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vCity 1.0
by Dr. Adam L. Gruen

20 days in the life of a 21st century virtual city simulation.

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vCity 1.0
Chapter 26

"...anarchy is not the principal evil which democratic ages have to fear, but the least."

-- Alexis de Tocqueville --


With two full days to go on the referendum, the yes vote has nudged ahead, helped by a large influx of voting from China. I’m not sure whether this is a good development or not, but it no longer matters what I think. If indeed it ever did.

There is an old saying: "When Beijing farts, all Hong Kong defecates." That certainly applied in 1997; it is even more true today. One might say that in general throughout history, when China farts, the rest of the world notices. And they certainly have managed to leave a strange odor behind on this issue.

Several times our servers and programs have been close to overloading from the demands made upon the vCity voting system, but the network management team designed it well, and it held up. According to the stats I received from them, almost forty-two million votes have been cast in eighteen days. That is more than two-thirds of the old vCity population. And overall our residence figures have skyrocketed. Over eleven million new vCitizens in June and the first week of July.

The government of China issued a brief statement denouncing virtual pornography as "decadent" and "anti-democratic". I had to agree with the former, but I wasn’t entirely clear about the latter. Anyway, it seems that almost everyone in China with a PC and Internet access dutifully registered to become vCitizens and voted yes to ban the site.

I wonder if the Chinese government truly understands the magnitude of its strategic mistake in this regard. Or is it genius? Hard to say. I don’t understand why they are undermining their own authority by allowing Chinese citizens to participate in world democracy. Is it all some attempt to demonstrate the political importance of China in world affairs?

Actually, it could be simpler than that. The Chinese are the oldest capitalists in the world. Maybe they want to dominate the vCity as a marketplace. It offers them an unlimited opportunity to advertise and showcase their industries, and it gives them an instant eye on new product developments.

Well, whatever. The tally so far is twenty million, five hundred thousand no (49%) and twenty-one million, five hundred thousand yes (51%). Unless something weird happens, it looks as if the Exon Inspiration site will vanish into the thin mist of the vCity archives.

I have received a barrage of telephone calls from media journalists and business analysts. Even received a phone call from the Executive Office of the White House. All of these messages were sitting on my voice mail inbox. I routed all 178 of them to David Smythe-Johnson and let him deal with them. If he doesn’t like it, he can blame himself.

"You are not to talk to anyone about anything," he said. "If anyone calls you about corporate business, you refer them to me," he said. I listened very carefully, as instructed. I even have refused to reply to e-mail messages since they could be defined as telephone calls.

Of course, he never instructed me not to e-mail anyone or to post editorials. I am assuming that if he had, he would have use the words "communicate" and "contact" instead of "talk" and "call". I am assuming that he was worried about the potential security problems inherent in the use of voice lines. After all, attorneys are very precise people who are trained from birth to choose their words carefully. And I, who am lower than whaleshit, shall not attempt to interpret the words of the high and the mighty.

TO: Goodwill Division / VCID:

FROM: First Citizen/ VCID:

DATE: 07 JUL 02, 18:26 EDT

RE: Zoning Violation Referendum on Lee Ward’s Exon Insp.

Hi Boys and Girls.

I’m sorry I haven’t been returning comms lately.

This Exon referendum has been a bit of a roller-coaster, hasn’t it?

To all of you old hands, I’m sorry the neighborhood isn’t as

quiet as you want it to be. That happens, sometimes.

To all of you new citizens, welcome! Democratic anarchy

is more than just a lifestyle, it’s a responsibility to bear.

Think of it as an experiment to try and achieve something

that has never existed before in history. Something that

could not be possible until now. Good luck.

I just want to state for the record that I am fully in favor

of freedom of expression in all its forms. Anywhere, anytime.

As far as vCity VR content goes, however, if you don’t

want to play within the sandbox, then go play on the beach

instead. Internet away! Meanwhile inside the box,

we have only one consistent rule. It is the

rule of simulation. You should not place in the box,

what cannot be in the real world as we understand it.

Lee Ward’s Exon site makes no attempt to explain how

penises and vaginas can exist as independent body parts,

nor does Lee Ward explain what technology is being employed

to keep them floating.

It’s that simple. If Lee Ward had kept within the boundaries

of the laws of reality, I would not have bothered to flag it. Case closed.

It’s not my fault everybody got all riled up over a minor

technical flaw in the site.

Oh, and by the way. I think $30 is *way* too much to

pay per site visit. That’s a lousy entertainment value.

Be seeing you.


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