Alts in CDS (checking King Canute's ID card)

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Jamie Palisades
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Alts in CDS (checking King Canute's ID card)

Post by Jamie Palisades »

Sudane, this picks up on your comments from the other thread on land-owners, here: http://forums.slcds.info/viewtopic.php? ... 348#p11348

Any system which MUST do something, and CANNOT, is broken.

Isn't this the case, with "policing" alts?

So why does CDS continue its impossible, Ulrika-initiated Alt-Pogrom, then? Frankly I'd never heard of it, until recently. Now that I have, I don't see the urgency. I can only think of two policy issues:
(1) Vote fraud (Me and 6 of my alts all vote for me, or indeed, anyone); and
(2) Aggregate land credit risk (I default on rent for Parcel A, and ought to be evicted from CDS, including Parcel B .. but I hold B through an alt, so you don't know)

#2 does not seem compelling: whatever the "fairness" issues, the financial risk to CDS seems pretty small.
As for #1, why do we not just have qualified voters *certify* to CDS that they are not voting as an alt too, or something like that? Then, if they lie, they have committed actual fraud :) which is easier for us to punish.

Not seeing the big deal here, Jamie P

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Sudane Erato
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Re: Alts in CDS (checking King Canute's ID card)

Post by Sudane Erato »

I entirely agree that Issue #2 is not of much concern. If an alt doesn't pay their tier, they are removed from the roles, and their land is re-possessed (following the required 3 month process).

Issue #1 is the one which has generated the volumes of verbiage in the past, on account of just the reason you mention. Conspiracy fears seem an essential characteristic of human nature, and in fact one or another of them has been present in our community, continuously, since its beginning. In recalling the essence of the debate, there seems never to have been much doubt that one RL person = one voting member of the community. The "debate" then comes down to the imposition of methods to ensure compliance, or even whether compliance can be ensured.

As I said, this seems to be a futile enterprise. For the purpose of defining "fraud" in this matter, it seems to me that even as things stand now, with our current law, a person commits fraud by representing a second alt citizen as a qualified different RL person. But I may be wrong about this.

But this matter also presents a problem for land covenant administration, a matter that affects my role much more. We have statutes which limit parcel ownership by one citizen to two parcels in any "city zone" and 4096 sqm in any rural zone. If we assume, as I do, that this limitation applies to citizens (rather than alts) then the problem of multiple alts becomes rather obvious. I just don't have the tools at this time to ensure that one citizen, as represented by multiple alts, complies with these covenant limitations.

Of course, this is not the only provision of the covenants/laws where I am administratively stymied. As I've pointed out, the Group Land Ownership provisions make these same covenant requirements impossible to completely enforce. But, thats another topic.

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

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Re: Alts in CDS (checking King Canute's ID card)

Post by Cindy Ecksol »

Sudane Erato wrote:

As I said, this seems to be a futile enterprise. For the purpose of defining "fraud" in this matter, it seems to me that even as things stand now, with our current law, a person commits fraud by representing a second alt citizen as a qualified different RL person. But I may be wrong about this.

But this matter also presents a problem for land covenant administration, a matter that affects my role much more. We have statutes which limit parcel ownership by one citizen to two parcels in any "city zone" and 4096 sqm in any rural zone. If we assume, as I do, that this limitation applies to citizens (rather than alts) then the problem of multiple alts becomes rather obvious. I just don't have the tools at this time to ensure that one citizen, as represented by multiple alts, complies with these covenant limitations.

Of course, this is not the only provision of the covenants/laws where I am administratively stymied. As I've pointed out, the Group Land Ownership provisions make these same covenant requirements impossible to completely enforce. But, thats another topic.

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

Actually it's not IMPOSSIBLE to enforce, just not possible to do it based on purely technological tests. Ulrika was on the right track looking at IP addresses. That's actually a method that should work most of the time. The key is that when a duplicated IP address is spotted, we can't just jump to the conclusion that an alt is at work. There ARE other tests that can be applied if two avs are suspected of being alts. Those tests require cooperation from the avs in question, but a law could be written to say that if the IP address test (or some other factor) indicates that two citizens are alts that they must either agree to cooperate with other verification methods or one of them must leave CDS.

Now, knowing that an IP address is the main identification test, certainly individuals could devise schemes to ensure that their alts never logged in from the same address. But it would be much more difficult to arrange this, and certainly massive fraud (one individual with three or more alts) would not be very practical. It would be nice if we could count on everyone playing fair, but if there's really so much paranoia about alts floating around, maybe it would be a good idea to start putting some specific "alt tests" into the law.

Cindy

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Re: Alts in CDS (checking King Canute's ID card)

Post by Patroklus Murakami »

This is a difficult nut to crack (which is why we've had several goes at it before and not yet managed to find an acceptable solution) but that doesn't mean we shouldn't persist in trying!

I think we need to be clear about what we're trying to achieve though. If our aim is to prevent anyone from ever having one or more alts as voting citizens in the CDS then that's probably unachievable unless we institute some draconian system involving way more real-life disclosure than many of us would be comfortable with. We'll probably be able to think of ways to get round something less rigorous but I still think we should try. Our aim shouldn't be perfection - "the perfect is the enemy of the good" - it should be to deter people from creating alt accounts to manipulate the ballot. We should aim to make it more difficult to engage in this kind of fraud but without the unrealistic expectation that we will make it impossible. If we make it extremely onerous to create ten alts but fail to make it difficult to create one we will have made some progress even if we have not achieved perfection. I would say that much would be good enough.

We had a brief forum discussion about some of these issues in connection with Linden Labs' Identify Verification system about a year ago. The thread is here. Perhaps we could think about ways we could adapt this system to suit our needs? The Lindens seemed to be receptive to ideas about how to improve this system and it would make sense to piggyback on an initiative that is already underway rather than try to devise our own scheme from scratch.

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Re: Alts in CDS (checking King Canute's ID card)

Post by Desmond Shang »

I'd say, with voter turnout so low, you've got more of a threat from some outside interest taking notice and overthrowing the CDS with real, actual people who do not have the best interests of the CDS at heart.

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Re: Alts in CDS (checking King Canute's ID card)

Post by Beathan »

I've always been skeptical of the need for the "no alt" rule -- but Jamie puts the reasons for it very well. I agree that the "credit risk" item is a weak justification (at best). The "thousand friends and alts" fear regarding voting is more real -- but it becomes less of a concern as our population grows -- especially if we maintain some residency (read financial or other real contribution) requirement for voting. Absent expensive real life legal process (subpoenas for LL billing records, etc.), I don't see the prohibition as workable.

There was some speculation that identity verification protocols could help -- but this seems like a dead end or at least a fairly annoying, burdensome and costly road.

Beathan

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Re: Alts in CDS (checking King Canute's ID card)

Post by Bromo Ivory »

I think the biggest threat to CDS is apathy and alienation - not alts. I would love there to be an easy way to verify that 1 person, 1 vote - but I cannot think of any way this will happen.

Another possibility - some corporations have "poison pills" in their incorporation laws to prevent hostile takeovers. We might be able to do something similar if anyone wanted to liquidate or drain the treasury into a personal account.

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Re: Alts in CDS (checking King Canute's ID card)

Post by cleopatraxigalia »

I think the concern of alts is valid but other than the issue of voting and padding votes I can think of no other real threat. I agree with Jamie that at the solution is simply to put a statement on the ballot that a person has to verify that they are voting only one time.. and address the alt issue. Of course someone could lie. But at least they cannot say they didnt know it was wrong and they also will, as Mr. LRA points out, commit fraud at that point. More than that is overkill. But that seems to be something we need to do before the next election.

And, Desmond, per your pointing out our low voter turnout in your opinion .. "low" is relative. The people who do vote are passionate about CDS and some may go a bit overboard I fear with the use of alts justified in their minds because they think they are right and deserve to control the CDS.

And even though I think this would make people feel more comfortable if someone would actually say they care about democracy and do this horrid act so feared I would be amazed. But then perhaps I overestimate my fellow citizens.

......p.s. I much more fear apathy and unwillingness to participate and our being dispassionate about making us a viable entity in and of ourselves without mommy sudane at the helm.

Cleo
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Re: Alts in CDS (voter turnout)

Post by Jamie Palisades »

Now there's one point where I agree with ThePrincess completely.
Our voter turnout's better than yours, Des :)

Other metrics of success, we can debate. And will, later this year. Even despots must please their peasants and gentry in some manner, to keep them around, or they will "vote with their feet". Des does a spectacular job in his domain -- overlooking the fact that his Mr. Rourke suit really is missing something. [1] Wonderful service, and a web of personal relationships. As with all the most successful oligarchs :) But for that very reason, benevolent despotry often does not outsurvive the despot.
You know the ultimate fate of most CDS projects. The auteur walks away.
Let's see what happens to Dreamland post-Anshe, or Elegiac Steampunk Heaven post-alpha-punk.
CDS, on the other hand, routinely outlasts its regicide impulses.

I always enjoy Des' critiques of our many foibles. He must, as well, given how many he's offered.
(Are we at 100 yet? Does someone have the Ludovico rig ready? [2] I even know a dungeon we could use. [3] Strangely it seems SL is full of them.)
But I will take his critique of democratic methods to heart ... as soon as he puts significant parts of his assets at the peril of a popular vote. Like we do, constantly. :)

Cheers JP

[1] What it is missing is Tattoo. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077008/. Really, should someone with a Volunteer Air Force *not* have an adjutant wandering around behind him at all time, pointing up, and muttering "da plane, Boss, da plane!" ?

[2] Note that our current ... democratic .. poll recommends this treatment. http://forums.slcds.info//viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1832

[3] See http://www.truveo.com/Mince-Pie/id/1958974701

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Re: Alts in CDS (checking King Canute's ID card)

Post by Desmond Shang »

Low voter turnout!? But it's always 100% turnout each and every time!

In fact, I even postpone elections until I get up from a nap, if I have to!

* * * * *

Hey, speaking of new regions and stuff like that - Alexicon wanted a CDS embassy. I gave one of my rare permissions to do so (bloody half the grid wants to pilfer Caledon residents with a pesky embassy).

Caledon SouthEnd (the last decent town for it, unless you want to be out in the sticks or pay $L 50/m or worse to a private party in Victoria City) is prebooking now, so if ONLY ONE of you wants to put a prim on the SouthEnd parcel map at the Caledon Guvnah's Mansion FOR THE OFFICIAL CDS EMBASSY ONLY - nobody else from the CDS allowed, no vacation house or shop or nonsense like that - better get over there quick. My regions have been known to prebook solid in a sneeze.

Whomever does will also be responsible for the parcel payment, and extracting the funds in a timely fashion from the CDS government will be their problem. It's $L 4096 down and $L 475/wk per 512m double prim once the region's open.

Caledon National Rail is the grey line on the map, and once SouthEnd is up and ready I assure you the trains will run on time shortly thereafter. :)

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Re: Alts in CDS (checking King Canute's ID card)

Post by cleopatraxigalia »

Just what I thought.
Not with a ten foot pole even.
:)
ya'll are so cute.
ThePrincess
(and the pea)

Cleo
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