This blog post was made by Merrick Thor for "The Click Heard Round The World", as a part of: The 1st Second Life Bloggers Mix’n Match event Organised by Vint Falken and ArminasX Saiman (Topic suggested by Dusan Writer).
ATTENTION! We interrupt your regularly scheduled blogpost for this total waste of your time … =D
and, like Rik Riel here, I’m participating in The 1st Second Life
Bloggers Mix’n Match event. Like the glut of other SL bloggers in this
thing, my name was thrown in a big sculptie hat and I was assigned a
suggested topic to write about … and BOY, did I get a hum-dinger!
Ready? Let’s take a look at the high-profile social issue that I’m to
wax philosophical about today:
deeper meaning of Philip Linden’s hair: if hair is such an important
component of the user’s experience of virtual worlds, what does it say
that Philip Linden has awful hair? Is he too visionary for prim hair?
Is he missing something? What kind of hair would you recommend?"
So, my first thought – as I’m sure yours is right now – was: "Um
… is this a real topic? Is someone having me on?" I mean, c’mon …
I’m supposed to write about someones hairstyle? … or lack thereof?
Trust me, I’m no fashion blogger. Sure I like to find things in-world
that help my avatar look somewhat decent, but most of the time I don’t
care what’s on my OWN head – let alone what’s on someone else’s. I
love to have fun with my appearance and try to take everything (and
everyone) I see with a grain of salt. I mean, when I run into a friend
of mine out shopping or exploring and the first thing they say to me is
"Hi Merrick … I see you’re human today!" … well, that’s gotta say
something, right? LOL
Still, I swore to my regular readers (all three of you) that I
would take this thing seriously (instead of goofing on it like I do
most things) and I don’t want the blogger who submitted the topic to
think I would do otherwise. So since I’m relatively new to SL &
blogging, and had only a vague notion of WHO Philip Linden was, I
figured I’d actually have to do some research instead of just pulling
it out of my … um … ability to take poetic license.
Imagine my surprise – searching for information about Philip
Linden, I discovered this is actually a topic that has been debated on
various well-read and respected blogs … who knew? For those of you
that DON’T know (and welcome to you … glad to see you out from under
your rock – did you know we were neighbors?), Philip Linden is the
Founder, former CEO and current Chairman Of The Board of a little
organization called ‘Linden Labs’. Hmmm … that sounds familiar.
Yep, you got it … he’s the one that started it all. He’s the Alpha
to our Omega … the Neo of our Matrix … the pioneer of our digital
frontier … the little metal bars at the beginning of the zipper that
brings the two halves together so they can mesh … and … make a
… er … whole … um … zipper-thing. (Okay, okay … lost focus
there for a sec, but you get the idea.) However, for all of his
notoriety, power and influence … he looks more like a n00b than that
3-day old guy that hit you up for L$ at Armidi last week. Don’t
believe me? Take a look …
(Photo snagged from Mira Raymaker‘s flickr stream)
upon his skull. That’s what is commonly referred to as "system hair".
You know, the default hair we all create when we hit Orientation Island
and learned how to ‘play with our sliders’? (Quit snickering & get
your minds out of the gutter – you know what I’m talking about!)
Apparently Philip has never changed his – he found a look early that
worked for him and he’s stuck with it. And stuck with it … and stuck
with it … (focus, Merrick!) And that’s not all … from what I can
tell, he also has stuck with what I guess would be called ‘system
clothes’ and a skin that comes straight from a Saturday morning cartoon
– no name brand designers for him, thank you very much. Looking at the
posture of his avatar in the pictures scattered across the grid I can
only assume he’s stuck with the default ‘duckwalk’ AO as well! All
this is very interesting, because if you’ve spent ANY time wandering
around SL you’ll have no doubt happened upon the expansive ‘freebie’
shops and seen the literally thousands of well-designed and fashionable
prim hairs, designer clothes, skins and well-animated AOs that are just
lying around … FREE for the taking! So why doesn’t Philip take
advantage of the fruits of his labor and adopt some of these things
that his company’s technology has made possible?
fashionable shopping districts and almost exclusively n00b-populated
freebie areas, and really couldn’t gain a concensus on the answer.
Responses ranged from "Who?" to "Who cares?" to "Because he’s a dork!"
to "My rates are 200L$ for 15 minutes and 300L$ for 30 …" (Let’s
just say I asked in some … different … places.) I eventually
figured the only way to get a real, definitive answer to the question
was to go straight to the porcupine’s mouth, as it were. I dropped
Philip a notecard explaining what I was doing and asking him for some
insight to the question. I was actually HOPING to weasle an interview,
and was excited when I got the message that he’d accepted my notecard
… but alas, no response.
take credit for the answer I came up with. That actually goes to my
lovely wife, Elora. LOL! In one fell swoop, she answered the question
of Philip’s look with an IM exchange:
me: oh? do tell …
Elora Henig: He can’t endorse any business other than Linden Labs
It’s just like the hidden camera footage of the Pepsi delivery driver
hiding behind his cart of ready-to-stock Pepsi 12-packs while secretly
chugging an ice-cold Coca-Cola … it’s all about brand confidence.
What would it say to all the hard-working designers & content
creators in SL if Philip were seen traipsing around wearing Designer
X’s hair? Is their stuff not good enough? And what about the
artificial boost to Designer X’s sales from the apparent SLebrity
endorsement of his/her product? The Linden fan-boys would be buying
his/her stuff exclusively … is that fair to other designers? In
short, Philip Linden is just practicing sound business diplomacy by
going with what can only be described as a ‘neutral look’. No one but
Linden Labs can lay claim to have ‘created’ what he’s wearing … so no
one designer can claim to be offended or discriminated against.
13 thoughts on “Merrick Thor on Philip Linden’s awful hair”
Wow from the mouths of ….wives…it makes perfect cents!!! he’s always said it what he is comfortable with, that he identifies with his avi but your darling could be closer to the truth! but…..you know there are new avatars in everyones inventory nowadays you know…we all got em, so would he…soooooo he could in all conscience change to one of the new noob avis and have decent hair and skin…but….nope hasn’t.
Ever see that Movie The Fly? the remake with Jeff Goldblum, he plays a character with about 7 of the same exact suits in his wardrobe same tie same shirt same pants ect…a very nerdy OCD sorta mentality. I know people like that (in a less bizzare way) “help meeee help meeee” they are all….dare I say it…I.T people, it makes no sense at all to them to change their clothes or outfits except for cleanliness reasons. Its a waste of decision power to do so, so they wear the same thing day in and day out and its likely very comfortable too, and practical. I just think despite Phill’s obvious good looks in RL and obvious trendiness its his inner Nerd coming out, many of us in SL try to look how we would like to look in RL but Phil? he’s a closet Gay Cowboy, “Macho Macho Man!” not that there’s anything wrong with that…..ask him about Brokeback mountain and see if he gets that far away look in his eye…its Nerd meets Village People Cowboy guy thats all..why change it, its too much of a choice make your choices on what is important! Paisley
Your wife is a brilliant lady. As soon as I read that, it made perfect sense. What an amazing insight! And poor Philip…those folks at LL need to get busy and build him a better-looking av. He’s much nicer looking than his avatar, and that _never_ happens in SL.
You either find augmentationists, like you and me and Paisley, with avatars who look very much like ourselves, or you find immersionists, the folks whose avatars are idealized or dramatized in some way (younger, buffer, sexier, more mystical or other-than-human).
Philip looks like an augmentationist without resources.
OMG, Merrick – I laughed my way through this! And of course, I think Elora is as brilliant as Phillip’s look is bad.
Great post, Merrick.
IMO it has to do with brand awareness. Philip’s dreadful AV has been associated with Linden Lab as a company for so long, must like Bill Gates and his similarly nerdy haircut. Philip really CAN’T change it without risking some kind of pushback from the community and outsiders.
Imagine if he suddenly had some photorealistic, blinged out AV. People would go nuts, whining about how he had sold out or wasn’t in touch with newbs or had lost his “old skool” status or somesuch bullshit.
Just like Aimee Weber is forever stuck in those stupid wings, Philip must always have bad hair. We should all have such problems.
Great post Merrick ^^ . Hi5 to Elora for knowing the answer.
Sure that Philip won’t get into the shape and look that the rest of us have. He’s the number one, of course he has to look oldest:)
For what it’s worth… Philip is not CEO, and company’s name is Linden Lab, not Labs.
Ah yes … for want of an ‘s’, the hip was unk. =)
Yeah, don’t know what I was thinkin’ there – I knew it was Linden Lab, but probably chief among my few dubious talents is my ability to speak fluent Typonese. Call it a gift … or a curse … or a tomato.
But isn’t what I said in the article correct? He WAS the CEO of Linden Lab, but is NOW the Chairman of the Board … isn’t he? Was I fed mis-information by my vast network of informants and snitches? Maybe I should have actually paid them with something other than bling scripts. =/
I enjoyed your post… I think I’ll join your other three or four regulars – or at least pop by erratically for a read.
Only “insiders” living in San Francisco seem to know this, but Rosedale has two avatars: the official one, looking cheap so that not to offend the many SL customers who can’t figure out – given the SL app’s clumsines – how to properly customize their avatars.
Then there is the “real” av of Philip Rosedale:
ZOMG, Christophe … that is frickin’ CLASSIC!
/me wonders where I can get that avatar =D
Don’t mess with Philip’s AV! He is a generic classic! I finally succumbed to prim hair a year ago but still have the ‘Linden slider’ skin. My RL & SL husband Garth FairChang still has the same ‘slider hair’ and skin he first made back in June 2003. Also no ‘poses’ for us or fancy animations. Hahaha. But then thats us old fogeys from 2003.
If you’re an icon you have certain responsibilities to your “publics”.. Who knew hair might become one of them?
That was a great post! Funny and as usual, we women get it! 😀
Dusan always has this thing about Phil Linden’s hair, and finally, the mystery is explained!