women value. In this the gender fluid male must include the submissive male, who is none the less as firmly attached to having a cock as can be, and the male who choses to present his male in a refined form. The male wearing a male avatar, but touching it with female taste, is a variation of a lighter degree, than the male wearing a female avatar. Both are less androgenized than the man walking around propositioning every woman he meets, but that does not mean they cannot find, and have, women.

As long as this is a stable strategy, that is, it offers benefits that offset it's costs, there is no reason it should not hold it's own place in the population. In smaller lighter degrees, it can even be seen as enough of an advantage.

What SL tells us is that men of these kinds are far more common than the analog world and analog normative clusters would predict. There are more men who fall outside the stripes of "male" than we would have thought. Some estimates say that 25% of all men who play SL have tried a female avatar. How many of them choose to do so regularly, or primarily, I do not know.


There is a long history of individuals, stories, and categories of behavior in human culture which do not fit into the bands of "male" and "female." These include eunuchs, men and women who renounce reproductive competition, feminine male homosexuals or dominant female homosexuals, actors in many ranges of cultures, and religious functionaries in many places. This long history is across cultures, though it's level of expression varies widely.

This long term history suggests that there is an evolutionary reason for a variation in alignment between physical gender, and the level of androgenization of behavior. The mechanism for this is an advantage in care based breeding over quantity based breeding. 

Gender fluidity can express itself in a variety of ways, leading to a large estimate of men whose level of androgenization in behavior is much larger than the number who are transgendered. These would include men whose gender identity and expression are exclusively male. No mechanism for women is proposed here, but that does not indicate that there is not one.

VRs by allowing easier expression of gender fluidity, allow for men and women to use this easier expression both to be in some degree presenting an aspect of their gender identity which is otherwise forbidden, or to express other aspects of their personality which being the other gender helps. Such as being a man and being taken more seriously by male programmers.

Minote Ansar: spamming vampire and slime bag

First he spams with with the vampire animation... then...

[8:08]  Mintote Ansar: how are u?
[8:08]  Mintote Ansar: hi
[8:08]  Lillie Yifu: hello
[8:09]  Lillie Yifu: and what is a loathesome creature like you doing on a nice day like this
[8:09]  Lillie Yifu: don't you have a garbage can to crawl into?
[8:09]  Mintote Ansar: have msn?
[8:09]  Lillie Yifu: your nasty
[8:10]  Mintote Ansar: im hunter, im a vamp,
[8:11]  Lillie Yifu: You area  spammer who breaks the rules
[8:11]  Lillie Yifu: and a slimey pathetic scavenger
[8:12]  Mintote Ansar: have msn?

How much clearer can someone be that someone isn't welcome?

If anyone wonders why LL is hell bent on denuding SL of sex areas, people like this are the reason. How many visiting female corporate executives have to be treated like this, in order for them to not invest in SL.

That's right, just one.

You want to know who ruined sex for the rest of you, now you know. The sex parts of SL could not regulate the behavior of people in them. And so it is being regulated in a draconian and foolish way. 

Second Shrink just Shrunk

Promoting bigotry and sexism for traffic is always a bad idea. Why did Johnny4sls do it? Because it is profitable, and there is no penalty for it. On the contrary, bigots get noticed.

Porky is female. She makes a big deal out of this when it is to her advantage. Which means she is female.

Porky accuses every female she doesn't like of being rl male. Rheta makes a convenient target, because her avatar is gone, and she can't defend herself.

Porky's attack was pure sexism. Girls can't code. The writer of Ajax life a web based Second Life client, is a 16 year old girl. I guess that must mean that she's really a boy.

Johnny4sls gets traffic by promoting bigotry and sexism. The blog says tales of cyber-neurosis. Obviously he means his cyber-neurosis. We all know why accusations of a female playing a male get press, because there are many homophobic males out there who want to have a chance to score with women, who see the first reason for meeting a woman to be sex, and they are terrified that they will be tricked into being "gay." Porky plays to this. She also knows that if a target defends herself, the only proof is loss of anonymity, which is something many people, male or female, can't pay.

I've been accused by porky, so have lots of other people. It is no more, and no less, than accusing every one who supports marriage equality of being gay, or back in the old days of accusing everyone who supported civil rights of being a "nigger lover." Johnny4sls would have spread such accusations around as proof of being a free thinker, because it would get links an notice.

You wanted notice Johnny4sls, then I will give it to you. You traffic in bigotry. That makes you a bigot. You traffic in sexism. That makes you sexist. You do so for pitiful benefit of attention, which you have now gotten.

You are also a pitifully bad social scientist. The demographics of Second Life skew older than most video games. While there are many of us who are young in second life, there are also many who are older. You should get your facts correct when coming up with off the cuff numbers, it makes them more accurate, and more useful.

I will also note that Johnny's anonymity, or at least not immediate public identifiability is important to him, but he denies that right to others, by promoting accusations which can only be really disproven by meeting people in the flesh - after all, any man can have a girl cam verify for him once. Johnny denies Rheta the same consideration that he wants for himself, a separation between rl and sl. This makes him a hypocrite in addition to trafficking in bigotry and being a bad social scientist.

Shorter Johnny4sls: bigotry and bad numbers are intellectually serious.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Content Camping is Good, Money Camping has always been bad.

As you may or may not know, I have always hated camping for money. It has always been a bad idea, and, as we see, it is about to be banned. Not because it is a bad idea, but because of the iron law of Second Life Grid:

LL cannot expand concurrency, so must increase the value per avatar.

Campers and camping bots are concurrency with little gain. Once upon a time, when camping rates were higher, camping was a kind of corporate dole. Bread and  Circuses. Since almost all of the money went back into LL, it was of no consequence. Then came teh fake banks, and people tried to camp and bank. But this alone did nothing to LL, since they took their cut along the way. However, camping was killed by bots. This was intended. LL knew that it would do that, allowed it. It did that. Camping is gone for money. Like the strip houses, the great camping farms are now bot farms. 

When looking at their ledger, LL had to realize that campers were not valuable concurrency, and so they have to go. Moral? If this were moral, LL could have eradicated camping long ago. They put in controls to stop gambling transactions, they could have killed camping transactions at the same time. That they did not is proof that they did not, at that time, care.

But there is a kind of camping which is traffic legitimate, and LL friendly: content camping. Lucky chairs, MM boards and the like are giving out something which is of little to no use to a bot, but is of use to a resident. This will go on until LL decides that freebie hunters, need to die a short sharp death. Then they will ban that too.

The one reality here is that LL does nothing that is moral, a great deal that is illegal, and no one should every think that because they get some short term gain out of what LL does that it is "good" or "bad."

Dusan writer wants people to think

He wants ll to think about perms. The most important thing about the perms system is that it is broken and keeps people in Second Life, the world. Anything else, is not LL's problem.

Change? Why would they do anything that would threaten the duopoly? You must rent land from LL to have fun with your content, the content creators know that people must stay in Second Life to  have their content. Duopoly happy. The value of Second Life is the pain of leaving it.

No more, no less.

C/M/T does not allow creators to give licenses that work in the real world, but they don't want that mostly, what they want is something that should not exist: no fair use.

End of story really, because the next vr is going to want the same thing. And the next. And the next.

Debunking a junk stat

LL is pitching that they are the number two Voip carrier behind Vonage. They count minutes as minutes that a person is speaking and others are listening. This is a junk statistic, and let me tell you an example why. Last night, in an orgy room, a guy was running around for half an hour saying "get on, ride my cock. Ride my cock you slut. Come on you whore." He went to each female he could see in turn. I told him, voice, no. So did a few others. Most did not.

There were 40 people in range of his voice. 

40x30 = 1200 voip minutes. That's as much as I talk to my friends and family on my cellphone each month. All in 30 minutes.  People were listening, they told him to stop or go away!

LL creates junk stats as a way of life. It counts "accounts" as people, when we know that most accounts are alts or bots, or inactive.

The voip stat, is a junk stat, in that there is demand for people to get on voice, but the people who are demanding it, in many cases, are not paying. It would be like counting reaching voice mail as "talking to someone." It is not true.

Since voice is on by default, many people who have no intention of using voice, are "receiving" minutes. 

SL voice does not directly compare either to internet broadcasting, or to telephony. This is another case of Linden Lab creating a fictional market size, to get people to jump in. There is no such huge market here for voice. None. Now there might be a use for SL as a con call platform, but it is too much trouble right now to do that.

The price of anything digital, is free

In the end, people pay for protons.

In the end, digital content, unless backed by some kind of exclusionary scheme, drops to the price of advertising for protons.

this is because most people don't want to pay for culture, because they believe their existence is as important to culture as the culture itself. Bands make less money on recordings, than on tours. The recording is, mostly, an advertisement for the protons.

That's why cyber-escorting is basically dead, it is advertising for protons now: pictures, voice, cam. the seller gives away a minute or two of free cyber, and advertises. For the men, why pay for what you can camp for. As soon as he has slipped his virtual cock, for free, into the avie, he has gotten his value. He has "won" the game. 

This is also one reason, among many, for the sex ghetto. Because Ll wants to assure companies that their employees aren't doing cyber sex while at work, and because  the direct sex industry on sl continues to shrink. There used to be several large cyber sex strip clubs, and people made 10,000 a day stripping Now there is one, and a girl is lucky to take in 1000L. Now once it was hard to look good, now it is free and easy. So naturally the price drops.

The same thing is going to happen to clothes. As soon as rl can figure out how to sell clothes through sl, they will give away fashion, to pitch clothes.

It may take a year or so, but that's where it is going. Already the quality of freebies out there is much higher. It used to be that most freebies were bad, or new people trying to get in. Now, you can look pretty good on freebies, dollarbies, or campies. 

Eventually in a pipe system, as a friend of mine calls it, all money flows to the pipe, and not to the people who fill it or use it. The reason the "long tail" will not work is because the people far up the tail can take everything form the people down the tail, and the people down the tail don't have the resources to defend it. Even, or especially, if those down the tail people are working for free or nothing. The long tail is #fail #fail #fail, because our analog avatars need a certain minimum, but if you are making that minimum, someone will take it.

Don't believe me? Consider that in the last year LL has hired 100 employees. There are not 100 more people in all of SL making a living selling things. LL is the pipe. The way to make money in SL, is to get a job through SL, and convince your new employer to let you play here as advertising.

That's reality, LL is not a new world, it is just an extension of the old world. It did not have to be this way, but it is.

It is. It is. It is not. It is....


Fading light

They can rage against the fading of the light,
and the quiet coming of that eternal night,
but within this place without a sound,
There is no rage to be found.
It is the truth in every mind,
that the rage is of those left behind.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Night theatre

Wanted by Boston Area Artist: Gorgeous brainless sluthole who has a thing for the nastiest looking man she can find.

Yes, men in the art world behave this way in real life. This jerk should hope I never review one of his art shows, because I am pretty sure I could pick out his work. His avatar, after two years, had a freebie cock, and a playdope skin. And guess what... he wanted me to go and fuck him free and instant... or I am a mean mean person.

The reality, flesh, is that yes, this is the kind of person you have to deal with to get a show, or entry into a gallery.

[2:31]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: wow. some outfit.
[2:31]  Lillie Yifu: thank you.
[2:31]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: pretty impressive. yw
[2:32]  Lillie Yifu: any one can be pretty here
[2:32]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: yes, but you're making it an art form
[2:32]  Lillie Yifu: I love beautiful things. The human body is beautiful.
[2:33]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: I feel the same way, Im an artist
[2:33]  Lillie Yifu: what kind of art do you do?
[2:33]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: painting, mostly
[2:34]  Lillie Yifu: how interesting... still life? portrait? landscape?
[2:34]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: landscape, mostly. Some of everything. Cityscapes.
[2:34]  Lillie Yifu: I see. Do you have a favorite medium?
[2:35]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: Oils, and watercolors. What about you? Artistic?
[2:35]  Lillie Yifu: yes
[2:35]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: what do you do?
[2:35]  Lillie Yifu: irl or in sl?
[2:35]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: in rl.
[2:36]  Lillie Yifu: I study art history. I am better with three dimensional media, such as sculpture.
[2:36]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: thats great. Do you sculpt?
[2:36]  Lillie Yifu: yes
[2:36]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: in what?
[2:37]  Lillie Yifu: I work with several different kinds, clay, chisel, I've cast bronzes
[2:37]  Lillie Yifu: I also do graphic arts
[2:37]  Lillie Yifu: both print and for computers
[2:37]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: nice, Ive always wanted to try bronze
[2:37]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: me too
[2:37]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: lol not in SL. Its my relax place
[2:37]  Lillie Yifu: I see
[2:38]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: well, illie, you're an interesting girl :)
[2:38]  Lillie Yifu: thank you
[2:39]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: yw
[2:39]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: :) part of you is still gray
[2:40]  Lillie Yifu: it is a laggy sim, so people load slowly.
[2:40]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: I can tell. your hair is pretty though!
[2:41]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: Are you meeting soomeone? I dont want to keep you
[2:41]  Lillie Yifu: no I'm not meeting someone
[2:41]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: :) good
[2:42]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: its always a little hard when you run into people in these kinds of rooms and end up lucky in conversation
[2:42]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: hard to ask "So, what brings you here?" lol
[2:42]  Lillie Yifu: younever know who you might meet
[2:42]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: true true
[2:43]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: where are u from, lillie?
[2:43]  Lillie Yifu: East coast of the US
[2:44]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: me too, Boston area
[2:45]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: thats better
[2:47]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: still lagging
[2:48]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: should we move on, lillie?
[2:48]  Lillie Yifu: what do you have in mind?
[2:48]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: something more just about the 2 of us

(Note the long pause here, I didn't want to say anything.)

[2:50]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: what do you think?
[2:50]  Lillie Yifu: I think your avatar is insanely ugly and it says that you are proably an incompetent artist because you not only have no taste, but not respect for fellow human beings either
[2:51]  Lillie Yifu: I think guys who have cocks hanging out of their pants are creepy irl
[2:51]  Lillie Yifu: and I haven't seen anything in sl to convince me differently
[2:51]  Lillie Yifu: I think you should go infest someoene else's day
[2:51]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: On the plus side, I'm not a nasty person.
[2:51]  Lillie Yifu: good bye
[2:51]  Lillie Yifu: oh you are as nasty as they come
[2:51]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: wow. what a horrid human you are.
[2:51]  Lillie Yifu: right
[2:52]  Lillie Yifu: thatwas stupid

He later added when I sent him the link:

[2:58]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: you're not seriously bothering to talk to me anymore, are you, hypocrite?
[2:59]  Lillie Yifu: nice touch
[3:00]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: "all bodies are beautiful". Sounds like hypocrasy to me.

Which, of course, is not what I said. It's in the chat log.

[3:01]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: Thats what you said at the start of our chat. Please, dont you have anything better to do? Go find a friend.

I am sure his art is just overflowing with the richness of human empathy and kindness...

[3:03]  Gabriel5555 Redgrave: Man, you just keep getting more pathetic.

Yes I am sure that truth and beauty are pathetic to someone like this. Remember, he is an artist. Such depth of soul. I am astounded by his rich understanding of the human psyche. 

OK so I should cut down on the snark.

Salt Hud seems to be broken

can't get a message through to Z either.... ug ugh ughhhh ugggghhh.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Let it be, my love.

On other nights the heat that is left by the sun on the earth rises as warmth into us. On other nights, but not not this night. This night. This night different than the others. Than all the others. Than any other.

On other nights the wind that dances on the sand, swirls with touch that raises skin to reaction becomes a delicate prickle of sensation, and moves us to move with it in languid turns. On other nights, but not this night. This night. This wind different than the others. Than all the others. Than any other.

On other nights, the humid hanging wait for other dawns, is livid in us, and languid on us. Our joints hang loose and we are florid flow with the tides of old desires. On other nights, but not this night. This air different than the others. Than all the others. Than any other.

On other nights, the darkness enfolds us, as I enfold you. It takes us in, as I take in you. It wraps around us, as I wrap around you. On other nights, but not this night. This night different from all the others from the beginning until now. That now that enfolds us is not the others. Than any other.

On other nights, we are moved by the rocking of the world, the turning silent and alone, in cold and bitter space. We are bound in our turns as the earth is bound in silent sweep of equal areas in equal times. The triangle that it makes is my triangle. Kepler's laws guide us in our flight. On other nights, but not this night, which, I sigh, is different from all the others.

On this night the warmth is not from without but within. On this night the flowering rush of water is not from the air, but from within us. On this night the breathes we take and give are the wind that torrents over every curve of my geography, and pushes through my skin and carries of my soul. On this night it is not forces that impel, but we who will move the world and make a new creation.

On this night, different from all other nights, we are not the wave that crests and washes forgotten on the shore, but the tide that pours in. Your tide pours into me, and says to my aching want: "Let it be."

Let it be my love, let it be. Let new life begin on this sand caressed island, let it be. And this will be the rising of a new sun, from this place, it was begun. This from first moment was our conception, to conceive and provide reception. This time, different from last time, and all other times until now.

I set a side the clasped shell that I carried as protection, and let it slide from my fingers tips to be carried away by the foam and lost.

On this night, this night, different from all other nights. From any other night.

By the time there is morning dew, our bond will be rebound, and made utterly new.

Let it be my love, let it be.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sense of humor

Later he IM'd me and apologized profusely, we took a trolley tour of the Gardens of Bliss, designed by Luna Bliss, with a long trolley ride. So I suppose the next best thing to being good, is trying to make up for it. It's only honest that I write that Bill did, and was pleasant company.

More in the continuing failure to find intelligent male life in the universe:

[15:34]  Bill Hatchuk: Help!
[15:34]  Bill Hatchuk: CAn you elp me?
[15:34]  Bill Hatchuk: Please?
[15:34]  Bill Hatchuk: Hello?
[15:39]  Lillie Yifu: Hello
[15:39]  Lillie Yifu: how may I help oyu?
[15:39]  Bill Hatchuk: Hello
[15:39]  Bill Hatchuk: How are you?
[15:40]  Lillie Yifu: I am well, you siad you needed help. What is the problem?
[15:40]  Bill Hatchuk: I am in another place now
[15:40]  Bill Hatchuk: I will tell you though
[15:40]  Bill Hatchuk: I have a bet going
[15:40]  Lillie Yifu: kk
[15:41]  Bill Hatchuk: If Ican get with 20 women in 30 min. I will win 2500$L
[15:41]  Lillie Yifu: good luck
[15:41]  Bill Hatchuk: Will you help?
[15:41]  Lillie Yifu: no
[15:41]  Bill Hatchuk: Ho
[15:41]  Lillie Yifu: I'm not a disposable cum receptacle
[15:41]  Lillie Yifu: good day
[15:41]  Bill Hatchuk: You are no fun
[15:41]  Bill Hatchuk: too bad lady
[15:42]  Bill Hatchuk: You and I could get to know each other
[15:42]  Bill Hatchuk: I have to go
[15:42]  Bill Hatchuk: sorry
[15:42]  Lillie Yifu: I already know everything about you that I woud possibly want to know
[15:42]  Lillie Yifu: please infest someone else's day
[15:42]  Bill Hatchuk: Ha ha ha
[15:42]  Bill Hatchuk: It is a joke lady
[15:42]  Bill Hatchuk: Get a sencs of humor
[15:42]  Bill Hatchuk: Bye

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Mating Game, Not.

The scientists think they have found the key to the courtship game. There is something missing here. Not the all men are always willing part, that is a lot less true that myth says it is, not the analysis doesn't work, because under this analysis, having sex early would always be a sign of being desperate, and it isn't. What is needed is something that has the stable range of responses. Let's do that.

First instead of dividing men into "good" and "bad," let's give men, from the woman's stand point three attributes "hot," "stable," and "loaded." 

A hot guy is one whose attributes are immediately obvious. He looks good, he smells good, he has that something. 

A stable guy is one who will care for children, and put up with our emotional and personal needs.

A loaded guy is one who can provide needs because of wealth, ability, skill, connections, etc.

Now in breeding, hot, stable, and loaded is best. However, the more desirable the male, the more likely some other girl is willing to have sex with him earlier, in hopes of catching him. So there are three competitions:

Men competing to get the best woman.
Woman competing to get the best man.
Men and women competing to divide the costs and benefits.

Let's ignore individual taste for a moment, which is important, but let's do that. Assume that a hot guy is hot to every girl, a stable guy is stable with any girl etc. Let's also put forward that women have the attributes of hot, fertile, and stable. 

Now courtship does not prove out hot as an attribute. It does prove out stable. Loaded is both, some aspects are visible, others show up with time. However, there are two problems with long courtship. First, the more desirable the male, the more other women will be willing to reduce courtship to get access to him. Second, preferences are going to vary. After all, if all of the stable males are snapped up, or in courtship, that will increase the preference for hot, but less loaded and stable, males. 

This model works better because there is a real equilibrium. Some women will take the strategy of focusing on hot and fast couplings. Mate hot, get his genes, and take chances that he can be made stable. Others will go to the other extreme and demand stable. But that means that they will lose guys who might be hot, and loaded, but are not as stable. There will be normally a curve, with the fast daters on one side, and the long engagement types on the other, with most in between, deciding to take a chance on a man when it seems that he is stable enough, and hot enough, and the likelihood of him being poached is starting to get too be too great.

We can then add in personal preference. Sometimes someone is just really into you, or you are really into them. And it happens. Fast. 

Let's also turn it around from the guy stand point. There are many that will take the mate fast strategy, some few that will wait a long time. The less valuable the woman is to him, the more he will want to do it now, when his time risked is lower. The more valuable, the more he will wait. 

Now why is it in second life that men have a mate now strategy, when the pay off isn't there? My response is this simple. For the male, this tells him more about the woman, and about his own value, than it does for a woman. A woman knows that if she lowers her standards enough, there is always a man out there willing. A man does not know this. So his serial probing costs him little, and tells him how "hot" he is versus local female taste. He's also got an rl reason. A man who has gotten to blow of steam is less likely to fall into a relationship with a woman who is very low on the scale, simply because he feels a sex need now.

This model is more complex, but it does create a pleasing splay of choices, and times.