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Saturday, October 22, 2005

PROTESTING THE VIRTUAL UNITED NATIONS

It figures that when we built a replica of the United Nations' General Assembly Hall for Thomas P. M. Barnett to speak in, it would attract some controversy. And being Second Life, it would also figure that the controversy would take the form of robot kangaroos.

"The Barnett/UN construction site has drawn the attention of its first virtual protester," Ichiro Tokugawa, the building's creator, cheerily informed me by IM a couple days ago. "I approached him and greeted as he was wrapping up his last object, at which point he fled."

"Yes, I did put them there as protest against the support for the UN," Wolph Thorn admits grandly, after I track down the creator of the See No Evil/Hear NoEvil/Speak No Evil triptych of cyborg marsupials.

"My biggest objection to the UN," he tells me, walking toward me through the Grand Hall chamber-- himself a kangaroo in a black matte robe similar to what Neo wore in The Matrix Reloaded-- "is that it's a corrupt organization that is trying to disguise itself as peacekeeps whose only concern is the well-being of all people everywere. A good example of this is the 'Oil For Food' scandal."

But why not leave the fabled Hear No Evil/See No Evil/Speak No Evil monkey statues, instead of, well, robot kangaroos?

"[T]o represent the potential for great power, danger, and corruption, wrapped in a warm and fuzzy package," Thorn tells me.

Oh.

And though Wolph Thorn is from the Netherlands, I assume he's familiar with Thomas Barnett, and ask him that.

"The British sculpting artist?" Wolph says.

Which is probably a good place to mention that SNOOPYBrown Zamboni and I have scheduled two brief multimedia introductions to Barnett's theories-- not on sculpting, but the state of the world, post 9/11, and how to make a future worth creating from it-- in the days before he appears here live, next Wednesday.

First one's tomorrow at Noon (SLT), at a time geared primarily for International Residents.

Second one's Tuesday at 6:00PM, at a time designed primarily for US/Canada Residents.

Being Second Life, it also figures that a tiny white fuzzball with a red deely bopper and purple batwings shows up, to tell me the rest of the story.

"Its funny though," Lallander Parvenu tells me sagely. "Most people only ever reference the three monkeys-- hear, see, and speak no evil, completely missing the actual point. A long time back... there was a fourth monkey sitting in lotus-- be no evil. The monkey that actually got it."

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Comments

Ready to protest the U.N. facsimile but unaware of who it's intended to showcase or what that person's views are. Classic.

Posted by: csven at Oct 23, 2005 6:42:10 AM

Thank God somebody showed up to protest this little infant Bolshevik-in-its-cradle. Why do only SOME people get to make a UN, half in secret, away from the rest of the world? Huh? Who empowered them to do this? They think because it's a virtual world, that they can just build a pretty UN and then populate it with themselves and 39 other people on a sim -- which is all the sim will hold? They say, oh, it's just a build, just a talk, just an experiment, so shut up -- but...why should I lend it any legitimacy, and why do THEY get to pick the powerful symbols of the UN? (In fact, one almost hopes that the RL UN, which is heavily net-nannyish about misuse of its RL symbolica, will get on this case.)

As someone who spends a lot of time at the RL UN, I could endorse some of what this protester is saying, but also point out a lot of the good the UN does especially in responding to natural and complex disasters. The Soviet-style ideology that still permeates too much of the UN explains things like Oil for Food just as much as the natural tendency for international civil servants to be corrupt if they don't have oversight. And that's EXACTLY why we can't have the same thing in a virtual world -- NFW!

And that's why any UN-simulation type operation, even if just a pretty build for a discussion with a guy who is writing about the Pentagon, is fair game for a robust SL-style critique. Somebody talked about assembling residents from different nations there, i.e. Germans, French, British, Americans. To which one can only say: why? Because ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny? What are nations in a transnational virtual world with English as the lingua franca?

Somebody else said this "UN" should have seats or "regional groups" for furries, norms, robots, elves, vampires, etc. Huh? Why? Because those are visible groupings that actually likely make up a minority of the 67,000 subscribers?

I find it uber-annoying that some high-end Internet tekkie-wiki intellectual types think they can set up democracy islands, government experiments, UN buildings and all the rest of this in SL by just parachuting into this world and stepping completely over and around all its existing indigenous social structures and groups. Some of these people are the very same ones that screamed at the appearance of grassroots SL-based (not RL-based) groups like Metaverse Justice Watch or Concerned Residents.

They think "Oh, we're going to go around the powerful land owners and not recapitulate real life, we're going to do an end-run around forum blow-hards, we're the intelligent ones, and we're surrounded by idiots." But then...how are they *different*? They are still unelected, unconvincing, unappointed, unknown, and therefore there's a good chance they're up to no good -- like any government or would-be government that has no accountability to an electorate or public (and even those that do get up to a lot of no-good too).

Just because something is pretty and pixelated and cybery doesn't mean it's going to be so different that it can enable the technically-adept to catapult themselves into power without any checks and blances.

Thank God for the fellow who showed up with the three monkeys! And the idea that these elites can be the fourth monkey just by their "superior knowledge and technical ability" is one I *utterly reject*.

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Oct 23, 2005 11:26:59 AM

"Thank God for the fellow who showed up with the three monkeys!"

Someone showed up with monkeys too? Cool.

But whether one agrees or disagrees, I'm perplexed by any endorsement of those who protest without apparent awareness. Thorn might have at least bothered to figure out who was speaking and what it is that person normally has to say. Oh well, to each their own methodical madness.

Posted by: csven at Oct 23, 2005 1:11:03 PM

Csven, the point of Hamlet's blog is that yes, someone showed up with three kangaroos which were *like* the three see-hear-speak/no-evil monkeys -- they played the role of the "traditional monkeys" as is explained. (BTW, while we're taking things literally here, businesses and non-profits often buy *land* that they close off to the public. That *land* often tends to be private islands, not small mainland parcels. In this case the *land* that the entity bought appears to be a private island.)

And as for peckish demands that someone go read the speakers' bios and Amazon reviews, the conversation *already got started* politically and architecturally. Something was *already said* by putting a facsimile of the UN up in SL -- right down to copying the exact symbol. What this robot kangaroo avatar did was *talk back* and thank God for it. Or are we all supposed to sit dociley while people plant UN facsimiles in our world, and then beam in Pentagon advisors to speak? A statement was *already made* in these choices of appropriating a space, putting up a RL simulation, and sending messages, so a reply is *already justified* before someone is demanded to go have a first-life type of read-up. Or do you think conversation can only be one-way by those who decide to appropriate the space and set up public events, and everyone else has to meekly get in the queue?

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Oct 24, 2005 5:57:11 AM

"Or are we all supposed to sit dociley while people plant UN facsimiles in our world, and then beam in Pentagon advisors to speak?"

Did I or anyone suggest this? Not that I've read.

"Or do you think conversation can only be one-way by those who decide to appropriate the space and set up public events, and everyone else has to meekly get in the queue?

Did I or anyone suggest this? No. And I see no indication - obvious or otherwise - of my taking this or any position in my comments.

Once again, you appear to make assumptions about people and then post comments and loaded questions implying they have taken a position aligned with those erroneous assumptions. This must be the case since nothing in my comments indicates my position on this subject, yet you're reacting to my comments as if I have.

Let's try this again. I said: "Thorn might have at least bothered to figure out who was speaking and what it is that person normally has to say." Why did I say this? Simple. Because while a reply may already be justified, it's often in the best interests of the protesting party to make the most of that reply. People often only get one chance to get their message out. It's apparent from the exchange above that Thorn was not as well-prepared as he could have been. That lack of preparation, imo, does not reflect well on him or those who share his position. It's unfortunate. But given some of the comments (e.g. the reasoning behind the use of metal kangaroos), I also find it laughable (a group of metal kangaroos is a "warm and fuzzy package"? haha).

What I'm pointing out here is along the lines of reading something, fully comprehending it and then posting a reply which does not contain "stupid" mistakes (rather like the one you made above which I pointed out).

All the best. Hon.

Posted by: csven at Oct 24, 2005 12:48:29 PM

Here's the obvious indication, I'm happy to provide a reflective mirror : )
"Ready to protest the U.N. facsimile but unaware of who it's intended to showcase or what that person's views are. Classic." This sarcastic and condescending comment is all about telling someone to sit dociley, read the output, and then be allowed to state an opinion after they've absorbed some amplified Internet persona's inch-deep and mile-wide spoutings.

But they've ALREADY done their reading, when they see a statement like the very building of the UN in a game/platform space. So they have *every right* to respond.

Who are you to sit in judgement of people's protests, assuming what will be in their best interests, if they hold their fire and prudently ready up on a topic and sit with the other talking head in a laggy auditorium with one pasted-in question to Jeska, the monitor?

It's not in their best interests to take part in that pre-cooked kind of "debate", and thank GOD they don't wait to follow your "sage advice", and don't let you sit in judgement upon them but get out there and take some direct action.

My God, what's to prepare, when a group of utterly predictable and usual Euro America-haters show up to build a UN, and invite a guy they think is a kewl American alternative (or, conversely, think is proximate to power yet kewl, giving them access to power)? The response can and should be instantaneous.

It's hard to know WHAT the agenda is here but THAT there is one is UNMISTAKEABLE and it's best to take a good swift pre-emptive strike on that one. I'm with Thorn on this.

I don't see any "mistake" I've made that you've "pointed out" hon -- it's not a "mistake" to disagree with your self-assessment LOL. I wasn't the one who called the metal kangeroos "fuzzy" lol and he sounds like a great conceptual artist to be calling into play contradictions like that.

Thorn did an excellent thing, and even the ever-cautious Hammie was compelled to cover him. Thank God!

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Oct 24, 2005 1:29:33 PM

I've had to delete several posts I construe as personal attacks against Residents. People are free to disagree, but please keep the disagreements civil and reasonable.

Posted by: Hamlet Linden at Oct 24, 2005 2:41:52 PM

"This sarcastic and condescending comment is all about telling someone to sit dociley, read the output, and then be allowed to state an opinion after they've absorbed some amplified Internet persona's inch-deep and mile-wide spoutings."

I disagree. Perhaps you're unable, but I can laugh without telling anyone how to behave. However, afaic, expecting them to at least identify the speaker and know their basic views is a long, long way from expecting them to absorb anything.

"But they've ALREADY done their reading, when they see a statement like the very building of the UN in a game/platform space. So they have *every right* to respond."

You're once again implying that I'm saying they have no "right" to respond. I don't suggest this, and the more you imply I do, the less credible your comments. I'm only saying it behooves them to be well-prepared and do the absolute best they can the first time. Are you suggesting people should be ill-prepared when protesting injustice!?! Wow.

"Who are you to sit in judgement of people's protests, assuming what will be in their best interests, if they hold their fire and prudently ready up on a topic and sit with the other talking head in a laggy auditorium with one pasted-in question to Jeska, the monitor?"

Where do I judge anyone? Let's read my response together:

"it's often in the best interests of the protesting party to make the most of that reply. People often only get one chance to get their message out. It's apparent from the exchange above that Thorn was not as well-prepared as he could have been. That lack of preparation, imo, does not reflect well on him or those who share his position. It's unfortunate."
There's no judgement being handed down here. I'm making general observations and posting an opinion on how the apparent lack of preparation (not knowing who the speaker is) affected this opportunity with the "press" (Hamlet) and diminished the potential impact of the protest. Perhaps you missed my last comment on reading comprehension, because you certainly seem to have trouble comprehending the idea that I've taken no position.

"It's not in their best interests to take part in that pre-cooked kind of "debate", and thank GOD they don't wait to follow your "sage advice", and don't let you sit in judgement upon them but get out there and take some direct action."

I don't recall suggesting that Thorn or anyone take part in any debate. And again, I don't make any judgement on their position in this matter. If I do, please post the quote where I state my position or any position relative to Thorn's.

Fact is, I was merely pointing out that it's best to be well-prepared when engaging in protest. That "sage advice" (!) is nothing more than the old motto "Be Prepared". Otherwise (as is done in Hamlet's piece), the person protesting can be made to look foolish. That benefits no one. However, recognizing squandered opportunity doesn't prevent me from laughing about it. Going through life without a sense of humor would be a drag, Prok. Fortunately, I frequently get a laugh out of you.

"My God, what's to prepare, when a group of utterly predictable and usual Euro America-haters show up to build a UN, and invite a guy they think is a kewl American alternative (or, conversely, think is proximate to power yet kewl, giving them access to power)?"

Would you be so kind as to identify the "usual Euro American-haters"? is there some kind of McCarthy blacklist we patriots should have? I must not have gotten the print out. Thank you for pointing me to this invaluable resource. Thank God! Damn the torpedoes, let's blow something up!

"It's hard to know WHAT the agenda is here but THAT there is one is UNMISTAKEABLE and it's best to take a good swift pre-emptive strike on that one. I'm with Thorn on this."

Pre-emptive strikes with too little information to justify them DO seem to be popular, I'll grant you that, Prok. And Thank GOD for that! Amen.

"I don't see any "mistake" I've made that you've "pointed out""

So there were monkeys??? Does anyone have a picture? I'd like to see them. Were they also metal? warm and fuzzy?

"I wasn't the one who called the metal kangeroos "fuzzy" lol and he sounds like a great conceptual artist to be calling into play contradictions like that."

I wasn't quoting you, Prok. I was quoting Thorn.

But wrt to "contradictions", wouldn't it have been more effective to replace the monkeys with, say, 800lb gorillas? I mean, if the "great conceptual" artist's explanation leaves people scratching their heads, doesn't that defeat the purpose? I thought this was a protest, not "Ruminations on Political Protest Art - M501". If people don't get it, it's failed it's intended purpose imo. You didn't by any chance pay Thorn to make those things did you? DID YOU?


Posted by: csven at Oct 24, 2005 3:16:28 PM

Csven, your remarks are indeed condescending. Parsing your sentences to say that literally you aren't denying someone the *right* to protest is to deny your own invocation of the power of social opprobrium and high-octane group-think on individuals and their actions in the SL environment. Thorn's protest is noble and legitimate. You're not denying his *right* to protest but you're trying to delegitimize it and smear it by labeling it as "unbriefed" and "unprepared" and "intolerant and impatient" etc. from the ostensibly morally and intellectually superior position of "the prepared."

What does it mean to be "prepared" to protest the UN and a speaker at Future Salon? The people who put together the UN and the events didn't especially "prepare" in any nuanced way to explain their decision to unilaterally put out this monstrous thing.

Your very methodology in replying, with your little smug "let's read it together" lecturing tone gives it all away -- you think you are superior to this protester and me, his supporter, because you've read up on Barnett and you also think that we have to first let the Portal, the Future Salon, and Hammie lay an entire trip on our heads, and only LATER respond. (As it happens, I read up on him, too, but that's neither here no there.)

What you're doing is imposing the usual tekkie Snowcrash-like elitist group-think on people who dare not to conform.

As for Euro-haters, well, I think it's useful to read the Portal's contribution to the architectural contest sponsored by SOP, with its stuff about corporations controlling the media blah blah (these corporations are all American, but then, I'll bet they never think about German control of book publishing lol) -- to get where these leftoid Euros are coming from. Euro American-hating is a contintenal sport at least in Old Europe. Are you utterly unaware of that? And I, for one, am going to call that by its name, and push back on it, as one of many of European stock whose ancestors fled their wars and famines and pogroms : )

My, the tekkie literalism! The "monkey" is the *role of monkey* in this story. It's merely a conflation of a term in the brevity of the blog. It's like land=sim because land usually does equal sim. Try to stay on the main point of the debate here, which is your claim that people who protest at the virtual UN have to first bone up on all the speakers and topics of events that people have push-media'd to us THEN have the right to protest -- indeed, they have to first LISTEN to the speaker dociley THEN they MIGHT be briefed up to protest. I say, bah to all that, protest has to be swift and unambiguous when somebody plants a Big Foot in SL like the UN building with all its very controversial associations.

Why would I pay Thorn anything? I don't know him. His protest sure worked for me, and a lot of others.


Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Oct 25, 2005 5:15:47 PM

"Csven, your remarks are indeed condescending."

If that's how you interpret my words, that really is your problem, Prok. Not mine. However, you're once again incorrectly deducing something from my comments that simply isn't there: my suggesting someone should be docile or passive. I've already responded to this and once again you can't support your claim. No where is that said and no where is that remotely suggested. My comment is "all about" an observation of what's been done and what I believe should have been done to be more effective. I'm not telling someone how to behave. I'm saying they should have been better prepared. Big, big difference.

"Parsing your sentences to say that literally you aren't denying someone the *right* to protest is to deny your own invocation of the power of social opprobrium and high-octane group-think on individuals and their actions in the SL environment."

Your observation here - as usual - is both uninformed and poorly derived; based on your inaccurate assumptions of who I am, how I think, and what I believe (I still get a chuckle out of your recent claim that I'm a "socialist" to your "capitalist", although accusations of employing nefarious "high-octane group-think" is pretty funny too). I'd simply point out that you'd not find me at some of the social (socialist?) activities you've attended. So perhaps you're confusing your beliefs and attitudes with mine. After all, you appear to assign great significance to what I mostly dismiss at this level.

"Thorn's protest is noble and legitimate. You're not denying his *right* to protest but you're trying to delegitimize it and smear it by labeling it as "unbriefed" and "unprepared" and "intolerant and impatient" etc. from the ostensibly morally and intellectually superior position of "the prepared."

I didn't see his protest in action, so I can't qualify it ("noble"? I assume you were in attendance to be able to so easily bandy that word about; or perhaps you had an early preview!). But it's nice to see you finally concede that I didn't deny anyone their rights which you previously emphatically implied. Now as for your new claim that I am "trying to delegitimize it", you're once again incorrectly characterizing my comments (don't you even get tired of putting words in people's mouths, Prok? Where do I say he is "unbriefed"? Where do I label his actions "intolerant and impatient"? Is this your version of tabloid journalism?). I pointed out that his effort was less effective than it could have been (and conceded my amusement at his not knowing who the speaker was; that's still funny to me). But once again, your reactionary position falsely labels while it attacks. It's all about getting the big headline at the checkout counter with you, isn't it Prok?

"What does it mean to be "prepared" to protest the UN and a speaker at Future Salon?"

Hmmm... knowing who the speaker IS before you protest against him/her might be included in a checklist, I'd venture.

"Your very methodology in replying, with your little smug "let's read it together" lecturing tone gives it all away -"

You're correct in that I do tend to settle back into what appears to be smugness when defending myself against bombastic and inaccurate remarks treated factually. Remarks that imply I've said something I didn't. Remarks that assign malice where none exists. Remarks that extrapolate humor into conspiracy. That's just how I respond to bullies, Prok.

"you think you are superior to this protester and me, his supporter, because you've read up on Barnett and you also think that we have to first let the Portal, the Future Salon, and Hammie lay an entire trip on our heads, and only LATER respond."

How can I think I'm superior to you when you're so obviously superior to everyone, Prok? Isn't your propensity for treating your baseless assumptions as facts indicative of your conceit?

"What you're doing is imposing the usual tekkie Snowcrash-like elitist group-think on people who dare not to conform."

I am? I thought I was laughing at how someone could protest a speaker and not even know who the speaker was. Good thing we have the superior Prokofy Neva amongst us commoners to tell us what we're really doing and really thinking! Thank GOD!

"As for Euro-haters, well, I think it's useful to read ... to get where these leftoid Euros are coming from."

I asked for your list, Prok. Don't you have one? The comment you made suggested to me you did. If you don't - or don't want people to know you have one - you can just say so.

"Euro American-hating is a contintenal sport at least in Old Europe. Are you utterly unaware of that?"

"utterly"? It seems the condescension you attributed to my comments is firmly rooted in your own. What's the word? Hypocrite?

"My, the tekkie literalism! The "monkey" is the *role of monkey* in this story."

Considering the "great conceptual" artist's decision to differentiate this bold work of protest by substituting a monkey with a kangaroo(!), being literal seemed appropriate. Don't blame me. He made the important distinction.

""Try to stay on the main point of the debate here"

Unfortunate that you're unable to comprehend the relevance of the point I was making. But at least comments like this serve to reinforce it (i.e. in any discussion, what's important is what Prokofy decides is important; and if he doesn't care to read and comprehend anyone else's comments and makes mistakes when incorrectly referring to them as a result, it doesn't matter. Prok decides what matters. Prok decides what the main point of a debate is. No one else's comments or observations are ever as important as Prok's, and so mistakes made in regards to them are trivial and easily dismissed. "Try to stay on the main point of the debate". Prokofy's "main point". Who cares what the proletariat thinks when Prok can dictate what is and is not the main point!).

"your claim that people who protest at the virtual UN have to first bone up on all the speakers and topics of events that people have push-media'd to us THEN have the right to protest -- indeed, they have to first LISTEN to the speaker dociley THEN they MIGHT be briefed up to protest."

Once again I'll ask you to please point out the "claim" I make that says all this. Oh wait, this is just more uninformed blather. And since you won't bother to answer ... well ... because you're unable to answer ... I won't bother expecting a meaningful response.

"Why would I pay Thorn anything?"

"protester and me, his supporter"
Hmmmm? Because you support him?

I do notice however that you're not denying you paid him or had an arrangement to compensate him in some way. You need to do better than answer questions with questions, Prok.

"I don't know him."

Technically, I don't "know" anyone I've met in Second Life either. This comment means nothing in this day and age of political wordsmithing. "Are you utterly unaware of that?" So let's see if you can answer the question in a straightforward manner:

Did you have an arrangement with Thorn or anyone associated with Thorn to set up a protest?

and here's the Prokofy Neva version of that same question:

Why are you paying people like Thorn to stage political protests?

Posted by: csven at Oct 26, 2005 6:29:29 AM

Csven, all of your fulminating can't disguise the fact that Thorn did a noble demonstration -- mainly a silent one, with symbolic sculptures serving as the stand-ins for the "see/hear/speak/no evil monkeys". Your surely did imply that people who demonstrate are somehow reacting "too emotionally" and you don't have to say those words to imply them. You indicate a belief that people who protest must somehow read up on books to your satisfaction in some fashion, and you seek to cast him in a poor light by implying that he wasn't briefed and didn't somehow realize that this writer is so brilliant or something, that there'd be no reason to protest.

Of course now we've heard him, we see there is every reason to protest! He represents the most glib and bland buffed up cybery justification for the unjustified protection of American power overseas I've seen in a long time.

My, aren't your comments ridiculously tendentious! It only makes you look bad! I do not know Thorn, I never heard of him before Hamlet's blog, I knew nothing about his protest, I did not pay him, don't be absurd, I see absolutely no evidence that he was "paid" (this sounds like something a Soviet government official would say, beliefing hysterically that people protest if they are "paid by evil Western imperialists". He did something out of the conviction of his mind and heart, I support his action morally with my mind and heart, it doesn't appear to be something that is funded or requires money -- he made some art work that had a lot of resonance. I have no arrangement with anybody or any knowledge of any orchestrating, abetting or paying of Thorn -- your questions are hilaroius. Indeed, I asked Ichiro today why it was taken down.

Who took it down?

Your rhetorical efforts surely limp in attempting hilariously to equate your demonstratively asking an alleged "Prok-like" question like "Did you fund this demonstrator" with my pointed remarks that you framed this dissenter in the worst possible light as too-reactive and ill-prepared. You know I didn't pay him, and you also know you didn't think much of him or his protest.

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Oct 26, 2005 6:46:38 PM

"Csven, all of your fulminating can't disguise the fact that Thorn did a noble demonstration -- mainly a silent one, with symbolic sculptures serving as the stand-ins for the "see/hear/speak/no evil monkeys."

I guess your threshold for qualifying an act as being "noble" is much, much lower than mine.

"Your surely did imply that people who demonstrate are somehow reacting "too emotionally" and you don't have to say those words to imply them."

If you believe I implied this, then you really should consider re-evaluating your reading comprehension skills, Prok. Because to the contrary, his protest seemed to me to be lacking emotion. But that's just my take.

Maybe it's because I personally have a hard time getting emotional when I don't even know who it is I'm going up against. And when I'm emotional, I figure that sort of thing out and expect that others would as well. Yet he didn't seem to even care! That comes across as emotionless to me... as if he had been hired to do a job.

"You indicate a belief that people who protest must somehow read up on books to your satisfaction in some fashion"

Incorrect. I indicated a belief that people who protest should bother (especially if they're all emotional!) "to figure out who was speaking and what it is that person normally has to say". It's you who are attempting to convert my comments into Prokofy Tabloid Headlines.

"and you seek to cast him in a poor light by implying that he wasn't briefed and didn't somehow realize that this writer is so brilliant or something, that there'd be no reason to protest."

Wrong again, Prok. I never suggested "he wasn't briefed" (did you forget to "brief" him, Prok? and feeling as if you screwed something up? haha). I suggested he should have taken it upon himself to learn a bit about what he was protesting instead of knowing nothing about the speaker. Something I'd expect from a person emotionally charged! See that checklist suggestion I made earlier to help you out here.

"Of course now we've heard him, we see there is every reason to protest! He represents the most glib and bland buffed up cybery justification for the unjustified protection of American power overseas I've seen in a long time."

Unfortunately, while I was in attendence for some of it, the lag was so bad I was away from the keyboard for much of that portion and caught only bits and pieces of this (most of which came with an "echo") until I crashed and finally gave up. Consequently I can't comment on what was said until I see a chat log.

I did however catch the comments of someone named "Dear Leader". His/her comments sounded somehow familiar. Your brother or sister, perhaps?

"I do not know Thorn, I never heard of him before Hamlet's blog, I knew nothing about his protest, I did not pay him, don't be absurd"

So "Prokofy" hasn't heard of him. What about some of "Prokofy"'s ... friends? Or a relative? Or...

"I see absolutely no evidence that he was "paid""

Concrete evidence, no. But there is obvious circumstantial evidence.

Interesting and suspicious that you somehow fail to see the obvious here, when you seem to have so much insight at other times. I didn't know it was possible to have "selective insight". Live and learn.

"(this sounds like something a Soviet government official would say, beliefing hysterically that people protest if they are "paid by evil Western imperialists". He did something out of the conviction of his mind and heart, I support his action morally with my mind and heart,"

Does that mean you know for a fact he wasn't paid? How can that be if you "never heard of him before Hamlet's blog"? You seem to know so much about someone you claim to barely know. And now know so well you can claim he acted with "the conviction of his mind and heart". Wow.

"it doesn't appear to be something that is funded or requires money"

Not to most people. But there is something I've noticed which seems suspicious. How is it the superior Prokofy Neva seemingly misses the obvious???

"he made some art work that had a lot of resonance. I have no arrangement with anybody or any knowledge of any orchestrating, abetting or paying of Thorn -- your questions are hilaroius."

Yes. I can see where my question still does not cover some arrangements which could be made that allow you to technically make this claim.

"Indeed, I asked Ichiro today why it was taken down."

If I came up with a clever little protest, had it commissioned and saw that it had been removed, I'd ask the same question.

"Your rhetorical efforts surely limp in attempting hilariously to equate your demonstratively asking an alleged "Prok-like" question like "Did you fund this demonstrator" with my pointed remarks that you framed this dissenter in the worst possible light as too-reactive and ill-prepared. You know I didn't pay him, and you also know you didn't think much of him or his protest."

If by "pointed remarks" you mean tabloid hysteria, then I agree that my attempt falls short of your superior mark.

Posted by: csven at Oct 26, 2005 9:03:45 PM

Csven, there's no "tabloid hysteria" except in your own mind. It's just a normal question: why do you demand that someone be briefed, that is, to read up on a book and a person speaking in "the UN" just to mount a protest aginst "the UN"?

Building "The UN" as a symbolic act, with a RL versimulitude, is capable *on its own* of drawing the utmost of legitimate protests, without having to delve into the baggage of Thomas Barnett. That's what you're failing to see. There are ample reasons for anyone to jump up and protest the UN all on their own, without clearing it with you, Hamlet, or any one else, or without being "paid" as you so ridiculously keep insisting. If there's some "proof" or "obvious feature" that indicates this person is "paid," then let's have it. But it sounds like tripe.

It's no secret that Dear Leader is my alt, for a guy in a newbie striped shirt, he sure pays a lot of tier and happens to be in all the same land groups listed right there on his profile, duh. Great detective work! I told the organizers I had too many groups I couldn't shed and had to put them on this alt -- whose name was perfect for the occasion.

I hope by now you've had a chance to read the transcript and grapple with the ideas purveyed by the speaker, rather than obsessing about your conspiracy theories regarding me or some other mysterious party "paying" this protestor to perform a much-needed demonstration. I could go on endlessly unpacking all the condescension implied in your original post regarding his need to first read up on the speaker before protesting, but unlike you, I don't enjoy such literal obsessiveness.

Posted by: Prokofy Neva at Oct 30, 2005 12:29:44 PM

After not responding for FOUR days, here we apparently see that the always(?) upstanding Prokofy Neva has been waiting to quietly slip in the last, uncontested word. (I personally consider that a serpentine tactic)

Csven, there's no "tabloid hysteria" except in your own mind. It's just a normal question: why do you demand that someone be briefed, that is, to read up on a book and a person speaking in "the UN" just to mount a protest aginst "the UN"?

Once again you mischaracterize my comment with tabloid journalistic ease. I don't "demand" anything. I expect a sincere and emotional protester to do their homework. And while we're discussing this, you never answered my question. I'll repeat it here:

Are you suggesting people should be ill-prepared when protesting injustice?

Building "The UN" as a symbolic act, with a RL versimulitude, is capable *on its own* of drawing the utmost of legitimate protests, without having to delve into the baggage of Thomas Barnett. That's what you're failing to see.

I never said it wasn't. What you're failing to see, as usual, is that you too often make inaccurate assumptions and then draw poor conclusions from them. This is an issue of degree afaic. That's why I've really only spoken to the issue of mounting an effective protest (note earlier comment: "whether one agrees or disagrees").

There are ample reasons for anyone to jump up and protest the UN all on their own, without clearing it with you, Hamlet, or any one else, or without being "paid" as you so ridiculously keep insisting.

Yes. There are ample reasons. So what? That doesn't mean someone wasn't paid to mount this protest.

If there's some "proof" or "obvious feature" that indicates this person is "paid," then let's have it. But it sounds like tripe.

The evidence is right here. That's why it's so amazing the superior Prokofy Neva doesn't see it (or does and is feigning ignorance).

It's no secret that Dear Leader is my alt, for a guy in a newbie striped shirt, he sure pays a lot of tier and happens to be in all the same land groups listed right there on his profile, duh.

Duh 1. You'll note that I've said the lag was terrible (and posted as much during this event on my blog).

Duh 2. You'll also note that I obviously didn't even SEE this alt of yours during the event since - with all that lag - I couldn't change my view and identify the gender (see above comments).

Duh 3. Please also note that while I couldn't see - and hence right-click on your avatar - I could also not do a Find to learn more about this avatar (though I didn't bother). Doing a different search later locked me up (after a previous crash). So basically I was stuck in that seat motionless until I crashed, logged in, re-sat, then locked up during the Search and logged off for good.

Great detective work! I told the organizers I had too many groups I couldn't shed and had to put them on this alt -- whose name was perfect for the occasion.

That's three Duh's. Struck out again, Prok.

And let's be honest, there wasn't any compelling reason to bother with "detective work". It's not like I really care if you have an alt or ten. After having you show up as one alt when I first landed in SL and try to get me to create content (at slave wages) for you, I don't really much concern myself with you or your alts.

I hope by now you've had a chance to read the transcript and grapple with the ideas purveyed by the speaker, rather than obsessing about your conspiracy theories regarding me or some other mysterious party "paying" this protestor to perform a much-needed demonstration.

I've looked but I've not found an unedited version of this event. Some comments I recall are missing from the versions I've scanned. If there is a link to an unedited Chat log, please provide it. I'll read it eventually. But I even checked your site and noticed you didn't provide your own log. Unfortunate, that. I do prefer the raw transcript.

I could go on endlessly unpacking all the condescension implied in your original post regarding his need to first read up on the speaker before protesting, but unlike you, I don't enjoy such literal obsessiveness.

No need to tell us you don't enjoy accuracy (aka "literal obsessiveness"). Your mischaracterizations and laughable conclusions based on poor assumptions screams that you don't bother thinking too deeply about what others have said and responding appropriately.

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