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06/13/2006

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Prokofy Neva

Oh, gosh, it gets worse. There Jennyfur Peregrine is on the forums gloating about how she was invited in that first batch, but dayum, couldn't go due to real. Well...well, well, well. No wonder Flipper is so chipper.

Brace

good ass lord. looks like I got out just in time.

have fun yall LOL!

kthxbye ;)~~

forseti svarog

I don't know why the SLOG word verification function won't turn on, but without that, the comments section was getting spammed out the wazoo (poker, viagra, and more oh my!). No one has really has time or motivation to dig into why it is broken and google didn't answer my emails (hell, you get what you pay for). People barely have time to post as you see for yourself... but SLOG ticks along.

Maxx Monde

Hey everybody, its Prok with another sour grape in her hat of decaying fruit!

Ever look up at yourself, and say 'Gosh, I'm practically a grandmother, and all I do is berate people in an online community!'

Have you sunk *that* low? I mean, christ, join some communities that would be glad to have you - instead of being a constant cancer on every forum you touch.

TIC, TIC, TIC (Typing Inner Core, lol.) Time is TIC-ing away, Prok!

Cheers!

Stan Pomeray

One of the things that pleased me most about SL when I first came here last August was that it appeared to be a place where individuals could flourish. There did not appear to be that large mass of bureaucracy here that so often blights real life, individuals appeared to have created much of what was in SL, and they also appeared to run and operate the various functions within it. As far as The Linden “government” was concerned, that was of course present, but it appeared to be largely concerned with the jobs of actually operating the network of servers that makes up the grid, writing the software and so on.

In the 10 following months there have been many many changes. Some of them are simply down to organic growth, the number of users has grown, and so has the amount of available land. However, there have been other very noticeable changes and one of the main ones is that Linden Lab is clearly marketing SL very much as a platform for a sort of “3 dimensional internet”, and that its key interests are large third party companies. In order for this to succeed, Linden Lab need to achieve “buy in” from the greater proportion of the SL population. This is why they are now actively pursuing a policy of what I like to call “Part of the Family – Out of the Family”.

“Part of the Family – Out of the Family” is something that companies do often, and I have been party to this on several occasions in RL. A big company decides to buy up a smaller company, but only for the purposes of bundling it with some other “non core” business units for a more attractive sell off. Of course, the big company cannot actually make this common knowledge, or the staff of the smaller company would become very demoralized which would affect productivity which could scupper the chances of a profitable sell-off.

Therefore, they adopt the “Part of the Family” approach. The big company says “Oh, yes, you’re all important to us…in fact, we’re all one big family now!” The big company starts to lavish lots of perks on the smaller company’s staff, it allows them to partake of business class travel, gives them some free shares, churns out the old “career progression forms”, allows them to attend lots of conferences at "head office" while staying in swanky hotels and so on. The staff of the smaller company start to think “This is excellent! We’re part of the big company now, look at these great benefits we're getting! In five years time we’ll all be climbing the career ladder, lets really work hard now so we can show the big company just how committed and keen we are!”.

But of course, 2 or 3 years down the line the reality is revealed and the big company says “Oh, sorry guys, we’re selling you off now. We don’t want you in our “family” anymore – in fact….we never did, really”. And with that, the smaller company staff members realize that they’ve been “had”. They have been used to create a feeling of high moral and excellent work standards that was just what the big company needed to make a good profit on the sell off. Now they’ve been cast aside whilst the big company counts its money and smirks, looking for the next small company to run their con trick on.

Substitute the words “Linden Lab” for the “big company” and "Content Creators" or "SL Volunteers" for the smaller company above, and you have a pretty good representation of what is going on now in SL.

Linden Lab has all the content now, it’s been nicely created for them for free – well, not even for free – people have paid to do it. Linden Lab also has a nice crop of volunteers to man the Mentor Scheme, Live Help and Greeters now, people who work for free – well, again, no, not for free, they're paying to do it!

All Linden Lab needs to do now is nicely push out the gullible, bring in their large 3rd party business mates, and count the dosh.

All expenses paid trips to SLCC for the chosen few? Sounds a heck of a lot like the "swanky hotels at head office" to me.....

No, its not "sour grapes". If I was that bothered I could quite easily order up a Club World return to San Fransisco and go myself. It is just an observation made as I wonder in amazement at how blind most people are to manipulation.

As John "Johnny Rotten" Lydon would say: “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”.

Prokofy Neva

I don't have a verifier, and I have only had about 6 pieces of spam in about 3 months. Funny, that. I'm just not buying this, Forseti, it's stupid. Spam is also easily erased. People tend to overract it.

Hey, don't worry, Forseti, you'll be picked in the next group for sure. They seem to have shorted the architects, I didn't see any. Oh, and you, too, Maxx, geez, no need to get all huffy, they'll pick you next, surely.

BTW, I'm not "practically a grandmother," I think I'll have to wait a good 10-15 years or more for that, one never knows. And I'm in an online community that does appreciate me, I have lots of happy customers and friends, too, imagine. I don't "berate people in an online community," I single out for attack that tiny sect of people who try to control others, the Poison Possee on the forums and their supporters. Since you're on that short list, Maxx, I'm sure it feels like "the world" or "the community" to you, but, it's not. ROFL.

Stan, that is quite the story. I suppose you are right. It's distressing. Most people will imagine that they will get to be Part of the Family, however, and not Out of the Family. In fact, the model here is even more insidious because you get to actually go work for the big company -- remember, one third or more of all staff in LL is drawn from the resident base.

Ordinal Malaprop

I put my oar in on the blog post concerned, but it's exactly as I thought - they've picked a group of people who are well known and of whom most people will think "yeah, they're not bastards, they'll stand up to LL and do their best". Which is probably true (I don't know them that well, if at all).

It's not the point of course. The exercise could *never* produce any sort of meaningful resident feedback. Listening to eight people for a couple of days, seven of whom you've picked based on whether they complement your basic vision, doesn't tell you anything about the greater state of SL.

LL aren't stupid; I'm sure they know this. They can't possibly have had any intention of getting proper feedback with this initiative. I did think they'd be a bit more subtle about it though, rather than pick seven oldbies - perfectly smart and imaginative and articulate and competent oldbies, I'm sure, but it's a clear subset of the population - and then try to pretend that that constitutes "listening to residents".

Prokofy Neva

Ordinal,

I don't know where you're getting this idea that this bunch will "stand up to LL". Someone like Kex Godel is among the most sycophantic and loyalist as an oldbie, early adapter type who probably only missed being charter by a week or something (notice no charter members among them -- they need to keep up appearances). But no birthdate earlier than 18 months ago it seems (didn't check Stella's).

Somebody like Pham Neutra is the perfect perestroika liberal for them. He engages in nauseating false modesty pretending he was "picked at random" and "not for his few articles on SLOG" -- when of course SLOG is something cultivated and petted by the Lindens, watched closely, and loved to pieces (they even have Torley there). It's Aimee's showcase, Forseti's, and yet can look like its "resident-organized" and "independent". Their criticize of course ranges from A to B as I said, never questioning the essence or their own proximate role.

Pham is one of those smooth types that governments love to declare as "critics" and wheel out as "independent". He writes thoughtful, longish pieces that might mildly rebuke them for some obvious thing they themselves agree with him on (or some significant faction in their ranks agrees with him on) but he won't challenge them in any real way, and most of all, he won't challenge the socialism involved in their set-up -- the state capitalism run by the top-down authoritarian state that feels it knows best; the heavy control of the economy; the oligarchs. That is, Pham doesn't like land barons, but he tends to find the solution to huge land barons to be contained in various complicated schemes and formulas that in fact involve more state control (he imagines the state will be controlled by an enlightened committee he himself is a member of -- and guess what, there's every indication he's right!). His solution doesn't lie in the direction of more freedom and pluralism and doing things like stopping the land glut.

He doesn't want to stop the land glut, because that would imply that the socialistic goal of keeping land at $5/meter or "affordable for the common man" was laudable. But it's not, and is a chief cause of inflation, which he never analyzes. I constantly try to bring this to his attention -- in vain. Recently I was happy to see this proved - the week the Linden began to rally back up to the 320 mark was when they Lindens stopped producing and selling as much land, the eco stats and auctions prove my point.

Correcint this "views" system by multiplying it by 5; even putting me or Lewis Nerd or hell, even Plastic Duck, One Song, and TrannyPet Barmy, will not yield any different results (which is why they could safely invite any of these sharper critics or even grid-crashers).

They made the statement thunderously loud, and they have made a virtue out of a necessity, as well. I always imagined that if I could only publicize the FIC problem enough and stick with it, it would begin to erode as the world got better and the Lindens grew out of their clutchier founding-father-syndrome stage. They've taken it in another direction, however, with dire consequences for the way the Metaverse is to be governed -- they've just institutionalized the FIC and "made it more transparent" (glasnost).

One of the little tics I find particularly touching is the way they chose "partner of" as a way of getting around the obvious problem of inviting the obvious FIC leaders

o Catherine Omega -- partner of Aimee Weber
o Nexus Nash -- business partner of Adam Zaius
o Jennyfur Peregrine -- RL partner of FlipperPA Peregrine, invited but not attending, so she and Flipper get to dine out evermore on their status as being picked.

These people, once you get them in the room, will have some interesting things to say. After all, none of them are particularly odious on the forums though some have some bad behaviour in world (Kex Godel comes to mind, colluding with Nicole Linden to pounce on me saying "fuck you" in PG, after provoking me with a nasty, condescending topic implying I can't return objects from a parcel -- that put me out of business for 3 days and sealed forever the impression I have that the Lindens, through their Lindesidents like Nicole who were once residents, and their friends, like Kex, have a hammerlock on development that will be very hard to break -- until it does, by which time it will likely be too late).

Yes, Salazar Jack talking to Alliez Mysterio talking to Oz Space -- people who might never have talked to each other, let alone even to Lindens for any sustained time -- may produce some interesting conversation.

But...the ego-fluffing that comes with a "trip to the head office" like this will overwhelm the ability to really be reflective. Each one, especially Pham Neutra, far from seeing themselves as representative of some generic grouping in the world like "land owners" or "scripters" will secretly imagine themselves to have been selected for their own stellar self.

As I noted on Robin's blog, the message-sending accomplished with something like this is thunderous.

Prokofy Neva

BTW, what's your take on the fact that this entire discussion was first floated, and then opened for discussion, on Robin's blog, and not put in any more official fashion on the Linden forums. The names aren't announced on the Linden forums, even, but only a link is put.

This idea was something that apparently Robin had a year or more ago, and didn't go forward.

Is this one of thos BLOTTD projects you pick? or is this a freelance project floated at staff meetings which others didn't like? But in that California dreamin' atmosphere there at the Love Machine, they just indulged Robin in this? But they said, "Put it on your own blog, keep it off the forums?"

I wonder how stuff like that works.

Ordinal Malaprop

The blog thing is a little peculiar; I expect that there is some sort of internal LL reason for doing that, rather than simply posting it to the forums. Perhaps it's also for outside consumption, and they don't want anyone to have to log into the forums.

The issue of people "standing up to LL" reminds me a little of Chomsky's response to Andrew Marr: "If you believed something different you wouldn't be sitting where you're sitting."

forseti svarog

LOL you really think I'm lying to you about comments on SLOG? What a waste of time that would be. I've never lied to you about anything in a year and a half we've known each other. SLOG did allow comments and you were allowed to comment -- I've never had a problem engaging you in an argument and I never "shunned" you, although I did mute you for a few days once but I don't really believe in "muting". You might remember that word verification was never on back then either. In the course of one day we got hit by well over 100 spam messages across every post on SLOG. I don't know about Typepad, but on blogspot they are a pain in the ass to delete.

Anyway, enough of that topic. It's boring. Re-commence conspiracy theorizing.

Pham Neutra

I feel definitely flattered. :)

You are interpreting much too much machiavelism into my - now rare - posts, Prokofy.

Maxx Monde

Its what Prok does best - infusing self-defensive paranoia into random screeds.

If you aren't tilting at every windmill, then you're one of THEM. Can't agree with your neighbor, you're NEIGHBORFIC.

What? You like chocolate? Why, a lot of people do!! OMG CHOCOFIC.

It all boils down to the lens of repressed insecurities frothing forth in a fountain of unrestrained bile.

Amusing to watch, but don't let it touch your clothes, that stuff stains!

Remember - YOU COULD BE THE NEXT ENEMY. STAY TUNED!

LOL.

Cocoanut

"The issue of people 'standing up to LL] reminds me a little of Chomsky's response to Andrew Marr: If you believed something different you wouldn't be sitting where you're sitting.'"

I love it!

As for conspiracy theorizing, Forseti and Maxx, I don't see how anyone can say that about something that is happening RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR FACE.

"We're going to pick some of our favorite residents and fly them in to San Francisco for wining and dining, and then put them on an Advisory Board forever."

What about that doesn't - quite literally - say to you, "feted inner core?"

And Forseti - if you know which side your bread is buttered on, and I think you do - you will continue to keep the peons from making comments on your blog.

Very interesting, Stan. I joined SL in February of 2005, and was immediately impressed with how accessible the Lindens were. I have said so time and time again.

This is far less true these days.

coco

Prokofy Neva

Forseti, I didn't claim you were lying, and I wouldn't think of you as lying. What I would conceive of you doing, however, is just not bothering. Not picking up the phone and calling the company until you got through. Not pestering the help desk on email. Not trying to get answers. Not being willing to change your blog service then. THAT I would expect of you -- because I know you didn't really want the comments.

So you got hit by spam? I get hit by spam, I delete it. I do that so that I can have comments. I can't believe it's that big a deal, jeez. And no, it's not a "conspiracy theory" to posit that FlipperPA, and by extention the Sheep, have every interest in driving avatars to shop at their site, and no interest in freeing up yard sales and yardsalers. That's no a conspiracy theory. That's a report.

Re: ""We're going to pick some of our favorite residents and fly them in to San Francisco for wining and dining, and then put them on an Advisory Board forever."

What about that doesn't - quite literally - say to you, "feted inner core?""

Well, said. Applause. And of course they can't see it, they're soaking in it.

Forseti's bread is buttered on the side of the ESC, Coco. It's just not in their interest to free up the world to any kind of verbal or economic competition, until they solidify their absolute control.

I have to say Lindens remain accessible. I've even had Lindens knock themselves out writing me from their vacations and their sick days where they really had real difficulties to overcome. So I'm always impressed with the Lindens' communicability, and their response time, for the most part.

It's the substance that has become increasingly disappointing, however.

Maxx Monde

Yes, much like 'facts' and your verbose method of presenting them.

Disappointing, indeed!

jauani

PROK WAS ROBBED!

Khamon

Or, they may have been summoned to participate in a gomming session to discuss how LL will capitalize on the businesses and connections they've built using Second Life. That's a pretty easy selection processes eh.

They'll be watching their backs I imagine.

You're immune to this Prok because you operate an inworld business that mimics their own.

Prokofy Neva

Khamon, I don't see how this particular bunch represents any particular GOMing material. Catherine Omega? she doesn't come inworld. Pham Neutra? He writes a coupla blogs by his own admission. Oz Spade? He does some kind of IRC back channel stuff? Does he get paid? I mean, who on that list besides Alliez makes any money? Kex Godel? Surely you jest. I'm not actually seeing it. I think they are just trying to play to old founders' constituencies to feel good about themselves during a rocky transition -- which is about every single day at Second Life.

There you go again, Khamon, trying to make me out to be a clone of Lindens or something to undercut my dissent. I am not "mimicking" the Lindens. I don't sell land for people to create on. I rent it. It's different. I don't run around creating busy-work activities and phalanxes of mentors and staff people to herd everybody around in fun activities like Club Med - that's what Lindens do, and those that do mimic them with that sort of fanz stuff.

Maxx Monde

Don't forget your lucrative event-disrupting troll service!

I just don't see your fee schedule, I guess its some kind of GRIEFER INNER CORE, or you'd have posted it publicly.

OMG GIC!!

Gwyneth Llewelyn

One thing I'm completely missing on this Second Life Views programme... what it is supposed to accomplish after all? The forum threads are elucidating — the email with the invitation did not specify much more than date and time.

So, what's the point of it, after all?

Gwyneth Llewelyn

date and *place ;)

Prokofy Neva

the point is to make a permanent advisory committee, a sounding board that in fact will be an echo-chamber, and then inflict that on the world as "resident governance" to justify various difficult-to-swallow policies.

MCzervik

To wit:

"All seems Infected that th' Infected spy, As all looks yellow to the Jaundic'd Eye."

-Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism.

Prokofy Neva

"All though reason is common to all men, most men think they have their own understanding." --Heraclitus

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" --Proverbs 16:18

"“When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities”--David Hume

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