UPDATED! Cryptoland: What the F#$%?!??

See also: Cryptoland and the Streisand Effect: the Craziness Continues

Somebody just dropped the following YouTube video on me via Twitter, and I am legit OBSESSED with how jaw-droppingly so-bad-it’s-almost-good it is, so I have rushed to share it with my readers:

(UPDATE: This YouTube promotional video was taken down, but you can watch the cartoon part of it on YouTube and Twitter.)

Is this a parody? Somebody, please tell me this is a parody! This is INSANE. Is this a joke? Is this performance art?

Here’s the website for this bizarre project. More details later as I find them!

Right now I am watching this YouTube video and I. AM. DECEASED. I just howled with laughter at the BitConnect references in the cartoon! But I cannot seriously believe that a company would spend so much money on a 3D animated cartoon to promote a real project.

Checking out the website now…oh, and they also have a Twitter. I know how I’ll be spending the rest of my evening! 😉

UPDATE 8:46 p.m.: here’s a YouTube video from November 2029 which aims to give a bit of an overview of what this crazy-sounding project is all about:

UPDATE 9:05 p.m: Molly White (whose tweet first alerted me to the very existence of this project) has posted an absolutely epic thread on Twitter, which you must read all the way through to the end! She lambastes the video I posted up top, and even digs a little bit into the pasts of the mysterious cofounders of this project. After doing her research, Molly is inclined to believe that the project is real:

And some of the comments are GOLD:

And one intrepid soul actually found the sales listing for the island in Fiji they apparently are in talks to buy, but I can’t find that particular tweet (argh!!!). I’ll keep looking for it.

UPDATE 9:19 p.m.: O.K., I cannot find that blasted tweet again (I should have bookmarked it!), BUT I did find the actual sales listing for the Fijian island, which is called Nananu-i-Cake, which is indeed the same shape as the island in the cartoon portion of the video:

(By the way, there are plenty of pictures of this island in the real estate listing. Feel free to noodle around.)

The asking price is a cool US$12 million dollars…they’re gonna have to sell a LOT of Cryptolanders NFTs to be able to afford that! This whole project is just bonkers to me. Things are getting very weird in crypto-land (in general) and it looks like Cryptoland (the project) is going to be among the weirdest of them all!

P.S. Apparently, there will be a metaverse aspect to Cryptoland as well, a virtual version of the Fijian island, where avatars can gather, high-five each other, and shout “To the moooon!!!” 🙄

Image from the Cryptoland website

Also, Molly runs a cool website called Web3 Is Going Just Great (subtitled “…and is definitely not an enormous grift that’s pouring lighter fluid on our already-smoldering planet.”), where she compiles stories of various follies, crimes, and misdeeds occurring within the blockchain gaming, cryptocurrency, DeFi (decentralized finance), NFTs, and metaverse communities. Check it out!

UPDATE Jan. 7th, 2022: I spent about a day in the Cryptoland Discord server, where I saw people who raised questions and criticisms with this project treated with disdain and roundly attacked, before I decided to leave. Molly reported that she had been blocked by whoever runs the Cryptoland Twitter account.

And I learned that anybody who tries to post the link to the real estate listing, which I talked about above, on the Cryptoland Discord server is blocked from doing so. Apparently, they don’t want anybody to know that the island is still for sale. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if some billionaire bought it out from under them? It would be ironic if they were outbid for Nananu-i-Cake island by another crypto investor.

And, early this morning, the official Cryptoland Twitter account sent out the following message:

Dear Cryptolanders,

We have been victims of what seems to be a planned attacked [sic] to harass, vilify, and twist our work.

We condemn all the false information and false accusations being spread about Cryptoland and invite those who are truly interested, to make [sic] their own research and politely ask us if they want to know anything about this amazing project,

Much love,

Cryptoland team.

Notice the blue bar across the bottom of this tweet (see image above)? It means that only people specifically mentioned using the @ symbol (i.e. nobody) can reply. So much giving people the opportunity to “politely ask” questions. Communication is a two-way street, sweetheart.

Between the interactions I witnessed yesterday on the Cryptoland Discord, and this tweet, their strategy moving forward is clear: demonize the critics, and rally the Cryptolanders (and yes, this is what they call themselves) to attack anyone who has the slightest criticism of this truly hare-brained scheme with its cringeworthy promotion.

Buckle up, folks: this one is going to be an EPIC carnival ride. Bring popcorn! 😉

I leave you with a couple of YouTube videos made a month ago by the first person who actually purchased land in this project, a crypto promoter named Kyle Chassé. Kyle says he spent the equivalent of over one million U.S. dollars (160 ETH) to be the first King Cryptolander (and yes, that’s the official term for them, too). They even refer to him in the first video as “the King of Kings.” 🙄

SECOND UPDATE Jan. 7th, 2022: Oh my God, this just keeps getting better and better…as you might have guessed from the blank screen at the top of this blogpost, the people behind the Cryptoland project took down their video from YouTube. And, not only that, they are trying to remove every trace of their laughable, cringeworthy video from the internet, even going so far as to issue copyright takedown notices to people like Molly:

I immediately messaged Molly to warn her that, if she got three copyright strikes against her, that her YouTube channel would be permanently taken down. I also could not resist sharing this meme with her:

I get the feeling that the beleaguered Cryptoland team are going to learn all about something called the Streisand Effect: once something is publicly available on the internet, you can never really get rid of it completely, and even worse, people will start posting copies of it everywhere just to spite you—especially if you make yourself known as somebody who doesn’t want the item in question to be seen, ever again! Good luck, guys; you’re gonna need it.

P.S. The original video still exists if you use the Wayback Machine to see an earlier version of the YouTube page. Also, copies of this gloriously bad promotional video (plus an extended, uncut version of that cringeworthy 3D cartoon!) are already rapidly proliferating on places like PeerTube, which is a decentralized network of inter-connected small video hosters, each created, moderated and maintained independently by various administrators, scattered all across the globe. (Good luck filing a copyright strike against them, guys. Genie’s out of the bottle, and you won’t be able to stuff it back in.)

And no, I’m not going to provide links; you should know how to find things like this yourself. 😉

That’s in addition to the blistering commentary articles like this and this

…and commentary videos like these from KiraTV and Callum Upton (two guys who routinely eviscerate crypto projects like Earth2 for breakfast every day):

KiraTV did some more research and posted a scathing follow-up video to his first one (he was banned by the official Cryptoland account on Twitter, as well):

And one of the things that KiraTV discusses in his latest video (and which Molly uncovered as well) is this little bombshell: it turns out that the cartoon used a seagull which they didn’t have permission to use! (Yes, the creator of that seagull also got blocked on Twitter when she brought up that fact! Sensing a trend here?)

So, yeah, go pop some more popcorn, folks; I have a feeling this show is just getting started. 😉

Heaven Land: A Brief Introduction (and a Rant!)

Heaven Land doesn’t exist yet, so this is an artistic interpretation —and that’s exactly the problem.

Heaven Land is yet another blockchain-based virtual world project, which describes itself as follows:

Heaven Land is a place in the Earth’s Orbit where everyone can live – it’s open, social, persistent and provides users with tools to interact, experience, improve and monetize their property. The virtual economy backbone is Solana blockchain; a backbone for content storage is decentralized IPFS. Welcome to Heaven Land, [the] metaverse for everyone…

Heaven Land is a futuristic city, distributed platform, shared virtual world, building and monetization platform, a place to spend good time, meet your friends and much more. Possibilities are endless, [and] all of them meet in a single place – Heaven Land.

Heaven Land white paper

It’s meant to be a futuristic, space-age version of an O’Neill cylinder, from what I can gather, with 38 individual clusters of parcels of virtual land. There will be a limited number of different races of avatars, including humans, Maritans, and zombies (?!). It all sounds very nice and lovely.

Now, for the rant…

I’m getting rather sick and tired of blockchain-based virtual worlds (and yes, the metaverse platforms incorporating blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs are the majority of the guilty culprits here), who are using images and videos relying on “artistic interpretation” to promote their projects! These media range from the fanciful to the misleading, giving investors the sizzle—without any evidence of actual steak.

And Heaven Land is, unfortunately, the perfect example of this. Here are two videos on their YouTube channel:

Keep in mind that this is a project which, at the moment, consists of nothing but a slick website and a white paper! (Oh, and they also have an “Ambassador” program, where I assume you can volunteer to promote the as-yet-nonexistent platform to your fellow crypto bros.) 🙄

There is no way in hell that the final product is going to look like this! These videos remind me of nothing so much as that popular and completely misleading promotional video for Decentraland, published during their ICO when they were trying to entice crypto investors, and well before there was any actual platform:

I mean, c’mon…the actual Decentraland looks nothing like this disjointed collection of “artistic interpretations” (not to mention that DCL doesn’t support users in virtual reality headsets, and likely won’t for quite some time). And in the case of Heaven Land, unlike Decentraland, they haven’t even launched their cryptocurrency yet!

Which proves my point: these kinds of promotional videos are misleading, and lead to inflated expectations by investors, which are eventually dashed when they come up against cruel, hard reality.

Here’s an idea for the fine people of Heaven Land: why not, you know, actually BUILD something, and then market it? I’m kinda fed up with these fairytales.

Even worse, in my books, is the fact that there is ZERO information about the company, its physical office location, or its executive team on the website. There is one small paragraph in its white paper, stating:

Our core team comprises 15 people and grows every week. We have blockchain specialists, artists, architects, game developers, programmers, IT infrastructure specialists, community managers, and marketing specialists. Next to individuals, we build colaborations [sic] with established projects in a part of the technology needed to make the Metaverse reality.

So you really have no idea who you are dealing with at present, who is building this wonderful space-age virtual world project. Would you invest with such limited information?

If, after my rant, you still want to explore (mentally!) Heaven Land, you can visit their website, join their Discord server, or follow them on Twitter (where they have been doing a lot of advertising; after seeing ads for Heaven Land an overwhelming number of times in my Twitter feed, I finally got so fed up that I blocked them—something I have never had to do before for any metaverse platform!).

I will duly add Heaven Land to my popular, comprehensive and ever-growing list of social VR and virtual worlds—but (as always) I warn: do your homework before investing a penny in any blockchain/crypto virtual world project, and don’t be swayed by artistic interpretations!

How to Clean Up Your Second Life Inventory: Ryan’s Tips and Tricks for Inventory Management, Organizing, and Weeding

While some older, system-layers-and-flexiprims outfits like this wonderful Faerie Queen Valentine Outfit from Fancy Fairy are still holding up very well after more than a decade, you will probably stiill want to weed out most of the older, pre-mesh items in your inventory which you never wear, especially if you created a Second Life account prior to 2011!

Well, after pillaging all the Advent and 12 Days of Christmas calendars I could find during the month of December, it’s time to take on a task which I absolutely dread: cleaning and organizing the inventory of my main Second Life avatar, Vanity Fair.

I created Vanity Fair on March 14th, 2008 and—although I did not plan it!—she has become my main Second Life avatar. As I have written:

If anybody had told me, at the start of my 14-year Second Life journey, that my main avatar (the one I use the most) would be a woman, I would have laughed my damn head off. It would have never even occurred to me that I could be a woman. When I started off, I created an avatar that, more or less, looked like me, dressed like me…was me. 

Vanity is the avatar I trotted out regularly over the intervening years, to snag the latest group gifts and store freebies, as well as vacuum up all the free presents left out at countless Second Life shopping events. As a result, at one point her inventory ballooned to almost 269,000 items! I noticed that, once my inventory size hit a quarter of a million elements, that it negatively impacted my overall Second Life experience overall (it was particularly noticeable when I logged out of SL, where I encountered a significant delay before Firestorm shut down).

Here are the four main things I did to try and get this mess under some semblance of control:

  • Ruthlessly pruning my landmarks down from hundreds and hundreds to less than ten;
  • Searching for certain keywords (see list below) and deleting such things as demo versions of outfits, notecards, and unpacking scripts;
  • Deleting tons of old system-layer-and-flexiprim outfits; and
  • Boxing up items that I am unlikely to wear again, but cannot bear to part with.

A friend gave me the following list of keywords to search in your inventory, in an effort to pinpoint those items which could easily be deleted, which I will share with you now:

Words to delete unwanted items from your inventory
HOLD (but be careful that this isn’t for a purse or a pet!)
DEMO (but be careful you don’t delete WEARABLE demos, such as the wearable hair colour demos at Elikatira Hair!)

Hopefully, you will find this list as useful as I did. Remember to never do a mass delete until you have made sure of what you are getting rid of, though! Every so often, stop and check through the Trash folder in your inventory that you really want to get rid of the items in it, then right click on the Trash folder and select Empty Trash to purge it forever. I was surprised at how satisfying it was to get rid of old outfits!

INVENTORY SEARCH TIP: Did you know that you can search for more than one keyword at a time when searching your Second Life inventory? Just put a plus sign between each term! For example, if you are searching for brown hairbases, enter “brown+hairbase”. This will pull up any items which include BOTH the word “brown” AND the word “hairbase”, IN ANY ORDER! I can’t believe I spent my first twelve years in Second Life not knowing about this wonderful hack!

First, before we start, a definition of a Second Life term: elements refers to the total number of items and subfolders in any folder (more information here if you use Firestorm). There is a total count of all the elements in your entire SL inventory at the very bottom of your Inventory window (please see image A below):

Here’s how I was able to filter my inventory to find and weed out the oldest items in my inventory, step by step:

Image A
  1. You’ll probably want to load up a classic, system avatar if you are trying on system-layers-and-flexiprims outfits (in these pictures, Vanity is wearing her Catwa Kimberly mesh head and Slink mesh hands, but the rest is a system avatar). If you don’t have much inventory before 2011, when mesh clothing was introduced, you can skip this step.
  2. Open your inventory, click on the little gear icon at the bottom left of your Inventory display window, and set your folder sort settings as follows (see image A). I find this useful, because it sorts the system folders to the top, to get them out of your way, and the rest of the folders are sorted in strict alphabetical order, which makes it very easy to see if you have duplicate folders!
  3. Then, to focus on the oldest items in your inventory, click on Show Filters and select the types of items you want to filter by (for example, just objects or just notecards). Also, at the very bottom of the Show Filters window, click on the button next to “Older Than”, and then enter a figure in the Days box (I used 4000.00 to filter my inventory to only show me those elements which were older than 4,000 days, which works out to about 10.9 years). Pick a value you’re comfortable with, where you’re pretty sure anything older than that is stuff you probably don’t want! (Please see the red arrows on image B below.)
  4. Find a quiet sandbox somewhere (if you are a premium member, I recommend using a sandbox for premium members; just search for “Premium” under Places and you should find a few good candidates in the first page of your search results).
  5. Then, go through your inventory starting from the A’s, working your way down to the Z’s, trying on outfits you don’t remember. For example, the following black Havana outfit was instantly sent to the pixelbin (see image B below). Keep a pen and paper handy to note where you stop, otherwise you’ll forget how far you got when you restart your task!
  6. Use an inventory box system to bundle together items which you don’t use very often, but which you cannot bear to part with! I use the Bright inventory box system, but there are numerous other products on the market which work just as well. Doing this significantly reduces the number of elements in your inventory, since hundreds and hundreds of items now count as only one element!
  7. Finally, don’t forget to click the little gear button at the bottom left of your Inventory window, and click on Empty Trash to remove the deleted items from your Second Life inventory permanently (see image C below). It’s such a satisfying feeling to see your total count go down as a result (give your SL client a moment to refresh the count, though).
Image B
Image C

INVENTORY CLEANING TIP: Hit Ctrl+P to open your Preferences window in your SL client, click on the General tab, and make the following selections indicated by the green arrows in the diagram below in order to display the ARC (Avatar Rendering Complexity) figure above your avatar’s head (see also image B above):

This is a very quick and handy way to see if any older, prim-heavy jewelry, sculpted hairstyles, or other objects you are wearing are significantly increasing your avatar rendering complexity! For example, I have a beautiful ballgown with three flexiprim skirt add-ons, and the flexiprims alone send my ARC soaring into the stratosphere!

If you choose to wear such an outfit (and frankly, sometimes I still do love to wear this gown), then you should be aware that you will render as a “jellydoll” in most other people’s Second Life viewers. Read up on this and related matters on the Firestorm wiki (if you use the Firestorm viewer, which most people do). So don’t expect other avatars to be able to see you properly in-world!

If the folder has an image, hooray! These pictures can often save you valuable time when you are weeding through your inventory! Open the image to see if it shows you what the outfit looks like. No need to wear it to check it out! The following outfit (shudder!) obviously did NOT make the final cut (God, I hope it was a freebie! I would hate to think I spent actual money on this monstrosity!!!)

The 8th and final step: Don’t forget to reset your inventory filters after your marathon cleaning session! Just click the gear icon in the bottom left corner of your Inventory window, click on Show Filters, and then click on the Reset button at the very bottom of the panel. Otherwise, you’ll get confused when you try to search for items you know are still in your inventory!

ONE FINAL INVENTORY MANGEMENT TIP: if you ruthlessly organize, categorize, label, and weed your inventory as you pick up items (e.g. deleting fits for brands of mesh bodies you never plan to own), then you won’t need to spend as much time on marathon inventory cleanup sessions! 😉

Finally, if you are looking for good advice on how to organize your Second Life inventory so it does NOT land up in the state Vanity Fair’s is, Google is your friend. Do a search for “second life inventory management” and you’ll find tips, tricks and tools!