Friday, 28 September 2007

Free Tee-shirt - FREEDOM FOR BURMA

In RL and SL, wear red to show solidarity with the brave people in Burma fighting for their freedom. In world, contact HiggleDpiggle Snoats for a free copy.

Aung San Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for 18 years. Cry Freedom for democracy!

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Monday, 24 September 2007

The Gift...

Dalinian Bing and I met up as a result of the planned IBM strike. I mentioned during our chat, that the SLLU is in the process of creating a freebie shop.Coincidentally it turns out she had written this article and it dovetails fantastically with the philosophy SLLU are trying to promote in Secondlife with the freebie store. Dalinian wrote the article, "Partly for newbies, who dash around asking "How can I get L$s???" and "Where can I get a job??? The other motivation was to challenge folks' idee fixe that SL 'must' be like RL, financially, and that appreciating the Gift Economy aspects of SL by experience, might start changing their economic relations IRL."

“A Gift Economy for Second Life”

Photos by Dalinian Bing and Plot Tracer, article by Dalinian Bing.

The gift economy idea seems very well suited to Second Life, in that it should allow all residents to enjoy the widest possible range of useful, artistic and fun items, from Animations to Textures, avatars to zebras, collaborative artworks to cubic zirconia, Alfa Romeos to Omega watches. [1] And the social benefits come as a free added bonus, from the satisfaction of donating time, attention and creativity to the community, via the encouragement of international cooperative collaboration and solidarity, to the money-free stress-free circulation of free-to-all items.

"The first step toward a sustainable sense of success is taking pride in the value of our contributions to others rather than taking pride in the value of our possessions."

Gifford Pinchot [2]

Many of the limitations of first life gift economies arise because the 'cost' of duplicating a useful item has usually been around the same as creating the original item. For instance, the labour and materials that go into making another chair like the one you just finished making are pretty much identical. But technological advances (especially in information technology) mean that some item duplication costs are falling rapidly, often to a trivial amount. For instance, the quantity of labour time invested in projects like Linux or OpenOffice software is huge, but the copy you have on your computer's hard disc probably 'cost' no more than the price of a DVD-R or the time needed to download it from the web.

Making a copy of a useful, artistic or fun item in Second Life is simple, easy and 'cost' free to the residents of Second Life -- copy-and-paste inside your Inventory, or drag from your Inventory and drop on another resident's avatar (or on the 'Drop inventory item here' box in their Profile). And in principle, making any item as free to copy as possible is simple and easy to do too: just make sure the item and each of its component items have three Properties boxes ticked: 'Allow anyone to copy', 'Next owner can: Copy' and 'Next owner can: Resell/Give away'. And I highly recommend the socially creative benefits of ticking the 'Next owner can: Modify' box as well -- to paraphrase Isaac Newton, "If I have created further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants".

"Let's all change the world in SL and RL by helping each other!"

Brett Dumont [3]

Gift Economies in First Life: Three Examples

> Health care provision -- blood banks and organ donation systems

> Regiving networks -- such as the Freecycle Network: "a grassroots movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns" [4]

> Parties -- small-scale, temporary gift economies, where food, drinks, entertainment and a gathering place are provided freely, with all party goers making their own contribution

Information Gift Economies in First Life: Three Examples

> Scientific research -- where scientists produce research papers and give them away through journals and conferences

> Wikipedia -- the web-based collaborative encyclopedia, constructed entirely out of gifts, which gives information freely

> Open-source software -- a community where programmers make their source code available, allowing anyone to copy and modify/improve the code (with obvious parallels to scripting in Second Life, and modify/copy/transfer items)

"Labor should not be sold like merchandise but offered as a gift to the community."

Che Guevara [5]

Gift Economies in Second Life: Seven Examples

> Freebies -- useful, artistic or fun items, freely given to the community of all residents, freely distributed between friends and by freebie outlets; try [Search] > Places tab > 'freebies' and Groups tab > 'freebies'

> Help groups -- where experienced residents volunteer time and attention to help others, especially newbies; for examples, try [Search] > Groups tab > 'help'

> Exchange groups -- where members freely give useful items to those who ask for them, and get them too; for example, 'Animation Exchange', 'Builders Exchange', 'Sculptie Exchange', 'Texture Exchange'

> Education groups -- dedicated to help residents learn more about the creative skills in Second Life; for example, 'Linden Script Tutorial Group', 'Second Life Learning'

> Tutorials and classes -- where residents experienced in particular aspects of Second Life (such as building, scripting, texturing) volunteer time and attention to teach others; for examples, try [Search] > Places tab > 'tutorials' and 'classes' and [Search] > Events tab > Category: Education (leave the Name/Desc: field empty and click on the [Search] button)

> Second Life Volunteer Program -- by which experienced residents volunteer time and attention to mentor others; see

> Open-source scripting and building -- where residents give freely of their skills, so that the whole Second Life community may benefit; usually done by including explicit copyleft statements [6] in accompanying Readme files or script comments, such as 'public domain', 'free to copy', or by reference to the GPL (GNU General Public License) [7] or a Creative Commons share-alike license. [8]

"In many cases information gains rather than loses value through sharing. While the [UD$ or L$] exchange economy may have been appropriate for the industrial age, the gift economy is coming back as we enter the information age."

Gifford Pinchot [9]

Unfortunately, for most new residents, the most likely first impression of Second Life is that it is like a microcosm of the entrepreneurial free-market money-based exchange economy, much beloved by the capitalist ruling classes and their right-wing politicians in first life. So instead of the free association of independent creators, the free production and circulation of free useful, artistic and fun items, and the social solidarity that a gift economy would encourage, most residents will take for granted that their Second Life will be saddled with the stresses that citizens suffer in first life within decadent capitalist economies: where can I get L$s?; where can I get a job, so I can work to earn a living wage?; how can I balance my income with my expenditure?; where can I get credit or a loan?; where am I going to live?; how will I ever afford to pay the rent?; will I get kicked out by the landlord?; how will I ever save enough L$s to buy land?; why is everything I want so expensive?; how can I protect my intellectual property rights?; why are so many environments blighted by large scale advertising?; why is there so much competition and so little cooperative collaboration?; how will I ever get enough L$s to buy all the possessions I need?; is being a worker in the sex industry my best option?; why am I being ripped off by scammers and snake oil salespeople?; is that the best way to get L$s?; how can I trust any other resident not to try ripping me off?; just why has the dog-eat-dog, 'every resident for themselves and the devil take the hindmost!' attitude I have to overcome daily in first life been imported into Second Life?

"To be clever enough to get a great deal of money, one must be stupid enough to want it."

George Bernard Shaw (or possibly G. K. Chesterton)

"As for being discontented, a man who would not be discontented with such surroundings and such a low mode of life would be a perfect brute. Disobedience, in the eyes of any one who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.”

Oscar Wilde [10]

Phew! Thankfully, there are also plenty of residents who have also seen through the multiple downsides of capitalist-mimicry in Second Life, or there wouldn't be such a huge range of useful, artistic and funny freebies already in circulation; so much social solidarity between friends and within groups; so much internationalism, transcending national and linguistic barriers with real-time translators like Babbler; so many good examples of gift economies in Second Life already; and just so many people really deriving fulfillment, enjoying free association, and actually having loads of fun despite of, rather than because of, the 'official' economy -- all without holding down a job, paying rent, balancing their budget, or chasing after the accumulation of ephemeral and virtual land, possessions and L$s.

"The decentralization of [peer-production] processes underlies agents’ capacity to retain a great degree of individual autonomy within the social interaction. This autonomy — to choose to participate, to select opportunities for action, and to act when the participant wishes and in the fashion that she chooses — is central to the informational advantage of peer-production efforts over firms."

Yochai Benkler [11]

I hope this goes some way to explaining why all the items I create in Second Life will be given away for free, and why I'll have as little to do with the 'official' economy as I possibly can. And why I'm really having a fulfilling, enjoyable, and fun-filled Second Life. I'd like to hope that if you can also see the great advantages of cooperating in a stress-free collaborative gift economy, rather than colluding with a stressful competitive 'official' economy, you'll maybe get involved with the 'Gift Economies in Second Life: Seven Examples' noted above, and freely donate your time, attention and modify/copy/transfer creations to our wonderful international community.

“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopia."

Oscar Wilde [12]

Share & enjoy, peace & love

Dalinian Bing

Comments & corrections, contradictions & criticisms, always welcome by IM or notecard.


[1] The gift economy idea -- see, for example:

[2] Gifford Pinchot, 'The Gift Economy':

[3] Brett Dumont, founder of the 'Help People!' group in Second Life

[4] Freecycle Network: See also:

[5] Cited in Lewis Hyde, 'The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property', 1983

[6] Copyleft statements:

[7] GNU General Public License:

[8] Share-alike license:

[9] Gifford Pinchot, idem

[10] Oscar Wilde, 'The Soul of Man Under Socialism',1891:

[11] Yochai Benkler, ' "Sharing Nicely": On shareable goods and the emergence of sharing as a modality of economic production':

[12] Oscar Wilde, idem


All the authors mentioned in NOTES above, Wikipedia, Aceius Hax for proofreading


'A Gift Economy Readme' is free to all to modify, copy and transfer to others under the Creative Commons "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0" copyleft license:

...where Attribution = 'Original by Dalinian Bing'

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Saturday, 22 September 2007


SLLU Exhibition - in collaboration with Luna Box

Watch the stream and then enter the building for the exhibition about worker exploitation in the past and now!

After you have been to the exhibition, please go to the Tribute Garden on the island to place your tribute to the exploited. Build ANY SUITABLE tribute you want and place it.

The Tribute Garden is at the top left of the island...

Interesting blog on "Workers Control"

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Friday, 21 September 2007


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Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Reply to Laura Gagliano

A reply to the interview with Laura Gagliano from second life resident and
Uruguayan, PastoraPier Ferrentino:

"I read your interview. It's really good, I really enjoyed it. But i think Laura
mixed our situtation with the Argentina situation, economically speaking.
It's not true that:

"The French energy company have bought the service for Uruguay.....

This is what happened in Argentina, when Menem (one person from the
right side of politics) was President. Here in Urguay in those years (1995) we
also had one neo liberal president (Luis Alberto Lacalle), but he
couldn't sell any of our amenities off, because the left parties (in the
government now) asked for a "referendum", and won the NO to the

In another part of the interview, Laura said that the owners of the
land are Europeans. I know quite a few Uruaguayans with land who have
European heritage, but a lot are Uruguayan 100%.

I really think the good times are arriving now for this part of the
world. I am sad for the Iraquis, for the USA population, and for all
the countries that are in war now, but here, finally, we are in peace
and growing up."

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Sunday, 16 September 2007


For your information:

Il primo sciopero virtuale al mondo e' stato sospeso in attesa della prossima riunione del Coordinamento Nazionale RSU IBM Italia
che avverra' il 24 settembre.
In tale data verranno decise tutte le iniziative
di supporto alla vertenza aziendale.

Tutte le ulteriori informazioni nella sezione

IMPORTANTE: per ricevere successive informazioni,
registratevi subito al sito
IMPORTANT: to receive further information, join the mailing list on the above website.

for contacts/info/join from outside Italy please write with urgence to

Dear Colleagues,

IBM workers will go on strike in SecondLife this month.

The plan is to get IBM strikers and union friends (you are all asked to
come!) to install SecondLife on their computers and get accustomed to using
their avatar before September 12th.

As of September 12th, all future strikers will be offered a "Strike Kit"
and instructions at UNI's house on the Commonwealth Island in SecondLife ( - - This link
only works if you've already installed SL).

For SL beginners, we will be offering:
1. Instructions to get started in SL on our website:
2. Training courses to use the Strike Kit, that will take place from
September 12th to September 16th at 9pm Rome, Italy time, at UNI's house in
SL (
Extra courses will be organised all day on the 12th, every hour from 9am to
9pm Rome, Italy time (

Thanks ahead of time for showing your solidarity and participating in this
first world virtual strike!
We'd appreciate if you pass the word on to your members, colleagues and

Finally, please also note UNI holds short meetings every Thursday in
SecondLife in its house on the Commonwealth Island at 10am and 4pm Rome,
Italy time, which all are welcome to attend.

Best regards,

UNI web in SL: "uniglobalunion oh"
UNI global union
8-10 ave Reverdil
1260 Nyon
Tel: +41 22 365 21 30
Fax: +41 22 365 21 21

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Friday, 14 September 2007

Luna Box - Laura and Krisp...

Plot Tracer Investigates the Luna Box Collective...

Krisp and Laura asked me to meet them on their Red Boat on their island of Montevideo. ( )

[13:26] Plot Tracer: aha - this red boat?

[13:26] Krisp Alexandre: yeap

[13:26] Krisp Alexandre: hello

[13:27] Plot Tracer: hi laura

[13:27] Laura Gagliano: hello;-)

[13:27] Plot Tracer: i like the boat!

[13:27] Krisp Alexandre: :-)

Laura had materialised in the sea just off the bay in which the Red Boat and their submarine sits. From my vantage point I could see the large exhibition centre of Luna Box and the SLLU “Exploited” Factory installation.

[13:27] Laura Gagliano: I always take a sea bath before interviews! Lol!

[13:27] Krisp Alexandre: :-p

[13:27] Plot Tracer: will we go aboard?

[13:27] Laura Gagliano: sure, lol;-)

[13:28] Laura Gagliano: i've been palying to the little barbies dolls for hours, lol;-)

I know Laura must have a busy real life as she has children… SL/RL – I have a lot of questions!

[13:28] Laura Gagliano: i want to go in my red boat ;-)

[13:28] Krisp Alexandre: :-)

On board, there is a fire burning in the middle of the boat, the fumes and smoke funnelled through the roof. Krisp and Laura sit side by side. They are a couple in RL as well as SL.

[13:29] Laura Gagliano: the journalist can take the nice Charlotte Perriand lounger!

I take my place in what seems like a psychiatrists lounger – am I to be the interviewed?

[13:29] Plot Tracer: i like this - what a great space!

[13:30] Laura Gagliano: this is gonna be my home when i'm older

[13:30] Laura Gagliano: lol

[13:30] Laura Gagliano: and rich;-)

[13:30] Krisp Alexandre: :-)

[13:30] Plot Tracer: your retirement home?

[13:30] Laura Gagliano: lol

[13:30] Laura Gagliano: what is retirement?;-)

I know what she means – Laura is a busy woman. She has been busy building Luna Box for most of the year – from the humble beginnings most people start with in SL – to the fantastic island it is now.

[13:30] Plot Tracer: ok will we start?

[13:30] Laura Gagliano: yup;-)

[13:31] Plot Tracer: The 'Exploited' exhibition seems to be drawing a lot of visitors so far - congratuations! and many thanks to Luna Box for agreeing to curate and host it. To begin with, can you give our readers some brief background information about how the idea for 'Luna Box' was conceived?

[13:31] Plot Tracer: don't worry about making long answers...

[13:31] Laura Gagliano: hehe, me? making long answers?;-) never! Lol!

[13:32] Laura Gagliano: Ah, it was conceived as a cooperative, a visual cooperative. A sort of alternative to free lancing and slavery. We are 4 in Rl, with various specialisations....web, modelling 3d, photography, rendering scenography....

and we work also with others perons, in network

[13:33] Plot Tracer: Who are the main avs involved?

[13:34] Laura Gagliano: inworld Krisp Alexandre, Saajuuk Bogomil, Neener Keats and me, for the real life and in sl, antib milo, wildo hoffman....

[13:34] Plot Tracer: And what was your vision behind creating this co-operative?

[13:35] Laura Gagliano: The cooperative is dedicated to communication, in many ways.....fictional as well. But in terms of contents, we are specialized in virtual exhibitions, culture, education in priority. We are in installation in Montevideo Rl...

[13:38] Plot Tracer: How else does Luna Box impact on your rl?

[13:38] Krisp Alexandre: euh....

Krisp is the quiet one of the partnership. Quiet, though skilled in his work – and very obviously politically dedicated to what they have created.

[13:39] Krisp Alexandre: meet some new peoples

[13:39] Laura Gagliano: and we really would like to cooperate with institutions. Luna Box is a reality;-) we are presents in second life to explore the potentialities of metaverses in terms of educational technologies.....

[13:39] Krisp Alexandre: and opening to other perspective in/out sl

[13:39] Laura Gagliano: at all nivels. And yes.....sure, to meet people with the same interests, exchange ideas....creativity.....

[13:40] Plot Tracer: cool

[13:40] Krisp Alexandre: yes... evolution

[13:40] Laura Gagliano: levels* nivels is a spano english word! Lol! sorry;-)

[13:42] Plot Tracer: np - that is great - that leads me on to this question - In RL, Laura, you make no secret of the fact you are from Uruguay but living in France. You were very prominent in the fight against Front National setting up in Second Life – in fact it was you and SLLU who helped to popularise this fight against the organisation of fascist groups in SL. What do you think of current French Politics?

[13:43] Laura Gagliano: Ah....the question would be what do I think about French society evolution.....

[13:43] Plot Tracer: yes

[13:44] Laura Gagliano: I think it's a society working at his own poorness.... economical and cultural- front National is just an epiphenomenon of the fact..... Also, I actually think that the actual president is a representation of something maybe worse than extremist and intolerant parties..... he's popularizing at a no return point, making official the same ideas in a light version..... but the audience is bigger.....

[13:46] Krisp Alexandre: honourable looking but same ideas than extreme right

[13:46] Laura Gagliano: sincerely....I'm happy to come back to Montevideo in a couple of months.....

[13:47] Plot Tracer: like blair - sarkozy an expert at spin?

[13:48] Laura Gagliano: But i cannot stop to think that is an inncredible waste, erosion of all a culture.....

[13:49] Plot Tracer: yes - i would nsay the same for the British culture - and especially the Scottish and working class cultures in the UK... Thatcher and then Blair have caused havoc....As a native of Montevideo, politically, what do you think of recent events on the South American continent?

[13:50] Laura Gagliano: Well.... it happens a lot of things there;-) South America popular and intellectual have ever been with a leftist sentiment..... it was one of the reasons of the Condor Operation in the past..... [see -]

[13:51] Laura Gagliano: But in a very different way of Europeans, just for historical reasons.... it have most the face of a search of freedom..... we've been colonies for a very long time, and the responses to that are locals also.....

[13:53] Plot Tracer: yes -as have the places i have lived - Ireland and Scotland. there is a "colony culture" don't you think?

[13:53] Laura Gagliano: personally.....i'm not a Chavez lover, for the simple reason that is a very authoritarian government..... More near of the politic of a Lula.... which with errors, almost desenvolve something..... it participes of a consciousness process.....not so bad. Yes ireland and Scottland sure.....;-)

[13:54] Plot Tracer: What has been the impact of SL in Uruguay?

[13:54] Laura Gagliano: maybe is for this reason that I’m living in Britain, before France lol! : the Uruguayan community in sl is very little.....but with some great talents...really..... but i think that the bigger interest of metaverses in south America is to use it like a resource for education.....

[13:58] Plot Tracer: yes - i agree with you on that point - i would say that is sl's greatest asset...

[13:58] Laura Gagliano: the worse problem is the matter of inexistence of individual it's necessarely to desenvolve the collectives and institutionals ones

[13:58] Plot Tracer: yes - and sl is now being seen more and more as a way to create financial gain...

[13:59] Plot Tracer: Do you think Uruguayans will be more into SL as more people come online - now capital in Uruguay is starting to be spread out to people because of fairer progressive tax laws (a friend of mine from Uruguay told me she was happy to see coin operated phones in her town recently – as these were a good sign that the economy was becoming steady)?

[14:00] Laura Gagliano: Well, sincerely, i've founded the reaction of Argentines workers very intelligent in many ways....

[14:00] Laura Gagliano: the matter is not the absence of capital, there's a lot of money in circulation in the Rio de la plata- is more to stop the run all around, and the localization of capitals.....most of them have NEVER been south American.....

[14:02] Plot Tracer: i dont understand you answer... what do you mean most of them have never been south American?

[14:03] Laura Gagliano: I mean they have never been possession of south American states, or private enterprises..... they're Europeans half a part

and USA for the rest.....The French energy company have bought the service for Uruguay..... etc.....

[14:04] Plot Tracer: there is a denial on their behalf of their south American ness? Do the majority not share the want of Simon Bolivar - a "united states of South America"?

[14:05] Laura Gagliano: Well, not really.....the big families who own the lands and fabrics where inmigrated here like colons.... and it don't have changed a lot;-)

[14:06] Plot Tracer: it is unusual for immigrants not to become part of the local culture...

[14:06] Laura Gagliano: just the terms , but it's the same mechanism..... and all is for sale to the bigger offer, lol

[14:07] Plot Tracer: yes - like all of the now neo-liberal world...

[14:08] Laura Gagliano: Yes....but curiously the 500 years {anniversary] of the discovering of America seems to have awaked some sentiments.... i'm happy of that

[14:08] Plot Tracer: cool

[14:08] Plot Tracer: ok.... moving away from politics a small way... Are family involved – and do many of your family understand or know about Luna Box and SL?

[14:09] Laura Gagliano: ah yes, for me everybody, knows almost. After.....who knows who understand what? lol

[14:10] Plot Tracer: do they "approve" - I ask as someone whose family don't see the value in sl as i do...

[14:11] Laura Gagliano: No, apart my grand mother, but she never have understood the value of a computer lol so it's normal

[14:11] Plot Tracer: cool

[14:11] Plot Tracer: how do you think Luna Box impacts on visitors rl’s?

[14:13] Laura Gagliano: Sincerely, like a link, a network.....I've meet really interesting people in Sl.... We're just trying to show parts of our realities, lol I’ve never believed in only one reality and it was a few years ago, i've never touched a computer yet, lol

[14:14] Plot Tracer: Do you feel sl is a different reality - or as lawyers have recently said - part of real life?

[14:15] Laura Gagliano: Both things;-) imagination is it part of reality, reality is it part of imagination, good question, lol we can stay since tomorow with, but....i'm not sure that is a special problem of metaverses and virtuality;-)

[14:17] Plot Tracer: yes - but i feel there are concrete - real - things here - relationships, communication, education and erm... money. My opinion is that the sub-reality of sl is secondary to these things... what do you think? And Krisp, what do you think?

[14:19] Krisp Alexandre: I think virtual reality is a part of reality... you don’t have 2 worlds closed... there is a lot of link and bridge between both. As human, you project your reality in virtuality with all sort of thing

[14:20] Plot Tracer: absolutely. I think it became very obvious when "pig bombs" were impacting in the rl media for example... and the fact that we are sitting in a boat, but divided by a sea...

[14:20] Krisp Alexandre: and SL is a copy of RL for a lot of people I would like that sl not becoming a clone of real world.

[14:21] Plot Tracer: yes

[14:21] Laura Gagliano: but it's also support of totally deslinked experiences for others....

[14:21] Krisp Alexandre: in sl like in rl you can make friendship and meet other peoples,

[14:22] Laura Gagliano: imagination is no restrictive, even when we talk of money.....

[14:22] Krisp Alexandre: but it's more simple in sl, you dont have the distance problem

[14:22] Laura Gagliano: and all sorts of dirtiness’ But Sl is putting a light more on some collectives inconscients ;-)

[14:22] Plot Tracer: with "dirtinesses" you mean the porn?

[14:23] Laura Gagliano: no, the money, lol

[14:23] Laura Gagliano: no money, no prn;-)

[14:23] Laura Gagliano: lol

[14:23] Plot Tracer: yes - i agree - personally I have learned a lot from sl by talking to people from all over the world about their experiences...

[14:23] Krisp Alexandre: yeap, agree

[14:23] Plot Tracer: ok - 'Exploited' opened only last week and already seems to have generated a lot of buzz and interest. Do you know how many visitors has the expo received so far? The feedback I have received has been very encouraging - What has been the feedback you have been receiving?

[14:24] Krisp Alexandre: all peoples i talked to, were very enthusiastic - very good feeling, it seems

[14:24] Laura Gagliano: Yes, the feed back it's very simpatic and friendness.....i still have to put the notes in the exhibition…shame on me;-)

[14:24] Plot Tracer: lol -

[14:25] Laura Gagliano: but I really would like to instaure the oficialisation of an interactive space her....

[14:25] Plot Tracer: "instaure"?

[14:25] Krisp Alexandre: i saw some guys take and sit and passed a long time between the video

[14:25] Laura Gagliano: I mean, the garden is open to all collaboration in relation with the thematic;-) install?

[14:26] Plot Tracer: ah ok

[14:26] Plot Tracer: yes - i have been here when people have sat at the video the whole way through - it is a very powerful video.

We talk about the technicalities of compressing video and streaming on SL.

[14:29] Plot Tracer: ah ok - this was a "collaboration" between sllu and luna box - Do you think these kind of collaborations are a good idea – that is, collaborations between different left individuals and organisations?

[14:29] Krisp Alexandre: yes, a very good idea. Errcheck helped us too

[14:30] Laura Gagliano: and Antib Milo with the radiations;-)

[14:30] Krisp Alexandre: working in network is more powerful than stay lonely

[14:30] Krisp Alexandre: lol

[14:30] Laura Gagliano: Well, i like collaborations quiet natural, and it was the case ;-)

[14:30] Plot Tracer: absolutely - my opinion as well... and you all seemed to work fantastically together.

[14:31] Laura Gagliano: It's incredible to see how the best things we do in life needs no organisation, lol

[14:31] Plot Tracer: absolutely.... no bosses!

[14:31] Laura Gagliano: And the time we spent trying to organize thing who never works. I found it fun.

[14:31] Krisp Alexandre: collaborating is a natural thing... no ?

[14:32] Plot Tracer: yes krisp... i agree

[14:32] Plot Tracer: This exhibition is the second collaboration between Luna Box and SLLU. The first was the anti-G8 'Cre-8' tribute garden, which you also hosted at Isla Montevideo, and which was unique in that it invited SL residents to come and place their own exhibits, and freely express their opposition to the injustices of globalisation, and share these tributes with others, in solidarity. This second collaboration also appears to be a fairly unusual event in SL, in that it is utilising the multimedia capacities of the platform, which is often a very 'cartoony' environment, in order to highlight serious RL social justice concerns surrounding an overlooked subject - that of global workers' exploitation and suffering. This is possibly the first exhibition on this subject in SL history. What do you say to people who believe there is no place for highlighting RL social issues within SL - that RL and SL should be kept 'separate'?

[14:33] Laura Gagliano: I said to them that the most importants messages in terms of society and politics

[14:33] Krisp Alexandre: we can keep sl and rl separate... sl and rl is part of life

[14:34] Laura Gagliano: was given in the 70 in usa by the cartoons, the science fiction, etc.....

[14:34] Krisp Alexandre: and wee only have one life !

[14:34] Plot Tracer: i agree krisp - make the most of the one life we have!

[14:34] Plot Tracer: in what way, Laura?

[14:35] Laura Gagliano: The American subculture was great....and very cartoonist.... I don't see those envirinonments like a problem… it don't hurts the force of information..... also....the biggers lessons and morals were given in the chidren's stories in the past..... isn't it?;-)

[14:37] Plot Tracer: yes - i see - information and politics can be taught through these environments like the popular culture of the past - yes - these places are the new "fairy tales!"

[14:38] Laura Gagliano: maybe....;-)

[14:38] Krisp Alexandre: sl is a media with strength and weakness... we must use it to expose real and imaginary things

[14:38] Plot Tracer: yes - well put, Krisp.

[14:38] Plot Tracer: ok - Tell us about the other politically themed exhibitions Luna Box has hosted in SL previously – and any on going projects.

[14:39] Laura Gagliano: Well, we've made an exhibition in our anterior sim about revolutionary graphics - signs, paints ....

[14:40] Krisp Alexandre: we also had a 'revo video stream' ;-)

[14:41] Plot Tracer: tell the blog readers what that was?

[14:41] Laura Gagliano: it was a multi space exhibition, with Roots Camps and Errcheck

[14:42] Plot Tracer: cool. Roots Camp is a good organisation. Are you going to do further collaborations with them?

[14:42] Laura Gagliano: Yes, Errcheck is a very good collaborator, he have an immense graphic culture;-) Sl is made to learn, also and I've learned a lot with him;-)

[14:43] Plot Tracer: yes - he had a lot of original stuff in the first tribute garden...

[14:43] Krisp Alexandre: yeap, very instructive collaboration

[14:43] Laura Gagliano: yes, he's impassioned by his subject and a good searcher.

[14:43] Plot Tracer: Do you believe that there is a hunger for this kind of content in SL, in contrast to the platform's more ubiquitous 'consumeristic' culture?

[14:44] Krisp Alexandre: yes, i hope

[14:44] Laura Gagliano: Well, the artistic platform in sl is becaming very interesting.... I cannot say a lot about the malls and shops platforms...... I spent my lindens uploading

[14:45] Laura Gagliano: lol

[14:45] Krisp Alexandre: and for 1 or 2 dresses ;-)

[14:45] Plot Tracer: aha! lol

[14:46] Laura Gagliano: yep, when the grey is trashy, i put the orange

Laura has the “orange” on now. Her AV is one she has taken lots of time over – she has created a unique AV. Krisp’s AV looks a lot like this rl picture in his profile. Another way of communication, unique to this kind of environment.

[14:46] Plot Tracer: What most inspires you in SL?

[14:46] Plot Tracer: both of you?

[14:47] Laura Gagliano: the same in sl and rl, lol the possibilities and the search;-) the communication

[14:47] Krisp Alexandre: liberty and open mind of peoples we can meet

[14:47] Plot Tracer: i am totally with you on those points! I agree wholeheartedly...

[14:47] Plot Tracer: How would you like to see the potential of the platform further developed, in terms of using it to promote social justice in RL?

[14:48] Laura Gagliano: the voice....the sound.....

[14:48] Laura Gagliano: lol

[14:48] Laura Gagliano: wildo!!!!!

[14:48] Plot Tracer: yes wildo is great...

[14:49] Plot Tracer: but in the sense of educating others to the injustices of the world - has sl got the impact to influence peoples thought?

[14:49] Krisp Alexandre: a greater access to all sort of information, photos, sound, video, and meeting

[14:50] Laura Gagliano: hum.....i simply think that it's a little bit young to said....

[14:50] Laura Gagliano: for an impact in Rl i mean..... but he have the charm to be a new possible way..... but i've the impression that the communities with a good activity a growing up......

[14:52] Plot Tracer: well - it has brought all of us "together" in some way - the world has become smaller.... do u think our being here is impacting on rl? I was at a socialist meeting last night at which i kept saying things like, 2my friend from the Us" or "my friend from Denmark" "my friend from London" and my friend from France" all of whome i met here on sl...

[14:53] Krisp Alexandre: yes, i think... facility of communication with people around the world...

[14:53] Laura Gagliano: yes;-) it makes possible impossible meetings

[14:54] Krisp Alexandre: internet made this possible... and SL is a simple way to do it

[14:54] Laura Gagliano: i agree with you plot;-)

[14:55] Laura Gagliano: yes....the interest of sl is the space of expressivity......


[15:01] Plot Tracer: aha - a problem with sl.... crashing, eh? lol!

[15:02] Krisp Alexandre: :-/

[15:02] Laura Gagliano: lol

[15:02] Krisp Alexandre: :-p... interview is safe !

[15:04] Plot Tracer: oh - what was beatbeatwing?

[15:04] Plot Tracer: beatbeatwing kidd?

[15:05] Laura Gagliano: A grafist from Hong Kong, descovered in sl nad invited for an exhibition.-)

[15:05] Laura Gagliano: he makes a very interesting work, i like the gallery, luna box

[15:08] Plot Tracer: cool. ok to finish off - what do you see as the future of collaborations with sllu? Laura - you were a member of sllu from near to the beginning - and sllu has been going for nearly a year - do you see sllu as moving onwards with its project of helping to unite left groups and individuals?

[15:09] Laura Gagliano: well, i would like to develop an activity of conferences;-)

[15:11] Laura Gagliano: it could of a common interest, i'm sure;-)

[15:12] Krisp Alexandre: live audio conferences...

[15:13] Laura Gagliano: and for the rest of the question....yes

[15:14] Laura Gagliano: Sllu in sl.....where could you meet a Mexican socialist? london?;-)

[15:15] Krisp Alexandre: :-D

[15:15] Plot Tracer: certainly not in (the town i live in outside Glasgow...)

[15:15] Plot Tracer: audio conferences - hmmm some people do not like the idea - me included - think about trying to understand each other - accents etc... it could turn out to be a night mare - though i have seen that some universities are offering language courses in second life - so i might try Spanish ( or French!) ok - thank you both for this interview!

[15:16] Krisp Alexandre: yeap... but you can have traduction

[15:16] Laura Gagliano: yes, i deending in what form it's organized;-)

[15:17] Laura Gagliano: i don't like the idea of nightmare too, but there's no obligation to assist in conferences in a language that you don't understand, lol

[15:17] Krisp Alexandre: thanks a lot Plot, it was a pleasure to answer your questions

[15:17] Laura Gagliano: translators are bad, buerk

[15:17] Laura Gagliano: lol

[15:17] Laura Gagliano: oh, you can arrange my English, lol;-)

[15:18] Krisp Alexandre: lol... my few words too ;-)

[15:19] Plot Tracer: yes - i agree, laura. i think the mind of a colonised person believes that the language forced upon him is the only one people need to speak. Neruda is a poet i have a lot of respect for - he liked to range from mighty language, to common language... and i think we all need to TRY to communicate. The British Govt have been very bad at teaching language - and the British peoples are very bad at thinking they need other languages. i hope to learn another language soon...

[15:21] Krisp Alexandre: si...

[15:21] Krisp Alexandre: no hablo castellano... tambien !

[15:21] Plot Tracer: lol! cool! very good!

[15:22] Plot Tracer: bien!

[15:22] Krisp Alexandre: gracias

[15:22] Laura Gagliano: ah, lol, i feel the iteacher behind that

[15:22] Plot Tracer: lol - i WISH i could speak French or Spanish! lol

[15:22] Laura Gagliano: "always encouraging"

[15:22] Laura Gagliano: lol

[15:22] Plot Tracer: aha!

[15:22] Krisp Alexandre: oui :-)

[15:23] Plot Tracer: ok... got to go. aurevoir for now - i will speak to you both soon! I appreciate this. I think this interview will be of interest to a lot of people who read the blog. see u both soon!

[15:24] Krisp Alexandre: see you Plot, and bonne nuit :-)

[15:24] Laura Gagliano: kiss, plot;-)

[15:24] Krisp Alexandre: à bientôt

[15:25] Plot Tracer: bon nuite! and see u soon! as the northern irish say, keep 'er lit!

Oi - GO! -

Questions by HIGGLEDPIGGLE SNOATS and Plot Tracer

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Saturday, 8 September 2007


Steampunk an SL invention? Scroll down for the first in a short series of articles by Plot Tracer on Utopian SF Writers from the days of steam...

Remamber to visit the SLLU Factory Exhibition - in collaboration with Luna Box

Watch the stream and then enter the building for the exhibition about worker exploitation in the past and now!

After you have been to the exhibition, please go to the Tribute Garden on the island to place your tribute to the exploited.

The Tribute Garden is at the top left of the island...

PLOT TRACER Looks Backwards...

Click on slurl to go to Babbage - a "Steampunk" sim. Or alternatively click on the slurl below.


Steelhead -

Looking Backwards

“Steampunk” isn’t new. The socialist science fiction writers of the 19th and early 20th Centuries were imagining utopian, steam driven worlds (with a bit of nuclear guess work thrown in) long before SL was dreamt of…

“Looking Backward” by Edward Bellamy, is a strange read and it is so for a number of reasons, not least being the fact that it was published in 1888 and is about the socialist utopia the writer envisages for the 20th century. In it he predicts credit cards, radio, television and covered pedestrian malls. Julian West, a middle class insomniac, employs the services of a hypnotist to put him to sleep at night. His manservant, Sawyer, is supposed to wake him the next morning with a special “reversal of the mesmerising process.” When he awakes, he finds he has slept over 100 years. It is the year 2000.

As well as being a critique of the social, economic and political situation of his own times, it is a romance and a science fiction fantasy. The ideas Bellamy wrote about, ie. the portrayed utopian society , influenced people such as Eugene V.Debs ( , John Dewey ( , Thorstein Veblen (, and Norman Thomas ( ).

Bellamy’s twentieth century is a time when everyone shares in a common wealth. It is a time when there are no wars, no private profit, no starvation, no class war, equality and retiral on full pension at 45 (so you can, just with that fact, see that his prediction was wide off the mark!)

His twentieth century utopia is a very nineteenth century idea of utopia. Bellamy – West in the story – explains that everyone in the twentieth century speaks in the way the educated middle classes spoke in the nineteenth century, the dialect of the working classes having been eradicated by equality and education. He also tells us that because the relationship between money and married status has been eradicated, marriage has become freer – people marry only for love rather than to keep status in society. This has in turn led to an equality of sorts between men and women – though his nineteenth century mind could only imagine an “imperium in imperio” organisation of the “weaker sex”. Women do work and are paid equally but their working hours are less, they have more frequent vacations and “careful provision is made for rest when needed,” because women are “inferior in strength to men and further disqualified industrially in special ways.” What women have, ie. an equality unimaginable in 1887, has been given to them by the men, “We have given them a world of their own, with its emulations, ambitions and careers.”

Bellamy gives the moral authoritative voice to a protestant minister - modernity in the nineteenth century middle class mind was greatly effected by the individuality the church was allowing capitalist venture. The sermon is written in a way that today we find grating. The minister takes ownership for the change in society for the church (perhaps this would be a way we could sell socialism to Texas?).

Though these things are telling of the middle class Boston Bellamy is from, (he had studied law, though never practised and had become a journalist) his ideas on state capitalist organisation and equality were revolutionary enough to make the book the third biggest seller of its day after Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ.
One of the most interesting parts of the book for me comes towards the end when he revisits the nineteenth century. He takes a walk around Boston, commenting on advertising, the banking system and poverty. He then goes to his fiancés house where he sits at a luxurious dinner table. Someone in the company asks him where he has been and he says,
"I have been in Golgotha," at last I answered. "I have seen
Humanity hanging on a cross! Do none of you know what sights
the sun and stars look down on in this city, that you can think
and talk of anything else? Do you not know that close to your
doors a great multitude of men and women, flesh of your flesh,
live lives that are one agony from birth to death? Listen! their
dwellings are so near that if you hush your laughter you will hear
their grievous voices, the piteous crying of the little ones that
suckle poverty, the hoarse curses of men sodden in misery turned
half-way back to brutes, the chaffering of an army of women
selling themselves for bread. With what have you stopped your
ears that you do not hear these doleful sounds? For me, I can
hear nothing else."
He looks around the table and sees the guests are shocked and he tells them he was not accusing them personally of the weaknesses of the nineteenth system. The guests, rather than seeing his point became “angry and scornful. Instead of enthusiasm, the ladies showed only aversion and dread, while the men interrupted me with shouts of reprobation and contempt. "Madman!" "Pestilent fellow!" "Fanatic!" "Enemy of society!" were some of their cries, and the one who had before taken his eyeglass to me exclaimed, "He says we are to have no more poor. Ha! ha!" He is then thrown out. I don’t know about you, but I have been to parties like that.
After this revisiting of his former time he feels shame, “For I had been a man of that former time. What had I done to help on the deliverance whereat I now presumed to rejoice? I who had lived in those cruel, insensate days, what had I done to bring then to an end?”
Perhaps, using the same dramatic devices Bellamy uses to prick his 19th century audiences consciences. I should ask myself the same question on behalf of my descendants, what was I doing while New Labour papered over the cracks while Bush plundered the world and promoted “poverty with servility?’ What was I doing when “governments were accustomed, on the slightest international misunderstanding, to seize upon the bodies of citizens and deliver them over by hundreds of thousands to death and mutilation, wasting their treasures the while like water; and all this oftenest for no imaginable profit to the victims.” Bellamy makes a lot of metaphors – though I think his metaphor of the “prodigious coach” is his best. In it he describes society as a coach, the fortunates riding in the luxury seats – the unfortunates – the masses, pulling at the harness and driver, hunger. At times the road was bumpy and some might fall from their seats, but they tried their damndest to keep them and pass them to their children. He also says that those who sat in the seats were under the illusion that they were “made of finer clay” than those pulling the coach. He said that this illusion was quick to take hold of those who managed to climb up from the ground, “before they had outgrown the marks of the rope upon their hands, began to fall under its influence. Another telling line in this metaphor is when he says that the people up top can, “enjoy the scenery at their leisure or critically discuss the merits of the straining team”, something I feel, Bellamy is a tiny bit guilty of as he later pours scorn on the working class labor (sic) movements. He believed a solution could only come if the educated classes were persuaded are willing to do something. He believed class solutions were fragmentary narrow and the nation should unite patriotically to create the ‘ultimate nation’.
Bellamy’s ideas are not fully formed in this book. He talks about a loose treaty between nations who have adopted his socialist/state capitalist system and says that it is for future generations to sort out the future ‘unification of the world as one nation. Meanwhile, however the present system works so nearly perfectly that we are quite content to leave posterity the completion of the scheme’
Bellamy went on to write another book about this ‘time’ called Equality, in which he explores his ideas further. His ideas became the basis for a new political party in the US – The National Party.
This is an interesting read – giving an insight to the ideas that were being bandied about at the time and the belief that capitalism was in a state of imminent destruction. Bellamy was writing around the time when Marx’s ideas were becoming known to the world. Actually looking backwards, perhaps if all of those people with similar goals had come together and forced change perhaps a time-traveler arriving today would not see the increase of death, destruction and broken lives that has actually happened. Perhaps arriving today she wouldn’t know about the death and destruction happening in the name of capitalism as the capitalist press and capitalist politicians conspire to keep the west ignorant, but that is another story. Perhaps if all of the people with the same goal come together in our time, a time-traveler in 100 years will find a utopia were ‘long ago oppressor and oppressed, prophet and scorner, had been dust. For generations rich and poor had been forgotten words.’
Read Bellamy’s works online –
The Parable of the Water-Tank
from the book "Equality" published in 1897
Edward Bellamy on wikipedia

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Friday, 7 September 2007


SLLU Exhibition - in collaboration with Luna Box

Watch the stream and then enter the building for the exhibition about worker exploitation in the past and now!

After you have been to the exhibition, please go to the Tribute Garden on the island to place your tribute to the exploited.

The Tribute Garden is at the top left of the island...

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Tuesday, 4 September 2007

The Triglav Incident

SLLU are pleased to welcome new member and blog contributor Klaatu Congrejo, who has been exploring, in diary form, how her SL experiences relate to, and intersect with RL issues and experiences. This is her first SL diary extract we are publishing here, hopefully with more to follow...


Here in Second Life, just as in Real Life, there are daily struggles for 'human' (avatar) rights, ideologies, beliefs, freedom from poverty, freedom from oppression and environmental protection issues.

A few days ago I took part in a stand-off against a group of fascist griefers who, through intimidation and threatening behaviour, were trying to force an SL citizen to remove her building structures and give up her land.
On August 28th, through the IM chatline of Arbor Project (a group that buys up tiny blocks of land and plants trees to prevent that land being taken over by advertisers), I was alerted by a panic call from a Group member:

"Help, they have guns and they are threatening me" said Meredith.
Instantly, there were half a dozen people on line asking 'Whats wrong?', 'Where are you?',
'Who's threatening you?', etc.

Another Arbor Group member from the same location sent back: "We're here (LM enclosed) surrounded by a group of people in uniform, carrying guns and claiming to be SL Police."
Within seconds at least ten other Arbor Project members and myself had teleported into a block of land at Triglav sim. We saw a young female avatar, Meredith, and a large crow avatar, Deadcrow Sands, surrounded by about a dozen large muscle-bound male avatars in blue uniforms. Some of them were carrying rifles - ALL of them had pistols.

Apparently, Meredith had recently built walls with pictures of trees on them to block out the unsightly ads floating above the land next door. One of the 'police officers', the owner of the ad land, claimed he was acting on behalf of Linden Labs and told her to remove the walls and lower her ban lines. She complied, and within minutes her land was swarming with police carrying weapons with the intention, it seemed, of intimidating her and forcing her off her land.

As more Arbor Project people arrived some of the police disappeared, but it was at least half an hour before the last of them left. When questioned about why they were there they simply replied "We're just exploring a wonderful second life and making sure all is good with everyone", and other similar comments.

While one of the Arbor Project members walked around taking pictures of what was happening, another member was making a complete transcript of the conversations taking place. We tried contacting the Lindens to invite them to come and see what was happening but, as is always the case in these siuations, there were no Lindens on line at that time!

We told the 'pretend police' that we were all lodging AR's (Abuse Reports) to Linden Labs about their intimidating behaviour and misrepresenting LL by claiming to be acting on their behalf. We also informed them that the second charge (of misrepresentation) was regarded as a VERY serious offence by LL that could result in them having all their lands confiscated.
This information soon saw all but two of the police disappear.

These two remaining policemen - 'Gandi Benelli' and 'joethehand McMillan' (I kid you not, that was his name!) seemed determined to wait around until we had gone. Then one of the Arbor Group members shouted out: "Since we have so many members here I suggest we all sit down and have a group meeting - now any suggestions for an agenda?".
As we started our meeting Gandi and joethehand soon got the message that we weren't going anywhere so they decided to leave.
We all filed our AR reports and, to date, we're waiting for Linden Labs to investigate.

I think 'The Triglav Incident', as we call it, is a perfect example of solidarity overcoming oppression - as has happened so many times throughout RL history. And it's encouraging to see that here in Second Life too a group of people standing together in peaceful solidarity can overcome oppressive and intimidatory behaviour.


Remember: if YOU have an article you would like to submit to the blog, about your SL experiences, and how they relate to RL issues, please submit it on a notecard inworld to SLUL Revolution or higgleDpiggle Snoats.

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