There is one notion that, in particular, most Americans and certain Europeans share. It’s the notion that the opinion and desires of a given individual actually matter to the powers that be, the illusion that democratic procedure actually works and that even a relatively small interest group can affect management decisions of a business.
While it may appear to be true, in reality this requires some very special circumstances and strategies to work, as neither a governing body nor a business management is actually interested in fullfilling the desires of individuals or small groups — while formally, their personal wellbeing is tied to the satisfaction of the population at large, the actual metrics of this satisfaction are not anywhere as clear-cut or obvious as individuals tend to believe. Ever heard of public choice economics? Look it up. The advantage of living in Russia is that while formally, the same democratic mechanisms are in effect, the said illusion is nowhere as popular. Makes living a lot more obvious, as you don’t waste time trying to get what you want in the ways that are known to be broken, you just learn to look for other ways or do it on your own.
Unfortunately, in Second Life, this illusion is quite popular — the mantra “Your world, your imagination” may have something to do with it. I have already mentioned that Second Life’s early basic design is not meant to support life, that from the very start it was meant to be something else entirely, and the current situation is not sustainable. It never was, it never will be. The management is not interested. The current Second Life’s money making model is based on fast user turnover, and is actually a means to remain profitable until corporate acceptance occurs. Now that the turnover is not fast enough, they have no choice but to impose extra fees. Hey, it worked with openspaces, everyone yelled and cringed and cried but still paid.
You brought this on yourself, mind you. You have collected Linden Bears. You have visited Kiss-a-Linden booths on Valentines. You formed fan clubs. You have shouted with glee when Lindens purchased your products. You are stupid enough to actually try to ban copybot-capable viewers, so that there really isn’t a way to pack up your things and leave anymore. If you did any of that, you’re getting exactly what you deserved. Naturally, any given, individual Linden employee may be a nice and reasonable person. They may even have ideals and opinions that you share. But you can only be personally nice to someone you personally interact with, not to the hundreds and thousands affected by your management decision.
“They own it” is the rebuke I usually get for saying that. Someone owns the phone network as well, and it took them many years, but eventually constant whacking from other powerful figures made them evolve a set of impartial rules. But you’re not going to get anything from Linden Research Inc. by self-mutilation — delisting goods, trying to stop all trade for days, public demonstrations and petitions… Their target clients are corporations that are interested in virtual office space. Not us. It’s as simple as that. We are dependent on a monopolist that has locked us in by preventing us from exporting our content outside the platform, and that monopolist is actively hostile. That this is actually a corporate delusion does not mean it’s not happening anyway.
Deal with it.
And by “deal with it” I don’t mean “sit on your hands and do nothing”, but “do something they can’t actually stop and will actually care about”.
Go dust off your first life name. I’m sure you can think of something you, personally, can do.