Refueled

I’ll warn you right now:  this is probably going to turn into one of those “damn, I haven’t posted anything in awhile” kind of posts.  Well, as Johnny Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” and, without getting into too much detail for an SL blog, I’ve gotten that, in spades, doubled and redoubled.

The Gin Rummy has adapted to the new anti-gambling policies in SL fairly well…we had to ditch our old faithful Sploder, but quick-thinking manager Samaria Martynov located a replacement, the “Party Popper,” which is, as far as I can tell, 100% legal under the new rules.  It bases its payouts, not on random chance, but on the proportions of votes players receive during a “voting phase” following the closure of entries after a time limit.  (The voting phase itself is time-limited; only players can vote, and a player must vote to share in the pot.)  In effect, it’s like our contest board in miniature, and it definitely plays as fast as the Sploder did…and the fact that its outcome is not based on random chance sidesteps the anti-gambling policy.  We won’t be able to get around the restricted-content requirement, if and when it becomes a full-fledged policy requirement, quite so easily…though I do wonder what, exactly, this requirement is for.  LL claims it’s to “restrict access to content that is inappropriate to minors,” but, by definition, minors aren’t even supposed to be on the Main Grid!  (Yes, we all know that there are some that are…that doesn’t change the “LL speaking with forked tongue” aspect of this policy.)  The only way this would make any sense is if LL decides to fold the Teen Grid into the Main Grid, which nobody even claims is in the offing…or if, perhaps, LL is going to embark on some sort of major marketing push into Saudi Arabia and Iran.  Hey, it could happen…

Perhaps related to that last quip I just made is the advent of the Al-Andalus Caliphate sims, as reported in Second Life Insider.  This is supposed to be a set of sims run as a private government (the way the Confederation of Democratic Sims runs theirs, for instance), but based on Muslim culture and Shari’a law.  As someone who has been keeping an eye on the actions of Muslims around the world ever since September 11, 2001, this raised a few warning bells in my subconscious.  It’s been well documented how Muslim enclaves in Real Life, both in Europe and the U.S., have successfully lobbied for more and more special treatment, or intimidated others into giving them special treatment.  (Recent case: Oak Lawn, IL school districts are considering banning Christmas celebrations because they offend Muslims…right after having removed all pork from their cafeteria menus.)  Will the same thing happen in SL?  They say not; they claim to be basing the community on 13th-century Moorish Alhambra, one of the high points of Muslim civilization, not the more modern, fundamentalist views (Wahabbism and similar) that are more prevalent today.  Yet I am mindful of the Muslim doctrines of taqiyya and kitman, which, briefly stated, deem it acceptable, even praiseworthy, for a Muslim to lie to an “infidel,” if doing so helps advance the cause of Islam.  Are the organizers of this community telling us the whole truth?  And, even if they are, isn’t a community such as they propose kind of an expression of these doctrines in its own right, by putting a “friendly face” on Islam that does not correspond to reality in this day and age?  I’m not ready to condemn the effort out of hand…but it bears watching carefully.  Very carefully.  And at least one communication I’ve received since expressing sentiments similar to these in comments over on SLI gives me the distinct impression that I’m not alone in believing this way…

Not all is doom and gloom though.  The establishment of the Second Life Grid project and the introduction–finally!–of Havok 4 physics, at least on the Beta Grid, give one hope for the future of SL as a platform.  (And it’s rumored that HTML-on-a-prim may not be long in following…good Lord ‘n’ butter, am I dreaming?)  And voice, while it has had some effect on SL, doesn’t seem to have been nearly the disruptive force it might have been.  (I’ve used it, at least the voice IM/conference mode, a number of times.  It works, but it seems to be neither better nor worse than Skype for those purposes.)  Of course, the closure of Ginko Bank has affected the advice I just gave out in my previous posting about managing cashflow; boy, does that make me look silly. 🙂  Fortunately, I had only a few hundred Lindens affected by the closure, though I’m still looking around for a good replacement for cashflow management…perhaps Apez is it; I’ll have to look more closely.

Hopefully, it won’t be another two months before the next entry on these pages.  It’s certainly time to shift back into gear, put the pedal down, and get back on the road…

Oh, I’m drivin’ my life away, lookin’ for a better way… – Eddie Rabbitt

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3 Comments

Filed under Business, Current Events, Meta, Philosophy

3 responses to “Refueled

  1. The content flagging would probably be most useful on the Main Grid for those who don’t want to accidently find themselves in an explicit parcel, especially if they have issues with sexual addiction and such where being there would trigger them to act out.

    Alternatively, and probably more likely, is that it’s a means for LL to cover their tails in the event of a suit over content (“it’s not our problem, go after the resident that failed to flag their parcel!”).

  2. Daniele Rossi

    Obviously you didn’t make an accurate research about the Al-Andalus project before writing about it. As a consequence of this, you did a lot of mistakes in this article.

    While not hiding the project controversy, these two articles explain quite well the project:
    http://virtuallyblind.com/2007/09/13/al-andalus-caliphate-opens/
    http://www.slnn.com/index.php/article/about/alandulus/page/2.html?sid=NRjBVjUNGegjoaEp

    Also, I find your take about Muslims unacceptable.

  3. With all due respect, Ms. Rossi, I find the Muslims’ take on me–and on you, assuming you’re non-Muslim–unacceptable. The avowed goal of Islam is the complete domination of the world, by force if necessary. Look up the terms dhimmi and dhimmitude, and see what they have in mind for you and me…assuming, of course, they don’t kill us outright. A full discussion of these points would be far too lengthy for the comments here; instead, I recommend you read Islam 101; it’s quite enlightening.

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