NCI, Roswell and Flat Earth Theory

I have found the following blog post. This is an example of what I call “Yammerhead Drama”

Below is a full analysis of the resignation of Carl Metropolitan as the Executive Director of NCI. Carl is the founder of NCI and developed it to it’s status from 2005 to 2009. He was forced out of power by the Woodbury University Group members that had infiltrated his organization and had become officers of NCI. The entire scheme was orchestrated by an unlikely character – Imnotgoing Sideways (Immy)

A group of friends go to a bar. One or two of them are acquainted the manager. They all drink a bit too much and get into argument. The next day, the bar closes, and then reopens under new management.

As is inevitable on the internet, people who have exactly zero clue of any of the reality of the situation, place themselves at the center of the universe. Not being equipped with even the most fundamental facts*, or the intent to apply the least bit of critical thinking, they doggedly mistake correlation for causation, and ascribe the change in management to the personalities involved in the argument.

“But when I look to the horizon, it’s flat! And all my friends tell it can’t be anything else! Everybody speaks only of a flat earth. Look! I have 50 books of people saying it is flat! It has to be true! *It’s in writing!*”

No matter how many cow pies you stack, they will never amount to bar of gold.

There is the kind of people who dig though reams of forums, selectively quote bits of hearsay and compile them in the fashion that suits them most so as to provide the appearance of credibility for when spew their own ideological stance. They remind me of wind up yappy-dog toys.

Then there is the kind that whose unending articles are filled with hyperbole of the extreme kind. Terms like “violent overthrow!”. They rely on pushing the emotional buttons of those who haven’t really honed the art of making thoughtful distinctions, or who are inclined to be swayed by drama rather than reason. Their writing is no closer to the mark.

The internet is peppered with these kind of people. The best we can do is look out with human eyes, our best experience of what reality is and apply some basic critical thinking.

So the wild-eyed ranting speculators claiming to have some deep insight into a dark, politically explosive, mysterious and byzantine politics of simple volunteer organisations feed off of the energy of the ignorant and uninvolved.

All the while, they ignore the authentic players and public words of those who ARE in fact involved. And rarely do they apply the simplest common sense, or often take the time to appreciate and acknowledge simple human truths.

This is how conspiracies like Roswell alien/UFO propagate. A bit of hearsay from people supposedly said to be in the know (but nobody really checks) make a few dramatic sounding claims (that nobody really can or will do the effort to source, investigate, check and think about critically). The gossip gets around and next thing you know: Voila! We have a Space Alien cover up by the government.

Here are the simple facts:

Imnotgoinging Sideways, Prokofe Neva, and Woodbury have in fact very little to do with any of it. They are attention magnets, but they have no direct involvement, and at the most extreme, play a paltry role on the edges of the entire situation. They are as relevant to the argument as the drunks outside the bar are to the bar owner’s business affairs with city council.

The world does not revolve around you, or aforementioned people.

The real facts are so simple as to be dull. And they are all very public for those willing to take the time to *read them* with an open, adult, and critically thinking mind. They were all released on day one. Openly. Publicly. Perhaps too much so.

NCI and Oxbridge are both newbie helping organisations. NCI and Oxbridge have had a partnership for some time. Both are driven by intelligent decent people who care about their organisations and want to protect them the best way they know how.

Each organisation has its own culture, style, values and attitudes towards what constitutes good management. Both organisations (like everyone in SL) experience a certain degree of griefing. As newbie helpers, who run very public parcels, we’re simply more sensitive to it.

It is Caledon’s policy to reject membership at certain levels to all those associated with certain groups. It is their view that eliminating a group as a whole is an effective tool in keeping his area free of pests. Who doesn’t want to be free of pests? As to the choice of approach, it’s their land. It is their money, their investment, agreements, goals, life. They get to make whatever policy they see best for their organisation. Anybody’s opinion other than their own, regarding the management of their land and organisation is meaningless.

NCI also has the same goals, and according to NCI’s best intent and management policy, while we agree in 99% of all ways, this is one core value in which we differed. It has been in NCI’s policy for YEARS that we don’t discriminate against groups as a whole. When we are helping, we’re not dealing with an abstraction called “a group member”, we’re dealing with a person. Dealing with each incident and person, one by one, was built into NCI from day one, and it’s a value that we all cherish. This is one of the reasons that we excel at what we do. Anyone who spends a reasonable amount of time at NCI will find that we’re *very* effective at handling griefers and keeping our land clear of them.

Oxbridge proposed to Carl that NCI adopt the a policy similar to their own. Carl thought long and hard about it and determined that he would have to make a decision that some might not like, and he did. SOME members of the Board of Directors felt that it was a decision that they would not be willing to support, and so chose to leave rather than to act against their own values.

That is their business. They get to do that. It’s their life. Anyone’s opinion other those involved is irrelevant. And before any yammerhead tries to impugn *any* party on *any* side, I have one simple question: “Where you there, directly involved in the thick of things, having a full awareness of all the facts, details, personality, values and experience?” No? Then you have no basis for pretending that you know the first thing about it.

Carl had choices. Among the most obvious: He could change his mind about applying the policy. He could find a compromise that satisfied all parties. He could find a solution that was neither black nor white, but some shade of grey. He could have thought up entirely different alternatives. He could persuade the members or the other parties to go for another option. He could have found different arguments to persuade them. He could accept that the members had left and replace them. He made a choice that caught a lot of us off-guard. He quit.

Carl quit because he felt it was his best choice. He was NOT forced out, directly, or indirectly. There was no overthrow, coup or any such sensationalistic nonsense. Some board members quit, then he did. He is the one who thought that choice up and acted on it. If he was not able to see other choices, or if he could and felt that they didn’t apply, nobody knows but Carl. That is Carl’s life. He makes his own choices. It is his business. Nobody has the authority to second guess him. The only one who can speak authoritatively for Carl, is Carl.

The fact of the matter is that this issue to ban by group, or to deal by individual is a value judgment. There is no right or wrong answer. I’ve been following the threads, and I’ve noticed that after *much* discussion, none of the participants seem come to an agreement. I have not read one single point that had not already been reviewed interally. There is no one right answer to be found and the reason is simple. There is none. It is a value judgment. NCI did not take it upon themselves to make the correct decision for the world. They chose to make the decision that they felt was correct for NCI. And Caledon made the decision that was correct for Caledon. End of story. If someone wants to perform a long-term scientific study with accurate and confirmable data as to the effectiveness of one approach or another as to the efficacy in keeping land free of greifers, I say, go to it. When you’re done, I’ll be more than happy to review your findings and discuss it. I’m sure that LL would find it useful too.

Some people believe that the issue is that of relationship and public image. Fair enough. But anyone who cares enough to visit either place and spend the briefest amount of time will be able to discern each group’s truth. The people who *really* count, the newbies that we help? They don’t know or don’t really care. They just want to stop walking like a duck, or build a house. For those who are more experienced, if they are at all interested, and have the common sense, they’ll check it out to find out how each place is run. As for Linden Labs, they are well aware of who each party is, and they are smart enough to see what is what.

So now, where does that leave all the arm chair quarter backs? Exposed for what they are: unrelated, uninvolved, unknowledgeable third parties. They are simply people who spend their time trying to sculpt cow pies in the hopes of convincing people that it’s gold.

*Pop quiz: Who founded NCI?

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7 Comments

  1. Corcosman Voom said,

    September 6, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Blaze Columbia founded NCI. /me waves to Blaze-y

    • Quite Oh said,

      September 6, 2009 at 10:55 pm

      Close but no cigar. Hint: The answer is easily found on this very blog.

  2. Tyche Shepherd said,

    September 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    As an outsider observing the flurry of posts on SLU , I appreciate this clear and concise explanation of events.

  3. Dakota Schwade said,

    September 7, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Brace Coral was the founder of NCI.

  4. PulseBurst Flow said,

    September 11, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Pop Quiz: The name NCI was chosen because it Brace wanted to use the letters C & I which the initial letters of a term coined by which well-known Second Life writer?

  5. Quite Oh said,

    September 12, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Yeah, we know. Prok and FIC. That’s what Brace claims, anyway. But she gets to say :)


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