Black Sun Tower

There are days IRL when you feel like the ultimate Samuel Pepys: “Up at seven and so to bed”. In 2L you experience the similar when you log in and log out, without talking to anybody or seeing anything worth mentioning. I have to admit that this is what happens regularly. Today however was full of interesting experiences, so I need two entries. I posted already on the Meta Bank, The Edge and the Reuters news agency, but there was one thing left on my wish list: the Black Sun Tower sim. The Black Sun Tower is a building mentioned in “Snowcrash”, the novel with so many ideas at the cradle of Second Life.

The Black Sun Tower, although not entirely finished yet, is built by IntLibber Brautigan (RL name: Mike Lorrey). You can see the building here

Both pictures are taken from the sky.

I met IntLibber there and he invited me in his penthouse. I sat down and talked to him about his plans and ideas about 2L.

IntLibber is an extropian, but he is also a libertarian (in fact, although it is not any longer in the extropian principles, extropianism is a brand of transhumanism with a more or less libertarian stance). So there wasn’t much to discuss, we agreed on everything. But I learned a lot of him, because he is also working in-world (i.e. in 2L).

The Black Sun Tower will not only be there for fun, but also for profit. The Beachside of the club will be for business, conferences and also for promoting extropian ideas.


The second to fourth floor will be leased to people for business purposes, while the top floor will be for his own architecture firm.

That brought me on the subject of taxes, also mentioned earlier today. IntLibber’s point of view was: “If congress could tax Monopoly Game money, they would”. Couldn’t say it better. While complaining about taxes is not very productive, IntLibber is a member of the 1st SL Militia, a new and small group ready to defend SL against federal invasion. We had a short discussion about how legal it was for the IRS to tax Linden $, but it is my experience that government always will find a way to bend the law in the direction necessary for legalizing whatever they’re up to.

I’ve pasted the complete interview here, slightly edited to correct my own typos 🙂

[11:42]  IntLibber Brautigan: How you doin?

[11:42]  You: hi, there you are

[11:43]  IntLibber Brautigan: I’m terraforming the Gila Highlands right now

[11:43]  You: this is your plot?

[11:43]  IntLibber Brautigan: this half of the sim is mine

[11:43]  IntLibber Brautigan: all the way to the high rise, which is mine

[11:44]  You: what will be the purpose of it?

[11:44]  You: are you building for extopy group

[11:44]  IntLibber Brautigan: I’m recreating sites from Snow Crash. The high rise is the Black Sun Tower

[11:44]  IntLibber Brautigan: I’m building for my firm, but hope to create a place for extropy here.

[11:45]  You: ah! I regret I voted against tiers

[11:45]  IntLibber Brautigan: tiers are very necessary

[11:45]  You: Yes I know, but there is Uvvy and wya-sl

[11:45]  You: so what will it add to activity?

[11:46]  IntLibber Brautigan: yes, it will hopefully add to activity. As you can see, I’ve installed a stargate, and hope to establish a joint transhumanist-libertarian gate network

[11:46]  IntLibber Brautigan: this half of the sim will promote the ideas of Snow Crash

[11:46]  You: OK. I’m interested in transhumanism and libertarianism, so keep me posted.

[11:46]  You: maybe I’ll change my mind

[11:47]  IntLibber Brautigan: I’m going to be working for Giulio on his projects, at Uvvy and elsewhere, but I’ve got my own firm to develop too

[11:47]  IntLibber Brautigan: come on to the tower and have a seat

[11:48]  IntLibber Brautigan: This is my penthouse

[11:48]  You: sorry, i’m not too fast

[11:48]  IntLibber Brautigan: sokay

[11:49]  You: wow, looks good.

[11:49]  IntLibber Brautigan: So, this is the Black Sun Tower

[11:49]  IntLibber Brautigan: thanks

[11:50]  IntLibber Brautigan: the first level is going to be the Black Sun Club

[11:50]  You: beautiful design, I’ll have to re-read the book, i’ts been a few years ago

[11:50]  IntLibber Brautigan: thanks. the book described it as hopelessly postmodern black box with a big black sphere on top

[11:50]  IntLibber Brautigan: so I tried my best

[11:51]  You: there is a lot of work in it.

[11:51]  IntLibber Brautigan: I started building this time last week

[11:51]  You: Do you think you will earn back the costs?

[11:51]  IntLibber Brautigan: yes, I already have a tenant who will be paying $50 US per month for one floor

[11:51]  You: always business 🙂

[11:52]  You: I also read your article about meta bank

[11:52]  IntLibber Brautigan: if I can get that rate for the other two floors I’m renting out, my tier will be paid for for this whole half sim, and

[11:52]  IntLibber Brautigan: I’ll be making profit off the club and the fifth floor will be my architecture firm

[11:52]  IntLibber Brautigan: so anything I do beyond this tower is going to pay down my initial investment and turn a profit

[11:53]  You: very smart!

[11:53]  IntLibber Brautigan: Our new tenant is also going to be paying us to host a televised awards program from this site

[11:53]  IntLibber Brautigan: which will be added bonus

[11:54]  You: I ‘m only a habitant of sl for pleasure and to follow the transhumanist ideas

[11:54]  IntLibber Brautigan: ah, so you’re not interested in working in-world?

[11:54]  IntLibber Brautigan: I’m looking for talented programmers to do scripting

[11:54]  You: Yes, but I’m a musician IRL, so I don’t think it will be possible soon to compose and sell my own music

[11:55]  IntLibber Brautigan: Oh, if you would like, you can come perform at the club

[11:55]  IntLibber Brautigan: what sort of music do you do?

[11:55]  You: I’m a choral conductor, so that’s difficult in a club.

[11:55]  IntLibber Brautigan: ah.

[11:56]  You: But, of course I follow what is possible, and as soon as I see a market for my own music I’ll jump in

[11:56]  IntLibber Brautigan: well, I’m going to be building a stadium here at some point in the next several months.

[11:56]  IntLibber Brautigan: there are a lot of interesting markets to discover

[11:57]  IntLibber Brautigan: wanna see the rest of the building?

[11:57]  You: Yes, but I have to do something private for 5 minutes, can I be back?

[11:57]  IntLibber Brautigan: sure

[11:57]  You: thanks, see, you

[11:57]  IntLibber Brautigan: sure thing


[12:17] You: I’m back, had to put my daughter to bed….

[12:18]  IntLibber Brautigan: s’okay, no problem

[12:18]  IntLibber Brautigan: this is beachside at the Black Sun Club

[12:18]  You: It will be a club for dancing and music?

[12:18]  You: casino’s?

[12:18]  IntLibber Brautigan: yes, but no, not a casino

[12:18]  IntLibber Brautigan: maybe a few games of chance, but not much.

[12:19]  IntLibber Brautigan: havn’t decided completely on that

[12:19]  IntLibber Brautigan: mostly a business place to meet

[12:19]  IntLibber Brautigan: executive club, like in the novel

[12:20]  You: okay, don’t know exactly what to say about that, I’ll see if it is finished

[12:20]  IntLibber Brautigan: so, three tiers inside

[12:20]  IntLibber Brautigan: dj booth, dancing floor in the middle

[12:21]  You: a lot of space

[12:21]  You: You hire dj’s?

[12:21]  IntLibber Brautigan: under the first tier will be private rooms for conferences, etc

[12:21]  IntLibber Brautigan: yes, we’ll be hiring djs

[12:22]  You: and will there be TV-like conferences or also other businesses

[12:22]  IntLibber Brautigan: yes

[12:22]  IntLibber Brautigan: floors 2 through 4 in the building will be rented/leased to people operating businesses in-world

[12:23]  You: Speaking on that, do you think you will be taxed shortly by the IRS?

[12:23]  IntLibber Brautigan: I’d like to see the IRS send an agent in-world to serve me with papers, that would be funny

[12:23]  You: 🙂

[12:24]  You: I’m Dutch, I don’t believe dutch government knows about SL

[12:24]  IntLibber Brautigan: The thing that scares the congress is the linden dollar

[12:24]  IntLibber Brautigan: of course, if congress could tax Monopoly Game money, they would

[12:25]  You: Yes, but how much is L$, I thought 275 – 1?

[12:25]  IntLibber Brautigan: about 280 right now, but linden is dropping the stipend monthly, so that exchange rate should change slowly over time downward

[12:26]  IntLibber Brautigan: become less like the yen

[12:26]  You: So, there will not be very much for IRS, or am I wrong?

[12:26]  IntLibber Brautigan: they’re dropping the monthly stipend for premium members from 400L to 300L, so that should deflate the currency

[12:27]  IntLibber Brautigan: over time there will be a lot more for the IRS to try to get. Whether they will succeed is another story

[12:27]  IntLibber Brautigan: first they have to prove they have jurisdiction

[12:27]  IntLibber Brautigan: This isn’t planet earth

[12:27]  You: That’s interesting from a libertarian point of view

[12:27]  You: I think that they will claim

[12:28]  You: that sl uses the wires of the government

[12:28]  IntLibber Brautigan: the government doesn’t own the backbone in the US

[12:28]  You: Who owns it?

[12:28]  IntLibber Brautigan: the telecom companies

[12:29]  You: hm, that’s true for Holland also, but government has forced them to give information taps

[12:29]  IntLibber Brautigan: the best argument they can make is that any sim on a server that is physically in the US must be taxable

[12:29]  IntLibber Brautigan: so what will happen is that servers will start migrating out of country

[12:29]  IntLibber Brautigan: and the US will lose that economy

[12:29]  IntLibber Brautigan: just like in Cryptonomicon

[12:30]  You: That book is on my shelf, but I still have to read it.

[12:30]  IntLibber Brautigan: I’m a colonel in the 1st SL Militia Regiment, btw

[12:30]  You: well, thanks for the explanation, I see you are a hard-core libertarian:-)

[12:30]  IntLibber Brautigan: its very important for you to read the book to understand SL

[12:31]  IntLibber Brautigan: I’m a pragmatic libertarian who sees the potential to live out our ideals here

[12:31]  You: Yes, it is high on my list of priorities.

[12:31]  You: what the last sentence: you are right, and it is also my stance

[12:32]  IntLibber Brautigan: This is a wonderful place for a social experiment in libertarian ideals to happen

[12:32]  IntLibber Brautigan: if government sticks its nose in, it will never happen, and the next phase of the internet will never happen

[12:32]  You: Yes but, that is probably what government wants.

[12:33]  You: In Holland they try to regulate as much as possible

[12:32]  IntLibber Brautigan: I’m convinced they are behind the recent griefer attacks

[12:33]  You: griefer?

[12:33]  IntLibber Brautigan: its what hackers who leave grey goo to infest in SL are called

[12:33]  IntLibber Brautigan: they

[12:33]  IntLibber Brautigan: cause grief

[12:33]  IntLibber Brautigan: but its a play on the word “reavers” from the movie Serenity

[12:34]  You: Thanks, I didn’t know the word!

[12:34]  You: Well, I have a question

[12:34]  IntLibber Brautigan: okay

[12:34]  You: do you mind if I publish this conversation on my weblog?

[12:34]  IntLibber Brautigan: not at all

[12:35]  You: Okay, I’ll send you the link as soon as it is published (that will be this evening I think)

[12:35]  IntLibber Brautigan: you can also say that the 1st SL Militia stands ready to defend SL against any federal invasion.

[12:35]  You: Okay, I’ll do that,

[12:35]  You: where can I find more information about the militia

[12:35]  IntLibber Brautigan: its a new group, so we have a low profile at the moment

[12:36]  IntLibber Brautigan: we are recruiting.

[12:36]  You: I have found them already, 10 members

[12:36]  IntLibber Brautigan: Heres a group invite

[12:37]  You: Okay, I’ll accept, although I have to learn more about them.

[12:37]  IntLibber Brautigan: sure

[12:37]  You: For now, thank you very much for your time

[12:37]  IntLibber Brautigan: There will be a Regiment installation in this sim

[12:37]  IntLibber Brautigan: sure thing

[12:38]  You: see you, good-bye!

[12:38]  IntLibber Brautigan: sure thing take it easy


1 Comment

  1. […] Next day I visited the Black Sun Tower.  At the beach I saw a slide. Wow, why not becoming a virtual kid for a while? Who cares it’s only virtual life! […]

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