Hoyt On Heinlein – A Forest Of Jungian* Knives

Here’s Sarah Hoyt, who was as profoundly influenced by the work of Robert Heinlein as I was. (More so, she’s selling copy!) In any case, she takes on all the neo-puritans who are trying to portrat Heinlein as a cheesy, ’80s disco, dirty old man he never was. She’s a breath of fresh air.

According To Hoyt

As some of you know I got to read Learning Curve by William Patterson in Advanced Reading Copy format, and I was dissatisfied – through my own fault – with my blogging about it at Tor.com. (I was NOT dissatisfied with the book, which I think every Heinlein fan should read.) Not blaming anyone save myself, because I tend to get emotional when it comes to Heinlein. Frankly more so than I would expect. And one of the ways I fit the stereotype of the Latin female is that I am… excitable. At least that’s what my husband says.

I will start the serious Heinlein blogging next week, and hopefully do one post a week.

This one is sort of a general Heinlein blogging thing.

If you’re in Colorado Springs, and even if you’re not, you probably know that Cosine, the local con, has a panel on Heinlein every year…

View original post 1,852 more words

Advertisements

When Will Linden Lab Stop Involuntary Violence Against Women Avatars?

You can get bounced out of Second Life for using the wrong word to describe someone’s ethnicity or gender.  Don’t even think about violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

But pick your target, cam her, and wait until she’s using or adjusting scripted hardware, then invade her property, jump on a pose ball, use her furniture against her will to put you both in a sexual situation, call her degrading names – and Linden Labs does nothing.

I’ve blogged about this before.  It happened before, and nothing happened to those who did that to me, or when a griefer trapped my then-SL partner and me in a shootable cage, whipped out a large prim penis, and demanded we have sex with him.

I had hopes that somewhere along the line, Linden Lab would respond to violence and degrading conduct against women here in Second Life as firmly and decisively as it does to copyright violations.  But, no.  There’s no Digital Millenium Don’t Degrade Women Act.

I was working on a room in a rental property in a sim where I role-play, setting up scripted furniture, and on a pose ball testing adjustment (and yes, it was a sex pose), when – entirely uninvited – someone wearing a dark-skinned avatar ports in and jumps on the other pose ball.

balokprime

The following exchange ensued in Nearby Chat:

[2017/07/22 02:08:58] BalokPrime: sup gurl
[2017/07/22 02:08:59] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): you’re in violation of sim rules
[2017/07/22 02:09:27] BalokPrime: What is dis “sim rules”?
[2017/07/22 02:09:46] Second Life: Now playing: Brand X Music – Daydream
[2017/07/22 02:10:01] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): the things that’ll get you banned for after an admin sees the pic I just took
[2017/07/22 02:10:12] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): get out.
[2017/07/22 02:10:18] BalokPrime: the pic of you sitting on my face?
[2017/07/22 02:10:21] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): this is my propety
[2017/07/22 02:10:34] BalokPrime: Than why was you sitting on my face?
[2017/07/22 02:10:46] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): no, the pic of you lying on my bed after I unassed it
[2017/07/22 02:11:18] Second Life: Now playing: Lorne Balfe – The Revelation
[2017/07/22 02:11:20] BalokPrime: So a pic of me lying in your bed after you sat on my face
[2017/07/22 02:12:21] BalokPrime: is you alright?
[2017/07/22 02:12:56] BalokPrime: come back to bed gurl
[2017/07/22 02:13:25] BalokPrime: maybe you like it better in the butt
[2017/07/22 02:13:31] BalokPrime: some hoes do

No idea what this person’s race or gender actually are.  We can see what BalokPrime wanted us to think, and I’m not playing that game, thanks.

Halfway through, he got naked.  LL has a picture of that in the Abuse Report I promptly filed.  At the end of the exchange, he left my property and muted me.  I called around for an admin for the sim I was in and reported the exchange.

The exchanges between other members of the sim I RP at, as closely I can put it together from Nearby Chat logs, were:

[2017/07/22 02:16:29] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): is an admin on?
[2017/07/22 02:16:42] TailBlue Resident: I am whast wrong?
[2017/07/22 02:17:45] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): intruder got in the Embassy when I was installing a bed, jumped on one of the pose balls and undressed
[2017/07/22 02:17:57] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): wouldn’t leave when I asked him
[2017/07/22 02:18:05] Stellar (tailblue): tp
[2017/07/22 02:18:19] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): took a shot ARed him to LL
[2017/07/22 02:18:24] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): he’s gone now
[2017/07/22 02:18:33] Stellar (tailblue): whats his name?
[2017/07/22 02:18:44] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): Balok Prime
[2017/07/22 02:18:45] TheHarley44 Resident: Get his login name, not just his display name.
[2017/07/22 02:19:17] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): How I about I give you a log and a snapshot?
[2017/07/22 02:19:24] Stellar (tailblue): That works
[2017/07/22 02:19:30] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): on it
[2017/07/22 02:20:08] Stellar (tailblue): Thanks.
[2017/07/22 02:20:24] TheHarley44 Resident: BalokPrime Resident?
[2017/07/22 02:24:25] Raven Valentine (vvvravenvvv): (( we have a troll and a greifer ))
[2017/07/22 02:24:30] Raven Valentine (vvvravenvvv): http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Bourbon/53/77/16
[2017/07/22 02:25:07] Raven Valentine (vvvravenvvv): secondlife:///app/agent/1dae7732-1a69-4b5a-a498-05cad3de80c0/about
[2017/07/22 02:25:24] Raven Valentine (vvvravenvvv): (( fully naked with silly over sized dick being a retarted ))
[2017/07/22 02:26:26] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): get a pic?
[2017/07/22 02:26:36] Raven Valentine (vvvravenvvv): stellar is here its good
[2017/07/22 02:26:39] Patricia de Chenier (angelpatty): ((he did that here in my embassy, too))

Another player I know went to where Raven Valentine, the sim admin Stellar and that same avatar (tagged BalokPrime) were assembled, in an adjoining sim.  He reports (but didn’t have his viewer set to record from Nearby Chat) that BalokPrime told the admin I sent him a teleport link (“TP”) to join me in my rental property.

I do non-sexual, science-fiction roleplay with players of all gender varieties, but no men who are not close friends with whom I have been RPing a while are invited in my residence without plenty of company – for nonsexual science-fiction RP.  My profile’s clear on the fact I don’t have sex with men.  I never have in the six and a half years I’ve been in Second Life.

I DID get this Email from the Linden Lab “Governance Team”:

Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to report a possible violation of the Second Life Community Standards or Terms of Service. We are sorry to hear that you had an unpleasant encounter in-world. A member of the Governance team will review your report as soon as possible.

We know that you are eager to continue to enjoy your time in Second Life, but that you might also be curious about what will happen as a result of this report. Rest assured that our skilled team of Governance Lindens will give it a complete and thorough review, but due to our privacy policy they will be unable to disclose the outcome of their investigation. We work hard to ensure that the privacy of each Resident is protected.

If you would like some additional information on Abuse Reports, check out the Second Life Knowledge Base which has great information such as a Guide to Filing an Abuse Report and even a video on Reporting Abuse: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Guide_to_Filing_an_Abuse_Report

The Governance team at Linden Lab appreciates your assistance in keeping our world safe and enjoyable for everyone. We hope that your future encounters in-world are pleasant ones.

Best regards,

The Governance Team

It’s the same letter I and other women players get when someone cams them, waits until they get on scripted furniture, and then teleports in to effect a virtual rape.

The letter hasn’t changed in the six years since this first happened to me and, as we’ll see, neither has Linden Lab’s response to sexual griefing of women in Second Life.   “Boys will be boys, move on, nothing to see here… ”

I purposefully waited a month before posting this to give the Lindens time to act, just in case Linden Labs decided to astonish me and do something.

Not long ago, BalokPrime contacted that friend of mine who watched him bad-mouth me to others in IM, so BalokPrime is alive and well in Second Life, presumably doing to other women what he did to me – just like the others who did stuff to my avatar and my partner’s without our consent, demeaning us the while.

To some people this isn’t much.  An player invaded another player’s property and used scripted prims to put his avatar in sexual contact with another player’s avatar against her will and used demeaning language about her, while present in her rental property against her will. Then he told lies about her to cover up what he did.

But if you can be shown the door out of Second Life for being insensitive about another player’s nationality, gender or race, why isn’t it legitimate to show someone the way out for this?  At the very least, it’s griefing.

Demeaning language is a horrible thing that violates Second Life’s Terms of Service – unless it’s used about a woman in SL. Then, it’s allowable.

Linden Lab ignores what’s happening to Premium, paying customers when they’re women avatars.  Project Sansar has their full attention, while server latency, rezzing and inventory issues are progressively worse for the people who pay for work on Sansar and the Terms of Service are a joke.

This doesn’t bode well for women in Sansar when people like BalokPrime begin to have their special fun there.

Can’t wait to miss it.

UPDATE:  Someone in SL I’ve never met before IMed me to ask if I’ve heard anything more from BalokPrime, then told me BalokPrime threatened to look the person’s partner up in RL and hurt her after a disagreement they’d had in SL.   This person told me they’d filed an Abuse Report, as well.

Yet, we still have BalokPrime not just degrading women in SL, but reportedly escalating to threats of RL physical harm (according to what I was told by others inworld).

The Linden Lab Governance Team is enabling someone to have sick fun with other SLers, and (according to other people I’ve talked to) his behavior is escalating to threats of RL violence.  Why?  Need to see a coroner’s report?

Meet our Artists

Meet our Artists

A great exhibition, and well worth your time.

Filling The Cauldron

Filling the Cauldron features eight art displays in the main event space, located next to the Welcome Area. The art of display comes from a mix of Invited and Guest Artists, and has a focus on Elicio Ember’s creations.

Our Invited Artists are Alisaundra Andel, the official Fantasy Faire photographer; Sonya Marmenuk, official Fantasy Faire webmistress and talented photographer and Caitlin Tobias, official fantasy faire blogger and photographer. Our Guest Artists are Ursula Floresby, Deoridhe Quandry and John Brianna, all of whom responded to our invitation to artists to display their art at Filling the Cauldron, and they are joined by Vecchio Barbosa and myself.

Discover more about our artists below – some of whom provide a look at their work in their own words.

Alisaundra Andel

Alisaundra Andel

“About me? Hmm, this is never easy for me to do.  I’ve been in SL since 2008; I’m a photographer…

View original post 1,200 more words

Avatars Against Trump, Linden Labs, and the Travel Ban

It shouldn’t be a large surprise to anyone reading this blog (both of you, in all likelihood) that I am a libertarian on most issues.  That means I am a “social liberal” (won’t rush out and cut my throat for loving differently, nor do I expect others to do so), mostly, while also for a strong (but intelligently-funded and deployed) military defense and for government spending within its means.

Nor am I an admirer of Donald Trump.  I just despised the culture of criminal government Hillary Clinton was part and parcel of under Barack Obama and would have perpetuated had she been elected President.  And that’s the last you’ll hear from me on that.

I’ve heard everyone out I intend to on how bad Trump is.  Feel free to tell me about specific mistakes you think Trump’s made, but spare me the rest.  I can reconstruct most of it from my chat logs, believe me.

Linden Labs actually kept their remarks on the travel ban within those strictures, mostly. I’m skeptical, to say the least, about a nationality-based ban, but Jimmy Carter imposed a similar ban against immigration from Iran.  I think both bans are morally and legally defective as anything but a temporary measure until more effective vetting procedures than those now in place can be instituted.  If Green Cards are being confiscated from those who have them, that’s not good, either (that’s an example of an ex post facto governmental action, in my opinion).

Avatars Against Trump is a different story, altogether.  Demonizing anyone before he’s actually had an entire month to do anything is wrong.  It’s unlikely to change the person’s behavior and no guarantee that you or your favorite politician’s any better.

One of my favorite Second Life bloggers, unfortunately, is promoting Avatars Against Trump.  I’ve already explained my opposition to parts of the travel ban.  I play in Second Life, however, not to engage politically.  I have good friends in SL who are from places governed by at least one or two people I don’t like.  I don’t bring that up to them, because it doesn’t matter to our Second Lives.

I reluctantly have come to the opinion that Avatars Against Trump is an attempt to hijack MMORPGs in general for a political end I don’t agree with – the demonization of someone who was lawfully elected President of the United States of America.  Its proximate goal appears to be to get what they could not get through legal means – Trump not in the White House.

Sorry, folks, you had your chance last November – and blew it. Try to use my Second Life to make your point, you get muted.  For those of you reading this who are not American citizens, you don’t get a say in my country’s government.  Do me the same courtesy I do you, and withhold comment on a topic you know less about than I do.

Forgotten places of SL 2 The Gulf

Second Life has an active aviation community, and the Second Life Airmanship blog is a good resource for information with no drama or self-referential filler. Just info about cool planes, how to fly in SL, and nice places to fly TO.

Second life Airmenship

It has been a long weekend, you may be sitting around bored wondering what to do sick of being slapped by sim crossings or trying to pretend the latest Drama in the sailing community has not happened. (More on this later this week)  How about venting your frustrations with some war games? And where better to enjoy a a few war games better than the Gulf?  Even if you are not into war games This is an amazing area with plenty to see ant to visit and explore Many aviators in SL forget this place exists or just avoid it but you are missing out. so Lets all out on our combat boots and helmets and visit the gulf.

WW2 central

First and foremost the gulf is a World War 2 combat zone so you better come prepared. Of you don’t have combat gear your first stop should be WW2…

View original post 433 more words

High Fidelity, Sansar, and How Little They Have To Do with Second Lifers.

Manthorpe reports that Second Life’s player population has dropped from its plateau a few years ago of about a million to half that more recently. He then says a more hardware-intensive VR platform such as Philip Rosedale’s “High Fidelity” or Linden Lab’s Second Life spin-off “Project Sansar” will attract more players. Over six and a half continuous years in Second Life have shown me no evidence for that being true.

The Wired UK article says “The game still has a sizeable community and a GDP of “half a billion”. ” That estimate may be conservative. Most people in Second Life have at least US$120 a year invested either in cash payments of US$9.95/month for Premium Member status, rent of property from Second Lifers who invest in Second Life property to rent it to others, or virtual objects such as clothing, weapons, art or vehicles they’ve purchased.

The SLers who are the main reason Second Life can claim to be “The Largest-Ever 3D Virtual World Created By Users” must pay from US$150 to over US$270 a month for tier (the SL version of ‘ground rent’ or ‘property tax’) to make Second Life the “Largest-Ever 3D Virtual World Created by Users).  In-world purchases of virtual goods and services from other Second Lifers make up the rest of Second Life’s ‘gross domestic product’.

Manthorpe notes, “Using the proceeds from this “money-generating machine”, Altberg has invested heavily, building the team up to 75, more than a third of Linden Lab’s staff. The moment he committed completely to VR was when he heard that Facebook had bought Oculus. “As soon as that sold, we were just like, Sansar is going to be fricking awesome for VR. We knew that people were going to want to create content in massive quantities – right now it’s too damned difficult.”

As a content creator in Second Life, I can testify that what’s too damned difficult is finding US$150 to over US$270 a month to make Second Life the “Largest-Ever 3D Virtual World Created by Users”.

When were we, the customers, ever asked if we were okay with the money we give Second Life to maintain the virtual world being diverted to create another world most of us can’t afford the computers to play?  Trust me, the price of admission to Sansar in the expensive hardware you need to play it, and the lag and other issues not addressed by Linden Lab are going to lose Second Life more players than not being able to pull “quality content” out of a dark, smelly place.

Tier’s hard to pay, yet SLers willingly pay it to make content for other Second Life players. Sansar’s yet to make a dime for Linden Labs and wouldn’t run on my quad-core laptop past the splash screen. The Wired UK article reports that Second Life’s management funds Project Sansar comes from money Second Life’s customers pay into that world. That money could pay for the staff and hardware needed to reduce server latency (“lag”) – which slows down play in Second Life.

As I write this, lag’s worse than it’s been in the last few years, and living a Second Life is much more frustrating than it has to be. Large sims with lots of content such as my role-playing home Araxes have to be reset almost daily because of weird issues with avatars rezzing hundreds of meters (in game) from their actual locations and other weirdness. The future of Second Life seems to be lag in 2-D or lag in 3-D.

Why’d Philip Rosedale start a new virtual world when he created Second Life? According to the Wired article, Rosedale saw from studies of his users’ demographics what the people who stayed had in common: “The one thing they all had was a huge amount of time to invest in it.” Second Life was a retreat for escapists, an outlet for pent-up creativity – a place, as Rosedale once put it, for “smart people in rural areas, the disabled, people looking for companionship”. But for less motivated visitors with limited time, it was hard, confusing and alienating.”

Why didn’t Second Life target their advertising more aggressively to the millions worldwide who fit the user analytic profiles he’d identified and make Second Life’s user interface closer to Utherverse’s much easier one?

Second Life’s current CEO Ebbe Altberg (AKA “Ebbe Linden”) told Wired UK “You will have the freedom people, the anarchists, whoever, who will say I want 100 per cent control and it should be open,” he says. “Then you will have the vast majority of users that obviously don’t give a shit – because how many billions of them are on Facebook every day?”

Second Life’s open-source nature saved it from losing players to the user-unfriendly nature of its own Second Life Viewer. I couldn’t have selected the viewer that most suits me from a wide variety which wouldn’t exist, but for SL’s open source nature.  I chose Phoenix Viewer because SL Viewer’s interface wasn’t easy enough to use, and stayed with that team all through the roll-out of Firestorm (has it really been years?).

Rosedale and Altberg seem to think they can find different kinds of players as willing to spend the money we now do inworld, and even more on the bigger, faster computers we’ll need to even do that. They seem to chase the same market demographic – the players in MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft.

The goal Altberg claims of “democratizing content creation” probably means Linden Lab will define exactly what the people in the new Second Life can create – democratizing content creation by reducing the scope and breadth of things the customers in the new Second Life can create. We’d have all the different kinds of “quality content” players in World of Warcraft enjoy – fewer than we do now.

According to Altberg, “Most people are just consumers of experiences as opposed to creators,” he says. “It’s the same in VR as it is in any other medium, especially when you come to creating quality content.” (the boldfacing is mine).

What Second Life does Ebbe Altberg live in?  Almost everyone I know in SL knows the rudiments of building, because it’s either that or get a designer to adapt a prim or build you own to your exact needs (and it’s not always free). Most fashionistas would be lost without being able to resize and edit prims on their avatars’ costumes.  

Second Life tells customers that it’s “The Largest-Ever 3D Virtual World Created By Users”, but tells reporters “Most people are just consumers of experiences as opposed to creators”. I’ll be charitable and call that “cognitive dissonance”.

By publicly dismissing the way Second Lifers use SL, but taking their money for other projects and neglecting the paying customers, Second Life and Linden Labs may find out how many SL players will move to whatever Sansar becomes, instead of going to one of the Open Sim grids – where their computers will still work.

Second Lifers don’t need VR goggles, and if they host their own servers to play, it’ll be in the Open Sim grids, which host a wide selection of virtual worlds which play just like Second Life. The money poured into Project Sansar could just have been placed into price reductions to grow the Second Life which brings in the money, and more servers and staff to keep Second Life playable and a world full of wonder.  What’s wrong with a world of wonder, anyway?

Much Ado About Sansar.

Orcaflotta has some very to-the-point criticisms of Project Sansar.

Thar She Blows!

And again our glorious leader Ebbe produced a lot of hot air, and after reading this article we’re still as ignorant as before:

SansarZDnetWafflewafflewaffle…

Thx to Jo Yardley for giving us her honest opinion about what Ebbe told the ZDNet reporter. I only want to elaborate on one point Ebbe made:

“We’re very fortunate to have over a decade of experience regarding what people want to do when they immerse themselves in a digital world,” Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg said.  

What?

  • Ebbe himself doesn’t have over a decade of experience, he’s much too fresh with LL to know shit.
  • But ok, LL as such should have over a decade of experience regarding what people want to do in SL. Sooo, why the fuck didn’t they ever act accordingly?

I guess you don’t need to be a resi in SL for very long to have figured out how lackluster…

View original post 223 more words