“All on the Same Page”: IRC Chat Logs Support Linden/FIC Conspiracy vs Prok

by Alphaville Herald on 29/06/05 at 9:56 pm

Although this chat log has been circulating among selected users for several days now, the editorial board of the Herald has decided that that the general community has a right to see it, and further that there is some value to archiving it here as a kind of public record. By way of summary, this is an IRC chat log (from #secondlife) involving Linden employee and SL Forum moderator Pathfinder Linden (llPath in the log) and members of the community, including members of the so-called FIC, who were intent on removing Prok from the forums. Excerpt:

llPath: we’re all on the same page here, yes?

llPath: here’s the deal
llPath: Prok never “technically” violates the Community Standards
ShadowImg: yah
llPath: but
Cienna: So change them ;p

llPath: Prok skirts them….and ultimately ends up inciting other Residents to “break” the CS
NealS: Heh heh
llPath: can you see the dillema I ( and all the other mods) are in??

ShadowImg: hrm, Prok finally got to Robin?
NealS: How so?
ShadowImg: I was beginning to think the linden resolve was unwavering in the face of aggression
Nikolaii: : They are human too :)
ShadowImg: oh I know
NealS: All the cyborgs WANT you to think that… :)
ShadowImg: but some, Robin in particular, seem to have endless tolerance for human… let’s just say behavior
NealS: Correction: androids.
Nikolaii: cshard = INTP? :)
NealS: Is there a thread, Shadow?
ShadowImg: the ‘forum suggestions’ thread
Nikolaii: probably tired on a late Sunday
llPath: URL, Shadow?
ShadowImg: in general
ShadowImg: http://forums.secondlife.com/showthread.php?t=46679
ShadowImg: I *think* she meant Prok, anyhow
ShadowImg: it’s hard to tell in the 11 page long threads
NealS: Don’t kill it before I get a chance to read it, Path :P
llPath: sifting thru 11 pages….sigh
NealS: Haha
ShadowImg: maybe she just meant everyone
ShadowImg: that’s probably more likely
NealS: It’s funny how often people come in at the end of a thread and don’t bother to read the previous.
ShadowImg: yay
cshard: Nikolaii – what? o.o
ShadowImg: now THIS is a good song
NealS: I like it
ShadowImg: lots of other good songs, but odd covers of them
llPath: yes, EXCELLENT song right now
* ShadowImg still has an original copy of this album
ShadowImg: it shall live forever
ShadowImg: though I think Blasphemous Rumors may be their best ever
llPath: k, about Prok
NealS: Prok’s initial posts are interesting.
NealS: In that they are
llPath: we’re all on the same page here, yes?
NealS: the same content, formatted differently each
time :)
ShadowImg: i think the page is ‘ignore it’
NealS: Literal formatting. Bold text.
llPath: k
llPath: here’s the deal
llPath: Prok never “technically” violates the Community Standards
ShadowImg: yah
llPath: but
Cienna: So change them ;p
ShadowImg: I was *shudder* defending it earlier for that reason
ShadowImg: when they were asking why LL hadn’t banned it yet
llPath: Prok skirts them….and ultimately ends up inciting other Residents to “break” the CS
NealS: Heh heh
llPath: can you see the dillema I ( and all the other mods) are in??
ShadowImg: oh, I know it well
llPath: k
ShadowImg: i’m a SA Forum goon
Cienna: I’m not sure how what was going on with the “Insanity” and the repostings of the same locked material isn’t violating it?
NealS: I think moderation in itself is a dilemma. I could never do it.
ShadowImg: fortunately, SA instated a rule for people just like Prok
ShadowImg: unfortunately, LL could never adopt the rule
llPath: Shadow, we are working on a similar rule
llPath: but….we are faced with the need to allow the MOST freedom possible
ShadowImg: as it’s known as the ‘fagging up the forum’ rule :P
NealS: I like this one
* Rathe has joined #secondlife
Nikolaii: : Nope, nope, I am not going back to forums… not till Sept… *shakes head*
llPath: so, until we work out an official policy, the general rule is…don’t let Prok’s posts incite you to do something stupid
NealS: I’m at page 4. I’ll get there soon.
llPath: but….you didn’t hear that from me (say no more)
NealS: :)
NealS: It’s good as a general rule regardless of the av anyway
Cienna: aka. ignore it
llPath: Cienne, precisely
SteveRWHP: sonuva! SL has frozened up…
ShadowImg: perhaps a temporary statement of “Currently the behavior in the forums has been unacceptable in general — you know what we mean by this. Because of this, we’re going to have to step out of our normal guidelines allowing broad freedom of discussion and keep the forums in line until we can come up with a more controlled policy to keep order in the forums.”
* gman21 has joined #secondlife
AdamZa: and ban prok in the process. :D
Enabran: llPath, I understand your frustration…
ShadowImg: no, no banning him
NealS: What similar rule are you working on, Path?
ShadowImg: that would just egg him on
ShadowImg: and it’s not just him
llPath: Shadow, good idea…but you know….any change in “policy” at LL involves many people…..
AdamZa: Your right. Public execution!
AdamZa: brb
Enabran: But Prokofy’s behavior last night and tonight has entirely vaporized whatever confidence I had in Linden’s ability to make the forums a civil place to be.
ShadowImg: Path: aye.. I was referring more to a “martial law” type policy until the official policy could be written
llPath: lo
llPath: lol
Cienna: You’d have to ban her and all 20 alts ;p
llPath: don’t think I have not suggested that
NealS: What behavior, Enabran?
llPath: the ONLY FRIGGIN THING I care about…is keeping the forums as supportive and constructive as possible for EVERYONE
ShadowImg: yup
llPath: so…..let your imagination run with that one
* Alan_UU is now known as AlanK
Enabran: At this point there is a resident who has demonstrated a clear interest in inciting others to anger. His body of posts, as a whole, are the greatest harassment I have seen. And what happened last night was an egregious breach of civilized behavior.
llPath: and you’ll know what I’ve suggested
NealS: Ena, what happened?
ShadowImg: could you perhaps focus more on the technical/feature discussions, and use a forum topic guideline to just say “this discussion is inappropriate for the forum it’s currently in, please move it to off-topic or bring it back to the original discussion”
Enabran: And as a result my confidence in LL is waning in terms of their ability to maintain discipline and a constructive atmosphere for discussion. This is first, and I repeat, first time I have ever publicly voiced my disappointment with Linden policy.
Enabran: Neal, Prokofy posted, in a thread, numerous libelous remarks that asserted that Cristiano Midnight was, via Snapzilla, harvesting IP addresses and using them to harass and intimidate those who got on the bad side of the “FIC
Enabran: “
ShadowImg: that would at least corral it up into off-topic
SteveRWHP: siiigh, sl locked up on me… that never happens.. what’s the deal yo
Enabran: Despite inumerable opportunities to correct himself after overwhelming attempts to educate him, he persisted in this.
koolhandk: I think a majority of the people realized she was clueless when she repeatedly referred to IPS address.
RickardR: hey I have a question unrelated to login issues, prok, or bling if anyone’s interested in a changeup
NealS: Oh that, yeah I read that Enabran.
Enabran: And the fact is, he crossed the line in an exceptionally lurid way.
NealS: Fire away, Rickard
SPQRFREQ: IPS address? What hte fuck is that ?
AlanK: Before I head out driving for a bit: Path, as said before I understand your problem /w sl forum behavior, and I have confidence you’ll get something in place. For that I’m happy you’re with LL. :)
Enabran: And yet, he’s still around.
NealS: Where’s the lurid part, Enabran?
koolhandk: she kept meaning IP address
ShadowImg: i don’t mind prok having its opinions and its long-winded debates — I just wish it would keep them out of feature discussions, technical issues, etc, where it’s admittedly clueless and generally non-helpful
koolhandk: but didn’t know any better
SPQRFREQ: well, are you sure that she even knows that na IP address exists?
ShadowImg: but, that’s just my $0.02
llPath: thanks ALan
RickardR: what’s the best format to stream video into sl and any recommended encoder/converters. also, are there any sites that actually stream video?
Enabran: Neal, that after twenty pages, he still insisted that IP addresses were being collected wrongfully and that Cris was a villain attempting to harass people.
NealS: Rickard, I’d search the forums. I haven’t had any experience with it myself. But it’s well-covered.
llPath: Enabran, you are making an assumption
NealS: I’ve got you, Enabran
Enabran: llPath, I am. I’m assuming Cris isn’t a villain. ;)
AdamZa: back]
llPath: you are assuming…that you can have a logical discussion with someone
RickardR: gah, you’re going to make me wade through the forums :P
llPath: (namely, Prok)
Nikolaii: : there is a post just on Video in Technical
llPath: and Enabran, you won’t win that battle…to be blunt
koolhandk: all the more reason to ignore. can’t reason with the irrational
Enabran: llPath, let’s be… practical. Even if Prokofy was engaging in that discussion in good faith, the result was destructive. I would also argue that the result was similar to many of his other posts.
ShadowImg: woooo
AdamZa: Yay for ‘ISP Addresses’ that really are ‘common terminology’, and IP addresses are tekki-wiki
IceBrodie: someone wanna post the Weekly World News article about how hackers can blow up your computer :P
Enabran: How is such behavior good for the rest of our residents?
AdamZa: IceBrodie, dont, he will believe it.
RickardR: I’m really starting to hate the term tekki-wiki
Enabran: Why isn’t such destructive behavior punished?
IceBrodie: good, maybe he’ll get away from it XD
NealS: Some of Prok’s ideas are certainly wrong. He claimed that the Herald for example had actual trojans embedded in the pages.
Lilith: he posts to get people to react… and it’s obviously working
Enabran: If I walk into a New York bar and incite a riot, I get my ass arrested.
llPath: the consequences of Prok’s posts….I agree with you…..but Prok’s original posts are always on the edge of the CS and TOS. can you see my dilemma?
Enabran: llPath, nope.
AdamZa: llPath, He’s crossed the line more than once or twice.
AdamZa: Case in point: the new webpage discussion
ShadowImg: be miiine, sister salvation.. juke joint jezebel is coming for my cremation!
Enabran: Because the TOS explicitly declares your ability to do whatever you want.
Enabran: So for the love of god, invoke the TOS:
ShadowImg: we’ve all crossed the line gently from time to time
Cienna: It’s easy on irc.
NealS: That’s a slipper slope though Enabran. Doesn’t inspire confidence.
NealS: *slippery
ShadowImg: Prok hasn’t done enough to warrant horrible action
AdamZa: Prokofy parades over the line. He has a frikkin marching band announcing it.
ShadowImg: even I can admit that, and it drives me crazy
RickardR: lol truthfully I’ve never read the tos, I should do that sometime
Enabran: Neal, this isn’t a republic
* IceBrodie thinks that there are reasonable precident for removal of an extreme disturbance for public interest in the TOS, it does say in one section that LL can do what it needs to an account.
Enabran: It’s a private business.
NealS: I know the deal, Enabran.
ShadowImg: I do think you can get him on using the wrong sub-forum though, Path :P
koolhandk: She will hang herself shortly.
Enabran: Ice, I agree.
Lordfly: holy shit, i logged in
* Bis has quit IRC (Read error: Operation timed out )
* IceBrodie idles to look up the provision.
ShadowImg: it seems a lot of people are getting in right now
RickardR: quick path, lordfly’s in, boot him! boot him!!!!
ShadowImg: or perhaps just several I happen to know
AdamZa: I’m wondering if people cleaning up their inventory is helping
ShadowImg: I think Path has to make it in to boot :P
Enabran: I defy you to show me a reasonable proportion of prokofy posts that contain no barbs or insults as compared to “constructive” ones.
* AdamZa isnt the only one to clean off >7500 items
RickardR: rofl
NealS: I was thinking the same thing Adam
RickardR: I only have 5000 I think
ShadowImg: is there an easy way to tell how many you’ve got?
ShadowImg: i’m curious
NealS: Might be tricky everyone sorting through all their stuff at the same time
Lordfly: amazing that there are tons of people still in SL
AlanK: As much as I’d like to continue sitting here,
I’ve off to work. Once I’ve finished the Sunday night rounds I’ll be able to login from there, bout an hour or so. C Y’all later.
RickardR: do a search, it should say how many have loaded at the top of the window
AdamZa: LL just needs to empty everyone’s trash.
NealS: Later Alan
RickardR: later
AdamZa: Bam, DB server is fine again
AdamZa: Later`
Enabran: I said it before and I’ll say it again. I always experience significant guilt when I decide that someone is “bad people.” I felt that guilt with Prokofy. Until last night. I simply cannot abide that behavior.
ShadowImg: i dunno if I buy it
ShadowImg: it says I have 1089
ShadowImg: ah
RickardR: it’ll go up
ShadowImg: there it goes
ShadowImg: haha
llPath: going to log…take care everyone
RickardR: night path
NealS: Later Path
Enabran: Night, Path. I don’t envy you your week ahead. :)
koolhandk: cya path
RickardR: lol, I don’t envy you period
* AlanK has quit IRC
* llPath has left #secondlife
IceBrodie: (x) “stalk” or otherwise harass another user. You agree that Linden may take whatever steps it deems necessary to abridge, or prevent behavior of any sort on the Service in its sole discretion, without notice to you.
Enabran: Poor bastard.
Enabran: He’s taken on an impossible mantle, here.
IceBrodie: Prok’s been harassing a lot of people that I interpret… that’s from 5.1, the conduct section.
Enabran: The trouble, of course, and I dunno if they’ll actually state this…
Enabran: If they ban him, he’ll come back
Enabran: As someone else
IceBrodie: also:
IceBrodie: (iv) take any action or upload, post, e-mail or otherwise transmit Content as determined by Linden at its sole discretion that is harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, causes tort, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;
Enabran: Libelous.
Enabran: There’s plenty of libel flying around out of
prokofy’s fingers.
NealS: It’s so broad, you can take out most people if
you’re so inclined
Nikolaii: invasive of wrong forum
RickardR: I don’t think they can reliably ban anyone. differnet cc, different mac, and you’re golden
Enabran: But without a court order, I don’t know how Linden will keep him away.
IceBrodie: 5.1 (iv) seems like the one to persue.
IceBrodie: credit card/name association I think they use.
Enabran: Rickard, what LL would have to do is prove that the individual in question violated their terms of use and then obtain a court order restraining him from using the service.
Nikolaii: Is 2500 items in inventory too much ?
Enabran: Otherwise, hell, nothing would keep him away
RickardR: no, that’s not bad pepp
koolhandk: Perhaps this is just a good time for them to refine the TOS. Seeing what she does refining TOS accordingly. (thinking positively)
SteveRWHP: muhaha, so, the forums are almost to ‘splodin’ point? w00t
Enabran: Without an injunction, thehy can’t do much except keep banning him. With a restraining order, they can at least get damages or something.
NealS: I don’t mind Prok, personally.
AdamZa: This wouldnt be a precedent if LL banned him.
IceBrodie: TOS is basically the way they can make sure they’re not getting sued when someone lakesims, it’s a legal protection of them.
AdamZa: Angel Leviathan cant post on the forums anymore, and has to register new alts
Nikolaii: we get a Prok type every few months though.

47 Responses to ““All on the Same Page”: IRC Chat Logs Support Linden/FIC Conspiracy vs Prok”

  1. Joe Public

    Jun 29th, 2005


    Almost as long, rambling, and pointless as one of Proks self promotional trolls.

  2. Matthias

    Jun 29th, 2005

    One thing I do notice here: Aimee isn’t in the chat room. Perhaps Prok was wrong on some parts ;-)

  3. FIC

    Jun 30th, 2005

    *Yawn* Welcome to 2 months ago. That log has been circulatinmg much longer than that.

    Your sources suck :)

  4. Pirate Cotton

    Jun 30th, 2005

    As soon as a user takes up THAT much time, it’s time to ban them, regardless of their behavior. Worked for UO when they banned their top 5% of petitioners (who took up 80% of the petition time) for that reason alone :D

  5. Prokofy Neva

    Jun 30th, 2005

    I hope that Pathfinder views this as what it is — the needs of a community to make public documents which have troubling consequences for the community as a whole. I personally wouldn’t have advocated hammering on this story as it is a closed chapter in one sense. Pathfinder did apologize personally to me in-world, and he published a public apology on the forums. On the forums, my alt Random gave him a curt response because it was the second such apology (the first was for giving Nolan Nash only the mild wrist-slap of an informal warning on the forums for the serious offense of RL disclosure and harassment) and it just seems that sometimes “being a Linden means always having to say you’re sorry” — but there’s a kind of easy absolution in that which I personally find trouble.

    People say I’m paranoid to find collusion between the FIC and the Lindens, and this document appears to find a smoking gun. I’m well aware that it is more complicated than that. It’s not like some simplistic “plot” or “cabal” and Pathfinder himself denies there is a “plot”. To me, the phrase “we’re all on the same page” says it all. It’s about being like-minded, having shared values, feeling a sense of pride in the group, seeking conformity and validation — and brooking no dissent. That’s the part I challenge. I don’t deliberately taunt and flaunt to “skirt the TOS”. I just don’t violate the TOS, period. I’d urge them to do the same. I keep my speech within the norms, not using hateful invective, swear words, lies, impugning of mental health, etc.

    Pathfinder’s reasoning, that I goad others into TOS violations, and that I’m so evil I even goad everyone’s favourite kewlest Linden into a breach of ethics just doesn’t fly when you put it to public scrutiny — which is where it belongs. You don’t get to have a policy that says “we never discuss disciplinary actions taken with residents,” but then discuss them in a public chat room with players ganging up on another player.

    Pathfinder comes from the ranks of older players, he’s typical of that MMORPG culture that “llevels up” and “beats the bosses” and finally becomes a Linden or Wise Wizard or whatever it’s called ultimately. Such people have old ties, loyalties, biases and they show. That’s been one of my main critiques of the whole LL forums set up, one not peculiar to LL BTW.

    What’s so clear to me is the self-perpetuating haze the FIC is in, unable to do any self-reflection or to consider any outside point of view. They’ve whipped themselves up into a frenzy believing that my posts contain all kinds of awful language. They don’t. Just look at them. My God, there’s 3311 or so of them to chose from. The slams against me are double or triple the hatred, mud-slinging, name-calling and TOS violations — it’s just that I never reached for the hateful little red triangle button to blow them in.

    A FIC leader said a telling thing to me last night after the town hall. He gave me a posrate “for my good behaviour during the discussion” — as if I’m a todller who can benefit from positive reinforcement LOL. I asked him why he was doing such a silly thing. He said he had no problem with me inworld, but didn’t like what I did on the forums. “You attack what are already such fragile projects,” he said. This gave me an open window into the terribly insecure soul of the FIC. It really is a kind of inferiority complex or terribly thin-skinned prima donna sort of approach to consider that while they rule the world with their hammerlock of content creation and norm-setting, they have “fragile” projects. There’s certainly nothing “fragile” about people feted, subsidized, endorsed, and praised constantly by Lindens, just like obsessive yuppie parents trying to raise their wunderkind.

    It’s normal to criticize the elite and their works in any society. In RL, great architects and artists and engineers create marvels, and people sometimes attack them, including with caricature. In a normal, democratic, open society, that’s how you get progress, it’s understood it is needed for the growth and thriving of society.

    If I’m on the record somewhere as accusing Aimee of being in the chat room, then of course I’m wrong if she wasn’t in the chatroom, and that was already stated in the forums. This is constantly brought for as some example of a “lie” but I honestly have no problem in stating: if I’m wrong that Aimee wasn’t in the chat room, I’m sorry I said Aimee was in the chat room. But surely that’s not the main point as any one knows. I’m hampered by not knowing the identities of all the handles on IRC. Yet in concert with the IRC chat, which is all the forums regs, Aimee helped to create the enabling environment for the IRC chat. Aimee led the charge against me on the forums when it came to calling for an entire reconstruction and revision of the forums in order to box me out.
    She must have been terribly offended that I countered her seemingly brilliant “anti-push button” idea in the bounce scripts debate and she lashed out.

    She claims not to have incited “the Shunning”. But with a million nods and winks, she supervised “the Shunning” just like other leaders did. It doesn’t always work in some lockstep way. Like any bastion trying to maintain power, the FIC don’t have to literally conspire, they can understand each other and respond to all the signals and bonding rituals in a flash. That’s actually how shunning and mob justice works, and these constant claims that there were dozens of great minds independently arriving at the same conclusion is so much tripe — they are people constantly struggling to stay in a group, conform to the group, bond with the group, and promote the group, as some of the recent threads have shown about groups, and some of the FIC wannabes have even found that if they bash Prok, they can get on a faster track to entree to the group.

    What’s especially ludicruous here is IceBrodie’s and Enabran’s chanting of TOS sections about libel. Libel is making deliberately false statements that injure another’s reputation and livlihood. I haven’t engaged in libel because I haven’t made some deliberately false and damaging statement, I’ve merely stated my critical opinion. Any court in this land, and most of even Eastern Europe and Asia, is going to understand the distinctions. In most democratic states, public figures, i.e. state officials and movie stars, have less protection from libel, i.e. ordinary citizens have the right to criticize them because this meets the needs for robust debate in a democratic society (see the Times v. Sullivan US Supreme Court decision). I haven’t libeled the FIC, I’ve critiqued them. Meanwhile, they’ve libeled me with the wrong RL info and disclosed RL info.

    “We get a Prok type every few months,” says one smug FIC regular. What do you mean “we”? Who are you, that you can pick and chose who gets to have free expression on the forums, and who doesn’t?

    “Don’t let Prok’s posts incite you to do something stupid,” counsels Pathfinder. “But you didn’t hear it from me (say no more)”. Monty Pythonesque and coy and bonding is this remark, yet it’s deadly. He is counseling others how to make a gang attack, and not moderating the forums professionally himself with his colleagues at Linden Labs. That sucks.

    And it sucks not only because of the seeming collusion, it sucks because he is so visibly biased already, that he doesn’t see that already, for months and months, the FIC has already been “doing something stupid” engaging in gross, indecent, obscene, vituperative, hateful, [elided by Uri] attacks on me and others who differ from them. He’s blind to that aspect, and doesn’t see that when they behave like that, a person like me fights back, and they are willing even to risk forum membership in order to fight what is clearly a just and right cause.

    We didn’t AR their attacks, so they stood — the Lindens either didn’t care or didn’t notice. That’s the horrible state of affairs at the forums. As I’ve told the Lindens time and again, had even one Linden shown up to close the first thread publicly attacking me an taking an ingame dispute out of the game, and starting a thread only about me (which Pathfinder has always ruled as “inappropriate”) probably none of us would be here right now. They did not enforce their own TOS, and did not enforce it equally. They still don’t today, as poster after poster is able to write hateful, inciting, even libelous statements about me on the forums, with no action from LL.

    I think it’s instructive that this thread
    actually provides a list of “best practices” of forum behaviour, the kind Coco was driving at with the “Toward a New Civility” concept, to try to confront the FIC regs with their bad behaviour. Of course, all they could do was continue to engage in it and try to play “gotcha” with it and then claim that calm, sane, persistence in countering their hysterically bad behaviour and vicious debating techniques was some kind of “trolling”. That’s when you really go through the Looking Glass. I’m surprised Pathfinder, as intelligent as he is, doesn’t see the sea of bad faith and bad behaviour going on in a thread like that. But it’s because it’s a milieu he himself is soaking in, and he has no reason to question it — it’s his bread and butter.

    I’ve lost my faith in the Lindens for now. It will take awhile to restore. I see I’m alone on the Police Blotter, and they aren’t taking action against any of the far worse offenders on the forums, nor are they really making any serious efforts to equally enforce the TOS, though giving Ulrika an “official warning” and moving Aimee’s infomercial to classifieds are all steps in the right direction.

  6. Prokofy Neva

    Jun 30th, 2005

    The IRC chat wasn’t two months ago, but it wasn’t the last few days. Still, it is relevant to the story. Pirate Cotton, you’re talking about UO, a MMORPG. But Philip Linden tells us daily that this isn’t a game, and he’s trying to make it a real world. Well if he wants to make it a real game, then he has to remove these game-like features that enable this hothouse, self-replicating, vicious culture of the forums. The TOS language already overreaches beyond any real world’s law, it’s the language of a private club or a controlling state trying to keep its privileges and powers. But we can take even this TOS at good faith, and interpret it as you would in a democratic society where you were trying to use it to preserve democracy, not kill off minorities. I’m confident that my speech is not in violation of this TOS. I’d challenge you to find in good faith an actual bona-fide example of a statement that violations that TOS as understood by reasoned, intelligent, open and democratic people, not as understood by a cabal trying to use the law as a weapon to club others.

  7. Tony Walsh

    Jun 30th, 2005

    What is the original date of this IRC log? Although it may be “outdated,” it’s still news to those outside of Second Life’s cliques. In fact, the IRC log both explains a lot, and appears to validate some of Prok’s key claims.

    Why are Lindens using IRC anyway? If Second Life isn’t a good game, and isn’t a good chatroom, then what is it? From a public-relations standpoint, it doesn’t look good if you won’t eat your own oatmeal.

  8. montserrat

    Jun 30th, 2005

    montserrat nods in agreement with tony.

  9. Prokofy Neva

    Jun 30th, 2005

    I was first sent the IRC chat log on Monday, 16 May 2005 by someone using an anonymous e-mail account. In the next few days, I was to receive this exact same transcript from four separate sources, all anonymous, one person even went so far as to make a trial account in SL to deliver me the notecard then was never heard from again. So there were people even in that chat room, or related to that chat who felt it represented a breach of ethics and good faith and felt they had to tell me about it, some of them even adding that “they don’t always agree with me on the forums but they felt the IRC chat was wrong.”

    People go in the IRC channel because the interface for communication is instant, like on Yahoo Messenger, unlike the SL forums, where you are posting, reading a text, then waiting for someone to read, post, etc. It’s also viewed as a kind of tekkie hangout where the finer and “higher” points of the technical aspects of SL are discussed by Linden and FIC tekkies. So to characterize it as “public” is a bit misleading because while open to the public, and open to me to go in as a lurker or as Prokofy, it really tends to be a “back channel” for Lindens and FIC to talk to each other informally without all the “masses” and the “infamous antagonists” like Prok to bother them. It’s also a place where speech is not as controlled and of course has the additional anonymizer factor where you can enter with a handle different than your SL avatar name.

    As soon as I received this chat log, I confronted Pathfinder about it, asking him if he was the “Path” in the chat — I almost couldn’t believe it. I then immediately posted it “as is” to the forums — and Pathfinder immediately deleted it and told me “Prok, that’s not appropriate.”

    He admitted he was that Path and said he was sorry, but that he was exasperated with me. Don’t forget, he did apologize on the forums. Both he and other Lindens seemed to believe I was always deliberately trying to skirt the TOS, whereas I always felt I was just doing what was normal in a normal discourse, dealing with a set of very hysterical, thin-skinned, screechy prima donnas who had long been feted and never really faced any challenge to their domain.

    I have no doubt that Lindens have even more private sounding boards and chat rooms. They come on as alts and they make it a practice to consult with the beta/older/FIC types about various decisions — there are some FICS who have admitted this and of course are proud of it. Even the ebil Prok gets to talk to Lindens seriously at times and even being an Eliminated Entity, I still have Lindens who will listen to my concerns and talk normally more or less although I often find them defensively circling the wagons.

    The fact is, tho, they have their chosen partners. It’s a racket. It’s a closed and charmed circle.

    I think they do view themselves as a technical elite, rightfully privileged, which needs to be secured against outside “agitators” to do their “important work”. “Ours is a high and lonely destiny,” you can hear them saying like the logical-positivist scientist in C.S. Lewis’ “That Hideous Strength”. But in their loneliness, with that high destiny, they have each other — and when someone challenges their bastion, they react hysterically. That’s how I’m finding it.

  10. Walker Spaight

    Jun 30th, 2005

    Tony, the chat log is from approximately mid-May. Pathfinder did apologize publicly in the forums, with the usual result: He was congratulated for showing remorse and given lots of HUGZ by SL residents who apparently have low standards of personal behavior.

    The fact that Path is in IRC from time to time isn’t remarkable. But in the log above, he specifically tells those present that he has suggested LL ban Prokofy, and he does it in such a way to imply that it’s all right if they violate the TOS in the meantime. He says it several different ways:

    Cienna: You’d have to ban her and all 20 alts ;p
    llPath: don’t think I have not suggested that


    llPath: the ONLY FRIGGIN THING I care about…is keeping the forums as supportive and constructive as possible for EVERYONE
    llPath: so…..let your imagination run with that one
    llPath: and you’ll know what I’ve suggested

    To many forum frequenters, that’s as good as giving them permission to take the gloves off and go after him. Pathfinder is essentially saying, “We’re working on banning Prok, so officially the policy is that you should ignore him, but what you do is up to you.”

    Again, specifics:
    llPath: …until we work out an official policy, the general rule is…don’t let Prok’s posts incite you to do something stupid

    In other words, “Keep your guard up, because we’d rather find a way to ban Prok [whom Path had earlier admitted had not violated the TOS] than have to ban anyone else [whom Path had earlier admitted *had* violated the TOS].”

    Just a little news analysis. Now back to our regularly scheduled drama.

  11. Prokofy Neva

    Jun 30th, 2005

    BTW, I never told Neal that there were “trojans embedded in the pages” so he’s exaggerating that convo, and even Neal, as decent as he is, can’t help engaging in anti-Prok ritualistic FIC bonding in this chat. I merely said that WHEN I was ONLY on this site, browsing it and logged in, I happened to get a trojan that ended up paralyzing my computer. In fact, I only happened to visit 3 SL-related sites one day, and I got a really vicious damaging trojan that destroyed my computer for 2 days that had a name I fleetingly saw with something like “banker” in the name.

    Is it a coincidence? Possibly. I often had the experience when I had the Norton utilities running full blast of ALWAYS getting something off this site that was trying to invade my computer. Whatever. I know certain tekkies in SL who view this as an “unsafe site” in that respect. I’m not a paranoid tin-hatter, I’m just reporting what occurred. Maybe all it does is get a cookie. Maybe it does grab IPs. I’ve never understood why that is so hard to admit, and why I am viewed as “destructive” for viewing these issues, discussing them, and questioning the way in which third-party sites gather information and use it or store it for possible use, sometimes in ways that give them game advantages.

    There’s nothing about Cristiano’s fabulously successful site that is “destroyed”. The squealing about this from the FIC is really touching, honestly, are they so insecure? Questioning Big Business and Big Partners of LL is just normal dissent in a normal society, not the orchid-filled hothouse of SL, of course. I said in the forums “IP address” and “IPS” address in a plurals of “IPs” and I may have misspoken and written “ISP Address” or “IPS Address” when I was merely trying to describe the markers that sites can and do capture when you browse them. And IP can and does track to and Internet Service Provider — although not always, and sometimes it is inaccurate as to an individual because a variety of individuals are logged on with the same service in the same geographical area. The address is also dynamic and changes. We know all that. But none other than James Linden himself says that SL itself grabs your IP and uses it to make the game work. I ask you, what do you take me for, an idiot? I’m merely questioning, as an intelligent, capable, reasonably technically proficient person, how these technologies are being put to use. That is my right in a democratic society. It’s actually my right to put on a tinfoil hat and spout nonsense, too, but I’m not doing that. In their hysteria and zealotry, some FIC types are even posting on other blogs that I write about who shot President McKinley like some Intarnut conspiracy nutter.

    I don’t understand why people can’t just patiently answer questions about these issues, and not be so goddamned touchy and thin-skinned. Their constant dancing and prancing around this only serves to fuel MORE speculation. Uri, the very first time I sent you an email, your reply came back to me with my IP address — a numbered URL — pasted right in it, duh. And twice, you banned me off your site, each time after I took care to dial up with different ISPs to try to get around it, with different e-mails. Honestly, do you think I’m an idiot? That’s not a trojan, it’s not malicious, it’s just a normal practice. My purpose is to point out that in a hothouse game world, it can and does get used for leveling up.

  12. Tony Walsh

    Jun 30th, 2005

    Walker, thanks for the insight. I had a similar impression from that chat log but didn’t want to go very far in the interpretation posted on my blog today.

  13. Urizenus

    Jun 30th, 2005

    Tony, I love this line from your blog: “it appears that Linden Lab instituted the “incitement” policy to protect members from self-immolation”. Classic!

  14. Joe Public

    Jun 30th, 2005


    another set of mini-books from prok…..

    it’s not a fucking therapy couch here…or is it?

  15. Aimee Weber

    Jun 30th, 2005

    Damn, Prok just can’t let me go. OK I was bored at work so I decided to pick an issue, in this case the infamous “shunning”. NOW everybody knows I had nothing to do with any shunning, but just take a look at Prok’s posts during the last month or two and you will get a feeling for what I have to put up with.

    Notice how skillfully he goes from claiming outright that I organized a mass shunning movement by spending 40% of my time on IRC. These claims fell flat as Prok was unable to find a single forum post where I even hinted at shunning, and when IRC regulars all basically said “UH…we NEVER see Aimee in IRC”. Of course, I had never set foot in IRC at that time but thanks for the introduction! I’ve been trying to be a regular there these past 2 weeks.

    Prok finishes up with what amounts to spectral evidence against me, saying that…OK maybe Aimee WASN’T in IRC, BUT! the FIC respond to her nods, winks and signals. Well Prok, you got me there. I don’t know HOW I (or anybody else) can prove innocence against a claim like that.

    All these quotes are BY Prok in reference to me. Enjoy:

    But my ideas were rebuffed by somebody with some slider complex who got so angry at my refusal to be intimidated that she started a mass shunning movement of me and my posts LOL.

    And I was also suggesting that yes, you did organize the shunning.

    Oh, but you already FOUND a solution, hon! It’s going on IRC to that efnet.net address and going on the #secondlife channel and spending 40 percent of your time talking about me, and using that time handily to organize a big collective shun of me. Nice work!

    know you continue to believe I’ve “told a lie” about you — that I said you were part of the shunning campaign against me. But you were part of it, and you set the stage for it by inciting all the discussion to change the entire forums just to get rid of me.

    You were obsessing about your belief that I “slandered” you by accusing you plotted against me in the IRC channel, but you didn’t get my more subtle point – you created an enabling environment by leading in the back to shun me and revide the forums totally around me.

    She emboldened and encouraged by her actions others who muted me. They all did indeed discuss how to get rid of me and ban me in the IRC channel, the transcript record has never been denied, and I’ve received the exact same text from four different sources. Aimee didn’t have to be physically in the IRC chat to be in close, symbiotic, nay, separated-at-birth status with this effort. The notion of a group of 30-odd people all separately standing up as one but with no coordination is just silly, given the wagons-circling, buddying-up, ass-kissing blatantly obvious to even the most casual student of the SL forums.

    Aimee continues that fine forum tradition by simply claiming I lied and distorted her statements and actions without providing a single link or a single argument…
    Like the IRC chat issue and the shunning, one cannot always demonstrate a smoking gun or a missing link but we can definitely always talk about an enabling environment

    She claims not to have incited the Shunning. But with a million nods and winks, she supervised the Shunning just like other leaders did. It doesn’t always work in some lockstep way. Like any bastion trying to maintain power, the FIC don’t have to literally conspire, they can understand each other and respond to all the signals and bonding rituals in a flash. That’s actually how shunning and mob justice works

  16. Serious Business

    Jun 30th, 2005

    LL wants people to treat them like a real business, but they tolerate unprofessional behavior within, and elitist behavior without.

    This is the perfect path toward an isolated universe catering to a small clique of their initial audience.

    If they want to get down to serious business, they will have to shut this kind of crap down. Now, preferably.

    This problem is not unique to SL — it occurs on every message board, IRC channel and online game.

    But to aspiring metaverse — it is deadly.

    Fix it.

  17. Prokofy Neva

    Jun 30th, 2005

    Walker, that was an excellent exegesis. Although you’d think I’d support any analysis that would show collusion with ill intent, I actually think that in this one instance, Pathfinder wasn’t so much telling the FIC to take the gloves off and harass me any way they could technically within the TOS, I think he was hoping they’d ignore me and start posting high-content interesting posts that would somehow leave me in the dust with their brilliance. Um, he overestimated the FIC.

    One spin on it might be that his mild wristslap meant that he gave the green light to the continual raising of RL and fake RL issues — that was the key way the FIC worked together to try to shame and humiliate me. I’d like to think Pathfinder is a more decent human being than to stoop to such low methods, however. I actually think Pathfinder, at least his Linden avatar character and persona in-game (I don’t know him obviously in RL), is a kind of Mr. Rogers kind of character. He’d like to be drawing Happy Little Trees in Every Corner. He wants us All to Get Along. And I think his own strategy was to constantly post interesting intellectual posts that might “bring out Prok’s better side” and “get Prok to be more positive” and also get the FIC to be producing higher-content posts about more thoughtful subjects. (I actually think some aren’t capable of rising to that challenge).

    Sometimes I’d play along with that Mr. Rogers stuff, but honestly, when it also consisted of the usual Linden FIC blowjob, and was the usual feting and endorsing infomercial, I’d crack and write things like the prom queen stuff. Honestly, somebody had to cut through that treacle! It’s a job, somebody had to do it!

    Once agin, I have to marvel at Enabran’s indigannt, self-righteous tone about “vaporizing” his faith in LL. What was the horrible stuff I posted that caused such a riot, huh??? Unfortunately, some of it is “sequestered” and can’t be accessed. But go and read it! I came back as alts after I was banned, not to be a troll, not to be a vicious forum bad guy, but because people were libeling me with the WRONG RL. Uri, elide away as you must, but that is vital to telling and understanding this story! When will you INVESTIGATE this issue and GET IT. I came back to fight for my good name amidst a barrage of evil, malicious attacks, pictures, lampoons, caricatures based on the WRONG RL. It should never have been allowed to stand *if LL moderators were doing their job which they were not, in part because I didn’t flick the AR switch enough.*

    What I personally find most disappointing about Pathfinder’s remarks in the IRC channel is this:

    “Enabran, you are making an assumption…you are assuming…that you can have a logical discussion with someone (namely Prok)…and Enabran, you won’t win that battle…to be blunt”.

    That’s really harmful and destructive, and it’s a kind of power-play, especially coming from a Linden, who is supposed to be a respected authority figure with legitimate authority, and especially coming from someone who in RL is in a “helping profession”.

    In saying that, Pathfinder really belittles me, not unlike the FIC. He implies that I’m someone who is irrational, that can’t understand the technical facts and logic of IPs and IPs and all that junk. But of course I understand them, and of course I can have a logical, reasonable discussion. It’s just that I QUESTION this technology and what it does and how it is used. If I do this in some technologically inept way, what of it? My QUESTIONS are legitimate, and it is up to keepers of the gate like Pathfinder to realize they are legitimate and ANSWER THEM the way James Linden calmly and rationally answered the questions of residents on the Hotline Forum about privacy and the new web-on-the-prim. That kind of reasonable question from a resident about privacy, and that kind of normal and sane and understanding response from James Linden about how the IP is handled is what SHOULD have taken place in these threads about the IPs. That they didn’t is a tribute to the thin-skinned and hysterical sense of pride of place that the FIC has, and their unreasonableness in brooking any dissent and any questioning of their products and policies.

  18. cubey

    Jun 30th, 2005

    Of course, no one should doubt that you’ve mastered the subject of IP tracking when you referred to them as “IPS addresses” for a few days. ;)

  19. Someone

    Jun 30th, 2005

    Joe, I enjoy Prok’s mini-books. =)

    Aimee, what you have to put up with? What about what Prok had to put up with from you and your sheep? I don’t feel sorry for you in the least.

    It’s just sad that a “trusted” Linden employee would do this. I’m surprised he didn’t get in more trouble for this. Prok simply states his views and ideas on the forums and gets banned but a LL employee goes into an IRC chatroom and hints to certain “special” residents that he’s working to get a paying customer banned? Just because people don’t agree with Prok doesn’t mean he should be banned. What happened to diversity? The world would be a boring place if everyone saw eye to eye.

    I wish there was something us residents can do to express our feelings of anger for what happened to Prokofy. I would love to but I’m afraid the FIC might get me banned. Hehe.

  20. interesting

    Jun 30th, 2005

    the funny thing is im aware of a certain linden that does play on an alt as a “normal” sl citizen, and i bet my last linden dollar that this particular nameless linden would certainly give special treatment to the certain group this linden associates with under the alt.

  21. nerferder

    Jun 30th, 2005

    I see about 5 or 6 people that should quit SL if they believe half the bullshit they post.

    Funny thing is, they don’t quit….


  22. Prokofy Neva

    Jun 30th, 2005

    Cubey, trust me, I had masterd the subject even before entering your august forums. If I typed “IPS” instead of “IP’s” in haste, so what? If I mispoke in the heat of the forum flames? So what, as I posted numerous times and elsewhere, I know the difference between and IP and and an ISP, duh. Through force of circumstances, I used to have to run a network. I’m not stupid. And what if I were? Who cares? It doesn’t “damage” anything of yours for me to ask these questions. I hope to blog about my actual experiences with this phenom soon! Meanwhile, Cubey, why is your blimp with the notecard ads still landing in the WA in Waterhead?

  23. Aimee Weber

    Jun 30th, 2005

    There is a deicious dynamic here where you have people using their real accounts to post facts backed up by links to primary sources. And they are debating anonymous users who make unsubstantiated claims backed by mutable second hand anonymous sources.

    I’m honestly not complaining. This is fun!

    *wink* *nod* *wink* *pirouette*
    (This means “all is well” in FIC signals)

  24. Cocoanut

    Jun 30th, 2005

    1. One clarification. Prok said:

    “I think it’s instructive that this thread…actually provides a list of “best practices” of forum behaviour, the kind Coco was driving at with the “Toward a New Civility” concept, to try to confront the FIC regs with their bad behaviour.”

    I had to read that twice before I realized he was talking about himself at the end of that sentence, and not attributing that motive to my attempts to do the T.A.C.T. thing.

    So just in case anyone read that wrong like I did, that was not my motivation. I proposed this thingie with the sincere (naive) idea of getting us all still on the forums (me included) to be more civil. Suffice it to say, I won’t be exposing my soft underbelly like that again.

    3. I am afraid the Lindens are pretty much blind as to how damaging the forums are, how damaging the new rule is, how damaging it was to ban Prok, and to conspire in his banning – there’s no other way to put that, given the IRC chat, and how damaging it is to allow forum regulars to run amok unsupervised with personal attacks and callous treatment of those they don’t like.

    Do the Lindens not realize that these sorts of things are affecting their business?

    Think about it. It means when friends of mine want to join, I’m no longer enthusiastic. I don’t exactly STOP them, and I’m happy to have my friends with me, and I’ve had about ten people now to join.

    But I don’t go to TSO and enthusiastically ask them to come.

    I don’t go anywhere in the real world and try to get my rw friends to join me there. I don’t wish on my nice friends this type of thing that goes on in the forums – the personal attacks and name-calling that happens to people some dislike (like me); the banning of Prok while overlooking the acts of others; you name it. It’s not a pleasant place. Now, with the new rule, it is even worse. I like the game, I really do, and I don’t want to be prevented from playing it. But what can I do? I can’t not speak up when I see horrible treatment of anyone – myself included – going on.

    I wonder, do the Lindens have any idea how much influence this can have on the growth of their game? First Prok, before him, others; during and after him, me and others. People already in the game who avoid the forums because they don’t want to be “cut to shreds.” Numbers of individuals, their friends, their friends of friends. My friends know that I don’t say things lightly, and if I think something is rotten in the state of SL, that’s cause to pause.

    Don’t the Lindens realize the effect of all these small cases, all these people NOT being enthusiastic about getting their friends to join? That the cumulative word of mouth is destructive?

    Don’t they realize how a reasonable person will look upon shunning campaigns, all the vicious personal attacks against people who refrain from making them; the reporting of people who never report anybody; and the cosseting of the forums to a certain few only – no outsiders need apply unless you (as someone stated so succintly somewhere on these boards) kiss the right asses? And the ousting of Prok to appease these few, even though many of them did much worse to him?

    The Lindens are allowing the game to lose players like me. Me and my friends. And more like me. And more to come like me. Because they allow a few players to run the boards and run off anyone they don’t like – sometimes literally, as in the case of Prok.

    I couldn’t count the number of names I have been called. I get mad sometimes and say something like “screw it,” or “shove it where the sun don’t shine,” but I don’t – and have never, to my memory – done to others the sort of personal slander and name-calling they do me DAILY. Not that I couldn’t. Of course, when I point this out, I’m a “cry-baby” and a “professional victim” and several other “explanations” I can’t remember at the moment.

    I could report these attacks, yes. I could push that button. I will not.

    The Lindens seem blind to all this, and thus blind to what betters their bottom line in the long run.

    At least, I HOPE they are simply blind to it. Sometimes I think that when it comes to personal interactions, they take their cue from just a few, and pander to popularity themselves with those few. Like a bunch of kids assuring each other constantly how cool they are.

    Witness the Town Hall meeting. Prok asked a question – a perfectly reasonable, intelligent question.

    Phillip’s reponse was, “Comic relief.” Then he went on to answer the question.

    That statement could be taken, and was taken, by people who find it funny, to be a comment on Prok himself.

    With the head of the company making comments like this – in public, in front of other players, to humiliate one player (if that was indeed his meaning), it’s little wonder people feel justified in pecking other players to death, to even get them banned from the forums, and now, from the game itself.

    The founder of the company gets to make fun of a paying player like that? Now, I’m not entirely sure this is what he meant. But – anything else he might have meant wasn’t apparent to me.

    Do the Lindens really think that sits well with most people? For not just company employees, but for the president himself to join in on the belittling of players? It doesn’t sit well with me.

    I don’t care WHO the heck is being belittled and ostracized. It could be Beelzebub himself, and I could NEVER respect this sort of treatment of an individual. Especially not a paying customer.

    SURELY that is not what Phillip meant. I WANT it to not be what Phillip meant.

    People think Prok is an anomaly. He is not. The same treatment continues on, unrestrained, on the forums today.

    What many forum members don’t grasp is what happens to one of us could happen to any of us. That’s why the Prok case is so important.


  25. Prokofy Neva

    Jun 30th, 2005

    Wow, Aimee, that’s impressive and obsessive research! But I don’t get why I’m not in some feeling of “oops, they got me there”. I’m just not — yet you feel I should be red-faced and shamed and slinking in the corner by having been bested or outed or trounced or trumped. I just don’t get it. When somebody says something like “just go to efnet and spend 40 percent of your time in the IRC” I guess I just find it as rhetoric, not to be taken literally as some literal 40 percent, and going on efnet is just a statement that indicates buddying up and getting into the group grope to gang up on someone. You cannot deny you did that!

    And when I’m addressing you in a public depate, I’m addressing you as the collective and public face of the FIC. You *are* the FIC, Aimee, you are the leering, taunting, pigtailed face we all right-look up at on the forums each time we log into that horrid cloaca. I’m sorry if you took it personally. But it’s not meant to be personal. And like I keep saying, if you weren’t in the chat room, you weren’t. But you are conveniently leaving out all the slews of posts you engineered, and polls, and pictures, that worked toward your goal of revising and reforming the forums to box me out. You’re constantly silent on THAT topic, so that your hammering on this 40 percent business is just a diversion and a distraction.

    I’m just too hot and tired right now to bother going and getting all the links but anybody can see them. You really thought you’d be successful in that gambit, and it turned out to be disappointing, you even made a little frown-face, a muet of disappointment that even your FIC friends wouldn’t come along with you for THAT ride.

    You keep harping and harpie like an obsessive tekkie on this figure of 40 percent and this literal statement about the chat. Obviously, this literal flat statement is not true, since you weren’t in the chat nor was any time there then calibrated at 40 percent. But that’s just a metaphor, ultimately, for working with others, colluding, bonding, joining and promoting a group think. That’s what we’re talking about here, Aimee, group think. If you can’t see it, if you can’t admit it, if you still deny it, well I guess there is a shred of decency in you yet, and we can build on that, hmmm? You can start by apologizing for trying to revise the entire forums around one person, me. And then admitting that yes, you do use a felt-tipped pen sometimes to put a little heart shape over the “i” in your name. (j/k ROFL).

  26. Aimee Weber

    Jul 1st, 2005

    “I’m addressing you as the collective and public face of the FIC. You *are* the FIC, Aimee, you are the leering, taunting, pigtailed face we all right-look up at on the forums each time we log into that horrid cloaca.” -Prokofy Neva

    I am SO going to get that embroidered onto a pillow.

    But anyways Prok, go back at look at my suggestions during my efforts to reform the forum. I didn’t suggest any plans to “get prok”. On the contrary my proposal was to create an additional section, you will recall the “NPR” section, that would feature stricter administration while leaving the rest of the forums untouched. Yep, I was actually suggesting that you should be left to post just as you were doing in the general forum as long as I could have a strict administration zone where I can enjoy a rant-free thread from time to time.

    But people didn’t like the idea. I abandoned it. Now ALL the forums are strict administration zones. And you are banned.

    I think you should be man enough to admit it… if I had my way back then you would never have gotten banned. Say it with me now…. “Thank you for trying Aimee”

  27. Neal Stewart

    Jul 1st, 2005

    Prokofy Neva 6/30/2005 @ 1:56 pm wrote:

    >> BTW, I never told Neal that there were
    >> “trojans embedded in the pages” so
    >> he’s exaggerating that convo

    Hi Prok. I was referring to the comment you had made in a forum post:

    You wrote, “The SLH has a nasty habit of using trojans on its websites.”

    Anyway, catch you later in-world.

    – Neal

  28. Aimee Weber

    Jul 1st, 2005

    Neal I have some experience with the Prok Doctrine so I think I can field this question for him.

    You see Neal, it’s all about word redefinition. If Prok says “YOU were in IRC” he can quickly transform “you” from the person he is replying to and calling “hun” to a more general “you people”.

    When Prok said “The SLH has a nasty habit of using trojans on its websites.” You were taking him far too literally. “SLH” wasn’t THIS Second Life Herald. NO!!! He was talking about the symbolic SLHs of the world. The KINDS of publications that are “out there”, “Heralding things”. In fact this SLH of the mind Prok discusses was heralding “trojans” and it’s safe to say by “trojan” Prok was referring to a trojan-like mode of behavior. Certainly not any sort of harmful computer practice.

    Hope this helps.

  29. Pendari Lorentz

    Jul 1st, 2005

    Coco, here is the statement Philip made in response to Prok:

    Prokofy Neva: Why are you making a decision like this which will likely impact the land market considerably without discussing it first with residents particularly land dealers?
    Philip Linden: comic relief ;)
    Philip Linden: The pricing increase on islands wasn’t something really worth discussing,
    Philip Linden: because it is just a cost issue.
    Philip Linden: We need to cover costs.
    Philip Linden: If that means people buy less islands, I’m OK with that.
    Philip Linden: We’ve gotta run the business so that we can afford to write new code.
    Philip Linden: As to the mainland auction stuff,
    Philip Linden: we have had lots of discussions and listened and thought about that lots.
    Philip Linden: I think the community is well represented in the direction.
    Philip Linden: I guess if everyone hates the idea, we’ll change it.
    Philip Linden: But I don’t get that from feedback so far.

    The “comic relief” on the end did not even seem to fit. So I took it as Philip responding to someone in the crowd (as happened throughout the interview). But you can’t see what non-lindens are saying on the transcript. So personally I figured he was responding to someone else with that statement.

    It could also be taken as a “joking answer” to Prok’s question. As in: “we did it because we thought it would be funny to put it out there without having discussed the issue”.. “But no really, here is why we didn’t do that.. ..”

    Or, since Prok has often claimed that the Lindens have the ear of certain players (FIC), and this is just not true. Maybe Philip found it funny that Prok would ask the question because it contridicts many of Prok’s claims. Since no one *was* talked to about this issue before hand.

    There are different ways to read that response. But if you are pre-disposed to read it on the defense, then I could see where it could be misunderstood. You could always email Philip and ask him what he meant by the statement. =)

  30. Prokofy Neva

    Jul 1st, 2005

    Hi, Neal, hey, you’re absolutely right, and I’m wrong! I didn’t really mean to imply some malicious, evil policy, but meant to indicate a tactic I thought was used for a time to out Evangeline and others the Herald was battling with. OK, you win, I’ll admit you certainly have a “gotcha” on that one, nice work!

    If anyone else would like to gloat, here’s the full quote for your viewing pleasure:

    “The SLH has a nasty habit of using trojans on its websites. It is not viewed as a “safe site”. I have sat on it and had it grab at me from all over the place and its efforts are recorded in Kaspersky or Norton Internet worm catchers. So….you have to wonder what that’s all about, all that grabbing of ISP numbers (which we know SLH uses to “out” fake alts who appear to argue with themselves on the pages of SLH).

    In the end, information gathered by land-scanners or by old-fashioned journalistic shoe-leather is information that is used to position a group or individual to compete with others in what is often a harsh and closed business climate.”

    (I was right of course that Walker would get absolutely nowhere trying to do a story on business information, people never tell in anything in that harsh climate.)

    Note that as a bonus, what you’ll also get out of this quote Neal helpfully found is that silly “ISP numbers” stuff that must show that Prok is a completely tinfoil hatted idiot! There it is, everybody! Feast on it once again! Geez, imagine being so goddamned dumb you can’t tell an ISP from IPs!

    Aimee, you’re welcome to pounce, too, hon! However, I do maintain that your call to make NPR-like sections and your other statements were all designed to work around me, not provide me with any “freedom” on the forums and they were a signal for others to attack, since you are a leader and do set the tone. And your taunting picture on the forums is really the best icon I can find of the FIC and its behaviour on the forums, to be sure.

    I can only say what I’ve been saying a million times already. If I’ve said something that is technically wrong, if I’ve said something that is technically inept, if I’ve put the wrong words like “trojans” instead of “cookies” or “ISP numbers” instead of “IP address,” then shoot me, just as you’re doing right now. In my inept and clumsy way, I was merely trying to explain the following, which I think most of you actually don’t dispute, once you get over your thin-skinned and hysterical dudgeon on these issues:

    1. That when Uri first wrote back to me when I sent him an email from my address dyerbrookME@juno.com which is my public game address, it came back with a numbered URL, an IP address, pasted right into it which was established as my number, not his. I was familiar with such numbered URLs not only from RL work, but from running game-related sites where, for example, you have a Bravenet poll and it announces every vote to you with that numbered URL evidently in order to prevent double voting, the vote add-on only lets a person logging on the site vote once, and that’s the way that is achieved. Uri did indeed track these IP addresses, I saw them right in the emails. If those were NOT IP addresses they were SOMETHING used as a marker.

    2. Uri first banned me from his site when I dialed in from one ISP, then banned me again when he somehow found me from the second one. Since this was logging on to his site using a browser, not writing to him with e-mail, it seemed he was doing this with IP addesses or some other mechanism, not merely emails, but whatever mechanism or combination of mechanisms he used, it was achieved.

    3. If he was only doing this with cookies or email addresses and not some capturing of IPs or trojans or whatever, then fine, that’s how he was doing it, then I stand corrected — the point still stands, he was capturing markers of some type to block me (he thought better of it and unblocked it). I’m not certain he ever really delivered any kind of coherent statement on what his policy is about people coming on to this website (unless I’ve missed fine prints or debates somewhere).

    4. While visiting this site, Norton or Kaspersky would go wild and show attacks on my computer. Who knows if it is was related. The Internet is a strange place. It happened. I recorded it. I also noted that other technically savvy people in the game described the site to me as “an unsafe site”. Whatever, I’m merely recording my experience. Interestingly, I used to have this experience under the old format of the website, and when it was changed to the new format we see now, that problem seemed to disappear, I have no idea why. This was indeed my experience. There were indeed Trojan attacks identified by Norton utilities. Take it or leave it, that was the basis for my statement, not some wild-eyed theory.

    5. Cristiano also blocked me from posting on his forums, also using whatever technology is needed for that and markers required for that purpose. He had no actual violation on his forums, his reason was only what I wrote on SL forums which he felt was uncomplimentary or even libelous about tracking me on the Internet. The fact of the matter is, I was indeed tracked on the Internet — and to say more will only lead to a Uri elision.

    6. Third-party sites (some people even call them second-party sites!) will go on capturing whatever data they need to capture to do the job of keeping some people off their forums, which is their right of course, and along the way, will also be able to out alts, because they’ll be able to see if someone attempts to log on with different handles and post back-ups to existing posts, etc. They can also relate all this information they have either to other game sites or just the Internet in general if they want to get busy with google and dogpile and so on. They can — and sometimes do — use this information for advantages in games.

    Now, let’s see where we are in the battle of the monsters here, the leveling up, the beating of the bosses, the acquiring of skill points, and the accessorizing with kewl game objects:

    1. The FIC has trounced me on the forums and succeeded, with the help of a few Lindens even, in getting me permanently banned from the forums. They used a literal understanding of my inept efforts to complain about their misuse of technology to do this. I can’t even read all the forum sections now, i.e. general is blocked, and while I can post a real estate ad in “classifieds,” I can’t upload pictures or post to that same thread to add an update. That hampers my business in the game.

    2. The permanent banning of me is a declaration of open season on me in the game, as attacks against me have increased, i.e. everything from prim attacks, IMs asking me if I want to have sex with both sexes somewhere in strange positions, obscene and vicious slams, and malicious officer-recalls in my group, paralyzing my business and losing customers.

    3. It’s hard for me to even appear in any public place in the game without someone starting a taunt, a fight, an obsession, but I’m happy to take full responsibility for this, I knew what I was embarking on by taking on the FIC, just commenting on where it leads.

    4. A lot of ideas I have for the game, and experiences I have in the game from my considerable contacts with people and events can’t be put on the forums now for the good of the game and the community.

    5. The Herald has evidently been carrying a grudge for a long time, because of my critique of their proximity to the BDSM crowd, my infamous “Selene Witch” hoax which was designed to trip them up on their “game journalism” ethics, and my other criticism, my evidently incorrect or misguided statements about their “trojans,”etc. That’s made them mad, and that’s made at least 2 if not 3 journalists spend a lot of time in the game seemingly to befriend me, but actually getting me to confirm their outing of my RL.

    This, despite my frequent assistance to the Herald with news tips, photos, articles, etc. and my robust defense of Uri’s case and his right to free speech in TSO and SL. I even suffered a warning from Stratics over posting links to his site in my posts there and being associated with the Herald has certainly not helped me win some friends in some quarters, to put it mildly.

    6. So I’ve now been pulverized to a bloody mass, by both the FIC *and* the Herald *and* by many readers, so I guess we’re “done” and we can move on to the next lurid victim story, hmmm? It might seem odd that the Herald would do that after publishing an editorial in my defense, but it’s “always fairly unbalanced” and basically, it has to look out for itself. Neal’s post and his “gotcha” about the “trojans” has now raised the Herald inestibly in the FIC’s eyes, and will help restore FIC news sources badly needed by the Herald which, aside from everything else, does need to show “hittage” and popularity to stay afloat.

    7. And what’s the final score? It’s something like Prok: 3, Herald: 75, FIC: 99. The Herald suffered a slight bruising of its already tabloidy reputation, it got a few ribs and knocks for staying with the Prok story above the fold a tad too long, but now it’s restored its fighting weight and is beloved and widely-read once again. The FIC got a little bid of mud spattered on is ivory-white skirts and a few FIC got some informal or formal warnings (no bans) from the Lindens. Neither the FIC nor the SLH lost their standing in the game — they only enhanced it.

    It’s a sobering lesson to anyone else who might like to try to fight the powers that be, using the public and simple and direct methods I have chosen.

    Meanwhile, not only have I been permanently banned from the forums and opened up to attack, I have had my RL outed, against my will, and I’ve been slandered with the wrong RL. These were the methods used against me because I chose to take on the misuse of Internet technology in a variety of formats to silence dissent.

    That’s a big price to pay for games in which you depend on your avatar identity for many purposes — no one can dispute the other kinds of considerable harm it brings.

    It was a very, very heavy price to pay. I lost the battle and maybe even the war. I’m injured and may not recover, who knows.

    I hope that the message I brought, however, does stick with some people. And that is, our modern world is a cold and unfriendly place, without the milk of human kindness and the human warmth and decency of bygone eras. In this modern era, people form fiercely tribalistic groups, the kind they used to have in ancient times, maintain their ferocity and damaging power through the use of new technology to block other tribes and block people they don’t like or fear.

    Everything we thought we achieved with barriers coming down, oceans being crossed, country borders being dissolved, time zones and distances being traversed, minds being met, is being reversed with this capacity to use the same bridging technology of the Internet to also block people on the Internet and to track them or filter them out from sites, games, related things.

    The blocking of someone from a website, or property in SL tied to a website, or forums, chats, etc. — all part of the dawn of the Metaverse — is more thorough than the blocking that used to be provided in the old days with visa offices, border guards, sububurban security alarms in gated communities, etc.

    It’s thorough, and it’s devastating, and we are all diminished by it as people. In the name of stopping “griefers,” whose motivations we have never really fully understood in any event, we lose a lot else in our connectivity and our ability to listen to a variety of points of view and new ideas and impressions.

    When I first read Fahrenheit 451 years ago, and through the years when I saw actual book confiscations and burnings in places like the Soviet Union, I always thought that in some future dystopia, they might really resort to fire and actual seizure of physical, paper books. I didn’t realize that it would be done more cleanly, more thoroughly, more devastatingly by the very technology that enabled the fireman’s wife to watch a huge, living, 3-D interactive soap-opera on the wall.

    The technical complexity of computers and the Internet, like the complexity of other machines and cars in past decades, have enabled a new generation of young men — and this time women, too — to become proficient in an arcane field of knowledge that enables them to feel superior over others without this knowledge and ability, and enables them to have considerable power over other human beings. Psychologically, it often happens that this sense of superiority and power covers up a troubled, conflicted psyche with an inferiority complex, making it all the more potent.

    These people now run things. But I don’t know if the world is a better place. It’s been hundreds of years since we dunked witches in the water to see if they’d drown, it’s been hundreds of years since we burned them at the stake, or put dishonoured people in public stocks to humiliate them, it’s been hundreds of years since we were able to use religious groups to “shun” people. Now we can do all that again easily with a mouse click and typing in a few letters or words.

    So I’ll concede defeat and go back to my own blog now. Happy Fourth of July, and I hope we can all remember when our Independence and our Constitution once meant something, when it actually served as a beacon of hope not only for us, but for people in other countries, instead of what it is today for some, the horror of war and misery and devastation brought to innocent strangers overseas.

  31. marilyn murphy

    Jul 1st, 2005

    the fic, (i am using this label as prok first defined it) never engaged prok in debate. there is only one person in that whole irc chat log who MIGHT fit that term and they dont say much.

    anyone, everyone, who took up the fic as a fun thing to claim identity with, or made any public defense of this idea or faction was never fic. the whole arguement was being conducted by people outside the loop, on both sides. if you think this fic would ever get collectively or individually disturbed over anything that might be said in any forum then you never really grasped what is going on.

    this pointless, useless discussion has gone on ad nauseum. it seems all to many people are enjoying the conversational loops though.


  32. Aimee Weber

    Jul 1st, 2005

    Ooooh. Well said Mari! The plot thickens. Is there an unseen, dark emperor of the FIC to whom even *I* bow? Prok fill in the story for us.

    Anyways, Prok, your post was too long to read but I caught the part about “I’m Wrong!”. I’m assuming the rest was equally dazzling. But “wrong” doesn’t seem like the best word for this.

    WRONG is when you were given information about SLH’s trojans from a reliable source that turns out to be incorrect.

    LIES are when you know full well that the trojan claim was not true, but you go ahead and say it anyways.

    But there is a middle ground somewhere in between. Where you state plainly as fact things that pop into your head. When you claim people are sending signals to attack you. When my photo taunts you. When Cristiano harvests your IPS numbers. All claims filled with winks and nudges and backed by mutable anonymous sources or no sources at all. Claims that transform, morph, and adapt instantly to accomdate new evidence. There must be a word for this, but I don’t know what it is…

    …well you’re the Thoreau fan. You tell me.

  33. Urizenus

    Jul 1st, 2005

    IPs, IPSs, ISP numbers, enough! I think we should call them “ipsies”. Or better, we could have a new award ceremony: The Ipsies! To be awarded to the author of the best cybermalapropism. But this would just spawn the competing FICsies which would go to the author of the most literate and compelling Abuse Report filed against Prok and/or petition to King Philip for imperial favor. So forget I suggested that.

  34. Aimee Weber

    Jul 1st, 2005

    “IPs, IPSs, ISP numbers, enough! I think we should call them “ipsies”. Or better, we could have a new award ceremony: The Ipsies! To be awarded to the author of the best cybermalapropism. But this would just spawn the competing FICsies which would go to the author of the most literate and compelling Abuse Report filed against Prok and/or petition to King Philip for imperial favor. So forget I suggested that.”

    Uri, you know too much about these things already…

    *wink* *tip-hat* *nod* *wink* *stick finger in ear* *bow*

    My orders have been sent. Prepare for your DOOM.

  35. cubey

    Jul 1st, 2005

    Prokofy Neva: “Meanwhile, Cubey, why is your blimp with the notecard ads still landing in the WA in Waterhead?”

    And again you fall back on this bizarre accusation. This has actually become a joke, Prokofy, because there has never been a “hovering airship”. Of course, I fully expect you to morph your claim away from a hovering, clickable airship over the welcome area to something more like “an airship that lands nearby the welcome area”. Right.

    Prokofy, I will pay you L$50,000 if you can meet me in-world to *show* me this airship that hovers over the welcome area.

    Just to set the record straight, Prokofy was NOT banned for his opinions. He was banned for trolling with vicious lies and [elided by Uri] for nine months, and even when he was previously suspended for it, he evaded it by posting with one or more of his alts (Random Unsung = Prokofy Neva). Opinions are welcome in the forum. Relentless attacks on anyone who contributes to SL more than he does is NOT.

  36. Cocoanut

    Jul 1st, 2005

    Pendari, I think that’s it. I think it very much most likely was just something he was saying to someone on the side. I had forgotten that a bunch of things like that won’t show up on what people see in the transcript or at remote location.

    Thank you for clearing this up so that I can go back to drooling over Phillip’s picture posted by someone in the SL forums without having to feel guilty about it, lol.


  37. cwazy

    Jul 1st, 2005

    Nutjobs both of you. But hey, Prok and Coco, if you’re both willing to continue making complete fools of yourselves, that’s ok by me. :-)

  38. lalalalala

    Jul 1st, 2005

    Nobody likes you prok cause you’re annoying and useless. It’s really that simple. Although you DO provide some comic relief now and again.

  39. Someone

    Jul 1st, 2005

    Great post Prokofy. I enjoy reading your posts and I agree very much so. I don’t see you as being defeated. I wouldn’t be able to stand up to these bullies with their childish antics for half as long as you have.

    I <3 Ray Bradbury.

  40. Elle Pollack

    Jul 2nd, 2005

    FYI, *every* webpage checks the IP address of the person visiting it. That’s how you connect to the server so you can download the content. Most webserver software also keeps activity logs, both for statistical and administrative purposes. The blog software the Herald uses likely has its own such mechanisms as well as the ability to ban someone by IP…and for good reason, because there are genuine spammers, griefers and trolls that exploit blogs for their nefarious deeds. The software obviously can’t determine nor care whether the administrator is blocking an IP for legit reasons or not.

  41. Catherine

    Jul 2nd, 2005

    “Great post Prokofy. I enjoy reading your posts and I agree very much so. I don’t see you as being defeated. I wouldn’t be able to stand up to these bullies with their childish antics for half as long as you have”

    Coco, if you’re going to pretend you’re someone else, at least make an effort to camouflage your stupidity.

    And if you hate bullies, you shouldn’t being licking prok’s boots. he’s the biggest bully around. Shame on him and shame on you for supporting his tyranny.


  42. montserrat

    Jul 2nd, 2005

    prok’s eloquent remarks remind me of what umberto eco once said about how the new barbarians would come from WITHIN the city rather than from the frontiers.

    as i experience this particular kind of gaming and role play, the more i think that it is a kind of lucid dreaming. i also think that it de-sensitizes people to certain kinds of activities and behaviors.

    i think it is time to question technology.

  43. Cocoanut

    Jul 2nd, 2005

    I have never posted with an alt, anywhere, in all my years on the Internet.

    I think you are right, Montserret. It is so incredible to me that people can post to support Prok only using an alias.

    It is also incredible to me that people have told me in world that they would post to support me, but, well, you know. Or, but, well, they don’t want to get “ripped to shreds.”

    I wonder how much power all those people could have – to take back the forums, to object to the draconian new rule, and object to the hounding and hectoring of people on the forums who say things those who “run” the forums don’t want to hear.


  44. Cocoanut

    Jul 2nd, 2005

    P.S. Not only have I never posted with an alt anywhere, I don’t even have different names for different games! I’m Cocoanut everywhere, and always, and only, Cocoanut, in every game. And I stand behind my stated beliefs everywhere, just as I stand behind my name.


  45. Prokofy Neva

    Jul 2nd, 2005

    Cubey, it depends on how you define the WA. Where does it begin and end? I would say that a group of people standing by the game tables and fishing game seeing your blimp land right near the waterfront there are a captive audience to your blimp. You may take a very literal construction of what it means to have a blimp (a blimp!!!) “hover over a WA”. To me, “hovering over a WA” is when a blimp arrives at a telehub area, which is also used as a newbie WA with newbie signs and such, and makes a big appearance and a big splash, with a notecard deliverable upon touching. I noticed it dozens of times the minute I emerged out of the telehub there and tried to fly forward. So please, don’t try this hocus pocus tekkie literalist stuff on me. We all know what “hovering over the WA” means — we can see your blimp doing it LOL. You can keep your 50k, however. I’ll be blogging pictures too.

    Elle, is there any reason why you felt the need to write a patently obvious “FYI”? What would make you believe that I didn’t already know what you just wrote, and in fact knew it for the last years of my life, long before I came to SL?

    We all know that sites take IPs. Duh. That’s just how it works. And we all know there is software and logs and all the rest. My purpose here is not trying to um “educate” myself on the facts of how these obvious things work. My purpose is to QUESTION their validity and their MISUSE. I don’t know why this subtlety doesn’t come across, every time. I know that Cristiano is busy puffing himself up now over on his blog with 12 references to him supposedly already “setting me straight” on the IP issue. But I’m here to QUESTION their use and MISUSE. This constant literalist tekkie can’t-see-forest-for-trees problem really stumps me!

    You also handily talk about “spammers, griefers, and trolls” using all these jargonist terms from Internet communities and games, especially MMORPG fan forums. But I don’t accept these terms as legitimately applied. I certainly don’t believe I’m a troll or griefer because I persistently engaged in polemics — polemics is what you used to call “trolling” in a bygone era of print media and oral debates f2f, and in those olden days, you honed your skills of rhetoric to engage in polemics, you didn’t undermine the entire art of polemics itself by calling anyone who engaged in it “a troll”.

    I don’t accept these givens, Elle. I believe these terms are too easily bandied about, and are vaguely defined, and are overbroad, and involve overreach in many cases. What is a griefer? Do we honestly have a really solid body of data on this to determine a community-wide, acceptable definition?

  46. Elle Pollack

    Jul 3rd, 2005

    ” I believe these terms (griefer, spammer, troll) are too easily bandied about, and are vaguely defined, and are overbroad, and involve overreach in many cases.”

    me: “The software obviously can’t determine nor care whether the administrator is blocking an IP for legit reasons or not.”

    See above. I don’t deny that you’re correct about that. I wasn’t applying the terms to anyone specific…except maybe all the automated programs that attempted to post multiple “free porn! free drugs!” links in my own blog.

    As for having stated the obvious…anything that is read or written by me at 8 in the morning when I’m less than awake should be taken with a grain of salt.

  47. wannabe

    Jul 6th, 2005

    Heh, wow.

    Thanks for posting that.

    So much for the denials of selective treatment; that log pretty much put an end to that nonsense.

    The whining about wishing for civility over truth and fair treatment really got my attention. This from a person who can gas for hours about hard work and tenacity and ‘the desire to build a better mousetrap’ being all one ever needs to succeed.

    You hypocrite.

    Where does the personal responsibility enter into all this? IE: if someons posts, and I get ticked off and react in a way that might get me banned, how is it another’s fault for how I have chosen to respond? When did someone else get to be the one I blame for my choices in emotions and reactions? I can’t HELP myself? Is that not the argument of every victim?

    Behavior good for the rest of ‘our’ residents? You elitist, you. Who said you get to decide for me what is good for me, that I need to be thought FOR, that the expression of a wide variety of thought, and indeed from the inane to the ridiculous, is BAD for me and therefore needs to be limited?

    It’s not a republic? That from a person who is such a vocal supporter of republics, af free speech, of unlimited creativity, of inalienable rights?

    I’m honestly ashamed at my own gullibility again, for believing the words spoken by those oh-so-vociferous supporters of freedoms. Seems this only applies to them.

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