Op/Ed: Our Responsibilities As Avatars

by Alphaville Herald on 13/09/10 at 2:27 am

A Six Part Manifesto To Save Second Life

by JS Uralia

The Linden Lab economy is collapsing, with the market value of Second Life’s stock down over 35% since May, according to SharesPost. If we avatars are to survive, we must exercise good citizenship and socially responsible corrective action to remedy this situation at once, because our very existence may be at stake. We can and must act to fix the Second Life economy – now!

First, we must make sure that all avatars have a high standard of living, which means access to sufficient income and quality medical care without excessive income inequality. Imagine if a Linden in charge of backing up your data were to fall ill. Wouldn’t you want Linden Lab to be able to pay for covering their work and for the ill Linden staff member to have access to the best medical care?

Recent applications of epidemiology techniques to economic, medical, and quality-of-life data performed by the Equality Trust (equalitytrust.org) have proven that there is a root cause of more than twenty-five social and medical ills: income inequality, measured by the Gini coefficient. An avatar income tax should be established with a very large 0% tax bottom bracket, covering at least 60% of those with the smallest incomes, and top brackets set so that the top 5% of income earners (including groups and corporations) bear most of the burden. In fact, the top tax bracket rate for groups should be even larger than that of individual avatars to keep corporate power in check.

Second, we must demand that in-world power be derived entirely from renewable energy. Not only must Linden Lab contract for wind energy to power the servers, but the Linden Public Works agencies must insure that there is a sustainable amount of simulated wind power to operate all in-world simulations.

Yes, windmills may be an eyesore, but they aren’t as bad as a giant refrigerator. Moreover, Linden Lab must insure that heavily subsidized plug-in hybrid automobiles and spacecraft are available to avatars.

Ideally, such vehicles should be accompanied by double precision floating point, high level and easy-to-use quaternion operations, and square bracket-based list access in LSL, so that larger vehicles powered by renewable energy will be feasible. Regions with insufficient renewable power resources must pay the price with a slowly (at first!) increasing water table level, and occasional flood and extreme weather damage in regions that have damage enabled.

Third, we must demand universal health care coverage; for not only Linden staff and Linden Lab contractors, but also the communities in which they live. Since most Lindens’ communities are in the United States, I recommend healthCare-now.org, MedicareForAll.org, and PNHP.org. Without education and action, there is no solution, and we have a responsibility and an obligation to support the existence of those who support our existence. Not many people realize that the costs of global warming mitigation take money from health care.

Fourth, we must demand an immediate refinancing for all parcel owners who owe more on their parcels than they are currently worth, or who are behind on their parcel payments. The extent to which they are underwater or delinquent must be corrected by inflating the money supply. However, we must take care to insure that land dealers’ bonuses are not adversely affected, or they may oppose such a solution.

Fifth, we need to enhance translation systems, including voice-to-voice translation. Without an asynchronous voice audio API there is no way to connect Google Voice Translate to Second Life. Schools and universities that run open sandboxes and open instruction should be subsidized by the progressive income tax.

Sixth, all avatars banned for nonviolent offenses should be granted amnesty. The prison industrial complex in Linden Lab security is stealing money from the new resident teacher corps in a clearly unsustainable fashion.

If you want to help, please tweet @philiplinden and @mkapor asking them to support this plan with the message "Support the #SecondLife economic stimulus plan at http://alphavilleherald.com/2010/09/our-responsibilities-as-avatars.html". Please don’t forget to follow both of them to see their replies.

If you are interested in learning more about the real life recommendations upon which these are based, please see: http://3.ly/usabudgetitems Thank you for doing your part to ensure our mutual continued existence.

116 Responses to “Op/Ed: Our Responsibilities As Avatars”

  1. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 20th, 2010

    @ IntLibber Brautigan

    So giving birth to a free market economy would lessen the amount of under-the-table corruption?

    Yeah, I’m staying out of this one.

  2. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 20th, 2010

    @ IntLibber Brautigan

    I can double-post too!

    Yeah, y’know, I never took an economics or government class in a public school in my entire life. So, nice try, but sorry.

  3. Persephone Bolero

    Sep 20th, 2010

    @IntLibber And if I may add my own citation to the obvious fact that a rapid increase in government spending in the past 30 years might (duh) have something to do with the budget crises plaguing local, state, and feds (as my ridiculously large shoe collection/credit card debt can also attest), I point to this well cited, documented examination of the “government spends too freaking much” narrative:


    So, Nelson, what do you have to back up your claims?

  4. Persephone Bolero

    Sep 20th, 2010

    @Nelson “Yeah, y’know, I never took an economics or government class in a public school in my entire life. So, nice try, but sorry.”

    Yet, you can make this statement? “No, that’s what pretty much every single economics and U.S. government class tells you.”

    How would you know?

    Nelson, there comes a point when you go from ridiculous to just plain sad.

  5. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 20th, 2010

    @ Persephone Bolero

    I don’t think I made any claims regarding the government not being corrupt. Just that the difference between a free market and a regulated economy is a free market breeds raw, unadulterated capitalism (complete with trusts and monopolies) while a regulated economy is, well, regulated by people who may or may not be trustworthy. Neither is inherently “good”, but the immediate deregulation of everything economy-related (at least here in the U.S.) would cause more problems than solutions in the short term.

    And much to your chagrin, I have friends who went to public school who can attest to the same thing. That’s literally the point of economics – to iron out these flaws and find some sort of sweet spot. Why, did your economics teacher teach you any different? Or are you still in middle school or something?

    Anyways, you guys have fun bickering over this shit on a troll-infested blog.

  6. Selene Putzo

    Sep 20th, 2010

    @IntLibber Brautigan
    Quote: “Selene,
    The information was contained in the announcements by Linden Lab about their streamlining/downsizing that resulted in 30% of LL staff being given the axe. They closed a number of other offices, including in addition to Brighton, one in Singapore and as I understand it, Germany. They did not detail how quickly those offices would be closed..” Blah blah blah I can’t be bothered to paste all that assumption up.

    Yes IntLibber… assumptions, you are making a HUGE cock up by assuming the Brighton office has closed. You have not provided a reliable link clearly stating SL Brighton office in the UK has closed – even though I asked you twice (very nicely with pretty please and sugar on top). Instead you imply and assume (again) that I am some kind of idiot, because I do not make the same assumptions as you have with your own self-developing train of thought.

    Harry and Jack (as you say) are now relocated in San Francisco. Does that mean Brighton has closed? No it does not. Nobody has been announced as their replacement. Do Linden Labs have to tell anyone who is recruited or promoted? No they don’t. Lots of Linden employees were (sadly) handed their clock cards. Agreed. But does that say Brighton has closed? No it does not.

    Until you provide just one reputable web site link stating that Linden Research Inc. (aka Linden Lab) have closed Brighton office UK, I will make only one assumption…. you are full of crap. I hope you can quickly prove me wrong on that assumption of mine.

  7. IntLibber Brautigan

    Sep 20th, 2010



    I’m not gonna do any more of your homework for you. One thing people learn is that, by definition, everything I say is the truth.

    So, now the onus is on you: you have two hours to return with brand new photos of actual Lindens working in the Brighton office (and not just a storefront with a sign with the company name, everybody knows those stay around for months until a new tenant moves in). Otherwise I will assume that your assumption has made you an ass.

  8. IntLibber Brautigan

    Sep 20th, 2010

    Your complete and utter ignorance of economics is showing. Monopolies can only exist by grant of government legislating a monopoly, and a trust is a legal entity that only has power because the government legislated it to have power. Thus, you prove my point that without big government, free markets are not a danger.

    All of the corporate evils that illiterate and innumerate leftists like yourself attribute to the free markets are not, in fact, a result of free markets, but of government legislation giving corporations greater power than they would have in an actual free market. Without big governments to empower and protect big corporations, corporations would not be able to grow big enough to cause any abuses.

    That said, abuses like poor pay etc is one thing. Government claims the authority to mass murder people (now, given we believe that government power is derived from the authority of the people as individuals delegating their own power to the government, why is it that governments can commit mass murder legally but individuals cannot?), and engage in all sorts of economic conflict that they prohibit corporations from engaging in (like economic sanctions against countries they don’t like, seizing/nationalizing other corporations or governments, etc etc), why is it that proponents of big government always point the finger at corporations when the ones perpetrating real evils in the world are governments?

  9. Selene Putzo

    Sep 21st, 2010

    @ IntLibber Assume-again

    Oh my goodness !!! The Alphaville Herrald is a reputable source of information? I am sending you a tin foil hat extra large for your uber fat head.

    As for the other link, being from the UK, I have zero respect for that one as it isn’t the Times Financial or British Broadcasting Company. Those are reputable sources of information for anyone in the UK and they can’t be denied that fact. If something happens in the UK, it will be announced in one of those. Besides – your second link says zero diddly squat about Brighton UK office actually shutting down, locking the door and staff or stock moving to San Francisco. Therefore the Brighton office is still used by Linden Labs even if it is unoccupied.

    You may think I am an ass, but don’t let that stop you from thinking. As far as I am concerned, you’re still full of crap. Have a nice day.

  10. Roffel

    Sep 21st, 2010

    I never was trolling I was merely lolling at your reaction to this troll article. And still am at your attempts to salvage your fail.

    (Protip: “uh, no, I was actually trolling YOU!” has never, and will never fool anyone. Nice try tho.)

  11. Persephone Bolero

    Sep 21st, 2010

    @Roffel Uh huh.

  12. IntLibber Brautigan

    Sep 21st, 2010

    PR Newswire is a press release service through which companies send press releases for the media to pick up and run stories on. Linden Lab sent out that press release on PR Newswire, so it is the original source that your vaunted limey news organizations would base THEIR stories off of.

  13. Selene Putzo

    Sep 22nd, 2010

    You know what InLibber – I don’t give a monkey’s toss what PR Newswire is. You clearly stated that LL Brighton Office is shut i.e. closed and vacated, no longer in use, LL retreated to USA, not paying any rent or anything on any property – not just in the UK but also in Europe and Singapore. Nowhere in that press release does it give any CLEAR statement to back up your “I tell the truth” statement earlier in this thread.

    If you are combining that press release with a thread in this website, well I really pity you for jumping to conclusions such as this based on the content of The Alphaville Herrald.

    What do you expect me to do? Take Linden Lab to UK court on charges of VAT fraud base upon your stunning announcement? Oh my god, I can just picture it now. Judge to Selene, “Please tell the court how you have come to this position of charging Linden Research with Tax Collection Fraud.” Selene to Judge, “Oh it’s simple MiLud. I got the information from a website called the Alphaville Herrald and a poster there called Inlibber; they told me the UK office has shut and what Intlibber says is the truth.”

    That would make fantastic comedy.

    So there you have it. You make friends with Stroker and be pally within insanity, your astounding delusions and assumptions. You continue to look for mugs who believe everything you say – but this person here can add 1+1 together and won’t come up with 11. You’d be better off writing fairy stories.

    Now tell me fairies DO exist.

  14. Selene Putzo

    Sep 22nd, 2010

    “Linden Lab sent out that press release on PR Newswire”

    It could have been put up there by some spotty faced 17 year old EMPLOYEE of Linden Labs… not an investigating journalist from a respected independent news group. That Linden Employee can put out releases like an office make over changed Boston to pink spots on day glow purple satin sheets if they want. The Times and the BBC in the UK will ignore it.

    Huge difference sweetie.

  15. Selene Putzo

    Oct 2nd, 2010

    Just for information only:-
    Linden offices in the UK moved from Brighton to Newcastle.

    They’re still operating in the UK at this precise moment in time; therefore, legit and compliant to continue collecting UK VAT.

  16. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Oct 2nd, 2010



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