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Scylla Rhiadra

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Everything posted by Scylla Rhiadra

  1. You'd already said it, Kira. I was just amplifying. (And being ranty.)
  2. The label of "obscenity" comes, of course, not from Rhonda, but from a culture that continues, apparently, to insist that breasts are defined almost exclusively by (largely) male desire. The double standard at work rankles, a lot, and is all the more weird as it is both somewhat unlike LL to be so prudish and puritanical (SL, after all, boasts an extremely sexually liberal culture), and increasingly out of step with the rest of the world. More and more, that standard is being challenged in RL. What really pisses me off about the whole thing, though, is that the decision-making, the process of definition, is taken out of our hands. Someone else -- mods, perhaps, but more generally a repressive patriarchal culture -- has decided for us what our breasts "mean." And, in the process, of course, ensured that women continue to be defined primarily as sexual objects. The human body is beautiful. For centuries, female nudity has been "acceptable" in an artistic context, in part because it was inoculated and made "safe" by aesthetics, but also largely because the spectator, the artist, and the collector were usually male. But god help the woman who takes the display of her body into her own hands, without the mediating authority of the male. Rhonda should be the sole determiner of what her body means, and whether it is to be seen or not. I don't know much about Heidi Klum, but god bless her for deciding, for herself, that her drop-dead gorgeous 46 year-old body is not an obscenity.
  3. I hope Matty doesn't mind me saying that there are some lovely pics here:
  4. Oh, agreed. The very presence of Maddy has a glitch effect that turns SL upside down. I understand that FS is working on a fix, but the problem is proving intractable.
  5. Tram is great (although, I think, their hair is relatively high complexity); I have probably a half dozen of their styles, two or three of which are among my favourites for photos. They do not have an MP store, so yeah, you'll have to go shopping in-world. I'd also check out Dura, which does short hair very well. DP Yumyum is also good for short, but I don't think many of their styles are likely to work for you. You could check them out, though.
  6. I absolutely agree with you about plurality of perspective: it's how we truly come to know things. And understanding that there are diverse perspectives is a vital lesson in itself. I've sometimes thought, though, that SL missed an incredibly opportunity to be even more like a funhouse than it is (or used to be: I think there's much less whimsy here than in the past). There's little actual reason why a virtual world needs to replicate our own. In digital space, we shouldn't need earth to stand on, or a distinction between up and down, sky and ground. SL could have really reimagined a new kind of space, and an entirely different way of relating to it, and each other, that doesn't mimic RL. I can even imagine a virtual space that is multi-dimensional, although that would, to some degree, need to be articulated in an abstract form. Maddy has a new avatar she's built: a sort of cascading ball of shiny particles: that's a funhouse! In truth, of course, I'd be loath to part with my own pretty clothing and hair here. That kind of SL wouldn't have succeeded the way this one has: we appear to be able to imagine only so far, and no farther.
  7. I think Barbie looks like Ruth. Or maybe Ruth looks like Lucille?
  8. Scylla uses backdrops all the time. (Sssshhhh!) Beautiful shot, Chloe Kira.
  9. It was for me, at first. Thank god everyone was so welcome and encouraging, from the time of my very first posting here. I think mostly we do a good job of this. I was really and truly entertained by the sporadic notifications I kept getting of your likes, especially as they gradually progressed toward the end of the thread. It was a little like receiving postcards from someone on whirlwind tour, or text messages from someone on a bus journeying to get to you: "Just passed through Beamsville! Nearly there now!" We're glad you arrived at last, safe and sound. 🙂
  10. There's something of an irony present in this discussion: the relationship between Second Life, understood as an interactive virtual world, and the pseudo-photographic reproductions of it -- "representations" -- is being characterized in almost exactly the same way that the relationship between the "real world" and "SL" is sometimes described. Even the references to young people taking videos of concerts they are attending reinforces the parallel. And it's ironic, I need hardly say, because SL is itself a "representation," and really rather a slavish one, of the physical world. Interactive engagement with the environment in SL -- sitting in a chair, dancing, having sex using animation-loaded furniture -- these are all, obviously, reproductions and representations of things we do in RL. And the aim of those who make such animations, and other experiential, interactive elements, has always been to make them as "lifelike" and "realistic" as possible, language that itself emphasizes that they aren't "life" or "real" as conventionally understood. I suppose we can make a Platonic judgement here on the value of copies of copies, with the physical world (which, of course, Plato also thought was a copy of the ideal) represented in the parallel, bizarrely, by Second Life. But it feels like there is a kind of generational thing going on here, an idea that has also been evoked in this discussion. It does feel a little like the "old folks" muttering and shaking our heads over the young people doing exactly what we themselves did when we were younger!
  11. It was Charybdis, I swear. She did it. I wasn't even home that day! As I recall your lighthouse, it was more perilous inside than it was on the seas below.
  12. Yes. Because italic type was first introduced in Venice at the beginning of the 16th century. (Where's @Orwar when we need him?)
  13. Dammit, Maddy. I do my best! Sadly, it is my lot in life to never sound like an engineer.
  14. The 3rd Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (Complete) currently lists 7 main meanings for the verb "believe" (aside from additional ones for other nominal, adjectival, or adverbial uses of the word); within those 7 main meanings are 13 "shades" of meaning, of which 4 are obsolete. Probably about a third of those meanings have some bearing on the way in which the word is used in the phrase "I believe her." The point I'm making, obviously, is that language is almost never "clear" and unambiguous. While I take your overall point, I think I have given you reasons why I think that use of the word is appropriate. It is, of course, entirely possible and legitimate to take issue with my justification, but to respond by suggesting that the word must always mean "just this," and never "that," where "that" is a common employment of the word, is a non-starter.
  15. Well, um, ok. But it doesn't. And I'm afraid it's never going to. We actually already have a symbolic language system that (with complications) insists upon a one-to-one correspondence of signifier to signified: we call it mathematics, and it purports to describe in a precise way objective reality. And that is exactly what we are not talking about when I say "I believe her." Mathematics can't really describe that.
  16. Words, and perhaps most especially words like "belief" that reference the ways in which humans respond, rather than attempt to describe an external reality, tend to be multivalent. There aren't many of them that have a single meaning in the dictionary. What's more, connotation changes according to context. Are you suggesting, by extension, that the word, when used to denote support ("You can do it! I believe in you!"), has the same denotation and connotation as "I believe in God"? I am quite capable -- as, actually, are you -- of both "believing" in one sense in a person I've never met, and "believing" in a different way, in someone I know well. That's how language works: it's contextual and rich in different connotations and meanings.
  17. While I take your point, "belief" is by definition an act of faith, not a truth statement, and I think it actually captures reasonably well the difference between an objective statement of fact, and a willingness, in particular circumstances, to suspend the kind of judgement that a more analytical approach involves. One doesn't, and almost certainly can't, "prove" that God exists: one believes, or not. Similarly, saying that "I believe what she says" is not the same as saying "What she says is true": the former makes the subjective element clear -- indeed, is an assertion of subjectivity, because it is premised on the assumption that your belief may be different from mine -- while the latter is a truth statement (whether it is backed up or not) that we are all expected to accept as verifiable fact. Belief also includes, vitally, the element of support. And that's what this is actually about, rather than an assertion of one version or another of reality.
  18. I'm not sure that this is what Love meant by saying that he doesn't "literally believe her," but it seems to me that, intentionally or not, he's stumbled across a really important point here. The #MeToo movement, and the associated assertion "I believe her," can be easily misread, if taken too reductively or literally. When we say "I believe her" with reference to a woman who has claimed to be the recipient of harassment, assault, rape, or just plain discrimination, we aren't literally saying that no woman would ever lie about these things. Of course there are women who lie about being victimized. More often, I think, because these are incredibly complicated issues, cases where the "truth" is not clear represent a genuine and sincere disagreement about what transpired, and the motivations and context of it. A woman may believe herself to have been discriminated against in a case where more objective evaluation suggests otherwise. (And similarly, an employer may believe it is behaving in a gender-neutral way, and be wrong about that.) What "I believe her" attempts to do is redress an historic cultural imbalance in which the tendency has, more often than not, been to assume that the accuser is "guilty" -- guilty of mendaciousness, or over-emotionalism, or whatever. "I believe her" doesn't mean that we don't need court cases, and proof, and careful analysis before determining what may have actually transpired (which is often in truth going to be difficult to establish with absolute certainty): rather, it means that we are responding to an environment in which such accusations are almost invariably met with hostility or scepticism. We want a woman's claims to be accepted seriously, and not prejudged on the basis either of our gendered preconceptions, or an incomplete knowledge of what went down. The analogy here -- an imperfect but nonetheless useful one -- is with the concept "Innocent until proven guilty." Obviously, this does not literally mean that we hold fast, regardless of what we know about the case, to the notion that someone who has been accused but not convicted cannot possibly have done what they are accused of doing -- and that they magically become guilty upon conviction, as though someone went back and meddled with the timeline. The point of the principle of "Innocent until proven guilty" is that the accused is to be treated as innocent, whether they are in fact guilty or not -- until they have been convicted. In the same way, "I believe her" is an assertion that, whatever the actual truth of the accusation, the accuser must be treated seriously and without prejudgement or prejudice. I have my own thoughts about the merits of her claims, on the basis of what little I (or anyone here) knows, but I have no intention of sharing them because they are not relevant. SO . . . in this case, as in others, I believe her. That's not an assertion that I am certain that what she says happened actually happened, or that her analysis of why it happened is correct. It is instead an insistence that she be treated fairly and her claim taken seriously, and without prejudgement.
  19. This is an excellent post. Your point about the limited amount of money available from consumers is well-taken -- although I don't necessarily think that all the money now being spent on backdrops (which generally are less expensive than full builds) is being lost by those who are making house builds. But overall, you're right: of course the rise of backdrops is going to impact on the sale of full builds. It doesn't hurt, from my perspective, that your overall thesis supports a point I have made elsewhere: that creativity in SL is, generally, in trouble. I'd just make two additional points that are somewhat relevant to your argument. The first is that your argument implies that the popularity of backdrops is a symptom, rather than a cause, of a larger malaise. And the second is to point out that photography, which does very much seem to be on the rise in SL, is also a form of creativity. That much of it is dreck doesn't change that: there are a great many pretty terrible full builds on the MP too. But whether the kind of creativity represented by photography is good for SL in the long term is another issue entirely.
  20. Hair for your top, and shoes for your bottom. Does that mean you're a switch?
  21. Guess we know YOUR kink now. (Although I thought it was hair!)
  22. It's all about positive avatar body image! And the ones who hit on the noobs as they come through the starting gate seem to have no hang ups in that regard.
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