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Kempaggio

is a premium account worth it?

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Okay. We in the West had better pay royalties to the Chinese for gunpowder and for the wheelbarrow, then. That would be only fair, right?

I agree that there ought to be a sign up fee for SL, and a regular users fee charged after that. Everyone ought to pay the same fee and have the same priviledges. In exchange, private "property" and the $L need to be eliminated, and content creators paid by LL for their labor, rather than have to pay to upload it & store its code on LL servers. Then there would be no "freeloading," nor would there be any class distinctions. Prostitution and slavery would be mere role playing, instead of something imposed by economic necessity. I heartily agree that this would be a great improvement to the SL experience.

Jeanne

 and then they could pay us back royalties for cordite and the the internal combustion engine, and pretty much every modern appliance and practice in use....

and you're model of everyone pays HAS been tried before.... it's how SL started.... This very account was paid for with a one time fee of 10$US..... but that only worked in the small scale. Now I will admit things were a bit nicer back then, griefers weren't as much of a problem, but it kept the user base small, and the earnings potential both for in world users and LL was also smaller. I thoroughly hated when free accounts started flooding in with their "gimme free stuff" attitudes. but it turned the market potential up to 11. suddenly you could make money in here reasonably, and not just a few land barons, but actual creators quitting their RL jobs or at the very least having extra spending cash.

would I prefer to go back to those old days? nope, not a chance, at least not as they were.... too much wasted potential. I would love to see a clearer distinction between premium and free, and I would definitely love for payment info to be required, because it slows down a boatload of the negatives of free accounts while only raising the bar a tiny bit for them (they'd need to streamline available payment info methods though)

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Rolig Loon wrote:


JeanneAnne wrote:

Okay. We in the West had better pay royalties to the Chinese for gunpowder and for the wheelbarrow, then. That would be only fair, right?

I agree that there ought to be a sign up fee for SL, and a regular users fee charged after that. Everyone ought to pay the same fee and have the same priviledges. In exchange, private "property" and the $L need to be eliminated, and content creators paid by LL for their labor, rather than have to pay to upload it & store its code on LL servers. Then there would be no "freeloading," nor would there be any class distinctions. Prostitution and slavery would be mere role playing, instead of something imposed by economic necessity. I heartily agree that this would be a great improvement to the SL experience.

Jeanne

 Like it or not, and you clearly do not like it, SL is rooted in a capitalist model.  Private property and a medium of exchange are the basis for the businesses that are a central focus for many of us.  They also serve as an extrinsic reward system by which residents recognize the work of creators.  It is certainly possible to imagine a different system for a virtual world, perhaps one based on the Utopian or utilitarian model you seem to prefer, but it would not be the Second Life that most of us are here for. 

Linden Lab, likewise, is not here for altruistic reasons.  They are a corporation in a capitalist society, here to make a profit for themselves and their investors.  Being privately held, they are not obliged to tell you or me how big their profits are, or what any of them are paid.  Their earnings may be obscene by whatever standard you may choose, and you are free to be offended by their business model.  You may also complain about the way SL is constructed and about the asinine decisions they make. We all do that.  If those things are too offensive for you, you are also free to find a better virtual world.  Quite a few people do that too.  If you decide to stay, however, don't expect LL to abandon capitalism, and don't be surprised when you don't find many of us climbing on your bandwagon.

Thank you for a very good response Rolig. You are right and I agree with you.

What surprises me, tho, is this: >>Private property and a medium of exchange are the basis for the businesses that are a central focus for many of us.  They also serve as an extrinsic reward system by which residents recognize the work of creators.<< Surely you realize that no one besides Linden Labs actually "owns" anything within SL, and that there is no "property" in any sort of tangible sense. All that you do when you "build" or texture or script is to encode data onto a server that you don't own and have no control over. And for all your time and effort and creativity, you then have to pay the corporation that owns the servers an upload and data storage fee (tier). Then you can sell copies of this code to others and if you are well practiced at what you do perhaps make enough money to break even or even earn a little over and above what the corporate parasites skim. 

I guess it does surprise me that I >>...don't find many of us climbing on your bandwagon...<< altho perhaps it shouldn't. These fora seem to be occupied primarily by content creators who have been in SL long enuf to be thoroly acculturated to LL's exploitative business model. If there were more newbies & free account members present, perhaps my bandwagon would carry more passengers. And then, there's always the human tendency to cohere unto the oppressor. Many Jews even advocated cooperation with the Nazis.

Of course I don't expect LL to abandon capitalism. They will have to be forced to do so, by the actions of a critical mass of SL residents. Complaints won't change anything. LL doesn't even listen. Free account holders can do little. The only thing that will get their attention and force change is for their profit margins to decline severely. This can be accomplished by a tier strike. If a critical mass of "land owners" simply refused to pay tier until their demands were met, LL would have to listen and to concede to those demands, or else go out of business. What is it you want? Better support? Lower tier fees? Memeber say in business decisions? A democracy rather than corporate dictatorship? You can have it! but you have to take action. The OWS movement is changing the course of history. Similar activism can change SL for the better. But it's those of you who fatten the parasites with your time, talent and money who will have to do it. If you like being host to parasites, like being spammed, like class distinctions because as a content creator you somehow consider yourself to belong to an "upper" class (which you do not unless you are a LL executive or shareholder), or are simply afraid to climb on the "bandwagon," then maybe you ought to just get out of the way of those of us who would like to see SL be a better place.

Jeanne

 

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Thank you for a very well-reasoned response, JeanneAnne.  I appreciate the time and thought that went into it.  We clearly do not share the same world view, but I do recognize that yours is internally consistent and could be a valid model for a different virtual community.  It's not the SL that I joined almost five years ago, however, and it isn't one that I would enjoy living in. 

I have many friends here, and I spend far too much time in world and in the fora with them.  If I am being honest with myself, though, my motives for being in SL are really rather selfish.  I get a great deal of pleasure out of creating things and helping people.  It's largely a matter of intellectual stimulation -- I love a good puzzle -- but I also get personal satisfaction from having figured out how my corner of the world works and being able to help someone else make the same discovery.  Those are the drives that took me into an academic career.  In retirement, they are no less important to me.

It's not about money for me, at least not in the sense of getting rich or even paying the rent to keep my SL shop and my home.  I don't create to earn L$.  In fact, I have given away significantly more than I have ever sold, creating things for friends and for the Community Virtual Library that has been my SL community all these years.  I know that I don't "own" the things that I create (except for the most important part -- my intellectual property), but it doesn't bother me at all that LL benefits from them. They are not "parasites".  Ours is a symbiotic relationship.  They provide a world, and I get to play in it.  I cannot begrudge them their corporate profits.  From my perspective, I am gaining much more from the relationship than I am giving.  If there is exploitation, I am getting more than my share out of the bargain.

Paradoxically, I do value the L$ that I earn.  If I were to cash in what I net in a month, I couldn't pay for much more than a couple of evenings at a nice restaurant in RL.  The fact that residents are willing to pay me for what I create is the extrinsic reward I wrote about earlier.  I get a warm glow when friends admire something I made as a gift, but I get a different sort of satisfaction from knowing that a perfect stranger liked my work enough to give me something of value to him in return.  I wouldn't get that feeling if LL paid me a wage to create freebies.  Capitalism works for me because it strokes my creative ego, even when I don't need the L$ to pay the bills.

So, we have our fundamental philosophical differences.  You see parasites and greed.  I see symbiosis and the freedom to create.  You see Nazis and class distinctions and I see a world built by residents like me who can indulge in personal fantasies and intellectual exploration for far less than they would cost us in RL.   You use the language of politics, exploitation,  and class warfare.  I use the language of the open market and of parallel goals.  I can appreciate the fact that SL is not a world for you, perhaps, but then you can always do as some others have done -- create your own world on a new grid.  I like my world.

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Thank you very much for your honest and well written response Rolig.

I admire your sincerity, creativity and ability to express yourself clearly.

Thanks again for the exchange of ideas.

Peace be unto you.

Jeanne

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