New random project: Region Mapper

Snapshot of Hughes Rise, as of 2009/03/31So on a complete whim and for no reason that I know of (possibly related to the whole mainland aesthetics discussion), I decided to write a little script that would list all the parcels in a region, in some sort of map-like form.

I had all sorts of techie ideas in my head about little survey ‘bots that would fly around 200m above the ground, communicating to a central controller using llRegionSay() and all, but I was disappointed. :) Turns out llGetParcelDetails() has no range-limit (within the current sim), so a script just sitting under a tree in the Park can see the name and description of every parcel in the Rise.

Here’s the output from my current script (with the longer strings trimmed to fit on the page):

Hughes Rise:
000 000 000 000 001 001 001 001 002 002 003 004 005 005 006 006
000 000 000 000 001 001 001 001 002 002 003 007 007 005 006 006
000 000 000 000 001 001 001 001 008 008 009 007 007 005 005 006
000 000 000 000 001 001 001 001 008 008 009 010 010 010 005 006
011 011 011 011 012 012 013 013 014 014 015 016 010 010 005 005
011 011 011 011 017 018 019 020 014 014 015 016 010 010 021 005
011 011 011 011 017 018 019 020 009 009 022 022 010 010 021 005
011 011 023 023 023 023 020 020 020 024 024 024 024 025 024 002
026 026 023 023 023 023 020 020 020 024 024 024 024 025 024 002
026 026 023 023 023 023 020 020 027 027 024 024 024 024 024 024
028 028 023 023 023 023 029 029 030 031 024 024 024 032 032 024
028 028 033 033 033 033 029 029 030 031 024 024 024 032 032 024
028 028 033 033 023 023 029 029 034 034 035 035 036 037 038 038
039 039 033 040 040 040 023 023 041 041 042 042 036 037 038 038
043 043 044 044 045 045 023 023 046 046 047 047 036 036 036 048
043 043 043 043 045 045 023 023 049 049 050 050 036 036 036 048

000: free resell freebie store full perm: somethings are free , …
001: Computer Land:
002: Hughes Rise :
003: : My first house
004: Galaxy Design: Primland
005: Protected Land: Protected Land
006: Hughes Rise (25,224) Mature 1600m:
007: Galaxy Design real estate – Hughes Rise 6: Flat green land …
008: oms studio 2:
009: The Camel’s Prim Farm:
010: Sadie’s Dyke Bar & Butch Store: Quiet hangout. Dressing room, …
011: Abandoned Land: Land abandoned by My World! (group) on 28-Jan-2009
012: Land ID:21088 (B.O.S) Hughes Rise, Green grassy flat land: Rent …
013: Land ID:21089 (B.O.S) Hughes Rise, Green grassy flat land: Rent …
014: Abandoned Land: Land abandoned by Ash Alecto on 14-Dec-2008
015: Abandoned Land: Land abandoned by Errol Bazar on 09-Oct-2008
016: Himmis Kleines Eckchen ;):
017: Land ID:21087 (B.O.S) Hughes Rise, Green grassy flat land: Rent …
018: Land ID:21086 (B.O.S) Hughes Rise, Green grassy flat land: Rent …
019: Land ID:21085 (B.O.S) Hughes Rise, Green grassy flat land: Rent …
020: Microparadise: Some Land! Woooot!
021: Ad-Vatar and The Question Center: Dr. Destiny
022: Abandoned Land: Land abandoned by Cricket Zipper on 31-Dec-2008
023: Workshop More Prim Farm:
024: Workshop Prim Farm: Workshop Prim Farm
025: Hughes Rise – First Land: Land For The Landless
026: =Hughes Rise=: objects included
027: La’s Tipi: Keep Out
028: Julie’s Place: Julie’s Place
029: Hughes Rise Park, upper section:
030: Dale Inis random Hughes Rise land:
031: oms studio 1:
032: Jilly and om’s Japanese tryst:
033: Bippie’s Home: Bippie and Halo’s home. Friends welcome. IM one …
034: Gray Estates Part Deux:
035: My Secret Hideaway: Sometimes you want to go, where nobody …
036: Sweetwater Retreat (240,232) Mature 1536m:
037: Hughes Rise: Hughes Rise
038: Heavenly Bodies Tattoos & Shapes: Tattoo, Tattoos, Shapes, …
039: Scott’s Seat lowlands:
040: AVATARS AVATARS,Batman,Pooh Bear,Star Wars,Betty Boop, …
041: Hughes Rise (216,145) Mature 512m:
042: DAT LAND:
043: Scott’s Seat: Land in the Mist
044: MeadowSide: Portal to Happiness
045: Workshop: Wherever you go etc.
046: Marqs Gettaway:
047: Workshop Annex: Workshop Annex
048: AI WorkShop: AI Skybox Workshop
049: Abandoned Land: Land abandoned by bWhittl Kips on 08-Jan-2009
050: A Garden : Murasaki Suisei

The map is upside-down, I think, and possibly backwards. And/or sideways. Also it’s numbers instead of some nice visual.

The next thing I’m thinking of is learning enough SVG to produce a more map-like map, with boundaries drawn as lines and all, from the same data (a strictly inworld prim-based version would also be possible, but would probably require quite a few prims). I may or may not ever get around to doing that. :) I might also throw the script into the Wiki at some point, if I think it’s reached the point of non-triviality.

It would also be fun to overlay the parcel map on top of the visual maps that the Second Life API makes available (like the one at the top of the posting there; click through for the API version). Clever SVG might be able to do that also. If anyone knows of anyone else doing anything like any of this, send email or post a comment!

And then I’m still planning a posting about inworld Profile Displayers, which I have a picture all taken for and more or less know what the words will say, but have just not gotten around to. Busy, busy…

More Masks!

My mask at Masks!: 'What Counts'The “Masks!” opening mentioned last time went off great on Sunday; lots of people, lots of fascinatin’ masks to look at, a DJ and a dance floor, only bearable amounts of lag, etc, etc. I could only stay at the official opening for about half an hour myself due to RL things (dinner!), but I came back later to look at things more thoroughly. It was less crowded then, but I ran into Goose Wycliffe (of Da Goose Gallery), and we looked at masks and talked and stuff.

I didn’t have the forethought to take any pictures to speak of (except of my own piece over there, heh heh), but other people have filled in for me: here’s Ahuva, and here’s Soror Nishi.

My own piece, pictured somewhere near these words, is called “What Counts”, for any and all of the reasons you might imagine. All of the number-wheels spin sort of quasi-randomly (it’s just a coincidence that the eyes are on the same numbers in this snapshot), and the pointer in the nose-gear moves continually (and continuously!). It was fun to make, and I like how it came out.

The show’s on for a month or so, I gather, so go visit! It’s also worth wandering around the rest of the sim if you have a chance; Sabrinaa’s really creatived the place up (find the flying mask-bats!). And in general the whole Caerleon island group there is an interesting and look-worthy artist-colony sort of place.

Update: Another weblog mention: Zha at Second Life of my Dreams on the Masks! show.

Opening Sunday: Masks!

some random masks :)
Much as I claim that making random bits of art is one of the things I love most about Second Life, I don’t actually do it all that often; I always get distracted and go off exploring or shopping (or freebie-hunting!) or partying or whatever.

So when Sabrinaa Nightfire told me about the “Masks!” show that she was putting together and did I want to maybe submit something, my first tendency was to say “well, I’m not all that good about actually finishing SL things by any particular date”, but before I could actually say that some more ambitious part of me said “sure!”, and (after a few false starts) I made something that I like, and got it to her before the deadline.

Maybe after the show I’ll post a picture of it :) but for now your only chance is inworld. The show opens Sunday (tomorrow!). Official notice follows (what a great company to find myself in!). And one of the mentioned freebies will be a small wearable version of my own piece, which the large display version will be giving out on touch; assuming that works…

You are cordially invited to the opening of the Masks! Show at Erato of Caerleon. There will be music and dancing and freebies for everyone. The opening is Sunday, March 29 at 1pm SLT. The LM is attached:

Erato of Caerleon (112,186,25)

The artists whose work was chosen for this exhibit include (in no particular order):

Misprint Thursday
Pete Jiminy
Georg Janick
Physeter Nicholls
Sledge Roffo
Rust Aristocrat
Pol Jarvinen
Truthseeker Young
Aristocrates Aristocrat
Pixels Sideways
Buffy Beale
FreeWee Ling
Frao Ra
Sabrinaa Nightfire
four Yip
alial Allen
Artistide Despres
Dale Innis
Blue Tsuki
Miso Susanowa
Alexith Destiny

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Sabrinaa Nightfire.

(See also another random weblog posting.)

Utopia is not a lie

In a recent weblog posting, Prad Prathivi bemoans the condition of the mainland, and calls for more control, saying that (and I’m probably distorting his thesis here) the more or less uncontrolled mainland is so ugly that it proves that when people aren’t controlled enough, they make icky stuff, and so “utopia is a lie”.

This posting (and some of the comments on it) came closer to enraging me than anything I’ve read in a Second Life related weblog posting in quite awhile. :) I may be reading more into it than was intended, but it seem so typical of the whole “freedom is bad because people use it to do stuff I don’t like” thought that it pushed some of my buttons really hard. I wrote a long and probably insufficiently thought out comment, which I’ll reproduce (with the typos fixed) below.

It occurs to me, also, that all of this is strongly related to the thinking in Nozick’s “Anarchy, State, and Utopia”, a book that I’ve always loved (and ought to read again sometime). In that book, Nozick starts from basic philosophical premises, derives a description of the ideal society, and finds that it’s basically anarchy (i.e. everyone can do what they like, including starting non-anarchical societies (like private estates!) within it), with just a few qualifications that it would be very hard to implement in real life: the most important one is the ability to move elsewhere if you don’t like the one that you’re in (including, as I recall, being able to move elsewhere in time to avoid that knife that’s about to sink into your back).

Nozick’s utopia is, sadly, not feasible in RL at our current levels of technology (and Nozick himself backed away from it in a sense in later works, writing about more statists and more practical arrangements of society); but it describes SL almost exactly. People can do what they like, but you can always TP away. If you want to start your own society, go right ahead: buy a private island or a big chunk of mainland, alone or with your buddies, and impose whatever rules you like there. But if someone else, somewhere else on the grid, is doing stuff you wish they wouldn’t, tough luck!

And that’s Utopia for me. :)

Anyway, here’s what I wrote on Prad’s posting. Comments and feedback most welcome.

So let’s see. There are vast areas of SL, the island estates, where there are covenants in place, where parcel owners can build only within the covenant imposed by the estate owner, where things can be just as controlled as people want. There are lots of different islands with lots of different covenants, and people can choose from a wide variety of degrees and types of control.

And then there’s an area, the mainland, where the only covenant is the ToS, and people can do whatever they want within the ToS. Everyone who buys or rents mainland knows this in advance, and presumably buys or rents mainland because that idea suits them.

From this we conclude that mainland is awful and broken and needs to be controlled! It is ugly (i.e. it doesn’t fit my particular taste)! It has things on it that I personally don’t like! People build things that I would rather they would not build! Oh no! It must be cleaned up (i.e. made to fit my personal taste better)! It must have a government! It must be maintained!

Pheh. I’m going to get a bit mean and sarcastic here, because you’re attacking something that I value highly. Apologies in advance. :)

I love the mainland for its anarchy, its unpredictability, its freedom. Most of the land that I own is mainland. My main holding is the park near the center of Hughes Rise (stop by sometime!). Yeah, I’ve had big ugly stores move in next door, and all manner of wannabe clubs, and a “police station”, and some lots with really ugly FOR SALE signs, and all of them amused me. It’s mainland, ffs! That’s how it works! If you want nice clean suburban yards where you get a fine for letting your grass grow too long, go buy estate land.

It really bugs me that people can’t stand the idea of having *any* part of the grid be free and open to anything within-ToS. Does every square meter of the grid have to be under the control of some finger-wagging controlling body? Is anarchy really all that terrifying and unbearable? It’s not like people are really in physical danger in the seedy areas. It’s not like someone’s going to trash your car if you leave it parked on the mainland (at worst it’ll be returned to your inventory).

For me utopia is a place where people can do whatever they want, with reasonable and minimal limits to prevent violating the rights of others (i.e. the ToS). Yes, this results in anarchy, in ugliness and in beauty, in chaos and unpredictability, and creativity and squalor, in stuff I love and stuff I don’t. That’s what’s wonderful about it! Managing it, controlling it, cleaning it up, would ruin it. Yes, the mainland is Utopia, and it’s not a lie at all! It’s just something that seems to enrage and/or frighten some people, for reasons I really don’t understand.

“Yet Mainland needs a good clean up – I want to see Mature content moved away”; why do you think that your wants should be the law? “but I don’t see that happening at all.” And a good thing, too. :)

end rant…

Fishin’ and Cruisin’

Just a lil innocuous weblog post about having fun in SL.

Fishing At Edloe

Since Ahuva taught me to fish, I’ve kept half an eye out for places to do it more (have to get a top to go with the bikini bottom that I caught that day!). So when I was walking around Edloe Island the other day (the domain of Crap Mariner, briefly noted in an old flickr snapshot) and noticed a barrel sitting by the water whose description text said something like “Allows fishing within 50 meters”, I sat down on the nearest object and cast out a line.

Didn’t catch much (just a couple of common fish, I think), but with the mist and the rainbow and the general relaxing, it didn’t really matter.

And speaking of generally relaxing :) I had a lovely two-level suite on the absolutely enormous cruise ship S. S. Galaxy (it takes up three entire Regions in SL, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was the largest “single thing” (whatever that means) on the Grid), for a week and a few days. (Why I had it is a long story, involving a coupon that I got a long time ago and decided to use and then misinterpreted the terms of, etc, etc, etc in painful detail.)

When the rental was about to run out, I spammed the group IM of my favorite shopping group with an announcement of an ad hoc open house and cruise party. Not alot of people came by (everyone was busy, like, shopping I think), but those that did were high quality.

Galaxy Party

From left to right, Phinn, an’ me, an’ Michele. A couple other ppl of obvious taste an’ discernment came by, too, but I didn’t get pictures of them. :)

And, as comes as no surprise anymore, lounging about on the deck of a simulated luxury cruise ship and talking with friends turns out to be huge amounts of fun, and soothing to the soul.

R U Kidding?

So I tried Twinity the other month, and am still on their mailing lists, and I get the occasional email from them. The frequency isn’t often enough to be annoying, but the content pretty much invariably reminds me that I am not the person that their marketing folks have in mind. The latest:

Dear Dale,

R U HOT? is looking for Twinity’s hottest avatar!

Spring arrives in Twinity! The best conditions to stroll through 3D Berlin’s streets and show off your avatar’s perfect appearance! If you would like a little extra hot topping with it, we have a special offer for you: R U HOT? in Twinity!

At our first model contest you can watch stylish Twinizens parading down the catwalk showing some virtual skin. Be one of the first to see the hip outfits and hot beach wear for 2009!

Where’s that gagging-spoon?

‘course it isn’t just Twinity; Plurk also seems intent on driving me away screaming. Unfortunately they haven’t yet succeeded…

A fond farewell to PIER

‘Way, ‘way back in The Day, I used to hang out at Elbow Room (SL’s most popular 96m2 club) quite a bit. Carys Dahlstrom was one of the more friendly and outgoing bartenders there (as I recall, an ER bartender combined the function of Host and DJ in larger clubs, there not being room for both). She once IMd me asking if I’d like to be a bartender; I replied that if I didn’t have a strict policy against having to be responsible and show up on time and stuff in SL, I would have jumped at the chance.

The then-owner of Elbow Room was a somewhat mercurial character, and on one of the occasions when he fired the entire staff, word went out that everyone was gathering at “PIER”, a club owned by Carys, until things calmed down at ER. At that time, PIER was a very nice medium-sized build I forget where, and a fun place to hang out. Eventually PIER got its own sim (called “PIER”), and there were some nice little rental houses and shacks available, and I rented one.

My Pier Shack

(Click through for the renormous size.)

I forget exactly when this was, but it was a long time ago as SL things go; I’ve been renting ever since, through the various interesting events that’ve occurred there. For awhile I paid no rent, because Carys is extremely generous and let me earn my keep with the occasional informal scripting or tee-shirt making project.

There was that day when the entire region except for my shack was behind banlines (I never really did figure out what was going on there), various other renters coming and going, the creation of the Sub Club (a grunge-themed underwater club space contrasting with the clean seabreeze-swept PIER club itself), the Jazz Club, the marina, the poker room upstairs, the drum-circle islet. PIER features in various postings to this weblog, particularly Where I Rez; my PIER shack has been my SL home location for a long long time also.

As time went on, things changed. There was a great live-music series at one point. Carys bought ER, and got involved with a boy :) and suddenly had less time for PIER. Various long-time staffers left for one reason or another and new people came in. After a long quiet time without much going on, a new management team came in (and we worked out that I would actually start paying rent, which was fine with me), and there was talk of new stuff starting to happen again. I got a couple of new renter neighbors on the islet next door. But then apparently something went wrong (and I’m sure I don’t want to know all the details!), and a group notice came through that PIER was shutting down. The farewell party is, I’m told, on the 20th.

PIER was a great place. The build was nice, a very laid back seaside atmosphere, a nice PG club with an outdoor wood-plank dancefloor and a cozy lounge, couple danceballs but no poles for strippers, a long boardwalk around the back with vendor stalls (that seldom had any shoppers), islets with houses and drum-circles and all, lots of open water, a couple of wooded fingers of land with hidden cuddlespots and fires to sit by. Nothing NPIRL or incredibly unique, just a nice place. It was unique as a community because of the people; lots of nice people coming and going, only a moderate amount of drama. I liked it alot.

I’m wistful about it closing, sort of nostalgic in advance, but not really sad. I’ll take away all my objects, I’ll have all my pictures and memories. People are talking about where we’ll hang out once PIER closes, and I imagine I’ll stay in touch with some but not others. I’ll change my home to the Hughes Rise Park, or maybe my myPod in Extropia, I’ll find a nice place for the kitty to live, and places to show whatever bits of artwork from the shack that I don’t want to just leave in inventory. And I even bought my own copy of the shack! It’s a Barnesworth Anubis prefab, with lovely open windows and a feeling of light and air.

Things change, the world moves. We always carry the past with us, and the pieces of PIER that I’ll take onward with me will be some of the bits of the past that I’m especially fond of. Happy thanks to everyone that’s contributed to it.

(Update:someone said at Tiphares last night, while we were all reminiscing, that the Elbow Room is actually only 96m2. Disbelieving, I just went and measured it, and indeed it’s 8m x 12 m. Smaller than my shack! Shows what can be done in even a tiny space…)