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Reader Comments (7)

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 2:42PM (Unverified) said

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It is good to see you back! :)

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 3:40PM (Unverified) said

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Tateru, yes, I agree; six months ago I would have been very happy with this announcement (or at least have taken it seriously) but in the face of the gambling "ban" and the ad-farm "ban" it is not quite as impressive.

Whether it is inability or unwillingness to enforce, both of these have followed the same pattern. A loud and impressive announcement with a brief period of enthusiastic enforcement. A period of relative calm, with responses to ARs gradually dropping off. Then, work-arounds on the basis of the "letter of the law" (a joke when the "law" is arbitrary and rarely exactly specified anyway) are developed by residents, become commonplace and LL become very silent on the matter.

Gambling is a case in point; current work-arounds are a joke, for instance gambling for inworld currency exchangable for L$ by means of an unlosable skill game, but regardless of how clearly this is pointed out there is apparently no will to deal with them. Similarly ad-farms and land extortion are creeping back on the mainland.

It is not so much the specifics of cases as this general pattern of enthusiasm (and brief effective action) without proper follow-up.

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 11:56PM (Unverified) said

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I think the americans would say "All hat, no cattle"
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Posted: Aug 7th 2008 7:24PM (Unverified) said

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Welcome back hon! *big hugs*

You say "marginalizing or ghettoizing" as if zoning is an improvement. That's not something I agree with. This isn't SimCities On-line.

You do make a very good point about LL and past enforcement. I wonder what M has in mind?

This brings up past questions of whom M and Mitch Kapor think LL's future customers will be?

Posted: Aug 7th 2008 11:52PM (Unverified) said

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Indeed. If not the programmers, business people, educators, housewives, grocers, pharmacists, marketers, students, librarians, clerks and politicians that we have now, then who?
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Posted: Aug 8th 2008 1:01AM (Unverified) said

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I frankly have no more idea, Tat. Spacemen from the planet Tauz in the Gormi Dimension, situated somewhere five years to the left of now and 3 inches below your blogging table in a fish-tank?

Seriously though, welcome back. I really hope this shakeup doesn't last too long.
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Posted: Aug 21st 2008 3:14PM (Unverified) said

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A couple of thoughts on the zoning and enforcement matters:

While the Lindens seem to be implying that zoning might only be applied to new sims, applying it as well to some existing mainland sims might not be too difficult in a few cases where it matters the most. I am thinking of where one owner (a rental landlord, or a 'developer') owns all of a specific mainland sim, and could appeal for application of Linden Zoning. That might raise or lower the resale value of the sim, depending on the details and surrounding area, so it would be a matter for some thought on the owner's part.

Where advantageous, it would provide an incentive to an owner of "most of" a sim to buy out the minority owners. (Creating some sort of 'developmental eminent domain' scheme in those latter cases would probably be more trouble than it's worth.)

Zoning enforcement could perhaps be outsourced by the Lindens. This might allow it to be carried out more economically than through their internal governance. Yes, there would be cries of "FIC!" (see "rental landlords", above), but that kind of crabbing will occur no matter what the mechanism.

The enforcement structure can take a page from real-life zoning. I serve on the Board of Zoning Appeals locally here in RL (USA), and I can assure you that not every pesky detail of use and dimension is pinned down in the Zoning Code. But there is a Zoning Inspector that has to the discretion, and hopefully the common sense, to determine when something is out of compliance, interpret the rules, and respond to complaints. There is an Appeals Board that can respond to complaints about the Inspector's findings and finesse things further. And there is a layer of civil court action beyond that. None of these layers of enforcement are beyond accusations of error or bias (believe me!) but the scheme does seem to work to most people's satisfaction, on the average.

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