Archive for January 2007
That’s what Gwyneth does over in a comment on Capitalism 2.0. But what both actually miss: yes, capitalistic economies are indeed pyramid schemes. That’s how capitalism works – by ripping off the masses to get property for only a few. It’s rather sad that economic classes don’t seem to teach that any more – it’s something Marx documented quite nicely in his books which were part of economic classes at some times as far as I can tell. Even if you don’t believe his conclusions of his work, it’s still a good idea to read his stuff to know about the inherent problems of capitalism. Because even if you despise the idea of communism (or – like me – think that any ideology that builds on the idea of ppl being educated enough to act non-egoistical is plain and simple doomed due to the inherent stupid nature of mankind) – the problems in capitalism won’t go away magically. There is no Captalism-Fairy with some sprinkling money-dust.
There is a good reason why many countries in europe switched to a limited capitalistic economy quite some time ago – that’s nothing to do with thinking Socialism is a good way, but everything to do with preventing actual Socialism from getting any ground. I allways crack up laughing when I see some .us blogger talk about the socialistic European Union – it’s completely silly, since the EU is allmost entirely capitalism-driven. Yes, they took up some rather dumb ideas from socialistic governments – like the planned agriculture with actual multi-year-planning (which is just doomed to fail, since our future prediciting abilities are just not there). I never said I don’t crack up laughing at the dumbasses in Brussels, too. But fact is, the EU is driven by neo-liberal ideas for years and business-lobby-driven as much as the american government.
And there are a lot of reasons why the current destruction of social structures and benefits in Europe produce so much problems in those countries. There is a big rich/poor gap that gets bigger every year and that will produce social problems over time far beyond what we now allready have, if no counter measures are taken. Pyramid schemes can only carry you so far, after all, before the angry crowd gets to you …
So – Second Life economy is a pyramid scheme? So what – the whole world (discounting some faked communism and some die-hard dictatorships who just plain don’t count in the over-all world economy. And yes, I don’t think China even counts as faked communism any more) is like that, too.
The shady side of Second Life talks about how the shit hits the fan at furnation. Looks like the furnation owner accepted money from dubious source (allthough the dubiosity wasn’t directly visible to him) and got pulled that money by Lindenlab. The things that make me angry is how LL handled the affair – without any good information for the FurNation owner and without giving at least enough information out to allow him a legal recourse against the frauder. But as sad as it is – and the possible outcome of FurNation stopping to exist is a sad outcome in my book! – it highlights something that I keep in my head since my dad told me: whenever someone proposes something to you that sounds too good to be true, it isn’t true. Sorry, but someone offering millions of L$ might sound tempting – but I wouldn’t take that money without really deep knowledge of that other person.
Interesting in the open letter is the analysis of the ToS for SL. Everbody should read that part at least and think about what it means to their content and their activity. It’s targeting the same direction as the Bragg vs. Lindenlab lawsuite – the rather funny way the ToS defines your own rights away out of the picture. I think LL should really start and address those concerns in the ToS, because a system built on user-content should give those content creators and content owners a few rights, too. Especially under the platform aspect that is nowadays hailed by Phillip – I never heard any web service provider claiming ownership of the data on the machines. I never heard them to be able to define the ownership of the original creator as void.
And really, the silly “L$ has no real value” has to go one day, because if you set up a micropayment system and propose it’s usefulness for real busines, you can’t just define it without real value – people tend to do businesses for real values and not for monopoly money.
What this all shows to me is that even if LL is reaching the platform status on the technical level, it is far from the platform status on social and legal value. There is a lot of work to be done there, too, I think. The current state of the ToS isn’t addressing the platform – it’s addressing the game. So if Phillip stops talking game and starts talking platform, it is only logical for residents to ask him to stop acting game and start acting platform, too.
Fortune says Second life goes open source – nothing on the SL blog, yet, but man, if that’s what it sounds, I am all for it (and there even is allready a site for it set up, and it’s the plain, good, old GPL! Yay!). Being an old GNU (going back to GPLed stuff still under DOS in the 80s – mostly doing porting work for several GPLed projects back then) this is something that makes me happy. Open Source is not the fix for every problem – and doesn’t automatically say you get a community around your software. But just thinking about the possibility to grab the source and try to dig in to find an annoying problem yourself, that’s definitely appealing to me.
Sure, a lot of people will start to whine and bash their heads on the table and tear their hair out and the end of the grid is near, news at eleven. But quite frankly, reality tells a different tale in so many projects – especially of the infrastructure kind – that I have highest hopes on this one, too. Yes, I am – cautiously, because we will have to see what open source means in the context of Lindenlab (especially in the way how you can contribute back) – excited.
From Ban on photographs in open sim? – Second Life Insider the following excerpt of a notecard you get on the kokomo sim (isn’t that the sim where the Old Salts Pub is located?):
“RECORDING, FILMING AND STILL PHOTOGRAPHS are strictly prohibited without first obtaining a written release from OKPride.Net LLC and any such infraction of this policy will be considered copyright infringement and pursued using all available resources in a real world court of law.”
Now that’s a weird idea – prohibiting photographs in a sim that’s open to the public, where you can just enter – and enter anywhere you want, even if you enter somewhere else than where the notecard giver is located. A sim, where events are held, where ppl are invited to – and all they shouldn’t be allowed to take photographs?
Ok, it might be meant that any recording from companies or businesses for commercial activities are prohibited, but that private photography is allowed – but then, why don’t they write that?
If it’s meant as it is written, it’s the most stupid stunt a company (LLC is a form of small corporation, with limited liabilities of board members – a bit like the german “GmbH”) could take in a virtual world like Second LIfe.
Update: yep, it’s the same sim, run by the same CaveCub Milk, as reported in an update in the Insider. I thought about writing a bit more, but well, lets just shorten it to “I am not astonished at all for this coming from that direction”.