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Thursday, February 14, 2008


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Despil Korobase

Not sure that "building a country" is why most of the people are here. No, they won't leave. But compared to 2006 SL seems to get more and more empty. I don't mean the casinos, the age play, whatever. I don't need those. But it gets to be more and more empty each passing week, sort of like SWG turned, without the combat system.

I just hope it won't end up a ghost country.


Denmark and Netherlands are broadly similar societies by most indexes. The outlier in your group is Singapore, which is only marginally a democracy. Oddly enough the Singaporean government frequently uses bans to silence critics of its policies and performance.

It is a fairly traditional definition of liberty, right back to JS Mill, that liberty does not extend to haring another.

That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.

Ad farms harm others, sometimes in extremely serious ways. The harm extends beyond immediate neighbours when its impact is to inflate the price of land on the Mainland artificially. The problem with the Lindens' new taste for regulation is not that they're making new rules, but that they are making them without consent or even consultation, that they're drafting those rules in ways anyone with half a brain could drive a truck through, and, in particular that they're making them without a lot of prior warning.

The Mills principle is not authority for the making of arbitrary rules, whether the intent of those rules is virtuous or not.


Libertarian? You keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means. An end to Anarchism maybe, but not Libertarianism.

A property owner has property rights of quiet enjoyment in the property and can sue to enjoin a nuisance that interferes with his or her quiet enjoyment. This is the common law, and not a socialist innovation.

Talwyn Mills

Frankly I applaud this change, given the recent activities of certain ad farmers in new sims. Look at the newest mainland and you'll see about a dozen sims (the last time I counted) each with a 4096 plot in the center cut into 16m2 chunks and stacked with ads. The only reason I can see for this is to exploit fellow residents.

Linden Lab appears to have finally realized that letting this sort of behavior continue will not only annoy the residents, but will hit their pockets when people don't want to buy sims to sell on in case this chop-a-holic drops by and trashes the value of their for-sale land in seconds.

Leroy Hurt

Although Linden may be changing as noted, I'm sure there will be a massive shift to virtual worlds when Linden and others figure out how to use a Wii in their application.

Kulalyle Anatine

If i my say I was a protester in my youth. I help save 90,000 acres of Forrest, One area was called salvaged land in Oregon near Eugene.
What I did learn from that is that we are all the same there was politics in the Forrest, as in the state government. what we do have to see is that the fight will never end, just they push we give, we push they give the Fall creek area will never be truly saved the fight has lasted over 10 years now. we will go to save it again and again. to save SL from dictatorship is a constant stand when LL's goes to far, but that's really all we can do but as I have seen after Sony SWG is not so popular now. we cant be a government to fight a government that's sedition what we can be is a nation of residents

Hiro Pendragon

Are you that surprised that a web community like the SL Mainland would have "standards", like any other web community out there?

Stone Culdesac

Well, these are some steps that should have been made awhile ago, but they are some steps in the right direction. As for the bots and camping, I'm hoping that these aren't the only reasons Tateru is seeing peek concurrency records.

Hen3ry Mensing

2 little 2 late

Hulaboom Voom

Nice treatment of the topic... I've been musing that myself here -->


And there's where I come up on this. I think that to keep viable, contributing folks in-world, that Linden is not trying to do away with liberties, rather they are nudging the organic process already underway in a direction that allows them to retain their contributory base. Personally, I am thrilled with this decision.

(Nice blog, BTW... mind if I provide a link?)



Hamlet Au

Please, Mr. Voom!


I would suspect that the Lindens don't view this in terms of an about-face on libertarian values, but as a part of a strategic attempt to restore the notion that there is some value in remaining part of an overall contiguous "world". This new policy is following on the heels of the announcement of a department of public works which would also fit with that idea.

Consider what LL is facing now, which wasn't true two years ago. Several independently hosted grids have popped up. IBM and others are proposing the creation of interoperable messaging systems and avatars that are portable between virtual worlds. It's almost inevitable that we'll evolve in the direction of a true 3-D internet, where every search and teleport might take you into a space hosted by a different group or company. When this happens, we can expect freedom of expression to a greater extent than a single provider could allow.

So how does LL compete, now that they *have* to compete with other hosters? Apparently the idea is to restore some value to being part of the mainland, where LL continues to be the host and where they make the most profit from small landholders.


For the love of God, go outside and get some sunshine.

Matthew Perreault


There is no sunshine, it's FEBRUARY...

Nonetheless, the issue that keeps raising itself is whether SL is a country or an electronic platform run by a corporation. Urizenus Sklar and his gang lean towards the former, and I'll take a guess that Hamlet occupies a position closer to the latter (do correct me if I'm wrong).

For me, it's a tool, albeit an incredibly immersive and fun tool. I understand where Uri comes from when he says that since people make all or part of their living inworld nowadays, ethical questions come up about unilateral changes coming from up top with no representation from the residents. But I also see the argument that it is by and large the property of its Linden creators, without whom it wouldn't exist, and thus their decisions about how the world operates could be seen to have more weight.

OpenSim or whatever steps in to decentralize the metaverse is probably where the government question will need to be resolved. As with the world wide web and the internet at large, standards will be necessary and jurisdictions established. And as with the web, rules will likely vary among jurisdictions. At that point, metaverse residents will have the option to select the governance style of their choice to pursue their working and playing.

Brave new world, this.

Patchouli Woollahra


As a born-and-bred Singaporean IRL, I have to point out that Singapore faces some harsh realities that necessitate certain policies to date: it's not very well-resourced, having only education of its people to fall back on, and its a major outlier in ASEAN, being the only country besides Thailand and the Phillipines to forgo Islam as a state religion or have Malay majority or bias towards Malay Bumiputras.

We couldn't afford to waste any resources in infighting in 1965. Some say that those pressures still remain, albeit less tightly (I mean, you don't host a F1 Grand Prix if your economy isn't up to coping with it, right?)

But it's still a concern.

Will it ever go away?

As long as Singapore is an independent country, I fear that a genuine libertarian approach to 'demokrasi' will be a disaster. There MUST be liberalisation, such as recent moves to make room for people whose language skills and sciences are far apart, the encouragement of more questioning (even at the risk of upsetting certain accepted truths), and a media that has had its leash significantly loosened (taking into account the fact that a privately owned newspaper without Government holdings still does not exist afaik)

Lillie Yifu

Linden Labs is an economic player, as economic players, they have every reason to promote the most profit for themselves. This means that they aren't going to have an ideology of government beyond "ban what harms future revenue in a way which leaves as much autonomy as possible for themselves."

That's a recipe for the kind of vague unsystematic policy that was announced today. It invites interpretation, and the reverse question. If it is not good to land grief to sell at a high price, is it land grief to try and drive someone else out?

This is one of those clear cases where there was market failure, in that there were goods not reflected in the price of land. LL would have been better off having a simple zoning system. People who want to live in ad cluttered sims could have done so, presumably paying lower land cost because of the visual clutter. With a zoning system voted on by owners in a sim bya consensus system, it would have been possible to let people decide with their money as to what was more abuse than they could take.

The problem isn't ad farms exactly, it is that there was no way to know whether land would be adfarmed in the future. Hence, no reason to pay more for land than a commodity price, and no reason to stay if even a single other plot was going in the wrong direction.

See also camping farms and other examples.


This is surprising? The RL cash offered by adfarms, on-line casinos, and Ponzi scammers is just as green as that tendered by committed anarchists. The rules of Second Life will be tweaked as Linden thinks necessary to maximize that cash flow, no matter what players or principles get thrown under the bus in the process.

Noirran Marx

As a mainland landowner I welcome this change whole heartedly. You wanna erect a 100 meter mega prim with your shitty add on it? buy an island.

CyFishy Traveler

I think people need to take a step back and realize that Linden Lab is not a government, it's a business. A business needs to do certain things to survive--complying with the law is a big one and maintaining profitability is another.

Ad farms were driving people off of the mainland and onto the islands in droves. Complaints about ad farms were constant. In order to keep the mainland from becoming completely depopulated, they need to find ways to increase its appeal. The recently announced Public Works project is one; getting rid of ad farms is another.

If the owner of an island is allowed to dictate what goes on it, why should Linden Lab, owners of the entire freakin' continent be chastised for doing the same?

The rules are still being written by circumstance. They tried a hands-off policy. It didn't work very well. So they're putting their hands in, though hardly as heavily as some of the screaming would seem to indicate. Though, lord knows, the hosannas of joy are pretty much drowning out the screams of objection . . .


I like this discussion. Just like in the real world we all have our world-views. Libertarian or socialist...perhaps second life will stop acting like an imposing corporation with set rules for partners and users but rather let the virtual start reflecting true, differing neighbourhoods. Sectional division of land based on who wants to live where. Live with your own. That would be interesting to see in the probably not-so distant future.

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