Monday, 23 June 2008

Goverment without Representation

Hi All,

Its time for a bit of musing, and possibly upsetting some folk. Whats below are my thoughts as of today and my thoughts are subject to change without notice.

With all the hoohar over SL5B (if you don't know anything about it check Massively's and Gwyneth Llewelyn's entries), the outlawing of gambling, and the concerns over what else is going to be restricted, is it time for the residents of SL to start to look at independence? It seems we are currently governed by US rules, and yet a very large number of residents have no representation in the law making process. If my knowledge of history is correct, the idea of governance without representation was one of the causes of the War of Independence between the US and Britain. With July 4th coming up, perhaps its time to look at how SL is governed.

Is it possible for SL to be independent of the US? I'd like to suggest that its is possible. The fact the servers are located in the US is the stated reason US law is applied, but there already locations in the US in which US law has no sway, the embassy's for other countries. Why not apply the same for the servers and make them the embassy for SL?

LL dose not want to get involved in the governance of SL (despite there being a 'Governor Linden'), but if they, instead, acted as agents to an in-world government, their liabilities would be reduced. It would be up to a legislative body of residents to determine the laws that apply globally to SL, this body could be a properly elected group (which should give us some interesting political parties).

I admit that there are a lot of details that would need to be sorted, would a customs gate be required? There will also be a lot of resistance from those currently in power in the US, those who fear the new and unknown. Maybe there is something I don't know that makes the idea complete nonsense, but if I can make you stop and think, then I have done what I set out to do :)


Friday, 16 May 2008

Abstract Ramblings

I stand at the end of the field,
I cannot go further, the ground, soggy,
To go further may cause me to get stuck,
perhaps to be swallowed up,
Is it important?
Would the world be less without me?
A few would miss me, would morn me,
But my name, who I am, would disappear,
The light is going, I head back,
Parts I have to go through are wet and muddy
I need to see to avoid them
The Moon hangs, bright, in the clear, dark blue, sky
I would like to stop and watch it
But I have to get back
Return for me?
I return for others
Others rely on me
I have to be back in time
I pick my way across the field to the path
I need to hurry, the light, fading
To be back for others
who am I?
what am I?
I am neither here nor there
Neither male nor female
Intelligent but not intelligent
I have been given a clever mind
But not clever enough to do anything with it
A promise that can never be fulfilled
A task started that can never be finish
Why am I here?
To procreate, to maintain the species
That, I have done, what now?
I live for others
My plans, ideas, are around others
I cannot not think of others
Putting them first
I reach a muddy bit, carefully negotiate it
The horizon ahead slowly darkening
I check the time
How long to get back?
Would I be missed?
If I failed to be there
Would things stop?
I am driven, I cannot let them down
Without them, I would just stop
Like a flame
Barely enough to light
Barely enough to heat
The only future is to be extinguished
I forge ahead along a dry section
Was there more muddy sections ahead?
Dose it matter?
On my left a bird calls from inside a bush
Do I have any more reason to exist than the bird?
I have been cursed
I have a brain that allows me to understand things
To know the world
To know the futility
To know that no matter what you do
It means nothing
Life is too complicated now
In earlier times, could I have been a Newton
A Galileo?
Today, such folk would fail
What is my contribution?
Its the same as the drunk in the street
Or the bird in the bush
I cannot be who I am
So why continue to be what I am?
Because others rely on me
I cannot be who I am because of others
But without them
Could I be?
I come across another muddy section
The light is fading
The bright horizon ahead makes seeing the path difficult
I plow through
Why do I try to avoid the water and mud?
It matters the way my existence matters
Something to consider, to maintain
Something unimportant in the big picture
I reach the road
I check the time
I am ok
I have time
I cross the bridge
Below me, cars whiz past
People in them, places to go
Things to do
Oblivious to the meaninglessness of everything
I go to teach, give others skills and knowledge
And an empty promise

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Ups and Downs

Its been a weird few days. RoseLinUK London, the NCI Education Director resigned at the beginning of the weekend, which left us with a scheduling problem. NCI's class and events schedule is published each week at the weekend, its usually its not much different from the previous week, but this week there were a number of changes needed, Instructors to be found. With the very welcome help from Gramma Fiddlesticks, and the support from Garn Conover, we formulated a plan and implemented it. We managed to cover all the needed classes apart a few that were no longer sustainable. This work did mean that the schedule was late in being posted, unfortunately, but it got done.

For much of Friday and Saturday I had problems with freezing and thawing, I'm not sure why, it seems to be related to rendering. In fact, logging out on Friday I was badly ruthed, with the wrong skin, and no clothes! When I logged in Saturday, I did not know for certain where I would rez, or what I would be wearing. It turned out I rezzed as my (large) dragon av, inside Talia's teahouse! I hope I did not break anything! Sunday I was able to move around a lot easier, and apart from the floor disappearing while I was teaching a class on Physical prims, Sunday was very pleasant (the fact that there was a three headed hell hound playing with a physical prim at the time the floor disappear, I'm sure, was just a coincidence *giggles*).

Monday and Tuesday were bad, I was unable to TP without crashing, and I could not see the next sim along. I felt like I was imprisoned, standing at the edge of a sim and seeing water and a few bits of land, knowing that all around me could see the view with no problem. Knowing I could not fly across the border, nor TP, and yet others had no problems. Monday I spent almost all my time on Talia and my island, completing the schedule posting, but Tuesday I had no such distraction. I had a class to teach at NCI Beach, the only way I could get there was by relogging and specifying the sim. Once there, hearing and seeing the other folk chatting and coming and going, I felt isolated, a prisoner. I have in the past been almost blind with graphical glitches, but I have always been able to move around, this is different, the edge of my sight was the edge of my world, one sim in size, my own private prison that no one else knew about.

Monday, 31 March 2008

A Visit to Gor

Well, I attended the dance competition in a Gorean sim at the end of last week. I had decided not to go with an observer tag, but to try to interact. I felt that was the way to a true feeling of the RP. I was very nervous when I arrived, I'm not very good at RP and did not want to spoil anyone else's enjoyment. It turned out that there was little interaction with folk around, but then again, they were concentrating on the competition, and I was suffering badly from lag.

So, what did I feel? Not withstanding that I was in a strange environment, though completely safe, I felt uncomfortable. There was a lot of emoting, and most of the speech was enclosed in quotes, basically like a book. To me, it seemed 'laboured', perhaps this is how RP is suppose to be. I enjoyed the dancing, they 'chant' or 'story tell' while they dance, which is interesting. There were 2 teams, I was unable to read the story from the first team, it was posted too quickly, but I was able to follow the story from the second team. The second teams story was about the capture of a women, the chase, collaring and chaining, and about how the women was 'glad' to be enslaved. The interesting thing about this dance was the music chosen, the theme from Last of the Mohicans, in which a women is captured, enslaved and fights back, the scene as she makes the ultimate sacrifice to deny her captor his prize is a very moving one for me, and is the very opposite to Gorean thinking. All I could think ,as the story unfolded, was that if a man tried to enslave me, he would have a wild cat on his hands, and ran a good chance of wearing his chain as a collar for the rest of his, rather shortened, life. Visiting a Gorean sim was something I had wanted to do, now I have done it, I don't think I will return except in a 'business' situation.

I feel I need to get on with exploring SL again, I've spent a lot of time involved in NCI, teaching, scripting, and socializing. Perhaps I should put some time aside to go get 'lost' each week.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

On SL and Gor

Well, its been a long time since I last blogged. Things are not always easy to blog about, I think some of the things I wrote maybe should have been kept 'under the lid'.

I have noticed things are changing in SL recently, in the past when I TP to a location (even one close) I had to wait for everything to rez, recently though, close locations seem to be already downloaded and rez almost instantly. I'm also noticing a cyclic behavior in how lag affects me, I could be fine, at 15fps one moment, the next I'm down at 2 or 3 fps and SL keeps 'freezing' for a few seconds, than it recovers ( this using the RC client). I have not found any rhyme or reason to the cycles. I am starting to suspect that LL have changed the server code to 'pre-rez' locations nearby but still out of view, I'm running the latest RC client, so it may be something in the client. LL are also moving to a distributed asset server model, and this could be a side effect of that. On the other hand, it could be my PC! The thing I have noticed is that when its good, its very good, and when its bad, its very bad.

I recently installed a Stargate, I loved that program and Stargate Atlantis, but I think the UK stopped showing them (Atlantis at the end of season 2 I think). This is the way teleporting should work, its fun. Anyone can set up a Stargate, and there are something like 3 networks in operation.

I have recently been looking at different 'societies' in SL, ones based on books or tv shows. The Gorean series seem to well established, more so than any other. The philosophy behind Gor is one I find I cannot subscribe to, to subjugate an entire Gender is, to my mind, wrong. There are many folk out there who are willing to be totally submissive, and some who are willing to be totally dominating, but to base a society on an entire Gender to be willing to be subjected to total submission is very far fetched.

In my view, the books are based on one man's misunderstanding of ancient gender roles (which are no longer applicable). In pass times, women were the home makers, they looked after the children, and did all the chores in the home (be it tent, cave, etc), the men went hunting. In such a society, a women's best survival strategy was to join with a strong man, one who could bring home the best cuts. Strong men tend to be domineering, so a women's best method to catch such a man would be to be submissive.

Why is this?

For the women, they had many tasks and the best way to deal with them was to cooperate and share out the tasks, this type of cooperation dose not need a strong leader, simply for folk to accept fairness. For the men, its different, they had one task that they all had to cooperate in (to hunt), and in that a strong leader is needed. From this, successful men tended to be strong and aggressive, successful women tended to be social and sympathetic (_not_ weak!).

In my view John Norman misinterpreted the gender roles as Master/Slave and based a society on it. I believe such a society would collapse, because the driving force for women is not as he describes in the books.

So, why are Gorean sims successful in SL? There are a number of reasons. First, those that parcipitate are self selecting, unlike the books. Second, there must be a respect for all, even slaves, for even slaves have free choice and cannot be compelled against their wishes, unlike the books. Third, many folk feel pressured in RL, to have all choice removed is a pleasure in itself, some folk feel helpless in RL, with no control, to have absolute control over others is, again, a pleasure esp when they know that control is freely given, not forced.

No doubt many feel (as i did at first) that the Gorean sims had no place in SL. I have come to a different conclusion. They represent an escape from RL, a way to experience a different life, a way to release tensions. I know some try to follow Gorean ways in RL, that is their choice (even a Gorean slave in RL has freedom of choice!).

I have been invited to a Gorean sim and I will be interested to see how my views change (if they do)

Friday, 7 December 2007

Random Musings

My SL life is, as is common in SL, continually changing. Thank goodness for Talia, she is the one constant that keeps me anchored. Talia and Austin give me a base of stability, normality that I need. I sometimes feel a little envious of their freedom, but we each chose how we live our SL lives and mine I have chosen more by subconscious needs than by conscious thought. Without Talia and Austin I think I would implode.

I also need a man, not just any man, one who accepts me and accepts what drives me, one who can be a companion. I know that I am difficult to be with, I tend not to turn IMs away, some are friends just saying 'Hi', some are important IMs because someone has a problem, some are from folk who need help. Sometimes things happen which I feel need my immediate attention, This is a part of me, a part of who I am, something I cannot change. I was hoping Un would be such a man, but his life has been complicated recently and he is still developing, maybe he will be in the future, but for now he needs space.

On the NCI front, I'm still finding my place. I started as an Instructor and now (by some method I have yet to figure out) I appear to be the NCI Education Director's Deputy (unofficial). RoseLinUK London, the Education Director, has been very busy with other projects recently, and has left me to deal with the day to day issues. When I joined SL, I had no intention of working, and I think I am still in that situation. I do what I do because I enjoy it (most of the time lol). If I enjoy it, is it work?

I still like the idea of opening a store, though what I have to sell is rather an eclectic bunch of items. Talia and Austin are also starting to build some good stuff, Un has items as well, so maybe a store for the River Rats group! All we need to do is find a location!

Time to sign off and get back to work lol


Monday, 8 October 2007


Well this Saturday was Un-Day, a concert and auction in support of Thrombosis research. It was suppose to be a 24 hour concert but ended up as something like 35 hours long! I spent most of Saturday at the venue, on security detail, but there was no trouble (and I had Un with me, dancing together at the front gate *giggles*). The concert was sparked by Unmasked Shepherd's situation, she is very ill and we all feel for her. I remember her when she first joined SL, Talia and I were among the first to make contact with her, a somewhat scared newbie, and it gives me great pleasure to see how she has blossomed within the environment of SL. She is an excellent artist, drawing from RL and SL, creating her own music and prose. She remained awake throughout the scheduled 24 hours of the concert, which is so typical of her, only going to bed shortly after it was suppose to finish. The concert itself took on a life of its own, continuing for another 11 hours! I don't know how much was donated, but I do know it must be close to half a million Lindens.

Sunday was spent finishing off at the Un-Day concert (it was scheduled to finish at 5am PDT/13:00 BST), updating the Class Schedule, teaching one class, and apologizing for Instructor no-shows for two others.

I asked Talia and Austin for permission to invite Un into our group, the River Rats, and they made fun of me while I tried to put the question together! Sheesh, they only got away with it cause I love them both. I invited Un and he agreed without reservation (and no, Talia, its not the same as 'popping the question' *giggles*). So the trap round my heart is closing, but its a nice trap and I'm happy to be in it. I'm still concerned that I am unable to devote more time to Un, he must feel he is sharing me with NCI.

Monday was busy as usual, with an RL commitment taking a few hours out and needing to complete the class listing in SL's events. Still it was made more pleasant as I was dancing with Un at the end-of-concert dance whilst doing the updates.

Happiness is more important than freedom