What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

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Jon Seattle
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What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Jon Seattle »

There are two thing CDS Chancellors need to do, that they have not done as yet. My guess is that the second of the two, presenting the CDS favorably to the rest of SL and the world, has floundered on the lack of attention to the first.

The first is motivating and organizing volunteers to get involved in CDS projects.

Everyone who is willing to lend a hand, whatever their political alignment in the CDS should be welcomed if they are willing to roll up their sleeves. Especially if they have useful skills, and very especially if they are willing to teach those skills to others. Why is that not the case today? Five reasons.

1. We avoid creating volunteer projects.

Volunteer projects, especially challenging ones, tend to bring the community together to and help CDS citizens develop their skills. This is a major difference I have with both DPU and CARE’s past focus on contracting for work instead of supporting volunteerism.

a. We can’t afford to pay for the quality of work we now get. CSD’s public space would cost many tens of thousands (US$) to replace using commercial contractors.

b. Volunteer projects are themselves important tools of community development.

It seems to me there are major areas of public work we should consider supporting including, and especially developing extremely high quality physical and visual space, reusable public structures, and the development of reusable software to automate many of the routine functions of the CDS government and land management.

2. We do not provide resources for people to do volunteer work.

It is difficult to become a designer or programmer if you live in the CDS. I had to always maintain a sizable workshop plot outside the CDS in order to have space and prims for creative work. I was lucky that I was able to do that, many people cannot.

The way that the CDS has always gained such high quality building is by our own citizens teaching themselves to be good builders. There is no excuse for this sort of activity not being supported in the CDS.

The CDS should devote at least 5% of it’s total land to building resources and space for projects that develop it’s citizen’s skills. If you are worried about government control, this space can be managed by NGOs.

3. Our system is not inclusive.

In a weird SL version of RL nepotism, CDS posts are often looked on as a kind of political payoff. Of course this fails some of the time, because the particular Chancellor’s friends are often not those with the best skills, time, and motivation to do the best job.

Everyone who is willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work should be welcomed on CDS projects. Everyone. Not everyone can do every job but the Chancellor should be the key in coordinating in such a way to find substantial CDS volunteer work that uses each citizen’s skills if they are willing. The first step in doing this is establishing a CDS Citizen’s skill registry. The second step is designing public projects that use those skills.

The Guild, supposed to be an organization of builders, is again edging into being used as a political football. Making the guild a means for finding new voters effectively takes it away from the actual crafts people. Willingness to learn and do substantial work on actual Guild projects should be a prerequisite for Guild involvement. I am fine with the Guild being political on issues of building and land use, as long as it is open to new viewpoints and the politics is that of the designers in the organization and not manipulation from outside.

4. We do not value skills and skills development.

There is a kind of simplistic version of equalitarianism that I’ve heard here -- that any system that recognizes and promotes skilled work must be elitist and exclusionary. (Its particularly weird to hear this from people with politics to the right of mine.)

Only societies that recognize and promote high levels of skill get high levels of results in creative work. In this respect, I am entirely for meritocracy in all areas that relate directly to skills and the quality of products.

The answer to the fear that somehow more skilled people will have an advantage over less skilled people (in those specific areas) is simple. Mobilize resources to provide a path for less skilled people to learn and develop their own abilities. It becomes up to that person, then, to work to develop her or his abilities.

5. We do not recognize people who do volunteer.

Actually we do the opposite. Since I arrived the CDS, there has been a fear that any successful high-quality volunteer product will be seen as a political advantage, so many substantial volunteer projects run the risk of being countered by personal attacks. Its a major way that CDS society is deeply dysfunctional.

Meanwhile people across the entire political spectrum have given major chunks of their time and lives to the CDS project. Colonia Nova, for example, took a several months of work by a number of people, who all remain unrecognized, even by a small plaque. Likewise for AM. Sudane has done very very substantial building and enormous effort in financial management. Rose did amazing work on events. Gwyn’s work on the web site and forum. Arria, for organizing the Monastery project.

By not recognizing these volunteer efforts we send a signal that its politics, not hard work in building the CDS that matters most. We need not just to recognize those who have already made contributions, but also have an ongoing policy that recognizes every person who does substantial work for the CDS.

Creative Work and the CDS Economy

Some people are still waiting for large business development to come in and lift the CDS economy. A stock market or banking center perhaps. Not going to happen. It is telling that by far the largest CDS-rooted business is Betatech, an organization that is a product of and sells Moon and Gwyn’s (and others) creative skills.

The two successful areas of the SL economy are design and creative work (on a small scale, or on a large scale such as Betatech), and land (including malls who rent to the design sector.) If we are really interested in economic development, we need to wrap our minds around that fact. The key to economic development in the CDS is the development of its creative class.

There are two important reasons to support the development of volunteer projects and resource for people to develop creative skills.

a. Lacking a substantial tax base, volunteer work is by far the most important economic input into the CDS government.

b. Lacking some workable plan for commercial land development, the only way for the CDS economy to develop is by developing the skills of it’s citizens. And the best way to learn is to actually do projects.

Any chancellor that does not act decisively and effectively in leading the development of volunteer resources is not living up to his or her potential. I do very much hope that Alex will be a break with the past.

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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Dnate Mars »

There is so much wrong with this post I don't know where to start. I will have to think about this and respond.

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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Sonja Strom »

Do I detect a volunteer?

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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Jon Seattle »

Dnate Mars wrote:

There is so much wrong with this post I don't know where to start. I will have to think about this and respond.

Lets the the main points are:

1, We ought to welcome volunteer projects.
2, We ought to have sandbox space and other resources for people wanting to learn building skills
3. We ought to stop freezing out people who are not in our political camp from volunteer positions.
4. We ought to provide ways for people to learn, and recognize skills
5. We ought to publicly recognize people who donate their time and effort

Since Dante has not yet posted his reply, I would guess that he will support some combination of the negation of the above points:

1. We ought to discourage volunteer projects.
2, We ought to avoid providing sandbox space and other resources for people wanting to learn
3. We ought to award volunteer positions based on political affiliation
4. We ought not provide ways for people to learn, and / or not recognize skills
5. We ought to avoid any public recognition of people who volunteer

I look forward to seeing which of these he favors.

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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Jon Seattle »

I should add, that all three of the professional associations I belong to: Association for Computing Machinery, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and Association of American Geographers all have skills registries and make extensive use of volunteer projects. I've never understood the very weird idea that CDS should avoid involving volunteers.

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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Sudane Erato »

Jon, for the record, could you list the people who are *not* volunteers?

The L$1000 stipend is not a payment which converts a person from a volunteer to a salaried employee. The receipt of US$3.00/month (approx) (which as often as not I forget to pay) is hardly more than a gummy paper star to stick on your house.

Sudane.............................

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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Cindy Ecksol »

Jon Seattle wrote:
Dnate Mars wrote:

There is so much wrong with this post I don't know where to start. I will have to think about this and respond.

Lets the the main points are:

1, We ought to welcome volunteer projects.
2, We ought to have sandbox space and other resources for people wanting to learn building skills
3. We ought to stop freezing out people who are not in our political camp from volunteer positions.
4. We ought to provide ways for people to learn, and recognize skills
5. We ought to publicly recognize people who donate their time and effort

Since Dante has not yet posted his reply, I would guess that he will support some combination of the negation of the above points:

1. We ought to discourage volunteer projects.
2, We ought to avoid providing sandbox space and other resources for people wanting to learn
3. We ought to award volunteer positions based on political affiliation
4. We ought not provide ways for people to learn, and / or not recognize skills
5. We ought to avoid any public recognition of people who volunteer

I look forward to seeing which of these he favors.

While I am enthusiastically in favor of your general premises, you significantly weaken your position (both here and in your original post) with your personal attacks and political innuendos. It would be great fun to have a real discussion on these points without descending into those depths. And for starters, I'm with Sonja: I've been waiting for at least several weeks (since I first heard you mention a willingness to teach skills in a Guild meeting) to sign up for your first class. So if you're volunteering to teach, consider me you most eager student....

Cindy

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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Bromo Ivory »

Jon Seattle wrote:
Dnate Mars wrote:

There is so much wrong with this post I don't know where to start. I will have to think about this and respond.

Lets the the main points are:

1, We ought to welcome volunteer projects.
2, We ought to have sandbox space and other resources for people wanting to learn building skills
3. We ought to stop freezing out people who are not in our political camp from volunteer positions.
4. We ought to provide ways for people to learn, and recognize skills
5. We ought to publicly recognize people who donate their time and effort

Since Dante has not yet posted his reply, I would guess that he will support some combination of the negation of the above points:

1. We ought to discourage volunteer projects.
2, We ought to avoid providing sandbox space and other resources for people wanting to learn
3. We ought to award volunteer positions based on political affiliation
4. We ought not provide ways for people to learn, and / or not recognize skills
5. We ought to avoid any public recognition of people who volunteer

I look forward to seeing which of these he favors.

Jon - the above argument is a "Straw Man" and does not serve to prove your point. I would prefer DNate to state why he things you are wrong rather than you creating this "Straw Man."

Definition:

From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man:

Straw Man:
"A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw man argument" is to describe a position that superficially resembles an opponent's actual view but is easier to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent (for example, deliberately overstating the opponent's position). A straw man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it carries little or no real evidential weight, because the opponent's actual argument has not been refuted."
[...]
"A straw man argument can be set up in several ways, including:

1. Presenting a misrepresentation of the opponent's position and then refuting it, thus giving the appearance that the opponent's actual position has been refuted.[1]
2. Quoting an opponent's words out of context -- i.e., choosing quotations that are not representative of the opponent's actual intentions (see contextomy and quote mining).[2]
3. Presenting someone who defends a position poorly as the defender and then refuting that person's arguments, thus giving the appearance that every upholder of that position, and thus the position itself, has been defeated.[1]
4. Inventing a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs that are criticized, such that the person represents a group of whom the speaker is critical.
5. Oversimplifying an opponent's argument, then attacking the simplified version."

I believe you have done #1.

==
"Nenia peno nek provo donos lakton de bovo."

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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Jon Seattle »

Sudane Erato wrote:

Jon, for the record, could you list the people who are *not* volunteers?

The L$1000 stipend is not a payment which converts a person from a volunteer to a salaried employee. The receipt of US$3.00/month (approx) (which as often as not I forget to pay) is hardly more than a gummy paper star to stick on your house.

Oh, I agree with this. I even count the Chancellor, and certainly all civil servants as volunteers. The token "play village" payment does not change that one bit.

My point is that we could and should have a lot more volunteers and have a lot more people active on projects. And one of the Chancellor's key roles is to organize them.

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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Jon Seattle »

Cindy Ecksol wrote:

While I am enthusiastically in favor of your general premises, you significantly weaken your position (both here and in your original post) with your personal attacks and political innuendos. It would be great fun to have a real discussion on these points without descending into those depths. And for starters, I'm with Sonja: I've been waiting for at least several weeks (since I first heard you mention a willingness to teach skills in a Guild meeting) to sign up for your first class. So if you're volunteering to teach, consider me you most eager student....

Actually what I said at a Guild meeting is that if someone organizes classes, I would be glad to teach a programming class. I am very glad you are joining. First class will be next Saturday. I will post some things students should do to prepare.

As to your other point, I do consider not organizing, not even trying to organize, volunteers as being a key failing of the executive branch. In some cases it has been presented as a virtue -- Pel, for example, proposed that we provide RL salaries for civil servants no less than three times.

Last session, both Arria and I were prepared to jump in and start working on the CDS portal but we both got very frustrated with how it was handled (really badly) and ended up being very demotivated as a result. The reason I am not focusing on that situation is that the important point is not to point fingers, but to point out that this is an area that really really needs attention.

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Re: Have you done what you should do. THEP'S PLEA

Post by cleopatraxigalia »

JON.. Thank you for your post. You bring out a GREAT POINT regarding how we can be better.

LEts make it positive and lets ALL HELP!

"ask not what your sim can do for you, as what you can do for your sim"

i have made it my personal mission, and i challenge every CDS citizen to do the same.. ALL of us need to do these things. I do my best to do them AND you need to as well. One person cannot make this happen, not the pio, not the chancellor .. It is up to every single one of us.

1/ Please spend as much time as possible living working and playing in the CDS sims, and while you are there talk to everyone you meet. Make sure if they are a citizen already that they know how they can volunteer and ask them what their talents are and how they WANT to share and help them do that. Do this regardless of faction, etc. Point them in the right direction.

For example: A new citizen .. who now, is a active CDS volunteer and who as it happens, a CDSF member, seemed to have interests that would lend itself well to one of the chancellors projects.. .so i made sure they both knew each other and now they are workign together on that project.

2/ While you are in the sims.. and i challenge us ALL to be in them more... as you are able.......PLEASE TALK TO PPL YOU SEE... Ask them how they are, what they do, why they are in CDS. See if they know what CDS means.... if not, make sure you have the notecards that are in the givers about CDS and give them out. .......we need to ALL spread the word. HAND OUT THE NOTECARDS. We all have a responsibility. Share what you know. If one person visits CDS and doesnt leave knowing what we are and who we are and has met one of us.. SHAME SHAME

3/ Lets please stop pointing fingers at each other. What have you done lately to promote CDS. To help your fellow citizens and spread the word.

4/ Go to the info hub and talk to someone about CDS... Take a LM giver to your private land if you havent already ............Get on a committeee.. learn and ask. Go to your faction meetings. Go to RA meetings.

5/ Put your ideas on the forum........read it and write back. Be positive and spread the word. Help CDS be a place where people want to live and want to volunteer.

6/ Tell other CDS members how they can be better instead of what they do wrong.

I BELIEVE WE CAN DO THIS.. BUT WE ALL HAVE TO DO IT.
TOGETHER

Cleo
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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Dnate Mars »

Jon Seattle wrote:
Dnate Mars wrote:

There is so much wrong with this post I don't know where to start. I will have to think about this and respond.

Lets the the main points are:

1, We ought to welcome volunteer projects.
2, We ought to have sandbox space and other resources for people wanting to learn building skills
3. We ought to stop freezing out people who are not in our political camp from volunteer positions.
4. We ought to provide ways for people to learn, and recognize skills
5. We ought to publicly recognize people who donate their time and effort

Since Dante has not yet posted his reply, I would guess that he will support some combination of the negation of the above points:

1. We ought to discourage volunteer projects.
2, We ought to avoid providing sandbox space and other resources for people wanting to learn
3. We ought to award volunteer positions based on political affiliation
4. We ought not provide ways for people to learn, and / or not recognize skills
5. We ought to avoid any public recognition of people who volunteer

I look forward to seeing which of these he favors.

First off, I have wanted a sandbox sim since we first started discussing expanding into CN. We, however, are not yet able to support having a sim that does not generate revenue.
Second, when has anyone been appointed to a civil servant position that has been because of political associations? I know I never did it.
3rd, I gave up trying to get people to had classes in the sims. I had 1 person that actually followed through and held a class. 1 person showed up. Everyone else that told me they would, never gave me a time, place, or subject. I got tired of bugging them. If they didn't want to do it, I wasn't going to force it.
4th, what does point 5 even mean? When have we shunned people for volunteering?

And last, "We ought to discourage volunteer projects." All we do is work on a volunteer basis! The RA, Chancellor, the SC, the New Guild, and everything else is all volunteer. All 3 of the sims were based on volunteer work. Saying we discourage it is insane. Could we get work out of people more if we paid them? Sure. That needs to be decided on a case by case basis. Not everything needs to be free. We can pay for work well done. Sometimes that may be the only way to get that work done.

It is easy to point fingers and say that so and so should be doing this, volunteering for that, or helping with that. But then when they are asked to give up their time, they are too busy. You need to be the change.

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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Jon Seattle »

Bromo Ivory wrote:

Straw Man:
"A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw man argument" is to describe a position that superficially resembles an opponent's actual view but is easier to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent (for example, deliberately overstating the opponent's position). A straw man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it carries little or no real evidential weight, because the opponent's actual argument has not been refuted."
[...]
"A straw man argument can be set up in several ways, including:

1. Presenting a misrepresentation of the opponent's position and then refuting it, thus giving the appearance that the opponent's actual position has been refuted.[1]

Absolute nonsense. I asked a question, since Dante said in that "There is so much wrong with this post I don't know where to start." without giving details. I just summarize my main points. Its up to Dnate to provide his real objections.

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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Jon Seattle »

Dnate Mars wrote:

First off, I have wanted a sandbox sim since we first started discussing expanding into CN. We, however, are not yet able to support having a sim that does not generate revenue.

Well, thats great! But can we start with some sandbox land first? We need not wait until we have an entire sim.

Dnate Mars wrote:

Second, when has anyone been appointed to a civil servant position that has been because of political associations? I know I never did it.

Well, its great if you did not. I did object to the "deal" you did with CARE on a possible Vice Chancellor position. But my post was not about you in particular.

Dnate Mars wrote:

3rd, I gave up trying to get people to had classes in the sims. I had 1 person that actually followed through and held a class. 1 person showed up. Everyone else that told me they would, never gave me a time, place, or subject. I got tired of bugging them. If they didn't want to do it, I wasn't going to force it.

Two points:

1. In my opinion you gave up way way way too soon.

2. People learn best by doing. If a chancellor sets up volunteer opportunities doing real projects, sometimes under a more experienced mentor, they are much more likely to learn than in a formal class. a good place to start is here:

http://www.nap.edu/html/howpeople1/

Dnate Mars wrote:

4th, what does point 5 even mean? When have we shunned people for volunteering?

Shunned? Usually personal attacks of various sorts.

Dnate Mars wrote:

And last, "We ought to discourage volunteer projects." All we do is work on a volunteer basis! The RA, Chancellor, the SC, the New Guild, and everything else is all volunteer. All 3 of the sims were based on volunteer work. Saying we discourage it is insane.

Not insane at all. I can't find out place in CN where Moon is recognized for her months of hard work. I have posts from Jamie that recognize you as a major engineer of the Colonia Nova project but do not mention Sudane at all.

Dnate Mars wrote:

Could we get work out of people more if we paid them? Sure. That needs to be decided on a case by case basis. Not everything needs to be free. We can pay for work well done. Sometimes that may be the only way to get that work done.

The point of my post, if you bother to read it, is that we should not pay for more work, but provide good, safe opportunities for more people to get involved. But it was Pel, as a DPU member, on no less than three occasions who proposed that we move to a system of real RL salaries.

Dnate Mars wrote:

It is easy to point fingers and say that so and so should be doing this, volunteering for that, or helping with that. But then when they are asked to give up their time, they are too busy. You need to be the change.

I am sure I would say the same, mainly because, I am sure any effort will be unrecognized at best. We can do something to change that, make productive effort, not just politicking, the way to get ahead in the CDS.

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Re: What CDS Chancellors Should Do (but Haven't)

Post by Flyingroc Chung »

Jon Seattle wrote:
Dnate Mars wrote:

First off, I have wanted a sandbox sim since we first started discussing expanding into CN. We, however, are not yet able to support having a sim that does not generate revenue.

Well, thats great! But can we start with some sandbox land first? We need not wait until we have an entire sim.

Doesn't the land under the platz work anymore? Used to be where the guild built stuff... Unfortunately, both CN and NFS are really high-prim places, so it's really hard to set aside enough prim space. Maybe next sim we can set aside land specifically as a sandbox.

As for recognizing volunteers, I am frankly wary of official government recognition of volunteer work. It can very quickly turn into currency for paying people to do work, and thus "volunteering" becomes meaningless. It can also cause a lot of rancour, when some people who think they (or their friends) should be recognized are passed over for someone else. If you are passionate about giving people their due recognition, start an organization outside of the government to do specifically that, give out a yearly Zugzwang award for contributions to the CDS or something.

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