Death of a Nation


Two days ago (23 March), I was alerted by a Tweet from Skate Foss about the impending demise of The Nation of Victoriana. A day later, the story appeared in the Alphaville Herald, along with the full text of two notecards from Victoriana’s owner and Mayor, LittleBlackDuck Lindsay.

* A recent maintenance update broke my permissions in Victoriana, and Linden Labs did nothing to fix it after repeated requests, indicating this is not only an unfixable problem (or one they don’t care about) but one that if it happens again I’m S.O.L
* Since the permissions “issue” a number of Victoriana residents have contacted me; unsure about the stability or continuity of the estate/the Linden grid, given Linden’s lacklustre efforts to resolve things
* Over my time in SecondLife I’ve also lost a large quantity of inventory during grid-related issues or maintenance updates, effectively like ‘throwing money into the furnace” as I’ve never been able to get any of it back.
* According to reports from others, I’m not alone with the inventory loss issue, and apparently not alone in the perms scenario either
* It is becoming impossible to conduct any form of business, or assist anyone here; ongoing communication problems, lag, L$ issues, grid issues
* Linden Labs is trying it’s best to improve the grid experience for people, however in the process is devaluing any money or time anyone has put into the place already; making it a poor investment opportunity and an unstable future business prospect
* Ongoing grid issues, and an uncertain future about what rules of the game Linden are going to change ‘next’, make this grid an unstable environment for anyone to conduct a large-scale project such as Victoriana, expecting it to survive intact more than a few weeks
* Linden’s apparent lack of interest in DMCA issues via copybot use means I can’t trust that if I log in tomorrow my hard work won’t be sold by someone else, and if it is, anything will be done to rectify the situation by Linden
* I have not made this decision lightly

I had only seen indirect reference to Victoriana while touring Caledon and Winterfell, and my ongoing project to record what remains of SL’s earliest days has made me even more keenly aware of the impermanence of builds and sims. So, yesterday (24 March) I went to take photographs. Today, while uploading those photos to a new online album, I realized I needed to double-check some names and locations, so I went back…

Before & After: taken on subsequent days from the approximate same location above Victoriana Pavilion
Before (top): looking down toward the Pavilion and Town Square from the top of the Alp. After (bottom): looking back in the opposite direction, the next day.

LittleBlackDuck is exporting his lovingly-crafted reproductions of genuine Victorian buildings (most, but not all, in Australia) to a stand-alone OpenSim grid in his own computer. It can be speculated that some of them, at least, will reappear on a more public grid, or be connected to one or more through a hyperport. The photos I recorded yesterday and today are being assembled. It’s too late to go see the place yourself.


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6 responses to “Death of a Nation

  1. I'm working on a blog post that's related to this. Here's my opening so far:

    In an internet environment where there is an increasingly large gap between the number of works available and the time we have to view them, does any particular instance matter (outside of those who already find it meaningful)?

  2. To which I would respond two ways:

    1. Why restrict that to the Internet?

    There are more works in physical/organic space than any of us could ever see, even with an unlimited travel budget. I will probably never get to Europe — should a fire in the Louvre or bulldozers at Stonehenge have no effect on me?

    2. Some of us, for whom works already have meaning, are compelled to widen our circle. “Here, look at this — isn't it amazing?”

  3. “does any particular instance matter “…
    Absolutely!
    As was said… Just because a creation isn't something I wish to see or is beyond my financial means to see, doesn't mean it's value decreases.
    The Victorian era and style have never been something that really struck a chord with me, and yet yesterday, when a vast majority of Victoriana was still there, I went to see it and photograph it.
    The entire build was extrememly well done… and yes, one could see the love that its creator had lavished on it.
    There are well over 20,000 private regions in Secondlife… there isn't time to see them all… I'm glad I didn't miss Victoriana.

  4. Lalo:

    1: I see the internet as the vehicle that allows us to have instant access to so much content. As for the burning Louvre, I don't think it's a matter of whether it “should” have an effect on you, just that any negative feelings you would have would just be the result of stories in your head. Unless, of course, you were in the building at the time. ;)

    2. I love to widen my circle. But if the circle is infinity, then 1/2 an infinity doesn't detract from my ability to share and find new and interesting stuff.

    I just posted a mini-rant that's related to this thread:

    http://botgirl.blogspot.com/2010/03/mini-rant-second-life-is-farmville-and.html

  5. Botgirl, I went to your mini-rant and I don't see how it relates to this post at all.

    As to your other comments: My short answer to the question in your first is “Yes, it matters.” The clue to why it does is in your remark about “stories in your head”. We've recently been kicking the idea of Culture around… One of the things culture can be is: stories in everyone's head.

    There have always been, and there always will be, more “works” — whether of art, literature, music, or simple human acts of love or hate — than any one person can be made aware… and yet, despite that seeming futility, it is our nature to share those “stories in our heads”.

    Hence — completely by synchronicity — my previous post and this one. The first touched on creation of art (soror's trees); the second, destruction of art. I confess to a “political” statement by reproducing LBD's reasons for removal, but the reasons are far less important than the removal itself.

    … any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
    — John Donne, c. 1624

  6. Pingback: Rebirth of a Nation | Telling: Like it Is

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