User talk:Zero Linden/Office Hours/2007 Sep 25

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Transcript of Office Hours/2007 Sep 25 (link)

I wrote, in the context of massive griefing at Burning Life:

"[13:04] Morgaine Dinova: Wyn: that is actually the key to grief control. If each person can turn off what they don't want to see (maybe with help of event proxy), abuse disappears."

And Zero replied:

"[13:04] Zero Linden: If we each turn off what we don't want to see, do we have a shared experience?"
  • This was such an interesting reply, and not a point that I had ever considered previously, that it set me thinking long after the meeting. Three aspects come immediately to mind:
  1. Is a griefer part of our shared experience?
  2. Is a shared experience actually a common global experience?
  3. Are partially shared experiences a worthwhile goal?
  • The first of the above points carries an implicit answer to a point of fact: yes, a griefer clearly constitutes part of the global worldspace, being both a fellow participant and having a visible effect on the environment and on other participants, as we all do. Hence, a griefer forms part of our shared experience. So (I'm explicitly raising a straw man here), if "shared experiences are good" (or a goal, whether "good" or not), then it must be that "griefers are good", on that logic. Of course, there's a bit more to it than this, and I purposely phrased it in that contentious manner ... ;-)
  • A second key point of fact is undoubtedly relevant: we don't all enjoy the "contributions" made to our shared experience by a griefer. In other words, "shared experiences are good" is an insufficiently precise premise, as well as being my straw man. Since it probably doesn't suggest that everyone enjoys the shared experience of being griefed, does it mean then that ensuring a common global experience is the desired goal (and hence it's "good", whether we enjoy the experience or not)? I doubt it, but on the other hand I don't see any other possible interpretation. In my view then, my straw man is entirely flawed (as would be expected), but also, the concept of "common global experience" is deeply flawed as well.
  • Point 2 adds fuel to this fire. The fact of the matter is that nobody experiences an allegedly common global experience in the same way as anybody else, because we all process our perceptions through the filter of our own personality, interests, and biases. What's more, it is through sharing filtered (and hence subjective) experiences with others who also enjoy them that we form communities. I would suggest that the "common global experience" is not only not sought but is not even possible, because the end-point instrument is a human and not a bunch of measuring probes on a bench of science. Sending all data is no guarantee of common experience; if the goal is a technical one, then it should not be couched in the mystical phrase "shared experience".
  • For me (and it's unavoidably a subjective view), point 3 implicitly states the real goal: to create partially shared experiences within a world that is larger than anyone can individually experience. In other words, the virtual world does not deliver a common global experience. Instead, it delivers a collosal number of overlapping partially shared experiences.
  • For most of us, the griefer is not welcome in our current partially shared experience, and thus measures to help us achieve the desired subsetting are welcome. They should be an architectural goal. Notice that this runs contrary to the idea of the world being a shared experience. It's not to any significant extent. For a start, it's partitioned, so personal subsetting is built into the model, and there is no reason whatsoever why this subsetting should be by region alone.
  • I'm fully aware that I've argued in support of my original statement in the transcript. However, I do not see any alternative position that makes sense or even works at all without regard to people's individual experiences, and hence includes their desire to choose their experience. I would like to see it argued otherwise. :-) --Morgaine Dinova 13:41, 1 October 2007 (PDT)