Sunday, 30 March 2008

A new perspective on Second Life

To date my writing and research on Second Life has concerned Identity in a rather limited way, how a person is sutured in to an identity and how they form a network of others around that identity.

But experiments with the Friend of Flesher has made clear to me that Race plays a critical role in Second Life. My further investigation on the Internet lead me to believe that many of the white suburban residents who have formed Second Life in to a massive mall are also trying to purge the space of other races.

This is very old social theory and should not come as a surprise, that the forces of capitalist identity also contain racist elements.
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There is no place for black identity in current Second Life

In a discussion of the lack of presence of African culture on Second Life we were given this SLURL. We would like to think it was just the result of search. Once can only wonder who would see this as a honorable vision of African culture and reality: monkeys swinging on sticks!!!!

My big, fat, lily-white Second Life

Would any black resident please stand up?

NSFW Column Roleplay in Second Life begins with the creation of one's avatar, or one's primary character. For many residents, the avatar, while certainly a character, also reflects something of the owner's real-life self. Sometimes this will involve a desire or a curiosity for which real life offers no route to satisfaction or exploration.

For this reason, gender bending is extremely common in SL. I've been told that up to 50 per cent of residents are playing members of the opposite sex, either in their primary avatar or character, or occasionally with an alternate avatar, or alt. My friend Tateru points out that this is potentially one of the more enlightening experiences a resident can have. As she puts it, it does a man good to pose as a woman and learn what it's like to be hit on every 30 seconds, while it does a woman good to pose as a man and learn what it's like to be treated with suspicion merely for saying hello.

Destiny Welles

Avatars can go a lot farther than that. There's a thriving furry community, for example. There's a vast sci-fi roleplay community, with more than a few humanoid aliens. There are D&D-ish/LOTR-ish roleplay communities. There's Gor, and Midian City, a sort of Grand Guignol informed by Blade Runner and Doom. There's a Pern community, with several RP'ers using their dragon avatars as primary characters. Many players love their characters so much, they choose to experience SL through them exclusively.

But one feature struck me immediately, and hard, when I first joined the game: the whiteness of it all. I almost never ran into a black person. Even in the "urban contemporary" and Caribbean clubs, one has to search persistently for a glimpse at a suntan.

Second Life residents will turn their avatars into any form imaginable: they'll gladly make themselves aliens, cartoons, animals, even insects. But not Negroes.

Why is this, I wondered? People will play almost anything except this one, incredibly obvious, role. Why is changing one's race so much more difficult than changing one's sex, or age, or even species? And so I set about investigating. As a first step, I bought an African skin and shape, and modified them to my liking. And I don't mind saying, I think the results are spectacular. Turn the page, dear reader, and behold the new me.

I think I'm every bit as beautiful as I was, although it seems that not everyone would agree. I've been in this skin for over two weeks now, and my experiences have definitely been mixed. My in-game friends have remained friends: I haven't watched people who I know well suddenly backing away from me. But strangers do keep their distance now more than they did. People tend not to strike up conversations with me, although there are some exceptions. Still, there's no question that I attract fewer new people than Destiny 1.0 used to do. I've also noticed that I get hit on a lot less, by men and women, and I wonder why. What kind of freak would not want to hit on such a gorgeous girl? Are people repelled by my apparent blackness? Do they imagine some presumed "culture barrier" is going to make it hard for us to communicate? Are they concerned that I can't follow their chatter about the artsy-fartsy bourgeois nonsense that so often concerns them? Are they frightened that I'll up and pop a cap in their punk ass?

The new Destiny

The class ceiling

Second Life requires a broadband connection and a fairly potent computer to run properly. If you haven't got at least 1G of system RAM, a 128M graphics card, and a 3M broadband connection, good luck. So you can see right there that SL automatically selects residents from the middle-classes, who can afford at least moderately-priced toys.

But there's more than money at play here: SL selects people who believe that an up-to-date computer system is something worth having. There are plenty of users who get by happily on clunky old machines that run their favourite applications well enough.

But to really care about your computer's supposed features, you have to be, first, free to worry about that instead of, say, food and the electric bill, and second, a bit toy-proud in a nerdy way. The lower orders express their toy-pride with power boats, trucks, exotic televisions, and above-ground swimming pools. The middle classes take more pride in toys that suggest a university education, an open mind, a thirst for learning, and comfortable familiarity with information and the language of technology. It's in the heart of white, middle-class suburbia that you'll find the majority of hotrod computers, educational software, cool games, and fast connections.

A myth that I hear repeated by residents is that SL reflects life, because people create it. People like sex, so there's plenty of sex. People like gambling, so there's gambling. People like music, so there's music. People like art, so there's art.

I've found this to be quite naive. SL reflects a slice of life: a very white, Protestant, progressive, bourgeois slice. I can't recall if it was in Paul Fussell's Class, or Lisa Birnbach's The Official Preppy Handbook that I encountered the fine observation that it is the upper middle classes who typically play at life. Euphemism is always low and vulgar ("let's hide the salami"), but it becomes interestingly classy when it invokes a game ("let's play hide the salami").

The idea of playing at life comes to us from the middle and upper-middle classes, where leisure time and income come together in a fairly good ratio. The rest of us are either too enervated by the constant demands of noblesse oblige and tax avoidance, or too busy scrambling to pay the rent on time, to give much thought to play.

Sex play is central to Second Life, and it is influenced heavily by social class. Female homosexuality is huge in SL, and it is perhaps the ultimate in white upper-middle-class play in real life too. It's inside the elite universities that you see girls playing most enthusiastically with lesbianism. A few years later they're all married, but they'll talk the talk well enough during those four golden years. They worry much about their "gender identity", about feminism, "post-colonialism", and the oppression of "wimmin". And surely, it's only middle and upper-middle class girls who can afford to waste expensive educational opportunities on such impractical rot as "women's studies". The black and Asian girls are doing organic chemistry, because they actually need to learn something.

A kinder, gentler kind of racism

If you want to see racism clothed in progressive bourgeois condescension, look no farther than feminism, a daughter of elite universities. I can't recall the times I wanted to scream listening to my uni girlfriends lament the oppression of women in non-Christian countries, with a blind presumption that, through the wisdom and guidance of their more advanced sisters, these women would blossom into what they truly are at heart: middle-class Protestants.

Women in non-Christian countries were presumed unqualified to make an informed decision to celebrate the culture into which they were born, though it might value men and boys to an extraordinary degree. If you think a woman living in a highly paternalistic society is unqualified to judge her own situation and make a free choice to embrace it without your help and guidance, then you see her as less than human. And that, more than anything, is what racism is all about.

Feminism, with its attendant invitations to playing at lesbianism, is a constant feature of the real-life middle and upper middle classes and their liberal educations, and an equally constant feature of Second Life. So it's not surprising to encounter a sort of progressive, for-your-own-good racism in such a middle-class universe as SL. For example, no one has ever insulted me because of my appearance; but I have, on several occasions, experienced being "talked around" while in the company of women who don't know me. Often, these group chats will centre on clothes, jewellery, property, and novel ways of simulating la dolce vita in SL. Perhaps there's a tendency for educated women to think that a balck person might not appreciate or even understand their bourgeois preoccupations.

To the progressive suburbanite, black people are whites in training. One senses, while in a black skin among these people, their desire to see one reflecting their bourgeois values, and a sense of relief when one proves to be articulate and educated, revealing oneself to be high-toned. And I think this is what stops my bourgeois sisters from approaching me. They first want to see evidence of that reassuring whiteness deep within me before venturing a hello.

A belief that the best sort of blacks are in fact "white trainees" affects quite a few educated black suburban progressives too, as any fan of The Cosby Show and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air can attest. So it comes as no surprise that, among a population heavily skewed toward the liberally-educated middle classes, many of the real-life black people in SL are using white avatars, perhaps in hopes of pruning their passing skills. So far, I've met only one RL black person with a black avatar (and one other RL white person with a black avie like me).

My black/black friend tells me that she senses no real difficulty in getting acquainted with other residents, but does confess to being ignored if she merely stands about. My other, black/white, friend reports an experience similar to my own, having switched from a white avie to a black one and noticing immediately that she became invisible by comparison to her previous online incarnation.

Second Life is perhaps the whitest environmet I've ever experienced, and the most middle-class: I'm hard pressed to recall a single conversation with an undeucated resident. By and large, everyone is playing, and everyone has a fairly healthy bank account, as the basic costs of entry - even for a free account - are dictated by some rather pricey computing paraphernalia. Everyone is concerned with arts and science, and speaks with pride about information technology; everyone likes to learn; everyone believes in progress. It is, literally, an online white suburban paradise.

For me, the investigation goes on; I'll visit this topic again in a future column if my thinking should change. Meanwhile, I've decided to keep this avatar, rather than retire it following a period of experimentation. I think it's stunningly beautiful, and I don't mind at all if it puts some people off.

I doubt I would want to talk to them anyway. ®

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Racism in SL

Racism in SL PDF Print E-mail
Written by Catero Revolution   
Monday, 25 February 2008
Issues of identity in Second Life are complex and sometimes controversial. We don't just bring the good from First Life.

Haver Cole, Gianni Broda, Filthy Fluno, Daman Tenk and Colleen Desmoulins recently spoke with MetaNetwork News about their experience with racial identity in Second Life as non-caucasian avatars. Each of these five residents come from diverse real life backgrounds.

Haver Cole describes herself as a white girl from the midwest. In Second Life she often chooses to wear a variety of skin tones. She notes when wearing darker skin products people speak and behave with reservation around her and are less likely to take time to understand her. Cole's skin choices are personal artistic.

Gianni Broda, owner and designer of Cashmere, a retro-glam clothing store, was once a dancer. A customer heckled her with lewd and demeaning racial slurs. Broda, who had previously been unaffected by any difference her avatar's skin color, was brought to a stark realization that day. Racism has the ability to cross into cyberspace.

Filthy Fluno has adopted an eccentric and wiley-haired African-American avatar to reflect the funky, fun, dark, messy qualities of the abstract artwork he sells in his first and second lives. As Fluno's real world heritage does not directly contain African roots he has been criticized and called a racist by some members of the black community. The artist maintains that anyone who calls him a racist doesn't know him and that he's open to passively enlighten accusers about his chosen identity.

Daman Tenk, writer for the Men's Second Style fashion resource, explained that he created his "Daman" persona as part of another MMORPG where he roleplayed with a "southern" characteristic prior to SL. Choosing a darker skin didn't take much thought as he feels it makes him distinct and unique. Though he has never directly encountered any overt racism, Tenk firmly believes that all forms of discrimination are simply unacceptable.

Colleen Desmoulins, co-owner of The Loft and works for the Metaversatility development company, has been hit close to home by racism in Second Life. She described an incident in which a friend expressed culturally insensitive views towards a dreadlocked hairstyle she was wearing at the time. She attributes his narrow-minded comments to his own ignorance in understanding the significance of dreadlocks in certain cultures.

She says, "As long as there is a minority or anything different than the norm there will be discrimination" ... "I have been called the 'n' word. What bothered me the most .... was that it was the boyfriend of one of my closest friends and she didn't think it was that big of a deal".

In an environment where being male, gender, color and species is easily changed, where one's features are carefully composed, intentionally styled and completely user-controlled should racism still be an issue?

The open-ended possibilities allow residents expression and exploration not be possible in First Life. But not everything changes from First to Second life.

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Surreal anti-racist demonstration in Second Life

Surreal anti-racist demonstration in Second Life

Wagner James Au sez, "After France's extreme right, anti-immigrant Front National opened an official HQ in Second Life, it was swarmed protests-- which quickly devolved into open war conducted with surreal weapons:"
And so it raged, a ponderous and dreamlike conflict of machine guns, sirens, police cars, "rez cages" (which can trap an unsuspecting avatar), explosions, and flickering holograms of marijuana leaves and kids' TV characters, and more... [T]he chat log was choked over with pro and anti-Le Pen curses, most in French. And when the lag was not too overwhelming to stream audio, the whole fracas was accompanied by bursts of European techno. One enterprising insurrectionist created a pig grenade, fixed it to a flying saucer, and sent several whirling into Front National headquarters, where they'd explode in a starburst of porcine shrapnel.
Link (Thanks, James!)

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Racism Major Problem on Second Life

I am establishing evidence that Second Life has a racism problem.


Normally Erika Thereian is blonde and California tan, an avatar hybrid of Jenny McCarthy and Pamela Anderson, nothing less than the archetypal white girl of the world's dreams. Recently her friend Chip Midnight asked her to model his latest "skin"-- not an unusual request, since Midnight is a long-established master in the creation of customized avatar skins that Residents make, buy, and wear, when they're going for a look that Linden Lab's avatar adjustment sliders can't achieve. She'd wear Chip Midnight's latest skin around Second Life to build up word of mouth, and generate sales. "I often throw her my new stuff to take for a spin," Midnight explains to me. "She's very social, so she's a good way to get feedback." Viral marketing at its most immersive.

But when she wore one of Chip's recent skins, it also became, as Erika tells me, "[A]lmost a Black like Me thing."

This is because the design Chip Midnight asked her to wear is a staggeringly attractive, astoundingly photo-realistic, young African-American woman-- something of a Serena Williams, say, set to 3D.

Many gasped in admiration, when Erika appeared in public in her Midnight skin. Some, however, did not.

"Well, I teleport into a region," she says, recounting a latter case. "Where a couple people [are] standing around.

"One said, 'Look at the n***** b****.'"

"Another said 'Great, they are gonna invade SL now.'"

I ask her if she filed an abuse report against them with Linden Lab, since racist speech is a patent violation of SL Community Standards.

She shrugs. "Better things for Lindens to worry about."

She spent three months in the skin of a black woman. Some of her friends shied away, she believes. Then there were the "guys that thought I was an easy lay, for lack of a better term. It scared me honestly, some of the assumptions made. Especially here where everything [in avatar appearance] is changeable with a click. I lost a couple of what I thought were good friends [who] stopped IMing and chatting. They were polite to a fault when I showed up, but [it] was weird. You know how you interact and something changes and no one tells you. Some were subtle, some weren't." She laughs without mirth, recalling how some friends would ask her questions such as, "'[L]ike, when you going back to being you?'"

As it happens, she's been through something like this phenomenon in her real life, where she is blonde, but racially, a large part Pottawatame Indian.

At school, she tells me, "They were always calling [American Indians] names and stereotyping. I would say I was Indian, to [which] some would laugh and others would say, 'But you're not like "them"'. It's sad in this time and place so little has changed. I am sad to say I think we just cover it better [but it] hasn't went away. Look at New Orleans. And most recently that skater in the Olympics."

She's since told some of her black friends about her experience in Midnight's skin. "And they were not surprised at how I was treated, at all." As it happened, some of them are also Residents of Second Life, and play as white avatars. "Some [of them] because there were no good black skins available," she explains. "Others because they felt more accepted that way."

And though she didn't alert the Lindens to the racist speech directed at her, she had street justice schemes of her own cooked up-- she waited for the right moment to spring one on the guy who aimed the hated racial epithet at her.

"[I] got even," she tells me, laughing. "Listen. I waited 'til he was with a group of his buds. I went in and thanked him for the wonderful sex, and left."

"Thanked him as a black lady, you mean?"

"You betcha," says Erika, chuckling. "They were congratulating him. 'Til he denied it most vehemently. Which got them asking 'Why'? Showed him for the bigot he was."

Which was really the larger lesson she learned, in her three months within Midnight's skin.

"Showed me who were good people and who were fakers," she says. "That is a good thing to know."

"Being black as the litmus test for the virtuous?" I suggest.

"Yes," Erika Thereian answers, smiling.

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Race in Second Life

Not Much out of Afica

Second Life's Sim Africa is pretty sad. It simply restates the white view of Africa, as seen in movies like the Lion King of Jungle Stories of a space without human history, a place of animals. Here and there some informaiton about AIDs is presented. So africa is constructed as either a land without human history or a place in need of white man's help: essentially the same view of African the motivated Victorian lang grabs and exploitation.

It would be nice to see a place that showed the vast cultural accomplisments and regions of Africa, providing some context to the series of problems for the visitor. But SL still lacks the teeth to confront members without anything hard, its pretty plastic.

I wish I could see these images in Seocnd Life, images of a rich culture that has influenced modern art and thinking:

Maya RL vs SL

Maya SL vs RL

Good bog SL

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Saturday, 29 March 2008

"Africa" in Second Life

Africa is invisioned as a wilderness, and place without culture. A visit to Europe is of castles and cities, but Africa is a land of wild animals in the imagination of the white man, and we see this image repeated in Second Life.

All and all not my best day in VR. Troubling to the max.

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Everything in RL is waiting for you in SL, including Racism

The friends of Flesher were evicted from an SL group for talking about the lack of African participation. In making a protest to the group this is the discourse that followed, it is a bit disturbing but is shows the degree that America's race conflict structures SL and it turning it sadly in to a white skinned universe.

[15:37] Rober1236 Jua: Wow
[15:37] Rober1236 Jua: Something fucked up just happened
[15:38] Roy Smashcan: SL worked?
[15:38] Zarita Shan: ;p;
[15:38] Jomander Trefoil: Not likely that
[15:38] Zarita Shan: lol
[15:39] Shylah Garmes tsks.
[15:39] Rober1236 Jua: Nicholas Garrigus and Lapin Paris
[15:40] Rober1236 Jua: Nicholas Garrigus and Lapin Paris
[15:40] Rober1236 Jua: just banned me and someone else for talking about the conditons in Africa
[15:40] Rober1236 Jua: I have post a text of the conversation to the web
[15:40] Rober1236 Jua: its pretty scary
[15:40] Lapin Paris: Mr Jua.
[15:40] Kacy Despres: huh?
[15:40] Rober1236 Jua: is there a neo-nazi element to the steam-punk movement sitting under the surface
[15:40] Lapin Paris: you are behaivning a juvenile manner
[15:41] Lapin Paris: Kindly stop your irrational behavior
[15:41] Violet Schnabel: You have a personal axe to grind , Mr Jua
[15:41] Alora Pfalz: does it have to be announced in a chat please stop using the chat forum
[15:41] Shylah Garmes: then I would take that as a hint that both your language and your topic of conversation need improving
[15:41] Violet Schnabel: take it off this channel now
[15:41] Rober1236 Jua: improving?
[15:41] Shylah Garmes: good day sir
[15:41] Rober1236 Jua: as in not talking about africa
[15:42] Lapin Paris: lol
[15:42] Rober1236 Jua: I have never see rascism in SL before
[15:42] Linnea Harsley: As in not talking about off-topic things, I would assume.
[15:42] Nicholas Garrigus: I've reported you once tonight for personally calling me a racist Mr Jua, you are now calling everyone in the group a fascist,
[15:42] Alora Pfalz: the people have spoken now taken take it on a one on one level please
[15:42] Rober1236 Jua: Of topic this is about how the group bans people
[15:42] Rober1236 Jua: I am saying the group does have rascist elements
[15:42] Rober1236 Jua: I have the full text of the conversation
[15:43] Rober1236 Jua: I can post it here if anyone would like
[15:43] Rober1236 Jua: I have posted it publically as well
[15:43] Linnea Harsley: I wouldn't mind having it IMed to me personally.
[15:43] Alora Pfalz: no!
[15:43] Rober1236 Jua: It is a discussion of the impact of poverty on Africa
[15:43] Lapin Paris: me too
[15:43] Jomander Trefoil: You may find racist RP, which fits the period Caledon is set in. I don't think you will find real racists talking ooc
[15:43] Linnea Harsley: But I would mind the whole group getting it.
[15:43] Rober1236 Jua: and the lack of African input into the SL
[15:44] Lapin Paris: This is an event to help stop cancer Mr Jua
[15:44] Rober1236 Jua: When discussion of conditions in Darfur and Kenya cause deletion from a group
[15:44] Lapin Paris: You are a Cancer Racist!
[15:44] Rober1236 Jua: that is rascism
[15:44] Shylah Garmes: Lapin, if objecting to vulgarity and rudeness makes us racists, ...
[15:44] Rober1236 Jua: some of the comments made here following up are disturbing
[15:44] Rober1236 Jua: What vulgarity
[15:44] Rober1236 Jua: what vulgarity?
[15:45] Rober1236 Jua: Please site examples?
[15:45] Rober1236 Jua: The Lady and Myself were at our best manors
[15:45] Rober1236 Jua: I can site
[15:46] Lapin Paris: YOu guys , I would suggest just closing off The dark Vic chat until this guy leaves
[15:46] Alora Pfalz: yes please
[15:46] Marckus Mendes: can u people kindly take your conversation elsewhere? u are ruining my saturday afternoon
[15:46] Shylah Garmes snugs Ms Paris
[15:46] Rober1236 Jua: Ruining your saturday afternoon
[15:47] Rober1236 Jua: that
[15:47] Linnea Harsley: That is what he said.
[15:47] Rober1236 Jua: did you really just write taht
[15:47] Linnea Harsley: This is not a debate group, it's an enjoyment group.
[15:47] Rober1236 Jua: wow
[15:47] Roy Smashcan: Sheesh, can't we have better trolls than this?
[15:47] Rober1236 Jua: wow
[15:47] Rober1236 Jua: you could always mute me
[15:47] Rober1236 Jua: I just cant believe what I am reading
[15:48] Alora Pfalz: ooh good idea
[15:48] Jomander Trefoil: I can't believe it's not butter
[15:48] Linnea Harsley: What, that people want to enjoy themselves? Send me the thing already if you aren't making it up.
[15:48] Alula Boccaccio: *Shoots self*
[15:48] Linnea Harsley: Directed toward Mr. Jua, not you others.
[15:49] Roy Smashcan: In the old days on Usenet, we had proper trolls...
[15:49] Mordecai Scaggs: Sir, whatever your greivances, this is not a forum for political debate, so please take your worthy cause to the proper forums in Sl. There have been activities in Sl designed to raise awareness about the terrible situation there, but this is not one of them.
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Back to Africa

The racial prejudices of the European Project in Second Life, and technical abilities to ban people from spaces. We are actually banned from the group Dark Victory for a few statements about race.

We return to an Africa, which in SL as in all the west is invisioned as nature.

As for whie we were evicted from the Dark Victoria Sim, we had the following conversationw with some people

[14:43] Marcus Tairov: Welcome Mr. Jua.
[14:43] Autopilotpatty Poppy: Hell Miss Hykova
[14:43] Damyn Janick: Greeting Mr. Jua and Miss Hykova
[14:43] You: Greetings all
[14:43] Marcus Tairov rummages for his glasses, can't see well
[14:43] Autopilotpatty Poppy: I missed both of them for a bit
[14:43] Autopilotpatty Poppy: lol
[14:43] Violet Schnabel: Hello Miss Hykova and Mr Jua
[14:44] Autopilotpatty Poppy: I don't believe we've met, Miss Hykova of Mr.Jua
[14:44] Marcus Tairov: Ahh much better
[14:44] LadyGray Hykova: Well then it is a unique honour
[14:44] Khannea Suntzu is Offline
[14:44] LadyGray Hykova: Mr Jua here has been good enough to be my escort here
[14:44] Minna Kurka is Offline
[14:44] Marcus Tairov: A few folks get together and soon, we have a party!
[14:44] Autopilotpatty Poppy: oh wonderful
[14:44] LadyGray Hykova: I am not a regualr visitor to these area
[14:44] Autopilotpatty Poppy: I do recall hearing you speak about Africa?
[14:45] LadyGray Hykova: I am an African Princess
[14:45] LadyGray Hykova: Jua here is my servant
[14:45] Marcus Tairov: Actually this is my first time up this high in Tanglewood. I had no idea all of this was here
[14:45] Autopilotpatty Poppy: oh my goodness an this is but one of about 35 sims that make up Caledon
[14:45] Autopilotpatty Poppy: It's a pleasure to meet you both
[14:45] You: Yes one could say I am almost her slave
[14:45] Damyn Janick: I wiwsh to visit Afric soon Miss Hykova, I have heard wonderful things
[14:45] LadyGray Hykova: Thank you very much
[14:46] LadyGray Hykova: It is the Mother of Culture
[14:46] Autopilotpatty Poppy: I believe there are two Africa sims, if I'm not mistaken
[14:46] LadyGray Hykova: the source of the Nile
[14:46] LadyGray Hykova: 2 Africas?
[14:46] Autopilotpatty Poppy: yes, such a beautiful country
[14:46] LadyGray Hykova: There are a million Africas
[14:46] Marcus Tairov: I haven't had a chance to journey to Africa...however, I have seen India.
[14:46] Autopilotpatty Poppy: oh dear... ?
[14:46] Autopilotpatty Poppy: I didn't know
[14:47] LadyGray Hykova: Another colony of your Queen Victoria
[14:47] LadyGray Hykova: and here Steam Empire]
[14:47] LadyGray Hykova: In her Kingdom I am just a guess
[14:48] Autopilotpatty Poppy: I see. very ineresting, indeed
[14:48] Marcus Tairov: Oh but even though we have respect for Her Majesty, Caledon is very much..independent
[14:48] You: My lady you are so much more than that
[14:48] Steel cane (No over-the-shoulder pose): 3666 bytes free
[14:48] LadyGray Hykova: Whit skin and neo-gothic builds are always the substance of the wealth of ruling the world
[14:49] LadyGray Hykova: I poud point out that few Africans can ever come here
[14:49] Marcus Tairov: If you have any respect for Victorian, or for steampunk, or art and culture in any form, then you are all ready part of Caledon.
[14:49] LadyGray Hykova: thus my dress
[14:49] Autopilotpatty Poppy: do you have a landmark you'd care to share LadyGray?
[14:49] LadyGray Hykova: II am landless here
[14:49] LadyGray Hykova: there is an American in SL
[14:49] LadyGray Hykova: There is a vision of Victorian England
[14:50] LadyGray Hykova: but no Africa
[14:50] Marcus Tairov: Thats what is good about Caledon, you don't need land to be part of it
[14:50] LadyGray Hykova: Africa tonight is silent
[14:50] LadyGray Hykova: no part of the net
[14:50] LadyGray Hykova: that is why I mourn
[14:50] You: My lady is serious about problems
[14:50] Marcus Tairov: Then you should change that Miss Hykova
[14:50] Damyn Janick: Miss, there are those of us who mourn for that as well
[14:50] Beq Janus is Offline
[14:50] Damyn Janick: and wish to change it
[14:50] You: but perhaps these creative people do not have the power to change things
[14:51] LadyGray Hykova: I will have to look
[14:51] Marcus Tairov: Not at that level, but everyone has the power to make change.
[14:51] Damyn Janick: Africa is no less a part of the world than Vicotrian England
[14:51] LadyGray Hykova: But as for Afric on the web
[14:51] Autopilotpatty Poppy gave you Africa, Africa (47, 209, 22).
[14:51] Marcus Tairov: A whisper on the wind can make a world
[14:51] You: why thank you
[14:51] Autopilotpatty Poppy: yvw
[14:51] LadyGray Hykova: It is a dark place for electircity
[14:51] Marcus Tairov: Thank you for the landmark.
[14:51] LadyGray Hykova: people struggle to eat
[14:51] Autopilotpatty Poppy: yw
[14:51] Damyn Janick: ty
[14:52] You: I think what the lady hopes to say it that we should all be aware of how race is forming SL
[14:52] You: what races have access to the resources to be here
[14:52] You: class, race and history form SL
[14:52] Marcus Tairov: Greetings Miss LeFavre and Miss Cleanslate
[14:52] Damyn Janick nods
[14:52] Gwynna Cleanslate: good evening
[14:52] Gwynna Cleanslate: !
[14:52] LadyGray Hykova: Thank you I am not so diplomatic
[14:52] Violet Schnabel nods
[14:52] Anouk Lefavre: Greetings!
[14:53] Fauve Aeon: good evening Miss Cleanslate, hello again Miss Lefavre
[14:53] Autopilotpatty Poppy: Ah... I believe that all races have equal access to SL resources. It is an amazing world we have chosen to be a part of and most of us are hoping it will help heal the wounds of the world
[14:53] SumatraBouffant Beaumont is Offline
[14:53] Anouk Lefavre smiles
[14:53] Autopilotpatty Poppy: Hello again Miss Lefavre
[14:53] Anouk Lefavre: Hello again Ms. Aeron!
[14:53] Anouk Lefavre: Hello Ms. Poppy!
[14:53] You: I fear that access is better in America, the EU, and Japan
[14:53] Autopilotpatty Poppy: Hello Gwynna, nice to see you again
[14:54] You: Few people in Africa can come to this place
[14:54] Damyn Janick nods politely to Miss Lafavre and Miss Cleanslate
[14:54] Autopilotpatty Poppy: very much so
[14:54] Autopilotpatty Poppy: Yes, I agree with you there Mr. Jua
[14:54] You: Do you think Kenya has good broadband
[14:54] You: or Darfur has many PCs
[14:54] Dender Dinzeo is Online
[14:54] Marcus Tairov: It is. People in Africa need food and shelter before they can have a computer and the infrastructure needed for it.
[14:54] Autopilotpatty Poppy: no, I'm sure they don't
[14:54] You: children hope to go to school to lean
[14:54] You: Yes
[14:54] Autopilotpatty Poppy: yes
[14:54] Damyn Janick: and yet why are we here?
[14:55] LadyGray Hykova: Africas need will keep if frm this palce
[14:55] LadyGray Hykova: this place that is gorwing so fast it will be
[14:55] Damyn Janick: because we are missing that sense of community that many Africans have
[14:55] LadyGray Hykova: Jua what is that word you use?
[14:55] You: A singluarlity my lady
[14:55] Marcus Tairov: There are many groups even in SL that generate benifits to assist Africa
[14:55] LadyGray Hykova: Yes a singularity with white skin
[14:55] Marcus Tairov: benefits that is.
[14:56] Autopilotpatty Poppy: yes.. that landmark I gave you is used only for generating funds to help African children
[14:56] You: I do not believe the lady says that people who are lucky enough to live in the US or EU
[14:56] You: do not care for Africa or are bad people
[14:56] You: they just have access where others don't
[14:56] Marcus Tairov: Our New Years Eve benefit, all of it, went to give homes to folks in Africa in fact.
[14:56] You: That is most admirable
[14:57] You: The problems are not with the goodness of people here
[14:57] You: of which I think highly
[14:57] You: but social forces beyond our control
[14:57] You decline Quadrapop Tree, The Canopy, Pelinor (183, 139, 46) from A group member named quadrapop Lane.
[14:57] You decline Octaine Finale - Wild Animal Print Contest from A group member named quadrapop Lane.
[14:57] You decline New Group/Neue Gruppe from A group member named Elsa Helgerud.
[14:57] Marcus Tairov: Yes.
[14:57] Autopilotpatty Poppy: at the AFtrica Africa sim... I believe they have held 3 huge events since it opened this year and it continues yet today. It's a wonderful place to visit and to learn a bit about the needs of the children there
[14:57] LadyGray Hykova: I only wnat people to be awa of what is happening
[14:57] Beq Janus is Online
[14:58] Marcus Tairov: I agree.
[14:58] LadyGray Hykova: aware
[14:58] Autopilotpatty Poppy: yes, of course
[14:58] Autopilotpatty Poppy: It is good that you can get out and about and do this important work, LadyGray
[14:58] You: Yes we have to think about the social part of this wonderful place we are all building
[14:59] Autopilotpatty Poppy: indeed....

This lead to our eviction and banning by two individuals:

Nicholas Garrigus


Lapin Paris

Both refuse to explain why, but its a sad sign of how rascists are gain influence in space in Second Life, determined to make it say and sound as it wants.

I have since read something of an account penned by Lapin Paris: it seems I am Hitler.
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Black and White in Europe

The make a grand tuor of Europe, and each struggles with the legacy of the place on him. He ofcourse has a great deal of pride, here is enacted the mastery of his race. But for her this is something side, there are the structures of a people who split the world between black and white and place white before black.

The African woman has the great honour of meeting Zoe Collony.

They are now in the end the Friends of Flesher. What splits them is overcome by their determination to not make virtual reality a place of enslaves sleves!!!!

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Who Owns a Sign??

The sailing ship, a symbol of quaint American. I used to go to see these things as a child on vacation. Each year I see the Mystic Seaport and the ships do impress me as a symbol of accomplishment, the most lovely devices every for moving upon the sea.

OM International, Nantucket (96, 173, 25)

But step back for a moment as see the symbol from a different context; that of a African American. These ships are a tragic symbol of cultural destruction and human suffering. Thinking about it I have never seen an African American family visiting one of these ships, I am sure many do and think nothing of it, but it is possible to see how from the African context these ships have a different meaning and a different reality.

And thats the thing about reality, someone owns it. Virtual reality is be constructed by people who own a set of symbols, own a history, own a reality. It is being constructed from an American white perspective and it. I would love to see more views coming in.

Thanks I Think

A message from Linden Labs

[17:37] Second Life: The asset cluster is now happy again, and we used the forced downtime to make some changes that should prevent this particular issue from happening again. All operations should work now.

Frankly I can't stand service providers who dumb it down in this way. Asset clusters can't be happy. Businesses seem to think that clever consumers want to be speak to in this way, and they don't. I remember Flickr after it censored access to all German speaking users and many in Asia, responding to civil liberties concerns they turned the site in to an endless statement about how much they "loved" you. Yahoo loves you so much they censor you.

Linden Labs genius is the treat residents a grown ups, in Web 2.0 the population is the content and you should treat them always like smart adults and not children.

American Civil War Museum of the Confederacy

American Civil War Museum of the Confederacy

Promises "Confederate Museum offering a view of the American Civil War from the Southern perspective" but is in fact an empty building, maybe some is making a cute statement about the war to protect slave holding.

Second Life: The Creation will not be televised

Hermitage of The Holy Cross, Bristow (22, 63, 43)

Thought this is a new region of Second Life lots of designers are busy creating the "reality infrastructure" like this church. That is the amazing event that is happening right now in Second Life and not really being reported. The MSM has three stories about second life:

1. Man cheats on wife in Second Life
2. Second Life economy is in bust
3. People play out sex with children in Second Life.

I see this story told again and again and I think one can be a bit critical of Linden Labs for not presenting to the public the case for Second Life. The defense of Second Life I see again and again is that helps people with disability have a richer social life. That is a nice point but somewhat limited.

What I see happening right in Second Life is an establish population of first colonists, founders if you like are taking advantage of the free framework that is Second Life's government and Linden Labs genius to rapidly produce a structure of reality. They are developing it much faster than any company could ever hope to. Its a revolution going on and I don't see Linden Labs articulating it.

Again my email is rhooker1236(AT SIGN) I would love to talk.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Remeber is Science Friday every Friday in Second Life

Join host Ira Flatow for NPR's weekly science news program, broadcast live on national radio and Second Life 11 AM- PM Fridays.

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As far as I am concerned Drama is what makes Second Life more than a mass shopping mall. Cervantes was pure Drama and he is my model in Second Life.
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Good and Evil merge in Second Life, and it says no drama

**CLUB INDUSTRY OPEN 24 HOURS** , Amberville (187, 83, 24)

Club Industry utterly rocks!!!!
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End of Gray Lag

The new Windlight has changed the color of lag to Blue

Official Linden Blog