As I begin writing, this planet has turned beneath the sun’s light so that the imaginary line projected through their centers is about to coincide with what humans, in their unbridled urge to enumerate, analyze, and categorize things, have elected to call The Prime Meridian. That is, it is about to be midnight in Greenwich, England, as the civil calendar (another result of long-term social engineering, as calendars always are) also turns an arbitrary page from the last of December, 2010, to the First of January, 2011. It is New Year’s Eve, becoming New Year’s Day.
The planet will make another 1/4-turn before that theoretical line passes through the longitude upon which my new home sits, but — again, owing to arbitrary but (semi)convenient human compromise — local civil time is 5 hours behind GMT, even though by simple mathematics it should be 6.
Whatever — Happy New Year, everyone!
2010 C.E. has been… well, I wouldn’t want to endure another year like that. I became more certain as the days, weeks, and months dragged on that I faced nothing less than homelessness by the end of January, unable to pay the bills due… well, today, January 1. Nevertheless, I pushed on, relying on as many resources as I could find, and applying for any position for which my resume had even the slightest chance of qualifying me… with no result. Then, out of sky-blue-nowhere, a telephone call came from a recruiter who had been an early recipient of said resume — which led to everything chronicled in the previous two entries, here and here.
One might say — and I already have, to a couple of friends — that my New Year began a month earlier than everyone else’s. So, now I can relax, sip at some tequila reposado, and celebrate virtually/vicariously with everyone whose calendars are catching up.
Speaking of catching up….
It seems that everyone and their maiden Aunt Martha have posted predictions of some sort or another about Second Life in the year to come. Some of them are straightforward — some of them are deliciously wicked. I did that last year:
Linden Lab will continue to stumble through yet another year of poorly conceived, haltingly communicated and inconsistently executed policies, procedures, public relations campaigns, and platform and GUI “improvements”. Those efforts will have the apparent intent of drawing more new Users, encouraging them to pay for Premium memberships, and perhaps even retaining them — and those efforts will, by their very nature, continue to dissatisfy, alienate, anger and (in the extreme case) drive off the core population of existing Residents.
Your mileage may vary, but as I see it now, that was way too easy a prediction to make. And yes, I know: six months later I declared myself mistaken… but hey, sometimes I can be wrong about being wrong, too.
It’s tempting to repeat the same prediction, and if the same old crew were still in charge of the Lab, I wouldn’t hesitate. BUT: There’s a new CEO in the wings — a game designer, no less! — who may not yet know the sims of Second Life as well as he knows the Sims of Electronic Arts, but who we can hope will surprise us in a good way, for a change.
[If I were feeling particularly egotistical, I might send @rodvik a Tweet with a link to the SL History page here.]
I’m still immune to the vagaries of Display Names, because I’m still using a viewer (Imprudence) incapable of parsing them — though I understand the viewers which allegedly are capable end up with a lot of ??? where names should be.
I don’t hang out in public spaces, where the any-day-now influx of 16- and 17-year-olds might turn up, so I still can’t be arsed about that issue. My profile is PG-clean (always has been), and I’m not about to be making sexy-talk with anyone except Alisa, let alone total strangers. As for the rest of you: “Be careful out there.”
Also as reported last time: we’ve got new digs in SL. I learned shortly after we got the sim in InWorldz to just let Ali do her thing (which she usually does when I’m offline), because the results are going to be gorgeous. Well, guess what — I was right again:
We haven’t been neglecting our InWorldz home… just haven’t been there as much since last Sunday. We did stop by there last night to remove our goods from the “satellite” store in Equinox… lovely sim, fine people, but a business founded on providing the full range of available builds as samples on a three-level airborne “showroom” does not translate well, if at all, to vendor boards and boxed items. (Would you order a car online? No, you’d go to the dealer and test-drive it.)
So… now the midnight line has moved west by about 30 degrees (that is, it’s 0200 GMT). In another 3 hours it will arrive at the eastern shore of North America, and my New Year will gain a different number: 2011.
I wish, for those who may need it, that 2011 brings you what 2010 eventually brought me: rescue, and hope for continuation and growth. For all of us, I wish the year to bring us joy, without taking any away.
Dona nobis pacem.