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Desmond Shang

Prok, I never said I wouldn't recognise your Parliament! I recognise it just fine. From way over here.

If you want something official, do us a favour though, scratch something out on fancy letterhead so we'll know what to call your demesne and so forth. We wouldn't want any gaffes, would we? It makes the guests so uncomfortable when that happens.

In other words, please don't make us memorise a litany of seventy-five separate region names when referring to your area.

Might I gently proffer the recommendation: "Prokistan"?

Prokistan. noun, modern English. An area of mainland, culturally diffuse but generally under the sway of Prokofy's Parliament. Residents: Prokistani, Prokofites.

State bird: the Landsale Yellow Gerrymander.

Whatcha think?

There's also your personal honourific. The Right Honourable Prokofy Neva, Leader of Prokistan, Defender of the Mainland, Keeper of the Dam, and Duke of Ross Infohub. That's a fair start, mmm?

Hey, at very least, you'll get a spate of people renting land from you just to have 'embassies'. We expect diplomatic passes and the right to double-park anywhere we please without consequence.

Baron Frampton Von Higglesworth, MD Esqu.

Thread demands pics of Prokofy wearing all sorts of fancy medals, in some Russian military uniform.

Elizabeth Chase



Your question "What form of "governance" would work in this company-owned simulator world?" is exactly the point I was trying to make. I don't know the answer and I most certainly did not offer myself up as a leader, nor do I intend to do so.

We have never had a real conversation so everything you said about my real life and my SL friendships is speculation on your part. You got one or two basic facts right, I will give you that. For the most part, however, you are way off the mark.

Prokofy Neva

No, it's not speculative, dear, you are a predictable type. You tell all in your blog, and then you blush and stamp your feet and say no one understands you. You write that you are an Obama leftie and a burned-out government employee and then you whine and cry that you are misunderstood when I point out that this type of person no longer has use for representative democracy. You yourself laud community organizing instead of representative democracy. You yourself imagine through Internet tools like your beloved tribal plurk or SL groups that you can "run things". You just think everyone will happily go along with this. But they won't.

If I ask the same question you do, I don't answer it with "my partner Zha Ewry and the AWG". I don't answer it with "My friends Dale Innis and Harper Beresford" and all their beliefs and recipes for the grid you can find on their blogs. I have a really different take on SL and RL and I articulate it forcefully. Community organizing in a controlled company town like this is a ruse, and it means that company shills like Dale Innis will run it, if not explicitly, tacitly.

I will not be having "a real conversation" with you because you are a self-deluded phony and a fake.

Dale Innis

So... you complain that various people (in your own made-up fantasy pictures of them) don't like representative democracy and want the world to be run by people like them, and then you propose that "a cross-sim parliament of land owners is the absolute best base format", and you (as a large land-owner) don't see any irony at all there?

Classic. :)

Prokofy Neva

Yes, typical of *your hypocrisy* -- classic! -- that you can dismiss representative democracy in real life, scorn it thoroughly and opt for "Internet tools", and endorse your little friend Chestnut who wants "community organizers" to organize and run SL by their lights, and then trash *a parliament*. Do you grasp what a parliament is?

A cross-sim parliament of land owners *is* representative democracy, duh. Each person who owns 512 or more is represented.

Obviously, like other geeks who trash representative democracy, they trash it by saying somebody or something isn't represented *enough*. They themselves have absolutely ZERO intention of EVER making ANYTHING that is representatiev, opting for self-identified or company-identified "community organizers" (look how fast the Linden tool Hamlet endorsed the idea).

But the minute a landlord suggests making a land-based parliament, OMG, the horror, the evil, the greed, the oppression, if only people who own land are in it.

And thus, each time someone tries to make the most logical sort of parliament, with a ready-made concept of "citizenship" and "stake" that of course is followed from history, it is trashed, and thus representative parliament is discredited every time.

People who are landless -- you and your Plurkettes may be among them as you just crash on other people's or corporate sims -- can make their own representative process. I fail to see why any alt or NIPF griefer should be granted a mandate, a seat, a franchise.

The Lindens have already tilted their own manipulation of the population by picking only scripters and content-creators, and rarely land owners (unless they are very compliant) for their various FIC operations. Anshe manipulates this concept, too, by calling "content-creator unions" (sigh).

A landowners parliament is a very, very good way to fight the power of these other lobbies. As I noted, let them organize and make themselves coherent and ask for a seat in parliament *shrugs*. I don't see why people who don't own land should be gathering to make policy on it.

What about people who rent land, or who have "bought" islands? Should they be able to participate in parliament? Perhaps they should! After all, they help pay the parliamentarians' bills, just like we pay the Lindens' bills, and therefore should get a representative seat on their board.

As I noted in my essay, I don't think landowners should coopt their tenans into their political bloc by default, and "bus" them to elections.So I'm open for debate about the best way to represent those who pay for land.

I don't see why I need to represent sandboxers, alts, occasional meeting-attenders, etc. etc. in the name of some putative democracy. I see it as a red herring, used by those who have absolutely no intention of ever having a representative democracy in the first place, whatsoever, but favour groups elevated to Linden FIC status and "community organizing".

Dale Innis

What's so special about land owners? Not that I have anything *against* them, but why are they the natural group to have power, and everyone else can maybe try to convince them to share it a little, if they're very good?

Why should someone who owns 512m2 somewhere and does little or nothing with it be a more natural or logical person to be represented than someone who has a thriving store on a rental parcel, or who makes are that gets shown in other people's galleries, or who runs a very popular group that holds it meetings in the public meeting spaces, or who organizes events that are held on public land, or someone whose inventory is full of clothes that they've spent more on than that 512m2 owner has, and wears them to parties and events held on land they don't own?

How does owning some land automatically give someone a stake in the world more than any of those other things?

(And note that merely calling me names for having asked the question doesn't count as having answered it.)

Dale Innis

Oh and yeah, just to satisfy your ad hominem, I do own land; I have a nice little park on the mainland that I'm very fond of. I also rent on a couple of private regions, and I have various friends who let me use their spaces (and I let various friends use mine), and I have some company-owned space that I'm allowed to use also.

So I'd be allowed to be in your Parliament. :) But I still don't understand the rationale behind it.

Ann Otoole

There is no government. This is not a country. The only thing the so-called "Land Owner" class can do is hire a consumer advocate.

You are leasing hosting plans for a web service nothing more.

Prokofy Neva

Land ownership is a marker for stake in the world, and activity in the world, whether with a store, a home, or a nonprofit. There isn't any other marker. We don't pay taxes. There isn't "citizenship" as there isn't reall a country. So that's what we have.

Your scorn of land is that seen from rootless cosmopolitans from time immemorial.

Actually, Dale even rented from me in one of my alt's communities lol. That's the funny thing. I wonder why he was a friend on that alt and then realized.

Company-owned space -- well perhaps the parliament has to make a special ruling on this as they do represent class enemies of a certain type that can crush the fledgling democratic legislature if allowed to overwhelm it too early.

Prokofy Neva

People who do not own land must not be allowed to decide policies that affect land. It's just that simple.

Dale Innis

There are plenty of other possible markers for investment in the world besides land. Net Lindens purchased, for instance, size of inventory, number of groups belonged to or moderated, size of friends lists, net money payed to LL for any purpose. Land's really not unique or special that way. I don't scorn land, I just don't think that landowners are the only people that should be automatically enfranchised. Seems very eighteenth-century.

(No, I've never rented land from any of your alts. The one that was on my friends list has been there since we had an interesting political discussion on one of the U S Capital builds, back before you suddenly decided I was Evil. I suggested that we exchange cards, and you offered friendship. I was flattered! :) )

"People who do not own land must not be allowed to decide policies that affect land.": is it true for all X that "People who do not own X must not be allowed to decide policies that affect X", or is land special?

Prokofy Neva

Those people can make a parliament as they see fit *shrugs*. The usually tend to make very exclusive guilds, in fact.

Land is indeed unique and special, it is a commodity, sometimes a very expensive one. Major content creators usually need land, and need it in a good location, and need it to look good itself. Bolsheviks such as yourself are constantly trying to devalue land, discount land, pretend land doesn't mean anything, but of course it does, and people go on valuing it without you.

You are evil. You did rent in a newbie village once, if I'm not mistaken.

Once again, I don't purport to insist to be put in a content makers' guild and decide policies there; I wouldn't be admitted. In the same way, I fail to see how people who don't own land would get to decide policies about land. These are very basic premises that have been in human institutions for centuries. Of course, you always imagine you can step over everything, or on everything.

Prokofy Neva

You can't skip steps.

Here's a history of the British parliament:

"The English Parliament traces its origins to the Anglo-Saxon Witenagemot. In 1066, William of Normandy brought a feudal system, by which he sought advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws. In 1215, the tenants-in-chief secured the Magna Carta from King John, which established that the king may not levy or collect any taxes (except the feudal taxes to which they were hitherto accustomed), save with the consent of his royal council, which slowly developed into a parliament.

In 1265, Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester summoned the first elected Parliament. The franchise in parliamentary elections for county constituencies was uniform throughout the country, extending to all those who owned the freehold of land to an annual rent of 40 shillings (Forty-shilling Freeholders)."

The idea of having freeholders, i.e. land holders who weren't tenants, as a basis of parliament is found in other European parliaments as well.

As can be seen, the kings tenants and clergy were in these first parliaments. Clergy? What is the equivalent of clergy in SL? Are we to believe that scripters are clergy and include them on that basis? Or perhaps bloggers? Or what would be a clergy equivalent? The fact is, the Church owned land, too!

So landholders and tenants are a very good place to start for any parliament.

We have not yet obtained a Magna Carta from the Lindens -- we are centuries behind.

Dale Innis

Wow, not only am I a "Bolshevik", but I'm flat out "evil"? That'll teach me to disagree with you.

Of course people value land; it's valuable! I never said otherwise. Your technique of attacking people for opinions they don't hold and things they didn't say is one of the things that makes it so difficult to talk to you.

I am only pointing out that other things are valuable as well. Content creators often need land. But land owners often need content! How many people would rent your land if they didn't have a house, furniture, art, to put on it? The economy has many parts; your desire to privilege land ownership over everything else is what I'm trying to figure out.

"You did rent in a newbie village once, if I'm not mistaken." I love statements like this. :) I'm pretty sure you're mistaken, but I'm not certain. It's been a long two years. I *am* certain, though, that an alt of yours used to be on my friends list because we had an interesting discussion once, not because of anything about land rental.

"I fail to see how people who don't own land would get to decide policies about land." Well, should people who don't own ad farms be allowed to decide policies about ad farms? Should people who don't own dance clubs be allowed to decide policies about dance clubs? Should people who don't own flamethrowers be allowed to decide policies about flamethrowers?

"You can't skip steps": what could you possibly mean by that? We have to go through a period of hereditary monarchy before we can get to democracy? Because of some inexorable Law of History? What a very Marxist idea. :)

Prokofy Neva

What a twisted little liar you are, Dale, aside from being a tool.

You just wrote this: "Land's really not unique or special that way. I don't scorn land, I just don't think that landowners are the only people that should be automatically enfranchised."

You then double back and suddenly claim that you value land. But you don't. You just said it's not special. And you don't think it's a reason to enfranchise people exclusively.

And look how you viciously misrepresent my statements to make yourself look good. I don't say that "landowners are the only people who should be enfranchised". I saw that a parliament must start with landowners. I indicated that those who aren't landowners must organize themselves coherently without alts and criminals and fight for a seat in parliament. They'd really have to make the case, and be organized, and remove the alts and criminals (griefers) from their midst to be part of the decision-making process about land -- otherwise, they are destructive to land values and private property. It's just that simple. We are in that historical context, indeed.

I'm not interested in parsing who is or is not "automatically enfranchised" by God or the Linden Entity. I'm interested in making a parliament of landowners because that's what makes sense -- nothing about us without us. Your little script kiddie friends in the AWG without land have no stake, and shouldn't be allowed to get their paws on decisions about people's land, which they do not own.

Other classes in society have their values and their uses too. However, the content makers with businesses usually tend to have land. If there are script kiddies without land, or who only sell on Slexchange.com, let them band together and demand a seat in parliament when they are organized and coherent. What I fail to see is why they need to disrupt and dilute a parliament of small-holders whose first task is to organize themselves, not constantly make way for other interests that in fact destroy them and are out to kill them.

AGain, what a lying conniving thug you are. I didn't say *anywhere* anything that would privilege land ownership over everything else.

In fact, I am "difficult to talk to" because I expose your lying thuggery. That's all. You yourself are snakes, and difficult to talk to because you lie and are thugs, constantly. Claiming I am demanding *privilegse" for land ownership is just such lying and thuggery.

In fact, we are in a situation where land ownership is considered the enemy -- far from privileged! Where land barons are routinely considered evil. Where they are considered undesirable by the Lindens. Where flippers of land are considered the scum of SL, who should be banished -- I was just reading a blog to that very effect by River Rock. Land is constantly denigrated, marginalized, dumbed down, described as less important.

I think my campaign to address that imbalance is terribly important. Land should be at the center of the SL power structure for a very simple reason: *it pays the Lindens' revenue*. It is at the heart of the inworld economy, and more importantly, the heart of the Lindens' economy.

To treat it as mere shelf space, as a mere frame surrounding content, which is king, is entirely wrong. It is rightfully a separate and very much equal commodity in its own right. That's what I insist on. I don't insist on *privileging* of land as a commodity or a sector of the economy. I insist on equal treatment of it,, recognition of its essential nature, and regard of it, as the essential factor it is in Second Life. It is an absolutely mandatory part of the economy. Land sales and rentals do not likely make up the largest percent of the economy; most likely content sales do. But it makes up a big percent, and it most assuredly makes up the Lindens' revenue -- full stop.

My effort is to restore land to its proper respectful place. And of course that is seen as cunning little tools like yourself as "privileging land" or "harming others' rights" -- which is sheer unadulterated demagoguery on your part.

In RL, you would not base a parliament in the modern world on land ownership. That would make no sense. You base it on one person/one vote, and representative democracy, by city and state. It's geographical representation, and land ownership, media ownership, Silicon Valley VC ownership -- these influence elections, but they are not the basis of it.

We live in a tyrannical world with a King, back in the 17th or 18th century. That's why I think in this setting, a small-holders parliament has to be how it gets started. If you don't like that idea, start your own goddamn parliament with IBM flakes with too much time on their hands to fly around VWs, and script kiddies from the AWG, I don't care. You can then lobby to try to get representation among the landowners' parliament if you like.

Perhaps if it were called "assembly" or "senate" it might be more palatable, but I see nothing wrong with using the term "parliament" because that's what it is. And the issues it needs to take up, as I outlined, all deal with land. Issues of copyright protection are also important and like any resident of SL, landowners would have a contribution to make.

But ultimately, the matter of the copyright issues would be best decided by content makers, indeed. For example, if they all, as a group, decided that IP protection no longer mattered to them, then it would be hard for me to go on campaigning on this issue with regard to open sims. I wouldn't have any class backing, I would just be a crank on this issue. But I dare say they will not take a position like that, and that landowners would likely, respecting private property as they do, take a positive view of the concerns of content creators.

When I say steps can't be skipped, it's because they truly can't be skipped when we live under a King. These are harsh realities that have to be addressed. This isn't Hegel or Marx but just plain common sense. Indeed we appear to have to go through a period of hereditary monarchy, as Philip finds one of his distant cousins in Silicon Valley to rule, and that cousin then finds his former brothers from his principality to take up positions in the company. Indeed we will be long coming out of this phase of monarchy, you can be sure of it.

People who own land should decide policies of land. They don't have to be owners of ad farmers to be affected by the griefing and extortion from them, so of course they have a right to speak and decide these matters, their land is devalued by these criminal actions, and even the Linden overlords realize this -- you really should get in step with your Master's voice there, Dale.

Ditto clubs -- they often lag entire sims and make it impossible to get home as they take up the avatar slots -- they devalue and make land unusable so of course we all who hold land next to them absolutely must have a say in what is to be done about them, and not only club owners. That's a retarded, contrived, and obnoxious phrasing of the question.

As for this rentals issue, an IBM guy rented in Aztecha some time ago. Putting together the presence of this calling card and the recollection of the IBM guy in the newbie village, it seemed it was you. If it wasn't, fuck you, Dale, it doesn't matter. So what? I said very clearly, "If I'm not mistaken". If I'm mistaken, what of it? Some other IBM dick rented from me, and you had some conversation with an alt at Thinkers. Big fucking deal. You are a tool.

Ann Otoole

So what happens when the inevitable fragmentation happens and the concept of these land holder associations forms into alliances with competing lobbies?

Actually this is all you are forming prok. Lobby groups. You cannot gain any control from the master Linden Lab ever anyway. But you can form lobbies.

So eventually your lobby will become a minority lobby with larger more powerful lobbies made up of more people holding more land than you. Or were you planning to lobby Anshe to get her to take over control of your lobby? Think of it like countries forming with opposing ideologies and political warfare replete with smear campaigns and blogowarfare.

And lobby you can. That is all you can do. And by so doing you are attempting to become that which you despise--A Community Organizer.

Who will Linden Lab listen to? Your lobby?

I can lobby too. On my own. Effectively. I own mainland too. But I am not a land lord. A Lobby Of One. Thus far most of what I have lobbied for has come to pass. Guess I must be doing something right or at least restricting what I wish for to things that are based in realistic possibilities. Perhaps just luck in wanting what Linden Lab was going to do anyway. A much more likely prospect.

Yes what we need are more of your so-called FICs and more little mafias running around with self appointed authorities. NOT.

Sorry land holders are customers like the rest of the residents. You have no more authority than anyone else.

Everyone is blessed equally with having had the opportunity to learn how to choose and correctly spell words, form sentences, and write paragraphs for the purpose of expressing thoughts. And those who chose to learn this rapidly fading art will be more successful at lobbying than others who are typified by incoherent ranting and hostile behavior.

However you do have the option to leave Secondlife and create your own Prok Grid replete with pseudo governments you set up in true banana republic style. Nothing stopping you there.

Fleep Tuque

Prok: Thanks for this post. You raise a bunch of very interesting questions, and I confess that when you post along these lines (political organizing, etc.), I often feel a series of twinges, cringes, and "Hmm, is that what I'm doing?" as you critique the actions of others. For example, I would say that I am engaged in "community organizing" in Chilbo, and if I have to pick from a list of political leanings, I usually pick "progressive" from the list, and I occasionally consider myself a "girl geek" and feel proud of that fact, cause my field is very, very male dominated. And yet, I often agree with at least some (not all) of your criticism aimed at "community organizers, progressives, and the geek religion."

I wonder, how much of what you critique is something I am guilty of myself? I wonder, how much of what I do, using the same or similar words to describe it, I do under familiar labels/names/descriptions simply because I don't have any other vocabulary to use that others would recognize?

So, I'd ask for a little clarification. How can community organizing be genuine, in the context of Second Life? What does it look like when it IS genuine? (Surely we can agree that not everything that is or could be labeled "community organizing" is bad, right?)

To me, genuine "community organizing" begins when someone, or many someones, reaches out to others and a) begins to care about the needs of the people they reach out to, rather than just caring about their own needs (and it has to be genuine caring, which is possible, not everyone is fake), b) begins to develop a sense of these many, varied, and sometimes competing needs and looks for ways to align those with shared needs to become more organized in articulating them, analyzing them, solving or making progress on addressing them - AND - looks for ways to balance competing needs through compromise, collaboration, negotiation, turn-taking, or sometimes due to irreconcilable differences, agreeing to disagree, and c) works to create systems, processes, and work-flow patterns to allow this kind of "addressing needs" to continue into the future, even if the original "organizers" are no longer in the picture.

What does this look like in Second Life? A) could be as simple as meeting the other people in your mainland sim and getting an idea of what their goals are in Second Life. Are there a lot of people trying to make a buck by starting their own business? Are there a lot of artists/creative types who use SL to build neat stuff that entertains them? Are there a lot of RL professionals looking to see how virtual worlds can be used to further their RL professional goals? Who are the people in this sim, what are they trying to accomplish, and what do they need to accomplish it?

B) can only happen when you know enough about the people and their goals/needs to begin to get a sense of where they overlap, where they diverge, and where the points of potential conflict are. Again in the context of Second Life, 5 people in a sim who all want to make a buck might be able to use some consistent signage/architectural elements/teleport systems to try to take advantage of each others' traffic, and the two people both selling business clothes might want to build a store together to have a larger, more diverse (and hopefully attractive) inventory, but there might be some tensions between the people selling business appropriate clothes and the person selling, say, bondage gear and sex toys. Or, the people trying to run a business might have some tension with the group of artists over there who keep building crazy megaprim "art installations" that are an eye-sore if you're trying to create a commercial district, so perhaps the artists could be engaged in incorporating their art into the commercial spaces in ways that are more appreciable for the average clothes buyer, or maybe their art studios could be moved up unto the sky so that at least their stuff isn't in plain view when it's under construction and all plywood-y. Maybe a little plot swapping among those people would solve some of the potential conflicts, by creating a commercial district, an art district, and a red-light district instead of everything all hodge-podge thrown together (zoning, essentially).

And C) can look like some central place where people can meet to continue these conversations, it might look like some kind of profile board where newcomers can find out more about the projects/activities of the people in that sim, so they can decide if or where they might be most comfortable. It might look like an email list where people can communicate asynchronously outside of Second Life to help negotiate what they want/need in Second Life.

The fact is, not everyone has the time, inclination, or interest to do that kind of "bigger picture" analysis. One of those store owners might be a single mom with little kids who makes the time to log in and design clothes as a creative outlet, and hopefully make a little extra spending money when she sells her stuff, but she doesn't have the time to go out and meet all of her neighbors, or find the other people who share her interests in the sim - BUT - if someone does that leg work for her and makes the other people and their interests known, and makes it easier to communicate with them, then maybe she might be willing to participate in B. But someone else has to make the central meeting place, or the profile boards, or the email list, because she doesn't have the time/skills/interest in doing that kind of stuff - she just wants to make cool clothes and make enough money selling them to pay her tier and maybe have some leftover. But when she learns about the possible benefits of working with others, and realizes that it's not TOO hard or time consuming to participate, then she's willing to make a little effort. The better the organizing, the better the strategies implemented - the better the payoff. Her sales go up, she feels comfortable approaching her neighbors to ask for help, she begins to get a sense of the other people in the sim. Heck, maybe eventually she'll volunteer to help maintain that profile board that's always out of date somehow, and when she notices a new neighbor moving into the sim, she'll go over and introduce herself and tell the newbie about the people in the sim and what they do, and how they can participate in the "community" that grew out of this experience.

That's what community organizing looks like to me in Second Life, and the intellectual challenges of solving those problems, trying solutions to increase traffic or decrease tensions/conflicts, that's interesting work, and though you put me on the FIC 2.5 list or whatever it was, it isn't about "grabbing power" or some-such, it's that it makes me feel GOOD when a plan comes together, when some idea I had to help increase traffic DID increase traffic, and that store owner sends me a note and says thanks cause she was able to take her kids to the zoo with the extra money she made this month.

And if over time, I've managed to help a lot of people, or a larger group of us are now thinking about and working on some of these things together, and I'm recognized as a leader in the community because I know more of the people, and their stories, and their histories, and they begin to trust me to speak on their behalf because I've proven to be trustworthy - then the label of "community organizer" should and does feel like an accomplishment, a badge of honor - not a dirty word. And it isn't always smooth and pretty and singing kumbaya in the Town Hall, sometimes there are real disagreements, or truly incompatible goals, or serious personality conflicts, and that makes being a "community organizer" a real responsibility, because in trying to solve conflicts, your dealing with people's real feelings, real money, real time investments. The prims we twist and shape and push and sell may be virtual, but the time we spend doing it is very real, the money we pay in tier is real, and the person behind the avatar is real (bots excluded!) so it isn't just fun and games and some left-wing-nut-job-pie-in-the-sky theoretical crap we're dealing with, but real people with real lives and real needs/wants/problems.

I may be guilty of some of the things you say, but I don't want to be painted with too broad of a brush when you're lambasting "community organizers". I'm sincere in my efforts. I may screw up, I may make mistakes, I sometimes make bad judgment calls, but I'm doing a lot of real work that I don't do for money or as part of my job, I do it because I love it when things DO work out, I know and care about the people in our community, and I feel gratified when my or our efforts results in positive benefits, for a particular person, or sometimes for us all.

And, I firmly believe these skills are transferable to the real world, and even to better "community organizing" on a broader scale in Second Life itself. Linden Lab can do a lot more to facilitate it, and they've often made decisions that really hamper it - from land policies, to interface choices, to stupid stupid stupid group limits, to broken group chat messaging.. it's frustrating as hell some days. But I intend to keep plugging on and I continue to encourage others to engage in this kind of activity because I think working together often results in a heck of a lot more fun Second Life experience. If that makes me a bad guy in your eyes, I dunno what to say except that I must respectfully disagree.

Dale Innis

Please, Prokofy! How is it lying to say that land is valuable, and then point out that it's just one of various valuable things in SL? Saying that there are other valuable things in addition to land isn't automatically "scorning" it.

And I didn't *say* that you said that landowners are the only people who should be enfranchised. I said that you said that they are the only people who should be *automatically* enfranchised, which you did. You said that landowners should be enfranchised just because they are landowners, and everyone else should have to organize and fight for a voice. And I think that's just wrong.

"AGain, what a lying conniving thug you are. I didn't say *anywhere* anything that would privilege land ownership over everything else."

Sure you did, you said that there should be a parliament that landowners automatically have a voice in, and anyone else has to fight for that voice. Now maybe you didn't mean that this parliament should have any particular power, but just be sort of a landowner advocacy group. That would be fine, it would make sense for a landowner advocacy group to admit mostly landowners. :) But "Parliament" implies to me something that actually has power, not just advocacy. Apologies if I misinterpreted you there.

But then you also said "People who do not own land must not be allowed to decide policies that affect land", and that "decide policies" certainly sounds like you're talking about something with actual power, not just an advocacy group.

And that statement (as I tried to illustrate with my _reductio_ examples) is clearly far too strong. Things that landowners do can obvious have big impacts on people who don't own land (just as, as you point out, things that club owners do can have big impacts on people who don't own clubs), and those stakeholders need to have a voice too.

It's certainly possible that the opinions of landowners are currently underrepresented in the thinking of the Lindens. But to go to the other extreme and say that *only* landowners should be considered in making policies about land, is just as much a mistake.

(Frothing at the mouth and cursing at people who disagree with you is also a mistake, and I will once again urge you to consider that reason might be a more effective tool than insults in your efforts to improve the world.)

Dale Innis

(And although I realize I should be shamed by Fleep's lovely and well thought out post, I can't keep myself (on the subject of your statements about what a hypocrite everyone else is) from pointing out that, despite your claims that your organizing is better than everyone else's because those other people block people, you are still blocking me on Twitter. And again I'm sure you see no contradiction there at all...)

Prokofy Neva

Of course you're lying, Dale, and you are squirming at being caught at it. I just quoted your words back to you. You don't really believe it is valuable; you never said it was. You in fact undermined it. Here's what you said again, as you have a short memory:

"There are plenty of other possible markers for investment in the world besides land. Net Lindens purchased, for instance, size of inventory, number of groups belonged to or moderated, size of friends lists, net money payed to LL for any purpose. Land's really not unique or special that way. I don't scorn land, I just don't think that landowners are the only people that should be automatically enfranchised. Seems very eighteenth-century."

See, you think there are "plenty of other markers for value" besides land, although without land, none of those other values mean anything -- you can have a huge friends list on AIM, and then you don't need SL; it's only if you have land to make things, show them to your friends, meet your friends, that a friendship list takes on heft and meaning.

You, like the Lindens, think content -- especially programming of the software -- is more important at root, because you are not willing to concede any other power base but your own. Here, you speciously list things like "size of inventory and friend list" as if you really think that is a better marker than land, which is silly. Nobody pays to have a bigger friends' list or inventory (perhaps they should, given the strain on the database, I'm all for that!)

None of these things are real markers of value merely because they aggregate. Land is equally important and essential; in the case of "number of friends" it becomes ridiculous, because people can't really reasonably have friends after they get to numbers like Scoble on Twitter. It is merely a collection for a database to show off with then.

Value is paid for by time or money or effort. Collecting friends you can't possibly talk to or shoes you can't possibly wear isn't value, because you will not spend time on it; in fact you have not PAID (the time of money) for it and it is therefore valueless.

There'd be no sense in collecting land that you HAVE to pay for. Somebody who gets a lot of land will put rentals or parks on it and get value from it, because they've paid for it.

Introducing silly, inflated notions of value like "a huge friends list" or "a huge inventory of freebies I can't even look at" lets us know you don't even understand what value is, most likely because it has always been handed to you free, as an entitlement freak.

Once again, read what I write instead of being a rampant asshole. I didn't say that landowners are the only people who should be "automatically franchised". That's YOUR idea. Such a notion as "automatic franchisement" is at root in fact stupid, as you can't identify the power that franchises in a controlled company town. The King? The Lindens? There *IS NO ENFRANCHISEMENT* in a world that is controlled by a king or by the Lindens, duh! We have no enfranchisement whatsoever, when we live at the Lindens' mercy as I've explained already. We are not franchised. That's why we have to struggle and make a parliament and begin to enfranchise ourselves.

Instead, I said something different. I said to get started, you have to make a parliament with landowners. That is what is practical. That is a stage that is justified by history -- and it bothers me not if that history is "backward" or "ancient" or "in the 18th century" because we ARE in a terrible authoritarian, backward plight, being run by a King or Lindens.

I said repeatedly, if artists or scripters or griefers wish to organize and demand a seat in parliament, and struggle for enfranchisement, *let them*. I simply fail to see why we, landowners, must take care of them, under some misguided guilty third-worldist leftie notion. We don't. They can take care of themselves. They are perfectly capable of organizing themselves in this authoritarian state under a King as we are! They can struggle for enfranchisement as we must, instead of grabbing entitlement which is what they do now, in some cases, criminally.

I simply think it's folly to begin by saying "let's make a parliament out of whomever shows up". If you do that you get alts, griefers -- criminals -- and even Lindens in disguise. In order to start a parliament, an assembly of any kind, you need to define the mandate. The mandate is land ownership. Deal with it. It's not about letting you go on usurping power.

What you're saying is "You landowners cannot organize a parliament yourselves unless you dilute it with disruptive assholes first, like me, or any other force that hates land and denigrates land to second or even third class in the economy".

This is a power struggle. People get to struggle for power. You obviously did, with IBM, and your little FIC friends, and you have it. So organize your own damn group or parliament of RL enterprises who threaten the King. Then demand a seat in the landowners' parliament, and see how it goes *shrugs*.

Once again, I didn't say that land is "privileged about all others". I said landowners need to restore their equality and privileges to the level of people like you in the other classes, and that's all there is to it. It's right and proper, given that they pay tier; IBM is only one more tier payer among others, and not even a payer of tier at the level of many rentals agents, quite frankly, so it is NOT special. On the balance sheet, even if IBM pays the enterprise fee to the King, it might not in fact equal the income generated by one content maker who adds to the economy far more significantly inworld.

Of course, the Lindens fervently hope to gather enterprise fees from a few big companies rather than collecting rents from the many of us, whom they regard as rabble. That is why we must fix their wagon now, not later.

Is one step of interoperability worth the same as a beautiful pair of shoes? It is not. It is not worth that socially or economically; indeed, as we have seen, it is a step that leads to destruction of the economy by destruction of the IP and even threatening the entire realm.

Oh, these landowners aren't just in a talk shop. They are in a group that definitely plans to organize and wield power. That scares you, doesn't it, because you thought you had all the power in your little elitist group with the ear of the Lindens. And that's of course why you're busy trying to kill it. But my parliament effort -- or anybody's, there might be several -- based in landownership *is* a power struggle and *does* have as its goal unseating *your privilege*. Make no mistake about it.

You're trying to mask the fact of your over-privileging as a class in this system, and the underprivileging of landowners who are exploited and stepped on by the King, by complaining that these landowners are "trying to take power" as if that is something evil. Of course they are. They deserve power. They pay for the whole damn thing. You don't, chattering in your Linden office hours, or at least, you only pay as much as anybody on your little 4096 or little OS sim, and therefore aren't automatically enfranchised to run things at all.

If landowners prevail in taking power and forcing the Lindens to address the scourge of adfarms (they were successful in this even with mere groups and petitions) or the scourge of club thieves (they have some modicum success here), great! That's just, and that's how it should be. The ad farms extorting to destroy view and force moves, the clubs that grab FPS and force moves, these are groups that have seized entitlements and destroy the value of others. I fail to see why I have to worry about the impact of my policy-making on them. They've impacted US without our will, despite our payment of the lion's share of the bills on every sim, for years. We need to fight, and destroy that seizure of entitlements. They'll have to go back in their place. THEY will have to be the ones to move, to separate islands or openspaces where they can pack the sim, and stop packing it and stealing the slots from others on mainland. This is normal and right, and of course, only conniving lying elements like yourself would try to portray the ad farm and club criminality as somehow an equal "right" that deserves its own empowerment.

Only landowners should be considered in policies about land. Full stop. They pay for it.
Other people who wish to make decisions about it have to pay for it too. And that means that it works not only by the amounts any one landowner has; it works by the consensus that even all the lowly 512 owners come up with together. Should a 4608 m2 owner with a club seizing all the FPS and avatar space be allowed to cripple the homes of either 512 or 8192 owners on a sim, privileging club or land holding? Of course not. If you want 40 avatar slots, move to a full sim, as the Lindens have not figured out how to bill per CPU. Landowners have to compel this, either a) ARing clubs who abuse resources so that the Lindens keep intervening to make them remove bots or patrons that prevent others from coming home b) forcing them to make a system metering CPUs c) forcing the clubs to move and pay for the full use of 40 slots on a full sim.

My arguments here are eminently full of reason. It is reason that is delivered forcefully. If that seems like "frothing at the mouth," too bad for you. My arguments bother you because you know that I have a case, and your power is threatened, that's all.

Right now, we have a situation where a small group of coders both in the Linden camp and among their groupies and sycophants decide everything about everything. So there has to be a struggle for power by landowners, who take their rightful place, and if content makers or scripters wish to organize themselves and demand a seat in this parliament let them.

Meanwhile, I fail to see why I need to keep worrying about the rights of script kiddies to come on public land and lag the entire sim to its knees, or go around crashing sims, and the rights of landless sychophants in Linden office hours to go on influencing the Lindens directly in this fashion because it suits the Lindens. It's not my problem.

Improving the world requires struggles, and forceful struggles and I'm happy to engage in them. It does not consist of holding hands and singing Kumbayah, or sitting and LOLing in Linden office hours.

People like you, as I've discovered again and again, only understand the greatest possible force one can muster on a blog or inworld.

Prokofy Neva

Fleep, if you have ever read history, you will realize that people do not struggle for power, and start social movements to struggle for influence in an unjust system, by first of all sitting down and planning how they can ensure the right of the targets of their protest to go on holding power, and the rights of the sychophants to the power-holders to go on grabbing entitlements.

When the telehub wars were underway, before you were born, there were indeed different lobbies formed. I think there were at least three if I recollect. The demand of the landowners to stop the removal of telehubs or pay compensation was met with the most abject howling on the scripter- and FIC-controlled forums. A Linden alt even snuck into the meetings to try to discredit and expose the landowners and accuse them of secret unpublicized deals with the Lindens, etc. It was a war that actually makes the current OS war look tame, actually, because the forums were more free, so the haters of landowners indulged themselves in the most nasty invective possible.

Fleep, of course you see yourself as a community organizer, and you are a progressive. The only reason that you are more intelligent and sensitive and thoughtful about the critique of these categories is because of your own uniqueness, but also because you are in Columbus, OH. Being in Columbus, OH is a powerful, powerful corrective to the extremes of the Left and Right coast, especially the Left coast. You are more in touch with the mainstream of America, and more pragmatic. My grandparents and mother used to live in Columbus, OH, so I am well aware of the important role that Columbus, OH has to play in correcting the excesses of the Left Coast.

You may indeed be guilty of some of the things I have said about the illegitimacy of community organizing, but at least you are willing to think about it.

How can one engage in "real" community organizing? By having a real community, of course, who wants you to organize them. But frankly, it's about who gets paid. Would Obama go out and "organize the community" even if he didn't get a modest salary? I doubt it. He got a law degree to get prestige and money out of it at some point, not spend his life in a storefront, that was just a political step. In that sense, the radical true believers who became spies for the Soviets, say, in the 1930s (I was just reading about one such family) were more genuine,because long before they got Moscow gold, they were out organizing strikes and unions and protests against the evil imperialists, and lived in poverty themselves, and would go on living in poverty and organizing even without the Moscow gold.

Doesn't everybody in Chilbo love you? Well, do they? People who get up and organize others don't always stop to ask that. Of course, to get started, you have to go out and organize, I suppose, and not worry about whether you have the love of the people. I'm never troubled by such things, for example. But to stay in power, in my temporary parliament, I'd have to really have people who supported me; once they find someone better, I'm dumped, and that's fine. Would you be willing to be dumped from Chilbo? I earn the love of my tenants with my cheap rentals and they pay me; they are not buying charming personality from me, they are buying cheap rentals with good views. They vote with their feet instantly any time they find their value waning.

That's why when I first conceived of Government on a Prim, I wanted to take a sim and divide it up into 512s. People would rent their place in the government, and if they tired of it, they would stop renting and free up the slot for someone else. I may still do it that way, requiring that you must own at least another 512 on another sim to do so.

But who can vote with their feet in Chilbo? I mean, they can, but then they lose a home and face a start-up cost. They contribute more than tier or rent, they contribute activities and content and "social capital".

Oh, of course I'm a community organizer. But I do this without being paid. My rentals don't pay me enough to be a community organizer; if anything, to the extent that I take out time to run meetings or provide parks or whatever, I lose. I'd be much better off being a quiet burgher rarely getting into public disputes, and making only the most cautious and measured forums interventions, like Desmond.

But I transparently portray where my community organizing gets me. It gets me 5 people for a meeting on the parliament, 2 of whom come to that space at that time no matter what I put on, as they just figure it's another entertaining Prok thing. 2 of them were just lost newbies, and 1 of them was genuinely interested in participating, with full vigour, from her 512. Well, such parliaments are made of such people, believe me.

When you put yourself out as a community organizer, you may have the full backing of your Chilbo. You may or may not wish to be in a landowners' parliament; you may prefer to have "a lobbying group" and do your own thing. But ask yourself if you could go on community organizing if you were not paid at a job in RL that lets you do this, since you can't get rich off the rents of Chilbo, which may not even break even. I bet you would still participate in SL even if you were laid off and forced to bag groceries at the Safeway in the recession. That's the kind of person you are. But ask yourself if you have social backing.

The problem with you, Fleep, is that you believe all this Illichism, and all this warmed-over 1970s or even 1960s social theory. That's how you can come up with this sort of statement:

"b) begins to develop a sense of these many, varied, and sometimes competing needs and looks for ways to align those with shared needs to become more organized in articulating them, analyzing them, solving or making progress on addressing them - AND - looks for ways to balance competing needs through compromise, collaboration, negotiation, turn-taking, or sometimes due to irreconcilable differences, agreeing to disagree."

Bollocks. This is a struggle for power, so that the Lindens stop letting criminals devalue land. You've seen what you claim is criminality among the Lindens, where they give a sim to their own outside the auction process. You've seen ad farmers destroy your view. You've seen idiots paralyze your sim. What sort of "compromise" are you going to be making with these class enemies, so to speak? It isn't Marxism to identify the facts of classes, and those who work against their interests; these were merely building blocks which Marx used in a theory that anyone can build any theory with from left to right, and many did.

What is the "competing need" that needs to be "balanced" when a Linden gives somebody a piece of land outside the auction queue? That's where your mind needs to be concentrated wonderfully. You don't "balance needs" here. You stop criminality and fight for the rule of law over usurpers.

I've never experienced what you claim. In fact, the Lindens have always been fair in putting land up on auction. But of course, that in itself is an unfair process now without transparency or accountability.

Making the parliament of SL, or any lobbying group, isn't about balancing the needs of the global North and South in RL. It's about prims and FPS, Fleep. It's about the very basic building blocks of the world. Land policy struggles will involve things like the successful campaign on the ad farms, and a campaign to make the auction transparent, and to end such practices as you claim happen.

By going on and on about the Wal-Mart mom with the dress store, you've morphed this into a discussion that works like this: "Why aren't community organizers legitimate? Of course they are legitimate, and here's why, they represent other people and their needs."

The problem really comes down to legitimacy of representation, not legitimacy of organizing. Anyone can go organize a sandbox if they want to, and get nowhere. The reason something like Web-382 can succeed, however, is that it not only has some number of votes (it never had many), it had compelling reasoning, even Lindens were persuaded, and there were also quite a few comments of people harmed by the absence of the WEB-382 protection of author's proposals who spoke up, even if they didn't vote. The consensus built up was not something that could be analyzed in the Dale Innis tool manner by literalisms. It was a variety of factors.

But it was not achieved by compromise, by all of those things you speak of. It was achieved by implacable struggle. Struggles for justice often take that, Fleep. You want everything to be "nice" and no one ever to raise their voices. Sorry, but if you want something like WEB-382, and you have the class enemies that we have in SL, who are enemies of the entire freedom of the society, in fact, you have to be resolute and determined, you have to fight as hard as you can, under terrible conditions. Go read the posts on WEB-382 if you don't get my point here. Look at how the Linden-supported tool Strife Onizuka in particular tried to scupper the whole thing.

The problem comes in usurping the name "community". For example, the Lindens hire staff and call them community organizers, in a sense. They call Strife Onizuka a community organizer, because he volunteers and is a sycophant and does what they want, and steps on his fellow human beings. We are in a setting where the word "community" has been hopelessly twisted and devalued by all kinds of usurpers popping up and saying "I am thecommunity leader". Each time someone wants something for their little lobby or class, they say it is for "the good of thecommunity".

They seldom think of what is REALLY good for the REAL community. A struggle like WEB-382 benefits me as much as script kiddies stepped on by other script-kiddies, as much as it benefits the Wal-mart mom with the dress shop. All now have enpowerment and enfranchisement at least not to have their proposals closed. This is unbelievably important, and isn't about me getting power, as the nits in the thread see it, it's about taking away the illegitimate power of others to grab entitlements. That is what the struggle for justice in SL is all about.

The reason why I think the struggle for justice in SL is worth it, even though it is "just pixels" and there are people who always appear to say "but you should put that much energy into Darfur" (which, as it happens, I'm in a position to do, more effectively than most, I might add) is because it is people and does matter. Today prims, tomorrow electronic voting and meeting with candidates -- watch how THAT works in a setting with Ban Link where Flipper can have me banned automatically from every sim, and thus prevent me from meeting with a candidate, saying these are "administrative" and "technical" matters.

Watch how my vote works when I'm banned from the forums or the JIRA voting device. Watch how it will work, indeed, unless we fight now like cats and dogs to make it not turn out that way. That's why it's all about. That's why people like Strife and Flipper and Dale fight for power now so crazily in a pixelated world. They know full well what the stakes are. And that's why we have to fight back, too.

In the end, I don't think you are "bad," I just think you are muddled in some areas about what you are up against. You aren't seeing what it means, really, for the Lindens to give land to their own -- something YOU charge them with. You aren't really understanding the consequences of criminality or even merely bad, authoritarian management by one company of a world that is supposed to be the better world connecting us all. The stakes are high indeed, and you would not be willing to accord such "good will" or make such "compromises" if you follow through more fully to where the consequences are going.

Dale Innis

Right, I never said that land was valuable until I said that it was valuable. So clearly I'm lying. :) Whereas your suggesting that I implied that these other things are *more* important than land isn't a lie, even though I never said that. Gotcha. I said that land is not unique in its value, therefore I must think that it's at the bottom of the totempole. Clearly.

Okay, so you're advocating that land owners should get together in a group to represent their interests. That's a great idea, go for it. And other people with common interests should do the same sorts of things and form their own groups; I agree with you there too. (I'd tend to call that "community organizing", and I share Fleep's uncertainty about why you insult it under one name and then advocate it under another.)

Or in other places you seem to be saying that if we have an overall parliament that actually has power, then both landowners and other groups will need to work and struggle to get into that parliament. That's a fine position also, I have no objection to that. I'm definitely not suggesting that land owners need to take care of everyone (or anyone) else; if you can point to something I said that suggests that to you, I'd be glad to point out the actual meaning.

You're not really responding to my questions about why land is *more* valuable than anything else, though, except by repeating the claim. I agree that content owners often need land. But land owners also need content, so the situation seems quite symmetrical to me. There is lots of public land in SL; one doesn't need any help from a resident land owner to "make things, show them to your friends, meet your friends" and so on. It's nice to have resident-owned spaces to socialize in, but it's also nice to have resident-made stuff to put on your land. SL is a web of mutually-reinforcing goods, not a pyramid with land in the most or only important position.

The thing that bothers me most, I think, about "only land owners should be allowed to make decisions that affect land" is that *most* policy decisions about SL affect land in some way or other. And if a decision affects (say) land, and exchange rates, and the clothing industry, then saying that since it affects land it must be the land owners (and not the currency people or the clothing people) who get to make the decision seems wrong.

(But maybe I'm reading you too literally? If you just meant "Land owners should be involved in all decisions that affect land", I withdraw my objections, and just note that your wording did not accurately reflect your meaning.)

Of the various other things that also have value that I suggested, you missed ridiculing what seems to be the most important one: money spent. In fact if land ownership is a good measure of stake in the world primarily because it requires money, why don't we just directly measure the money? In this case we can, after all. Land ownership doesn't actually require time or effort, only money, so measuring money spent wouldn't be any worse of a "stake in the world" measure than money. (It would be great to be able to measure time and effort spent, but I can't think of a really good way to do it.)

Hm, so are you really just advocating that power should belong to those who have the most money? (The most money paid into or earned within the world, that is.) I can see that argument, it's nice and capitalistic. But I don't think I like it. I'll have to think about why. Probably because I'm evil!

"Oh, these landowners aren't just in a talk shop. They are in a group that definitely plans to organize and wield power. That scares you, doesn't it": um... No. :) I can't think of any negative consequences to me of landowners having more power. They're not about to shut down the danceclubs, after all!

Prokofy Neva

No, you didn't say it was valuable. You said that other things are valuable, deliberately diluting its value by mounting specious "values" like "a big friends list" and "a big inventory" just to be a dick. You imagine that you are smart when you are arguing in this matter. Instead, you are just a dick.

And in fact you said it isn't the most important thing, which means you believe it is less important, and not even essential. I saw it is essential. Is it the most important, or merely equal in value? I say it is essential and at least equal in value. We don't have the numbers to prove that it is the most important value, but in fact, it *is* the most important value for the Lindens, if not our inworld economy, because that's where they get their revenue.

It's funny that you are so unwilling to recognize land's value as THE MOST IMPORTANT REVENUE GENERATOR FOR THE LINDENS. This is one of the most perplexing but I suppose deviously logical facets of the SL experience, that the main revenue generator for the Lindens -- THE most important facet of THEIR economy and a VERY important facet of OUR economy -- is one that Lindens and their pets work doubletime to disavow, dumb down, detract, distract from, undermine. Fascinating -- and evil.

Your statement that land is "not unique in value" is in fact incorrect. In SL terms, land IS unique AND greatest in value FOR YOUR LINDEN MASTERS. Even you should realize this, lackey, as you protect your class brethren.

I say it's essential to our world economy, most important for the Lindens' economy, and other things ALSO have value, but they aren't in a vacuum -- they have no value without land (inventory you can't display is worthless boasting). I don't put land in a series of values that all are equal in importance and weight because they aren't. Land is intrinsic in being necessary for the value of other things. Does that make it "more" important? Perhaps not, if content creation takes a lion's share of the economy, which I believe it does. Still, it's vital, and that's not something you're willing to recognize it, as you relegate it merely as one more thing, "my friends, my shoes, my programming skills, oh, and land, too."

I insult community organizing that is false and paid for and organizing with a hidden agenda, and organizing people who are dependent, like the poor blacks in a storefront who have a wealthy lawyer "organizing" them with a Marxist agenda. That's fake, and illegitimate. It serves no one. It accomplishes nothing. It fills the minds of the poor blacks in the storefront with Marxist memes that they may spend the rest of their lives chanting, but it gives them no equity.

The community organizer who takes initiative and wins support on issues they deliver on is just that, however, a community organizer who took initiative and wins support on those issues. They don't represent everybody. They are just a group. That's where Chestnut your little friend has no vision. She imagines she occupies a space in a class that is the "obvious ruler" of Second Life as "the best, the most talented, and the smartest". They aren't that. They are mediocrities, in many cases, such as yourself. They merely seize power, and imagine they are the intellectual elite. They aren't demonstrably fit for this job, and that's why they become Linden sycophants and keep the world down.

Land ownership doesn't only "require money". If you buy land, you have to do something with it to justify the cost. So you'll have a rental, or you will at least develop it as a public park if your hobby is to make, say, virtual railways. One way or another, you invest time or money to get back money or interest level and usage. You don't buy 30 servers and hide them from view and do nothing about it. No one has ever done that in SL; it would be absurd.

Of course, it's typical of your asshole literalism that you would chose a reductivist and literalist geek argument of this type, trying to imagine that someone would merely buy sims and hold them to have a stake in a putative parliament. It's insane, of course, and untethered to any reality, as you are.

BTW, I'm gratified by people coming up to me inworld and commenting to me what an ass you are, Dale, and why it's good that I expose you and stand up to you.

No, landowners shouldn't just be "involved in" all issues that affect land. THEY SHOULD DECIDE THEM. And that's the struggle. And yes, it involves overthrowing usurpers, and making forceful struggles against those who have grabbed entitlements.

If I raise my rent to, say, $2000 or $2500 for a 4096, instead of $1500, I instantly lose most of my customers. I don't do that. I have only very gradually raised my prices over the years, I never make sudden price hikes, and if anything, I've reduced some of my prices these days, but again, not drastically. I do that because I have had some customers with me as along as 2 years. I wouldn't stick them with a sudden sticker shock.

Not so the Lindens, who raise and lower tier at a whim to shake people loose constantly and devalue them and keep them off balance.

Trust me, if the Lindens had to deal with what I would have to deal with with such actions -- massive defections from my rentals instantly -- they'd never pull such shit.

If in fact 7500 of the 13,000 sim owners immediately said "fuck this shit" and immediately pressed "abandoned to Governor Lidnen" or however you get rid of an island (I think through a ticket), you'd see the Lindens concentrating their little cunning minds suddenly wonderfully. They'd back off. When the landowner class gets organized and acquires the balls to play that way, that's how it will go.

Should power belong to those who have the most money? Sure. It does in real life, just like you are affluent and have a great deal of say over all kinds of things that other people don't have any say in because they are poor. Your daughter can have a ballet class and dentistry to fix her cavities, whereas a poor child has teeth rotting and sits in front of the TV growing fat and facing diabetes. You have a very powerful say in RL over what happens to your children as a result -- and millions of other things you don't even think about.

In SL, those who have the most land should indeed decide what happens to the land. Those with 512s join in as well. They may find in the struggles of parliamentary debate that they have differing interests, in which case factions emerge and make alliances or fight each other to the death in elections. It's all normal. Money does decide what goes on in the world, and to pretend that it doesn't, and a world should be forged just valuing programmers' minds at IBM, is of course very retarded.

All it takes is a few more million minds to be grown in Brazil, Russia, and China that devalues that IBM mind in Westchester to put all that nonsense in perspective. And that's what is indeed happening in the world.

Landowners will shut down the danceclubs. When they organize well, as they have on some sims, they pack their own land with the 40 avatars to block the patrons of the club. A few nights of that, and the clubowner is faced with only himself and his bots, and he turns around and stops his witless TPing in of friends who sit there AFK in lieu of a compromise, where he has 10 live friends who might tip and buy something, but then 10 good neighbours who might also come into his club because he is a good citizen.

Trust me, I've used this method myself on my sims, and it has worked like magic. That's what it takes. People understand force. I'm here to provide it.

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