Drama

la-penseuse-en-latexI’m back from a short (unfortunately), but much-needed vacation and already there’s a sizeable deal of things that need to be tackled. I had hoped that the first things I’d blog about in August would be potential uses of virtual worlds in the tourism industry (such as showcasing destinations, monuments, archaeological sites etc), in vocational training and education – not least because of a shift in the direction my use of SL (and other virtual worlds in the near future) is more than likely to take.

Unfortunately, right now I have to start considering other things, like self-hosting my blog and perhaps even switching to an entirely different CMS (Content Management System)due to recent “improvements” to WordPress.com’s editor that make composing long posts (longer than 150-250 words) a major chore.

Let me also point out that WordPress.com’s cavalier attitude is entirely unacceptable – mind you, Linden Lab’s developers are actually infinitely better than the ones at WordPress when it comes to listening to the user base. So, I’m going to have to start considering my options. Until then, I’m afraid my blogging here will be slower – not only because of the counter-intuitive and counter-productive WordPress “improvements”, but also because I’ll be busy considering my alternatives. I think that, come September or October, some major changes will have to take place.

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I know Tzimis Panousis didn’t have Second Life’s users in mind, but this sketch sums up the mindset and actions of quite a few people.

Offended? You shouldn’t be. After reading Inara Pey’s transcripts of the legal panel regarding the ToS changes, I think no one has any excuse for being a nincompoop anymore. All this time while blogging about this issue, I have been trying very hard to remain polite regarding much – actually, most – of the debate on the 15th August change to Linden Lab’s ToS, all the while facepalming like nobody’s business. Far, far too much of what is still being regurgitated comes from people who:

  • Lack basic text comprehension skills,
  • Have a propensity for drama-whoring,
  • Have axes to grind and want to agitate others,
  • Are hypocritical turds; although they go out of their way to offer everyone who never asked them a TL;DR tirade about how much they hate Second Life and the “evil” Linden Lab (if we believe them, we’ll end up believing that the Lab is what caused the Cataclysm as described in the Bible), they stay in Second Life and troll the related blogs and forums with one intention: to spew their bile.
  • Are idiots who mindlessly reproduce all the bullshit that comes from the people that exhibit any (combination) of the four aforementioned attributes.

Of course, I don’t expect the dramacrats, the “OH NOES! THE SKY IS FALLING!” idiots, the prokanoids and the agitators to sit down and honestly review their words and actions. Of course, that’s not to say the current ToS don’t need to be improved. But, as I’ve said before in a far more (undeservedly) polite manner, all this drama is sheer idiocy. Oh, do read Tateru Nino’s take on the matter too. But I digress – she’ll be summarily dismissed as an “LL groupie” or an “FIC member”.

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Mona

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See also:

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Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2pUmX-mc

As has been written both here and on basically the overwhelming majority of the blogs that cover any aspect of Second Life, Server-Side Appearance (also known as Project Shining, Project Sunshine, Server-Side Baking, Server-Side Baking/Appearance, SSA, SSB, SSB/A) has been implemented grid-wide. As has also been written numerous times, if you didn’t want to see grey all around you and appear grey yourself, therefore making you look and feel like you should for having spent so much L$ (and, more often than not, real-world money that you used to buy LL’s virtual currency) on clothing, skins etc that no one can see, you had to update your viewer and use something that’s compatible with this new server capability.

Yeah, yeah, I know. The “evil” Linden Lab is forcing a viewer down your throats, blah, blah, blah, yadda yadda yadda. Drama, drama, drama. Cry me a river, see if I care. Fact is that, as Tonya Souther of the Firestorm team reports, more than 85% of SL’s users are already on SSA-capable viewers and even more people are updating as we speak. When everyone else (let’s face it, 9 out of 10 users) took the “trouble” to… “sacrifice” ten minutes of their usual Second Life routine to download a new, up-to-date viewer and readjust the viewer the way they want it, could you please be so kind to explain to me why you still haven’t bothered to update, even though you knew months ago that this was coming? Were you too busy clicking on others’ Xcite! parts, filling the atmosphere with green spam? Or perhaps were you too busy posting inane comments on blogs about how LL and the TPV developers are “evil”? Whatever your excuse, let me remind you that updating and readjusting your viewer would take you less than it’d take you to post a whiny blog comment. If you think anyone’s going to be sympathetic to you, think again.

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Today, I’m going to share with you an RL story related to blogging that I have encountered quite a few times and it’s one of the most dishonest, drama-generating, exploitative practices I’ve ever seen ever since I hit the internet. As has been hinted (or even said outright), I live in Greece. Now, I’ll spare you all the stuff about the crisis caused and perpetuated by the kleptocracy of the banksters, public works contractors, shipping and media moguls, weapons dealers and politicians and I’ll stick to the point.

Sometime circa 2007 or 2008, Greek politicians and mainstream media “journalists” discovered the world of blogging and quickly set out to grace it with their filth. They have used numerous underhanded practices in their blogging practices, showing their true colours. One of them is the one I present today: a practice that was extensively used by a certain wannabe politician who fancies herself as “progressive”, while having supported and propagandised all the antisocial measures that have sunk millions of people in poverty and despair.

The tactic can be summed up as follows:

  1. She censors all comments from people who disagree with her without resorting to sexist, racist remarks.
  2. At the same time, she only allows “criticism” from sexists and racists to go through.
  3. Then, she presents herself as a person who is perpetually targeted by sexists and the far right (incidentally, her party has had no problem cooperating with a ruling party that’s run by sexist, racist, far-right elements) and systematically pushes the line that everyone criticising her is either a member of the far right or a “far-right extremist in disguise”, as she likes to portray those who are left of centre and, predictably, don’t agree with her eulogies to the endless, irrational austerity.

What does she try to do? Well, she tries to paint a picture where those who may have an opinion on what she says fall into one of these two categories:

  1. The “good people”: Those who agree with everything she says and basically kiss her ass.
  2. The “sexist, racist, far-right extremists”: Everyone who disagrees with her.

In other cases, she has even resorted to hiding all the comments that followed a post she made. Incidentally, the comments were perfectly civilised, articulate and well-mannered – but most of the comments were critical of the views she expressed. She hid the comments and then went on Facebook and Twitter, whining about how “the racists and the sexists attacked her” for her “perfectly sensible” (even though no economist worth their salt agrees with her, and even though human rights activists have been outspoken on the humanitarian crisis caused by the irrational austerity policies we have to deal with) views on the matter, and basically going on yet another campaign to garner unwarranted sympathy, claiming that “she was attacked by everyone” and that the “left wing is full of trolls that are just as poisonous as the far-right extremists” etc.

It all seemed to work well, until people started posting screen grabs of the discussion that was carried out on her blog and her Facebook “wall” that she hid (censored) from public view. She was immediately discredited and disgraced, because it became perfectly clear even to those that hadn’t participated in the discussions that she was lying off her teeth and that her word has no value at all.

She’s not the only one, mind you.

Bottom line? Hiding what has been said in a discussion and then presenting yourself as a victim of vile attacks, demanding that everyone else take your word for it, like that particular wannabe politician did (and I’m not sure she’s learned her lesson), is a vile practice:

  1. It is libelous towards good-natured, civilised commenters.
  2. It is lying – plain and simple.
  3. It is dishonest.
  4. It is stupid, because eventually someone will expose you, sooner or later, and you will lose face.

Don’t be that sort of person.

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Mona

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Shortlink: http://wp.me/p2pUmX-ht

Not long ago, sparked by an excellent article Gwyneth Llewelyn wrote, I wrote a piece on the “Second Life is just a game” attitude behind which many people hide. Actually, my experience has shown that there are three categories of Second Life users who adopt this attitude:

  • Those who use it as a shield from potential emotional harm and a barrier from getting uncomfortably (for them) involved in it;
  • Those who were burnt by abuse within SL and proceeded to quit in order to move on to places like Facebook, where people “don’t hide/fake” and “are real” (quite a delusion here);
  • Those who use it as an excuse to abuse others, claiming that their abusive behaviour is “harmless” and “innocent fun”.

The category I’m going to write about right now is the second one (the first one is inconsequential, as they just log in for a bit, have a bit of fun, explore, maybe have some pixelated hanky-panky and then get back to Real Life, having had their fill): the ones that ragequit SL after a series of negative experiences, which were related, at least in the case of one of Aria E Appleford‘s interviewees, with sexual relationships within SL. In a nutshell, they quit due to sex-related drama, i.e. an emotional frustration caused by power struggles and manipulations in sexual relationships. It must be noted again that, while they kept repeating the mantra that “Second Life is just a GAME“, their behaviour in-world was not that of someone who actually viewed and treated SL as a game: none of them was into any sort of roleplay, they made sure their avatars resembled their RL appearance as much as possible and they didn’t “pretend” to be somebody else – or even “pretend” to be a different version of themselves, emphasising on certain aspects of their RL personalities that could not be expressed easily in RL. They weren’t in SL to indulge in fantasies or escapism. They took everything seriously, with one notable exception: SL itself, which, to them, was not “serious”, but “only a game”.

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