Specifically, a meme that’s a long list of questions, this time spruced up with many pictures and illustrations.
My sweetie figmentj is doing a blogathon event to raise money for charity. If you would like to participate (and I think it’d rock if you do), please go here to find out how. Extra karma points to everyone who pitches in; I have it on personal authority that each dollar donated wipes out one sin1 from your permanent record.
1 Some restrictions apply. Deadly sins not eligible for exemption. All taxes and duties are the responsibility of the donor. Offer not valid in California, because everyone knows that any sins you commit there are a permanent stain on your soul.
…and I’ll whisper, “no.”
The Watchmen movie. Oh. My. God. One of my all-time favorite stories in any genre, and it looks like they are going to get it right.
So a couple of days ago, joreth, David, and I went to see the movie “Hancock.”
This isn’t actually a post about the movie; it’s a post about transhumanism, human dignity, and the inevitability of death. Hang on for a bit; I’ll get to that, I promise.
The movie is surprisingly good. I expected a kind of “Airplane!”-esque send-up of superhero movies, but that’s not what it is at all. It’s a thoughtful, and in some places surprisingly sweet, story. And it does something I’ve never seen a superhero movie do before; it makes characters with superhuman abilities (flying, immunity to bullets, super strength, all the usual ones) human.
One interesting twist is that the main character, Hancock, never ages.
And that’s pretty cool. In fact, I’d take a write-off on all the other superhero powers for that one. Which is good, because it’s the only superhero power that doesn’t violate those pesky laws of physics, and the only superhero power we’re actually getting close to in the real world.
To me, the value in this seems like a no-brainer. And yet, the majority–by large margin–of folks I talk to don’t want it. And I find hat kind of interesting.
When i talk about living forever, most of the people I talk to, at least outside the transhumanist community, react with varying degrees of shock and horror. “But why would you want to do that?” is the most common response, by a mile.
Now, it seems to me the answer to this question is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer. Before I go into that, though, I think it’s probably a good idea to clear up what “live forever” means. That phrase can sound a bit scary, and seems to carry connotations of a kind of involuntary immortality to many folks.
When I talk about “immortality,” perhaps it would be better to say that I think death should be optional. I’m not talking about forcing people to live who don’t want to; I’m talking about changing the inevitability of death. Death should be an option to folks who want it, but it should not be compulsory.
I think that I may stop talking about “immortality” and instead start talking about “making death optional.” It might address some of the mental images that “immortality” conjures up with respect to a burdensome and unwanted life.
It’s also important to make clear that I’m talking about healthy life, as well. Any reasonable approach to solving the problem of death begins with solving the problem of aging. Life extension as an ever-increasing period of enfeeblement is a non-starter. For the purposes of radical longevity, what I’m talking about is a cessation of aging such that human beings have an indefinite lifespan with no upper limit, and that we will spend that time in healthy, strong bodies.
This kind of immortality, a life where people simply don’t age, is not the same thing as superhero, immune-to-bullets-and-everything immortality. If we solve aging, which is a biological process that operates like all other biological processes and is therefore subject to change, that’s what we will have.
As it stands now, we stop self-repairing and start falling apart in our mid 20s, and it’s all downhill from there. Conquering aging means keeping the physical strength and health of a 20something indefinitely. Which, honestly, doesn’t seem like a bad deal to me.
A person immune to the ravages of old age would still not be immune to death; accident, violence, and other misadventure is perfectly capable of ending even a 25-year-old’s life. It simply means that person no longer has a cap on the maximum time he can live, if he so chooses.
And that’s really what it’s all about. Choice.
Right now, we have no choice. The maximum possible human lifespan is somewhere around 120 years, if we make it that far, and that’s it.
This has been the reality of human existence for a very long time, and we’ve built entire philosophies around that reality. “Death gives life meaning,” we’re told. (What a load of rubbish! If I burn down your house, is that destruction the only thing that gives your house value?) “Death provides dignity,” we’re told. (Nonsense; decrepitude and death are among the least dignified parts of our existence. It is our choices, our freedom to make ourselves what we choose, that informs our dignity and our value. Anything which reduces our freedom to choose for ourselves what we want to be, including the inevitability of death, reduces human dignity.)
If you go into the doctor’s office, and he tells you that you have a bacterial infection, which will slowly grow progressively worse until it kills you painfully, then offers you an antibiotic pill that will completely eradicate the infection, I bet you’ll take it. Even if you don’t fancy the thought of living forever.
There’s an important point in that. Even folks who don’t much want to live forever still probably don’t want to die today. Or tomorrow. Someday, perhaps, if that “someday” is held in the abstract; some future time when things no longer seem interesting. But not today.
And that’s the point. A solution for aging puts the power to choose in your hands. Old age forces your hand; you don’t get the choice to see your grandkids graduate from school, or to celebrate your fiftieth anniversary…the choice is made for you. And I don’t see how that benefits anyone.
Now, some people have asked me why I would even want an extended lifespan in the first place. “Wouldn’t you get bored?” I’ve been asked. “Wouldn’t you eventually become too depressed at seeing everyone close to you die?”
The second question is easy. Presumably, if medical tech existed that could stop me from aging, it could stop the people around me from aging too.
The first question is a bit more baffling. Bored? With all the things going on in the world, all the time, who would ever be bored?
I think there’s an idea lurking in the subtext of that objection; namely, the sense that the future is just like the present, only longer.
Which is silly. One only needs to look at how much American society has changed in the last century to see that isn’t true. Within the lifetime of folks still alive today, we’ve gone from a largely agrarian society to a post-industrial society, with detours through powered flight, manned space exploration, and widespread electrification. A person born in 1900, in a one-room house with a dirt floor, has seen the advent of industrialization, the popularization of the automobile, manned moon landings, the taming of Niagra Falls, and the iPhone.
Who has time to be bored?
And that aint nothin’. Technology today, as interesting as it is, isn’t qualitatively different from the technology of the Victorians. We still make stuff by starting with a bloody great lump of stuff and whacking bits off, pounding, molding, stamping, cutting, and otherwise hacking away at the stuff until all that’s left is the bits we want.
Which is a wasteful, inefficient way to go about doing it. Smacks of stone knives and bearskins, really.
But what we’re closing in on is the ability to make stuff from the ground up, one atom at a time. And when that happens…jackpot.
Windows made of diamond (because carbon is cheap and easy to work with). Skyscrapers grown from a single metal crystal. Efficiency which allows the entire world, including those parts of it currently mired on poverty, to live at the same standard of living as us decadent Westerners, without imposing additional burdens on the earth’s resources or energy supply. Molecular assembly changes the name of the game completely.
Who has time to be bored?
And with that comes changes to all the assumptions we make about the Way Things Work. Many of the objections to improved longevity rest on assumptions that aren’t necessarily going to be valid in thefuture; you can’t anticipate the future by projecting current truths on it.
“But what about overpopulation?” I’m asked. Well, what about it? There’s a close connection between population growth and technological sophistication; post-agrarian societies have lower population growth than agrarian societies, because children are no longer needed to work the farms and care for enfeebled elders.
“But don’t we have to die to make room for the next generation?” I’m asked. No, we don’t, and thank you very much for implying that my life, and your life, and the lives of all the people who are here today are worth less than the theoretical lives of people who don’t even exist yet.
“But won’t longer life put more strain on the earth’s resources?” I’m asked. This assumes a continuation of the exponential population growth, when even now in the United States we actually have negative population growth, with immigration being what keeps the sum total population increasing. As lifespan increases, birth rate decreases; and, as I said before, nanotech manufacturing offers high standard of living with dramatically smaller environmental costs.
And if you find all that implausible, imagine what a person born in 1900 would say about owning a device that fits in your pocket, lets you talk to anyone in the world, and uses a network of satellites placed in earth orbit by rockets to help you find the easiest way to drive from your house to your friend’s house on the other side of the country.
Why do I want to live forever? Because things now are better than they were in 1900, and things in 1900 were better than they were in 1462. Because the future is an interesting place, and I want to see it. Because death should be optional, not mandatory. Because the encroachment of old age and death is the ultimate insult to human dignity. Because we are the part of the universe capable of understanding itself, and that means that every single one of us has incalculable value. Because every death is a tragedy, and we have lost sight of that. And in the end, because I see us not for what we are now, but for what we have the potential to become, and we have potential that is beautiful beyond all imagination.
…because I’ve been so busy having fun I haven’t had much time for anything else.
Which is not a bad way to live, really.
First, zaiah. She spent almost a week with me last week. We’ve been talking on the Intertubes for over a year and a half, but never have been able to meet in person (damn you, Intertubes! Damn you!) until at last our wish was granted by a pair of cute and very fuzzy kittens. The kittens said “Lo! For more than forty months have you been chatting, and the time has come at last! We shall be your vehicles!”
Or perhaps they might have said that, if kittens could, you know, talk.
Anyway, the kittens arranged for us to meet, and meet we did. It went more better than anything I might dared to have hoped, and a most excellent time was had. I shan’t disturb you with the details, because they would…disturb you.
And then: Camping!
Shelly, Fritz, femetal, my archnemisis datan0de, and I went roughing it in the backwoods of rural Florida, in the most primitive environment you can possibly imagine. No Internet! No cell pone service! Nothing to do but sit in the pop-up on our laptops and watch Dr. Who!
Got a good deal of work on Onyx 3.1 done. What else is there to do at a campsite?
And now, joreth is up visiting.
It has been over two frakking weeks since I’ve even logged on to World of Warcraft. It’s been difficult, but the shaking is starting to subside and I haven’t had a seizure in days.
I’ve been approached by various people over the past couple of weeks and asked if I’d be interested in becoming involved in not one, not two, but three new start-up businesses. Weird.
Got my last rejection letter for my book proposal last week. That makes six. (Well, technically five, plus one “We’re not interested in the book in its current form, but we think you’re pretty cool and would like you to re-submit the proposal as less of a how-to on polyamory and more of a personal narrative.”)
And also, since I’ve had a bad case of the hornies all day and have had a great deal of trouble thinking about anything but sex all day long today, here is…
David, zaiah, and I are planning to make a sushi run tomorrow night at 8:00. Anyone on my flist who’s interested is welcome to attend. We’ll be at Sushi House Buckhead, which I think is probably the most awesome sushi restaurant that has ever existed or will ever exist.
Who’s up for joining us? Reply here or email me at tacitr (at) aol (dot) com if you think you might be game!
So, um, hey. About your movie “The Happening”…
Look, M (do you mind if I call you M?), I like your movies. “The Sixth Sense” was awesome. I enjoyed “Unbreakable.” “Signs” was a fun movie, even though Mel ‘Kill All The Jews, They Killed Christ’ Gibson was tragically miscast.
I’ll even give you “Lady in the Water.” I enjoyed it, despite the critical savaging.
But dear God, M, what were you thinking when you wrote “The Happening?”
For starters, there’s the title. I really, really wish you’d chosen a different title for this film, something perhaps a bit more appropriate to the story. You see, “The Happening” makes the movie sound like it might be interesting or mysterious, and that’s just plain false advertising. I would perhaps recommend a different name, something like “When Maples Attack” or “Poplars Gone Wild.” Then perhaps I would have gone into the theater with a clearer sense of what to expect, or more likely given it a miss altogether.
And dude, seriously, Learn something about science. Please. Anything about science. If your main character is a scientist, it helps to know at least a little bit about the field. Knowing what science is might be a good start.
Here’s a hint, that I’ll give you as a freebie without charging you a script consulting fee because I like you. No scientist would ever say something like “Science doesn’t prove anything. At the end of the day, any explanation is just a theory.”
See, simply by using phrases like “just a theory,” you demonstrate that you don’t know what the word “theory” means. Unlike, for example, a character who is, say…a scientist.
And enough with the “camera staring at the actor’s face so we can see how they’re emoting” schtick. It worked well enough in “The Sixth Sense,” but by the time you’d gotten to “The Village” we’d all been clobbered over the head with it enough. We get it, we get it. Your characters Feel Profound Emotions. How ’bout branching out a bit, developing a new visual language, rather than relying on the same tool over and over again, m’kay? We’ll all appreciate it. I’m just sayin’.
Oh, and about your characters Feeling Profound Emotions…that’s nice, but occasionally we’d like to see them do something, too. Passivity gets annoying after a while, y’know? When every single character in a movie, including extras in the background of the scenes, ends up dead save for three, and those three are saved only by pure luck and not as a consequence of any of their own actions, that’s not Bold Storytelling. It’s tedious, pointless dreck. The audience likes to see a story unfold as the result of the actions of the characters. Occasionally, it’s nice to see characters making decisions and doing things which advance the story arc, too. Again, I’m just sayin’.
And what’s with the little old lady in the run-down house? I haven’t seen a more pointless and ultimately unsatisfying side plot since the unbearable scene with the psycho pedophile in the basement in the awful film version of “War of the Worlds.”
Oh, while we’re talking about characters, consistency? Please? Look, M, I know they’re your characters and you can do what you want and all, but when the main character keeps alternating randomly between “smart and determined” (as in “He sure is resilient, isn’t he?”) and “dumb as a box of rocks,” with occasional detours through the land of “socially incompetent,” “utterly passive,” and “freaking out because it’s windy,” he doesn’t really feel like a character. Goddamnit, I’ve seen 70s porn flicks with greater depth and better character development.
Like I said, M, I don’t want to tell you your job, but if you’re making a movie that’s supposed to be a character study, a good place to start might be with a character.
I really gotta tell you, M, if you want to keep getting my money, you gotta stop with the movies that make me feel like I’ve just wasted two hours of my life I’ll never have back again. Kthx.
PS: You owe me ten bucks.
I have written in the past about the concept of “veto” in polyamory; specifically, about relationship agreements, common in polyamorous relationship circles, which allow one’s partner to say “I don’t like you dating so-and-so. I forbid it. Your relationship with so-and-so is now over.”
I am no great fan of such rules, as long-time readers of this blog will no doubt be aware. Really long-time readers will also be aware that I have come from relationships which did permit veto power, and my thinking about veto has changed over time.
I’m not even going to get into the borderline-evil concept that people in relationships have veto power over their partners’ friends. This is just R-O-N-G Rong, stupidly and evilly wrong, in all but the most extreme circumstances. (“My partner is making friends with the man who tried to murder me.” Okay, you have veto power. Everyone else, shut up. Your partner is a free agent, with the right to make their own damn friends independent of you.)
Now, she was writing about friendships, not romantic relationships. But in thinking about the post, I realized something I haven’t put into words yet:
I have come to believe that veto power in romantic relationships, too, is a borderline-evil concept, that is in practice stupidly and evilly wrong.
I’m sure that’s probably pissed off at least some of you. Believe me, I know how seductive the idea of having a veto is, and how reassuring it can be. It calms all kinds of fears; it makes things seem less threatening; it gives you an out–if that other person starts stepping on your toes or making you feel displaced, one word and he’s gone.
That doesn’t change the fact that it’s stupidly and evilly wrong.
Earlier today, in a different forum, I read a post by a person who wrote “I’m a big fan of veto power – I have four kids and nothing should be allowed to break up my primary relationship, since it will affect them more adversely than anyone else.”
This is probably the most common reason I’ve seen put forth for veto–the idea that it will prevent anyone else from breaking up a relationship. Emotionally, it feels seductive, and it seems to make perfect, brilliant sense; if I share my partner with Bill, and Bill comes to replace me in my partner’s heart, that’s bad, right? But as long as I have veto, I just say the word and Bill is gone. Problem solved; relationship saved; threat neutralized. Right?
For starters, if you’re relying on a rule to save your relationship, it’s already one-quarter doomed. A relationship agreement can not prevent a person from breaking a relationship agreement; if it could, no relationships would ever fail.
More to the point, though, it misses something I think is much more obvious, and much more important. It starts from the assumption that new relationships are a threat; if I allow my mate to become intimate with someone else, this will, of necessity, endanger me. Our relationship will surely fail if I don’t put it on a tight leash. Without a veto, this “polyamory” stuff is scary and hazardous and I need veto or else my partner will leave me.
So the million-dollar question is, if you believe that, why be polyamorous in the first place?
Because here’s a nasty little truth, you see: If you share your partner with Bill, and Bill comes to replace you in your partner’s heart, and you feel threatened and defensive so you order your partner to end the relationship…what makes you think your partner will obey? After all, by the time Bill has become a threat to your relationship, it’s already too late, right? If your relationship is so feeble that someone else can just slide in and usurp you that easily, why would your partner listen to you?
There is an assumption at work here which I find kind of interesting. It’s the assumption that one’s partner will, if left to his own devices, leave.
There’s a profound lack of trust there. The psychological comfort of veto is born of mistrust, insecurity, and fear. It is birthed in the fires of a belief that my partner does not want to be with me, not really. My partner is only with me because nobody better has come along; our relationship is tenuous; I can not trust my partner to make decisions which honor and respect our relationship. I need the power to compel my partner to be with me, because without that power, it’s all over.
In short, I must use veto power to save my relationship, because without veto, my partner won’t choose to save my relationship.
And that’s a little fucked up.
Here’s another idea to try on for size: If your relationship is healthy and good, you don’t need veto. If your relationship is not healthy and good, veto won’t save it.
Because that’s the way of it, seriously. People stay in relationships not because rules tell them to stay, but because they choose to stay. If your partner no longer loves you, vetoing Bill won’t make your partner love you. If your partner doesn’t want to be with you, then veto won’t make your partner want to be with you. If your partner wants to replace you with a better model, then veto won’t, and can’t, prevent that.
Sorry, but it’s true. Having a veto arrangement feels good; it makes you feel safer and more secure. But the feeling is a lie. It does not provide real safety or real security. In the end, your partner loves you, or doesn’t; your partner wants to be with you, or doesn’t; no rule will make the difference.
It might, however, chase your partner away.
If veto rules only offered the psychological illusion of security, and that’s all they did, they’d be fine. People wrap themselves in illusory security for the sake of their own mental health all the time.
But here’s the thing. Veto rules have consequences–some of them subtle, some not so subtle. And those consequences can corrode your partner’s relationships and your own.
I’ve talked before about the slow, far-reaching damage that can be done to a relationship by veto; how every time you kick someone your partner cares about out the door, you hurt your partner, and how the long-term accumulation of hurt can undermine and poison your relationship with your partner. In the end, that’s one of the single biggest factors in my own breakup with my ex-wife; the gradual accumulation of a series of hurts, inflicted, ironically, in the name of “protecting” our relationship. So I won’t go over that again.
What I will do, though, is something that I scarcely ever see done, and talk about things from the perspective of the third person, the one to whom the veto can, theoretically, be applied.
People seldom do this. I’ve seen this, in books and in conversations and in all the relationship rules I’ve heard about. Over and over, people approach polyamory with no though to the needs or feelings of the newcomer to the relationship.
And that’s a little fucked up, too.
When you’re terrified of losing something, it can be all too easy to become so wrapped up in that fear that you become blind to the consequences of your actions. If you truly believe that polyamory might mean the end of your relationship, it’s easy to chase security so hard that you become blind to your own selfishness. A veto arrangement is the equivalent of opening your front door to a guest, shotgun in the crook of your arm, and saying “Welcome! Come on in! Make one wrong move and I’ll splatter your brains out the back of your head. I just baked a pie; would you like some?”
Radical thought, here: The new people coming into your relationship are human beings. They have rights, and they are entitled to being treated with respect and compassion. They are not The Enemy. They are not faceless demons of your subconscious; they are not the physical embodiment of your insecurities and your abandonment fears. A little respect goes a long way.
To be the third partner in a relationship that permits veto is to have the sword of Damocles hanging over you. You think you’re insecure? You think that polyamory sounds threatening and scary to you? Imagine how it feels to the person who’s told, “One word from that person over there and I am obligated to kick you to the curb. That person has absolute right, without appeal, to take away anything you build with me, in an instant, for any reason or no reason at all. Just sayin’.” How well do you suppose those shoes fit?
You think you’d feel good if your lover said that to you?
One of the biggest fears that many folks face is the fear of being old news. Everyone who’s ever fallen in love knows the giddy rush that comes with a new relationship; there’s a time when your lover is bathed in light, and every blink of your lover’s eyes makes your heart go pitter-pat.
When you’ve been with someone for a while, the glow fades. Then along comes someone new, and you get to watch your lover fall in love all over again, only this time it’s not with you. You’re the old news now; you’re not all shiny any more. You’re the person who leaves dirty dishes in the sink or doesn’t take the trash out or does all those other not-perfect things that not-perfect humans do; and you can’t compete with the shiny, right?
And veto is the only way to cut through the shiny if things go seriously off the tracks, right?
Okay, let’s flip that around. You’re the new guy coming into a relationship; you don’t have anything yet. You’re confronted by a person who has a history with your new love; someone who your new love has dedicated time and effort with; someone with whom your new love shares a thousand smiles and a million little secret experiences, a long list of in jokes and pleasures and intimacies great and small. This person owns a piece of your new love’s heart that you can’t even begin to guess the shape of.
Who’s at a disadvantage now?
Yes, the new shiny is fun, while it lasts. Yes, it’s intoxicating. Yes, your lover is getting wrapped up in feelings that you’ve lost, and is going to be enraptured with this new person in ways that he’s not enraptured with you any more. Guess what? That’s nothing compared to what you have. The weight of history you share with your lover is something that new person feels more profoundly than you feel the lack of shiny, believe me.
Even if you do everything in your power to make that person feel welcome–and by the way, veto ain’t a way to do that–the fact is your shared history is something that is always going to be there. It is always going to be the subtext of that person’s relationship with your lover. You don’t even need to trot it out and rub the new guy’s face in it; it’s there. If anyone has cause to be intimidated, it’s him, not you.
The new shiny can, to be sure, make folks lose their heads and make decisions they might not otherwise make. I’ve seen many folks use this as a justification for a veto arrangement. “Hard to get past that new relationship energy,” I’ve been told. “Might need a veto power just to keep things from getting all whack and heading over the cliff.”
What about communication, instead? Not having veto does not mean not having a voice. You know how to talk to your lover, right? Do it!
Look, not everyone in the world is a good person, I know that. Not everyone acts in good faith; not every connection works out; not every relationship is positive and healthy. That’s the way it is. Every so often, it might come to pass that your lover makes a poor choice; good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from poor judgment.
Here’s a thought: Assume that your lover wants to make good choices. If you see problems, say so. Explain your concerns. Treat your partner like a functional adult.
One of the most evil, insidious things about veto is the way it infantilizes grown adults. Veto is, by its nature, the antithesis of maturity. Where adults make their own decisions, veto assumes that people cannot be trusted to make decisions for themselves. Where adults try to choose what’s right for themselves and their partners; veto assumes that people must be held in check, or they will run off and destroy their existing relationships. Where adults exchange ideas freely as equals, veto terminates conversation. Veto arrangements deprive those who agree to them of the one quintessential defining element of adulthood: self-determination. They reduce the person bound by veto to the status of a child, and the person holding the veto to the status of a caretaker, not a partner in a relationship freely chosen between equals.
All that, and they don’t even do what they are intended to do. The person who obeys a veto is a person who is already committed to making the relationship work! Obeying a veto is painful–more painful than the person pulling it out is likely to realize.
If your partner is committed to making your relationship work, veto is unnecessary. If your partner is not committed to making your relationship work, veto is worse than useless.
So I know a number of people who read this journal are familiar with, and in some cases avid fans of, the sex game Onyx I’ve written. Some of you are even on the beta list, in fact.
I’ve just started work on version 3.1, which is intended as a free upgrade to 3.0. The principle goal of 3.1 is improved compatibility with Windows Vista and Windows XP 64-bit editions (I’ve had a number of complaints that it sometimes crashes or behaves erratically in Vista 64-bit), improved visual appearance under Vista with the Aero interface, improved compatibility with Ubuntu Linux, and minor visual cleanup under Linux generally. 3.1 will also improve memory usage slightly under OS X 10.4, thought that is honestly not a big deal; Onyx doesn’t have a very large resource footprint as it is.
I’m also going to be adding a handful of new features. The two biggest of these are likely to be a way to increase the size of the card display (for those of you who play the game gathered around a laptop), and a way to Opt Out of an action and also tag that action with “Never play this particular action again.” There will be a new menu item “Reset all blocked actions for this deck” as well.
I’m also likely going to double the number of cards in any one deck, from 400 to 800, if I can do it without too much rejiggering. Yes, I’ve had people write me and tell me thay’ve run into the 400-action limit, you creative bastards, you.
So: For those of you who already play the game and have some ideas about features you’d like to see now or in the future, here’s your chance to let me know! Respond here in comments, or in email at onyxbeta (at) symtoys (dot) com, if you have ideas, suggestions, or things you’d like to see. If you are not on the current Onyx beta list and would like to be, say so here or in an email; please include information about your computer platform, memory, operating system, and so on.
If you have never played Onyx but think you might like to try, here’s a special deal for you: Register the game between now and July 31 and get $6 off the normal registration price by using coupon code LJ-31BETA. Comment here if you’ve got ideas or would like to be part of the beta team. (if you want to see the 3.1 beta you’ll need to comment or drop me an email at the onyxbeta address.)