Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thanks Blogger

Winter sent me a panicked call yesterday when I rounded up my alts to give this blog another jolt of life.  She could not access her Gmail or Blogger account.  Password recovery was a no-go, as it asked for her cell phone (she never gave one) and amusingly enough, any special email boxes (she never created one).  She could only list two contacts (me and another alt).  Overall, Google was having none of it.

So, the original Winter account is lost forever to the mists of time as Gmail is being stubborn.  She is reborn as 'Winter J Tsiolkovsky', which is just as well as that is her SL name anyway.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Time To Lay Down Arms

If you've drudged through the archives, you might get the impression that I'm a strict 'evolutionist'. And you'd be right. It's fact, people. I can't really tolerate the general stupidity which says otherwise. I've often gotten into large debates over this, and I haven't seen anything to sway me otherwise.

That being said, I don't generally bring it up, especially in real life, unless provoked. I don't run into family gatherings and preach the Good News. I'm definitely more reactive than proactive, which is sure to irk my evolutionist brethren who believe each and every person should be corrected.

I believe, though, that there is a time and place where you should, no, you must lay down the guns and just let people on their way. It's just not worth it and more than a little rude.

Case in point: today, it is raining. It's miserable. And two Jehovah's Witnesses come to the door, handing out their literature. It's pouring, they're soaked and huddled under two dinky umbrellas, and I'm letting heat out by holding the door open and chatting with them. No one wants to debate evolution. Not that it would do any good, since neither of us would sway the other. Best to just take their magazine, thank them, and wave them off.

Live and let live.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Incredible Invisible Miners

Star Trek shows us a brilliant future where there is no hunger, no crushing poverty, and in general no want in any person. Everyone works not for their own gain but for the gain of humanity and the galaxy overall. Resources are plentiful and the only impediment is the time it takes to assemble whatever it is you're trying to make.

And that is where Star Trek falls apart. Who mines the ores?

I'm not focusing on miners exclusively, by the way. All the extremely unpleasant jobs, who does them? Not to mention hazardous. Mining an asteroid for steel (and all the other treknobabble metals and minerals) cannot be a safe and happy experience.

And people are undoubtedly forced into those occupations. Show of hands: would you rather tend a vineyard or pick at some rocks deep underground? Yeah, thought so. In Trek Society, anyone can be anything they desire and there's supposedly no impediment to pursuing whatever career choice you pick. But someone has to mine. Someone has to clean the Interstellar Porta-Potties. Someone has to scrap the roadkill off the deflector dish.

They would have to be forced to. Now, the Federation cannot come out and march people off to the Slave Mines, it would break the illusion of 'the world is perfect and you can do anything!!1!'. Instead, they probably would carefully filter specific colonies and saturate them with propaganda designed to brainwash the unknowing inhabitants into believing that slaving away at the asteroid mines is the bestest thing ever. You won't get paid, but you will get free synthesized food! And medical care, which will ensure you'll be able to work out 120 years and sniff out all that dilithium crystal. Yes, life is grand, isn't it? Who needs to see the sky, anyway?

Disgusting, no? Even more when you consider that this is all to the Federation's benefit. They get all the products for free. The only expense is powering and the minimal maintenance to run the food/med/etc. machines to keep the miners happy.

The Federation is one of the great evils of the galaxy. What else do you call state sponsored slavery?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Does This Dress Make Me Look Too Tall?

It's always nice when people find a hobby. Hobbies are similar to hair styles. Everyone has one and everyone thinks theirs is just the greatest thing ever and spend lots of time and energy into it. My personal hobby is, of course, this blog. The President's hobby is to bring about the socialist revolution as predicted by Marx and Lenin. That nerd who still hasn't left his parent's basement at the age of 55's hobby is collecting post stamps and porn.

And a few people on the SL forums have made it their hobby to shove their avatar shapes down our throats. Yeah, it's that kind of hobby. The annoying kind where it's not enough for them to practice it in the quiet dark shadows and caves like the rest of us. No, they've got to proselytize to the world. They come to the forums like Jehovah's Witnesses, making the same arguments that have been made since the dawn of the Grid in 2004.

There were about 6 or 7 little more than a month ago, and let's see if I can guess what their arguments were before I even open these threads. Hmm, let's see...

-Everyone confuses me for an ageplayer!! (bonus points if they throw in mockery)
-Wasted space!! You could save almost 10 prims and an entire square meter!!
-Everyone looks stupid and unproportional!!
-Linden Labs is stupid!!

Ok, I'm going to open them now... whoa, I'm 4 for 4! How did I do that? Well, like I said, it's easy when you've seen the same shit for the past 5 years. It's similar to the complaints and concerns whenever Copybot crops up, or sim performance, or whatever the hell is wrong with the asset servers this particular day/month/year, or griefers, or etc etc etc. Boring.

And I don't even see the problem, frankly. I think I noted a long long loooong time ago that you can actually date an avatar based on their height. Rare is the person born before 2008 who is three meters tall and breathes fire. The more a person plays and get immersed into Second Life, they proceed on a gradual pace to create better and better avatars. I don't know whether it is due to gaining a better understanding of the shape tools or whether it's due to boredom or what, I've just noticed it is fairly constant. In fact, judging from the forum responses, everyone seemed to be trying to get 'realistic' anyway. Most of the people against it did so on 'freedom of speech'-esque grounds.

Anyway, go enjoy your realistic avatars. For the record, I have one (even if I am six feet tall, that is within the range of humanity). But don't run around and impose on people who have, undoubtedly, heard it all before. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

One Thing You Noobs Need To Understand

At Bear Infohub today:
[2011/11/16 10:07] [redacted]: right, one thing all you noobs need to understand
[2011/11/16 10:07] [redacted]: sl dont always work
[2011/11/16 10:07] [day old account]: please help me
[2011/11/16 10:07] [redacted]: they having issues right now
[2011/11/16 10:07] [redacted]: [day old account], ffs stfu
[2011/11/16 10:07] [redacted]: im trying to help, trying to explain
[2011/11/16 10:07] [redacted]: the game system
[2011/11/16 10:07] [redacted]: the computers that run sl for you
[2011/11/16 10:07] [day old account]: ok.sorry
[2011/11/16 10:08] [redacted]: the engineers are fixing something

Ah, the best kind of welcome to Second Life: being told to sit down and shut the fuck up, you stupid little noob. Yup, let's keep changing the viewer. That's obviously the real reason retention rates are dismal.

Oh, and for reference, she asked a single question about where to find inventory. God! Get off my back and find your own damn shoes! What does this look like, some kind of infohub?! Oh wait...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hey Hey! Let's Make Vehicle Lemonade!

I have found the perfect use for AnnMarie Otoole's endless Mississippi river of vehicles so ugly they wouldn't pass muster in SL 2003's shitty prim statue era. People have been bitching and moaning, but like my parents said, "Anna, make lemons out of lemonade."

So, aside from the fact that they lag up sims horribly, are uglier than '60s era 'cars of the future', slam and push people off public roads, behave as if the driver is aching for multiple DUIs, and have an unfortunate urge to offroad into others' sims; what use could possibly be made out of them? Well, look at their single positive: they do manage to find their way around the entirety of Second Life. In every stream, road, and abandoned no-autoreturn parcel, you will find AMO's crimes against decency.

You are probably wondering why I'm pointing their out. Well, the thing is, I'm sick of people writing volumes upon volumes that Second Life is one gigantic wasteland full of abandoned lots and blight worse than Pittsburgh's industrial district, populated solely by AMO's mechanical tumbleweeds. And my conclusion is that these people have never ever "had their boots on the ground," as my grandparents would say. I have no idea why no one notices this huge disconnect between people who bloat about this imagined SL desert and reality.

And hence the saving grace of AnnMarie Otoole. My suggestion is such: strap each person onto one of her vehicles and forcibly motor them throughout Second Life. Let them see all the incredible homes and builds people have made and are still making! Let them see people opening up stores and shops even though there's an offworld marketplace. Even the giant hideous black privacy boxes are evidence that the grid is as populated and lively as ever.

"But Anna!" you interject, "I don't see any dots!!" Ok, I have a riddle for you. No, a metaphor.

In the suburbs, it is a ghost town from 7 AM to 5 PM. Everyone is away, whether at school or at work or the nearest Occupy Wherever protest. And it's also barren from 8 PM to 7 AM, when people are having dinner, and sleeping, or up late walking around Second Life. So, from 8 PM to noon and all the way back to 7 AM, if you wandered through the suburbs, you could declare, "Surely this development is dying! Why, I see no souls moving about!" and have a spot of tea and congratulate yourself on such a remarkable observation. Except you're neglecting that window, that window from 5 PM to 8 PM, when everyone comes home, and before supper is ready, when everyone comes out. Children ride their bikes, and adults water and cut their lawns, and it erupts into the chaos of life.

And Second Life is similar. A quick romp through a particular sim will never capture its spirit. Go ahead and sit by it for a few days, and you'll find people come in (with varying degrees of frequency) and, well, do their thing, whatever it is. It comes to life. But that's something you will never see if you never take the time to go inworld, wander around it, and sit and watch the grid go by.

There is the second virtue of AMO's vehicles, by the way. Wherever they crash, they'll force their hapless occupant to watch the sim as it is.

Thus, my grand plan for taking an otherwise inexcusable plague upon Second Life and twisting it into a net bonus for anyone who wants to seriously discuss the state of Second Life itself.

Monday, November 14, 2011

RL Linkage Is The Only Way To Validate Your Work

Ah, I remember Bettina Tizzy. She was a tad less than enthused about the art critiques of her Flickr stream given by me and my friends. Rendered speechless by our rapier wit. And undoubtedly bemused by our attempts to discuss how a sculpty androgynous statue hovering in a waterfall could Possibly Exist in Real Life. Yes, I remember Bettina alright.

She's moved on from passively aggressively expressing her disapproval (the " . " heard round the blogosphere) to dispensing pearls of wisdom to artists trying to make it in the big bad world of Second Life. Since Bettina is possibly the biggest name in the SL art world (aside from Starax and whatever alt of the week Starax is using to hide from his adoring public), her words carry the weight of the world upon Atlas' tired shoulders. What was this jewel bequeathed to Hamlet Au on NewWorldNotes?

Paraphrased, it was, "Link your Real Life name and your Second Life name!"

Of course! Genius! Surely, no one has considered this. Let us listen to more of this indispensable wisdom.

More Paraphrasing: "If you use your Second Life name on your Second Life projects, then you'll be forever pigeon holed into Second Life itself. Cast off that albatross! Proclaim throughout the land and across the sea your True Name, so that you may expand beyond our pitiful sex-addled insular circle jerk of a virtual world into Real Life praise and glory!"

There were detractors who threw meaningless strawman effigies of Bettina up. They argued nonsense, such as attempting to point out people using pseudonyms in real life, so why should a SL pseudonym be limited to only Second Life? Do I really need to answer that? You silly commentators, you can't use SL fake names in Real Life! Could you imagine ever buying a book written by Anna Tsiolkovsky? Assuming it wasn't pure drivel (and that's assuming a lot), people would research the Internet and say, "Whoa, this Anna, she's a fake name from SL! To think I was almost conned into buying and reading this!"

Or if I crafted an exquisite statue in Second Life, I am sure the Art Life would cast their gaze and hand down the judgement upon me, that anything I may do in First Life would be null and void unless I revealed my Real Life. Think of how much my work would be devalued! All great artists never hide! What are you so scared of?

Bettina leads the charge by bravely exposing her Real Life self. Whew, and good thing too, because I almost was about to dismiss her NPIRL as the mewings of some anonymous nobody. Now that I know her real life, I will so read and watch her more often. Dodged a bullet there Bettina. Bev. BettiBev? The small fact that despite this linkage people will continue to call her Bettina is irrelevant, of course.

So, budding SL artists, remember that your SL name is only valid in the virtual world it was issued. If you wish to travel to real life, you'd better produce the proper papers and passport.