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A Very Curious Economic Exercise

Gabe Lippmann
"Phone's ringing, Dude."
Join date: 14 Jun 2004
Posts: 4,219
02-18-2006 09:49
From: Desmond Shang
Anywhere at West Trade Imports means... anywhere!


There's a lot of cupboards 'round those parts.
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Desmond Shang
Guvnah of Caledon
Join date: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 5,250
02-18-2006 14:10
Tulip Update:

Some new strategies at play.

1) As wild as this sounds, a few folks have been waiting hours upon hours in-world (by their own admission!) and coding objects to improve their chances at getting a tulip.

My best guess is that the effort to GET a tulip has far exceeded any real asking price of a tulip!

And possibly exceeds the valuation of the entire tulip market by an order of magnitude or two.

Would anyone care to chime in with regards to hours spent lurking, money paid for scanners, time spent coding detectors and the like?


2) A few people have confessed to the strategy of 'shadowing me so I *don't* plant the tulips' - which, while effective in not making me plant, has yet to yield any such person a tulip that I know of.

What that does, is make me plant them while the perpetrator(s) are sleeping. It is also the reason why none were set out in the past... 2 hours? My apologies to all about the times, but there is little I can do about this. I suppose it's all a part.


3) I've seen incredible decency on the part of the tulip hunters so far. However, amongst many IM's asking about (and for!) tulips, I've heard a few comments.

The only thing I'll say is this: I'm just about dead sure there will be a frag-fest involving the black tulip. Could be wrong, but... forewarned is forearmed. :)

If someone does get it by whatever means, no matter how ignobly, there will be NOTHING I can do about it.

But if someone files an abuse report for whatever might constitute abuse, well, likewise there is nothing I can do about that...
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Steampunk Victorian, Well-Mannered Caledon!
Snapple Drago
Registered User
Join date: 5 Sep 2004
Posts: 26
02-18-2006 14:24
From: Desmond Shang
Tulip Update:

Some new strategies at play.

1) As wild as this sounds, a few folks have been waiting hours upon hours in-world (by their own admission!) and coding objects to improve their chances at getting a tulip.

My best guess is that the effort to GET a tulip has far exceeded any real asking price of a tulip!

And possibly exceeds the valuation of the entire tulip market by an order of magnitude or two.

Would anyone care to chime in with regards to hours spent lurking, money paid for scanners, time spent coding detectors and the like?


2) A few people have confessed to the strategy of 'shadowing me so I *don't* plant the tulips' - which, while effective in not making me plant, has yet to yield any such person a tulip that I know of.

What that does, is make me plant them while the perpetrator(s) are sleeping. It is also the reason why none were set out in the past... 2 hours? My apologies to all about the times, but there is little I can do about this. I suppose it's all a part.


3) I've seen incredible decency on the part of the tulip hunters so far. However, amongst many IM's asking about (and for!) tulips, I've heard a few comments.

The only thing I'll say is this: I'm just about dead sure there will be a frag-fest involving the black tulip. Could be wrong, but... forewarned is forearmed. :)

If someone does get it by whatever means, no matter how ignobly, there will be NOTHING I can do about it.

But if someone files an abuse report for whatever might constitute abuse, well, likewise there is nothing I can do about that...


No Comment :-D
Nyx Divine
never say never!
Join date: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 1,052
02-18-2006 15:16
From: Desmond Shang

Would anyone care to chime in with regards to hours spent lurking, money paid for scanners, time spent coding detectors and the like?


And I thought I was a little over the top by refreshing the forums every so often when I could :)
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Yes Virginia there is an FIC!

If someone shows you who they are.....believe them!

Don't be afraid to go out on a limb, because that's where the fruit is!
florenze Kerensky
Registered User
Join date: 31 Jul 2004
Posts: 106
02-18-2006 15:38
From: Desmond Shang

Would anyone care to chime in with regards to hours spent lurking, money paid for scanners, time spent coding detectors and the like?

From: Nyx Divine
And I thought I was a little over the top by refreshing the forums every so often when I could :)



Ditto :)
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Josie Hamilton
Second Style Publisher
Join date: 7 Mar 2004
Posts: 164
02-18-2006 16:12
I just did the subscribe to thread strategy and if I happened to be at the computer when the email came in I would jump in. I must say it was much more effective yesterday.
Desmond Shang
Guvnah of Caledon
Join date: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 5,250
02-18-2006 18:23
Alas folks, I have not been able to plant anything.

I've been tracked, shadowed, and as much as I would like to proceed I am simply unable.

To plant the tulips with someone around... well, even if I ban everyone from the land, they can watch me from the rest of the sim. It would be like handing over the tulips to anyone pursuing the strategy, thus encouraging it.

Again, my apologies but there is little I can do. I log in, they log in nearby. Mere moments.

All of this has left me with a (first life) splitting headache.



I'm off to get some rest, and I fear all I can dream of is the future of my Second Life business and what the tulips may do to it...

*Desmond's Nightmare*
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Steampunk Victorian, Well-Mannered Caledon!
Lianne Marten
Cheese Baron
Join date: 6 May 2004
Posts: 2,192
02-18-2006 18:29
Good night Desmond. Give it a few weeks or so :)
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Desmond Shang
Guvnah of Caledon
Join date: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 5,250
02-18-2006 22:31
A bleary-eyed Desmond says: The seventeenth group of FIVE are released!

85 sprouted... 14 to go.



Could be anywhere! Look carefully! At West Trade Imports...

1) Name: Scarlet Passion Tulip, 29 of 36
2) Name: Scarlet Passion Tulip, 30 of 36
3) Name: Scarlet Passion Tulip, 31 of 36
4) Name: Spirit of Flame Tulip, 14 of 15
5) Name: Spirit of Flame Tulip, 15 of 15


The skies in sim Alice darken ominously, portending something dark and terrible very soon to come.

The thickening gloom and damp weather spell the end for Spirit of Flame Tulips. These are the last; they are now Extinct in the wild.



PLEASE reveal the variety and number on the TuleX trading floor.

If you destroy one, or intend to keep one forever, please make a record of it there.

TuleX: /244/fe/88655/1.html

Edit: during a small Tulip War, all found!
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Steampunk Victorian, Well-Mannered Caledon!
Metawraith Mistral
Ghost in the Machine
Join date: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 166
02-19-2006 02:08
I wonder if had it been some new SL virgin and not a respected Master Merchant like Desmond that had come up with this tulip idea, would it have recieved the same attention? Would the tulips from a newbie has garned the same cachet?

There is certain amount of trust in the community that Desmond's word is his bond, and thus the Tulips have attracted a status within SL similar to say Faberge Eggs in RL.
Desmond Shang
Guvnah of Caledon
Join date: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 5,250
02-19-2006 09:01
From: Metawraith Mistral
I wonder if had it been some new SL virgin and not a respected Master Merchant like Desmond that had come up with this tulip idea, would it have recieved the same attention? Would the tulips from a newbie has garned the same cachet?

There is certain amount of trust in the community that Desmond's word is his bond, and thus the Tulips have attracted a status within SL similar to say Faberge Eggs in RL.


I'm flattered, but honestly - knowing the scope and scale of my operation, I can assure you that I am *far* from a master merchant.

I know just enough to be dangerous, and there are many other (far quieter) merchants that make my operation look like a lemonade stand. I had to reveal *some* sales figures or I doubt I could have pulled this off.

It was crass of me to do so, but I had to put the odds of my 'duplicating' or 'recovering' a $L 400 tulip (or even a $L 5k or $L 50k tulip) into perspective.

For further protection I've strengthened my password (it's a messy thing now) and once this is all over, there won't even BE a way for a hacker to duplicate the tulips accurately, even with access to my inventory.

Remember, the tulips are scripted and even should someone hack my account, I have one last, harmless, but scripted surprise. The tulips talk! But the prompt to get them to say their special phrase has not been revealed. Thus it will be possible to tell the originals from 'fakes' even if at some point someone manages to get my name on the fakes.

And, ah, since you brought it up - though I don't see the relevancy - Desmond *is* an SL virgin.


- - - - - - - - - -

I'll try to release more tulips in a while, but the 'blocking' strategy that some folks have used *does* work against me.

I can circumvent this in two ways:

1) Releasing a tulip or two at a time, thus allowing little chance for someone to swoop in while I'm planting more, and banning the blockers from the property.

I have good relations with my neighbours and they are around often; they are master scripters and I'm sure they would assist with whatever means it takes to 'solve the problem', by way of bans, freezes, ejects and targeted security.

2) I'll have my sim any day now; that's my 'next thing'. If I'm blocked from releasing tulips the hunt will proceed in a heavily vegetated sim, with those who blocked me on the sim's ban list. That's a promise to the community.

Let's hope it doesn't come down to that. :)


Last note - it might be important to read the upcoming release posts carefully; I'll be referring all IM's from frustrated searchers back to the forum posts. ;)

Good luck all!
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Steampunk Victorian, Well-Mannered Caledon!
Metawraith Mistral
Ghost in the Machine
Join date: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 166
02-19-2006 10:08
okay, 'virgin' was a bad choice of word, but i dislike the term 'newbie'
Zonax Delorean
Registered User
Join date: 5 Jun 2004
Posts: 767
02-19-2006 11:31
I have to admit, Desmond, you indeed have invented a nice new game for a group of people who are participating.

But I still see that your 'rules' (noone should plan on keeping the tulips) go against common flower buying sense in SL -- eg. when I buy a flower, I intend to keep it (or gift it, but the person I gift it to will surely keep it).

Still, nice game :-)
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Desmond Shang
Guvnah of Caledon
Join date: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 5,250
02-19-2006 11:58
From: Zonax Delorean
I have to admit, Desmond, you indeed have invented a nice new game for a group of people who are participating.

But I still see that your 'rules' (noone should plan on keeping the tulips) go against common flower buying sense in SL -- eg. when I buy a flower, I intend to keep it (or gift it, but the person I gift it to will surely keep it).

Still, nice game :-)


I'm glad that people enjoy it!

But really, I have no rules regarding ownership. Once the tulips are in someone else's hands, they are completely out of my control. I've asked for people to report tulips, but all I can do is ask.

There are people who have elected to remain silent about ownership regarding some (or all) of the tulips they have found. I know this because I can see who found them. But their secret is safe, for I cannot (and won't) name names.

Are these mystery tulips keepsakes? Or will these people suddenly appear on the market years later, dropping their mask of anonymity and stunning the market at a high-end collectibles auction five years from now? Only time will tell.

And I would guess also, that not yet has even a single tulip fallen into the hands of a casual customer that just wandered by. Though it has been a typical weekend for sales (maybe a little softer than normal).

I've seen people shopping, only to suddenly be surrounded by a flash-mob of scrambling horticultural enthusiasts, then within five minutes the mob is gone. I've been met with puzzled questions when I try to explain.

So far none of my casual customers have been killed, although after the events of about 12 hours ago I can't say the same for tulip enthusiasts! There were a few casualties.

I'm going to see if the grid is stable enough; if so there may be some planting... ;)
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Steampunk Victorian, Well-Mannered Caledon!
Snapple Drago
Registered User
Join date: 5 Sep 2004
Posts: 26
02-19-2006 13:33
I gave my life, Three Times, For a Tulip ^_^
Desmond Shang
Guvnah of Caledon
Join date: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 5,250
02-19-2006 14:14
*** An added note. ***

A lot of people shop on weekends, I take a lot of customer IM's and I do move around a bit normally on my platform in the sky.

Fair warning: try to hide under/over my map dot, or swoop by every time my dot on the map moves, and you and all of your suspected alts will be banned from West Trade land *just before* I release tulips, and from my upcoming sim if you manage to be so annoying.

All of this has happened.

If you are posing as a customer, let me save you some time and a banning, that doesn't work either.

I've dealt with hundreds of real customers, know their habits, and I see right through stuff like this.

Trying to keep me distracted in IM is also annoying. A quick IM - fine. Prod and test every few minutes, constantly without respite - not fine! This has nothing to do with tulips and everything to do with common decency.


I've been busy with real customers, and the nonsense I've endured while trying to maintain conversation with the folks that keep me in business has rather ticked me off.




Therefore: West Trade Imports is no longer damage enabled.



Power Gamers, scammers, cheaters and others, you brought this on yourself. Shoot someone and they are likely to AR you.


Warm Regards,

Desmond Shang

1337 g4m3r himself in another life.
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Steampunk Victorian, Well-Mannered Caledon!
Desmond Shang
Guvnah of Caledon
Join date: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 5,250
02-19-2006 14:24
... and if you use the 'sit on a prim' method to evade the banning controls, I have a few other surprises for you.

I seeee you over there!
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Steampunk Victorian, Well-Mannered Caledon!
Gabe Lippmann
"Phone's ringing, Dude."
Join date: 14 Jun 2004
Posts: 4,219
02-19-2006 14:27
You brought this on yourself, Desmond.

Just kidding. Seriously, this has been rioutously fun for me and I'm sorry it has ended up being a hassle for you.

|<33|* +h3 #4|+h
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Desmond Shang
Guvnah of Caledon
Join date: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 5,250
02-19-2006 15:17
The eighteenth group of FIVE are released!

90 sprouted... 9 to go.


Could be anywhere! Look carefully! At West Trade Imports...

1) Name: Phantom White Tulip, 23 of 25
2) Name: Pale Lavender Tulip, 9 of 10
3) Name: Pale Lavender Tulip, 10 of 10
4) Name: Luscious Peach Tulip, 7 of 8
5) Name: Luscious Peach Tulip, 8 of 8


The horrible weather in sim Alice thickens.

A few brave tulips sprout, but it is more than some species can take. The Pale Lavender and Luscious Peach tulips make one final stand, but fail to seed. These last few are the last before they become Extinct in the wild.



PLEASE reveal the variety and number on the TuleX trading floor.

If you destroy one, or intend to keep one forever, please make a record of it there.

TuleX: /244/fe/88655/1.html

Edit: That's it folks! All found!
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Desmond Shang
Guvnah of Caledon
Join date: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 5,250
02-19-2006 15:46
First mistake made, but rectified already.

In my rush to beat the power gamers and cheaters from swooping in while I plant, I didn't triple-check the settings. And I had been pestered for 3 hours solid.

I had accidentally not set Pale Lavender Tulip, 10 of 10 as 'sell original only' - BUT - the gods have smiled upon me.

Torley found it! And was the only one to do so.


After some mild panic on my part everything is now squared away, and Torley is in possession of the sole, no-mod, no-copy Pale Lavender Tulip, 10 of 10.

Of course, there is an element of trust involved but I think it's important I be 100% above-board in all that goes on with the tulips.

Unless of course, you suspect Torley will be going around scamming folks...

I count myself very, very, very lucky.
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Steampunk Victorian, Well-Mannered Caledon!
Nyx Divine
never say never!
Join date: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 1,052
02-19-2006 15:50
From: Gabe Lippmann
this has been rioutously fun for me and I'm sorry it has ended up being a hassle for you.


ditto :(
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Yes Virginia there is an FIC!

If someone shows you who they are.....believe them!

Don't be afraid to go out on a limb, because that's where the fruit is!
Torley Linden
Enlightenment!
Join date: 15 Sep 2004
Posts: 16,530
02-19-2006 15:59
Gosh, I'm so enthused! I LURVE THIS!!! :)

It sounds cliched (like a reality TV show), but you totally can't make up schtuff like what happened.

I'm subscribed to this thread, and after Desmond's last unleashing of the tulips, I quickly TPed over to West Trade Imports and saw "Pale Lavender Tulip, 10 of 10" by the door! It looked a lot more vivid than I would think any shade of "pale lavender" in good conscience would be, but I went to buy it nonetheless--

but what the heck, after I bought it, it appeared in my inventory and was still there! I repeated the process above five times, and knew something must be amiss, so I IMed Desmond to let him know like... ASAP d00d.

Mr. Shang, kindly proprietor, quickly arrived to deal with the situation, and thus, you have the tale presented above.

I am fortunate this is the first tulip that I have found on my own! It could be no more synchronicitous. Furthermore, it matches me perfectly.

I am going to register at TuleX shortly and then I must get more work done... LOLEX! (This SL trips me out, work and play in the same place.)

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Miriel Enfield
Prim Junkie
Join date: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 389
02-19-2006 16:16
From: Nyx Divine
From: someone
this has been rioutously fun for me and I'm sorry it has ended up being a hassle for you.
ditto :(

Thirded. This has been a lot of fun for me (and now I desperately want to do a charity treasure hunt of my own), and I'm sorry some people are behaving badly over it.
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AJ DaSilva
woz ere
Join date: 15 Jun 2005
Posts: 1,993
02-19-2006 18:00
Sorry to hear about the headaches this is causing you Desmond. It's a pity people are going so over the top tring to get them. I mean I was gonna throw some things out there if a lot of peeps were trying to make it difficult, but I was thinking of fun things like covering the ground with a carpet of daisies...

Anyway, I've got an idea for putting them out more easily if you want. Going to bed soon but I can talk to you about it tomorrow if you're interested.
Desmond Shang
Guvnah of Caledon
Join date: 14 Mar 2005
Posts: 5,250
02-19-2006 18:01
Three sprouts for the furries under the sky,
Seven for the Land Barons and their tiers of pain,
Nine for FIC doomed to the forums,
One for the Tulip Lord on his (or her!) dark throne
In the Sim of Alice where the Tulips bloom.


One Tulip to rule them all, One Bloom to find them,
One Tulip to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
At West Trade Imports, at a discount price!



The black tulip is poisonously psychoactive, thus considered cursed by many.

Brief exposure may induce cravings, feelings of desire, jealousy, hate and other negative emotions. The reaction greatly depends on the person and their own psychological well-being.

Extended exposure such as ownership may cause feelings of covetousness, hoarding behaviour, induced greed and mistrust of others.


Could be anywhere! Look carefully! At West Trade Imports...


The terrible Dark Beauty and her handmaidens:

1) Name: Rare Dark Beauty Tulip, 1 of 1
2) Name: Scarlet Passion Tulip, 32 of 36
3) Name: Scarlet Passion Tulip, 33 of 36
4) Name: Scarlet Passion Tulip, 34 of 36
5) Name: Scarlet Passion Tulip, 35 of 36


PLEASE reveal the variety and number on the TuleX trading floor.

If you destroy one, or intend to keep one forever, please make a record of it there.

TuleX: /244/fe/88655/1.html
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Steampunk Victorian, Well-Mannered Caledon!
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