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camping

Kindly Do Not Carry On Camping

I wrote the following a while back in relation to Forthcoming Restrictions on Traffic-Related Perversions, regarding matter unaddressed in that specific Laboratory Announcement:

Camping, for instance: offering camping chairs, which are then occupied by bots belonging to somebody else, is a symbiotic relationship between landowner and bot operator. In fact, if said chairs are occupied by residents, said residents are effectively becoming trafficbot subcontractors - "crowdsourcing traffic distortion" if you will. Whether or not bots are being used is fairly unimportant, and a campsite owner could certainly claim that they were not using bots, in the knowledge that by putting out large numbers of chairs and paying money to those sitting on them, some bot operator would shortly be along.

The LindenFolk, who despite my occasional disagreements with some of their decisions are none of them Fools, quite the opposite, are clearly aware of the relation too; thus we read the following penned by Mr Jack Linden:

The policy we announced is about Traffic, how that relates to Search, and how a deliberate attempt to falsely drive up the traffic score will no longer be allowed. We know from your comments that you want Search to be fair and relevant, and we want that too. Whether a landowner uses Bots or Camping Chairs, or Camping Chairs with Bots in them, the effect is the same - the traffic score for that parcel is inflated unfairly.

Are there other uses for so called Camping Chairs other than for Traffic? If you know of some please let us know in the comments below! However, the feedback and data tells us that by far the main reason for large numbers of Camping Chairs at a location is to unfairly gain a Search advantage.

So the policy statement is that where we see a Resident unfairly increasing their Search ranking, regardless of how that is achieved, it will be considered as 'gaming'. We will give a first warning to begin with and direct people to the policy. However continued gaming can result in suspension or removal from Search listings altogether.

The part that I have Bolded is absolutely the sort of attitude that should be taken and I applaud it (though it seems peculiar that a rule based on Preventing an Activity - unfairly increasing Search ranking - should need to have it explained that yes, it does mean "whenever this is done" rather than "in a small number of circumstances that one might avoid yet carry on the same activities". I suppose this is the world within which we live, where many expect that everything must have exact criteria at the outset, rather than this sort of open-ended definition relating to intent - cornerstones of all working Systems of Justice, of course, without which there would be little point to Judge or Jury.)

If one wishes to experience a brief moment of amusement followed by increasing waves of nausea and the eventual desire to kill, I would advise reading the Comments that have been left on the linked Article, wherein many attempt to answer Cpt. Jack's request "Are there other uses for so called Camping Chairs other than for Traffic? If you know of some please let us know in the comments below!" Reading these one might be led to believe that Camping Chairs were the major contributor to the fortunes of New Residents and that Campsite Operators were Dedicated Philanthropes, donating fortunes every day to the New and Poorly-Skinned with only the minor return of distorting search results as reward.

This is Utter Bunk of course; for one thing the rates themselves are pitiful. I do recall a time when some Return could be made from sitting on the Damnable Chairs, but the rewards have declined to practically nothing with the advent of Traffic- and Camp-Bots. Ms Tateru Nino says "The most common camping rates I'm seeing at the moment are L$1/80 minutes" which conforms to the results of my amateur investigations; perhaps one might buy two frocks per month of non-stop camping with that.

And quite apart from the rewards, paying people to perform an unethical activity does not make that activity any more ethical. I have attempted to argue this very point with my brother Cardinal, in reference to his Kitten Factory, which is not, I must shamefully say, a place which constructs kittens at all; more, items involving kittens in their manufacture; kittens as Input rather than Output.

"Silly girl," he routinely replies, "my Factory provides gainful employment to literally dozens of people. Would you deny them the four shillings and sixpence (a very competitive wage in the current climate I might add) that they receive? I thought you Socialist sorts were concerned for the Workers! This is the Failure of the Left, you know, that they care more about kittens than people." And then he laughs in that annoying way that he has. However I do not consider his argument at all valid, and neither do I consider that the arguments for Camping Chairs pass muster.

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