You Rule: Second Life Turns Into Tropico

by prokofy on 20/04/07 at 6:25 pm

Prokofy Neva, Dept. of Worlds, Planets, Multiverses, Metaverses, Abusive Synthetic Island Nations, and The Tiny Crypto-Governance Department at LL That Rules Us All Anyway


Oh, dear God. As if there weren’t enough problems in Second Life, what with the lag, the teleporters not working, inventory lost for good, now the Lindens have gone and announced the imposition of residence government in the form of new Island Overlord powers where the entire abuse report system will be turned over to estate owners — those already powerful rulers of Second Life who will now gain even more ability to run your second life. If you’re concerned about where you will go now with abusiveness from them and their staff, forget about calling the Lindens: they will no longer accept abuse reports from island-dwellers and will re-route them all back to their resident owners.

Remember more than a year ago when I warned about this, when I saw Daniel Linden nodding in approval over the demand of the Goreans to have any abuse-reports by subs or rival doms filed to Linden Lab to be turned over to the Master of the island? Now they will get their way, faster than you can spell “Lord of the Flies”.

As usual, the changes were beta-tested in secret with a very select few 10 estate owners who possess some 200 islands. Chadrick and his friends, which he no doubt acquired during his sojourn as a resident, have already sealed it up. Even if YOU own and island or live on one and pay good money, you aren’t being consulted. You’re welcome to join what will be a very long queue in the comments section of Chadrick’s announcement

I’ve already fired off a very long objection to all these typical FICy shenanigans, and I’ll spare you the reprint for now, but just give you some of the highlights:

1. SEPARATION OF POWERS. No power can succeed in devolving power to others until it first has separation of powers. Ideally, these would be in that nice trinity that has worked down through the ages known as “executive” and “legislative” and “judicial” branches. But, let’s wave all that away with a Starax wand, shall we? Let’s settle for something simpler. Just what forms of abuse are the Lindens NOT going to work on now?

Sure, shooters, haters, trespassers, particle-spewers — that all seems reasonible. But…real-life disclosure? Hello? Who can handle that but people who can a) be in a position to verify if it IS RL-disclosure and c) people who can actually block from the whole realm of Second Life those who return on alts. How about “reverse engineering”? Like…I as an island owner will be able to have access now to LL’s code to be able to adjudicate an AR involving a claim of hacking the very server? Hardly.

2. FIC METHOD. The FIC method of gaining input, testing software — well, it sucks. I’ve always said that. I never dreamed it would get as bad as it has. FIC, for those of you who are just tuning in, is very well explained just by this latest caper by Linden: they selected only 10 people to test a concept of governance that will affect us all, whether on island or mainland, and then after hearing only their input IN SECRET, expect us all to merely adapt to their notions. Who are they? Do they represent anything? Why them?

3. COMPENSATION AND REMEDY. Chadrick tells us that we may not wish to “hang out” anymore with abusive Island Overlords. “”If a region owner is being abusive to the point of you having to report him, well he can run his region the way he wants, you should probably not hang out there” Oh? “Well, can we get the *hundreds of US dollars back* we paid them for “purchasing land” then? What’s the plan for that operation?

4. CHATLOGS. Are the Lindens planning on giving Island Overlords 24/7 access to all chatlogs on their servers now? Because that’s what you need to do an effective abuse policing operation. Is that right? No? Then will they stop prosecuting the circulation of chatlogs that people make in their search for justice?

5. MAINLAND. Yoohoo, remember the Mainland? Where most griefing occurs? Where even more griefing will occur now that people will be chased off the islands? What’s the plan there? I’m reading and re-reading Chadrick’s Newspeak and not getting it. Just like I didn’t get Daniel Linden’s Newspeak yesterday, and wrote him a pointed letter asking him if he was ending the system of any kind of individual response to individual cases, now that the Lindens were going to um….watch patterns and um….emergent behaviour.

6. SIM OVERBOOKING. With with more and more people buying mainland now to get freedom, especially freedom from abusive landlords or even outright frauds and thiefs, what’s the plan to control lag and congestion? 125 512s on a sim, yet only 40 can really show up and claim a space on the server.

7. CLUB THIEVES. A huge source of griefing is clubs. And clubs steal way more than their fair share of server power, the FPS, the CPU, the slots for avatars. How will Lindens address this chronic issue?

8. ALTS. Most griefing is done on alts, whether payment on file or not. We can’t see their IP, computer hashmarks and credit card information and location. The Lindens can! So…what’s the plan for REAL enforcement, just an estate ban?!

Those are just some of the many issues I can come up with for now, everyone thinking about this is sure to have many more.

Remember the person who designed this system in secret, without you and me, with only a select cadre of 10 people: Chadrick Linden, Chadrick, good friends with Phreak Radio, Lecktor Hannibal, and Taco Rubio since beta. It’s a system that goes on protecting the right of Second Citizen and those who behave in such abusive ways to others to run roughshod over Second Life. It creates a nasty world of smug, arrogant assholes in Balkanized private islands where people won’t even have the more or less predictable authoritarian injustice of Linden rule to rely on anymore. At least if Kex Godel blew me in to Nicole Linden for swearing in PG in a vendetta for what I wrote about her and her friends’ arbitrary rule and impunity on the forums, I knew I’d have only 3 days of punishment. I knew that my land wouldn’t be seized in my absence. And now?

53 Responses to “You Rule: Second Life Turns Into Tropico”

  1. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 24th, 2007

    Um, most people who claim that they will set it only to 96 often err and set it to affect the entire parcel, nay, the entire island. I’ve had many times when a tenant using these things, which I allow to be set only at 250 m2 above ground level, block everyone on the island from being able to return home or visit because they’ve been unable or unwilling to regulate the settings.

    In fact — gosh, guess what! — while the sensor has 96 m2, in fact, it senses people coming on the island and successfully repels them from the entire island, imagine, they can’t get past the telehub area. We’ve seen this happen many times.

    Giving a warning first is no excuse. The warning is almost never enough. And a warning can’t help someone who is chronically, over and over again, subjected to this abuse *merely by having bought land next to these orb owners*. That’s wrong.

    Sure, they ahve different timers, warnings, and responses. They are all bad. They are all griefing tools. They all subject people to unreasonable restrictions and punishments *merely for proximity*. That’s wrong.

    99 percent of the people using them do not set them to operate only in one room; even when they do, they mess up on the settings now and then and that effect is undone quite often.

    Uninvited people are a problem, and you have the right to repel them. But THIS method that punishes mere passers by and NEIGHBOURS is the worst. What happens with this is that the paranoid fucktards using them aren’t of the mindset to INCLUDE their neighbours on the list so as to mitigate the awful effect.

    No one should get to push or TP home my avatar merely because they don’t want intrusion on their land. A ban wall, an access-only wall is reasonable. Orbs are not.

  2. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 24th, 2007

    >4. CHATLOGS. Are the Lindens planning on giving Island Overlords 24/7 access to all chatlogs on their servers now? Because that’s what you need to do an effective abuse policing operation. Is that right? No? Then will they stop prosecuting the circulation of chatlogs that people make in their search for justice?

    Answer: from Robin’s office hours. No, LL will not give island owners chat log access.

    And the issue of ceasing prosecution is not answered — yet.

  3. Karen Palen

    May 3rd, 2007

    I have just finished a “dialog” with Robin Linden over being ejected from land SOLELY because my avatar was “too short”.

    It seems that this is quite acceptable!

    Also banning other “genetic inferiors” like Jews, “non-Aryans” and the like just so long as it is done “discretely” – an overt “Nazi” gets banned quickly, but if you are careful and make sure you are only a “white supremacist” (or some such)who actually OWNS the island then you are fine.

    Why do I have a problem with this?

    Am I the only one?

    4ft tall in SL AND in RL!

Leave a Reply