The Unthinkable Happens: People Start Hating on Torley

by Urizenus Sklar on 20/12/06 at 6:20 pm


Yes its true. The Lindens thought they had found someone so lovable, so cuddly, so godawful cute and sweet and vulnerable and … did I say lovable? .. that not even the biggest tool in the metaverse could hate on him/her. Not *even* the Herald could get smacktalky. And truth be told, no one really hates Torley, but they are starting to get fed up with the Linden ploy here — it is sort of like hiding behind their little kid so that we have to watch our language and be nice to them. But the problem is that gridwide problems are serious fucking issues that demand some F-bombs and smack talk now and then thank you very much, and they also demand clear responses in reply. The situation has gotten to the point that Lordfly Digeridoo has completely blown a gasket on his blog:

Now that he is the official mouthpiece of a confused (and vital to some of our livelihoods) organization, I’m finding it really hard to read him, even now, in my RSS feed.

Rice Farmering? LOLEX? LOLLERSKATES? Resis? Multiple viewpoints inside one person? What in the fuck?

I appreciate his enthusiasm, but you shouldn’t be sticking someone with a social disorder (Asperger’s) in center stage to answer/field 1.6 million residents (sorry, LOLEX RESIS RICE FARMERERERERS), especially when said 1.6 million residents need answers that are quite important (where’s my stuff? Why is the grid down? Why can’t anyone find my store? Why am I crashing?)

I know there are some folks that are going to take umbrage against the torley bashing, but… seriously. When there are problems with the grid, I don’t want emoticons and ramblings about square watermelons in alternate dimensions. I want Robin Linden or Cory or someone to come on the mic and say “hey guys, shit’s fucked, we’re working on it, wait a sec”.

This is followd by a response from Torley and a point by point rebuttal from Lordfly: I dunno, sometime you just miss Jeff Brown.

Thanks to Torley for the pointer to this rotting watermelon video!

Some passages from Lordfly’s response to Torley:

If I may make another opinion, the Lindens are using you as a shield, Torley. Because so many people like you personally (including me, as I mentioned in my other post), LL throws you up into the spotlight whenever there’s a lot of flak coming your way. You are the meat shield to take the shots. It’s reprehensible. They shouldn’t be trading your good standing with the community to save themselves from a week of harsh criticism.


But the other Lindens are communication black holes. People cannot communicate with them. Any communications that DO get through are never followed up on. Bugs reported by thousands of people go unfixed for years. YEARS. Social issues are ignored until they reach critical mass. There is zero proper communications coming out of LL anymore. It’s not your fault, you’re just their meat shield to take the arrows from jackasses like myself.


Your strength lies in social situations, not blogposting. The Lindens should be having you in-world organizing events, promoting the good points of SL. They should not be throwing you to the wolves of the community every time they break their own software.


In short, I’m just one dude trying to make a living off this platform that, as it stands, is held together with duct tape and a prayer. I see the Lindens, even though they are great as people, fail as a company every time they let you get punched around on the blog. You’re not cut out for it. You should be talking to people directly, not from the ivory tower of blogging.

33 Responses to “The Unthinkable Happens: People Start Hating on Torley”

  1. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 20th, 2006

    Wow, that picture is awesome, Uri, where on earth did you find it? I bet you had to go outside in RL and stage that after stopping off at the Safeway! Amazing.

    Well, this is old news. I blogged a response to Lordfly’s thing called “The Tigger Trap”

    I view it as part of the eternal Tigger problem (remember Tigger?) — evil game gods send innocents like Torley out to the angry mob and let them be chewed up to pieces.

    However, Torley gets her own back — she’s the one who permabanned me from the Blob, for example.

  2. Bob the Tomato

    Dec 20th, 2006

    Torley is the source of many people’s dissatisfaction with many aspects of Second Life.

    Most of us aren’t children. Consequently, we don’t want ‘yayzerama’ responses, we want honesty. Something sadly lacking from the Lab on many occasions.


  3. Torley

    Dec 20th, 2006

    That picture sux.

    Use this one instead:


    Kinda weird the formal things I write hardly get mentioned. I use a diversity of styles, incl. emulating fellow Lindens I look up to, and to typecast me as “YAYZERAMA!” all the time is like saying that all of the Friends are like Phoebe (yes, she’s my fave), or all the colors in the rainbow are green, or pink, or… hey why’s noone saying my *actual* fave color is turquoise blue?

    Watermelon is just one fruit in a basket, and I’ve been looking more towards pineapple lately (speculation?).

    Again, I’m just one Linden… there are many more who I look up to.

    At least one of my biggest wishes as a kid came true: to be noticed, and not to be forgotten, and invisible, and all alone… mentioning my name is like, Candyman or some shiznit! Hot damn.

    Tangent, I just put up the remainder of Cory Linden’s Technical Town Hall transcript:

    I can’t promise to tell you what you’ll want to hear, but I won’t stop communicating.

  4. Seola Sassoon a.k.a Random Writer

    Dec 20th, 2006

    Well, frankly…

    I don’t know Torley as a person. I’ve never encountered her in SL.

    But I have read the continuous blogging from it all.

    To Torley I say:

    If a mass murderer goes out and donates 3 million to charity, does that mean that everyone think’s he’s a good and bad person? No, because the majority of what he did is one thing.

    The majority of your posts are Yayzerama type issues, and personal feelings in the ONLY place we can go to now for real information.

    I appreciate that you do, do some real work. I understand that. But a person is typecast because of the majority of what they say and do.

    I’m not a bitch. I’m percieved as nice and sweet and funny most days. However I have my bitch days too. But my perception is based on how I am the majority of the time, not exceptions to this action.

    Now in world, there is a bitch. She donated to several big charity events in world, but the way she acts most of the time is a bitch. Therefore, everyone will think she’s a bitch.

    I don’t care who has what, or who’s doing what, but when we were having some of the biggest issues in SL lately, there are posts of laughter and kiddie speech, while the resi’s (yes I use that term too) were fuming, which only makes it worse in most cases.

    There’s a time and place for everything and being that the LL blog is the ONLY live information we get, it’s rather crass to post an “I love me and here’s why you should love me too” post. For your own blog, YAY! For an official blog… BOO!

    Unfortunately, who you are (and it’s not necessarily a bad thing) isn’t the face that should be out there when LL’s grid is crashing, people are losing hundreds of USD and no one can do a thing. The posts people want are “this stuff broke, this is how we are gonna fix it, we goofed”, not “So the grid’s almost up, YAY! Soon we can all pretend to be av’s again and I can eat my watermelon!”

    You can’t prominently put phrases and such out there and then ask not to be defined by them.

    K, so this post I was a bitch. Oops!

  5. Seola Sassoon a.k.a Random Writer

    Dec 20th, 2006

    P.S. I don’t have a personal crusade against Torley. I just know what it’s like to lose tons of stuff, come to the blog and there’s a happy cheery post where ‘everything is perfect’ when I’ve just lost 16k worth of stuff.

  6. Torley

    Dec 20th, 2006

    Seola — I’m certainly defined by the language I use, but as I mentioned, saying “a part = the whole” isn’t accurate. Numerous times on my blog posts and in comments, I’ve acknowledged there are problems, that things are sucking bad, that I take the problems seriously, and that I’m going to get the issues to other Lindens ASAP so they can be fixed.

    I’ve said it time and time again: I’m a lightning rod for bugs, that’s in part why I’m here. Inventory loss? I’ve had it too, lost a serious amount of stuff I valued. UI glitchups? Same. Many Resis know I’ve IMed personally to express concern.

    What else do you want to hear? If I say it, would you really behave differently towards me? Or is it something else?

    Today, I spent a chunk of my work with a furrowed brow going through ideas of how we can communicate Known Issues to the public better. Here are a couple sample bug repros too:

    ==== BUILDING: Reference ruler is broken ====

    - Go to the center (128, 128) of a region.
    - Rez a prim.
    - Select “Reference” ruler mode from Edit tools.
    - Shift-drag the prim.
    * Observe: Ruler displays very high numbers (e.g., 64x) relative to the edge of a region, not the reference prim.
    > Expected: Copied prim should display numbers relative to the first prim, which serves as the reference.

    ==== [UI] Right-clicking after deleting items from a prim shows all contextual menu choices ====

    Rez a prim.
    - Put 20 or so items in it.
    - In the object’s Content tab, right-click and delete any single item, then quickly right-click on another item
    * Observe: Contextual menu shows all choices, as shown in the attached image.
    > Expected: Contextual menu should only show valid selections.

    Again, it is really odd how people overaccentuate the positive sides of me when I’m quite often critical. Some people are making me look too good, heck, I could unleash a stream of personal attacks and it’d be taken as a *compliment*. :(

    And I also believe too much attention is paid to my personality when I myself don’t give it second thought, and if I’m going to do things with style (as the Tao of Linden saith), then I also pack in the substance. But, given diversity, one thing is interpreted so many ways in the world… so rather than repeat myself (because I hate negative redundancy) —

    ah well, gotta make do with what life — and Second Life — gives you.

  7. Jorg

    Dec 20th, 2006

    No no you got it all wrong, yall see THE TRUTH here is ‘Torley’ was an Amiga demo-scene coder/musician and something really horrible happened that she/he/it/whatever feels guilty for,, so Torley turned over a NEW LEAF and left the south. IN my respects I will not say what it was, but, learn your life lessons. Torley was also an elite (none of that wussy ’1337′) computer hacker with mad technic, if you dont believe me google for ‘t0rl3y’ – THE TRUTH REVEELED like a COMIC BOOK.

  8. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 20th, 2006

    >Kinda weird the formal things I write hardly get mentioned

    Torley, that’s really unfair. I did indeed write EXACTLY ths in my blog article, “The Tigger Trap,” please. I wrote EXACTLY that — that you write tons of formal things about the patches working or not working — and no one can fault LL for that very reason — they are nothing if not frequent and voluble about the patches and what they do.

    Goddamn, I just wish for *once* you’d stop giving me the silent treatment, when in fact I’m the one frequently defending you and sympathizing with your role, unlike all these evil fanboyz.

  9. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 20th, 2006

    And…since you raised Cory Linden’s town hall, and since YOU made the decision to permaban me, Torley, I have to say I am truly astounded at this answer here:

    [14:38] Cory Linden: such, but we really want to make that easier. Speaking of libSL, there were some questions about why Linden Lab supports libSL. These are excellent questions. First of all, we can’t
    [14:38] Cory Linden: stop someone from attempting to reverse engineer Second Life. We could drive them onto dark nets by aggressively shutting down public forums, club them with the DMCA by adding homeopathic quantities of encryption, and/or engage in an arms race by constantly changing our
    [14:38] Cory Linden: protocols.

    So…you can’t drive reverse engineers onto dark nets by aggressively shutting down public forums, Torley Linden?

    You can only permaban ME from a public forum for asking what Cory here calls “excellent questions”?

    Questions that REMAIN on the blog???

    Where’s the homeopathy in THAT???

  10. dildo baginssesssesssess

    Dec 20th, 2006

    They banned you because you were a total fucking arsehole, dipshit. At least the engineers might come up with something constructive…not just endless whining negativity in an attempt to build a profile as the ann coulter of the metaverse.

  11. fucktard

    Dec 21st, 2006

    I think what you mean to say is that Torley is akin to the silver-haired Wal Mart greeters: they are nice people there to make you feel bad for robbing the store.

    and also

    these torleyisms sound strangely similar to characters in Clockwork Orange and Brave New World. Will there be an orgy porgy any time soon?

    Finally, is this really Lordfly/Josh Millionsofus’ personal opinion, or as a Millions of Us employee is he saying something on the corporation’s mind? I wonder.

  12. Urizenus

    Dec 21st, 2006

    I would guess that MoU doesn’t have an official corporate stance, but that Lordfly’s views are widely held in MoU and the rest of the Dev community. Obviously it is tricky business criticizing the Lindens if you are in the metaverse development biz, but so far as I know, no dev corp screens posts like that on private blogs. So far as I know.

    Prok, I’m hoping you won’t take the bait and start up with the forum banning thing in this thread. I’d rather you take it up in the article on said topic. And be happy that Torley made you an international cyberlebrity by banning you. For example, this link just showed up. How’s your Portuguese?

  13. Tateru Nino

    Dec 21st, 2006

    “Where’s the homeopathy in THAT???”

    Cory’s using ‘homeopathic’ in the quantitative sense, what he means is ‘traces of encryption so minor as to be nearly undetectable and ineffective, while still being demonstrably actually present’.

  14. janeforyou Barbara

    Dec 21st, 2006

    I know many SL members with Asperger’s and also Tourettes syndrome..i also know a lot of SL members that that got non of this…If you think this ppl are less smart then others you are so wery wrong!To all of you that dont got any info on this syndromes plz get some!By definition, those with AS have a normal IQ and many individuals (although not all), exhibit exceptional skill or talent in a specific area!
    Am telling you all this cuz there seam to be a lot of misunderstanding round :-)

  15. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 21st, 2006

    Uh, that’s my point, Tateru. I sure do know what homeopathy means. Small amounts of stuff — infintessimally small — being used to cure a disease or something. And that was my point — where is the small amount of drops curing a disease in that sledge-hammer of their action in banning me???

    Uri, you haven’t been around SL in a year before reappearing, and seen the last year of the forums. This isn’t me taking some bait, but bringing up a hugely generic issue. Torley has been running the forums before they were closed in Sept. and as such was responsible for numerous thread closures, bans, warnings, etc. She ran the resmod system, they all reported to her. For a wierd 6 weeks, I had this wierd view into the internal comms of the resmods (their settings for the Banned Ones like me were reset to accidently include their own internal comms — and I didn’t realize it at first). I saw how Torley ran it all, and the fanboyz all scurried around reporting to her.

    Being Torley means being the ban-hammer on the forums and the blogs. Torley is the new Jeska. And any big discussion of Torley has to be about confronting her with her banning actions — because the other Lindens, using the “distributive decision-making” and “Love Machine” approach — are giving her her head on this, with no checks or balances or right of appeal. It’s a huge problem.

    And I was an international cyberlebity long before Torley banned me.

    There’s no misunderstanding about Aspbergers’ around here, Jane. In fact, we’re treated to this lecture about once a week somewhere, on forums, blogs or inworld. It’s just that it gets quite annoying to quite a few people — obviously Lordfly is one — that people with this condition sometimes seem to be using it to get a pass of some kind, to insist on equal treatment on the one side, but then double back and get an easy way out of an argument or out of a confrontation over their behaviour on another.

    This isn’t a topic anybody likes raising because of the huge politically correct factor. I actually think it’s an irrelevant topic for the whole Torley discussion, in fact. But Lordfly basically asked what many have asked about Torley and others in SL with very public roles and very public powers: why have not one, not two, but three people with Aspbergers’ been placed so as to be running the first impressions of newbies in the Welcome Area? They may be hugely dedicated and their condition may give them the obsessive desire for notecard explanations and technical understanding that is required for the job. It’s just an issue that *is* raised, however, and you cannot pretend that it’s about “lack of education” at this point. Education has come out the wazoo.

  16. Back Forward

    Dec 21st, 2006

    Prokofy Neva is to technology and BigJohn Jade is to English. I wouldn’t try to explain it, Taturo! It will just confuse her. Let’s see if Prokofy can pull off another first: first to be banned from SL’s forums, first to be banned from SLU’s forums, first to be banned from the blog, first to be banned from the Herald? She has already left and come back once! =)

  17. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 21st, 2006

    I am not the first to be banned from any of those things, don’t be silly — not a single one. They all have lists of banned people, many long before me.

  18. Storm Thunders

    Dec 21st, 2006

    I could be entirely off on this guess on reasoning for having several people with Aspergers’ work the Welcome Areas . One of the common problems with text communication is misunderstanding of emotional tone and intent. People with AS have been dealing with that all their lives.

  19. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 21st, 2006

    Storm, I don’t think there was any conscious plan. I think these people just stepped in and took over, and most outsiders were too afraid of being politically incorrect to saying anything.

    Misunderstanding of emotional tone and intent comes even WITH text. The common Aspberger’s patient’s claim is that now, at long last, they are on a level playing field because *everyone* is suffering with text and its discontents, with nuance and tone and facial expression stripped away. That’s why they say they love SL — it gives them a chance to be “normal” with everone else.

    I don’t see how that confers on them, however, some new special sensitivity. One can posit, for example, in real life, that a person who is blind becomes very extra-sensitive about sounds in ways that sighted people are not and could be helpful in a group where people ignore sounds they should focus on.

    But you can’t posit that for the situation in SL where everyone is suddenly rendered without tone and facial expressions, that people who have been “dealing with this for years” now have something suddenly extra special. They don’t. They just have text. AND they have a history and condition — and conditioning — of taking everything very literally AND often going down the path of an irrelevancy, unable to distinguish levels of meaning .

    Instead of saying, “You know, people who may take things literally, who may not pick up on cultural cues, who may have a tendency to be literalist and obsess, aren’t the best people to have in CS.” That would be the judgement of quite a few people.

    The very reason they wound up in CS is because of their ability to intensely work for long periods on things like scripting, notecards, explaining things way past the sell-by date, etc.

    In other words, it’s the perfect match for the tekkie-wiki persona in general. The Lindens love the concept of

    I’ve noticed that some of these characters positively bask in their ability to show off tekkie terminology and little tekkie jargonistic tics. It’s really funny to watch. They’ll natter away in that know-it-all tone as if it impresses Lindens. Of course, Lindens themselves have that jargonistic tendency too — it’s a language that helps seal membership in a special club of the coders.

    So that’s why you get these hilarious things like a gigunda revolving sign in the OI that says “HELP=F1 IS NOW IN THE CLIENT”.

    The average newb coming along will not know a) that “the client” means that thing they just downloaded — the game and many will not know that b) you can hotkey functions like f1.

    So this rotating monstrosity helps them not at all, it’s merely one more noisy, tekkie thing in the landscape of idiot tekkie stuff we all find in SL.

    PRESS F1 TO GET THE HELP MENU IN YOUR GAME is how I write this same message at the infohub where I work. Works a lot better.

  20. Murderfiend Juutlainen

    Dec 21st, 2006

    Oh, Prok, F1 doesn’t work for me. I’m on an Ibook G4. What now?

  21. Storm Thunders

    Dec 21st, 2006

    - a gigunda revolving sign in the OI that says “HELP=F1 IS NOW IN THE CLIENT”.

    You’re serious? That’s hilarious!

    So… how come I haven’t seen an article about that sign in one of our lively SL newsrags? A couple pictures, with a SLURL to a free-for-copy version of that sign with clearer wording… Heck, I’m tempted to wear the more helpful one over my head while I’m playing in the public sandboxes!

    I don’t think it was conscious decision either, more a case of picking people with interest and the ability to deal kindly with hordes of confused people.

    I’m not meaning a special sensitivity; think of it as more experience in dealing with specific situations. I can write something and intend it as serious, ironic, humorous, insulting, etc. How you or anyone else handles the rest of that communication depends on how they choose to interpret what they see. Thus the proliferation of emoticons. Most of the aspies that I’ve dealt with either consistently choose the most “polite” of interpretations or have found socially acceptable ways to ask whether I’m joking, attacking, or serious. There’s people without Aspergers’ who use those approaches too, but I’ve noticed them a lot more often among people with it. *shrug*

  22. Amanda

    Dec 21st, 2006

    Sorry guys, I just want to get back to the original point for a minute.

    It’s not about “hating on Torley.” It’s about expecting concise, professional explanations about what’s going on, how it can be fixed, and when the users — remember us? the people who keep SL going? — can expect things to be functional again.

    Coining cute phrases like “lolex” because you don’t want to say “lol” may be fun to you, but frankly we don’t know or care that your father had an accent and that’s how he said “rolex.” We want answers to questions regarding the functioning of SL, not your family’s inside jokes.

    Although I give you credit, Torley — those cute little phrases may distract some people as they try to figure out what the hell “rice farmering” has to do with their missing inventory. (Although it’s not exactly a politically correct phrase, is it?)

  23. astro

    Dec 21st, 2006

    you are all really getting on my nerves now. Pack it in.

  24. Lordfly Digeridoo

    Dec 21st, 2006

    Holy crap, I’ve hit the Herald.

    Finally, is this really Lordfly/Josh Millionsofus’ personal opinion, or as a Millions of Us employee is he saying something on the corporation’s mind? I wonder.

    Who I work for and my personal blog are, for all intents and purposes, separate. My opinions do not necessarily follow the opinions of my employers, etc etc.

    That being said, I absolutely loathe, above all things, to be told what I can say, especially if it’s a critical view. I had a back-and-forth with another respected member of the community, while he was attempting to browbeat me for my criticisms, however harshly worded they may be. His reasoning was that, since my employer (and hence myself) have a “business relationship” with LL, than I should be dancing around the bush and trying to criticize as lightly and as fluffily as possible.

    Well, that’s ridiculous. By that logic everyone on the grid should never complain about LL’s tactics as a company, lest we tarnish business relationships.

    My work and my private life are separate, and always will be. Whitewashing your opinions so corporate clients don’t get their heads rattled is a scary mindset to have.

  25. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 21st, 2006

    >Oh, Prok, F1 doesn’t work for me. I’m on an Ibook G4. What now?

    Ask Tateru et. al. they are the experts on these matters. I just work here.

  26. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 21st, 2006

    >So… how come I haven’t seen an article about that sign in one of our lively SL newsrags?

    I blogged about it and had a picture ages ago on my home blog.

  27. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 21st, 2006
    Somehow I’m not seeing the screenshot of this but I’ll dig it up, I have it.

  28. urizenus

    Dec 21st, 2006

    Lordfly says:

    >I absolutely loathe, above all things, to be told what I can say, especially if it’s a critical view

    hehe, that’s how we roll in Michigan! Woot!

  29. Lordfly Digeridoo

    Dec 22nd, 2006

    We need to grab some coffee sometime, Uri.

  30. urizenus

    Dec 22nd, 2006

    Definitely, I’m at the ‘Vu every day anyway. ;-)

  31. Lordfly Digeridoo

    Dec 22nd, 2006

    They have “coffee” at the ‘vu? ;)

  32. urizenus

    Dec 22nd, 2006

    *hot* coffee!

  33. Seola Sassoon a.k.a Random Writer

    Dec 22nd, 2006

    Torley, see those repros in the face of LL corporate silence ARE what people want to know, but they also want followups on what’s being done to fix it. Many who see the repro can come up with workarounds til it does get fixed. However, some serious issues that are repro on command are still broken months later.

    Unfortunately as well, many times, people who cannot repro on command are largely ignored.

    I’m sure you IM people. But that’s behind closed doors, the issue is what’s put out there for EVERYONE to see. When you IM what you see, why not make a note of it, and put up a blog post once in a while on ALL the things you could repro and intended fixes? Sure, you may not know how the fix works, but since you are somewhat the PR go to person, a small post on the face of the blog about all these issues can go along way.

    And I’m sure it WOULD be different treatment. It would mean that those who don’t wanna see goofy remarks when they’ve lost items/work/etc. would know that you’re more than a mouthpiece, but actually getting answers from other Lindens. (I know you’ve done this occasionally, but not as much as the happy posts.)

    Hey, I can’t fault that you try to be silly. I’m the one who started singing 99 bottles of beer on the wall in the blog and made up silly songs to calm the “room”. Yeah, it was off topic, but it saved everyone posting “OMG THE WORLD HAS ENDED!!”. The difference is, I’m not a Linden.

    And frankly, probably you’re giving out most of the info that LL gives to you and leaving you to deal with the aftermath. Like IMing Beast or Kona for inventory loss… well I IM’ed both, took 2 weeks for Kona to get on my account… and even after that, I didn’t even get a cordial kick in the ass with saying ‘your stuff is lost, sorry’. In fact, I got NO word on what was done to my account or if my items could be recovered.

    Many others still haven’t heard from them. While it’s LL’s fault for putting this on two people, and it’s thier fault for not following up… you still give out that info and that puts YOU under the neck hack off thing. (Guillotine sp?.)

    Is it fair? Probably not, but it’s human nature. Blame the messenger. And if the messenger delivers bad news in a happy way, people usually want to shoot the messenger.

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