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Prokofy Neva

BTW, one of the hysterical things I find about left-wingers in general is that they ferociously resist the label "left-wing," and even with very pronounced communist views, resist the title of communist, or even socialist, and imagine these are swear words, and that if you use these labels, you are 'intolerant' or even "McCarthyite".

I think their writing speaks for itself.


Oh, lots of good "predictions" here, although I'm glad you've been honest with your audience and say that some of them are already semi-announcements, so very likely to become true :) Others, well, are just basic common sense (the most uncommon thing found in the universe) correctly applied to a statistics and trends...

1. Well, 2008 would have been "too early" anyway. They took 18 months to release the *viewer* as open source, since they made the announcement. Even if the server code were as complex (which it isn't), and even taking into account that LL has grown a lot since 2006, "late 2008" would have been the best-case scenario for an open source release of the server code, mid-2009 a more reasonable one.

Still, that misses an important point. Having the code doesn't give you the instant ability to be able to run a successful grid, much less running a grid *better* than LL, who have been doing it for 5 years. Unless someone is prepared to hire out all LL employees and get them into a "separate" grid. That, however, would be shooting one's own foot. There is no valid business model that supports that...

No, 2008 will be the "year of the API" and of the New Grid Architecture. That will keep both LL and the plethora of volunteer coders very happy — and way too busy. And it'll still mean a lot more inter-operation between external servers and LL's own grid-based servers. Also, it gives people like IBM and Sun an edge if they license the code from LL to run their own grids...

2. I totally agree with that prediction. I'd be very surprised if it wouldn't come true.

3. While I agree that they won't get a significant number of new users (I'm on my third day of downloads to finally enter Kaneva Beta 2.0... and for what? A world that has a maximum concurrency of 750 users??), I'm not sure if it's about mobile phones... that's a meme that has been repeated ad nauseam as mobile operators start getting 100% coverage of the population of the western world (110% in my own country!) and they have no clue how to get more customers with enough money to spend on more calls, which are dropping fast in cost... so this is a really massive campaign for "the world in your mobile" tha has been going on for quite a while. I'm still skeptic (then again, every day I hate phones more and more), the major reason being that a mobile phone is not really a good platform to develop anything beyond an interface to voice communication, no matter how advanced a phone's OS becomes (see Google's or Apple's) or how long the battery lasts. Ultimately, it's a pain to navigate on a phone, and that will *not* change (since we humans are not likely to change physically...).

But I guess I might be totally wrong. Sure, it would be nice to have SL on a phone, but would I use it 6 hours per day on my phone?... Mmh. No :)

4. I look forward to that. I hope you're right on that prediction!

Then again, the infamed "Internet 2.0" project (launched, oh, in the late 1990s), a super-fast and super-robust Internet for the academic elite, never really popped up into existence... and a decade later, the "normal" Internet just caught up with it...

5. Highly unlikely. Definitely not in 2008.

6. Totally correct. People get scared because content creator X announced with a lot of drama that she would leave SL. But every day, without failing, 15,000 new users join. Sometimes 25,000. Sometimes more. That will not stop.

For every company that leaves SL (mostly because they had a budget for a semester or a year, and they never intended to be around more than that — alas, how to explain that to the public at large?...), hundred new ones flock to SL every week. And they're not in for the media splash — the media are ignoring them these days. So they have completely different reasons for being in SL, and this will continue in 2008. My own meetings with corporations and institutions start with saying: "forget about the media splash, you won't get any of it. Focus on what the technology can do for your business/organisation, not on what the media is (not) going to say about you". This new generation of institutional residents will have a completely different mindset from the "media splashers", and they'll silently join SL witout much fuss. By the end of 2008, you will *expect* them to be around, and not look for the headlines about the 3456th newspaper or software company that joined SL...

LL will never go public. There is simply no interest in doing so for the VC funders. Being "taken over" by any megacorp will not bring them neither value, nor money. SO I totally agree with you on that, too.

7., 8., and 9. are very likely. I liked your conclusion very much: as the media starts to ignore all of this, litigation against SL won't make the news, like litigation against Microsoft (which happens on a daily base) doesn't really move the world any more — except for very excepcional cases.

10. Dubious. Corporations/Institutions will still buy land from LL (even if there are "alternate grids"). They just won't make a fuss out of it. A not-for-profit in Portugal just added 25 islands for their social work within SL. Did it hit the major SL media? No. It got an article or two locally. But if supportforhealing had bought 25 sims in 2006, it would have been on CNN :)

So my guess is that all this growth will now be mostly silent and ignored by the world-at-large. Sure, if, say, Apple buys a thousand sims and announced a mega-campaign to give all .Mac account owners a plot of 512 m2, that would still make the news... but this will be exceptions. We'll just be watching the top of the iceberg, but the real growth will all be below the water line.

11. There might be some drama about China (or some Chinese) in 2008, but I find it more likely that HiPiHi and Linden Lab's Second Life start converging. LL would get a local partner with the Chinese government's supervision, and fully legalised under Chinese law; HiPiHi would provide all local support on a local grid, but avatars could roam freely among the interconnected grid — provided, of course, that they respect China's content restrictions. It could happen. If I were Philip, I'd be favouring that solution. HiPiHi's owners seem to be agreeable to such a deal, and I'm pretty sure that teh Chinese authorities would prefer that solution, too.

12. Not in 2008. And in 2010 it might be too late to develop anything from scratch :) This is the old "Microsoft Network" case again: in 1995, due to the staggering growth of the Internet and the Web, Microsoft thought they could "create their own internal version of the Web". They tried it for six months. They gave up and fully embraced the Internet's own Web, and rebranded themselves as "the Internet company".

Companies are prone to reinvent the wheel and make the same mistakes all over again, of course, but I would say that many are a bit more clever. So the ones that attempt to do their own virtual worlds will ultimately give up the effort — as their employees will inevitably do their work on SL while their own internal software crashes all the time and bugs get painfully and slowly fixed...

Of course, to make *sure* that this scenario doesn't happen, all LL has to do is to license/give away the server code, or to improve *dramatically* the amount of grid interfacing through APIs... to make it quite clear for corporations that it's far better to work *with* SL instead of developing their own solution. At this precise moment, the grid instability and the painfully hard SL Web integration makes everybody have second thoughts about betting on SL. LL will have to change this. The good news: they're aware of it, and will take 6-12 months to deliver a solution. We'll see if it's not too much of a waiting time.

13. Perhaps it has already happened and we just don't know about it ;)

14. Totally agree. You won't need to be a "SL fanboy/girl" to write about SL any more.

15. SL will not "die and disappear" even with the silly age verification thingy. As to a move to Red Light Center, well, as soon as they hit a few million users, they'll get a friendly warning from the FBI, too...

16. Totally so.

17. I agree. We'll see more PR companies and less marketing agencies using SL. PR knows the importance of socialisation, marketing and advertising mostly worries about image. So, yes, I agree with you on that.

18. Possibly, I have no idea :)) The few that I know are unconcerned that JohnDoe Avatar copies their art and sells it for L$100... but these are possibly exceptions.

19. Hmm. That's worth a whole new blog entry, Prokofy. Tell us more about how TV is changing, audience is changing, and that these days a "TV show" doesn't have an existence only on the airwaves but on several different technologies (most of them Internet-related) as well... there's a lot more to be said about TV networks and their role in the 21st century.

20. It'll never work :)

First, Raph Koster can be the leading game guru and the highest ranking netcelebrity on the gaming scene, but, like Edward Castronova also has found out, excelling in your field doesn't mean that you are going to be a successful business owner as well.

There is no way that Metaplace has any long-term possibility to survive as a profitable company. Just look at what Raph proposes to charge to customers! Either he's going dot-com on it (ie. selling the idea and moving on, and letting someone else figure out how to make money out of it), or he's just going to drop the idea at some point and admit that there is no market for what he has developed.

People do NOT want 3D worlds with 3 or 4 people on their webpages. This was attempted since, well, the days of VRML (1996...?). It never worked. Sure, we have fancier graphics these days. But there is not a single argument of Raph's that convinces any business manager that his idea might be worth any money. People simply take his word for it because, well, he *is* Raph Koster, of legendary programming abilities, wizard of the gaming world... and that's why the project is up and running (in 2D) at all.

But, well, I expect it'll take at least the whole of 2008 for people to find it out, and clap Raph on the back and say: "I'm sorry it didn't work out"...

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Ah, excellent predictions. Sadly, Typepad thinks that my long comments are spam, so I'm answering on my own blog: http://gwynethllewelyn.net/2007/12/19/prokofy-nevas-predictions-for-2008/

Note that I agree with 80% of your predictions, and in some cases, I might even be very surprised if they didn't come out to be true!


Well GL your prediction about Linden not going open source in 2008 may not be all that accurate guy. Linden maybe forced to go open source sooner than later to survive especially if all the good people working on the OpenSim project have their way. If our grid works like a lot of people want it to, things will be getting very interesting and soon.

Prokofy Neva

If you're so um "open," Rip, you can post with at least an SL first and last name, that's the rule here.

I don't think LL will be forced into going open-source, at least they claim not. The appearance of some rinky-dink stand-alone reverse-engineered sim or even a grid of sims would not by itself be the reason to force their hand.

After all, what does it really mean, except a proof of concept? It would have no economy, currency, society to speak of, just a bunch of hostile geeks very impressed with themselves that they ripped this out and made it.

I don't care how interesting it gets, I will reject it, because I don't see that the spirit in which it is done is one which respects private property, people's labour, value, and free enterprise. All of those things are required in a liberal democratic society.

I don't want to live in some geeky copyleftist extropia extracted out of Second Life.

Naoki Yifu

1. "Linden Lab will not open-source Second Life in 2008." Agreed.
I'm going to say open-sourcing won't come full force until there is a level of confidence in the platform -- grid stability. A reworked interface and tool-sets to include better web integration. A solid architecture specification. 2008 for LL is mostly about hunkering down and planning the next phase of attack. I just don't see a rush to go OS in 2008, it's on the board but realistically not likely to happen.

2. "Linden Lab will announce interoperability of some aspect of the avatars with some other world or platform." Agreed.
The only thing missing right now is an accessible API in order to exchange with another platform. This is something that a knowledgeable developer could be whip up in a few hours for 'some aspect'. Which platform or world that's an interesting take. FB? Maybe short-term, long-term I would think GOS (Google OpenSocial) would be a better candidate, FB is a walled garden playing in their own sandbox. What's GOM btw?

3." New open-ended worlds no significant influx of users, from Second Life or otherwise." Agreed.
The mass of the population won't hit it off with virtual worlds just yet, it's not because of the need for a new computer or the difficult learning curve. For most there is still no value and attention is scarce -- people go where their friends are. Mass will be thumbing away on these new tools for the 'next platform' and continue to use 2D social networks. As for SL residents, most have too much invested whether that be in relationships or business to drop out. They will continue to be resilient.

4. "Linden Lab will open up internally a second grid." Fuzzy.
Open a second grid open to all yes. Open a second grid for a select few, I hope it's the former.

5. "A blackout in the United States and/or Europe..." Open.
Could happen, could not. Are you padding these predictions ;)

6. "The population of Second Life is going to keep growing and growing." Agreed.
I don't see why it shouldn't. Corporations on the way out aren't going to stop it, nor the media. As long as LL doesn't blatantly drop the ball this year, 2008 will be a strong year. Corporations will keep coming and going it's not going to stop in 2008. Some will continue to make the same mistakes of yesteryear. For people downplaying virtual worlds, at the end of the day those who knock it today will be the very same people in bed later down the road. All that is needed is time.

7. "An attempt will be made to sue someone for fraud due to one of the banking or stock exchange scams in SL." Agreed.
I tell people all the time. If you don't like risks stay clear of these two. All I see a judge laughing at this point. But through in the right ingredients and it could come out favorable.

8. "A libel suit over a blog about a business in Second Life will be launched."
Could happen, could not.

9. "Failure of these 2 suits will put a stop for a while to all the litigation activity around SL." Agreed.

10-11 Open.

12. "Big corporations will not be using SL more." Disagree.
I would say some won't entirely burn their bridges just yet.

13. "Suicide and/or murder will play out related to Second." Open.
Could happen but I'm weighing more on another year or two for the population to grow.

14. "The more mainstream blogosphere will become more involved in virtual worlds." Open.

15. "significant community that will move over to Red Light Center" Open.
Never used it.

16. "Virtual worlds won't get easier to use." Open.
User interface of VW's will get a bit better over time but there will still be a learning curve, that won't go away. Unless the way one interacts with a virtual world changes completely -- as natural as everyday life and that's a long way off.

17. "Advertisers will continue to flop." Open.
Advertising though a very old industry is still being reworked and experimented with even outside of VW. There will always be a percentage of failure, there will be some successes. Advertising in VW will continue to be challenging and meticulous but it's important for things to fail too. Copying won't necessarily work for those that emulate, I would say advertising in VW needs to be tailored specifically for the platform, the target audiences habits, and middle ground of acceptability.

18. "The emphasis on the corporate sponsorship of the arts, humanities, and sciences will take the stress from having to be as concerned about copyright theft." Open.
That model could work and is already looking like it could become a trend a la Rezzable but it won't work for everyone. If it's pro resident I'm all for it.

19, 20. No idea.

My all encompassing theme for 2008, empowerment.

Pavig Lok

This is why, though I don't agree with all of Prok's views on things, I think he's worth watching. A very well thought out group of predictions here.

My thoughts:

1) LL will not opensource in 2008 - I think they'll partially opensource but they'll never completely opensource their server tech. Their business model rides on it. But they will opensource enough to allow interoperability, under the influence of the IBM parthership on technology, as that IS in their interest and gives their platform competative advantage.

2) Yups - they've announced interoperability and they'll move on that as quick as they can, which will be slow :P But given a year I think we'll see something.

3) Indeed 2008 will not be the year kaneva and other neiche worlds take off, but will be the year that folk figure out that there may be some kinda use for them. It'll be the year that these startups start to realize that their walled garden aproach is going to stunt most of their growth and start making moves on inter-world connectivity. New worlds are more effort to join than new web2.0 apps and nobody want's to deal with all the multiple clients. Phones will grow this year as wap2.0 takes off. If i had the money i'd be buying stocks in thumb medication and spectacles.

4) LL will open up another grid. FIC theory asside I think this is a solid prediction. I'd bet you a lindy IBM might be a "special friend" in this instance. Folk say they have their own grid and tech, but they're well known for developing multiple technologies that compete for the same space anyways.

5) A blackout will mess with virtual worlds - I think there'll be some kinda disaster, these things happen and statistically we're due for one. When it happens I think virtual worlds will be the least of our problems. Local banking and comms chaos, and financial markets reacting to say the sudden disapearance of wall street for a day, would probably distract folk long enough from VR that they wouldn't miss it too much while it was gone.

6) Rumors of the demise of SL have been greatly overblown. It'll keep chugging along and the lowered expectations will allow it to continue to do what it does best rather than beeing seen as the next big thing. People will start to use it for useful stuff rather than exciting stuff (and social things are useful too from a utilitarian perspective.) So SL will steadily grow in a meat and 3 veg kinda way.

7) an attempt WILL be made to sue for fraud regarding the banks in SL. This is because at some point someone will have forgotten to tick all the indemnity boxes in their "contract" for services in sl. Further to Prok's prediction I think a parliamentary probe will prompt a government to try and legislate in some kind of way regarding virtual worlds and property, currencies, buisiness practices. This will cause leftie activists to get up in arms about said legislation. This will not be because they're lefties, but because governments just don't get it, and everyone will be a bit upset about it. That is unless they're the litigous types that stand to make a buck out of suing folk because of the changes in law, or gain competitive advantage due to increased legislative burden on their competition.

8) a libel suit will be filed - considering how litigous folk are becomming about next to nothing I think this is a good bet.

9) I disagree. There seems to be no slowing in the growth in litigation around IT contracts, intellectual property, and general legal opportunism. There will be other Stroker Serpentines who do have a legal leg to stand on who will win, and that'll renew the hopes of those folk who seek to legislate or legally poke virtual world businesses for revenue.

This includes governments, and while some will seek to tax virtual worlds the competetive advantage will go to those countries that leave them alone (as vw business bottom lines will be 10-30% better off in terms of running costs, which can be passed on to their clients/consumers). Those who implement VAT will find that the cost of implementing it, accounting it, and the impossibility of enforcing it produce significant competetive disadvantage as it drains money from service provision into accountants pockets and prompts offshoring.

10) I'll have to trust Prok when it comes to speculation on the real estate markets.

11) China !!! but not SL. South East Asia too - there will be virtual worlds with much higher per capita penetration and truly staggering populations - but they'll be isolated to language groups that use non roman or cyrillic alphabets (ie ones that use characters for words rather than an alphabet). This is more due to the funamental difference in the way folk type and the difficulty of adapting language services to the many idiosyncratic input methods these languages use.

12) big corporations will not be using sl more. Yups, but small corporations will. Big corps already have strong slow moving communications infrastructure full of legacy systems and culture. They'll need McKinsey on it for a year before they figure out their key messages for their internal comms rollouts and will have spent hundreds of thousands before they even move on these things. Their workers may develop local ad-hoc cultures that involve VW's but that won't be on the corporate radar.

Small fast moving or cash strapped companies will begin to use SL for internal communications (or other worlds). There are some things it does cheap and cheerful that cost significantly more for a pro non roll your own solution - telepresence and ad-hoc presentations for example. This will be a growth market - well not really a market, more DIY.

13) Something like a csi style murder or suicide will happen. The world is big. Just about everything happens somewhere, sometime. The odds are in it's favour and I think this is a good bet. I shudder to think what the gonzo media will do with it.

14) The mainstream blogsphere will start using sl - yup. Non geeks are arriving in sl now. I think there's plenty of folk who, if they have time for blogging, have enough time on their hands and are chatty enough to hang out in VW's. When your aunt is doing it then it won't be long before it's well represented amongst non-geek bloggers.

15) Age verification will proceed - well a bit. For americans who seem to have the world's largest data footprint it won't be surprising that some company you don't know has everything they need to verify who you are. This is information that, if you lost your wallet you would panic over, but if some company you don't know has it it all seems ok. Most countries in the rest of the world have extremely strong protections against that kind of data on the public record and how it can be used. So I predict that for most of the world age verification will be slow, buggy and arduous for the next year.

As for red light center, I think that is a great idea. It also got me to thinking about the "use" of kaneva and "social" worlds of that sort, and when they're purpose specific (such as this sexy one) perhaps the market isn't as small as I initially imagined. Neiche specific pluggable worlds such as this might take off - particularly if there's sex or dating involved.

16) yups

17) advertisers will continue to flop and corporate sponsored arts will continue to rise. I think this is very likely - push media doesn't work so well on the internets and particularly in VW's. The current corporate model on the web is to leverage existing communities (such as web2.0 or interest groups) and leave customer service to their main websites - this will happen in SL too. Sponsorship of arts, letters and communities is the cheapest bang for buck in that kind of situation.

18) The emphasis on corporate sponsorship of the arts will take the stress from having to be concerned with copyright theft as events and experiences will become more important than objects and textures. Hear hear! Though corporate folk will also come with their own IP baggage when they put their cash and name to things. The trend however will be against worrying so much, and about time too - the focus on stuff in virtual worlds rather than people as the main revenue model devalues their main strength.

19) TV will feast on SL for free content - this is a given. The residents of sl will not be moraly challenged by it so much though as they'll get their fifteen minutes, which represents social currency in world. They will still wake up in the morning feeling dirty and cheap.

20) Everyone will have a metaplace. Folk who currently base their revenue model on Your Attention(TM) will hate this as they don't own it. Folk will monetize it effectively, but you've never heard of them. Some will be bought for obscenely inflated prices, and later disapoint their new owners. By that time we'll be distracted by another shiny thing and not notice.

Well that's my two cents :P

Digado | Mapping the Metaverse

"16. Virtual worlds won't get easier to use, but younger people will figure them out faster."

I loved that one - though I doubt its entirely true. Even those used to gaming interfaces find the interaction design of SL lacking and we are already seeing some improvements. (the new onRez client is not half-bad for instance, it has more of a browser feeling)

Other 19 where good to, though I can;t say I agree on all - but as we are talking about the future there is not really a right or wrong way to theorize ;)

- Rick
http://digado.nl | Mapping the Metaverse

Prokofy Neva

I disagree that we need to make virtual world viewers more like browsers. Worlds are worlds; they are not the Internet. I don't think they should look like complex airplane pilot controls, either. To the extent possible, they should be simplified but with pull downs for the more complex things that in fact we do get used to (like reducing particles for a particle attack or checking FPS).

A virtual world browser could like like a Baedecker's or icons on an international highway or something. I'm still in search for the metaphor. I don't need it to look like a webpage with its conventions.

Digado | Mapping the Metaverse

@Prokofy Neva

Well i'd agree with you, but you and I are not the 'masses' virtual worlds have yet to reach out to.

Right now, the software is to complicated. Maybe I should elaborate on this some from an interaction designers point of view, but fact is people understand browsers. They get the interface and translation of 'wish' > tool > action > goal. Tool being either the browser or a different kind of interface.

I bet the most common complaints are from the huge percentage of users leaving within the first 14 days of second life are:
1. Lack of purpose
2. Lag
3. The interface

Using a system 'they' are used to can remove those concerns quite easily.

A second reason is the way I see Metaverses as being part of the big mash up. It just adds the usps of 3d and instant communication to a lot of other, already existing 2d web applications. A browser standard would help integrate the two more smoothly. Those used to 2d facebook might find it easier to cross over to 3d facebook if the interface didn't change, and just makes the experience more rich.

Prokofy Neva

You have to wonder, given how extraordinarily complex the World of Warcraft interface is, with gadzillion powers, spells, complex inventories, actions, stuff happening, battles, that people complain about SL. I think this is partly a generational thing.

But the lack of "a game" is probably more of a deal-breaker than anything else.

Digado | Mapping the Metaverse

Yes, the gaming goal of warcraft challenges users to learn their interface more so then Second Life.

Also, the learning curve of Warcraft is a lot less steep. You don't need to know everything from the get-go. As you play and grow in the game, more options become available to you and are explained in a good way.

The tutorials are a lot more interesting and immersive when comapred to Second Lifes 'your own your own/help panel' approach of Second Life tutorials. You get properly trained and the people playing Warcraft are willing to learn, knowing they wont get very far without those lessons.

The players of Warcraft are 'Digitally Adopted' - They navigate trough 3d like a second nature due to the experience with previous games (MMORPG's are hardly a starting point for gamers). Thus limiting the adoption issues to a 3d environment.

However, the interface of Warcraft has VASTLY less options compared to the Second Life client, with all its tabs, panels, (hidden) options, settings, building.

So its down to Warcraft having:
1. Immersive interesting tutorials
2. Less steep learning curve
3. Challenge to learn (it means growth)
4. Necessity to learn (you will not go further without 'upgrading' your ability's)
5. Different user (Already used to 3d and 'application interaction')

Prokofy Neva

The learning curve in WoW is incredibly steep if you aren't a kid. I could never master it -- and have no desire to.

People speak about "the learning curve" in SL mainly because they think of the goal of scripting and building -- which is hard, and has specialized tools. If you look at what most people use it for, it isn't as hard as imagined. The hard part is making the appearance and moving. If you put ready-made outfits/skins for people to put on (as some of the sites made by the Sheep have done), you remove a lot of that stress right away, and then people come to doing appearance/shopping for stuff later.

That leaves moving. I think the hardest thing for people in SL to master is the thing that gives you the most freedom: camera angles and flying successfully. Mouselook is just too hard to use. It's misleading to even put people in Mouselook because most people can't successfully control it.

Prokofy Neva

BTW, check out this guy's page, and his spoutings, and my comments:


And here's his email to me:

The usual.


You can stop wasting your time now replying on my website. I think its great you want to have a discussion but you seem keen on making it personal instead of giving me any reason to see you as anything but a ranting kid wanting some kudo's, and kudos you wont get with this sort of reasoning. You can disagree as much as you want and I will post anything where you can refrain from insulting. Though your lack of real life experience is kind of worrying, you sound so out of touch. Both your social skills and your reasoning.

If you want to prove me wrong on this, try re-writing your arguments in a mature fashion, just know I'm not holding my breath on that one ;)

Thanks for taking the time to read,
- Rick van der Wal


Your last post in particulair made me (really) laugh (in response to my predictions), again, I can't post it but I am certainly going to save it. Apart from being so wrong about me it litteraly brought a tear to my eye of laughter, it has shown me another thing. Whenever I feel I am losing myself in the possibiltys of the metaverse I'll remember this one, bitter person utterly lost in her own little world of digital bliss - and how this is nothing were anyone could ever hope to go. Thank you for that :)

Prokofy Neva

Ha, ha, ha. Why am I NOT surprised you are 28? Arrogant ass.

You insult people by saying 90 percent of the world they make is "crap" and "junk". And you don't expect a push-back? Hello?

What a narrow-minded crank. I'm not bitter about anything because I *tolerate* things that are not to my taste in SL. I move on to the next one.

You're the one having a hysterical, allergenic attack about "junk" that makes you discard the whole place; YOU are the one who is bitter and predicting that not only is SL tainted, but the entire industry of virtual worlds (!) is harmed by what you imagine to be SL's failures.


Perhaps you mean *your own* failures?

Gosh, that's really considerate of you, big guy, to set up little cramped, dickless rules about how I can write on your blog, what contorted, politically-correct position I can twist myself into. Hell, no.

Why are young people today so conservative?!

>I am not preventing a discussion at all, I just can't post your rubbish where you keep trying to insult me as a person. This isn't about me, and shouldnt be about you, its about a difference of opinion. I can't believe someone 28 years younger has to explain this to you. I guess age isn't everything...

You can't deny you are bitter about something - I am really not the first person to tell you this. The way you voice your opinion is just so poor - personal attacks, narrowmindedness, hypocrisy, there is no consistancy in what you say sometimes except the consistancy you will try to say it in such a way it is bound to piss of the person you are talking to. It makes for interesting reading sometimes though - ill give you that, the way you lose discussions on your own blog with your own out of context comments, desperatly trying to get a point across, epic.

And nowhere do I claim a guru status, I am not writing for the people inside Second Life, and if you have valid points i will give you credit for them if presented in an acceptable way for a blog thats mostly about research, my own research.

Prokofy Neva

Oh, just one comment for now. I never realized that my adopted moniker, "Infamous Antagonist," is like the antipode of "Hiro Protagaonist" in "Snowcrash". Brilliant!

Email from the Digado guy:

And I can't believe your math skills, or reading skills. 28 years younger makes me 23. (Start with 51, subtract 28. Sometimes its easier to do it in little steps, like, subtract the 20 first, which leaves 31, then subtract the remaining 8, leaving 23!)

Other then that your email mostly applies to your own conclusions drawn from something you've probably been reading just as 'good' as my last reply, so they are hardly worth commenting on. I'd really like you to point out to me where you see these things I say about not tolerating the content. I think a lot of it is junk (not in the last place your avatar... my god you'd think someone spending this much time in Second Life for over 3 years would have at least something presentable... but then again presentation is not your strong side its it) but i tolerate it just as much as anyone... But hey, this 'taking a stance' for the community (or 'the geeks' as you lovingly call them) is not really your thing either so best not mention it again.

The best part so far was the 'I am not bitter...' - it means you either just act like it, or are in denial. From a marketing point of view its a good way to get noticed i guess, get some drama, some attention, controversy is good. Some of your postings you make the people of Valleywag sound like hippies. (though I like the little joke where you call yourself the a ntagonist, adversary and opposite of protagonist, the last name of the lead figure of Snowcrash. I will give you a kudo for that.)


I am not conservative - I just don't want these kind of pissing contests on my blog - they are enjoyable for a while, but in the end this is leading nowhere. Nothing constructive anyhow - mild entertainment, perhaps :)

I am not asking for political correctness, just when you adress me as a person, you either use IM or email - you weren't reaching out to anyone else - and here I have responded to your petty flaming which really gave you a chance to work on this act you do. When you write down your responses like a normal person would, pretty much like the first comment you made - i will gladly accept it, and sincerely thank you for your input, as i still value your opinion on the issue (not on me, mind you - you couldnt be more wrong...). Though that is probably too conservative and politically correct for you. As you can see by this pointless discussion about who is being arrogant about what I don't avoid confrontation, I just think there is a place for 2 different kinds of 'argueing'. You are the one insisting on keeping it personal, so i give you personal email.

Going to bed now, looking forward to your reply showing me how you've drawn even more conclusions about me based on stuff you barely red, calling me arrogant and other petnames you can come up with,

Nite nite 'Catherine' (Yes, thats a jab at you using my first name in one of the blocked comments - while on your own blog you describe how it was 'used' against you, good stuff)

Digado | Mapping the Metaverse

Awww, you forgot the part where you send me an email just to notify me you where 51.

Then when I replied I could believe someone 28 years younger had to explain to you expressing your opinion is this way you do - filled with personal attacks, flames and assumptions - you might not get you the best result if you REALLY want a discussion on topic.

Then of course you replied how you where not surprised I was 28... Yeah... owch.

But i am glad i was able to teach you at least 2 things. Math and the Hiro thing - you are very welcome on both accounts :)

Prokofy Neva

I didn't "forget" any part, you already mentioned it.

And if I neglected to notice that you said you were "28 years younger" and not "28 years old," what of it? At least there's hope, if you're younger than you might smarten up in the next 5 years when you really *are* 28.

People who have to resort to fisking and literalism and taunting like this usually don't have much intelligence, or much of a case to make, so thanks for sharing : )

Prokofy Neva

Oh, BTW, you may not have learned this:

"protagonist" is actually a generic term that means "hero of the story," or "the main character".

So...it's not just that the guy is named "Hiro Protagonist," it means that he's the hero, or protagonist, of that story. "Agony" referring to acting and such. It's Greek, I guess.

Then there's...antagonist, who is against the hero. It's a generic term.

I realize literature may not be your strong suit.

Digado | Mapping the Metaverse

I did know, I pointed it out to you remember.

And the fact you thought I was 28 just illustrates how well you actually read before you form your opinion, just like your last statements. Keep going with these comments, you seem really eager to prove a point but I don't see it yet so I just keep hoping you are going somewhere with this.

Actually... I am not, we both know its not going anywhere but its fun to watch you make an ass out of yourself on your own blog, so please continue.

P.S. You did 'forgot' to mention the fact you send me an email with just one line: stating you where 51 and 'done more things than i can imagine' - I think you where really keen on trying to impress me there... Don't think it worked :(

Perhaps your next 'clever' remark where you take an ever better shot at trying to insult my intelligence will do it, have another go, i'll promise to read it in the morning!

Prokofy Neva

No, it illustrates that you are a literalist and fisker in your writings, if you can waste time in an e-mail bragginga about being 28 years younger than me (this is a plus lol?!). When I see a snotty email like that coming in, I scan it, and I don't feel that I need to read every nasty, smug, and malicious word. Life is short, and then you die.

To *keep* harping on it lets me know you don't have a thought of any importance in your arrogant brainless young head. Grow up.

Hehe you can only hope to live and have as interesting a life as I have had, with as many accomplishments. Screw you : )

You're welcome to go on trolling here and calling attention to your ignorance, you'll be ignored. Buh-bye!

Digado | Mapping the Metaverse

Haha, you are quite bad at this. First for some obscure reason you place our entire conversation on your blog, then ask me to stop 'trolling'. You mail me you are 51 like its some statement, then tell me I mail you because I am proud of my age. Hilarious. Though you are right about one thing.

Let bygones be bygones. I won't be continuing our highly intellectual debate into the new year either - even though I have enjoyed it. The highlight for me was that email with just one line. When I told you I was literally laughing so hard it brough a tear to my eye I ment that moment, the moment I pictured you sitting there. Behind her desk, on her computer, 51 years of age. Children growing up and mom typing. "How dare he.. how dare he tell me not to insult him! - I'll show him... doesn't he know me?" and indeed he didn't.

But I have learned. I have learned quite a lot about you. How you are unaware of the bitterness you display, how you have been using a 'title' you didn't quite fully understand. How you have trouble reading sometimes and how thats difficult when you want to/have to put labels on everything and everyone and all you have to go on is text. I learned how you see personal attacks as a way of making insightful comments about something we could actually have had a meaningful discussion about, and last but not least some kind of fetish for doing it in public, there was absolutely no reason for this dialogue to be put out here.

Best wishes for the new year, and fare thee well!
- Rick

Prokofy Neva

I think publishing private emails that are abusive and nasty is a good way to flush out the sort of anonymous bad behaviour that young men often indulge in, so that they might face some peer pressure, and some sense of shame.

I also think that if someone sends their real-life name without any caveat about it in such an abusive email, and it's a name that also linked to their site, there isn't any crime in publishing it.

It usually helps end abusive emails like that when you publicize them and help name and shame people who behave that way.

Misreading a statement about age is hardly "proof" that someone "can't read". It merely means that this particular abusive email coming after several of them didn't get a close examination, and a mistake was made. Big deal.

As for not thinking immediately of Hiro Protagonist, long before there was Snowcrash, there was the idea of "Antagonist". "Infamous Antagonist" is merely a term that popped into my mind one day, who knows why, and I used it. It has no special meaning for me. I don't live my life inspired by, or centered around, the memes of Snowcrash. Snowcrash is a vile book that has spawned a malicious culture of asshole arrogant tekkies.

Digago is one of them.

"Mom" didn't sit there and say "how dare he". I merely laughed and moved on. Youth are such insolent assholes -- and so conformist and unaware and non-thoughtful. The Internet has only amplified this natural generational tendency.

Originally, my posts on this person's blog were simply an effort to cut through the conformist geeky rhetoric about Web 2.0 that you see everywhere on their blogs like wallpaper. "Second Life can't be like Compuserve, closed gardens lose." "Oh, GOOD Linden Lab, you made like Google, hooray for you!" "OH, BAD Linden Lab, you made like Google but oops, ugly stuff I don't find tasteful comes up in search because I style myself as a sensitive Silicon Valley aspiree and find clubs and suburbia "beneath me"." etc. Boring.

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