« "Immensely Disillusioned by the Heavily Materialistic Second Life System". Sigh. | Main | The War on the Second Life Economy »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


The only time I actually read anything about the FBI in SL was about 2 years back when they posted an update on their website. It was something about putting up "Wanted" billboards and recruiting information.

Most of us here are the odd bunch, I can't imagine the FBI finding any good hiring material in SL.

The last I heard about law enforcement in general in SL was that they were studying the formation of gangs. Our anonymous user names in SL, WOW etc., how we form groups and such closely mimics the way real gangs communicate. So they were using games to study that behavior.

Tux Winkler

Why was I sent this link?

Do you guys think I enjoy the rantings of some freaking x-files, tin foil hat wearing, conspiracy theorist?

Come on, let this illusionary dramatist to her rantings!

I'll go back to more important things (like seeing how many times I can push esc before triggering so sort of international security breach).

Prokofy Neva

Um, I don't know who you are, and haven't sent you any link.

In fact, if you read this article, it very much challenges the idea of some sort of conspiracy to use people in SL -- in fact, it ridicules it and makes a parody story describing how silly it all is precisely because SL is hard to use.

But don't let the facts confuse you.

Maccus McCullough

It is highly unlikely the USG or its contractors would engage in a psychological experiment of this nature on the unsuspecting public. In order to include humans in any ethical experimentation, a plan has to be submitted to an institutional review board (IRB). Additionally, participants are notified and give consent. This is a thorough process used to prevent harm to the participants as well as protects rights of the research subjects.

Prokofy Neva

Well, I'm someone who tends to trust government more than most of the lefty anarcho hippie BDSM types of Second Life.

I'm also a believer in seeing some credible reports first. So I would tend to agree that sure, the USG as such is not trying to do any psy war ops on an unsuspecting population.

Just think of the damages and the loss of credibility that the U.S. occurs when cases surface of old administrations having in fact done such experiments on people. They will not undertake such things lightly, and these outfits are very hobbled by oversight and bureaucracy and that can be a good thing, and of course there is the IRB.

BUT, here's the thing. Our government is not always as stellar as we might hope or believe. There are cases in recent memory of torture of people abroad and cover ups at home about this. And no country is perfect, even a good one like ours.

Furthermore, what I see this as about is not so much the formal structures of the USG, God bless them. They work, and they may maintain adequate oversight over those actually in uniform, so to speak.

But it's the scores of contractors, consultors, private security firms hired temporarily, etc. etc. that you cannot trust. That have no adequate oversight. That have no motivation to be good because they face no consequences.

And those folks may very well gin up some experiment to please their contract officers, or go beyond their scope even in an already approved program.

When I see how *those* people behave, for example on the NASA story, where their Co-Lab volunteer was an abusive and offensive ass; when I see the various other abusive, arrogant assholes floating around in the GSP and SP communities who work on these projects, I'm more given pause. I don't doubt for a minute that some of those abusive types will do whatever they need to do to get and keep the power they enjoy, with utter cynicism and nihilism.

We live in a world where a 22-year-old private thinks nothing of cynically and nihilistically -- even while coating it thinly with a bit of legit whistle-blowing conscience stuff -- stealing and publicizing a quarter of a million documents to harm the US with people bent on its deliberate harm.

So I think the public and the bloggers and the press have to keep asking this question.

There is a very basic unethical state of affairs going on now in Second Life, and that is that government employees, who are normally expected to show their name tags or badges with real life identity (name, job title) are flying around with anonymous SL names and no explanation of who they are on their profile. That's wrong. Ethically and likely legally.

H Miracle Review

The post is very intellectually written, with lots of valuable information

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)