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08/21/2006

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Ordinal Malaprop

Have you read the recent stuff about the shared ban list systems which are active now?

Prokofy Neva

Yes, Ordinal, and I've expressed concern about this here:
http://taotakashi.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/some-random-slcc-bits/#comments

Cocoanut

I've been worried about that, too. I like what you wrote on that link. I think it expressed some of my feelings quite well.

coco

Cocoanut

P.S. That is, if I cared much. Since the divorce (closing down the forums), I've lost some of the caring.

Prokofy Neva

I hear that Torley has written some where that LL is saying "we're not the police" -- need to see that link and understand it better. Then...who is? Residents? But they have no control over the mainland situations, that's the thing.

Zar Zadoq

You were quite mistaken about the history of the PC and PC Software. Lotus 1 2 3 had nothing to do with Notes (other than being the same company). Lotus 1 2 3 was the first spreadsheet on the PC (the first electronic spreadsheet was on the Apple II before that), But Lotus 1 2 3 is what got the IBM PC adopted by businesses.

And Lotus maintained that lead for a long time. Until Microsoft did the sucker punch that knocked out most of the Independent Software Vendors including Lotus when the told everyone that OS/2 was the future, but then secretly worked on Windows 3.0 and ended up being the only vendor with a complete suite of tools for Windows, forcing all the other vendors to waste 9 months to 2 years on OS/2 development.

Suggest you read "The Microsoft File"
by Wendy Goldman Rohm http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005LPV3

and

"Barbarians Led by Bill Gates " by Jennifer Edstrom, Marlin Eller http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0805057544/

Kapor has done a lot of other things than Lotus 1 2 3 since then. His speech was very good and gave an interesting context to Second Life (and as he said what Second Life as a concept may represent which could end up not being Second Life the instanciation) in context of the evolution of the PC and Internet.

It would be nice if his speech was made public as it was pleasantly enlightining.

Clubside Granville

Actually Zar, there were spreadsheets on IBM PC before Lotus 1-2-3 (including VisiCalc which Kapor mentioned), and before VisiCalc appeared on Apple ][. CP/M systems hosted a couple of spreadsheets on earlier machines, and earlier personal computers than those made by Apple (including the TRS-80 Model I/Level II) ran spreadsheet software. Spreadsheet software, which was little more than numbers in rows and columns, originated on mainframes and migrated to minis in the 1960s, and could even be seen running on terminals (ANSI displays and other dumb terminals hooked to mainframe/mini back-ends) well before the days of the personal computer.

Lotus 1-2-3 may have been a "killer app" for the business world, but it was far from the only one, and IBM's "mistake" of openly publishing the PC's specs (thus allowing the clone market) was its real reason for success.

I suggest you find some better source material if you believe there was any deception on Microsoft's part in terms of OS/2, a co-developed operating system with IBM that led to a messy "divorce" between the two partners (and the creation of Windows NT, not 3.0, Microsoft's use of the OS/2 codebase while IBM continued with OS/2 under their own brand). Lotus 1-2-3 was mostly undermined by their too-long clinging to copy protection which the business world was nver happy about, and Osbourne Software's Lotus clone that they spent years fighting in court.

Add other failed products (Lotus Symhony being a high-profile one) and fighting a three-way office market (Borland/Lotus/Microsoft), the community declared the winner, not some underhanded trick.

If you are going to ask my source, I'll tell you upfront: I was there, as a developer, though those years, working in the business industry. I don't need Microsoft-bashing "journalists" to rewrite history, and niether should anyone else.

Prok likes to recommend Googling, so I'll do the same and point to one article that covers most of the real truth:

http://dssresources.com/history/sshistory.html

Kapor has done many things with the pofits hederived from his early smart business decision. However his speech at the SLCC shows how long he has been out of the forefront of the PC and Internet r/evolution, listing a series of products as "Disruptive Technologies" (Lotus 1-2-3, UUNet, Real Networks, Wikipedia and Second Life) which were most certainly not. But that's for another article.

Prokofy Neva

I'm well aware that "Notes" and the "Spreadsheet" are two separate things. I said that. They are part of the same company, however, the same suite of programs you find on your terminal at work. And I am telling you that people found them inconvenient and didn't use them *shrugs*. Then they switched over to Microsoft. Tekkie types often like to be "right" and "do things in what we like to call the right way" and don't listen to users. Users have something valid to say. And...Lotus notes wasn't convenient and was cumbersome and hard to adapt at the time for many people. That doesn't mean that Mitch Kapor isn't brilliant or whatever, it's just a commentary on the hype.

I'm glad someone like Clubside has been found to then argue the merits about the claim to uniqueness. I sense this is basically one of those "cloth versus disposable" arguments that will never find resolution even if you figure out how much gas costs per mile for the diaper truck, etc.

And it's not material to the discussion, really, except -- again, as part of the hype. So the guy invented a spread sheet? Ok, great, grand! Is it in use anymore? No. Why? Well, perhaps all sorts of "evil" things happened but...well, life is like that, then you die.

So...now he backs SL. Can any conclusions be drawn? I don't know. I back SL too! I've put *my own money* into SL as has Clubside -- Mitch Kapor is probably drowning in money and for him backing a dream like Philip's doesn't represent any pinch on his own wallet in the slightest. So, I feel as legitimate as he must. I have exposed skin, too, as does Clubside, and I feel flailed far more than Mitch, who probably flies around in a private airplane with the Diet Coke already poured for him, ever does.

I was also troubled by Mitch Kapor's touting of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is an infestation of the Internet that kills thinking and ruins journalism. It's filled with as much bad stuff as good stuff, like the whole Internet, except that it is served up more and more with its evil twin Google, which also serves up what the mob clicks, not what is necessarily demonstrably right and reasonable by some overarching criteria.

Add to that the idea that RealNetworks is a "failed thing" and put that in a string of Lotus 1-2-3, Real, Second Life, it looks bad.

But... for me personally, there's nothign "failed" about Real. I still use it. And RealSlideshow was absolutely vital to hundreds of using Sims offline to make stories and clubs for adults and teenagers during the years before the Sims Online and SL even existed -- serving the niches of people who didn't like war games and quest games.

I still use RealSlideShow but now most hosts don't support it so it's pointless and Real itself stopped servicing it.

No doubt there are other things like it that are better, but sometimes tekkies forget that when you make all kinds of things obsolete, you often are complexifying technology in ways that then make it less accessible to people, who are then left behind.

Here's what ultimately I can admire about Mitch Kapor, about whom I know little other than what the Internet presents to me, specifically the SL and LL pages: he is a man with a vision and with a coherent world view, a world from soup to nuts. He can find time to say something about asset servers and find time to say something about civil society.

You don't get that every day in people, and that's a good thing. I may disagree with this or that piece or even the entire vision, but I have to respect that he is thoughtful and has made such a coherent world view and more importantly, taken action on it in ways that most people never do.

Kyrah Abattoir

"Wikipedia is an infestation of the Internet that kills thinking and ruins journalism."

WOW what did you put in your crack pipe today??

Jake reitveld

Well I felt Kapor was very evasive about the subject of ordered society. Everyone says we have to have it, and yet the practicalities of how to accomplish it get glossed over.

The conference on mainland communities on sunday was very good. The lindens throw out convenants as an answer, but lack an effective response when confronted with how to enforce them. Enforcement is the poor stepsister in this ordered society. LL expects a groundswell of public pressure to render enforcement meaningless.

So now there is a conflcit between what should be done and what the lindens will do. I haave come away from SLCC having utterly given up on LL eve assuming responsiblity under the rule of law on any topic. They are, in all honesty, a de facto government, but they do not want to rule.
It is now up to us to sort what can and cannot be done within the structure of what LL will allow. Which means how do we make group tools and covenants better.

I also felt Kapor missed the point of my question entirely, which is my fault for shooting my mouth off too early. I pointed to the promotional videos and said these are human stories about how technology is used..when if fact the stories in the video largely are RL stories wher SL plays a role.

By my question I mean what would the role of LL be in facilitating human interaction within the game..how would they respond to the proposition of what is SL used for. But I am not especially articulate.

All in all I was encouraged by the dialogue I had with residents, but overall discouraged by LL's abdication of responsibility.

Ordinal Malaprop

In idle moments I wonder whether LL shouldn't just abdicate *all* responsibility if they don't want to take it for the existing regulations. Forget land ownership, the DMCA, griefing measures... let everyone fight it out, maintain property lines with scripted weapons (let's not beat about the bush, an ban tool is a perimeter defence weapon), form militias, make their own laws. Of course, it would be financial madness, result in complete anarchy for a long time and drive loads of people away, but if they really want to see what happens when online communities interact, that's the way to go - provide a world and physical laws and that's it. Nothing about behaviour, no ToS.

Given that that's unlikely to be a popular solution, existing laws regarding behaviour need to be enforced, and purely automatic systems just don't cut it when it comes to that. Some things help, but human ingenuity in manipulating whatever tools are available means that there's always a way round them; you can't drive someone off their land but you can set up griefbuilds around them, you can't push them but you can bombard them with physical objects, notecards and particles, and so on. This is the sort of thing that humans are good at, adapting to whatever environment they are in.

Khamon

"The conference on mainland communities on sunday was very good. The lindens throw out convenants as an answer, but lack an effective response when confronted with how to enforce them." - Jake

I handed them an 'effective response' on a platter. Mainland convenants can be enforced by granting the convenant owner, ideally some elected representatives within the covenanted group, to reclaim land from people that don't fit the mold.

MOLD! OMG Khamon would you suggest that we want to clump together in groups on the mainland insisting that all around us build to agreed upon specs and hold to covenanted standards of conduct? Well, yeah, that's what all this seems to be about, people clumping together to create their ideal environment in ways they never could individually.

Possession is the law in Second Life and land is power. People dump on me for saying that; but it's true. To enforce *anything* on the grid, groups must be able to govern their territories holding eminent domain over the heads of those being governed, representationally or otherwise.

I hear two great fallacies when people talk about government in Second Life. One is the assumption that once A Government All Hail the One and Only Government is elected, or whatever, it will never change. Even when people talk of representation, they don't talk about recurring elections and the ability of the governed to recall. Perhaps the old officer debacle haunts us.

The other harkens to my origial point. People seem to want to impose their standards of building, behaviour et al on others around them rather than mingling with the population to find people who already adhere to those standards and form working groups. They want the tools rather than the people.

We're forever moving church memberships, leaving one social club for another, finding jobs to replace ones we don't like, moving to new towns and 'starting over' however, in Second Life, we're unwilling to sell plots of land in foo sim to escape constant griefing from the neighbors and look for people we with whom we can happily share a sim.

Go figure.

Prokofy Neva

Jake, I'm still not understanding your point at all, and especially not being there and not knowing what you mean by videos, RL vs. SL etc, I really am clueless. So start over and explain if you have the patience.

Ordinal, I'm glad you've pointed out the obvious: land ban tools are merely weapons that secure the periphery. That is, it is at root a society based on force, not on law, even if you can pretend that the "code-as-law" making this force to eject or repel people is somehow "law". It's not. It's merely force deployed subjectively at a whim. The more property, the more whims. The Lindens believe the aggregate of all this subjectivity is a plurality that makes up a liberal open society. It's not. Uh-uh.

Khamon, you also drive things to extremes to make some point about which you become so petulant, playing "gotcha" along the way as well trying to slam anyone attempting to work out these issues in good faith as people merely wishing to seize others' land on a whim.

I don't see why you should get to hysterically and exaggeratedly portray the issue in this fashion.

In fact, there are basic minimal rules in the rule of law to which we can agree without the alarming array of subjectivity and abuse you seem to throw up your hands at.

When the Bush Guy takes over dozens of 16m2 squares and sets extortionist prices on them, there are ways to approach it. Some universal principles might be deployed right from our very own TOS. Is he spamming by placing repetitive signs over and over again for miles? He is. Why is notecard spamming against the will, or IM spamming against the will, into the User Interface, somehow a crime, and yet land-spamming of ads into the face isn't? Hello? Let's discuss.

Then out of that *might* emerge a concept that spamming -- repetitive signs with the intent of spamming -- could lead to a judgement call that when such signs are repeatedly deployed they are spam.

Oh, you say, then could just make the all different? Well, why is it that I can't send 100 different notecards at once but I can grab the view on a hundred different 16ms at once?

Another tactic might be to look at it from property values or "serious interference with the enjoyment of SL" -- does a spinning ugly Bush sign cause my tenant to move out? It does. Is my property devalued. It is. Has my tenant experienced serious interference with his SL enjoyment? He has.

Still another might be to look at the extortion angle -- is the land set to sale 100 percent above market? It is. Is it owned by an owner who owns only 64 m2 compared to the other land owners? It is.

So, any of these tests on their own might feel subjective and unfair, and yet taken together, when all 3 criteria is met, you have a local ordnance:

o signs set repetitively so as to spam
o that destroy value or interfere significantly with the enjoyment of SL
o and that constitute extortion to buy back the view when set 100 percent above market.

Well, you may feel in your extremism that this is a "bad cases make bad law" story. And yet, it's the stuff of normal, everyday RL local ordannces, including things like "restrictions as to time, place, and manner" that in fact limit the First Amendment. You can't have the Million Man March on Times Square snarling traffic and disrupting business. You can have it in Central Park. Etc.

Should a gang of thugs (which is what many people behave like in SL) be able to get together and rule on those 3 items and strip me of my property?

What's to stop 3 griefers, or 3 socialists, from getting together and deciding that Prokofy's repetitive rental signs with ravens on them laid out in squares for newbies are spam, are extortionist at the brutal cost of $100 per week per 512 (doesn't even cover tier, but, socialism is socialism), and significantly harm the enjoyment of SL by those socialist 64m square griefers? Absolutely nothing. But that's fine. You build up cases and precedents. You get rulings. You get some common sense. You get to see that there's a specious and frivolous and literalist use of the 3 bars to do something like close down what some might view as Prokofy's tacky newby lots, and then there's the actual malevolent harassment involved in putting a 64m2 square with a rotating Bush sign for $12,000 L$ and forcing everyone to flee.

I'm all for having Ombudsman Linden look at the case involving Prokofy's rentals put up from the community, and the case involving the Bush guy, and having them rule *on their TOS* which is their only limited jurisdiction.

A more effective way to go about this would be for the Lindens to make a coherent signboard policy as we've repeatedly appealed in petitions. Elements of such a policy could include:

o roadside or public commons location only, i.e not in residential areas or water
o only by owners of 1024 or more in the sim (this would get rid of these idiotic networkers who grab the view illegtimately away from people who have paid $1000 for a sim, but then sold a plot to someone who unscrupulously cuts off 16m2 from them and sells it to Chrischun Fassbinder for his loathsome Mr. Lee's Hong Kong network).

o No rotation scripts or light on objects

Who is going to enforce that? Well, who enforces trademark violations or shooting? The Lindens, based on resident reports.

Naturally, the hyper, aggressive libertarianism that your point of view represents ("we can never agree on a fair law and it's all subjective) will mean that Lindens won't make such ordnances. So local people will make them, pass laws by whatever entity they create, and they will then dream up their sanctions:

o consumer boycotts of products, i.e. campaigns to urge everyone not to buy from Mr. Lee.
o land bans
o IP bans to third-party sites if detected

It will be less pretty than a coherent signboarding policy which simply should have been conceived 2 years ago, just like "no swearing in PG".

But...the Lindens were merely punting on the Lazarus Divine Bush signs because they wanted to leave the door open for themselves to eventually sell off Governor Linden roadside easements to things like Nissan. And if you don't think they won't do that...watch.

I think you should read the article I linked in my previous piece on legal nihilism, Khamon. You fall right into the trap of proposing what the author calls the "dissent escape" formula. Instead of making a social contract, dissenters or unhappy ones are constantly forced to pick up stakes and flee and make new franchulates.

Why should I lose my land value to escape griefing? Some asswipe leave a giant plywood tower set to semi-transparent on his land he played on for one day and logs off for the next six months. Why do I have to suffer property value loss over it? I think that since this problem is so widespread by people who are hugely inconsiderate of neighbours and follow the "land is your blank canvas" school of land management that we might consider things like "If you do not log on for 30 days your objects cease to manifest themselves". Imagine if instead of making systems where everybody has to stop the rendering of everybody else on a selective mute/ban basis, the engine controllers said, "Rendering is a privilege that you maintain through logging in. Don't log in, and we don't feel called upon to go on rendering you."

I realize this may be fanciful, but I'm trying to understand why it is that these Linden practices always err on the side of protecting the right of an idiot to leave out a grief tower or plywood for a year, but don't protect the right of property owners consistently logging in, who own more property and add more value. Hate the idea of propertarianism? It wasn't mine, it was the Lindens. Don't like the idea of the rich setting law in society like RL? Well...so your idea is to let the law be set by asswipes who leave griefing towers of plywood out on a 512 for six months?

The Lindens have never solved the problem of how to have people on different squares get along. They do this in RL becaue they are willing to limit their actions, and not reach for hysterical, tekkie revolutionary justice schemes like claiming that no such thing as a coherent signboarding policy can be devised without "harming freedom". What about my freedom to be free of somebody's freedom?

So they won't solve this. They'll say that all buyers of sims off the auction or even of pieces, I guess (or they may stop selling pieces?) will have the right to set covenants that they'll get to imposeon buyers and even 2nd and 3rd generation of buyers. I really wonder how they will work that, it will be incredibly fascistic. But I bet they'll do it that way because they can't concede any restrictions on their tekkie licentiousness.

So watch the ball carefully: they start by being unable to concede any restriction on licentiousness of signboard griefers in SL in the interests of "freedom". They end by granting to rich barons the right to harass successive generations of residents for many years with a covenant that might indeed include things like letting Mr. Lee grief everybody.

Khamon

"If you do not log on for 30 days your objects cease to manifest themselves". Imagine if instead of making systems where everybody has to stop the rendering of everybody else on a selective mute/ban basis, the engine controllers said, "Rendering is a privilege that you maintain through logging in. Don't log in, and we don't feel called upon to go on rendering you." - Prokofy

I like this. It's better than my long standing proposal that says "Owning land is a privilege that you maintain through logging in. Don't log in for ninety days, and we don't feel called upon to maintain your deed."

Prokofy Neva

Well, it's probably impractical. And of course, this practice of letting people leave junk on their land forever and never removing it got real traction with those "Free 4096s for life". Those parcels sit with ban lines and plywood for years and the people never log on, and the Lindens leave them because they are charter accounts. Ditto annualized subscriptions with just a 512.

Normally, when people don't log in for 3 months, they also tend to not want to pay any tier -- so it automatically takes care of itself if Governor Linden takes their land.

Everybody would like to feel their land is secure. But again, there are these constant balances to be made. Why should your need -- all our needs -- to have land be secure trump the enjoyment of SL itself by everyone for miles? Why must we look at that plywood box for months and months? The idiots who left them can't possibly care if they are gone.

It's one thing if they left an elaborate purple spinning castle wit green particles -- I have things like that near me. That could be said to be art, or the sacred beingness of the unpainted canvas coming to life and stuff. Ok, fine. But...plywood? Boxes?

See, if you take a hugely religious and zealous approach to judgement calls like this and say "thou shalt never ever remove customer content," then even a plywood box, or a crashed missile from a griefer lagging a sim for months is never taken care of.

Sure, there's more garbage work for Lindens, but here's what they could do:

Now that Governor Linden himself (herself, I'm told) can use the new group tools, he/she can create a group called Governor Linden's Clean-Up Crew. Those janitors could return prims, without being owners of the land such as to sell it.

They could even just be empowered to return ONLY prims not set to the group or only set on autoreturn -- these powers are now differentiated.

This raises issues of whether residents should control content of others. I'm opposed to doing that. I don't like the idea of resmod busy-bodies swooping down and removing yardsales they don't like off the events list or removing freebies or something they think shouldn't be on someone's property.

But this isn't resident land. It's Governor land -- roadsides, empty lots, abandoned lots, auction lots, etc.

I never did understand why there isn't more autoreturn going on with these lots, it's a puzzle. But given there isn't, the clean up has got to get done, and this is one way to do it.

Cocoanut

There are people who would love to be on the clean-up crew.

I hope they institute one.

Even I would like to be on it, because I'm the sort who likes to organize closets (and inventories) anyway, and it is annoying to see odd items sitting around for months where they have no business being.

(Course, I probably wouldn't qualify for such work, as I have a forum warning and suspension for talking back to residents who aren't to be talked back to, which makes me a criminal who isn't allowed to contribute to things such as this.)

My land surrounds a 512, which Guy Linden came and looked at for me. The person who owns it hasn't been on in over a year, and I watched and waited for June to come around, thinking they would not sign up again.

But it was still there, so Guy came and checked it out, and said "There is nothing we can do." I'm thinking this means the person automatically was charged for another year, or maybe it meant something else.

Since then, somebody came and left a big shocking pink squawking bird on that property. I IM'd that person. I then saw him on the property, and sent him a message thanking him for removing the bird, which I thought he was doing. But he didn't!

So finally I just built a grass covered box and set it down over the bird on that property. I didn't think the absentee landowner would mind, particularly because I chose to wall off that property (which was looking like the centerpiece of my own shop - yikes! - by use of plenty of pretty trees and plumerias, taking care to leave a side invitingly open, as if it were that person's entrance way. Looks very pretty, I must say.

coco

Jake Reitveld

Well its like this..when technology is new, we say "wow look at what this can do!" The tekkis come out and get all impressed by the fact that we can build a cube in cubersrpace and texture it while our freinds watch. This is cool, but its not really human.

Then it becomes a matter of "what can I do with this?" This is the stage where SL is headed now. In this stage it becomes neat that hey "I can sell stuff in SL and make RL money, or we can be RL people and use SL to have an RL relationhsip, or our support group uses SL as a support tool for RL patients...and wow look how powerful the technology is.
The internet crossed into this realm sometime around 1996.

But in this stage the focus is still the technology..the technology is a nifty alternative, and it is still pretty sexy to say hey I make money in SL. But not because making money is cool, but because you do it in SL.

Stage three is when the technology is relatively seamless..when the nature of the medium of transmission is less important than the content of what is transmitted. This is ultimately when technology is fully integrated into culture, when the stories we tell are human stories that do not depend on the terms Second LIfe, or Virtual world to give them oomph. When we move to Wow I have an SL relationship with a wonderful person, to I have a relationship with a wonderful person.

I mean when was the last time calling someone on the telephone was an event. When did we see newspapers touting wow, woman makes millions selling stuff ans services over the phone.

For me, e-mail and the Instant messengers are the stage three technologies of the computer age. We e-mail and IM constantly..and the real heart of the e-mail and the IM is what is contained in the documents..not the fact that things can be e-mailed.

but e-mail and IMs also are text based, which ties them inot a technology that is thousands of years old-writing.

Well second life is going to ioncreasingly become less about second life, and more about what individual residents do. And this will create change. I wanted to know what SL saw its role to be in facilitating an SL community that does not start off its every post with "great, we are the SL rockhounds."
Does this help any?

Prokofy Neva

"This is cool, but its not really human."

You never said a truer word.

And yes, I see what you mean now though it still doesn't quite match up to what you said before, but I think this is what I've talked about before when I complain about how so many of these seminars, conferences, meetings inworld etc. turn out to be "wow, it's about itself!" "Hey, neat technology!" "Let's make a machinima about an avatar looking at himself in RL at a conference about avatars looking at people, there I am, let me wave to myself!"

Yes, you don't have a headline, "Woman in Syracuse Makes First Xerox Copy at Safeway," or "wow, I can make money telemarketing".

So what will people do? Same stuff they did on the telephone, or with carrier pigeons. Talk about stuff, which will be mainly talking about other people talking about stuff.

Ordinal Malaprop

I also look forward to the day when people stop responding to complaints about harassment with "it's just a game" / "it's just the internet". Nobody says "it's just the telephone" if someone complains about harassing phone calls.

And we all know that cyberspace is the place you're in when you're on the phone, pace St Bruce (a bit of a wanker recently but has put out some good stuff all told).

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