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Scylla Rhiadra

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Everything posted by Scylla Rhiadra

  1. So, @Roxy Couturier gave me a sword today. Possibly, not the wisest move. I lacerated my palm AND put a hole in a perfectly good tee.
  2. You think setting up a slide show before class is a pain? Trying assembling a drum kit.
  3. Pfffft. Real (feminist) academics do things differently. This is an actual video of one of my classes. Really.
  4. Actually, I just double-checked, and it's gone. In fact, an awful lot of stuff 2009-2010 is gone, including a large number of my threads. Not sure why . . . they may have decided to simply cleanse the archive of anything from that era. It was pretty awful stuff, a lot of it.
  5. I have an . . . unfortunate history . . . of inadvertently starting threads, going back some 10 years, that, however well-intentioned, ended up looking like bomb craters. Relatively speaking, this one is a walk in the park. Pride of place, and one that some older posters here might still remember, was my "Acrimonious" thread. It was a plea for more civility in the forums. So, naturally, it flowered into 30 or 40 pages of the most toxic, radioactive flaming I've ever witnessed. It made Chernobyl look like Disneyland. Eventually, I asked the mods to put it down myself, which they did. But not before about half of the forum had been reduced to a smoking ruin. Religion? Pfffft. Bring it on!
  6. I thought maybe that the next thread I start would be about me shredding my clothes, disheveling my hair, and running around wildly waving my arms and making rude noises. Just for a change of pace. Are you in?
  7. This sort of reality for many people is a pretty dramatic example of why I think we all need to be a bit more sensitive and thoughtful about how we connect to people. It's not, as you say, that IMs are necessarily "bad" -- it's that in particular contexts, or for particular reasons, they might be unwelcome to some people, or inappropriate, or even upsetting. And we've heard from people here too who are uncomfortable with interacting in local, because of social anxieties, or whose disabilities make it more difficult to use: they of course matter too. Really, maybe, it's less important to worry about which window we use when connecting, and more valuable to try to nurture a culture of respect, so that we are not always assuming that whatever makes us comfortable must necessarily be the best or only solution? And, of course, central to a culture of respect is not treating others you don't know as though they were meat, whether it's in local or IM.
  8. OMG Rose. That's my sim! Or more accurately, the SLLU sim for which I am an administrator. I remember this!!!!
  9. I've been sick as a dog for the last two weeks -- like, on-antibiotics-and-with-a-puffer sick. I haven't felt this awful in literally decades: worst flu ever! (I am a fair bit better now, however.) If I'm home with a cold or something minor, sure -- I might waste a bit more time on SL. But I have to admit that this past while I've been too miserable to focus even on the fun of SL.
  10. Thinking about this thread the other day, I remembered some lovely instances of casual connection, by both IM and in chat, with strangers. A few months ago, I was taking a pic in a sim when I was IMed by someone -- a Japanese man -- who was passing by. I get a lot of IMs while I'm out and about taking pics, and they are often of the "Hey sexy!" or "Nice butt!" variety, but this one began by complimenting me on my Flickr feed, and my photography. He was a photographer too, and we chatted for about a half an hour. He asked to take my pic (which I actually posted on the "What Does Your Avatar Look Like" thread), and I said yes. And he offered me friendship, which I accepted. He was lovely. On another occasion a while ago, my alt Laskya asked a question about Omega relays in the Altamura group. I got some good answers, but after the group chat ended, a woman who had been marginally involved in the discussion IMed me separately. She had a bit of information to add to what had already been said, but really she just wanted to chat. And so we did, about I don't even remember what, for maybe 45 mins. We didn't friend -- I doubt I'll ever run across her again -- but it was a really delightful conversation, and I was glad she reached out. A third occasion, which happened in local, was even less consequential, and happened last Saturday. I was at a dance animation store, checking out dances on a pose stand, when I woman tried to sit on the same stand I was on. She said "Oops!," and apologized (in local): she explained that she usually had other avatars derendered while shopping, and didn't know I was already on the stand. I Lol'ed, and told her it was fine, and that I'd be done in a minute. And in a minute or so, I was, and told her (in local) that the pose stand was all hers. She jumped on it, and said "Thanks!" just before I TPed away. It was, as I say, a total nothing conversation -- but for some reason, that brief, friendly, open exchange actually sort of made my day. Mostly, in fact almost always, I like people. People are why I'm in SL, and on this forum, in fact. And even if it is true that I prefer local over IMs as a way to talk to people I don't know, in the final analysis what matters is who they are, and how we connect. So, to you -- and to Syo, or Bitsy, or anyone else here who has expressed alarm over people who don't like IMs -- please, go ahead and IM me. It's the voice at the other end of the line, not the route that voice takes to me, that really matters.
  11. I'll admit I've been surprised by how heated this discussion has been. What's particularly odd is that I haven't noticed a lot of "attacking" going on here; certainly, I've seen a great many nastier flaming in other threads than we're seeing here. Rather, it seems that a number of people have felt hurt or slighted by the preferences and assumptions that others have expressed, generally without (I think) any intent to produce rancour. Which, I guess, is an important point, and maybe the central thing I've learned from this: that single-minded and unempathetic characterizations of communications strategies are inevitably going to alienate others who don't see their needs and desires being reflected or taken into account. In other words, we need to take into account not merely the feelings and preferences of the communicator, but also of the audience. So, here's something else I think I've learned from this thread, maybe. I don't think it matters whether or not I "understand" or am "confused" by the reasoning behind someone's particular choice of IMs or local chat. It's nice if I do, and maybe useful, and probably good practice in empathetic understanding -- but in the final analysis, how I treat someone's choices should have nothing to do with whether or not I "understand" them. Rather, my response should be based upon a respect for the choice they've made, regardless of whether I understand or agree with that choice. And that's because communication is, by definition, always involving at least two parties. So, it's not enough for me to use my style -- be it local or IM -- merely because it seems logical or reasonable or just better to me, because the act of communicating with someone else means that I am imposing my choice upon them. So, connecting with someone else, whatever my preference of mode, should surely take into account the possibility that the person with whom I wish to connect has different preferences, and may even find my choice uncomfortable, alien, or difficult to use. I'm not sure what taking that into account looks like on the ground. Probably it depends upon context. But at least we can all make efforts not to assume that everyone else is going to be comfortable with our preferred mode. I hope we can agree on that much?
  12. I am fortunate in that I still have a fair number of friends in-world, some old, and some newer. BUT . . . I don't think that there's much question that the nature of those friendships has changed a great deal in 11+ years. One really obvious change is that I relatively seldom now "hang out" with friends at places -- most usually, I'm in IM with them instead. That's at least as much my fault as anyone's: I'm most often doing stuff in-world, like photography. Another is that the communities to which we once belonged together either no longer exist, or have been weakened a great deal. What I think is generally true is that there has been a sort of loosening of the bonds of the really tight friendships I used to have. It's all much more casual now. On the other hand, there is the forums, which have pretty much always been really important to me. And my sense of the friendships, and community here, is that it is as strong, and probably a whole lot more pleasant, as it has ever been. Selene, I don't know much about the quality or strength of your in-world friendships, but I do know that you are an absolutely central, prominent, and important part of the community here. You are a valued and admired voice. And, for me anyway, that counts for a lot.
  13. This is the reasonable way to go about things, isn't it? It's more or less what I do. I do sometimes judge, of course, but on the basis of what is said, not on the mode by which they have chosen to communicate to me -- even if I am personally less comfortable receiving an IM. Prejudgement is complicated and problematic, but also somewhat understandable. One of the ways in which humans learn is through experience. Touch a hotplate that's on once, and you learn pretty quickly not to do it again. Jay walk across a busy street a couple of times, nearly getting hit each time, and your brain will communicate to you -- probably -- that this isn't a good idea. Get 10 IMs from men, and 9 of them turn out to be from people who are hitting on you, and we are similarly tempted to conclude, the next time we receive one from a man, that the likelihood is high that you've about to be hit on again. The problem with that model, whether it is statistically accurate or not (and we are not always good at actually processing and calculating this kind of information, because we tend to remember certain experiences better than others, as well as falling victim to confirmation bias), is that, when we impose a statistical model upon an individual, there's a good chance that we are doing an injustice to that individual. Personally, I'd rather err on the side of the angels, and suffer through nine crappy pickup lines, than to falsely and unfairly respond to the one good person who is just trying to connect. So, yeah, I listen and then judge, if a judgement proves to be necessary. Sometimes I don't need to listen very long. And sometimes I do. In one very recent case, I became in-world friends with a guy who was clearly hitting on me, but was also articulate, intelligent, and interesting. I gave him a chance to demonstrate that he could be a "friend" and wasn't only interested in sex. I chatted with him regularly for about 3 months, met with him in-world, and helped him upgrade his avatar. For a brief, shining moment, I thought maybe I had made a friend, even though the come-ons continued, although at a reduced level of intensity. Clearly, however, his frustration at my intransigence proved too much for him: he recently unfriended me. I don't consider that wasted time, however, nor do I apportion "blame." I wasn't giving him what he wanted and, in the final analysis, he was obviously incapable or uninterested in being the kind of friend I wanted. We tried: it didn't work. Onwards and upwards, say I. This is absolutely true: part of the real power of SL is the way it has provided a "safe space" for all sorts of people who didn't always feel secure about being who they wanted to be in RL. And it has unquestionably freed many women to interact in ways and contexts that they might consider threatening or dangerous elsewhere. That said, and I know you'll agree with this, the fact that sexual harassment, misogyny, and threatening behaviour is so much more easily managed and mitigated here doesn't make such behaviours any more acceptable. People who are threatening or harassing are still engaging in vile behaviour, and the fact that I can easily block someone who does this doesn't make him any less guilty of being a POS.
  14. Well, you gained an oscilloscope. Which is much nicer than the alternative, a vomit-loaded pillow. And somewhere out there, Maddy, there is undoubtedly an adorable little succubus who is your perfect match. In fact, I'm going to go look for her now.
  15. I actually do respond to those . . . because, why not? It only takes a few seconds to produce what is probably my normal response to that: "Uh, hi?" I'd say that about half the time, a conversation, of some sort, develops. And about half the time, I don't get a reply. I don't know that any of those particular overtures has ever developed into something memorable, but hey . . . nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
  16. Tari, honestly, I'm a bit confused by this. You are upset at women who assume that men are IMing them for sex because . . . you think that this means that they will assume that you are also contacting them for sex? Has this happened to you a lot? Or, like, you know . . . ever?
  17. Just citing for emphasis. Thank you, Rolig: this gets at what I've been trying to say much more eloquently and succinctly than I have.
  18. Well, no. I've seen mention of the issue of IMs from men. But they hardly constitute the major theme here. And I also don't see in them any evidence of "arrogant assumptions." I'm not sure why you should assume that they don't know what they are talking about. Again, though . . . does it matter why people prefer local over IMs, or vice versa? You seem to be arguing that your speculative assumptions about their "arrogance" somehow invalidates their preference. Does it? Why focus on trying to undercut people's reasons for their choices, rather than thinking about how we might interact with those whose choices are different than ours?
  19. Tari, you seem to be working under the assumption that the primary reason some people don't like receiving IMs from people they've had no other contact with, is that they are assuming they are being hit on. There's not much question that, for many of us, that is part of the equation. Frankly, the majority of cold IMs I receive are from men who are interested in connecting with me somehow. That's not based on an assumption: that's simple experience from actually having conversations -- albeit, often short ones -- with these people. Maybe I'm arrogant, but I'm also not entirely stupid: when a guy starts asking about the size of my RL boobs, I feel I'm on pretty safe ground in making assumptions. I think it's wonderful that you aren't getting, apparently, so many of these, but that might just be a function of the different places we hang out? As for other women here -- well, I'd love to think that I'm just so darned irresistible that men are compelled to IM me with sexual or romantic advances, but sadly I'm not that arrogant, and I know that this is not the case. More to the point, however . . . the annoyance of unwanted attention from men is not the only reason, nor even necessarily the main reason, why many of us prefer open chat over IM. Read Maddy's response, or Rolig's, or mine for that matter. I'm sure there are others. Is it helpful to speculate about the motives for people's preference for one form of communication or another, and to make disparaging assumptions about the nature of their attitude towards others? Or might it not be better to simply accept that people have preferences, that those preferences, whatever their source, are valid, and that we should try to account for those differences when we engage with others?
  20. Possibly you might want to pay attention to the scare quotes I put around "blame." They are there for a reason. Bitsy, I'm deeply and truly sorry that you find what I have said so personally offensive and perceive it somehow as an attack. But I have to say, in my own defence, that you are engaging in some pretty selective reading of my actual comments and meaning. What is it about this that you find offensive? Or this? Or this? Do you really want to argue that a general shift from local to IM is having no impact upon how we engage socially in SL? Because that is, essentially, all that I am arguing. As for my personal response to someone IMing me "cold," that's my response, at a visceral level. I'm not going to apologize for it, anymore than I am asking you to apologize for choosing, for your own reasons, the mode of communication that you have chosen. But I also don't let my visceral dislike of being IMed out of the blue govern how I respond to people who do that. I've already said above that I don't shut down men automatically when they IM me. In fact, I don't think I've ever simply shut down an IM, from anyone (and I've had some pretty abusive ones in my time).
  21. Of course it is. I don't think I've suggested otherwise. What I have said, and I'll stand by it, is that a general move towards IMs and away from local has changed the dynamic and nature of sociability and community engagement in SL. That need not -- and in my view, does not -- imply that someone using IM is not also contributing to community. But the model has changed. I have said this several times above, but maybe it needs to be reiterated: I don't think this is or should be about the "right" or "wrong" way of socializing. There is no universally "right" way of doing it: we choose the modes we do because they are comfortable and work for us, as individuals. But those choices, valid and justifiable as they may be, still have impacts upon the way in which we engage with each other. YOU are not personally responsible for that, and I'm not for a moment going to "blame" you or anyone else for that matter for the fact that most clubs and social spots no longer feature much general chat. But that is the effect that cumulative shift towards IMs has had. I think we all -- and I include myself in this number, because this discussion has been very illuminating, and I've shifted my own attitude somewhat as a result -- need to stop thinking about this in such adversarial terms. It's not "IM vs local." What would be helpful is to think about ways in which we might be able to leverage our recognition that people have different styles of communication into approaches that acknowledge that.
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