I was writing this post earlier and stopped when I had to do something else, intending to pick it up again and finish, but I'll just publish it unfinished.
Back at the dawn of time there was a mythical, much-longed-for idea: Second Life 2. we knew it wasn't happening, at least the Lindens kept telling us so, but we wanted it so badly, and it made so much sense, that no one could quite give up the belief entirely. In our mythical scenario LL let SL1 continue as it was, but shifted all their talent to a new ground-up, benefited-by-hindsight, clean and functional (not compatible with the old version, of course) SL2, which was being worked on in secret. Part of the reason we hoped for this was that early on things took ages to change - for instance, I built a shrine to Andrew and Havok in my cave in Bodega, and worshipped there often over the course of a number of years (it's still there). I remember Candide telling me that he was amazed I still believed Havok was being updated, as so much time had gone by.
Anyway, the SL2 myth made sense as it was a way to flush all the problem content that would be broken by fixes, build things solidly so they'd scale, apply rules from the start that would prevent some of the troubles from getting started, and perhaps other benefits from being able to build something with experience rather than pure experimentation. As time has gone on I think about the lessons of hindsight, which become clearer as the world takes shape from its rules - misshapen in some regards.
posted by - 11:00 AM