I just got word that the infamous Intlibber -- Michael Lorrey -- is running for office in New Hampshire.
If you don't remember him or know about Second Life, read up on Intlibber Brautigan.
SL Newser has an odd update -- Intlibber is in a kind of weird litigator's sim jail.
New Hampshire politics are of course important.
I can't tell people how to vote in NH, which isn't my state and a place where I don't know the local issues.
But I can provide some education about a candidate so that people know what they are getting.
I used to joke that I didn't think Intlibber could get elected dog catcher in NH -- but I seriously didn't think it was possible for him to run again. I can't imagine he will win. I know nothing about his opponent, apparently Wendy Piper and I have no idea if she would be a better candidate, but my God, Intlibber couldn't actually get into government, could he?!
Where to start with this?
Anyone in Second Life knows the issues. Intlibber -- his name comes from the word "Libertarian" and his last name happens to be the last name of a famous poet, Richard Brautigan, of the hippie era, but I actually don't think Intlibber cares about that -- he simply took the name out of the automatic list.
"Did you ever have a witch bloom like a highway on your lips?" or "All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace" (so come to think of it, maybe he did pick the name for that Singulary sort of reason.
Intlibber isn't just an extreme libertarian, a wing-nut, an extremist, a believer in various Internet cults like the Singularity, Transhumanism, Extropianism, Cosmic Engineering and all the rest. He's a nasty, vindictive griefer.
In SL, he launched a huge rentals empire, and claimed that it made him hundreds of thousands of real dollars, and maybe it did. He was involved in the scandalous virtual banks and virtual stock market -- and we know how those all ended in tears. He went broke, and I'm not sure why. Probably because of the fixed costs of sim (server) tier (monthly fees) that eventually cause all rentals operations to go out of business unless they are also selling content or services. The rentals business in Second Life is by its very nature a sinkhole and a loss.
Intlibber first approached me with a conspiracy theory, that "the government" was "experimenting on people" in this virtual world, by organizing deliberate griefing, and then testing people's response. Griefing means hacking, harassing, annoying, crashing sims, bothering, spamming, etc. All the unwanted online behaviour that is amplified in 3D in Second Life.
I went to check out his claims and found that it was something different -- college kids screwing around, with their professor -- the very dean, Edward Clift -- the inmates running the asylum. The Soviet Commuter College, as Woodbury was once famously called by Lum Lumley, had a "digital arts" department. The old professors there didn't know what that was, so they didn't supervise it. Meanwhile, all these people were, was a branch of 4chan, the notorious hacker movement that was always causing havoc (and still does).
They were a particularly virulent sect of 4chan called "the Patriotic Nigras" -- as you can see from their name, they delighted in racist, hateful, anti-gay, anti-women, disgusting images, memes, spam, slogans, etc.
Because I documented them and covered their antics -- they would always pretend they weren't really doing what they were doing, which was part of the scam and the act, just like the Russians today in Ukraine, just like the Bolsheviks historically -- they turned on me and developed special forms of content and memes on the Soviet/Red/Bolshevik/Stalin themes to harass me. They did the most outrageous raids and persecutions of my tenants, and still do occasionally.
What's interesting is that Linden Lab, the maker of Second Life, banned these people at least 4-5 times, confiscating their servers each time, because they were notorious hackers, harassing many people (not just me), stealing content, violating the TOS, tinkering with the code and causing havoc constantly. They tried to convert this into "academic freedom" but of course it wasn't about that. It was about vandalism, pure and simple. Harassment, hacking, griefing.
Intlibber's quirky libertarian contribution to this mayhem was to hire these people and give them money under the mistaken libertarian belief that people who engage in crime in society just aren't paid enough or just don't have enough creative outlets. This was nutty, and of course, didn't work, as these people wound up griefing Intlibber, too.
But along the way, he befriended and colluded with them. Somehow, they finagled for him a "sports scholarship" at Woodbury University in California. How could an overweight middleaged smoker get a sports scholarship, you ask? Well, because they booked games as sports, so that SL, which was sort of a "game" as an open-ended virtual world, could count.
I filed complaints with the dean of this school for their outrageous harassment of me and other tenants and residents in Second Life -- and at first they were concerned. They didn't realize this was going on, and they tried to put a stop to it. But such was the cunning manipulation of these 20-somethings of their elders, that they ended up telling me they could only respond to a "successful civil suit" to get their students to stay away from me and stop harassing me (!). I didn't have the funds to go and get an order of protection in a town court in California (!) so I simply filed abuse reports with the company and waited -- and eventually because of far worse actions than harassing me, these people were all banded.
Disturbingly, they were abetted by a professor who should have known better and set an example instead of pretending that their misdeeds were caused by them being "at-risk, black, inner-city youth" as he once falsely claimed (they were actually all white, affluent suburbanites, and part of their racist 4chan Patriotic Nigras shtick was to dress up as blacks in Afros and spam people with pictures of Bill Cosby and jello.)
Eventually, however, all of these antics caught up with them. They were booted from Second Life even by the ultra-liberal Linden LAb, which was in the news, although they tendentiously tried to pretend it was about something else than what it truly was, and I don't see that Intlibber lasted at Woodbury.
Why would I bother to bring up these past chapters of this Internet menace's life? Because he constantly harassed and threatened me, each time I wrote the truth about his online harassment.
Many people give up at that point, especially women, and think that they shouldn't dare publicize such harassment. But I think publicity is the best weapon. People who would harass you because you told the truth and chronicled the criminal actions of a bunch of college kid hackers, who tried to suppress your critical discussion of Internet topics like the Silicon Valley cults of "the Singularity" and so on -- what kind of real liberals could they be??? "Libertarian" isn't liberal -- that's the first thing I learned about Mike Lorrey's brand of libertarianism.
I was appalled that he actually stalked and pursued me to my job at the time online and posted crazy message after crazy message on an article I did for work.
My God, how obsessed, how creepy you'd have to be to do that.
Obviously intensive, even rancorous Internet debate doesn't bother me and I'm all for it. But when you harass someone deliberately on a work site like that, it's different. It crosses the line into really creepy predatory behaviour. So again, I publicize it.
I continue to have some very creepy stalkers in Second Life, anonymous vandals who leave gross effigies of my real life self on my Second Life properties, in various gross forms -- cut up, dismembered, stabbed, bloody, dead, or simply with my glasses broken, like Piggy. Or perhaps shown as black, and urging people to vote for Obama -- this perhaps a reference to first my actual voting for Obama, then my refusal to vote for Obama a second time - again, creepy harassment of someone over their political views. Could this be Intlibber? I'd like to think it isn't, but it could be one of his pals at Woodbury.
Someone like this shouldn't be in government, in my view, because they will bully and harass other people with that power. That's wrong. And the public should know about their past history of harassment and extremist views.
Some people might think this is about Second Life itself, that mere association with this virtual world is what makes someone crazy or uneligible for governance. And the press might reduce it to that, but the reality is that Second Life is only like the Internet, in that it is a tool, but also a realm, a community, that can be used or misused like anything else on the Internet.
I believe communities aren't just neutral or that technology or code are neutral and that the human actors who make them have to be responsible for them. Second Life is used for everything from university education to predatory child pornography. And the makers and managers can manage it so that it is more hospitible to the educational and hostile to the criminal, and they didn't always do that throughout their history. SL is one more human artifact, in concentrated and speeded up form, and the Internet cults we glimpsed in this world haunt us big time in their full-blown versions in real life now.
One of them is this kind of belief system of extreme libertarianism in its criminal form which thinks it's okay to harass and bully and persecute people not only for their views, but then telling the truth about that bullying and harassment.
I'm well aware that when you publicize these things again and don't stay silent, you can be set up again for another round of threats, abuses, and inworld griefing. I can only say that if we want the free world we fought for offline to obtain online as well, we have to stand up to these kinds of things, and I remain a believer in publicity as the best weapons.