All right, i know i promised to be good and to steer clear of rants, in favour of more lighthearted posts, and i did make myself a personal promise not to say anything about the inevitable backlash of bad feeling and ill-informed complaining that would inevitably follow SSA – even if it worked perfectly – but i just can’t help myself!
Don’t even think about asking “What’s SSA?” – if you don’t know by now, there are only two valid excuses for asking that question: either you’ve been totally absent from sl, and anything to do with it, for at least a year, or you’re so new to sl that you can still pick linden dollars from trees. If you don’t fit into either of those categories, and you still don’t know what SSA is, shame on you!
Similarly, if you haven’t the faintest idea of what materials might be, are still in the dark about the Advanced Lighting Model, are completely clueless about CHUI or are still clinging futilely to the hope that V1/Phoenix is going to rise triumphantly from the ashes to once-more become the viewer of choice for dossing around in sl, then it’s way beyond time that you took a long, hard, virtual reality check. Every one of these changes has been announced, discussed, debated, explained, had videos made about it and has even been featured – often more than once – on the official sl announcements blog… you know, the headlines that show up every time you open the control panel?
To be unaware of what these changes are, what they mean and why they’re happening simply shows a shocking degree of complete ambivalence on the part of sl users who claim to be oblivious to them – and this includes a large number of people who really should know better. Even now, for example, a full four months after the z-offset adjustment was removed from Firestorm, (the slider that stopped your boots sinking into the floor), there are still people asking where it’s gone – members of the Firestorm Preview Testing Group, no less… i really do despair!
Here’s the thing: sl is complex, sl viewers are complex and – if we are going to get ourselves involved with complex things – we need to ensure that we are suitably equipped with the knowledge that will enable us to use them. See my post from yesterday for a prime example, set by Yours Truly, of how not to go about this.
Let’s consider a few scenarios to illustrate my point…
- Would you attempt to drive a car around town, without at least learning how to drive first? (Outrunning the cops in Grand Theft Auto doesn’t count!)
- Having mastered the basics of driving, would you even consider driving in a foreign country without first checking up on the local motoring laws?
- Following your extradition for dangerous driving, would you get on a plane knowing the pilot had no up-to-date knowledge of air traffic control, or in-flight procedures?
- After the plane crash, would you trust a surgeon who insisted on using 18th century tools and techniques?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, please don’t be offended if i never accept a lift from you, quite aside from the fact that you are obviously barking mad, criminally negligent, or both.
Yet an inordinately large number of people choose to jump headfirst into sl without ever attempting to understand even the most profoundly important elements of the environment they’ve chosen to adopt. i’m not talking about noobs – any new user shouldn’t be expected to be au fait with the latest trends and changes, at first – it’s the more seasoned residents who somehow seem to think that the virtual world around them will magically deliver the goods each time and every time, no matter what the circumstances. When it doesn’t, they lash out at the affrontery and injustice of it and demand the craziest of things – accompanied by stamping of feet and throwing of tantrums – without ever taking stock of the situation in a rational and – above all – informed manner.
Don’t misunderstand me – i’m not saying that sl or the viewer we choose are beyond criticism, neither am i suggesting that everyone with an sl account should be keeping themselves at the cutting edge of development, but at the very least we should be ensuring that we get our facts straight and aren’t actually contributing to the problems ourselves. If we choose not to avail ourselves of the information pertinent to our virtual world and the issues we may be experiencing, or if we choose not to stay up to date with our equipment, interface and understanding, then we should shut up and suffer in silence.
At the very least, before we get all sanctimonious and whiny, we should explore the 3Ws… Wiki; Web; Wherever else information is available, (clunky, i know – but i couldn’t think of a catchy 3rd W!) – then, and only then, if we haven’t found an answer, should we consider complaining. By the way, an answer that isn’t on our terms, is not what we want to hear or is a plain and simple ‘No’, is an answer nonetheless.
OK, enough ranting – i’m going to watch the butterflies and dragonflies being pretty in the trees opposite. If you’re honestly still bemused about SSA or are having problems inworld that may be attributable to it, then there are many, many sources of information that will point you in the right direction. i recommend taking a look at what Shug has to say – it’s simple, to the point and in plain English… and she has oodles more patience than i do!
People say believe half of what you see,
Son, and none of what you hear.
I can’t help bein’ confused
If it’s true please tell me dear?
The Slits – I Heard It Through The Grapevine