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. Rubber Ducky

    Sep 13th, 2010

    Uh hi

    ten by ten by ten = 1000

  2. Rubber Ducky

    Sep 13th, 2010

    Emerald hacked my vivox.

  3. Cai Pirinha

    Sep 13th, 2010

    IntLibber Brautigan wrote “But most of all, SL is screwed because its main offices have been located in three of the most socialist regions of the planet: San Francisco, Boston, and Brighton.”

    Intlibber, I so know what you mean. They really should have opened their offices in Havana, Ho Chi Minh City and Caracas

  4. Cai Pirinha

    Sep 13th, 2010

    Edna wrote: “The servers are in the US and thus operate under US law. You can thank the Bible thumping, doctor murdering, hospital bombing, racist, gay lynching American Tailiban (known as the republican party here in the USA).”

    You forgot “daylight saving” and “metric system using”…

  5. Mako Mabellon

    Sep 13th, 2010

    “Yes, confusing socialist with liberal is a rather hyperbolas. So is confusing conservative with fascist.”

    Conservatism should be nothing like fascism. Unfortunately, most of the decent conservatives seem to have been driven out of the US conservative movement by groups that are, basically, fascist (or in some cases theocratic and fascist).

  6. Toni Perrin

    Sep 13th, 2010

    You can thank the Bible thumping, doctor murdering, hospital bombing, racist, gay lynching American Tailiban (known as the republican party here in the USA). When they aren’t busy forcing homosexual acts on their underlings or “pleasuring” strangers in public toilet stalls, they lobby and force laws that attempt to grow the government so large as to have it control every citizen, right down to monitoring what we do in our bedrooms and surf on the net.

    Edna, your confused that the Democratic Party not the Republicans!

  7. Emperor Norton hears a who?

    Sep 13th, 2010

    Ah yes, libertarians. Some how the magic freemarket magic pony, shit prosperity for all and it will make everyone happy. LOL

    Sorry Jon Galt, it don’t go that way in Jesus’ Capitalist System. It’s survival of the fittest (or at lest the most well connected) and the rest die horrible deaths in the gutter. Take Goldman Sach, you’re in the inner circle as a made partner and set for life, until you lose your edge. then you are tossed into the street faster than kleenex from a teenage boy after a girly magazine.

    The whole Great Recession is the only logical result of a society were the only public virtue is greed. Just like in 1837, 1873 and 1929. So open your Atlas Shrugs, and repeat after me “Producers are the only real people, Socialisists are LOOTERS” as you make your way to your new home under a freeway over pass.

    As for the Emperor, he has government job and has more sense that to expose himself to the freemarket. Please don’t ask me for a hand out because by your own philosophy that makes your weak and lazy.

  8. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 13th, 2010

    @ Jayd3n


    And christ, please tell me you didn’t just spell it /B/.

  9. Persephone Bolero

    Sep 13th, 2010

    @Emperor “It’s survival of the fittest (or at lest the most well connected) and the rest die horrible deaths in the gutter.”

    This whole comment shows a complete lack of understanding of exactly what a free market system is and therefore miserably fails to provide any informed critique of it.

    I deal with this same shit when I debate creationists, who claim that Darwin had something to do with Eugenics and therefore all should turn against his theories. They have no idea what the theory of natural selection is and just sound ridiculous criticizing it to those of us who do.

    If you believe that free market proponents support a system that punishes the poor and rewards the greedy, you are flat wrong. And you should try to understand what you’re criticizing before looking like an ass to us that actually do understand these ideas.

  10. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 14th, 2010

    @ Cai Pirinha

    You mean “imperial”. Nice try, though.

  11. Jayd3n

    Sep 14th, 2010

    Well I get some of the idea’s here, and I over all really do wish Second Life was a lot better, more support, better SL clients, and development for the Linden Lab servers, but still to me it looks like its going down the drain.

    Linden Lab needs to remove these systems which are causing the grid harm, remove the copybot supporters in gor, and remove skills hak’s CDS, and possibly redzone. if the people refuse just remove them from SL like they did the hearld. Then maybe people will start shopping more, and maybe I will put some money into Second Life.

    All tiers that I get sent and money is now done to me though paypal so LL doesn’t collect any money.

    Once LL Makes SL better more people will come until then its goin down, and they try to silence me for any reason, I will see that their company as destroyed, and put an overnight express rush on brining down their service just like I did another company in the past who had these same issues.

  12. yeah

    Sep 14th, 2010

    “But most of all, SL is screwed because its main offices have been located in three of the most socialist regions of the planet: San Francisco, Boston, and Brighton “- intlibber

    You have to be trolling man, but don’t worry because that was hilarious

  13. Little Lost Linden

    Sep 14th, 2010

    I must admit, this news article confused me a little bit, and now I have to take a shit.

  14. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 14th, 2010

    @ Little Lost Linden

    That’s funny. Usually when I have to take a shit, it’s because I haven’t shit for a while. Didn’t know that reading confusing news articles made people take shits.

  15. Chickens

    Sep 14th, 2010

    All kidding aside. Was Emerald a planned killing?

  16. Eva Ryan

    Sep 14th, 2010

    Emerald’s demise was about as planned as a train wreck.. oh, wait, it WAS a train wreck.

  17. Bubblesort

    Sep 14th, 2010

    Somebody needs a dictionary.

    Hyperbola: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbola

    Hyperbole: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbole

  18. Rubber Ducky

    Sep 14th, 2010


    lol train

  19. Friend of all

    Sep 14th, 2010

    @Toni Perrin

    That was a random statement

  20. Selene Putzo

    Sep 14th, 2010

    @ IntLibber Brautigan:
    Quote IntLibber… “SL is screwed because its main offices have been located in three of the most socialist regions of the planet: San Francisco, Boston, and Brighton. They may have closed the Brighton office……”

    Wow… Two really stunning bits of news from you.
    1. I didn’t know Brighton UK was socialist, but that aside, what interests me most is….
    2. SL Brighton UK office has closed.??… Please can you positively verify that information with rock solid, concrete, reputable web site links (e.g. the B.B.C.). You see, Linden Lab is charging UK Value Added Tax from all UK paying customers and you say they don’t have a UK office anymore. If that is the case, then Linden Lab are committing tax fraud.

  21. & the big picture is....

    Sep 14th, 2010

    @ Cai Pirinha
    funny how you itemise “the metric system” as a failing…. as it happens the MAJORITY of the WORLD use the metric system. The USA just haven’t caught up YET.

    Working in powers of 10 is a dream compared to all the different multipliers needed for the different measures in the US (and Imperial) systems

    Maybe Linden Lab are actually ahead in that respect.

  22. James Larken Smith

    Sep 15th, 2010

    I don’t mean to sound stupid, I often am very dense, but was this article & author meant to be serious? Should I laugh, think, or go put a windmill on my comp? Think I will go get one of those handheld pinwheel things we held outside our car windows when we were kids, and like the pig in the recent Geico commercial, go “weee, weeee, weee”…….

  23. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 15th, 2010

    @ James Larken Smith

    Anyone who thinks anything on the Herald is serious should have their head examined.

    Especially if it’s this article.

  24. Ajax Manatiso

    Sep 15th, 2010

    #6 — ABSOLUTELY NOT. A disgruntled former renter — who was angry because her promising to pay the rent in a couple weeks (though it was already past due) — was not accepted, hid a lag bomb on my land. It cost me plenty of RL cash as customers avoided my store, renters left, new renters did not arrive, etc etc — NO AMNESTY AT ALL FOR THOSE WHO COST YOU CASH. Violence would not has hurt nearly so much. SL is far, far, far too lenient on such offenders. I call for ALL THOSE WHO DISRUPT BUSINESS ON A SIM BE BANNED PERMANENTLY . Triple all suspensions and a mandatory suspension for anyone purposely causing trouble. We don’t need them. Keep you sorry ass away.

  25. AM Oderngrl

    Sep 15th, 2010

    @Nelson, There’s lots here hidden under the snark. Go get us the serious stuff. Get busy! It would beat the heck out of Post 6 cages.

  26. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 15th, 2010

    @ Ajax Manatiso

    This. Article. Is. A. Joke.

    @ AM Oderngrl

    Already on it. Just a lot of things stealing my free time recently.

  27. Theresa Yorkie

    Sep 15th, 2010

    I’d be interested in what the Herald’s connection is to the hackers involved. They treat hackers, griefers and thieves with great deference and respect – what’s their angle? Why did they have to change their URL and the country their server is located in in February? Is it true that Linden Lab threatened to sue them? What legal problems are they currently running from?

    I think that’s where the REAL news is going to be, and it’ll be a lot bigger potboiler than any of this silly crap.

  28. IntLibber Brautigan

    Sep 16th, 2010

    Selen Putzo,
    Yes, LL closed the Brighton office, Jack and Harry were given the choice of moving to San Francisco or taking severance. By rights, they should have ceased charging their european customers VAT when they closed that office. If they continue to charge it, they are engaging in a tax fraud racket. I suggest filing a complaint with the EU tax authority over that, could be rather entertaining what ensues. I doubt, though, that they will mind having LL collect taxes if LL is actually paying it to EU, whether or not they have a right to do so.

    Cai Pirinha,
    Ho Chi Minh City, Caracas, and Havana are communist shitholes, not socialist shitholes. There is a slight difference between the two types of shitholes. In a communist shithole, if you don’t do what they say, they shoot you or send you to a reeducation camp (and shoot you if you fail). In a socialist shithole, they bury you in taxes and paperwork so you can’t do anything in life so you want to shoot yourself, but they’ve taken your gun away with gun control laws so you have to drink yourself to death or say “oops, my accellerator is stuck” while you plow into traffic.

  29. Irrationally Exhuberant

    Sep 16th, 2010

    i call for all businesses who believe they will make real-life $$ on sl to be banned. let linden$ only be used as an inworld currency for purchases and sales with no transfer to realworld $$ — many problems solved.

  30. IntLibber Brautigan

    Sep 16th, 2010

    “Irrationally Exhuberant” – Thank you for making my point for me. Anybody who is too retarded to see the utter retardation of your statement is too stupid to have a valid opinion.

  31. Kiddoh

    Sep 16th, 2010


    lol good thing you’re not the credibility police. Has life been making you feel a little dumb lately and you thought you would just pick on some random person to boost your self-esteem? In all honesty I would be all for Irrationally Exhuberant’s idea–it would mean people like you would no longer be able to scam other people out of their hard work and money, you god-damned parasite.

  32. Rinaldo Debevec

    Sep 16th, 2010

    @James_Larkin Smith:

    The author of this Op/Ed is making a modest proposal for reform of SL.

  33. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 16th, 2010

    @ Theresa Yorkie

    They had to change the name because Second Life was a trademark of the Lab. Duh.

  34. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 16th, 2010

    @ Irrationally Exhuberant

    So you want SL to be oversaturated with L$, driving its value down to the ground and forcing you to pay L$1,000,000 for your undies? Great idea!

  35. Rinaldo Debevec

    Sep 16th, 2010

    @Nelson Jenkins:

    I’m williing to pay any price for my undies, if it will bring about social harmony!

  36. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 16th, 2010

    @ Rinaldo Debevec

    Hear hear!

    Uh, but yeah, letting people dump L$ into SL but not take it out will eventually result in SL overflowing with L$ and no business owner bothering to stimulate the economy. If I wasn’t able to make cash on shit I make in SL, I wouldn’t bother trying to keep my business running. After all, what do I get out of it? It’s not like SL has a high score board.

  37. Selene Putzo

    Sep 17th, 2010

    @ IntLibber Brautigan
    “… Yes, LL closed the Brighton office, Jack and Harry were given the choice of moving to San Francisco or taking severance. By rights, they should have ceased charging their european customers VAT when they closed that office. If they continue to charge it, they are engaging in a tax fraud racket. …”

    Thanks for that information. All I can find about the Brighton office are announcements that it was occupied on the 3rd floor by Linden Research Inc 1st Qtr 2007, they relocated to the 9th floor 1st Qtr 2010. I cannot find anything saying (a) they vacated those offices, (b) someone else moving into the 9th floor, (c) moved elsewhere in the UK, or even (d) the floor going back on the market for rent/lease. So all I can assume is they still occupy the floor and pay rent on it. Maybe they have vacated and are waiting for a rent contract to expire? idk

    All the same, I cannot find anything saying they have left.
    If you can pass a link stating that fact then maybe I can investigate further; or I may have to travel to Tower Point, 44, North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YR and take photographs through the office doors myself. Before I take this matter further, I would be grateful to know where you obtained your information.

  38. At0m0 Beerbaum

    Sep 17th, 2010

    @ kiddoh, tell us how you really feel.


  39. archie

    Sep 20th, 2010

    Most SL communities in the USA?


    Germany alone outnumbers the yanks,
    throw in the rest of Europe and dear ol Blighty and youse guys are the minority.

    BTW, we have FREE healthcare in Blighty.

    (England, thats over the pond, right a bit, bit more yes that’s us…)

  40. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 20th, 2010

    @ archie

    Y’know, I’m all for the UK and some selected parts of Europe, but you guys have 20% sales tax. We don’t even have 10% in California and we’re pretty liberal. There is no such thing as “free” healthcare.

  41. Roffel

    Sep 20th, 2010

    And thank you for answering my question. Which was related to your belief this article could be taken serious in any way, nothing else. I don’t really care about politics, I’m just here for the lulz.

    Ps, I don’t follow the retarded wand outdated 2 sides only system of liberal or conservative, there are more sides. But I don’t expect you to understand, since you were sooo quick to assume I was not on your side of the political spectrum, and therefore cannot be anything but liberal. lol politics.

  42. IntLibber Brautigan

    Sep 20th, 2010

    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, but since Jack Linden was in charge of the Brighton office, and he is now living full time in San Francisco, and nobody has been named as his replacement, and his Number Two in Brighton, Harry, is also moved to San Francisco, and every one of the Lindens from the Brighton office that has not moved seems to be on the list of people given the axe, it seems rather clear to anyone who is not an idiot, that the Brighton office has closed.

  43. IntLibber Brautigan

    Sep 20th, 2010

    There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. It’s in the laws of thermodynamics, and you can’t even violate it with health care policy. Somebody is paying for it somehow. Last time one of my relatives was employed in jolly ole england, something like 2/3 of her paycheck was withheld by the government for various taxes and other crap, and she was an academic, not some well to do type. So you certainly do pay for it.
    Fortunately, it seems like this November we will be voting out the asstards in Congress who seem so intent on turning the US into another socialist shithole like Europe was (as I understand it, some areas of Europe actually have lower tax rates than the US does in most states, though not all, as they have learned that free markets and low taxes are the recipe of economic growth). So hopefully I won’t have to worry about the IRS trying to demand $1500 bucks from me for mandatory insurance that I don’t need (since I am a military veteran, I already have health care I EARNED and PAID FOR).

  44. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 20th, 2010

    @ IntLibber Brautigan

    Free markets cause corrupt monopolies and low taxes cause the failure of sustainable government. (The US is not sustainable at all at the moment.) Not sure what your goal is for economic growth, but I would enjoy knowing that there’s a vast array of competitors in a certain business rather than one guy raking in all the money.

  45. Persephone Bolero

    Sep 20th, 2010

    @roffel “I’m just here for the lulz.” and…”since you were sooo quick to assume I was not on your side of the political spectrum, and therefore cannot be anything but liberal. ”

    Or maybe your trolling is so obvious that I just gave you a taste of your own medicine.

  46. Persephone Bolero

    Sep 20th, 2010

    @Nelson “Free markets cause corrupt monopolies and low taxes cause the failure of sustainable government.”

    Is this what all those cops in California are allegedly telling you?

  47. Nelson Jenkins

    Sep 20th, 2010

    @ Persephone Bolero

    No, that’s what pretty much every single economics and U.S. government class tells you.

  48. IntLibber Brautigan

    Sep 20th, 2010

    No, corrupt politicians who pay off government employee unions that help them fraud elections, with unsustainable pension plans that reward, for example, city managers with $600,000 a year retirement incomes, that make government unsustainable.

    protip: never bring an obsolete 19th century ideology that is responsible for 100 million deaths in the 20th century to a political argument.

  49. IntLibber Brautigan

    Sep 20th, 2010

    No, that is what every economics and government class TAUGHT BY GOVERNMENT OWNED AND OPERATED INDOCTRINATION SCHOOLS tells you. Odd, that.

  50. Persephone Bolero

    Sep 20th, 2010

    @Nelson “No, that’s what pretty much every single economics and U.S. government class tells you.”

    [citation needed]

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