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08/17/2006

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Kyrah Abattoir

you seems to confuse the license granted to you to use a software (secondlife object, AKA: licensed software) and the SUV rusting in your backyard (a pile of scrap metal).

Prokofy Neva

I don't drive SUVs, Kyrah; they're suburban attack vehicles, they are dangerous killers, and they pollute the environment. In fact, I don't have a car, I live in the city and take the busy? But that wouldn't stop you from ascribing to me all the evils you imagine of all "red-neck Americans, eh?"

And yes, I believe if I buy into a world with tier that I'm a partner in a business, using a product on an equal basis with others, deserving of some basic respect and some basic concepts of the rule of law in a civil society.

I become perplexed when I find that there are, instead game gods and and a virulent little clique of programmers who believe that "code is law"...just because they say so lol. Not!

Kyrah Abattoir

code is law, as long as you can't bend it, and since YOU obviously can't bend it , it will stay law of the little virtual world we all share. Though whenyou know more you can push the envellope a bit, but it remain a hard wall that can't be broken.

what make you think code isn't law?

Prokofy Neva

Because it's not? It's a manufactured thing, made by people. It's not carved in stone by God. It can be changed. By those people. And by other people who urge them to change it because it's the right thing to do.

If this is opaque to you, go back to making spandex.

Kyrah Abattoir

yes but SL is just a bunch of rules and logical constrains really, a simulation of RL, you can't substract yourself to gravity in RL isn't it?
and in SL can you buy a piece of land without paying the price written over it? no.

and i am not making spandex fucking bitch.

if it's opaque to you go back to your little "ravenglass sim city"

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Prokofy, as time goes on, your articles just keep becoming better and better; one of these days you should split your blog in two, one for "Essays on the Metaverse", under which this particular article would be at the top.

I must admit that I haven't kept up (yet) with all the references in your article, but I will, I will... But just by pointing us to those references, nobody can accuse you of having an one-sided opinion based on your opinion only. Instead, this essay becomes a summary of several opinions, rewritten through your own style. To rebutt and debunk your article means rebutting and debunking each and every one of the references. I wonder if anyone is really up to it — or even has the background to do it.

Not knowing what *all* Lindens think — but just using a smoked window to Linden thought through people allegedly closed to them — I was recently shocked by the comments of someone who told me (in a very nice way) that I should stop complaining, or else Linden Lab would remove any support on projects I might be involved in. This, naturally, came as a shock. My first reaction was obviously one of rejection; surely my friend was joking? The second reaction was naturally to stop being so naive: naturally, as a company, LL might like constructive criticism, but not in public. Do it publicly and they'll stop listening to you.

From the perspective of a RL software house, this is something that is understandable. However, LL has an unsolved issue that they have a tremendous difficulty in dealing with: how much should they interfere?

One would expect that any "benevolent dictatorship" would do much more for the residents than what LL does in-world. After all, where is any pretense of a justice system? What are LL's ethical and moral codes of conduct, and how will those be applied to their world? What kinds of social and economic transactions do they oversee, encourage, or protect? What individual rights, as "citizens of the Metaverse" do we have, and how can we get protection of those rights?

The answer is simply that LL doesn't care; or, if they do care indeed (some at least do, and are quite clear about it), they can't/won't do anything about it.

The alternative, then, seems to be simply anarchy (or, more reasonably, some form of capitalist libertarianism, since we have a working economy after all — a place where "agreement is law", and there is nothing else but that). But this is also not true. For that to happen, LL would need to provide two things:
- total detachment from RL laws (more on that later), so that people would be able to enforce their own laws if they wished;
- selective blocking of parts of the grid; thus, the metaverse would become (once again) several private islands (growing from 1 to several contiguous sims, of course) without any sort of interconnection. Or even communication (or else you'd get griefers in!)

Now the first part is highly unlikely to ever happen. As a Californian company, they will remain bound to Californian law. Which means that sooner or later they have to deal with issues like gambling and prostitution inside SL; they need to address hate speech; they have to keep minors out; they have to enforce DMCA; and so on.

So at the very minimum, even if they probably would like not to address *any* of those issues, they can't escape RL laws, no matter how they try. Thus the ToS becomes more cunning over the time, like clearly stating that the "Linden dollar" has no value (while the Linden dollar has value because people — half a million people, perhaps — give value to it. It is no more an "artificial currency" as, say, the Euro, or its predecessor teh ECU: things are valuable because people attribute value to them. And writing bold statements to the contrary — "if you accept ToS, you have to accept that the L$ is not worth anything" — is simply a smokescreen for lawyers).

I would say that LL will always have to have minimal interference on the grid, whether they like it or not.

The second point is exactly the one referred by you as "code as law". If they wish to give people the opportunity of doing things as they like, and waive all responsability of it, it means — coding things. It means being able to block people out of participation. It means that people inside their "domains" (let's not call them "countries" for now) will need access to all possible tools to deal with things with their own hands — *without* ever needing to ask anything from the Lindens. In a way, this is what is currently happening with the private islands and the new group tools due next Wednesday: "code as law" empowering people, more and more.

At some point, I think, this dual nature of LL will have to break apart. They simply will be unable to "enforce law through code" more and more — to allow people to take matters in their own hands, and relieve LL of their duties — and remain compliant with Californian law. One of two things will happen. As SL grows — although not as much as most would like; at this point, we should be having over 10-20 million users, like any decent-sized "social Web" environment like Flickr, YouTube, Friendster, or something like that, and not the puny 250,000 "regular users" — the more unmanageable things will become. For instance, "age play" vs. paedophilia is something impossible to determine at the in-world level; if the police force gets a complain, they will have to have access to RL data which only LL can provide. And sooner or later a court decision will force LL to either actively remove child porn and disallow "age play" (since you cannot dissociate it from paedophilia in a virtual world), no matter what LL thinks about it. People are now giving iRL interviews on how the LindeX can be used so well for terrorists or the mafia to launder their money — which is complete BS (there are far more efficient ways to doing so) but the public *believes* these stories (they believe anything they watch on the news anyway), and thus will ask their local authorities to investigate. Again, LL will need to address those complains as well.

Put in other words: LL cannot exist, by itself, in a legal vacuum, and thus, their product, Second Life, cannot exist either.

(The only alternative would be a total decentralisation of LL into several different countries with different laws; thus, say, keeping the PG areas in their Californian co-location facilities, and pushing the Mature areas — always the ones with more legal problems — into, say, a co-location facility in Amsterdam :) But the legal nightmare would be unmanageable...)

The alternative, of course, is to provide "more code" and let people forge their own laws as they like, so far as they sign a new ToS where LL simply does not claim any responsability on what people do with their technology. After all, after 9/11, when terrorists claimed to have learned to pilot airplanes using Microsoft Flight Simulator, Microsoft was not charged for "providing tools for terrorists" — all they needed to claim is that MFS is simply a game, and that the license agreement of that software clearly states that Microsoft has no responsability if their tools are used for illegitimate purposes. Also, they (MS) are not to be blamed if people freely exchange very detailed maps on the Internet, which can then be used in MFS for providing "airplane pilot training" for terrorists...

Being a person of a moderate view on everything, I don't think that this is an either/or case. LL must, despite perhaps their own will, comply with RL law to an extent, and this means "interference" with their virtual world. On the other hand, "code as law" will provide users with their own means of deciding what they want to do — on their own private estates. I imagine that in the not-so-very-distant future you will have LL effectively owning a bit of the virtual world — their mainland — where the Community Standards will apply. And they will lease private islands without CS (most likely operating from other countries), where people can do whatever they want — but cannot expect any "Linden protection", no matter how crude and unfair this "Linden protection" is these days.

I still think that the "natural evolution" of Second Life is not a Linden-controlled democratic land, where the running of the (main)land is defined by democratic Linden-oriented institutions and a legal system run by Linden Lab and their transparently elected/appointed judges. This is clearly not LL's own views — they're too far to the left to believe in any of those ideas — although it could become a possibility on the "Linden Estate", or what we call the "mainland". Instead, the "natural evolution" is the fragmentation of the virtual country in several communities, each under its own "law system" (even if the "law system" is totalitarian/anarchistic — people will quickly find out what happens to their utopias). Under this model, even abuse reports would not exist — people would have no "protection" from LL at all. Their reply would be laconic: "The CS only applies to the Linden Estate; if you move elsewhere, it's up to the people living there to enforce their own rules".

People (like myself!) usually compares Second Life as the next-generation 3D WWW. There is a reason for it. If Flickr displays child porn (something that "code as law" will never catch!), the FBI will arrest Flickr's owners — but not the Apache Foundation (which provided the web server where Flickr's applications run) or Microsoft (which provided the Web browser). Only Flickr is responsible for enforcing the applicable state law on the content of its users.

This is what I think that ultimately LL will need to address: having the whole mainland PG, and strictly enforced, not unlike what happens on the Teen Grid. "Enforced" in this case means "compliant with RL law" and assuming responsbaility for the kind of content there. And leave the rest (the private estates, which outnumber the mainland these days anyway) in the hands of the people owning it — forfeiting responsability over those areas, and relying on the estate owners to comply with their own (RL) legal systems. And people would be free to choose where they would want to live (virtually). The market would show which of those utopias would survive, and which wouldn't.

But this means a radical departure from the current philosophy of Linden Lab. Some tell me that they still believe in this "better world" and are reluctant to interfere more — which would be the consequence of going towards more responsability. Others tell me that they wish to become less and less involved in Second Life, the virtual world, and more and more in Second Life, the platform for *others* to develop the virtual world. What ultimately they will choose will change what we think of "Second Life" totally.

I don't expect that to change in the next 18 months, though. And then we'll see what happens.

Prokofy Neva

Gwyn,

I can't really divide my blog up into sections and essays, it's just not on now, and while I realize it's long and dense, it's frankly no more long and dense than sitting and trying to read and make sense of the long scroll of feed coming off Tao Takashi's World of SL.

I find it very troubling that you'd be given even a veiled threat like that. It feels like some Lindens, one would like to think it's only "rogue Lindens," i.e. not with central command, are trying to rattle your cage, as they did with Cristiano and as they have done with me or anybody who is critical. And that's wrong. They shouldn't be doing that. And I find that often it's their "friends," who are the more thuggish, that is, like Hiro Pendragon was when he thuggishly threatened me with being banned because I openly asked about Ben Linden being Buhbuhcuh, and getting free airtime on General for his projects -- and look how that ended -- Buhbuhcuh outs himself, there's no story, nothing to see here, move along, and the world turns on its axis. So threats like that are empty.

I don't see how you could possibly be viewed as "critical" anyway, Gwyn -- are you just trying to pump up your street cred with this story??? -- because you always say what the Lindens are going to do five minutes before they say it, you're applauding the forums closing and all the rest.

The moral of the story, of course is: don't depend on them. But of course, we all do. Just try to depend less.

You've been a bit hard on their Love Machine stuff, but my God, surely they expect that NOBODY is going to buy that stuff, it's just wacky, they're way out in left field with that stuff and they have to eat that if they really believe in it. They have to prove people are wrong about it by really achieving something, not by silencing the guffaws about it.

And that's what might be happening -- as they get under more pressure to produce, if they can't produce, like any entity in power under pressure, they will be moved to lie, prevaricate, cover up, and disappear people.

And the people they are disappearing now are the forums posters. I think someone summed it up to me today very well, watching the SLCC video and being rather sickened by it:

" the whole thing is so the FIC and LL can carry on without being watched".

And that's about the size of it.

Now, you think that the Lindens will spawn some international entity, that will be John Perry Barlow's dream at Davos (http://homes.eff.org/~barlow/Declaration-Final.html)
(geez, that's definitely NOT working out JPB, I wish you'd come a take a look at how your dream is doing in SL!).

Then they'll still have their company or 501-c-3 or whatever in California but not worry about the people piled on their servers any more than, say, tripod worries about the people piled on their servers. Well, yes, that's quite possible, I suppose, and yes, I don't think they can keep Second Life, the "largest established/permanent floating/crap game in the multiverse" going forever in such a hands-on manner any more than Nathan Detroit could!

I wouldn't give too much credence to the idea that local people reading something about terrorists laundering money will urge local authorities to "do something". In fact, a marvelous plan to really snarl up the terrorists of the world for a good bit would be to lure them into Second Life and have them work the micropayments on something like mainland rentals for a bit, then try to cash out their gains through the Lindex, then wait for their PayPal credits to arrive. They'll be driven mad.

What's more likely is that congressional committees or campaigns related to elections in a year will decide to harp on something like BDSM or ageplay or some such scandal related to what someone uses SL for related to a campaign, or possibly business supporting a campaign.

The essense of what you're saying about group tools and the islands is that -- the Lindens are going to cut everybody adrift, wash their hands of the problems, and then not look back, like Ruth, lest they turn into a pillar of salt.

I have to say, most late nights, when I look on the list, and I see only two young Lindens coping with a population of 9000 people, at least 10 percent of whom are actively griefing, it's madness, and I feel like the inmates are running the asylum (I can only hope some invisible Lindens are also out there too). Last night I saw a furious demonstration against ageplay that crashed a sim twice.

I can't help looking at what JPB wrote again and again, and how much it applies to the "masters of the metaverse too," "Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here."

But...they did put in concepts of property and identity and movement, Gwyn, and they borrowed them from meatworld and didn't say "this is just temporary scaffolding, then we will kick it out".

Of course they are in no position to run a democracy, a government, or a justice system. Yet, they have the trappings of one, as I keep saying, and pretentions to absolute power with their code-as-law concept. So either they have to make good on that, or let it go.

Now, making good on it means outsourcing the social relations and the justice. Just like governments hire private police forces to handle the really hard stuff like sorting through which foreigners to rendition, they may do something like that, bringing in the Dyncorps of Cyberspace, or even give a nod to some resident-based private police like Green Lantern. So far, they're holding the line on that, swiftly punishing those who try to scare other residents by saying they are police sanctioned by Linden. But all it takes for them to change this is just to like somebody, the way they like the FIC people, for them to "get on the same page," for them to "get in the IRC" channel. They don't have a *policy* about police; they have only their gut feelings, and gut feelings can change; guts can get used to stomaching things.

Re: >still think that the "natural evolution" of Second Life is not a Linden-controlled democratic land, where the running of the (main)land is defined by democratic Linden-oriented institutions and a legal system run by Linden Lab and their transparently elected/appointed judges. This is clearly not LL's own views — they're too far to the left to believe in any of those ideas — although it could become a possibility on the "Linden Estate", or what we call the "mainland".

I don't think the Lindens will give up the concept of a drop-down TOS and CS that they attempt to ever more elaborately create -- for awhile anyway. They've invested too much into it and it is too much the culture of not only the MMORPGs but the Internet and its service sites as a whole. Nobody reads those TOS, but they're their to cover their ass.

However, you're right that they aren't interested in running and ensuring democracy. They want the group tools to do that for them -- code-as-law. They just are waiting to see -- how bad will the disputes get? They are cooking up a covenants system -- but consciously not having a disputes resolution in place -- they simply aren't going to think about what it means to accept $1500 US for a sim and set-up from a person, but have that person lose his $1500 investment because some furry looks at him crosseyed and expels him from the group and bans him from the sim he paid for. Sound familiar? What WILL the Lindens do??? WHOSE ownership will they honour? We know, already. When Hank Ramos and Adam Zaius have a fight over this and that and land gets swiped from the group -- the Lindens swoop in and take the group and boot Hank. When Anshe and Prok have a fight within a group -- they Lindens allow Anshe, the group founder to remove Prok but do nothing when another officer invites me in. That is -- they try to take the most literalist, passive way out.

I think they will go on trying to make young kids, especially telecommuters, and resident community leaders bearing the brunt of community service, to handle this load for them.

When the group tools come in, everyone will be able to ban people from their land, even in a rental. So all rentals customers will have no need to go to Lindens. With ban, access-only, and push turned off, there's only the issue of rezzing the prims out -- but I think they are probably working on that idea of whiting out all the disliked people and prims from the world next.

If people you've banned or muted can't rez prims on your land, if they are rendered invisible, they can't grief. So unless they think up some really new clever griefing technique, there will be nothing to do, and they'll either swim upstream in the hard spawn to becoming content creators, or leave Second Life.

Of course, on the way there we might see a growth of new griefing behaviours like sending the $1, or sending the group joins -- these are the things that increased hugely in The Sims Online as bad behaviours when EA.com got the parcel ban/rogue roomie destruction problems in hand. I remember nights in TSO batting off literally thousands of group invites and dollar pays -- and that will be the new frontier for asswipes in SL. Then a patch will make it so group invites are timed and can't be spammed, or that payments can't spam or whatever, in fact I hope they're already thinking of this now.

But...they have no incentive. Because, even with griefing, people keep joining and they suffer least from it on private islands, where the Lindens earn the most money, so it's all good.

What I don't like to see happening now is the tremendous defensiveness, secretiveness, and bristling -- or silence and muting -- that we're getting from some Lindens on this whole discussion. They simply are refusing to have it. The treatment Blue Linden gave to me for raising very normal and natural questions about why we can't have a jury of our peers and face our accusers in their final permabanning procedure is very indicative. Well sure, go ahead and write me off as merely being extreme or abrasive or a conspiracy theorist - but the fact is other people, with far milder dispositions and presentations than me, got no better answers and got nowhere, either.

You can say, oh, well it's a software company, they can execute people at dawn if they want, they're not bound by the rule of law broadly understood. But...why not? And what does it cost them to do the right thing? How many people do they permaban such as to constitute so much work? What could it cost to assemble people inworld to actually talk to someone facing the loss of their Second Life permanently? Shouldn't people get more than a summary expulsion with a few anonymous avatars given only a cursory description of their crime?

And the reason why they don't do this, I suspect, isn't because it's time-costly or involves losing face or means they'd have to reverse a decision, but because it would remove them of the executive authority to summarily execute without the procedure.

That is, I think they already just delete people and ban them without any due process whatsoever. They can do that because the people have become dehumanized for them. And frankly, that's not hard to understand and concede them, if people named Sperm Rush and Virus Field, possibly only the alts of others banned, come in the world and on day one, land in a stranger's house and rez out giant self replicating turds and penises and scream like hyenas. Those aren't people; they're monsters. So why give them a 'process' -- a deletion without notice might be just the thing -- and frankly the caseload of such people now is probably so great, that they simply can't keep up unless they make summary decisions like this.

But...that sort of dehumanizing and justification of removing even their shabby inadequate due process is a slippery slope. It begins by removing people everyone can perceive as criminals not worthy of a second life; it ends by removing outspoke intellectuals without whom a second life world seems wrong, even unimaginable.

I just don't like the way they are going about this -- not discussing it, hiding from people wishing to discuss it, and then getting angry at their critics. It's not good.

I can see now that whatever their rhetoric or even genuine aspirations at the beginning, the Lindens have abandoned their dream of an ideal world where their liberal values would find root and articulation. The reality is that their weak liberalism created a soil of licentiousness that led to the opposite of what they hoped -- hardcore lifestyles that give them bad press; feuding and fuming on the forums; rampant griefing; even RL type denial-of-service crime.

I still think they don't have to invest a lot of time or effort or political capital in just encouraging residents to make their own justice and dispute resolution system, and allow them to compete naturally without interfering in them, but still to create an Ombudsman Linden, or a panel of Linden/residents with some credibility and rotation, who can resolve the meta disputes after they've been hashed inworld.

People always fear that such offices will be overrun or expectations will be too high; yet if they are rigorous about demands that all local remedies be exhausted, if they simply insist that people must learn how to make their own cases adequately (that's always the biggest problems with such institutions -- people can't make their own complaints right), then they have some chance of coping.

Why is that worth bothering? Because the Metaverse itself will have senates or ombudsmen or some kind of governance some day, people aren't going to just be in their groovy hive mind hitting levers on scripted objects that a few get to run and analyze and manipulate. People will not stand for it. John Perry Barlow didn't stand for it in real life; I hope to God he won't stand for it in simulated life, either. And there's no reason why the Lindens shouldn't be the progressives on justices, instead of the reactionaries. It's within their powers and capabilities as people.

>Instead, the "natural evolution" is the fragmentation of the virtual country in several communities, each under its own "law system" (even if the "law system" is totalitarian/anarchistic — people will quickly find out what happens to their utopias). Under this model, even abuse reports would not exist — people would have no "protection" from LL at all. Their reply would be laconic: "The CS only applies to the Linden Estate; if you move elsewhere, it's up to the people living there to enforce their own rules".

Yes, we saw the seeds of this when the Gorean master urged the Lindens to stop listening to TOS complaints coming from his slaves -- so they'd have no recourse. He wanted all complaints coming out of his sims to be bounced back to him -- I can only say "ugh" to that idea. Yet Daniel Linden loved it -- because he wants "local law and custom" to prevail like he's Mr. State's Rights in a federalist papers' America.

Except..local custom will involve stifling the cries of slaves actually abused real-life style by this controversial lifestyle...

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Prokofy, for once, I don't have any comments on your post — I subscribe it in its entirety. The difference in my attitude, I guess, is that I'm not actively "pushing" for LL's change of attitude, but rather passively accepting what they'll throw next on us, because I saw how effective some things are — namely, not at all. The "telehub" lesson was my end to naivete in SL regarding LL's ideas for "their world".

BTW, I finished to read your link to Netanel's paper. It is most interesting, and I'll be passing it around. It should be required reading for all "direct cyber-democracy wannabes", even if they disagree with Netanel (which I don't).

Prokofy Neva

Yes, I think Netanel's paper is a very good antidote to Beth Noveck's paper on groups and democracy.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "telehub lesson". If you mean that the Lindens hastily took a means of transportation out for purely ideological reasons, destroying businesses in their wake, to satisfy the demands of one minority class, mainly content-creators, then sure, that can be a good example of how Lindens a) don't pay attention to people after they do the "your world, your imagination" stuff and come back in and intervene in bad ways and b) even from the perspective of their interfering social engineering, do something stupid and counterproductive, because they could have put in p2p AND elected to keep telehubs just on those sims that they converted to infohubs -- duh. That way, when someone typed in the name of a sime like "Ross" or "Hyles" they would land not in the water at the 128/128 center, as they do now (or on Prokofy's floating deck in Ross attempting to mitigate that experience for people), but in the middle of a hub with news and information. That would have been easy to do because it would simply mean *leaving the telehubs in place*. As we know the squat ugly buildings were not relevant, and all that's needed to perform the function is a small green disk that in fact hundreds of private islands have. The fact that all the private islands got to keep their telehubs, enhancing their business, while all those 44 mainland sims got theirs destroyed, along with the surrounding business, is one of the real lessons of SL -- how the Better World concept breaks down to mean "better world just for me and my friends".

BUT what you'd have to concede is that the telehub debacle is also an example of successful citizen action. It's not touted as such by you and your leftist friends on the N-bergs, because the citizens doing the acting are middle-class store owners (not even the wealthy land barons so much as the next tier of mall owners who unwittingly bought telehub land in 2005, even as the smarter land barons like Anshe and Blue sold their hubs and moved to private islands because they saw how the wind was blowing).

Middle-class action by people trying to save their businesses is never as fun and groovy and impressive to all the ideologues of the left who love to write about citizens' action -- they'd rather that these citizens be leftist and be all about sticking it to the Man, refusing to pay prim taxes when the Man was trying to figure out how to pay for the damn thing when he had all these hippie squatter scripters on his servers. Or they'd rather it be about saving Darfur or children caught up in sex-trafficking in Thailand, somewhere far away from the pristine never-raining sims of Second Life.

But this middle-class activism was really important, too. For one, it showed how dialogue and negotiation with the all-powerful Lindens was just as successful as trying to mass-av protest and grind their servers to a halt.

Through a series of meetings with the top Lindens, the telehub mall and store owners, despite profound hatred and harassment from "the community" on the forums, persisted in demanding that the Lindens compensate them for their "eminent domain" takings of their telehub business. They insisted on either getting a buyback or they would sue under the "bait and switch" concept.

And they WON. The Linden gods came down off Olympus, had their lawyers look at the "bait and switch" issue (in the summer, they had sold telehub land set to bid at a higher price and higher value, though they knew full well they'd be retiring the telehub system in the fall).

They then proceeded to a) create a buyback system and did some buying back (though this system was imperfect and some people got to cheat) and b) create the infohub development program (though this system was imperfect and some people either didn't get a chance to participate or didn't get as much land/prims).

I think that's an amazing thing, given that the snarky tekkie default about Linden Lab in every debate is, "They're a software company and they get to do WTF they want and once you sign their TOS you're collared."

No, that's not true, and we've demonstrated it's not true, on these big stories of the prim tax revolt and the telehub mall owners revolt, and there are many other littler stories.

Ultimately, the Lindens are smart people, just like you and me, even though they've elected to play the role of game gods in this game : )

Therefore, I continue to believe that you can and should engage with them, not become passive and roll over when they do stupid/destructive things, and attempt to reason with them and meet with them. Their ability to climb down off Mount Olympus may diminish with time as there are more mortals and more game gods, but I naively persist in my dream for a Better World, too.

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