Answers to moderator's questions - Cadence Theas

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Callipygian
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Answers to moderator's questions - Cadence Theas

Post by Callipygian »

Cadence submitted her answers to the moderator's questions, as she may be unable to attend a debate.

Cadence's answers:

1) Many citizens of CDS indicate they have no interest in politics.
How do you plan to engage those citizens to ensure that you represent the 'silent majority', as well as those who are very vocal about their needs and wants.

The lack of interest in politics per se is not the problem, all democracies have a certain percentage that are active, and a larger percentage who are not or whose activity is limited to voting every now and then. I think the real issue is to define spaces for people to participate in manners that make them comfortable and conscience of the democratic spaces we are creating in CDS. This means redefining what is participation and making a much broader idea than simply voting or making political statements. For example, attending conferences, or music events are all indications of being part of a larger “political” community. How much do we want to be a part of divisive discussions to say that we are political, or how much do we want to say that I went to this or that event and this is how I want to participate in CDS. I think we need to try to be inclusive in our definition of participation, and our definition of political participation. We should open up participatory spaces, cultural and social spaces, so that people feel involved, rather than defining participation solely in terms of manifesting inconformity or following party lines.

2) Is it your opinion that we wish to encourage particular types of people to settle in CDS, and, if so, what types are they?

Yes, we should encourage particular types of people to CDS. Why? CDS, just like SL in general, is an amazing social experiment. How do you create a virtual community, made up of people from many different cultures, societies, personal and social experiences, languages, social practices, etc.,? In part, it is what is offered, in part it is what people want to get out of being here. Some are here to make money, others are here to explore different social beings than what they are in rl, still others to make meaningful relations in SL. CDS is a particular experience that requires a certain level of commitment and desire to participate in a unique experience—that of a virtual community co-living in the framework of representation and commitment to building a society. This means that, rather than restrict membership or say only certain types of people should join, we should actively encourage people who feel this social commitment to be part of a larger social experience with all that this represents. One of the beauties of a democracy is precisely its capacity to involve different persons with different ideas in an environment of tolerance and respect, inclusive of religion, sexual orientation, political inclinations, race, ethnicity, and gender. Our starting point, regardless of who arrives in CDS should be one of respect and tolerance.

3) How do you intend to build a more vibrant, active community in CDS?

I think the starting point to an active, vibrant community is in the idea of diversity; in people, in interests, in life experiences. We need to build upon this diversity and make CDS an inclusive space that encourages creative, inclusive and responsible autonomy. We should make CDS a focal point of active social debate, a place where minority perspectives in SL can find representation on the same footing as social majority perspectives. We are a world community where the experience of democracy is quite different even if we use the same word. How do we capture this possibility to understand other realities? Other life experiences? Events! We have beautiful public spaces In all of CDS, we have an interesting and thinking membership, we have social and cultural resources that have not been touched in SL. We should reach out to every member to be a part of the events—as organizers, as participants. We should also reserve at least one space in CDS for rezzable public events that do not necessarily comply 100% with the covenant—one space that can be used by people and events that are not necessarily related to governance, but which touch upon social issues that are transversal to the human experience.

We need to make ourselves more inviting in social, territorial, and political terms, but at the same time, we have to ask our members to also contribute and commit themselves to being here beyond just building a pretty house in a pretty setting.

4) Vacancy rates have an impact on CDS economic stability and on the businesses and community activities of CDS; the coming changes to Locus Amoenus are a result of such vacancies.
If Locus Amoenus (or any sim) continues to have empty parcels for extended periods would you propose adjustments or changes, and if so, what adjustments or changes would you suggest.?

Although I don’t believe in environmental determinism, I do feel that environment does play an important part in how a society behaves. One of the distinguishing features of CDS is the internal and external coherence of its sims; as you move through them and from one sim to another, one is struck at how at how harmonious everything is from the landscape to the quality of the public and private buildings. For some reason, LA has not fulfilled this trend, and its redesign is an important first step.

The question has to be asked, what is lacking in LA that the vacancy rate has been so notorious relative to the other sims. Is it the nature of its properties, the simplicity of its landscape, the discordance of the buildings that have been placed there? Any adjustment requires an analysis first regarding causality.

There are two points here: first, make the adjustments to LA as proposed and see if this remedies the problem of empty parcels; and second, it is difficult and perhaps irresponsible to suggest a single course of action for other hypothetical situations without first conducting an analysis as to causality, and/or an analysis of what makes a sim work.
People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote -- a very different thing.

Walter H. Judd
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