Saturday, July 26, 2008


I never quite understood exactly why there were so many denominations of Christianity. Hey, we all worship the same guy, right?

It shouldn't matter how you worship Christ, only the core beliefs should be the deciding factor. That one believes Christ is the son of God, that he has granted and holds salvation for humanity (provided one has faith, of course), and that to those ends we should hold faith in his grace and we should do good works in his name. I think that just about covers it.

I feel like all the different sects are really antsy over the little details that don't make much difference one way or the other. Divorce was a hot button issue, which created the Church of England. Martin Luther had a bone to pick with the Vatican over the selling of 'indulgences' to raise money for the Church's coffers. Still others rejected the Pope as the Vicar of Christ, translated the bible to their own ends, and created their own Churches.

Those are all in the past, however. Let's look at the present. As I said, we all acknowledge Jesus and all that comes with him. If I went to any church of any denomination of Christianity, I couldn't disagree with the core beliefs. It's not like Roman Catholics believe in Saint Peter and Baptists don't. It's not like Anglicans believe in the Holy Spirit and Calvinists don't.

Shouldn't we all band together and admit that at our fundamental basics, we all believe in the same thing. There's differences, to be sure, but that should be at a personal level, between you and God, and shouldn't be interfered with above that level. The community, parish, whatever, that should be the sole reserve of indoctrinating the people with their faith and gathering the community together to worship god. The Church should be uniting, but not overbearing. It is at the personal level where there should be differences for each to reconcile themselves with whatever. If you want to get divorced, whatever, don't expect the church in general to condone it but again, that's you and your spouse's business with God. And so on.

Second Life is something of the same way. The other day, reading through the Official Second Life blog, I read a post on LL discontinuing support for Apple's Panther Operating System. That's no big deal, in my opinion. According to them, only 0.25% of all users ran the OS. Assuming peak concurrency of 60,000, that means only about 150 people are running SL on Panther. It's regrettable that some people will be left behind, but them's the brakes. When I got my new computer with Vista, SL didn't like it. I had to wait a while before LL got around to making it compatible. Oh well.

But what appalled me was the fighting that broke out over it. It started with the Panther people complaining. Fair enough. But then we had a giant debate over whether Mac or Windows (XP and Vista) were better.

I just don't understand what the point is. Shouldn't we all be working towards making SL a more enjoyable experience for everyone? Does it matter what machine is running SL as long as we're all logging into the grid?

The Windows people got nasty enough, suggesting that LL didn't bother with Macs because no one uses them, which just ain't true. Mac does have a sizable market share, not as great as XP perhaps, but great enough that it's not right to ignore them. I don't agree with not bothering to update their version of the viewer, either. I run Windows and am content with it, but I find it terrible that LL (according to the Mac Heads I've talked to) does not bother to work upon their viewer as often. And Linux...

The point is, that we shouldn't be eating each other over who runs what and why. It's silly. We're all running Second Life. We all should be working towards improving each other's SL experience. It does us no good to throw mud over Windoze or whatever witty insult there is for Macintosh. Rotten Apples? Anyway, we should be concentrating on what we share and not what we're running. Anything else is a distraction and detrimental to Second Life.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Test Bots

People often like to play "Spot the Bot". It's a pastime when one is sufficiently bored. Some even hunt bots for a living, although the value of such is dubious. What do you do after you find one? It's not going to respond to you. Why turn finding them into a job? It's not worth it.

Anyway, one day I was checking out Anzere. That may be misspelled. Anzere is a very strange infohub. It is a group of Bavarian style buildings and some help signs in the middle of nowhere. Seriously. It's a tiny speck in a vast snow drift. It's not even connected to the Linden road that curls through the area, or by the river that cuts through it. I'm sure there is a story behind it. If not, I'm going to make one up and pretend it's the real story.

Anzere is usually deserted, and as I was flying by I noticed there was a person hanging at the hub at Anzere. Curious, I landed and went to investigate.

What I found was a Linden Test Bot.

It was a curious creature. It consisted of an avatar decked in missing textures wearing a lone attachment, a box which displayed the words "Testing Bot" and "Linden Lab" (complete with logo).

I wonder what it was testing, exactly, at Anzere. It couldn't be traffic, because Anzere is a ghost town. Sim performance and lag are also out because again, it's pointless to measure such things when it's not under an actual inhabited place. I'm just curious. I know I'll probably never get a straight answer.

Perhaps it was just a spybot. Listening in to me as I rather pointlessly talked to it.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shuttle Run

Today, I almost missed work. You ask, Why? Because the stupid shuttle could not be bothered to actually adhere to a schedule.

I pay through the nose to go to college. Tuition kills me and I constantly struggle to meet the ever rising cost, between paying for the privilge of attending and books and 'laboratory fees'. My tuition jumped seven thousand dollars this coming term alone. I have come to expect a certain level of service here. I figure with the thousands that get funneled into their maul, they could afford to maintain a bus schedule that is on time.

Unfortunately, reality stinks. The bus is perpetually late, and sometimes it leaves too early (going at 2:12 instead of 2:15, for example). On top of that, the drivers love to take breaks that range from 30 minutes to an hour. These breaks are completely random. You might have five days where you board at three o'clock, but on Friday you're out of luck since the driver decided to take an hour break during that time. It's frustrating. It's annoying. Whatever were they thinking?

There are enough drivers so that it could be arranged for rotations and allow everyone enormous breaks. Why don't they do this? There are seven drivers that I know and you're telling me their schedules are so lazy that only one or two are on duty on a given day and those two spend the day basically slacking off?

I find myself taking public transit more and more. It's sad when the trolley is on time more often than a bus service I pay thousands for. Our public transit stinks and is hardly ever on time. But they just throw a bunch of cars at once, so if there's a delay on one at least two others may make it through.

If it's going to be half baked, they might as well save the gas money and not run shuttle service at all. At least I wouldn't have any expectations.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Book of Winter

Long ago, from the ashes of a long forgotten world, a world torn and burnt by the evils in their hearts, arose Nunchuck.

And He saw the pain and devastation that lay before Him, and He wept. He wept in sorrow for many many years. His tears flooded the landscape and washed away the sin of that grid. They became the Great Pangrid Ocean, and it cleansed the world. It became a world of perfect and innocent blue.

Then Nunchuck sat down upon the earth, and His weight squashed the land beneath the seas and pushed up the mountains and the lands and the valleys and plateaus.

From his heavy sighs issued forth the clouds of all kinds and shapes, pushed to and fro by His deep and godly breath. They scattered across the globe and formed the skies.

And as His sorrow waned, He looked upon this new world and He smiled and loved this new creation of His. And He wanted others to share in His wonderful creation and thus it came to pass that avatars, created in His own Image, drew life upon the grid. He created the spirits to enliven them and the World, to fill it with life and joy and happiness. And he created the Akelhians to watch over them all, and protect them and provide companionship and reassurance.

His creations, however, grew to know sadness for though they were grateful for His mercy and generosity, they only had the light of the spirits to illuminate their world. He reached into the depths of His Holy Sanctum and gave unto the world His Femur, that it might bathe the grid in light and cause His creations much joy.

It was all good.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


If you teach someone something, and they fail to understand, you have failed miserably.

Consequently, in the course of attempting to mentor those new to Second Life, I fail often.

Sometimes it's due to a mismatch of language. Regrettably, I slept through high school Spanish, the result being I can only say a few rudimentary phrases such as my name and that "Bud es gordo" and "El AVE es azul y gris". I draw a lot of amused looks when I try. I have never even attempted other languages. So I'm limited to English. Most of the rest of the world does not understand English. Thus I am at a disadvantage. The best I can do is use translators as a crutch or pass them along to someone who can help them. Sometimes, they don't need help so much as someone else to connect and talk with them. Best I can do is point them towards groups and places set up by similar people.

Sometimes it is due to my failure to acknowledge that something I have been doing for the past year and a half is not intuitive to the person I'm talking to. It's easy enough for me to know how to use Search, and which results to ignore and divining 'good' hits. How do you communicate something like that? It is difficult for me to imagine this precisely because there's so much one can do and ask in Second Life, and there's so much to learn and get a handle on, it never ceases to amaze me. And I often don't recognize. Frustration mounts. "Why isn't this person just getting this??"

So you keep trying. You try to understand not what they aren't understanding, but what you're overlooking. I try to change and conform as best I can. Because all people are not equal, at least with regards to getting an idea through their heads. I think 'mentoring' newbies has given me a sound respect for my previous teachers and professors. In a way, I have it easier, much easier, because I only have to 'work' on a one-on-one basis. They have to create a course for a multitude of individuals.

Nevertheless, I have to get through to that person.

Going off on a tangent, I think this is the problem with many many mentors (though not all of them). They consistently repeat and repeat themselves, seemingly never realizing that their audience isn't getting it through that line of attack. A different strategy is required. Yet, they don't seem to realize it. And so we get a comical back-and-forth. "I don't understand" "It's simple, it's this-and-this" "I don't understand" "It's simple, it's this-and-this". In a way, I have to give Torley some slack, as just like my professors had to (though I still hold to my previous posts, that's my privilege). Second Life is becoming a big big world.

I like to look at it this way: People like Torley or the infohub owners, they are the generals, they have to think of the big picture and attack it using a general method, one to reach the most amount of people. People like me and the rest of the mentors, we're the ground troops at street level. We have to take care on a constantly changing situation. It's up to us to understand who we are talking to and fit our explanation, or sometimes just our general conversation and chit-chat, to them. Mentors are there when someone just doesn't understand, say, just how to set a texture to an object. Sure, they've watched a tutorial or attended a class, but they need their own realization of it. Or maybe that original tutorial creator just isn't approachable (capped IMs). That's what Mentors should do. They're there to provide not just general information but a personal contact. Someone to understand or can easily understand their problems and issues. Someone who they can come to and feel that they care.

However, getting back on track, sometimes it's due to my failure of knowledge in the area of the inquiry. Sometimes I honestly don't know how to answer, I don't know the answer. Then I just punt it to someone who knows, just like when someone strains my poor multilingual skills. Only in this case, I try to make a point of hearing the answer and more importantly, understanding it. Then I'm ready the next time (if ever) it's asked again. So sometimes I learn something I might never have known otherwise.

So what do I do when I fail? I don't get upset, because the last thing you need is to have a meltdown in front of everyone. And I don't get angry (no matter how large a migraine I develop), because what definitely isn't needed is a giant argument. No, instead I try to take a deep breath, and relax and analyze what went wrong and what I can do to fix it next time.

Also, have you seen the previews for the new 'Mummy' movie? Abominable snowmen? Egyptian style mummification in some Chinese/Nepalese/Tibetan temple in the Himalayas? I want to see it just to see how coherent the script is.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

M Linden Writes A Letter

M Linden graces us with an address towards us, the ever concerned inhabitants of Second Life.

He reassures us that the Linden Lab team is all about stability and performance and devoting full resources to reducing grid hiccups. Ha ha, isn't that what they always say? I've heard this for the past year and a half in my SL existence alone. It's become a cliche joke.

"We will increase stability! It's in the next update! However, creating that patch revealed a few new bugs. But to make up for that, we added a new feature that's still a tad untested and potentially bug-ridden! That's progress in Linden Lab!"

Also, are the Lindens going to be releasing different types of SL clients? M alludes to a viewer that is skimmed down for newbies and one that is more concentrated for the needs of the experienced. I sure hope the current client is kept as is, because I like it as it is. I don't need more features and while newbies may benefit from a lack of features, I sure wouldn't.

Speaking on that topic, why provide a crutch to newbies and remove features that later they may want or need to use? As it is right now, you already have that kind of thing, how much slimmer can it get? The 'Advanced' options aren't visible by default and the drop down menus at the top are pretty self explanatory (edit appearance... detach clothing... etc). But hey, I'm not on the development team so what's my opinion worth? As a NPIOF, nothing. And that's the way it should be.

Continuing on down the address...

He's making registrations easier? It was hard to register? I didn't think it was that hard. If you can't read the rather simple instructions on the registration page, then you aren't going to have it any easier in SL itself. Maybe they mean offering it in more languages. Or maybe they're going to revamp Orientation island... AGAIN. Only, if that was true, he would have specified 'redoing orientation island'. He's awfully specific about such things, so it's probably not a redo of that current pile that is the OI. Nunchuck, I hate that place. I could waste three blog posts on what's wrong with it. But that's a different topic for another day.

Then there's the usual hoisting of Torley's videos upon the high hills! There are one hundred and fifty video tutorials now on every subject from "Who Torley is" to "How to converse in english". Let me explain why Torley's vids piss me off. He has a few good videos that are really and truly helpful. However, he floods it nine times over with stupid shit that no one gives a damn about and could probably be taught easier inworld.

That's the problem with them overall. I can look at a tutorial only so much, but inworld it's not the same as a controlled and edited video. And sometimes he seemingly fragments things that should be consolidated. For explain, I recall seeing a tutorial on how to make a wavy flag. But he also has a vid on how to make flexi prims and how to edit prims in general. What the hell? Combine the bunch of it. Why waste space? Not like it matters, if I was a newbie and I needed help I would go to help island or just anyone passing by, which is what I did when I was a newbie and what I see newbies do today anyway.

Add that to the fact that SL runs sluggish with a web page opened at the same time. These days, I can't cruise the SL blog and talk with my friends inworld without walking a fine line between crashing out entirely. It's a joke. Jurin will send me a nifty and cool URL that I can't load because even on my fastest fast computer it grinds everything to a halt. SL is a memory hog. Thank god for third party viewers and even then it still has problems because the third party people can only patch the original code so much before just giving up and rewriting the entire bunch of code.

But I guess you have to take pride in Torley's videos because general Support in SL is terrible. Granted, all my evidence is anecdotal from friends and random strangers who ask me, "Why isn't LL listening? I filed a ticket ages ago!" Often I find most have been told to file a JIRA (which is worse than SL and again a topic for another day) or that the problem has been cleared and yet it persists. Once a friend and I had to bombard a Linden with notecards because they kept claiming they had fixed it when they clearly hadn't. Of course, when you have policies that LL does and when you enforce them meekly like LL does, I guess I would have a Support system like they do too. Take this as an example: Ban on ad farms. There is still ad farms. Ban on Age play, but then whittled down to essentially nothing. Other things too that I've forgotten. Their maze of policy and levels of enforcement would be intimidating to anyone. They need a redo of their terms of service or something, and establish clear punishments. Revamp the damn violations and get rid of loop holes that obey the letter but not the spirit of the law.

Finally, M tells us that LL is very stable financially. Gee, I sure hope so with all the cash people sink into land and tier and such. Some costs of which will never be recovered in any amount by the people who bought land and tier and invested time into this Second Life of ours that they will never be able to get back again even if they run a mildly successful business. I've seen land values plummet so far and yet I watch as Bay City sells for ridiculous amounts. Hey geniuses, when you go to resell those Bay City parcels, the price will fall to the rest of the world's land market and you'll take a huge loss. Hope you can divvy it up into ad farms, oops, I mean not-for-profit signs that just happen to display your business for some reason. The way LL robs people, if they weren't secure I'd suspect someone was sapping from the company.

He wraps up with the typical LL bullshit, namely that virtual worlds are the future and thank you for helping us shape one and aren't we so popular and let's all pat ourselves on the back. Aren't virtual worlds going to be so important to all of us? All I hear from LL is how virtual worlds will augment real life, which tells me that virtual worlds will just end up being another tool, a laggier yahoo messenger or AIM. Gee, thanks a lot.

Finally, his closing has to be some kind of satire. I really can't make fun of it because it mocks itself. Let me show you:

"Thank you for your passion, your support, your energy and commitment. Yes — even frustration. I see it, feel it, hear it. Together, it keeps us energized and focused on what’s important."

Before I close for the night (it's 2:30 AM at the moment here), I'd like to give you a sample of the comments left. Here are the ones that entertained me:

From cosa nostra:

"I dont see it, I dont feel it and I dont hear it .. on the grid !


From slbraun:

"When you ignore Economics 101, you will inevitably end in ruin. An unlimited supply of land and flat demand means lower prices. Those who invested in land get hosed. A downward cycle is created which is difficult to reverse. The honeymoon is over Mr. CEO. Get to work. Me…I am heading over to check out the new Lively."

From Tiny Mind:

"Don’t worry. I have tried Google’s test of “Lively” (in Open Beta), and so far from the limited exposure to it… Linden Labs has NOTHING at all to worry about over it.

Tiny Tester."

From Trinity Dechou:

"Having been here for over a year and a half it is nice to see good communication. Like JenzZa we’ve seen changes come and go, some good, some bad. Nice to know in regards to some areas LL listen.

Looking forward to the changes in the new few years."

From Ciaran Laval:

"There’s a rule of business that you shouldn’t leave your customers feeling poor after doing business with you, which is something you should be ensuring Jack and Zee understand.

The potential here is absolutely massive, it would be a great shame if something like Lively took the attention away from a project such as Second Life but there are lessons to take note of, social networking being one glaring example.

Another being that you can’t keep the entry bar too high technically, education won’t keep up with you, I can assure you, sometimes you need to be patient to get to the promised land, don’t throw too many aside in the great leap forward.

Very positive move on the first hour, it’s crucial but people need to be able to find something to do quickly to keep them engaged, that’s something that needs working on."

From David Kline:

"Yeah that is all good and all Mr. Linden but i want to ask you will you really deliver that? Lag has gotten worse lately NOT better… the problem is you keep pouring in new users without a solid server system to be able to handle it. Second life’s overall experence i would say is getting worse not better. still crashes…still worse lag then ever…missing textures..takes FOREVER to rezz anything

you need to fix the fact that the cache system does not still have to re-rezz an area that you visited 4 minutes ago if you log out…

it really is frustrating…oh and theres bugs where you remove users from yuor buddy list they still show up…the fact that the support system for abuse is catered towards those who spend gobs of money a month and the rest of us still have to wait forever to get any help"

That's about it. After that one, the comments descended into the typical argument between those who believe LL can do no wrong and those who want their pet feature to be implemented and those who hate everything about SL. Most of that gets repetitive and has been chewing up the comments on the past hundred blog posts even though the entire debate of 'what's wrong, if there even IS something wrong' has been beaten to death, buried in cement and thrown into a boat that was towed out to sea and burned with fire and nuclear airbursts. Of course, when the Lindens have closed off most of the means to contact them I guess all those people had to go somewhere and with the blog being the last bastion, it's no surprise.

It's not like you can contact the Lindens inworld, because they explictly tell you not to IM or notecard them, and they don't like being emailed, and when you find them inworld they're usually at an office hour and will tell you to not hog the hour to yourself which is understandable since the hour is really devoted to that particular specialty but what else can people do when they really have no other place to turn to? If they file tickets, they might as well wait for the Second Coming of Christ since they'll be Raptured before LL finally looks at their ticket. At least Christ had the decency to just outright say "don't wait up for me because I'll come when you least expect it".

I'm sorry if I come off as hostile to LL and a bit of an ass, but the truth is that it's getting real late and after logging out and checking the blog before I went to bed, and reading this ... this mini-speech and its contents, I'm not just physically tired, I'm mentally exhausted. I'm getting sick of SL and Linden Lab because they raise my hopes that they're actually going to do something and turn around and either don't or make it worse. When people moan about LL I try to defend them because, at the end of the day despite my own whines and rants, I sincerely believed that Linden Lab was trying their best but I'm sick and tired of listening to their crap. Why can't they be honest and why do they have to beat around the bush? On some levels I know this will never happen because no one wants bad press but you can't tell me it looks any better when a good half of the blog comments are derogatory and the other half come off as sycophantic. Add that to the fact that if you search for SL blogs in general you'll find most people aren't too praiseworthy of LL either, and the few blogs that do support LL are fickle about it.

What they need to do is to ditch all this new crap like 'shadows' and other junk. Fix what they have now and get it to work. Do the different viewers if you must. You won't get rid of all the bugs, but you could at least squash the ones that never seem to go away. It took at least seven or eight month to get rid of the 'ass-tachment' bug. That's ridiculous. How could the Lindens miss that? Why would it take months? I can see a month, maybe a month and a half, but eight months? Six or seven months a the most generous? So yeah, take the current system and smooth it out. I wouldn't mind the constant updates if I felt they actually improved performance but often I don't notice much of any of a difference. I read the reports of the changes and I'll be damned if I can find even half of them.

So I don't care anymore. I might finish up a few posts I have written about Linden Lab and after that, they can go to hell. I'll devote more time to writing nonsense and general issues in SL that aren't LL related (like, say, .. . I'll think of something later). And I'm sure the Lindens or their fans will come around and pick my post apart and prove me wrong here, there, and everywhere, but whatever. I think M Linden's speech here is a sign that Linden Lab doesn't give a crap because if they did they would be writing about the better things they already have done rather than what they will do, or at least both of those at the same time. As it is, it sounds like empty promises. "Just keep the faith, it will come! We swear!" They proclaim over and over.

I'm going to buy some earplugs because I'm sick of the noise.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Birthday Mild Celebrations!

In my family, the holidays are celebrated beyond what one would normally think of in 'celebration'. It's an understatement to say they are blown out of all proportion. Hence, while I write that I couldn't care less about SL's birthday events, I secretly want to check them out. Sadly, two cases have prevailed.

First, is that in general I haven't had the time to drop into all the events. Other things occupy me and I have a short attention span to remember to check out this or that panel. The second issue is these panels bore me. Much of it isn't ground breaking and I could probably write out an entire conversation during these discussions if you gave me the topic.

When I go to exhibitions, there's so much lag that I can hardly see the displays and when I do, there sometimes is a notecard explaining what I'm looking at, sometimes not. Other people come in and sometimes play with the exhibits. In general, it's not a mess, but it feels more like a museum. You come and stare at the pretty pieces and are left to draw your own conclusions. I really have to be in the mood to do that. And there's a real life Art Museum near me I can visit where the general quality is much better (not to say SL doesn't have its geniuses).

It feels less like a celebration than a display of those who bothered to deal with the Lindens. In fact, if you ask most people what the past weeks have been about, they likely will have no idea what you are talking about. There just isn't an interest level to be invested into this thing.

I hear a lot of flinging about the 'culture' of Second Life, but I'll be damned if I can find it. This is the fifth anniversary of Second Life being opened to the public, the 5th birthday of the game this very blog (and many other blogs and forums) is about. And yet, we have... this. A sort of murmured whisper and general nod of the head, if you even remember the date.

Coming up soon is the Fourth of July, and for those of you just coming out from under your rocks, that's the American Independence day. After that is July 14th, the French Bastille Day which holds more or less the same significance. People in both countries celebrate, fire off some grills and fireworks, and work up a patriotic fervor. Second Life's day has come, and we get 'Nipplegate' (I'm not even going to touch that with a ten foot pole) and a bunch of panels on such things as "Bringing SL success in business to RL". Ok, ok, that's all fine and good, but where is the community in general celebrating? Where are the fireworks? Where are the grills? Something? Anything?

Perhaps, the attitude is taken like my family. Birthdays in my family are relatively quiet affairs. You give gifts, have a cake, maybe go out to eat (or cook something like a feast). Most of the extended family comes by for a few minutes to drop off a card, or use the US Postal Service as a middleman. The last birthday 'party' I had was my fourth, which was memorable for breaking a fire code. Part of this is due to extended family relations which are dismal, and part is just our attitude. Wee, let's celebrate another passing of the earth's complete orbit around its parent star since the arbitrary date of one's birth. It's hard to get revved up after that kind of realization.

You figure holidays would just be the same, right? Well, no, apparently arbitrary dates for cultural celebrations with suspect origins that are fixed on that same solar year get a pass. Perhaps because it's more than just a family and friends affair, but something you get caught up into with everyone else. Your birthday is memorable to your family and friends. Christmas, now that's something the entire country can get embroiled in.

Of course, lately there's a small debate on what exactly to call that time of season. Christmas promotes Christianity exclusively and we can't have that. A good deal of the country is Christian, however, and we just can't bring ourselves to celebrate the Kwanzaa season. Happy Holidays is a good generalization, but that offends deeply religious people who insist on going back to basics, besides, What about those other holidays? Saturnalia brings up paganism and that's 'bad'. winter Solstice, while in theory just a simple description of the obvious (For us in the Northern Hemisphere, when the Earth is tilted so we're 'farther' from the sun than the South, which has Summer Solstice on that date) also carries something of paganistic wicca evil bad bad bad connotations. But I digress.

Anyway, holidays, whether due to general community group think or sincere appreciation of the cultural diversity and significance of the season, are celebrated with abandon. We just don't deck those halls, we plaster them. And that's why I'm just a tad confused why Second Life's Fifth Birthday is a shuffle instead of people ... doing whatever it is that would correspond to a holiday.

Maybe that IS the way Second Lifers celebrate, by setting up displays and making note of it on their blogs and inside SL, and holding panels and Q&As and having speeches. If it is, that make me sad. To me, that is just bland. I don't know what to continue expounding on. It just feels wrong and unfilling. Like Diet soda.

Consider the lack of proper Second Life holidays. Most are ripped from real life. Poorly. The more memorable was December 2006, when NBC and SL tried to hold a lighting of the Christmas tree. There was Valentine's 2008 recently. I remember that one as the day I lagged so terribly that in the time it took me to do my laundry, prepare dinner, watch three hours of television, and a quick nap, Second Life finally crashed out after being in limbo during that time. The platform just can't handle the load. Just can't handle it.

So I suppose these 'enlightenments' (as they're being called) are a kind of compromise, a subdued celebration with displays as dressing (also moderated, as again the Herald has noted recently with 'Nipplegate'... ugh). One we have to accept, because most attempts otherwise have been dismal for those of us unable to buy a new super computer every month. It is very sad.

But them's the brakes, and it seems that SL's 5th birthday will be a subdued whimper rather than a fiesta.