Vanilla Sky

by Serendipidy Haven
https://serenhaven.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/vanilla-sky/

Avatar: from the Sanskrit avatāra ‘descent’, from ava ‘down’ + tar- ‘to cross’. A manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher. An incarnation, embodiment, or manifestation of a person or idea.

Whilst most of us would hesitate to describe our virtual representation as a deity manifest, few would have any problem with considering our pixel form as an incarnation, embodiment or manifestation of ourselves, or of the more esoteric, nebulous constructs that define who we are. Indeed, a great many of us consider our avatars to be more representative of who and what we are than we would ever dare show, if indeed we could, in our real lives.

There’s little doubt that SL has the capability to release aspects of our character and make up that are heavily suppressed or hidden in our day to day lives,

It’s been said the avatar is a mask; but for me, it isn’t. A mask hides what lies behind – SL reveals it. A mask is expressionless, but SL give us the freedom to express ourselves; there are various explanations for this – many of which I’ve explored before in the pages of this blog. Whether it’s the anonymity that allows us to be our true selves, the freedom we’re given in virtual form, the wide variety of concepts, ideas and cultures, contained within such a small world, or the distance that SL allows us to put between the actions of our virtual selves and reality that gives us the scope to be other than what we appear to be, is largely immaterial. What matters to the majority of us is the simple fact that we can, and do, perceive our virtual selves to be more able, more honest and more open than perhaps we can ever be in the real world.

I’ve heard it frequently stated that the way we present ourselves inworld is, in essence, a mask – that what those around us see is how we choose to be seen. A mask, of course can be perceived in more ways than those which we may think we are presenting to others. It can create anonymity; a mask can hide the truth; we can disguise or change how others see us; a mask can be employed both for good and for less savoury purposes. We can employ masks to mystify, intensify, challenge, invoke fear, provoke laughter and hide our feelings entirely. There’s no doubt in my mind that we can certainly employ our avatars in any one of these diverse fashions, however I feel that to do so misses an extremely important and significant point: Certainly, our avatar can be employed as a mask, however our avatar can equally, and perhaps in even greater measure, be the mechanism by which we unmask ourselves.

I’ve already mentioned in this post how SL permits us to ‘be ourselves’, and over the years I’ve spoken to many, many people who would aver this is true for them, whether in terms of their inworld pursuits, confidence-building or allowing them to be accepted as they are, without the prejudices, brick walls and difficulties that they face daily in real life. Surely this is quite the opposite to putting on a mask, hiding who we are and retreating behind the safety that such a construct provides?

I firmly believe that a great number of SL adherents spend a huge amount of time in the real world wearing a mask of some description. It may not be a tangible, physical mask; even so it can be as effective as any facial covering – obfuscating, obscuring and protecting the truth that hides away behind it. Yet, when these very same people log in to SL, their first action is to take off that mask, hang it on its inworld virtual peg and face the Grid, unmasked and in complete honesty, proclaiming both to themselves and to all those they come across: “This is me.. The real me!”

It’s powerful stuff. We’re in control. We do what we choose. We are who we are.

s. x

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Welcome Back to Second Life

Yes I have been away for a while and my lovely friends through me a psychedelic party. Was great fun they had elephant avatars too cute. Rosalee Icanardi built the set and its gorgeous. Here are some pics and a video at the end.

elephants_002

eledancers

Special thanks to Rosalee, Storm, Bridget and our fab DJ Siani.

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Bite The Bullet

Yes I have to give up. I’ve tried everything to make 8 gigs of RAM work on my computer without success. People at Firestorm they have Jira where you can post your problems but I didn’t really get anywhere. I tried everything. I’m running 64 bit windows with 4 gigs of RAM and it works, for now. But I have lost confidence in it. My current system is over 5 years old, so it’s ready for replacement. So I’m going to buy a new PC.

Another Dell

Base is an XPS 8700 i7 – 4770 4th Gen 3.7 GHz, which can be overclocked to 3.9 GHz.
This is the current fastest processor around.
Memory 16GB Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz – 4 DIMMs can be expanded to 32 gigs
Video Card AMD Radeon HD R9 270 2GB GDDR5 I looked this card up and its pretty good, 2 gigs is good enough memory
(I’m keeping my monitor unless I decide to have two)
Hard Drive 2TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive + Intel SRT 32GB SSD Cache 2 terabytes is good for these days, the solid state Cache speeds things up. I have 3 TB on my USB drives

It has lots of room for expansion. Cost €1,239 inc taxes and shipping

have to wait for new ID so can’t buy until the end of May

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A Bundle Of Pixels

jiselleinfoGetting a virtual pet in second life is quite a remarkable experience.  You go to the shop and choose your pet, in this case a cat.You can see the genealogy of your cat. Opposite are the details taken when she (!) was three days old. The “birth” is an experience in itself. You buy a box with your kitty in it and rezz it. You have to wait 15 minutes and you are presented with a dialogue such as ” Your kitty’s eyes are just opening and she is fumbling around” This goes on for 15 minutes detailing what would be the birth of a real kitten. You, well we did, you sit and wait and watch as the box starts to move. Then the kitten is born. A kind of reverse imprinting occurs.

A rapid learning process by which a newborn or very young animal establishes a behavior pattern of recognition and attraction to another animal of its own kind or to a substitute or an object identified as the parent.

The kitten is tiny and has a name. You can see its menu detailing its love, happiness, food status and age. You set its area of travel . She can sit on your shoulder during the first week . (Sorry having trouble with “she” and “it”).

This is a bundle of pixels. Yet psychological mechanisms are at work here. Throughout second life a process goes on whereby identity is given to an onscreen representation of yourself. Here an identity i.e. your cat is a being. It is a primitive expert system that responds to your input.

 jisellelarge

This kind of behaviour is not uncommon in children. Their toys take on a life of their own with likes and dislikes, a pure projection of the child’s imagination. How much more real is having a “toy” that  has a degree of autonomy but is still dependent on you for love and food in order to grow and live? Bonding occurs. But the bonding is with the avatar so we are even further removed from the actuality. Isn’t this wonderful. first we have an identification with the avatar which becomes an extension of ourselves then we anthropomorphize even further to give life to a bundle of pixels.

 

Storm holding Ormond with Bronya on her shoulder Dude with Jiselle
Storm holding Ormond with Bronya on her shoulder Dude with Jiselle

 

You notice that set above the animals head is a menu. This shows the cats energy, love factor, happiness factor and if it is hungry. These change according to your interaction. The more you pet the cat the greater its happiness factor. In the first seven days your cat will grow. Initially she or he will sit on your shoulder but after six days will become to big to do this. Food is rezzed and the cat will find it (Its placed within the roaming range) . Your cat will roam around sniffing at things, cleaning itself and will chase butterflies from an emitter. There was an incident with Ormond where Storm (my partner) made a mistake with deeding him to the group. Ormond became sick and lay in his basket not eating and was covered with a blanket. It was quite upsetting.

Kill The Robot

In the 80s while researching expert systems I came across the following study, reference lost sorry. A small robot was created with LED lights and could traverse a counter top. It had sensors whereby when its batteries became low it would plug itself into a wall socket. It would emit “happy” beeping sounds and its lights would pulse and glow. A subject was asked to observe the robot then was given a hammer and told to “kill” it. It was after all just a bundle of transistors and servos. The subject was reluctant and the robot with the aid of proximity sensors was able to avoid the hammer. It could run away. Eventually the subject caught the robot a glancing blow disabling one of its wheels which began to leak oil. It ran around in circles bleeping. The subject became very distressed and demanded that the researcher kill the robot and put it out of its misery.

Eliza

Many of you might know of ELIZA (after Eliza Doolittle , Pygmalion)  created first in the 60s. It had a sub routine called DOCTOR. It was not AI but simulated it so well it became famous. Based on Rogerian psychotherapy a dialogue would go something like this:

Patient: “Everybody hates me”

DOCTOR: “Why do you think everyone hates you?”

Patient : Because my mother told them to”

DOCTOR “Tell me about your mother”

etc……key words could be identified or a response could be simply turning a statement into a question. It was phenomenal how people reacted. Some said when discovered using the program that it was confidential or personal even after having the program explained to them.

Paro, a robot used in the treatment of dementia.

Paro was developed by Takanori Shibata, a researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Paro is a therapeutic, pet-type robot with the appearance of a baby harp seal.

paro

Paro has tactile sensors and moves its tail and flippers and will respond by opening its eyes and moving its face toward the sound of voice. Paro’s sensors monitor sound, light, temperature and touch and Paro respond’s appropriately, such as responding to its name and being stroked.

Paro can show various emotions including surprise, happiness and anger, and Paro will cry if it is not receiving sufficient attention.

Anthropomorphism, or personification, is attribution of human form or other characteristics to anything other than a human being.  This isn’t good enough to explain what is going on here with cats.  (Got to laugh there is a group on Facebook: P.E.T.R.A: People for the Ethical Treatment of Robot Animals. ) Our cat are robots coz  they are exhibit AI. They have there own mechanisms to handle their environment and respond to avatar owners. They can be petted and will reward the avatar with an increase in happiness. Just as a real cat responds to stroking with purring. But all they are is a bundle of pixels.

 Suspension of Disbelief

Suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a “human interest and a semblance of truth” into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative. Suspension of disbelief often applies to fictional works of the action, comedy, fantasy, and horror genres, as well as in professional wrestling.

Can it apply here? We have already come some way with this with our avatars in second life we consider them to be real. We go beyond them being merely representations and almost have given them a life of their own. Our cats have a certain autonomy but just like their real counterparts need food and attention in order to flourish. We are also “fooled”  into bonding with them through psychological techniques. It is therefore easy to pretend they are real.

I think this is worthy of further study. I think second life itself is worthy of further study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blogs Poems Partners and Pictures

Reproduced from NowChangeYourLife.wordpress.com

I come across gems in second life. I think it is the blues community, nice thinking.My fav blogger is Serendipity Haven (serenhaven.wordpress.com)who writes little stories that are so informative and entertaining. Highly recommended. AND not just for second life users either. I have blogged about her before. Read her latest offering, its very informative.

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Take my partner, she has an awesome job that keeps her very busy but she spends much of her spare time with me. In her “spare” time she is a poet and has her own site. JessikaJenvieve.com fabulous poetry. Heres one she wrote for me:

It is Best

You wanted a love song
I don’t have the words
Cordelia – like, I have nothing to say
but it is inside,
deep
somewhere
I just can’t put my finger on.

You want forever and I want you to tell me
the pain in my head won’t kill me.
I want you to make my tea and a cheese sandwich.
I don’t want words, I want silence.
There’s a tangle of lyrics out there
waiting for me to catch my foot in them.
Pick the wrong one and you will fire up again.

Say nothing, it is safe.
It is best.

For PFB

“I’m a mature socialite cougar 60 k living in millionaires paradise” she says on skype……Love her sense of humour. We get on so well and are partners in second life, the online community. We spend a lot of time chatting to a background of the blues. Here you can see us dancing. At the top right are private messages bottom left are local messages.

While hosting (a host manages the dj session greeting people and providing help like joining the group) I met a person who was fun to chat to, who I hadn’t met before. She too has a blog and this is what I found:

We seem to think that big events and weighty, important conversations make the bulk of a relationship. Yet .. it’s chatting of little nothings .. how spring air moves and caresses across the face .. picking dandelions and sending them off to seed other places .. or sharing two blades of grass with a friend and trying to make a blade-of-grass kazoo together.

Lobbing nonesense words and silly verses between us .. twirling and feinting at nothing .. nothing moments are what I miss.

If you are the very best of friends with me, I will fill you with letters of little nothings.

Her site which she hasn’t updated in a while is http://vixenquandry.wordpress.com/

One of the things people love to do is take photos in second life it is very photogenic. So here is a gallery a person I met in a European blues club. Name of Schlock who has a wonderful talking parrot called Clyde with, i would say, artificial intelligence!!!!

Heres the gallery, sorry missed Clyde but i sent Schlock an email coz he should have a blog!!

Then another person with a site http://www.deadmonkeysociety.org/writtenword/index.html the front page looks like this:

deadmonkeys

All this is just a taste of the variety of people that you meet in second life. It is a community of intelligent diverse people. Possibly it is the blues community as this is all i have experience of. I am still exploring and have lots to learn. I will have been in second life for a year. Yes I am addicted.

Its not a problem

hotstuffHere is a picture of my Storm Constantine (aka Jessika) we have known each other for six months and we decided to partner. This means we have made a commitment to share and cherish each other. It may be likened to a marriage, the “ceremony” was an email and now we appear in each others profile. partner
There is a wonderful thing that happens in second life. You become one with your avatar and truly your avatar becomes an extension of yourself. when you join with another avatar like in a dance something magical happens. You begin to feel with your avatar. Holding your partner becomes as though you are holding a real person and in some ways you are. It feels real. You can get incredibly close to someone. It starts in chat. As in anywhere / place chatting to someone brings you close to that person. We have chat in secondlife. However how do you explain a kiss producing a physical response in real life? Second Life is awesome. I can only suggest you try it for yourself. If you need a decent avatar let Avatar Creations know and we will make you beautiful.

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Internet Addiction

Think twice the next time you play a videogame or surf the Net: ‘Internet-use disorder’ is set to be added to the list of mental illnesses in the worldwide psychiatric manual. Kids are identified as being especially at risk.

The international mental health encyclopedia known as the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ (DSM-IV) will include Internet-use disorder as a condition “recommended for further study” in its forthcoming May 2013 edition.

Psychologists believe that Internet addiction should be categorized like other addiction disorders as it has similar symptoms, including emotional shutdown, lack of concentration and withdrawal.

Parents have noted their children becoming angry and violent when their electronic gadgets are taken away from them, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. In other instances, kids preferred to play a videogame over eating or social interaction.
One step closer to mental illness

The listing is another step towards classifying Internet addiction as a mental illness: The DSM-IV’s new inclusion demonstrates that there are risks posed by overusing technology and that more research is required, which could lead to formal diagnoses of the disorder in the future.

Psychologists are pushing to broaden the diagnoses of Internet-use disorder to include more than just gaming addictions, which could expand the age group of those affected by the illness.

”With kids, gaming is an obvious issue. But overall, technology use could be a potential problem,” Director of the Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre Mike Kyrios told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Australia was one of the first countries to recognize the problem and offer public treatment, and established clinics to treat video game addiction.

That such widely used technologies can cause deep harm to children has lead to further examinations of adults habits surrounding devices used 24/7 for reading, gaming, and social interactions.
When addiction borders on insanity

Addiction to online games is not a new phenomenon, with some cases grabbing international headlines over the past few years.

In a 2009 incident, 17-year-old Daniel Petric of Ohio shot his mother and injured his father after they confiscated his Halo 3 videogame because they feared he was playing it too much.

Chris Staniforth, 20, suffered a blockage to his lungs and died while playing his Xbox for up to 12 hours in 2011.

A year later, another gaming addict died after playing an online videogame for 40 hours straight at an Internet café in Taiwan.

Similar behavior has also been exhibited by adults: A Korean couple was arrested in 2010 after their infant daughter starved to death while the pair played an online game for hours. The videogame the two were playing involved raising a virtual baby.

taken from RT.com via virtualnews.Association of Virtual Worlds.com .

i just found a quote from Chaucer (1343 – 25 October 1400)

“people can die of mere imagination”

so perhaps this is not a new phenomenon. I spent seven years as a drug and alcohol counselor with the London Probation Service. Alcohol is a drug but in those days was seen as different but it isn’t. With these addictions there is a strong physical element, physical damage is present. However the behavioural consequences are the ones that cause most trouble to self and others. I am online 24/7 and an observer might classify me as being addicted. I am a member, as you might know, of second life, a cybercommunity. Can a behaviour be addictive? Well obsessive compulsive disorder is addictive behaviour. It causes physical and social harm. I spent a year training as a behavioural psychotherapist.

You can see the Criteria of Dependence Here

The Criteria for Addiction can be found here

Substance abuse, as defined by the DSM-IV, involves a maladaptive pattern of substance use resulting in significant negative physical, social, interpersonal or legal consequences. Unlike substance dependence, the criteria for abuse do not include tolerance, withdrawal or a pattern of compulsive or uncontrolled use.

“Internet Addiction ” will be a disorder of behaviour. It will be characterised by a lack of looking after the persons basic human needs, e.g. eating sleeping etc. Does it include isolation? Perhaps. Is lack of socialisation a necessary component?. Perhaps. However I know from my experiences with second life socialisation is more than adequately catered for. I also socialise using Skype.  Therefore being online 24/7 would not be the only criteria for harmful use. My environment does not lend itself to “real” social interaction. In fact it would be detrimental to my well being.  However social interaction in the real world may be considered. As with any “substance” perhaps the use to which it is put can determine harm.  Thats a can of worms in itself given the diversity of the Internet.

Is Second Life addictive?  Firstly for all the people i have met, in the circles i inhabit, sl is not a game. it has been described as a cybercommunity and a virtual world. It operates 24/7. One way of looking at addiction is that it has a “must” compulsion. There is no choice. I have a choice whether or not to use sl. Wiki says:

Internet addiction disorder (IAD), or, more broadly, Internet overuse, problematic computer use or pathological computer use, is excessive computer use that interferes with daily life.[1] These terms avoid the term addiction and are not limited to any single cause.

IAD was originally proposed as a disorder in a satiricalhoax by Ivan Goldberg, M.D., in 1995.[2] He took pathological gambling as diagnosed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) as his model for the description[3] of IAD. It is not, however, included in the current DSM as of 2009. IAD receives coverage in the press, and possible future classification as a psychological disorder continues to be debated and researched in the psychiatric community.

Online activities which, if done in person, would normally be considered troublesome, such as compulsive gambling, or shopping, are sometimes called net compulsions.[4] Other habits such as reading, playing computer games, or watching a staggering amount of internet videos or movies are all troubling only to the extent that these activities interfere with normal life. Supporters of disorder classification often divide IAD into subtypes by activity, such as excessive, overwhelming, or inappropriate pornography use,[5]gaming,[6] online social networking, blogging,[7] email,[8] or Internet shopping.[9] Opponents note that compulsive behaviors may not themselves be addictive.[10]

but what is “normal” life in the 21st century? Checking email? Social Networking?  The following is worth reading:

 

Doctors have no problem treating disorders that don’t officially exist, including Internet addiction, one of those non-existent disorders that nonetheless actually has clinics devoted to its “treatment.”

“But Dr. Grohol,” you might protest, “How can you say that? There’s been years worth of research showing Internet disorder does exist!”

And usually, I’d be on-board with you if that research actually was good research — well-designed, without circular-logic reasoning and sampling issues. But Internet addiction is a perfect example of a fad disorder brought about by its connection to the world’s most popular communications and social network, the Internet. And by an inherent misunderstanding of its use by adults (but not by the generations of children, teens, and young adults now growing up with it as a standard part of their communications repertoire).

But as I’ve been pointing out since its inception in 1996, “Internet addiction” has poor evidence because most of the research done into it has been equally as poor. And now Byun and his colleagues (2008) have shown that to be true in a meta-analysis of research done on “Internet addiction” since 1996:

The analysis showed that previous studies have utilized inconsistent criteria to define Internet addicts, applied recruiting methods that may cause serious sampling bias, and examined data using primarily exploratory rather than confirmatory data analysis techniques to investigate the degree of association rather than causal relationships among variables.

Sound familiar? Indeed, the lack of agreement of a definition of the disorder (or a single, reliable test to measure it, as the researchers point out) combined with serious sampling issues in virtually every study conducted means we have little consensus about whether such a thing even exists.

But fear not, we wouldn’t want those Internet addiction clinics to go under or researchers who’ve staked a significant part of their careers on this “disorder” to suddenly find their pat university job at risk…

The new study offers suggestions for future research:

We found that previous studies on Internet addiction were primarily concerned with the antecedents of Internet addiction and with identifying features in participants that made an individual more susceptible to becoming an Internet addict.

However, the development of the concept, due to its complex nature, requires more systematic empirical and theory-based academic research to arrive at a more standardized approach to measurement. The use of representative samples and data collection methods that minimize sampling bias is highly recommended. Further, implementation of analyses methods that can test causal relationships, rather than merely examining the degree of associations, are recommended so that antecedents and consequences of Internet addiction can be clearly differentiated.

What’s happening today and some people’s reaction to the Internet is neither new nor unique — it’s as old as technology itself (starting with the printing press). It’s an overreaction to suggest that the Internet is somehow different than what’s come before, as history tells us otherwise. Every new technology unleashed on society from the 1800s on was thought to be the end of civilized society — the paperback book, the telephone, the automobile, the motion picture, television, and finally video games. And now, the Internet is the latest in a long line of demons society would like to blame for some of its problems.

I don’t deny that some small subset of people have behavioral problems with learning how to integrate using parts of the Internet into their everyday lives. But people have similar problems with work, the television, and many other things in life, and we can still treat them without demonizing (and labeling) the conduit that brings a person new entertainment, information, or enjoyment.

Makes sense to me.

Many people are online 24/7 or close to it, who are not mentally ill. The definition when it is arrived at will have to be carefully formulated. Being online for long periods is a feature of 21st Century Networks in 2013.

einstein

 

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Pornography

I started seeing second life as a sex game. Intenet-and-Pornography-e1308718377229internet-porn89% of all porn comes from the USA. When I was 14 I used to look at porn magszines. Then I started to have real sex and didn’t bother. I can understand teenagers looking at porn but honestly these are adults. I find this all rather sad. So much money so much energy wasted on a 15 minute thrill. Human beings are corrupt it seems, no wonder rich people can fool them so easily. Why aren’t people educating themselves? If we had 10% of the energy 10% of the money we could all put it to good use. Heard of sublimation?

In psychology, sublimation is a mature type of defense mechanism where socially unacceptable impulses or idealizations are consciously transformed into socially acceptable actions or behaviour, possibly converting the initial impulse in the long term. Freud defines sublimation as the process of deflecting sexual instincts into acts of higher social valuation, being “an especially conspicuous feature of cultural development; it is what makes it possible for higher psychical activities, scientific, artistic or ideological, to play such an important part in civilised life“.[1] Wade and Tavris present a similar view stating that sublimation is when displacement “serves a higher cultural or socially useful purpose, as in the creation of art or inventions.”[2] Sublimation allows us to act out socially unacceptable impulses by converting them into a more acceptable form. Freud believed that sublimation was a sign of maturity (indeed, of civilization), allowing people to function normally in culturally acceptable ways.

What can we do? I dunno. Does Iceland?

From The Guardian 12 hours ago 23rd Feb 2013:

In the age of the internet and globe-spanning viral videos, can a thoroughly wired country become a porn-free zone? Authorities in Iceland want to find out.

The government is drafting plans to ban pornography, in print and online, in an attempt to protect children from a tide of violent sexual imagery.

The proposal by the interior minister, Ogmundur Jonasson, has caused uproar. Opponents say the move will censor the web, encourage authoritarian regimes and undermine Iceland’s reputation as a Scandinavian bastion of free speech.

Advocates say it is a sensible measure that will shelter children from serious harm.

“When a 12-year-old types ‘porn’ into Google, he or she is not going to find photos of naked women out on a country field, but very hardcore and brutal violence,” said Halla Gunnarsdottir, political adviser to the interior minister.

“There are laws in our society. Why should they not apply to the internet?”

Gunnarsdottir says the proposals being drawn up by a committee of experts will not introduce new restrictions, but simply uphold an existing if vaguely worded law.

Pornography is already banned in Iceland, and has been for decades, but the term is not defined so the law is not enforced. Magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse are on sale in bookshops, and more hard-core material can be bought from a handful of sex shops. “Adult” channels form part of digital TV packages.

Iceland’s left-of-centre government insists it is not setting out to sweep away racy magazines or censor sex. The ban would define pornography as material with violent or degrading content.

Gunnarsdottir said the committee was exploring the details of how a porn ban could be enforced. One possibility would be to make it illegal to pay for porn with Icelandic credit cards. Another, more controversial, route would be a national internet filter or a list of website addresses to be blocked.

That idea has alarmed advocates for freedom of the internet.

“This kind of thing does not work. It is technically impossible to do in a way that has the intended effect,” said Smari McCarthy of free-speech group the International Modern Media Institute. “And it has negative side effects – everything from slowing down the internet to blocking content that is not meant to be blocked to just generally opening up a whole can of worms regarding human rights issues, access to information and freedom of expression.”

Despite its often chaotic appearance, the internet is not a wholly lawless place. It is regulated, to varying degrees, around the world. Police monitor the net for child pornography and other illegal material, and service providers in many countries block offending sites.

Some governments also censor the internet at a national level, although authoritarian Iran, North Korea and China are not countries liberal Iceland wants to emulate.

European countries including Britain, Sweden and Denmark ask internet service providers to block child pornography websites.

But broader filtering has mostly been resisted. A few years ago, Australia announced it would introduce an internet filtering system to block websites containing material including child pornography, bestiality, sexual violence and terrorist content. After an outcry, the government abandoned the plan last year.

Critics say such filters are flawed and often scoop up innocent sites in their net as when Denmark’s child pornography filter briefly blocked access to Google and Facebook last year because of a glitch.

Anti-porn activists, however, are hailing Iceland as a pioneer. Although the country has largely liberal Scandinavian values, it broke with most of Europe in 2010 by banning strip clubs.

“This is a country with courage,” said Gail Dines, a professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston and author of the book Pornland.

“Iceland is going to be the first country with the guts to stand up to these predatory bullies from LA [in the porn industry],” she said. “It is going to take one country to show that this is possible.”

But opponents say the project is both misguided and doomed.

“I can say with absolute certainty that this [state filter] will not happen,” said Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, a prominent advocate of online freedom.

She is confident those drafting the anti-porn measures will see the error of their ways. They may also run out of time. Iceland is due to hold parliamentary elections in April, and the unpopular coalition government could be thrown out.

Jonsdottir said the key to protecting children and others is for citizens to better inform themselves about the internet and how it works.

“People just have to make themselves a bit more knowledgeable about what their kids are up to, and face reality,” she said.

Gunnarsdottir, the political adviser backing the ban, just hopes the emotional debate around the issue will cool down.

“I think we should be able to discuss the internet with more depth, without just shouting censorship on the one hand and laissez-faire on the other hand,” she said.

“Is it freedom of speech to be able to reach children with very hardcore, brutal material? Is that the freedom of speech we want to protect?”

Sad because it is so difficult. If you banned web sites dealing wih pornography then perhaps this site would be banned . Pornography is mentioned many times. In many eays there has been no progress from when cave people were drawing porn on their caves. Only 3% of porn sites ask for age verification. If porn sites were banned it would be another prohibition and look how successful that was.

Bit depressing really. The rich killing hundreds of millions with their greed. Legalised drugs like alohol killing and maiming untold numbers. The basest of instincts being pandered to by the most wonderful technology the world has ever known.

I despair.

But is second life just a sex game? Would Iceland ban it?  There are adult sims, which I haven’t visited so I don’t know what goes on.  There are strip clubs where female nudity can be bought.  I don’t know if there is public sexual intercourse or orgies. There are child avatars which I find very disturbing.

Three years ago there was an age verification system whereby you had to present your passport details in order to get into an adult sim. That appears to have fallen by the wayside. So now anyone of any age with an email account can visit adult sims.  No doubt sex is for sale to anyone with the money to pay for it.  There are escort agencies.

Just as any city / town has its red lamp district so does second life. Sex can be bought.  Just as in any town you might got to a bar and get a one night stand. Why should second life be any different?

Its interesting after doing a bit of research it seems that Second Life sex is no longer a hot topic.  Probably because of this:

Sex

Second life is just that, a second life. In it people can do almost anything that they can do in their real lives. There are some people who will do things they do normally e.g. talk to people, others use it as a way to do things that they wouldn’t normally do in their real lives.

Some media attention has been given to sexual activity involving avatars with a childlike appearance.[13] The United Kingdom[14][15][16][17] and Germany[18] are among the countries investigating new laws to combat simulated child pornography. The USA has attempted to pass several laws forbidding simulated child pornography, however, each one has been struck down by the US Supreme Court as an infringement on the first amendment right to free speech.[19]

As of May 2007, two such countries, Germany and Belgium, have launched a police investigation into Age of Consent-related offenses in Second Life (including both trading of non-virtual photography and involuntary virtual sexual activity with childlike avatars by means of virtual identity theft).[20][21] Linden Lab responded by issuing a statement that any “depiction of sexual or lewd acts involving minors” was a bannable offence.[22]

In France, a conservative family union, Familles de France, sued Linden Lab in June 2007, alleging that Second Life gave access to minors to sexual content, including bondage, zoophilia and scatophilia, as well as gambling and advertisements for alcohol, drugs or tobacco[citation needed]. Linden Lab pointed out that the virtual world is not meant for children (people under the age of 18) because of the mature content and what happens within second life. However children aged between 13-17 can access second life, but they will be restricted to what they can see or do based on age.[23] The second life world world is split into sections/worlds and each one is given a maturity rating similar to films; General, Moderate and Adult . Children aged 16-17 can access worlds etc that have moderate content. Whereas children aged 13-15 will be restricted to only being able to go to ‘Private’ worlds where things are monitored and screened more for their protection/ safety.

IF THEY TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THEIR AGE. And what kind of perversion makes a grown adult want to be a child> Needs therapy imho.

 

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Are you naked or are you wearing mesh?

buddhamedi

It came as a shock to me when I discovered what I was seeing on screen was not what others were seeing. I just don’t mean mesh. Not everyone is running at 1920 x 1080 most are on a laptop it seems. Then in the viewer you have settings from low through mid and high up to ultra with shadows. On top of this we have draw distance which will determine the background. In my circle these days nearly all can see mesh but this was not the case three months ago. It struck me that one of the reasons I made videos (311 on YouTube) was because I wanted everyone to see what I was seeing in Glorious Wide Screen Technicolor® . Before we look at individual implications let us note something. Soul Mods. Given the vast area of accoutrements and textures available in second life one would be hard pressed to find lino. When I first visited Soul Mods and saw wine bottles on the dance floor I thought they were temporary. I also noticed less than half the available space was being used. It was cramped. BUT mes amies in the real world is not your favourite club a bit down at heels? a bit cramped BUT where you feel at home? If Soul Mods had a makeover that burn in the bar stool that you have picked at when you are feeling a bit down would be gone. BUT its not just familiarity it is Atmosphere. Buy that in Market Place. Capture that on video. Well maybe.

So : What is onscreen is not real, it is highly dependent on your equipment. Environment whether pleasing or not is mitigated by an intangible atmosphere. How then do I find you “pleasing” or them “agreeable”. So far I have been approached by women with the favourite pick up line “I love your profile” or “What an interesting profile” and I admit to doing it myself. However there have been numerous instances where after an hour or even several I have remarked “I must look at your profile”. The killer ap is Social Interaction. It has to be.

“yes darling, undo the hooks at the back. Now feel my soft silk panties around my suspender belt…….” so says the 50 something fat blowsy housewife, in curlers, dressed in housecoat and slippers, fag hanging out of her mouth, frying chips, giving phone sex.

Reality is what I imagine it to be. On a physical level “Look at that Jade necklace” I am colour blind with shades of green. If I am in a bad mood a smile is seen as a grimace, a good mood the child that drops ice cream on my trousers “a scallywag” . In second life as in real life we have two personae. One public one private. Then we have Seren my nemesis bete noir and mentor. her public face in second life does not equate with her public face in real life. So I’m fucked. Or am I? Put Madame Haven down in somewhere like a real Soul Mods with her mates and she would act EXACTLY the same.

Behaviour is dependent on the environment which is ultimately dependent on social interaction. AND how I perceive it. I think the perception thingy goes a bit further in second life. You may be a half naked blob but above your head it says “Dude”.

Call me, lets have phone sex (cough cough)

P.S. Here is my updated PDF on Cyberculture

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I am a cyborg

The Huffington Post is a newspaper I subscribe to and comment on. This weekend was a TEDWeekend where various authors (4) were asked to comment on the following video but there are two remarkable coincidences. Firstly I put up the same video on DudeStarship dot com 5 days previously. Secondly two days before, I quoted the same video in starting a TED conversation. Thirdly, despite not being able to count, I put up a new blog dealing with serendipity the day before including an image taken from the video. I was notified of the TEDWeekend yesterday. You would think that I would be pleased at how in step with events I am . Watch and read:

 

The first commentator I read concluded:

Much work remains on the research I discuss here; through future waves of the online study, a rich, academically sound understanding of how social media and mobile technology consumers use the technology, how they interact with their network, and how they make purchase decisions based on social media input will be developed. At the end of this project, I will defend my dissertation to earn my Ph.D. in marketing. But beyond that, the goal is to provide a rich contribution on how social media and mobile technology usage by “Connected Consumers” is associated with psychological and technology factors.

“Much work remains…” .So many of us are already living what needs to be researched, according to his view, before we should embrace it ,what utter drivel A study, a two year dissertation for a Ph.D ,will be hopelessly out of date by the time it is published. Marketing? OMG what a waste of time. He is already out of date in his chosen field. Where is collaborative consumption ? See my earlier post last December. Failure to do proper TED research. Failure to read Time magazine that lists collaborative consumption as one of the ten things that will change the world. Failure to see how things are changing (RSAnimate Networks, Motivation, Outrospection). The Did You Know? YouTube video of 2008 states quite clearly that buying habits are more influenced by Blog recommendations and technological word of mouth than advertising. “Like” something on Facebook and it can be viral so this comment, (That video has had more than 15 million views)  peed me off. Two videos one academic / TED one Social media BOTH 2012.

 

 

The Second Commentator said this

The good news is that you can work anywhere, anytime. The bad news is that you can work anywhere, anytime. It’s hard to know when work ends if you interact with global teams across time zones or you don’t leave an office to signify the end of the day.

You can work anywhere anytime is both a good thing and a bad thing. In English this is a) meaningless and b) presumes no self discipline, no technological management and no self control. Children often act in a stimulus response type of way. Has not this person heard of answering machines where you do not have to respond because technology can? Oh we both know I could go on.  I have different email addresses that ….oh nvm they probably have two. I got peed off at the suggestion i couldn’t handle 24/7 global technology, in different time zones, that I was a child. Never heard of multitasking either. The idea of one person working 18 hours has already been tackled by some countries nationally by having 3 people work 6 hours and collaborating. See Microsoft > putting a PowerPoint presentation on line and configuring sharing with a team working in their time zone..Networks! :> Stupid comment.

 

The third commentator said and I will not bore you with the full article :

My years of personal experience and professional practice and research have led me to one rule that governs all of my electronic communication: I never email about anything important. (The same rule applies to text messaging, tweeting, social networking, etc.)

What century is this person living in? Presumably her  article was written with a quill pen and delivered by hand. This is denying everything that 21st Century Networks are  all about. An emergency with your offspring, friend, colleague, client not at “home”? Use semaphore? I was horrified and very peed off.

Clearly the world is not ready for my TED Conversation:

 

Robots vs Avatars : Social interaction can be better facilitated through a robot or through an avatar?

An avatar I shall be referring to is one created in Second Life (secondlife.com), a global 3D cybercommunity discussed in an article on cyberculture (onlybrackets.hubpages.com). Firstly an avatar is capable of a far greater range of gestures and interactions than a robot. It can be modeled and dressed to suit any virtual or real environment. If it is winter where one user is they can mimic the real world and dress accordingly. An avatar is ideal for communication at a distance. Real family’s exist in second life and I have witnessed 3rd generation interaction. Young avatars can interact with grandma avatars. Grandma will assist the youth in creating their avatar thus creating a sense of identity and ownership. Interactive play goes on. Currently a 16 year old age limit is in force but could this not be reduced?

Communication can be through voice (microphone) or for those able through typing in a chat box.

As a learning / teaching aide an avatar may attend programmed classes, a gym for example and will be expected to follow a regime in the real world. By engaging in a virtual group activity as an avatar peer support can be had. It would be possible to mimic an overweight avatar, programmed with the users bmi and, as they progress in the real world the avatar would change shape. Virtual classrooms with programmed study exist.

An avatar is also your cyber representative able to meet new people and explore new environments. An avatar is ideal for those with mobility difficulties.

This is all on screen therefore would fall short of having the physical interaction that a robot can provide. We anthropomorphize robots how much easier this is with an avatar. I may own a mobile phone that can do a Gallic shrug yet dancing with a friend on a mobile phone in a blues club is better done with an avatar.

But are they two different things and therefore not comparable? A robot is an independent entity its true but what if an avatar had artificial intelligence?

—————————————————————-

My answer to this question is in favour of the avatar because generally it is free. Robots are incredibly expensive and the construction of such a mechanical device uses far more resources than warrant the benefits. Ideally the answer is both. However I realise now after seeing the TEDWeekend that the question is totally meaningless to mainstream as exemplified by the above. They just do not understand the technology nor how to use it. It saddens me but ignorance always pisses me off especially by so called “experts” or “leaders”.

I have an acquaintance who writes a blog I admire.  She wrote a post on flatterbots . These are bots that go around and will flatter you and then demand money. I commented as a flatterblogbot in fun, flattering her and asking that she put up an ad for me as “payment”  but  I also created a wordpress blog where I discussed flattery, its divisive nature and included a wonderful video of a flash site I had.

At the end of the comment I gave this link: on the blog was a map of the internet I took from the video discussed in the TEDWeekend

internetmap

AND THIS ONE from an RSAnimate on Networks:

internetted1

Make the connection?

She replied “shucks guess you got me there” Here name is Serendipidy . Which I discussed in the blog. She didn’t go to the blog as far as I am aware. That peed me off too.

BUT AS A CYBORG WITH A 21stCENTURY NETWORK OF SHARING TECHNOLOGY>>>>>>

THIS CHEERS ME UP NO END! I nicked it off my 19 year old daughters web site. Ha Like father like daughter!
You need a more recent version of Adobe Flash Player.

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OMG Where to begin?

That Rachel Did My Head In & RSAnimate told me what I already knew so  there was a big wave and boy did I surf!

Firstly the people who assist me in registering domain names had a yard sale for Christmas. Any domain $1.95,  Here is a summary of the last 6 days:

logocnhalfFrom the TED movie on Collaborative Consumption & the RSAnimate movie on Networks and from looking at what appeared to be largely non-existent, not different from late 20th Century Networks , networks; I thought hmmm 21st Century Networks (RSA+TED) are only just now truly emerging. So I made a vid combining the two and adding >>>>>. I registered the dot com, 21stCenturyNetworks.com as my global domain.I thought this was so supa I went and registered it with the Companies Registration Office (I have an online account) supadupa. What I think is happening is that people are using the Internet properly. Up until recently I believe they were still trapped in 20th Century (Network) Thinking. The aim of 21stCenturyNetworking is to be a facilitator for this awakening. i have skills:

  • I know how to register a domain and I can advise on the choice. Today,  from registration to having a site up and running AND SEO,  took me about 30 minutes AintNothingButTheBlues.com
  • I can host, provide help through videos and I can tell people how to get a decent site up and running in about two hours. Free but Donations accepted.
  • I’m rather good at design. I think the 21stCenturyNetworks logo above is pretty good.
  • I have been using self hosted WordPress blogs for 3 years. I know it backwards. I can teach it.
  • I know html. I can teach the basics.
  • I know SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • I can make videos (250 odd on YouTube 80 on blip. All about me but in making them I have learned a hell of a lot.
  • I am in sympathy with Collaborative Consumption
  • Been on the Internet since 1996. That’s 16 years.


so please:

useme

 

 

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