PostHeaderIcon ...How Weak and Fruitless Must Be Any Words of Mine...

Me and my overworn crocksIf a picture is worth 1000 words, does it take 1000 words to draw an accurate picture?

Perhaps these days: yes.

Of course this is an exaggeration. But the point being that our verbal communication is really in the dump these days. We simply do not have command of our own languages any more. Our minds have become lazy, or face a dearth of knowledge due to the simple education most of us have received where over the years schooling has slipped from hardcore education into liberal agendas and the like. We are brainwashed into gullible sheep, often taking what is hearsay as fact and easily believing almost anything presented to us.

The second life blog is a clear example of misunderstandings on a regular and consistent basis. So much so that the same people are ping-ponging their comments often in answer to a previous comment. This is actually good thing, but unnecessary had our verbal communication skills really be up to snuff.

Our verbal skills have slipped considerably and I'll be the first to admit it for myself and it's not just the simplified education we receive either. I would venture to suspect ever since the photograph and now motion-pictures have helped our language to whither.

Because of our severely-limited ability to communicate verbally in a concise and efficient manner these days, a lot of misunderstandings occur. It takes far more words to present a clear description of our intent than it should because we simply do not have the appropriate 'library' of dialect in our heads. Too many words in our language are dying-off and being replaced by trash. Take for instance the word "ain't". What exactly is that supposed to be a contraction of?

The cheap dictionary (Webster's) quickly inserted this non-word into the primary language of the United Sates because so many 'kids' were using it. The true 'blow' came when the "official dictionary of the English language", the Oxford Dictionary also added the word. The question is when will they add "Ah'ight"?

What a shame.

Because of our lack of language skills, we require more words to communicate a thought and it often is misinterpreted. The receiving party may become emotional and emotional communication often turns shrill. Among my favorite quotes is:
"Never raise your voice when you should reinforce your argument."

[I can get the author's name at home, but I'm not at home right now —Ari]

The subject I speak of thus far is on my mind often. Especially when people throw around evil net-speak (which really does make my case on this subject.) However, what brought this subject to the forefront of my thoughts, again, is reading all the replies to Jack Lindens blog post update regarding camping bots. He also touched on landbots and camping chairs and all that stuff.

Unlike in the past where idiots would post vitriolic and plain stupid waste-of-space talk-backs in the original Second Life blog, everyone here has at the very least tried to be thoughtful and respectful in their replies, though the argument is still a tad on the passionate, if not heated side. Nonetheless, some are taking an emotional tact rather than a logical one. It's easy to spot who in that thread are the ones running camping bots and camping chairs for the sole purpose of artificially boosting their traffic.

There is no doubt that camping bots are there to artificially boost traffic for the parcel they are camping on. This in terms of 'artificial visits' to the parcel. And as Jack mentioned, and I agree: what use is there for camping objects other than to artificially boot traffic count?

The other problems with camping anything (bots or even real people) is the map-dot effect. Second Life is a social platform. Often people will simply scan the map looking for the crowd of dots, teleport in in the hope of being social and perhaps making new friends or participating in an event and they land in a proverbial ghost-town. This happens to me often - I have my regular hangouts and places I like to explore. So I'll search places and usually preview the map to see if there is activity before I go through what has become the time-consuming process of teleporting, landing, rezzing and so on.

When I land in a place where the map shows 20 or more dots and the place is a ghost-town, especially in a so-called role playing sim, I feel downright cheated. That sim goes onto my blacklist, which unfortunately grows longer each day.

I have already made my argument against things like camping bot and camping objects and like any decent 'argument', I have provided solutions rather than just shooting down the idea of these things.

The part that gets me is how some people really are reacting in what appears to be an emotional manner. The kind of argument that works on the premise of "If I can't do it illegitimately, you can't do it legitimately, either!" This is a clear sign of the emotional defensive posture these people are taking. I'm not trying to insult them, but rather simply point-out the ridiculousness of their claims. For example there are arguments that "Seven Seas Fishing" is a camping tool; money trees are camping tools; lucky chairs are camping tools and so on.

Actually, it comes down to the definition of camping.

In this argument, I define "camping" as an inactive avatar positioned on a parcel for no reason whatsoever other than to be a virtual "warm body" and serves no other purpose and participates in no other activity whatsoever, especially if it's not human-controlled. And therein lies the rub: activity.

People looking for lucky chairs are actively doing so. People looking for money trees are actively doing so. People looking for fishing games are actively doing so. And in the process, they are active in participating in the entertainment.

Are they traffic-generating devices? Yes.

Generating traffic is not against the TOS. Plopping inert and dormant avatars that do absolutely nothing and are simply zombies to help boost traffic is against the TOS (at least as of Jack's announcement on May 21, 2009).

Lucky chairs, money trees, fishing and many other things are activities that are actively sought out and requires active action on the part of the person visiting. The point being, these are activities on the grid. Not some inert, non-human-controlled or human-zombie-controlled avatar.

Yes, there can be bots that do these things. But many times the people participating in camping are so lethargic in it it may seem they are bots.

As for an example of the English language being efficient and concise? I watched Saving Private Ryan again a few days ago. In one of the opening scenes a letter from President Abraham Lincoln to a mother of fallen civil war soldiers is read aloud (as quoted in the movie "Saving Private Ryan")
Gen. George C. Marshall:
I have here a very old letter, written to a Mrs. Bixby in Boston.

"Dear Madam: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming.

"But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

"Yours very sincerely and respectfully, Abraham Lincoln."

discussionI understand that to be an actual letter written by Lincoln and not just some creatively-written movie lines. Now that's efficient, concise writing that simply doesn't exist in the world today.

In the end though, it is good that the debate rages on. Good, clean debate helps all to see others' views and experience perspectives they may not have thought of or taken into consideration before.

Let's just try to reinforce our arguments rather than raising our voices.

Oh!  And yes, I agree, had my own language skills been "up to snuff", this article would convey everything it had, in half as many words.

/me grins
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