The Re-Invention of Philip Linden

by prokofy on 03/09/07 at 10:49 pm

By Prokofy Neva, Kremlindenologist

[update: photo credit for the picture below - Tara5 Oh. The original picture and Tara5's interview with King Philip can be found here: here]

Philippostslcc1Mrs. Linden’s little boy is growing up. The fair-haired, Donnie-Osmond-cute repository of our hopes and dreams, “El Chefe” who says we can “blame it all on him,” is now honed into a competent media sound-byter and Customer Experience Specialist more caring than the finest call center has to offer. Back at Virtual Worlds 07, Philip blundered on stage with his architecturally-correct shock of hair, saying that gosh, he engineered this platform, and wow, all these people came on it and he didn’t know what to do with them — before rushing off to hobnob with Bill Clinton on Renaissance Island. We weren’t impressed.

By contrast, at SLCC, his haircut was flat, with visible, no-nonsense bangs — and he was oh-so-accessible. While Philip didn’t give an interview to the Herald (they didn’t ask — they’re too kool for skool now), he made lots of time for Reuters and hung in for the entire 3 days of the fanboyz gathering constantly chatting with residents. At his keynoter, he was all charts and graphs and apologies for poor performance and promising to do better, opening his modest corduroy college jacket to flash a t-shirt with the words MISSING IMAGE and saying “That’s me, in the way.”

Oh, to be sure, once the party got started at the exclusive Volunteer’s gathering, Philip came sporting a transparent pearly-white golf shirt, which exposed what Ingrid Ingersoll immediately dubbed “The Phipple”.

Moving the Slider

Still, we’re a long way from SLCC 1, where the fangirlz got together to buy Philip a replica of his avatar’s trademark rocker T with the gaping red mouth, and even sewed on a sequined crotch to some stone-washed jeans to mimic his scripted, blinging boxers. I got a glimpse of the awkward teenage Philip back then, seeing him blush when I said, with his risque outfit on, he needed to move the “package” slider.

Now, Philip is all delivery. He hung out at the workshops and stood around in the hallways after the talks to answer the most obvious questions, “Why is land so expensive?” in his earnest manner, which has now developed away from laconic California hippie or excited Tesla into something like that quintessential television newscaster’s voice with the STRESS on syllables where YOU don’t expect it (Corey Bridges of Multiverse does a wonderful imitation of that…wait…I don’t think it’s an imitation.) “Because we need to give YOU guys the TOOLS to manage the ECONOMY,” he explains.

I caught up with Philip in the corridor after an SLCC panel and asked him why he was logging on so much more now to the world. Should we worry? Shouldn’t he be retiring to a real-life island like Crete?

I could see the gears turning in the Customer Experience Call Center and finally he said, “Well, Prok, I’m visiting all these cool sites that everyone is telling me about like Straylight.” I had sent him a landmark to Straylight. “And not only you,” he said, ever sure to make sure there’s no FIC — except when there needs to be.



Lunch was the usual conference-circuit draped chicken, and as we sawed away, with Arbitrage Wise and Lindsay Druart of SL Capital Markets (yet another stock exchange) plying him with financial questions, Philip dead-panned about Ginko. “I talked to those guys,” he said, seeming to imply that he has known of them for a long time and didn’t believe they had intended a Ponzi scheme. He went on to advise, like Zee, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Despite repeated pressing to get involved, either by restoring Lindens to those who lost them, or helping to prosecute Ginko, Philip would only reply: “We are staying away from this.”

“But Benjamin Duranske has you wearing stripes by the end of the year, Philip — you’re the cashier for these alleged scams,” I put in. He grinned, all California white teeth and bronze tan. Philip has an uncanny way of conveying repressed mirth and engagement that probably cover up some actual uneasiness or exasperation.

I said I hope he *did* stay out of the banking and stock market business — whether to GOM or regulate or close — precisely so as not to foreclose any interesting and innovative experiments in making more credit and capital to people around the world with the platform of SL. Of course, not even Grameen Bank is the wonder people imagine, what with the flipping of international development agency loans and venal international civil servants, but still…More white teeth.

Philip hit the softball. He nodded enthusiastically. He loves socialist-capitalist thingies like Grameen Bank — and he didn’t *call* Ginko a Grameen Bank, but merely said he was staying out of it so that the Grameen Banks of the world could emerge.

But…back to sim performance! Soon he was laying linen napkins end to end to explain to Arbitrage, who seemed to be drilling him on why you can’t drive or build well between sims, modeling this complicated, intensive “hand-off” of agents between sims. Of course you can just prop up the build with a rooted prim. Philip was as eager and enthusiastic and just plain *helpful* explaining the age-old sim-crack problem as he was 5 years ago.


At the Linden party, at least one staffer went racing across the room to get some face time — saying Philip hadn’t been in the office for 4 months — it’s wall-to-wall conferencing, travel, media interviews. They keep Philip away from the code now (Cory, too) as one Linden explained — I guess it stands to reason, as otherwise SL would suffer even more than it does from “Founding Father Syndrome”.

So just what *is* Philip doing all day? Customer satisfaction surveys. Performance metrics. Cleaning up SL of gambling and ageplay, burnishing his image, in order to sell? He keeps saying no, preferring to re-drop the already-made hint that the server code will be open-sourced within a year, and dodging detailed questions about just what the business model will be by that time.

I hobby-horsed him on the Orientation Island issue, and Draxtor, my favourite German machinima TV guy, flipped open his $2000 laptop that was making a movie right as we spoke (and if he had been Scoble, he could have uploaded it right there to ‘Do you mind getting on the news?” Draxtor asked, but didn’t really stop filming.

Philip barely missed a beat, and with a flourish, took out a notebook to write down my suggestion about orientation — impressing Draxtor. He wants you to feel *heard*. I think the program for the Reg Apis needs to be opened up to others to assess their metrics, too, and even non-reg API orientation such as the resident-created infohubs need to be measured. “OK, tell you what,” says Philip, all business. “I’ll put everyone who wants in the list, but if their retention rates aren’t at a certain level, they will be cut out.”


“Social Darwinism!” I cried. “It would be better to just sell the slots on the list,” I said.

“It’s the same thing — people who can compete are the same ones who can afford to pay,” Philip said matter-of-factly, always dismissive of open markets and trading them for technocratic meritocracy. “But newcomers can buy in if they raise the money,” I countered. It’s hopeless.

“Philip looks like a school-boy called to task when you asked him the question after the keynote,” Draxtor commented later. I had asked him what SL’s influence was on First Life now — and in years to come — as that is how ultimately it would be judged. No, it wasn’t a trick question, as Chosen Few thought it was — it was genuine. Would it erode cultural differences? This often happens with mass-market American-made entertainment media overseas. Would it drown out distinction? Or even when hundreds of thousands of Russians and Chinese can in theory log on to Virtual Japan?

As for today’s influence, he replied sanguinely with a mantra that is long-practiced in media interviews and around the office: “We have a thousand people who make more than a $1,000 a month.” Um, is that after tier? As for tomorrow’s…”I think 10 years down the line is when we start to see Second Life taking away time and energy from the real world,” he envisions — with a grand shrinking of the communication sphere. And a seeemingly preposterous notion that virtual worlds will be “bigger than the web.”

Back on earth, the performance charts and graphs told a pretty frank story of a service not always available, with poor FPS for a good chunk of the time and for many people and lost inventory — which he declared as “less” by measuring only one kind of lost inventory problem (no rez from inventory) — a premature declaration indeed as the bug was back this weekend.


Many might associate Philip with the ultimate in freedom of expression and creativity, right? That’s because you haven’t figured out that engineering the software is far more important to him than this or that freedom of expression case. Listen to his recent BBC interview. He makes a tremendous mumble about China. The Beeb reporter asks him very directly whether he’d turn over the information about a Chinese dissident to the Chinese government, the way Yahoo did.

Instead of just saying “yes” or “no,” he embarks on a side trip, saying that Yahoo has to play to the lowest common denominator, but SL will be on each country’s servers, and LL will “enable the platform” so that every government can “have the tools they need” for implementing their local laws. Um…is this essentially making China’s work easier for it?

He speaks vaguely about a common set of values that will get evolved as we are all standing “here” — a here that at one point in his interview is “on servers in the U.S. where we have to abide by U.S. law” but at other points seemed more like what Jerry Paffendorf has called “the other here” which is this common sensibility in SL, which presumably overrides pesky things like Chinese censorship (by ways that aren’t clear yet).

Contradicting his point about Yahoo and common denominators, Philip explains ardently that if, for the good of the platform, to make it available to the most people, they had to make some restrictions due to laws (like those against gambling in the U.S.), then, that sacrifice would indeed be made. Would their be some Chinese dissident eggs broken in making this omelette? The reporter pressed: will you in fact turn over the dissident names?

Philip begins to mumble again — but professionally and smoothly mumble, like “We as a company pride ourselves on maintaining privacy” blah blah blah. He concedes that they would have to look at each case.

We’re left thinking that if LL ever has an office in Asia, and the Chinese government asks them to shut down a parcel or give a name, “for the good of the platform,” they just might do it — all their high-minded talk about not playing to the lowest common denominator like Yahoo, notwithstanding.

This is what it takes — Philip enduring endless fanboyz questioning, falling on his sword and displaying poor performance charts and vowing to do better, making some patter up that sort of kinda sounds like it isn’t like Yahoo about China. This is what it takes so that “everybody in the world will use Second Life — something he appears genuinely to believe in.

91 Responses to “The Re-Invention of Philip Linden”

  1. Second Lulz Vigilante

    Sep 4th, 2007

    @Jim Schack

    “oh lawd! Helping Azzu troll you IRL was FAR too epic.

    Perhaps next year we’ll do a better job. ;)

    I hope you’re joking.

    “Trolling” and “IRL” are a contradiction in terms. This new batch of wannabe trolls seems to be losing the idea of what real trolling is. Quit bastardizing plzkthx.

  2. SqueezeOne Pow

    Sep 4th, 2007

    One thing I want to know is if this was supposed to be a funny piece or a serious interview. If it was meant to be funny then I’m rubbing my phipples!

    If it was meant to be a serious interview then it was sorely lacking. You know an interview is suspect when there are so few quotes and so many “he then went on to explain that…”. There’s also the obvious bias of the author (everyone knows you’re not exactly impartial, Prok!).

    As much as it was a fluff piece of the author’s ego (good job stumping everyone with your pointed questions >wink<>wink< ) and a relatively funny read by secret internet standards I can’t say there was that much substance to it…although this is the home of bukkake and going “dutch” on foreign government statements! ;)

    While you obviously tried your damndest to tone down the consipracy (FIC only mentioned once if I recall) to make some of the better writing you’ve ever done (you saved the expletives for the comments like a champ!) I really can’t see why you’d expect any different of a response from the readership than you’re getting.

    You’re people’s convenient punching bag because you make yourself available to be one! And I think you like it!

  3. Artemis Fate

    Sep 4th, 2007

    “I thought the article was well written and contained a lot of fun information. It also showed that Prok asks excellent questions in her interviews with people, and often the questions are not what the interviewee expected to be put on the spot to answer. You do a great job Prok, and I hope you continue despite the constant “chicken peckers” plucking for blood.”

    Hi, you must be new around here.

    I think all new people to the Herald go through a short-lived stage of seeing Prokofy getting ganged up on and thinking that Prokofy is the victim, but after a few articles (which despite Prok’s claims, are sure to come), they begin to recognize that Prokofy brought this on to himself with continued rants, insults, paranoia, hate speeches, communist analogies where it isn’t appropriate, and conspiracy theories whenever something happens against him that he doesn’t like.

    It’s a common mistake.

  4. Artemis Fate

    Sep 4th, 2007

    “This was of course to be expected and Artemis Fate taking the time to go back and find 20+ quotes that have zero to with the post is a perfect example of the idiocy of the mob.”

    Funny you mention that, because I didn’t. Prokofy did. I just copy and pasted that from his blog. He also had like another 20 more.

  5. Why Bother

    Sep 4th, 2007

    @Jim Schack

    “oh lawd! Helping Azzu troll you IRL was FAR too epic.

    Perhaps next year we’ll do a better job. ;)

    I hope you’re joking.

    “Trolling” and “IRL” are a contradiction in terms. This new batch of wannabe trolls seems to be losing the idea of what real trolling is. Quit bastardizing plzkthx.”

    Vigilante has a point. Yet, we all know how much of prick Jim Schack is. Remember people this is the VP of BnT employed by Intlibber, this how he and Intlibber carry themselves and do their business.

    Another thing, every time Jim Boy posts he seems to have lost a few more brain cells than his last post. Good going Jim Boy, I eagerly await your inept retort since they always give me a good laugh.

  6. Artemis Fate

    Sep 4th, 2007

    This article in particular is simply having a lot of Prok-bashing comments irrelevant to the article itself, because the last thing Prok had been saying (over and over and over) is that he’ll never come to the Herald again, that he hates it with all his being, that Pixeleen organized a large conspiracy against him because she wasn’t deleting the comments of everyone who disagrees with him, and foolishly we assumed (in a celebratory fashion)that it was true and we’d never have to deal with Prok’s inane novel-length rants in the Herald anymore. So obviously when Prokofy proved himself a hypocrite once more, as he does with SLCC and Second Citizen, and we once again have to see his stories bemoaning the front page of the Herald, I think most everyone was a little bummed and lashed out violently.

    This story itself isn’t so bad (though hardly of the “national importance” that Prokofy attributes to it and mostly just fluff), if only Prokofy could tone it down so that his stories weren’t so heavily laced with conspiracy theories and personal attacks to those he doesn’t like, he could probably become respectable. I know he’s done it once or twice, and in those stories the comments were mostly tame if not complimentary.

    Who knows, maybe he’ll be able to restrain himself. But I really doubt it.

  7. Cocoanut Koala

    Sep 4th, 2007

    This is ridiculous.


  8. Reg Baxter

    Sep 4th, 2007

    > “Funny you mention that, because I didn’t. Prokofy did. I just copy and pasted that from his blog. He also had like another 20 more”

    Oops my bad – well it backs up my “Prok, you do flip right the fuck out and say things” statement so I’ll call it even :)

  9. Jim Schack

    Sep 4th, 2007

    >Remember people this is the VP of BnT employed by Intlibber, this how he and Intlibber carry themselves and do their business.

    Wow, you have been out of the loop for a while. I jumped of that BnT Titanic a while ago. IntLibber conducts business in a fashion i do not agree with (i.e. creating his own bad PR and that blackmail Linden scanner he calls “peaceful tool.”..etc)

    Look at the stocks for fuck’s sake.

  10. Why Bother

    Sep 5th, 2007

    “Wow, you have been out of the loop for a while. I jumped of that BnT Titanic a while ago. IntLibber conducts business in a fashion i do not agree with (i.e. creating his own bad PR and that blackmail Linden scanner he calls “peaceful tool.”..etc)

    Look at the stocks for fuck’s sake.

    I’m man enough to stand corrected. Welp have fun with your new Chan buddies then.

  11. Nacon

    Sep 5th, 2007

    “Wow, you have been out of the loop for a while. I jumped of that BnT Titanic a while ago. IntLibber conducts business in a fashion i do not agree with (i.e. creating his own bad PR and that blackmail Linden scanner he calls “peaceful tool.”..etc)

    Look at the stocks for fuck’s sake.”

    That’s Brautigan & Tuck. Wrong business.

  12. Nacon

    Sep 5th, 2007

    Prok said “No, I’m not back, really; as I had said, when there are grave matters of national importance, I’ll post just to get a wider audience, but I have 2 blogs of my own to maintain now.”

    …Sureee, Prok. Surree.

    Pork said “I really don’t like the nastiness in the comments and the failure of anybody to stand up to them.”

    ….Sure, Prok. Suuuureee. You scored over 100 posts of bullshits in SL Herald’s comment posting area…. BUT NONE bullshit to stand up for anyone else other than yourself.

    Welcome (not really) back idiot.

    (I’m sure that was not a name calling cause you already proven it yourself an idiot in most people’s dictionary.)

  13. Prok or Pork?

    Sep 5th, 2007

    what a great article! no body commented on it… barely… more comments on prok than anything else; but then, hey, wait a minute, isn’t that the marketing objective? the quick wit of a slashing pen? forget objectivity and analysis in reporting; anonymous readers enjoy her sensational one-sided myopic perspective better because it stirs the mix….

  14. Jessica Holyoke

    Sep 5th, 2007

    Ok, here’s a comment on the article, free of prok bashing.

    Why does anyone believe that Chinese dissidents *would* be more protected in SL or *should* be more protected in SL? If someone were to break other laws of their own country, there’s no resident saying that the Lindens should not turn over that information. For example, no one that I read stated that the German players involved in the ageplay scandal should not have been turned over to the German authorities.

    And in the aftermath of “Broadly Offensive”, the Lindens, through both Robin and Philip, have made it clear that they don’t want to be in a dissident divulging position, and Robin specifically alluded to fighting a government’s requests for disclosure of a resident dissident’s identity. But if disclosure was for the good of SL as a whole, then the Labs would disclose the information.

  15. nobody

    Sep 6th, 2007

    Very interresting point, Jessica…

    Everyone should stick to the laws in their country, including the Chinese, and if and when LL would be asked to fork over the info to catch lawbreakers, I think they should do so.

    The fact that the laws in China might not be fair, is not ours to judge, or even the Lindens.

    Of course, when the Chinese government would request the Lindens to take down a sim or something, as I saw mentioned in comments above, that’s another matter, depending on who owns the sim and why it should be taken down.

  16. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 6th, 2007

    Now I understand better why I really, really loathe Jessica Holyoke — deeply.

    She really has no understanding of universality and the rule of law — apparently she aspires to be one of these nasty little time-servers taking the law literally when it serves her client or her own agenda, or taking it figuratively also when it suits her.

    A Chinese dissident “breaking the law in his own country” is breaking an *unjust law*. A dissident who “breaks a law,” say, curbing freedom of expression or assembly under international human rights law, by which China itself is bound by its own obligations signing various covenants, is not “a criminal” but a victim of injustice.

    If Jessica can’t understand that basic notion, I can’t see how she expects to uphold civil rights in the U.S., which are based on that very tradition of civil disobedience and peaceful resistance to unjust law, in order to create civil rights and justice.

    Absolutely Chinese dissidents should be more protected in SL — if they register on an American server governed by the jurisdiction of the laws of California, that surely do not require turning over any dissidents’ names to a foreign intelligence that flouts any notion of human rights!

    And in fact Linden Lab and the residents of SL should be working toward a world where the Russias and Chinas of the world can’t get away with this nonsense of repressing dissenters because there is simply too much pushback from the international community and their own citizens. And in fact that’s exactly how things *are* evolving in many places, and with the help of organizations like EFF or RSF — but no thanks to the Jessicas of the world.

    I would expect the Lindens NOT to turn over any Chinese dissidents’ names whatsoever — there’d be no compelling reason to do this at all! If they make software that they enable any owner to use to block anybody he wants, they will be helping the Chinese government do its dirty work just as much as they allow Angel Fluffy make his security statelet within SL. It’s all of a piece.

    Ugh ugh ugh. This is why we cannot let these people run the Metaverse. This is really so deeply fucked.

    Uri, why do you allow people like this on the Herald? It’s one thing to have different points of view. It’s another thing to undermine the very foundation of liberalism itself.

    What’s so telling about Jessica, like BonnieRuberg and other “fighters for sexual liberty” is that they hoot and holler about freedom of sexpression in Second Life and screech and scream over every bit of “censorship” like the call to put the naked Burning Life statue in M instead of PG, but when it comes to every other area of freedom of expression — politics, the economy, individual civil liberties — they are missing in action, or even actively hostile, Bonnie, for example, remaining absolutely silent through my challenge of her one-sided and narrowly-construed civil libertarianism — and my banning from Terra Nova — and here Jessica and “nobody” willing to send Chinese dissidents to torturous imprisonment over their very cramped notion of “the law”.

    The idea that you step on an individual’s rights “for the good of the whole” is exactly the logic of repression upon which these countries like Russia and China found their “laws” which are used to oppress dissent.

    What’s appalling is that Jessica sees nothing different in level or nature between a “law” violating freedom of expression, which she revels in selectively, and laws barring child pornography and ageplay. In fact, she’d likely be happy to err on the side of letting whatever ageplay stuff adults wanted to indulge in be tolerated, even as she’d send a dissident to the GULAG over his writings criticizing his government’s corruption. Shame, shame, shame.

    Uri, why are you silent through this???

  17. O.o

    Sep 6th, 2007

    “Absolutely Chinese dissidents should be more protected in SL — if they register on an American server governed by the jurisdiction of the laws of California, that surely do not require turning over any dissidents’ names to a foreign intelligence that flouts any notion of human rights! ”

    EX-FUCKING-cuse me?!?

    Since when has the US government, the ‘Land of the Free’ (can’t say that without feeling sick to my stomach) cared about human rights?

    Guantonomo Bay ring a bell?

    It’s the US themselves that also flauts any notion of human rights, themselves. Just after the second world war, the nations involved came together in a little town called Geneve, to collectively sign a document that stated rules for handling prisoners of war, in order to prevent the horrors of WW2 from ever happening again.

    To today’s US government, this document means exactly NOTHING. Our beloved government has almost literally been wiping their asses with it. Guantonomo Bay isn’t even the only place where human rights are broken daily, in the name of the United States of America… It’s the only one that they have admitted the existance of.

    The ‘Patriot Act’ gave the US government the right to listen in to all phone traffic of it’s citizens, and more beyond that little breach of privacy, all they have to do is state that there is the suspicion of terrorists, to do exactly the things that the KGB was so hated for in their haydays. But hey, this time it’s the ‘good’ guys doing it, so it’s okay, right?

    Fucking hell.

  18. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 6th, 2007

    O.o is pumping the usual load of total unadulterated horseshit.

    How do people even *know* about Guantanamo? Because of um…the free media? Human rights groups? Groups working to shut down Gitmo? Where are the major litigators against Gitmo…um… in the United States? By Americans? Fucking hell is right, asshole. If you can’t tell the difference between a situation like Gitmo, where there is torture and Americans try to do something to stop it, and China, where there is torture and the Chinese who try to do something about it are themselves tortured, perhaps you deserve the system you might end up with.

    In any event, I don’t see a stampede of emigration of scholars and students to China, due to the um *cough* harsh oppressive conditions for study in the United States.

    Um, re: KGB. Could you cite the cases of dozens of *American* investigative reporters, parliamentarians and anti-racism activists who have been murdered in the United States and whose cases are unresolved — like Russia? No, you can’t.

    Moral equivalency disease ring a bell?

    People like you live in a total haze of confusion, lies, and propaganda about these issues and are totally lacking in moral clarity.

  19. O.o

    Sep 6th, 2007

    Ehm, you missed my point by I dunno, a mile or two.

    Yes, the chinese government are bad guys.

    But, to put forward the US as an example of how to handle human rights, is plain ridiculous. Maybe the US government aren’t as bad as the Chinese, but they’re DEFINATELY not the good guys.

    Who is worse then the other isn’t my point… They’re both bad, which is bad.

    And the US just manages to deceit and lie more effectively. The chinese just arrests people who say that they’re doing it wrong, the US makes sure that the people saying they’re doing it wrong are silenced in other ways. Like, making good American Patriots think like you do.

    Nono, no-one is tortured in Guantanomo. That’s all just anti-american propaganda.
    Nono, there really ARE WMD’s in Iraq. to say differently, is just anti American Propaganda. Oh and the British investigator that later came out and said there were indeed no WMD’s, just happened to have ceased living before being able to provide more proof that the US government lied.
    Oh no, US GI-s would NEVER rape innocent 12 year olds and then claim that it was other who did it.

    Cause we’re the good guys, right? to think otherwise would be, well, unpatriotic and foolishly listening to anti american propaganda.

    I am all for the protection of any living being on this planet.
    Also from the crimes comitted by the beloved US government.

    The world is full of baddies. that is including the White house.

  20. SqueezeOne Pow

    Sep 6th, 2007

    Wait, how did a silly article about the CEO of a video game company turn into an Amnesty International commercial? You guys are WAY less important and influencial in either world than you think you are. Just more outsiders looking in…

    O.o is full of shit, too. It’s just that shit’s from the other side of the spectrum.

    Just go fake clothes and guns shopping like the good consumers you are!

  21. :-p

    Sep 6th, 2007

    So, let’s add this to the list of things Prokofy doesn’t do:

    Prokofy doesn’t ever post to the Herald, since quitting.

    Prokofy doesn’t ever post to Second Citizen. She’s stopped reading there, much less posting, completely.

    Prokofy doesn’t ever drink.

    Prokofy doesn’t ever attack, only “pushes back.”

    Prokofy doesn’t ever lie.

    Except that she does all these things regularly.

  22. Ali

    Sep 6th, 2007

    Wooooow…you people just wrote 69 comments worth of bullshit…well not ALL of them were bullshit becouse some of them were actualy ABOUT THE ARTICLE!…uhhhh…I guess prokofy should have writen this for one of his blogs…would have saved us some drama.

  23. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 6th, 2007

    So, let’s add this post by this anonymous fucktard to the predictable lies regularly told about me, shall we?

    >So, let’s add this to the list of things Prokofy doesn’t do:

    Each one of these statements is false, as I never said them in these stark and limited ways, even literally.

    >Prokofy doesn’t ever post to the Herald, since quitting.

    No, I said very clearly that a) I would post if I thought it was a matter of “national importance” (i.e. Philip’s hair-do change fits in that category) or “to defend myself”. That’s pretty much how it is.

    The Herald is not my home. I do not post here. It’s a toxic cess-pool.

    >Prokofy doesn’t ever post to Second Citizen. She’s stopped reading there, much less posting, completely.

    Yes, I’ve stopped reading and posting there completely. Absolutely. When summoned, when attacked and shown the attack, I come back and defend myself. Not even that so much any more — it’s a cess-pool. No, I don’t read SC. I log on and see stuff like “2,498 unread posts since you last logged on.”

    >Prokofy doesn’t ever drink.

    No, I don’t drink. Does that mean literally that alcohol never passes my lips? Of course not. Especially if someone buys me a drink, sure, I will have a beer. If there is a special occasion like a birthday or SLCC, sure, I will a drink along with every one else? But I am not one of those people who has their habitual glass of wine every day, who always orders alcohol in a restaurant, etc. Sorry to disappoint, but that is exactly what I meant when I said this — twice, slightly differently — and the efforts to try to pounce, trap, play gotcha, etc. are retarded, especially coming from all the problem drinkers on SC ROFL.
    Prokofy doesn’t ever attack, only “pushes back.”

    Prokofy doesn’t ever lie.

    Except that she does all these things regularly.

  24. DaveOner

    Sep 6th, 2007

    “No, I said very clearly that a) I would post if I thought it was a matter of “national importance” (i.e. Philip’s hair-do change fits in that category) or “to defend myself”. That’s pretty much how it is.

    The Herald is not my home. I do not post here. It’s a toxic cess-pool.”

    …and yet here you are. You know that the best way to defend yourself somewhere like here is just to NOT GO THERE AGAIN!

    I’ve come to the conclusion that you are just playing a huge prank on all of SL because NO ONE with the mental ability to run SL could be THIS stupid and say such things in all seriousness.

    You’re a joke,Prock, but now I’m starting to think it’s a joke you’re actually in on.

    DAMN IT I promised myself I wouldn’t post here again…I guess I’m technically not posting here if the above is any indication of definitions here! ;)

  25. Jessica Holyoke

    Sep 6th, 2007


    If ageplay is a freedom of expression issue, why should it be treated differently than dissent in China? At no time did I say sex and ageplay should be allowed and dissidents should be tortured. The problem I have with the concept as proponded, and with your statements on this matter, is that only laws that Prokofy agrees with should be followed and that if Prokofy agrees with the law, then any dissent against said law is evil, whining or adolescent.

    All of this is rooted in the concept that civil liberties aren’t for “those people.” In SL, its the ageplayers and Nazis. In RL, it is the Nazis and sometimes the wiccans. Civil Liberties must be for everyone. The right to dissent and express must belong to everyone, not just those that are sympathetic.

    If the Lindens say, “do whatever you want, but don’t break the laws of your own country (Unless we decided that its more important to protect us, then its more important to follow US law than your own law)” then why should Chinese dissidents be protected from their government when they are breaking their own laws? Are the Chinese anti-dissident laws unjust? Sure they are. But that’s not the point. Why should the Lindens have a different policy for some residents solely because the Lindens agree with the politics of those residents?

    Prokofy, when its activity you oppose, you take the stance that its horrible and that anyone defending that activity is evil and then that persons engaging in that activity would cry and expect the Lindens to protect them when the government comes calling. When it comes to a cause that you feel is just then the Lindens should protect the resident in question from exposure.

    We have quotes from the Lindens stating that they will ban activity or turn over information if it is in the best interest of the Grid. We have one quote from Robin Linden that they might fight any action revealing the information of a dissident. But honestly, if the choice is blocking SL from the whole of China or turning over someone’s information that admittedly broke the laws of their own country, which would you have them choose? Additionally, if the Lindens do not comply with a Chinese court order, they could be criminally punished by the Chinese for not following the Chinese legal process. (There’s a lot of jurisdictional issues here,and I’m not a lawyer trained in Chinese Law. But look at US v. Elcom Ltd and Sklyarov. The US government arrested a Russian national for violating US law when the activities did not break Russian law and they occurred in Russia. The FBI arrested Sklyarov when he went to a conference in the United States. Why can’t the same happen to Rosedale if he ended up in a Chinese jurisdiction?)

    And really, Prokofy, why are you calling on Uri to censor my question? Is it because it doesn’t fall into line with what you think I should be saying? Additionally, why should he be protecting you anyway? I was not attacking you. I brought up why should the Lindens follow one country’s laws and not another’s. Why would they be willing to put themselves at risk for one group of residents when it comes to a freedom of expression issue, but when it comes to another freedom of expression issue, they would turn over the information?

    SqueezeOnePow, I know this argument may seem to be making SL “the most important thing ever known to man,” but realistically, the question regarding dissident protection has always been avoided. Google and Yahoo have both caved into requests for information from the Chinese government when it comes to dissident activity. Why should Second Life and Linden Labs be different?

  26. SqueezeOne Pow

    Sep 6th, 2007

    “SqueezeOnePow, I know this argument may seem to…”

    While I don’t disagree that this is a touchy issue that has RL relevance, I don’t really see anyone visiting this site that is competent enough to wrestle it. I don’t go to WoW to seek spiritual advice, either!

    Overall I agree with you, though. Most bleeding heart/Amnesty International quasi-activist types don’t actually understand politics and business and how they should NEVER mix. Not just when they feel it convenient to their agenda.

    Was it morally right that Google ratted out a Chinese guy? I dont know what he did but probably not. Would it have been a good idea for a company like Google to try to do political and legal battle with another country who had the home field advantage? A country with somewhat strained relations with the US already?? Definitely not.

    People substituting logic and perspective for zeal and idealism tend to fail to see that just like it’s bad for companies to sway our domestic legal and political system it’s also bad for them to get into moral crusades in politics internationally.

    You can’t tell the drunk driver to only hit people you don’t like!

  27. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 6th, 2007


    Ageplay involves the simulation of a crime, that police and experts have come to see as creating an enabling environment for crime. The crime is the exploitation of minors and the endangerment and even harm of minors. That’s all pretty clear.

    That’s very different than criticizing a government for corruption, bad prison conditions, lack of labour rights, etc. etc.

    If they don’t seem any different to you, you have a morality vacuum, I guess.

    “only laws that Prokofy agrees with should be followed and that if Prokofy agrees with the law, then any dissent against said law is evil, whining or adolescent.”

    Actually, that’s not my theory, it’s yours, and Benjamin Duranske’s, and all kinds of other “internet lawyers” who want sexual licentiousness, political conservatism and conformity (often under the guise of anarchy or leftism), and oppression of dissent through threats of libel or even outright banning — or worse, RL prosecution. That’s where we can see the outrageous selectivity and misapplication of law — letting a clear international human rights norm like Art. 19 freedom of expression be flouted to jail and torture a Chinese dissident, but then fuss like self-indulgent babies becuse someone couldn’t gratify their twisted sexual simulations of crimes against children.

    I didn’t make up these ageplay laws in Europe; uh…the Europeans did? The Lindens decided to comply. I don’t have a problem with that, as I view them as having to make these decisions to prevent the descent of Second Life into a real morass of immoral and outright criminal behaviour. That’s a very real danger. Life is about balance. There isn’t balance, only excess in SL. The Lindens are forced to be the balancers.

    And in this case, it’s the law in Europe. Maybe they won’t get a good set of cases, if the Dutch probe (and dropping? That isn’t confirmed yet?) is any indication, but it’s still enough of a threat that the Lindens have acted properly.

    I find it hilarious how you sextremists all want the Lindens to drop that, but suddenly get all Puritanical about Chinese dissidents fighting their oppressive government, gamblers, or Ponzi schemes. It truly is a marvel of hypocrisy and moral blindness of epic proportions.

    No, civil liberties aren’t for those who endanger or harm children. The Europeans have set the bar on this concept at a position that Americans would find too restrictive of civil liberties in general and the abstract, but in practice — in settings like colleges, work places, and gasp, virtual worlds — they make policies that set the bar just where the Europeans set it. That’s how laws and practices evolve. That’s not about “Nazism”; what’s “Nazism” here is the attempt to whitewash crime.

    Gosh, if civil liberties “must be for everyone,” how come you can stump for them to be for ageplayers, but turn in Chinese dissidents? That’s completely assanine.

    Re: If the Lindens say, “do whatever you want, but don’t break the laws of your own country (Unless we decided that its more important to protect us, then its more important to follow US law than your own law)” then why should Chinese dissidents be protected from their government when they are breaking their own laws?

    I explain the concept of laws that are not just laws. I guess that’s over your head. Do they study that in law school? Guess not! Well, then!

    The Lindens agree or disagree and make judgement calls all the time. They decide not to get shirty with Europeans and get all First Amendmenty on them — which they could — but decide that their goal of expansion in Europe is more important to them than their libertarianism. They are situational in their ethics just like you are! You are perfect for each other!

    Again, I’m not the one who criminalized virtual ageplay in Europe; the EU did. The Lindens made a judgement to enlarge their possibilities there and appeal more broadly to the public and avoid negative press by complying with these EU laws, sacrificing whatever American civil libertarian extremism they might have had (if they had it, which I’m not sure they did) for their goal. I personally am fine with them opting to go with a value that is pretty much the mainstream moral value. It’s a minority of people who want to hysterically become extremist on the rights of ageplayers. International human rights law and practice wouldn’t support ageplayers; it would support dissenters critical of government corruption.

    Your zeal to find hyprokisy is so great, that you are blinded to the basic issues, as usual.

    A Second Life in China that is so sanitized that no one can say the obvious about their government, that Americans take absolutely for granted, that the standards for oppression of dissent prevail and bleed into Second Life, which is, after all, interconnected, and a place where in fact “no man is an island,” is not a Second Life worth living. In that case, if the Chinese government exerted controls, I’d say “Ok, guess we won’t do China then”.

    You don’t *have* to expand into China if those are the conditions. It undermines and degrades the world of Second Life and its meaning. I’m with Dostoyevsky on this one in Brothers Karamazov, about the one child’s tears.

    I really have no interest in looking up Sklyarov because I’ve come to see that you never debate in good faith, you always debate from a college student extremism and narrow set of your own extremist interests without any sense of the broader issues.

    Censor your question? Hardly. I’m calling on Uri to say that — affirm — if he believes — that it would be wrong for the Lindens to turn over Chinese dissidents and it would be a Herald editorial policy to condemn it, rather than preaching this truly nauseating techno-cool “pragmatism” which is horridly oppressive and sordid all its own, justifying selling Chinese dissidents down the river. Bleh.

    He doesn’t have to protect me, and it’s typical of your empty-headed tribalism that you can see a debate like this about “whatever Prokofy thinks is right” or “whatever protects Prokofy”. You really DO have your head up your ass. These are principles of universality, of human rights, and what’s right, of international law and morality.

    Everybody who values human rights understands what Google and Yahoo do in China is wrong. Betraying dissidents is wrong. Trying morally equivocate those dissidents to ageplayers is indefensible. Confusing distinctions between rights and crimes is also inadmissible.

    Rather, I’m calling on Uri to defend these principles, just because I think they are in danger of being eroded by brainless twats like you. Did I make myself clear there? That’s how strongly I feel about it.

    Perhaps some day when you have had friends or relatives murdered by oppressive regimes for their freedom of expression of criticism, of ideas, of art, of politics, you’ll understand the difference between that and simulation of the defilement of an innocent child.

  28. xcvxcv

    Sep 7th, 2007

    AARGH LOCK THIS THREAD ALREADY! WHO CARES! JESUS! (he doesnt, nor was I asking, I was exclaiming..)

  29. Io Zeno

    Sep 7th, 2007

    Actually one of the better articles at the Herald lately. And I agree with Prok on the China thing, facilitating the abuse of human rights through custom software is rather nauseating. Equating it with “age play” is simply insulting.

  30. Wilburrrr

    Sep 7th, 2007

    The Formerly Caring, Concerned, and Sensitive Tenshi said:

    “Prok, I don’t think you’re quite the person to be ragging on Uri for returning… after all, you’re the one that threw the tantrum and said you wouldn’t be back – and now you are. Big surprise.

    Glad to know your blogs are still unsuccessful in hits though… and that the Herald still beats yours!!”

    If you are any kind of decent human being whatsoever, you’ll stop provoking her.

    Just stop. Ignore her. Don’t comment.

    Don’t make things worse.

    This message brought to you by The Starfucker Hypocrites Foundation.


  31. O.o

    Sep 7th, 2007

    “Overall I agree with you, though. Most bleeding heart/Amnesty International quasi-activist types don’t actually understand politics and business and how they should NEVER mix.”

    Indeed, buisness and politics are not something you want to intertwine.
    Prime example is how the oil and weapons lobby, all buisnessmen, run the USA from behind the scenes. All that brought, is trouble.

    Specially for the middle east…

  32. Jessica Holyoke

    Sep 7th, 2007


    I was going to write a fairly long response in response to your 4 page answer. Then I realized that any articulate, accurate response would be pointless to you because you’re always right, no matter what. So lets make this short and on topic.

    If Linden labs doesn’t want to be in a position to turn over dissident information to China, then don’t let in residents from China. If the situation that you are describing, Chinese resident speaks against his government in SL, and the Lindens are requested to turn over the information, then what you are asking is not “Support Chinese Free Speech Rights” you are asking them to “Fight for Chinese Free Speech Rights” by placing the Lindens at risk. (And honestly, the same turn over situation exists for a resident of a Muslim country that converts to Christianity in SL.)

    Therefore, you are asking a barely profitable, poorly operated company to come up with both the money and the will to fight the Chinese government in order to protect someone who violated the Linden’s stated policies.

  33. Jessica Holyoke

    Sep 7th, 2007

    Dissent and age play aren’t the same thing when it comes to importance and value to the community. I believe that they are both founded in freedom of expression, but the community needs to hear your dissent more than they need to hear about your fantasies. I know that the german ageplayers are the first residents I’ve seen turned over to any government upon that government’s request. The Eros LLC v. Volkov Catteneo suit is another situation where the Lindens turned over resident information, but its a slightly dissimilar situation due to the civil nature of the lawsuit, Stroker Serpetine requested the information rather than a government official.
    In both situations, the Lindens complied with a lawful order to turn over the information. I haven’t heard of another turnover request for resident information. And that’s all that we have in regards to the Lab’s actions when predicting the Lindens future actions with Chinese dissidents and any requests to turn over their information.

  34. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 8th, 2007

    No, Jessica, your Realpolitik is revolting, and every decent human being should fight you as hard as they possibly can.

    Fake blanket hysterical arguments like “oh, don’t let in any Chinese at all for fear of having to betray even one” is a total straw argument, and completely unnecessary.

    The Lindens already let in all kinds of Chinese. Robin already implied they would be unlikely to turn over information unnecessarily, without a legitimate subpoena.

    There’s nothing legitimate about any Chinese call to harass a dissident. Comparing it with ageplay prosecution is indeed not only insulting, but nauseating. It shows us the absolute moral nadir of the current crop of law students, that’s for sure.

    No one asks the Lindens to fight for Chinese dissidents; they ask them not to collaborate maliciously with their persecutors. There’s never any reason to do that. They can always simply not collaborate, not comply, not submit. There’s always passive resistance, even if you can’t muster something more. If the Great Fire Wall is then thrown up, then it will be one of the many things that Chinese citizens will fight to have removed — as they and their supporters do with a Facebook group and many other movements. The whole world is watching; a good number of people will resist if the Lindens pulled something like that.

    A key difficulty in overthrowing repressive governments is getting their supporters like Jessica Holyoke out of the way, and getting them to stop doing damage in advance on behalf of the powers that they cravenly serve. And the best way to do that is simply to say: your name is taken, you are noted: see you on the other side of the revolution.

    Nobody violated shit. The Chinese behaves just like the American and criticizes his government. It’s that government that is intolerant. The Lindens are not required to do a goddamn thing.

  35. Jessica Holyoke

    Sep 8th, 2007

    so Prok, you believe that if the Chinese government did submit a subpeona according to their own laws and the Lindens did not comply based on their own judgment on the subpeona, that there would be no consequences to the Lindens?

  36. Victorria Paine

    Sep 8th, 2007

    Oh come on Prok.

    Every company doing business in or with China has to comply with Chinese laws. It’s not optional, unless that company wants to be sanctioned by the Chinese government and potentially lose access to one of the world’s largest markets. Singling out LL for your political crusade, in the context of a US economy that is rather thoroughly dependent on China, is misguided and pathetic — surpassed on by your use of the issue as s stalking horse to spout your typical scorn, ridicule and hatred of lawyers.

    You want to help dissidents in China? Here’s what you do, Prok. Don’t buy anything that is made in China. No cellphones, no computers (including parts), no clothing, no reading material — nothing. Then you will be putting your money quite literally where your verbose mouth is. But haranguing LL on an internet forum about the issue of Chinese dissidents when the very computer you are typing on likely has Chinese parts is hypocritical and self-defeating.

  37. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 8th, 2007

    Oh, stop it, Jessica, with your lack of morality you’re hardly one to dream up strategies for how to affect China.

    The idea that you offset consumer habits and push consumer boycotts which are nearly impossible to get going for China and have marginal effect even when practiced, with a sharp and real and personal moral decision involving YOUR decision to turn in a Chinese dissident or not — SO emblematic of the sliding immorality in which you are awash.

    It doesn’t matter if I buy Chinese sneakers or don’t buy Chinese sneakers; that is, I can make or not make this moral choice. That does absolutely nothing to offset the moral imperative for Linden Lab or any company REALLY in a position to set the moral and legal tone.

    Who says these Chinese laws are “legal”? That’s the horror — that this particularly salient point, that apparently escaped you in law school (not surprisingly) is one that you simply fail to grasp or respond to. Unjust “laws” aren’t law; they are misuing law to commit crimes.

    This blanket statement about “having to abide by Chinese laws if you do business in China” is a total red herring as it belies the fact that a) the oppressive practices against dissenters aren’t always codified in law that you could “abide by” or “not abide by” b) they are injust and arbitrarily applied anyway; c) there are different factions within the regime itself, of liberals and conservatives, who differ themselves about what the “law” is.

    It’s like saying, “Oh, Bush sanctioned torture in Guantanamo. That’s the law! If you’re going to do business in America, you have to accept that. And if you’re in an American game on American servers, why, you better not criticize that”. That would be absurd — and unnecessary. These issues came to light and are challenged precisely because of robust dissent and litigation — which you as a lawyer should be grasping and supporting instead of issuing pious corporativist nostrums about “doing business”. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

    There is a school of thought that ignoring human rights issues, or making them subservient to economic and business concerns, will “help” China, that it will “eventually evolve”. But…this idea hasn’t worked for 20 or more years. It shows no sign of working. Countries don’t liberalize by having hacks like Holyoke prop up repressive regimes; they liberalize by people outside these countries supporting those brave enough to challenge them.

  38. Jessica Holyoke

    Sep 8th, 2007

    So you think that the Lindens can resist Chinese efforts without consequences?

  39. Jessica Holyoke

    Sep 8th, 2007

    I’m going to make this the last post I write on this topic.

    When I first wrote my response on Thursday, I anticipated a response along the lines of “would you turn over Anne Frank to the Nazis?” Due to Godwin’s law, I’ll leave that one alone and use a different example.

    If I lived in the Northern US in the 1850′s and a runaway slave asked for help via the Underground Railroad, I believe I would help that slave escape to Canada. What I wouldn’t do is release a press notice stating that I was helping runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad.

    And that’s what Prokofy is asking for. As things stand now, the Lindens could deny knowledge of dissident activity and show themselves to be law-abiding, and that is everyone’s law, people. If Prokofy’s end result occurs, then China would be suspicious of Second Life and investigate it more intently for dissident activity.

    Additionally, the Lindens, and other companies, could do more to lobby the Chinese government to change its policies. But those would be lawful attempts in changing the law, not predetermined open definance of a country’s laws.

  40. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 8th, 2007

    The Lindens should indeed resist the bureaucratic muscling of the Chinese regime on their residents, yes, indeed they should, if they are to be Lindens worthy of their name.

    There is absolutely no reason in hell an American company should be turning over the names of its customers to a foreign power. They are under no requirement to do so — what, an American lawyer is going to file a subpoena against them on behalf of the Chinese government to turn over information about a person who hasn’t committed a crime in any American formal sense, or any international human rights sense?! Hello?! Of course not.

    So…the Chinese are then going to play hardball and cut off all service, and harm big operations like ACS? Well, let them? They may come to that point, or they may say, on their side, hey, this isn’t worth the loss of business, the bad press, and the general nuisance, let it go.

    And, as Mao himself said, water wears away the stone. You hold the line on “little things” like one Chinese man’s personal information, and you keep going, and it wears down.

    Oh, you say, the Lindens won’t be good businessmen by letting the Chinese disrupt the entire service? Well, by that time, the Lindens, given what Philip said about this in the BBC interview, are likely to dodge and stall until they can say, “Anshe, and other Chinese providers, here’s a license to use our server code, run things how you like, YOU take over the Chinese dissident issue, we’re done.”

    They certainly don’t gain any influence and market strength by competing with HiPhive or whatever it’s called by joining in the chorus to drown Chinese dissent. In fact, they could position themselves MORE favourable by doing nothing, saying nothing, not cooperating, passively resisting, and just providing more and more providers like Anshe with server code. As with Russia, when there are lots more providers, it becomes harder for the government to take over everything, though of course they manage to interfere mightily.

  41. Prokofy Neva

    Sep 8th, 2007

    and Jessica’s completely off track with all this last bit about Anne Frank. Yes, life is made up of little and big decisions with little and big consequences. Lindens could stall, bureaucratize their response, standardize it, “Our policy is never to provide resident info without a subpoena, get one, and then we’ll talk to you,” etc.

    “that is everyone’s law, people.”

    No, repression of Chinese dissidents isn’t “everyone’s law.” This constant reference of “the need to abide by Chinese law” completely overlooks the fact that it is not just law; it is the kind of law that instantly gets changed the minute you have democratic and accountable governments, and needs constant support as our own country’s politics show — you don’t leave this stuff to take care of itself.

    And the idea that if you resist Chinese oppression, you only invite more impression, therefore, “never resist Chinese oppression” is a Satanic argument if I ever heard one. It’s not one that any just society accepts as an argument.

    What I’d like to know is: where is the Second Life Bar Association? Here their board member is out here stumping on behalf of the oppressive Chinese government, urging Linden Lab to comply with their unjust requests, should they come in.

    Does this represent the SLBA’s position? I’ll bet it represents the views of the current president, Benjamin Duranske, but he’s cunningly silent on this point at the moment.

    The idea that refusing to turn over a Chinese dissidents personal information is somehow an unlawful act, when it is a legitimate and lawful response to an illegitimate law, is one of those bad ideas that somehow Holyoke absorbed in her immoral law school setting — or imbibed from the Internet, or out of her ass, or who the hell knows. But it’s completely unsupportable as a premise. It mainly shows complete ignorance of the dimensions of the debate on this issue as it evolved with Google and Yahoo.

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