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Coldwell Banker To Sell Second Life Properties 175

Dekortage sends news of what may be a new development in the attempted mainstreaming of Second Life. We've seen plenty of examples of real-world news media, politicos, and PR campaigns setting up in SL. But so far most of this action has been about first-life organizations trying to gain real-world publicity by their forays into SL. CNN is reporting that the real estate firm Coldwell Banker is moving into SL for the purpose of selling and renting in-world properties. From the article: "Coldwell Banker has bought extensive tracts of property on the central 'mainland' of Second Life. (Most companies own 'islands' scattered all over.) It subdivided this digital land into 520 individual houses and living units, half of which it will sell and half it will rent... 'A small number of land barons mostly control real estate in Second Life, and we thought we could bring real estate to the masses,' [a VP explained]."
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Coldwell Banker To Sell Second Life Properties

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  • by ThosLives ( 686517 ) on Sunday March 25, 2007 @11:14AM (#18478799) Journal

    What I meant by "intrinsic value" is that a house is always a house (assuming it isn't crumbling) despite the fact that it may not be in a nice neighborhood, or even if it doesn't have a high trade value. I think taxes are irrelevant and just confuse the issue because that's a social construct and involves opportunity cost, not intrinsic value.

    Don't confuse "monetary value" with "intrinsic value". Put another way: does a slice of bread have any less nutritional value if it costs $0.05 instead of $1.00? The answer is no. A slice of bread may have a different relative value (based on its monetary price) but a piece of bread is always a piece of bread (until it rots, in which case it is no longer a piece of bread). Simpler still: Does a thing cease to be that thing if its price changes?

    That last question is related most closely to what I mean by 'intrinsic value': It is the property of an object that does not change when its trade value changes.

    For something like virtual "property" there is no intrinsic value, because inherently the thing is entirely trade value: for instance, the amount of time required to obtain the virtual "good" without trading some currency units for it. This is the only value associated with virtual goods because there is no intrinsic value to a store of information. I would give DNA an example of this; the sequence of bases in a molecule of DNA has no intrinsic value, but that base sequence encoded physically as a DNA molecule has intrinsic value because it can direct the creation of other molecules. That is, the "information" itself is not useful, but the physical embodiment of that information is. Everything to-date which is classified as "virtual property" does not, as far as I am aware, have any corresponding physical embodiment which has intrinsic value. It's a subtle difference, but a very important one (consider: a listing of the base sequences of DNA cannot develop into an organism; you have to actually build a physical object with that sequence to do accomplish anything).

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"