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10/30/2005

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ReallyRick Metropolitan

Funny you brought up the part about Lindens not being able to reveal their old SL avatars.

Just yesterday at Waterhead a "Newbie" Linden was helping out. Their profile described them as "New Linden - Not New to SL." I jokingly asked, "Who were you?" thinking that there was this rule that they are not suppossed to reveal their prior avatar idenity.

They said that in fact it wasn't against the rules and then proceeded to tell me their avatar first name and last inital. Immediately recognizing the first name I mentioned the last name and was told, "Yep that's me."

*shrug*

ReallyRick Metropolitan

Funny you brought up the part about Lindens not being able to reveal their old SL avatars.

Just yesterday at Waterhead a "Newbie" Linden was helping out. Their profile described them as "New Linden - Not New to SL." I jokingly asked, "Who were you?" thinking that there was this rule that they are not suppossed to reveal their prior avatar idenity.

They said that in fact it wasn't against the rules and then proceeded to tell me their avatar first name and last inital. Immediately recognizing the first name I mentioned the last name and was told, "Yep that's me."

*shrug*

Prokofy Neva

Shrug all you want Rick. Don't extrapolate from one experiment with a new Linden who may not have learned all the written and unwritten rules yet. Other Lindens refuse to tell you. I know of one Linden very specifically who did this with me at SLCC.

They may not have a written rule. And they may also just not go out of their way to tell you.

Don't you find it goddamn wierd?!

Aimee Weber

The standard corporate hiring routine practiced today is hardly ideal rather it’s the product of necessity. You read an applicant’s resume, talk to them for an hour, and then risk thousands of dollars on their training, salary, and benefits in hopes that they will help your company grow. It’s an insane practice but for most companies there are few alternatives.

Not so for Linden Lab! Many of their applicants from the player pool:

1. Have demonstrated their ability to perform the exact tasks they will be asked to do on the job.
2. Have months if not years of demonstrating their disposition and character.
3. Have shown a passion for Second Life through their voluntary participation.

And Linden Lab is hardly the only company that does this. Anybody who has established a relationship with any corporation is a likely candidate for hire. Some routine examples include independent contractors who are offered full time positions, students who go on to instruct at their school, and as somebody mentioned on SLHerald, pub clients becoming bartenders.

If the number of players who were qualified AND interested in working for LL were higher, I suspect you would see a percentage greater than 1/3. But it would seem a good percentage of employees are still hired off the street after a quick read of a resume, an hour chat, and a whole lot of hoping for the best.

Oh, and Rick is right. There is no official or unspoken rule against Lindens revealing their player identity. I don’t find it the slightest bit “goddamn weird” that a Linden would feel comfortable revealing themselves to positive contributors like Rick while keeping YOU in the dark. I cannot even imagine a scenario where revealing this information to YOU would be a good thing. You are constantly on the hunt to damage Linden Lab so don’t be shocked when your prey refuse to expose their jugular vein to you.

Cubey

Am I a Linden? If you'd asked, I might have told you. ;)

Cienna Rand

Prokofy's Razor: Given two equally predictive theories, choose the most complex conspiracy.

Prokofy Neva

Aimee, the only question for me is: why YOU don't get a job with Linden Lab? You're able to *perfectly* spout the company line -- and I mean PERFECTLY! Is that because you already have a contract with them for things like the four-five appearances of your avatar on their front page?

Prokofy Neva

Um, are you a Linden, Cubey? There, I asked you. And it's not about whether they tell their little pals like Aimee or whether the refuse to tell me and keep ME in the dark. Either they tell the public or they don't.

Aimee Weber

Prok I'm holding out for a job as a writer for your blog here at Second Thoughts.

I have no professional writing experience, I dispise you, and I think this blog is garbage. According to you I'm the perfect potential employee! :D

Cubey

Thank you for asking, Prokofy. Nope. Unfortunately, I am not a Linden. Better luck next time. ;)

8jjjhjh@7yi.com

Prokofy, they are everywhere. And they don't just have one alt, they have several. They coddle the new fic, people you hate. Be careful what you say to who. Your paranoia is not unfounded. They're after you. Trust no one.

Tenzin Tuque

Wow, the insults are flying. Jerry Springer style!

There is a valid question here about the lack of transparency in Second Life: who runs SL, how policies are made, who ultimately benefits etc. -- and similar concerns tend to dominate RL democracies, so it is inevitable that SL authority and governance will come under greater scrutiny.

Here's a parallel question, of broad relevance, I think. We are players and consumers, to be certain, but given that SL isn't really just a game, will it remain the RL equivalent of a very nice gated community patrolled by private security -- or will SL evolve beyond that?

If SL is to evolve as something beyond mere game, then we needs dissidents, as well as in-world independent media, all for obvious reasons. Flaming posts and personal attacks and whatnot keep it in the sandbox. Heck, I've yet to see an appropriate media/IM/group discussion mechanism that might take this kind of debate -- vital democratic debate in RL terms -- beyond sniping.

I'd prefer not to take sides in the above patter, because my RL journalist instincts say I need to learn more, but it is a little discouraging. Prokofy has reported some interesting facts, as far as I can tell, so reducing it all to paranoia really dimishishes the original and relevant question: who, really, runs SL? That is an essential and ongoing set of of democratic questions in RL. It probably deserves more attention in Second Life too.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

... of course, all this assumes that LL wishes SL to be ruled in a "democratic" way.

After all, I have rarely seen anyone despising the "benign dictatorship" by the Lindens. Rather the contrary. People tend to sense that's the way to go, democracy just means corruption at all levels, etc. etc.

Well, what do you get from benign dictatorships? Meritrocacies and "elites" ruling over the rest of the world. So, why am I not surprised? :)

Seriously speaking... I cannot blame LL for *trying* to get the best employees for their company. One thing is for certain: picking one member of the community means zero training, and a knowledge of what that member has actively done for SL. That's a perfectly reasonable business practice. Like so many others, I also used to recruit from my customers and/or partners.

Of course, there is an alternative — release SL into the Open Source, get just a tiny team to do the last-minute-checks on a release, mantain the grid, and well... let the users do the rest. After all, so many already volunteer their precious time to: a) do business, and keep the economy flourishing; b) create content; c) do free classes and training; d) help other users (free technical support!); e) give feedback, clean bugs, propose workarounds and new features; f) do free marketing/advertising; g) meet new people, give conferences/workshops, organise conventions; h)even work for free getting new customers to join! Well, LL hardly needs employees that way :-)

Prokofy Neva

I'm not at all sure it's a good practice for a business, but I wonder if it is a good practice for a country or a world. After all, if the U.S. government only hires foreign-service lifers for jobs, they get foreign-service lifer type of "handism" or bureaucratic intertia. There's a reason why presidents aren't civil servants with 20 years of service in a government department, but lawyers or businessmen. The same is true of the UN, where the phenom of third-worlders spending their entire careers inside the UN bureaucracy, like a Kofi Annan or his son, creates an environment for corruption. The reformers who have shaken up the UN are figures like Mark Malloch Brown or Paul Volker who are brought in from other fields, not the UN bureaucracy.

Any reasonable human system that seeks ways to refresh and correct itself is not going to let 1/3 to 2/3 of its ranks come from that system itself, that's folly. There's no justification for it. Especially in something that calls itself bleeding edge, etc.

With all that voluntarism and all those players-turn-Lindens, what you get are the SL forums -- vindictive, nasty group-think perpetually reinforcing itself. This is the 'exemplary' result of the methods you are touting, Gwyn.

Tenzin Tuque

K, so Linden hires AVs -- hardly a crime. But in the business world, the threat of political and social in-breeding is likely not as pronounced as it is in SL. Cause SL is a much more closed system. And RL has due process mechanisms like courts and laws and elections to (hopefully) keep misuse of power in check.

So if people have worry about high-tech cronyism or a clique-ocracy in SL, I don't blame them. It's not as though there's enough clarity and accountability in place to patently disabuse those worries. And if you own land here or create income here, the nature and stability and quality of the regime is of paramont concern. I personally am interested as someone who's reported on newly democratized countries like Mongolia or protest politics in China -- if only because the barriers to democracy or greater accountability are oddly similar at times.

I build Tibetan monestaries in SL, but to envision SL politically behind poor little Mongolia (former communist sattelite) is an issue of broad concern. And if folks want to obsess on the newest graphic engine or just play Tringo at the expense of engaging in inevitable politics, then it'll be Big Brother (a really nice one who dresses well and proffers soundbyte-perfect IT wisdom) that'll be changing our diapers for the forseeable future.

And most would agree that SL has more potential than that. Perhaps SL needs to be bigger, more people, more diversity, more questions?

Prokofy Neva

Very well said, Tenzin! I couldn't have said it better...and didn't. Somehow, experience with these communist regimes prepares one for a good critical analysis of this closed society of SL, run by all its *partorgy* -- I mean liaisons. SL can always say it's not like RL when it's convenient; or say it is like RL when it's convenient.

Well, I hope that you and others will take up the good fight against this closed society because it's a killer.

jules

"I hope that you and others will take up the good fight against this closed society because it's a killer." - prokofy

It's a "killer" ?. LOL What a drama queen you are.

ReallyRick Metropolitan

From the MOTD:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v325/ReallyRick/MOTD.jpg

Prokofy Neva

Rick, they've been doing this for at least six months, it's on the MOTD loop that revolves around every few weeks. This is part of a Linden counter-intelligence operation to sow confusion and dilute the true meaning and implications of the term by making it seem "a parody" and "humorous" and "something to slip in with a term like C++" but hmm, we know better, no?

Prokofy Neva

Rick, they've been doing this for at least six months, it's on the MOTD loop that revolves around every few weeks. This is part of a Linden counter-intelligence operation to sow confusion and dilute the true meaning and implications of the term by making it seem "a parody" and "humorous" and "something to slip in with a term like C++" but hmm, we know better, no?

oiuh4krjn2o3

"This is part of a Linden counter-intelligence operation"

LMAO

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