I’m still trying to put together my first year in second life but i haven’t been able to get my head around it coz i keep crashing in sl. So far I have spent €250 trying to sort it out. I have had a great deal of support from friends in sl especially from my DJ Siani she came up with great ideas. My gf Storm has been great too. We finally nailed it down to getting a more powerful graphics card. However I know there is another problem but can’t for the life of me find it. My whole computer freezes while in second life. I borrowed this card and I seem to be able to last 5 hours which is great. BUT I still freeze. What has saved my sanity is Skype which has enabled me to stay in touch. Skype is great. My gf lives in Sydney I live in The Bog of Allen in Ireland. We communicate with text and video seamlessly. And of course it is free. Most of the testing programs I have used have been free. I have a Dell and on Dell.com (not Dell.ie) there is a diagnostic program which tests hardware. About a year ago I had the same problem which turned out to be memory. I’ve run a memory program from boot that found nothing. I have lost a great deal of data that couldn’t be backed up such as 200 odd very nice fonts. Also GodKnows.info was destroyed by spammers. Not my month is it? Computers are logical beasts so presumably there is a logical solution. However what happens when you have tried all the logical solutions? Waving incense over the hard disk? The odd mantra being repeated? I dunno . So, Great I’ll try and meet you in sl….
Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum
Getting 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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,
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.
“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.
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!!
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
Here 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.
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.
My place is an island and I don’t have a house I have a tent where my office is. The first thing you come to is First Base. in true British fashion when in foreign parts i raised the flag (think the psychology of this is self evident) knowing everything thing else would follow as of birthright. jeez its scary how often that went on. Anyway First Base, then plan my conquest.
Tent in the middle as an office: There is an old wooden chair that has a gorgeous sitting animation. Next to it.my desk is oldish but black. On the top shelf is a bonsai, in the middle is a sculpture (one of my Exs). On the desk itself is a working desk lamp, a steam punk laptop that displays pictures (got that from a daredevil pilot I made a video for) , in front of the cactus is my old laptop lol.The seat is African There is a wooden crate of books on the floor. I like the asymmetry of the two oriental carpets. Champagne chilling.
on the floor by the chaise longue, that has two relaxing poses, are three books with turnable pages with sound and animation. love them great pictures too. Can be read from the chaise longue which is where I often relax. It can double as a consultation couch. My grass plant nods knowingly.
Outside is my English Area a gazebo with pets a horse a bee hive.
I have a meditation area witThere is a meditation area with four seats. There is a picture of HH Dalai Lama. I used to live with the Tibetans in their exile home of Daramsala. There is a set of singing bowls pure sounds associated with chakras different tones from each bowl. A prayer wheel spins chanting om. Prayer flags along the top.
There is a pond with two swans; a statue of the Buddha is under the waterfall. Japanese floating candles.
here is a picture of the underwater world the octopus is well camoflaged
And there was the previous resident of the island who was shipwrecked here:
And then there is the camping area with many animations:
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.
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. 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. He took pathological gambling as diagnosed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) as his model for the description 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. 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,gaming, online social networking, blogging, email, or Internet shopping. Opponents note that compulsive behaviors may not themselves be addictive.
but what is “normal” life in the 21st century? Checking email? Social Networking? The following is worth reading:
“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.
I started seeing second life as a sex game. 89% 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“. 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.” 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.
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:
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. The United Kingdom and Germany 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.
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). Linden Lab responded by issuing a statement that any “depiction of sexual or lewd acts involving minors” was a bannable offence.
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. 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. 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.
It just hasn’t happened. However when was the last time you paid to listen to music? When was the last tine you paid to download music? i have watched all 2013 movies. Those I haven’t been able to stream I have downloaded. [must confess dowloaded Anna Karanina ….thats a keeper] for free. I have a 22 inch flat screen on my oak coffee table. I have a decent computer. At the momet I am working as a supervisor to my host gf and the Dj Larai Dreamcatcher, a blues expert. Her set is 2 hours. There’s me dancing on the left in my Clockwork Orange Tee shirt. i’ll pause there. Read on.
In January 2010, a few months after the Iranian uprising, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech, “Remarks on Internet Freedom,” at the Newseum in Washington. “The spread of information networks is forming a new nervous system for our planet,” she told her audience. “When something happens in Haiti or Hunan, the rest of us learn about it in real time—from real people.” Clinton invoked the same emphasis on direct communication—media without mediation—which Shamberg celebrated in video and Sullivan in Twitter, and the same notion of a global mind which McLuhan and Ryan found in Teilhard. ”Now, in many respects, information has never been so free,” Clinton continued, agreeing with countercultural entrepreneur Stewart Brand, who declared in 1984 that “information wants to be free.”Clinton’s optimism was tempered, though. “We must also recognize that these technologies are not an unmitigated blessing,” she continued. “These tools are also being exploited to undermine human progress and political rights.” Beyond that, we should heed Vassi’s warning and recognize the threat that we will be seduced by our tools and their false but persistent promise of revolutionary change without our active political effort. These information technologies can contribute to the success of political movements, but not if their users see them as replacements for political life.
information technology cannot replace political life. I disagree. I am an Electronic Pamphleteer
cyber-utopianism has been summed up neatly by an RSA Animate video The Internet in Society dispelling the myth of what is called iPod liberalism that more technology = Democracy as a matter of course. Just as users / bloggers are being vociferous, totalitarian governments are using this information to help entrench themselves futher. In Thailand there is a support the king web site where users are asked to identify and “out” those speaking against the monarchy. Those web sites are then blocked. Its a depressing view. However I still believe that Information is God and that the ability to produce social change is possible via the internet. Perhaps not through protest but through the likes of CollaborativeConsumption (dot) com see TED.com video where capitalism and our current economic system is being undermined by individuals sharing goods and services. Cited in Time Magazines top ten as things that will change the world. I will still blog and tweet my protests because of my age (63) but true change will only occur when we remove the profit motive from western ideology.
Here is the RSA Animate movie
Iranian Twittergate brouaua where Twitter lost lts social integrity as a public -platform.what a shame “another imperialist lackey” Love twitter posted 4500 tweets 1400 followrers. not many but somehing. I have everything mostly on auto using my bots. because…….
i live the life of a cyber-utopian. I have very fast internet 30% faster than average. i do EVERYTHING on line. I work rest and play in cyberspace. After a brush with cancer I don’t go out much. My job is online I register and host gTLDs, design web sites make videos PersonalDomains.net the aim of personal domains is that everyone on the internet should have thier own domain. I do it for cost.I can be paid in any currency then have it transferred to my rl bank to take out cash INSTANTLY. I can be paid for a job and witin 15 minutes later I could be down the pub buynig drinks. 3 days for a cheque to clear. pfftt. I’m on Skypes 24/7 just as I would be in rl with a landline. ALL my facebook friends have access to it.
I am a dad.
I have an online gf, we meet in second life clubs and Skype. My business partner is in Sydney We talk everyday email and exchage files. we collaburate on our main site AvatarCreations.net which does what it says on the box for acadmics and professional people.. ! have “physical” online work as a host in two blues clubs. I have about 15 friends I see regularly 4 or 5m close. My work pays for clothes for my avatar and for my island. I am learning how to manage a blues club.I listen to lectures and meditate in The Buddhist Center. Sometimes I struggle a tad but its a new business and I live on disability
i use the internet,. one night firefox was a bit sluggish. I had 64 tabs open. I read, I design, I make animations and movies (300 and something on youtube). I have news headlines the BBC on tap AND the blogospere. There are no restrictions on my use. Now tou know wht i opened with what I did.
I am desperate to teach. One way will be to have a virtual classroom in second life. I found such a classroom in my wanderings. AND found a whole world of teaching at Texas State. Here is the classroom I found Set up by the look of it as a Primary School Classroom. ,> you can watch it better on this page< Or watch it here:
But Then Dear Readers I returned a bit later to the classroom and found a techy working there. We chatted and they will be using the classroom for teacher training. Another opportunity for Avatar Creations perhaps. However I got a link to a great project they had going in 2011.
Heres An Explanation of it. :>
My next step is to visit.
Unfortunately the cones appear to be inactive. Could be my viewer and / or might need a plugin.
HOWEVER as you can see from the first video Second Life has a great academic role to play. The construction of the virtual classroom using modern techniques and make for a truly realistic environment. What I plan is a feature not seemingly explored that of facilitating DISTANCE LEARNING. Watch this space
Yes I know it is spelt with a c. I spelt it with ak for two reasons. 1. There is a revolutionary in me [example : Amerika] 2. All the cyberculture (dot) whatever had already been registered. And squatted, none were being used that I could find. I got Cyberkulture (dot) com. OK? Update: Its ready. Has a video of this page for lazy scrollers
I will be weaving strands of ideas and hopefully we will have a nice comfortable sweater at the end.
Background: I did quite extensive research and could not find a definitive work on Cyberculture that was not younger than 8 years! It seems it was an idea waiting to become real. In my view, with the advent of high speed broadband; live streaming of high quality 3D animation; the streaming of sound (music / voice); the ability to create a credible online identity; to belong to mutual interest groups and sub groups and to develop both private and public relationships have brought cyberculture to age. Below is an illustration of such a cyberculture. The wiki quotes are from 2012.
Wiki says :
Cyberculture is the culture that has emerged, or is emerging, from the use of computer networks for communication, entertainment and / or business It is also the study of various social phenomena associated with the Internet and other new forms of network communication, such as online communities,
…….online multi-player gaming, social gaming, social media, and texting and includes issues related to identity, privacy, and network formation.
I am a member of such a community. It is called Second Life. It is in 3d. There is a continuing debate as to whether it is real. Let me give you some idea what second life is like. Then we will see if it is real or not. Firstly let us look at Identity a key feature of any culture.
…….culture is defined as the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization.
A key word is pattern because in culture we see patterns of behaviour but we also see cognitive patterns, ways of thinking. Further on that link we see a term “Cognitive Programming”. “Honour” may be seen as a cultural cognitive construct, in some cultures it is worth killing for and dying for. However there may be a more base level in that of perception. A couple of studies comparing Japanese and Americans showed differences in perception summed up in the phrase “Why do Easterners remember the forest while Westerners remember the trees?” See Psychology Today May 2012 . From my own experience of living in Japan for four years and studying the language and culture, I noticed that a gaijin (non Japanese ) would view a room containing just an alcove with a vase and scroll (tokonoma) as empty; space is seen as a negative construct, an absence, whereas the Japanese would see space as being a positive construct, an entity in its own right. This is cultural bias.This occurs through a process of cultural socialization..
Therefore the detail I have gone into is an attempt to show a process of cultural socialization occurs within second life. However, in the general sense this may appear somewhat weak. Undoubtedly many people treat second life as just a game. Therefore I have gone to lengths showing the construction and dressing of the avatar. Socialization occurs here but really it is through language and interaction. As you will see, the example I give within second life is that of the blues culture. This in itself is a culture. The blues is a powerful expression of life’s vagaries, its joys and heartbreak, that is shared with everyone through blues music. In my view this adds great strength to the argument that a cyberculture / cybercommunity exists within second life.
Firstly you have an avatar. The free ones are noticeably free. The first thing people do is buy a shape. There is a currency called lindens and you can buy lindens with your credit card. Secondly you will need clothes, you buy these too. Here is a picture of me, I mean my avatar (hm interesting slip a ). You have the option to chose a name. I am Dude Starship. Above my head it just says Dude. (Yes It was a courageous move to chose “Dude”. I suffered a tad but now I am Dude and sometimes The Dude. Yes I still get “Dude, where’s my car?” I answer with a remark like “Its in the swimming pool”). You are now fit to mingle with other avatars as an equal.If you do not do this you will be seen as a noob or newbie and, tho welcomed, will not be taken seriously. You have not made a commitment to the …I hesitate because to call it a community would be presumptuous at this stage. You understand.
If you right click on an avatar you get a menu , on it, is profile. Clicking on it brings up the full profile in a box on the screen.. There is a lot of information on the first page. There is artwork, your profile picture. There are varying degrees of image skills portrayed varying from a simple head and shoulders to a complex Photoshop enhanced image. This picture speaks volumes. Your screen name (Dude) and your login name (dudestarship2); your date of second life birth plus number of days and whether you have payment info. Under this is a box which says if you have a partner. a partner is someone you have made a commitment to, some call it marriage. Then there is a box listing the groups you belong to. Great indicator of what you do in second life. You can belong to 42. Below this you can write anything you like (500). Perhaps the most common is a summing up of your attitude to life (first and second), the universe and everything (apologies to Douglas Adams). Mine says:
Latest Motto: Live Fast Ride Hard, Die Laughing.. I’m English we tend to make fun of things we love. I met a Valkyrie she is my gf. she sometimes appears as an Angel. Shes called Catty
I live by the four Brahma Viharas, (Dwelling Places of God) : Friendliness, Compassion, Equanimity and Sympathetic Joy.
“The moving finger writes and having writ moves on. Nor all your piety nor wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all your tears wash out a word of it.”
“The moving finger…etc” Is from the Rubaiyat, Omar Khayyam.It is so appropriate for chat. Once you have pressed the enter key ….”…nor all your tears wash out a word of it”
At the top are tabs. There are :
Web : Often left blank but some put in a video, their blog or a website. (I have my own irishsecure (dot) com, designed for this space) Interests: This is where you tick various elements in second life, building, scripting, textures, whether you want work or hiring and more. There is also space to list languages spoken and skills. Picks: Here you can list those places or people who are special to you in second life. There is a picture with text underneath. This tells a lot about a person. Classifieds: You can put an ad here 1st Life: There is space for a real life picture. It is very very rare to see a real picture of the person. Underneath is a box for text. The text ranges from “Don’t Ask” to “Ask”.. It is very very rare to find real life information. Notes: This is your space to put what you like e.g. likes long skirts eats chocolates very funny bit stupid etc etc. This is not visible to the avatar.
N.B. One of the things that you can do is “friend” someone. They become your friends and can see when you come online or offline. They appear in your friends list which means you can contact them no matter where they are in second life. You can also give them the ability to see you on their map and give them the ability to modify objects owned by you.
So we have a well dressed pleasing shape, with a name, dressed in nice clothes. We have a profile and we can view others.
Identity is pretty well established however it cannot be complete until you interact.
There are two systems of communication : a chat box and using voice (microphone). In public areas voice is often disabled. The chat is a resizeable box where you can place anywhere on the screen and it is divided . On the left is the name of the person or group who is speaking, next to it is the text itself. There are three types of messaging: Local where everyone chats, this is public and instant messaging which is avatar to avatar and is private. There is also group messaging where members of the same group chat. This can get quite hectic as you may be having several private chats while following the thread of public chat and group chat. Its called multitasking and women are better at it than men. However it is a skill that can be mastered. By the way the ratio of women to men is 5 to 1. Yippee its a great pick up joint.
You are interacting with fellow members.
The Chat Room
Oh My God! You can find loads of videos on my blog. sl (dot) irishsecure (dot) com. However let me describe one I know well. In second life there are clubs, just like in real life. On my second day I found a blues club called The Junkyard. This “chat room” comfortably holds 50 avatars. By the way avatars are the same size or a tad bigger than real life. Dude is 7ft 6 ins. The Junkyard has blue tiles and is open air with the theme based in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida. In the centre is a stage where the DJ is situated. The DJ has a microphone and controls the music stream so plays his / her choice and introduces the tunes. They are real DJs. AND they take requests and dedications. A session lasts two hours. The DJs cover about 18 hours a day seven days a week. There is also a host assisting the DJ. The host meets and greets new arrivals, keeps local chat alive, can give out group memberships and offers help to anyone who might send an instant message. He or she has a close relationship with their DJ. The host also has the power to eject a person from the dance floor into the near by sea if they annoy other avatars. They can also ban the person permanently from the club. I am a host in The Junkyard 12 hours a week. The club is open 24/7 and a blues channel radio is put on when there are no DJ.
You have a space to interact in.
See all 6 photos
The Junkyard Blues Club
Your avatar is animated however the animations that are free look free. It is the general rule that you buy something called an AO. For example Dude will stroll casually with his hands in his pockets, when stationary he (oh dear > “he”) will assume a pose, looking cool. The animations in second life are superb, the dance animations more so. The best dance animations are made by filming real dancers and using stop motion techniques create animations. Many couples go to The Junkyard. In two corners are dance balls. One for couples, one for males and one for females. All the balls have a menu of about 15 dance styles. These range from jive to extremely sensual dances. There are many clubs in second life catering to every musical taste.
Imagine then a 3D chat room where you, an entity, chat with friends , dancing as a beautiful avatar, while listening to a live DJ playing your favourite tunes.
Junkyard Blues Web Site
a history and description of the 13 sims comprising the junkyard complex
The Blues Culture of Second Life
A woman’s baby died and she could not give it up. After a week went by her friends pressed her to go and see The Buddha. He said to her “Yes I can make your child alive but first you must collect 3 grains of rice from a household that has not known sorrow” Of course the story is clear, she was unable to do this and in the process discovered that life was concomitant with sorrow. A western way to realise this is through the blues. In second life all nationalities are represented but in my view the national boundaries, cultural socializations are subsumed under a greater rubric that of human suffering and also there is an expression of human awareness, triumph over adversity and joy. Not all blues is sad by any means. However the point to be made is that it provides a very powerful cultural medium.
N.B. My avatar is 7ft 6ins 228 cms
Culture and Reality
We have firmly established the presence of a network; a representative of yourself that you have tailor made to express your identity and the ability to interact at varying degrees of privacy and intimacy.
“Cyberculture, like culture in general, relies on establishing identity and credibility.” We have seen how with the creation of an avatar an identity is created that is credible. “However, in the absence of direct physical interaction, it could be argued that the process for such establishment is more difficult.” Not in Second Life. Sure it takes some skill but through observation of your peers and those that have been “in world” for some years, an identity that is appealing and “fits” is not difficult. Your avatar represents you.
Wiki : Specifically, the term “culture” in American anthropology had two meanings: (1) the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols and to act imaginatively and creatively; and (2) the distinct ways that people living in different parts of the world classified and represented their experiences, and acted creatively. Distinctions are currently made between the physical artifacts created by a society its so-called material culture and everything else, the intangibles such as language, customs, etc. that are the main referent of the term “culture”.
Looking at second life we can see a commonalty that gives second life its culture. A society if you will. Firstly there are avatars in many and varied shapes but still avatars collectively with profiles. The 3D space has global characteristics that are present everywhere. Chat everywhere is the same. Viewers to view and interact any scene are broadly the same. There is a market place that anyone can access containing thousands and thousands of items that can be bought with lindens. There is a multiplicity of nations yet all conform broadly to standards. There are TOS which are adhered to. There are mutual interest groups. There are friends. In second life there are ratings which have their own regulations. These are general, mature and adult. You cannot for example be naked in a general area. In a 24 hour period there are between 30k and 50k people in second life. Avatars (people?) fall in love, fight and have sex.
An important feature of second life is the ability to own your own space. This may be a house, an island or land. i have a small tropical island. When I got it it had a few palm trees. It has taken me weeks to create what is now my second life home. Others I have visited are unique to that person. adjusting arranging can take hours as well as shopping for that perfect vase. Just as your home in real life reflects your personality so does your home that you have created in second life.
Second Life is a cyberculture but is it real?
We would say the mind body complex existing in a physical space, is us experiencing reality. However if I am communicating with another person, whether or not we occupy the same physical space this is also real. This communication can be via a keyboard and is in real time therefore it is real. In second life the chat is real. I may be a 63 year old male yet wear a female avatar and giggle when boys make jokes. My avatar my representation may be completely false i am treating second life as something real only to my avatar. Some say that second life is not real because the avatar is merely a construct. But it is the physical me who is manipulating the avatar, just as a puppeteer pulls the puppets strings. The puppet isn’t real, the puppeteer is.
Human beings have an incredible ability to adopt a persona. Just look at actors who do it with consummate skill. They are not surrounded by the environment we see on screen but are surrounded by lights scenery cameras and lots of other people. Still they are able to act an intimate love scene as tho they were the only two people in the world.
What if on your computer screen I put a life like “person” and when I typed the “person” said the words? What if the scene was that of a club and out of the speakers a DJ spoke your name? What if others there would greet you as a friend? What if you were flattered and felt at home? What if you danced with an attractive partner, danced with grace and skill?
What if you fell in love?
Undoubtedly real relationships are formed.Friendships last years and through private messaging the real person shares their real life. Their real name, family details, work, where they live (Yes this has resulted in real life stalking). Photographs, real life, are shared… Partnerships formed in second life have led to the two people getting together in the real world. Great emotionality is generated in second life. Avatars do not experience emotion. In my opinion those that say second life is just a “game” are wrong. There is confusion. Read this :
[02:33 AM] aaa: OMG stop thinking real ,,, this is a game but unlike other games it connects to peoples emotions , I cried when dumped ,I cried when walked in on my wife dancing with a man , I cried when my husband in IW asked me to marry him .I cried when John decided to return to SL ,,, X has a SL wife no place for me but I wont cry this time because I have learnt to play the game
[02:34 AM] dudestarship2: thats why i’m introspective. this is a game?
[02:34 AM] dudestarship2: feels pretty goddam real to me
[02:34 AM] aaa: it can be a game that hurts
A friend sent me this:
[4:21 AM] Sxxx: Interesting case study for you, 2 people have been together in SL, very close relationship, contact through email and chat outside SL, know quite a bit about each other’s real lives, have shared lots of good times and bad times, had rows and love, split up, got back together, know each other’s deepest darkest secrets, are incredibly loyal to each other, gotten totally under each others skin, and expect to stay in contact of some kind till the internet collapses, but have no likelihood of meeting in rl, and although he knows her real name, she has no idea what his is, even after 3 years.
Another friend said:
[07:30 AM] Mxxx: I always ask people who think SL is a game what the rules are and how do you “win”
Those that say second life and real life are distinct separate entities are wrong in my view, but some treat it so it seems. We have a debate here I think. Please comment.
I cannot sign this Dude nor can I sign it Philip its
Dude / Philip
A closer look at my home called Lamu
See all 6 photos
Comming of age in second life
Millions of people around the world today spend portions of their lives in online virtual worlds. Second Life is one of the largest of these virtual worlds. The residents of Second Life create communities, buy property and build homes, go to concerts, meet in bars, attend weddings and religious services, buy and sell virtual goods and services, find friendship, fall in love–the possibilities are endless, and all encountered through a computer screen. Coming of Age in Second Life is the first book of anthropology to examine this thriving alternate universe.
Tom Boellstorff conducted more than two years of fieldwork in Second Life, living among and observing its residents in exactly the same way anthropologists traditionally have done to learn about cultures and social groups in the so-called real world. He conducted his research as the avatar “Tom Bukowski,” and applied the rigorous methods of anthropology to study many facets of this new frontier of human life, including issues of gender, race, sex, money, conflict and antisocial behavior, the construction of place and time, and the interplay of self and group.
Coming of Age in Second Life shows how virtual worlds can change ideas about identity and society. Bringing anthropology into territory never before studied, this book demonstrates that in some ways humans have always been virtual, and that virtual worlds in all their rich complexity build upon a human capacity for culture that is as old as humanity itself.
Tom Boellstorff is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Irvine.
You can read it here ...I’m not an anthropologist. I’m an educated user. I am biased. Dude Starship and I are aspects of the same entity. He even has his own domain DudeStarship.com This hub is an intellectual exercise that has and will evolve into a synthesis of identity. We are all cyborgs now.
We Are All Cyborgs Now
A Transcript of the video:
I would like to tell you all that you are all actually cyborgs, but not the cyborgs that you think. You’re not RoboCop, and you’re not Terminator, but you’re cyborgs every time you look at a computer screen or use one of your cell phone devices. So what’s a good definition for cyborg? Well, traditional definition is “an organism to which exogenous components have been added for the purpose of adapting to new environments.” That came from a 1960 paper on space travel, because, if you think about it, space is pretty awkward. People aren’t supposed to be there. But humans are curious, and they like to add things to their bodies so they can go to the Alps one day and then become a fish in the sea the next.
So let’s look at the concept of traditional anthropology. Somebody goes to another country, says, “How fascinating these people are, how interesting their tools are, how curious their culture is.” And then they write a paper, and maybe a few other anthropologists read it, and we think it’s very exotic. Well, what’s happening is that we’ve suddenly found a new species. I, as a cyborg anthropologist, have suddenly said, “Oh, wow. Now suddenly we’re a new form of Homo sapiens, and look at these fascinating cultures, and look at these curious rituals that everybody’s doing around this technology. They’re clicking on things and staring at screens.”
Now there’s a reason why I study this, versus traditional anthropology. And the reason is that tool use, in the beginning — for thousands and thousands of years, everything has been a physical modification of self. It has helped us to extend our physical selves, go faster, hit things harder, and there’s been a limit on that. But now what we’re looking at is not an extension of the physical self, but an extension of the mental self, and because of that, we’re able to travel faster, communicate differently. And the other thing that happens is that we’re all carrying around little Mary Poppins technology. We can put anything we want into it, and it doesn’t get heavier, and then we can take anything out. What does the inside of your computer actually look like? Well, if you print it out, it looks like a thousand pounds of material that you’re carrying around all the time. And if you actually lose that information, it means that you suddenly have this loss in your mind, that you suddenly feel like something’s missing, except you aren’t able to see it, so it feels like a very strange emotion.
The other thing that happens is that you have a second self. Whether you like it or not, you’re starting to show up online, and people are interacting with your second self when you’re not there. And so you have to be careful about leaving your front lawn open, which is basically your Facebook wall, so that people don’t write on it in the middle of the night — because it’s very much the equivalent. And suddenly we have to start to maintain our second self. You have to present yourself in digital life in a similar way that you would in your analog life. So, in the same way that you wake up, take a shower and get dressed, you have to learn to do that for your digital self. And the problem is that a lot of people now, especially adolescents, have to go through two adolescences. They have to go through their primary one, that’s already awkward, and then they go through their second self’s adolescence, and that’s even more awkward because there’s an actual history of what they’ve gone through online. And anybody coming in new to technology is an adolescent online right now, and so it’s very awkward, and it’s very difficult for them to do those things.
So when I was little, my dad would sit me down at night and he would say, “I’m going to teach you about time and space in the future.” And I said, “Great.” And he said one day, “What’s the shortest distance between two points?” And I said, “Well, that’s a straight line. You told me that yesterday.” I thought I was very clever. He said, “No, no, no. Here’s a better way.” He took a piece of paper, drew A and B on one side and the other and folded them together so where A and B touched. And he said, “That is the shortest distance between two points.” And I said, “Dad, dad, dad, how do you do that?” He said, “Well, you just bend time and space, it takes an awful lot of energy, and that’s just how you do it.” And I said, “I want to do that.” And he said, “Well, okay.” And so, when I went to sleep for the next 10 or 20 years, I was thinking at night, “I want to be the first person to create a wormhole, to make things accelerate faster. And I want to make a time machine.” I was always sending messages to my future self using tape recorders.
But then what I realized when I went to college is that technology doesn’t just get adopted because it works. It gets adopted because people use it and it’s made for humans. So I started studying anthropology. And when I was writing my thesis on cell phones, I realized that everyone was carrying around wormholes in their pockets. They weren’t physically transporting themselves; they were mentally transporting themselves. They would click on a button, and they would be connected as A to B immediately. And I thought, “Oh, wow. I found it. This is great.”
So over time, time and space have compressed because of this. You can stand on one side of the world, whisper something and be heard on the other. One of the other ideas that comes around is that you have a different type of time on every single device that you use. Every single browser tab gives you a different type of time. And because of that, you start to dig around for your external memories — where did you leave them? So now we’re all these paleontologists that are digging for things that we’ve lost on our external brains that we’re carrying around in our pockets. And that incites a sort of panic architecture — “Oh no, where’s this thing?” We’re all “I Love Lucy” on a great assembly line of information, and we can’t keep up.
And so what happens is, when we bring all that into the social space, we end up checking our phones all the time. So we have this thing called ambient intimacy. It’s not that we’re always connected to everybody, but at anytime we can connect to anyone we want. And if you were able to print out everybody in your cell phone, the room would be very crowded. These are the people that you have access to right now, in general — all of these people, all of your friends and family that you can connect to.
And so there are some psychological effects that happen with this. One I’m really worried about is that people aren’t taking time for mental reflection anymore, and that they aren’t slowing down and stopping, being around all those people in the room all the time that are trying to compete for their attention on the simultaneous time interfaces, paleontology and panic architecture. They’re not just sitting there. And really, when you have no external input, that is a time when there is a creation of self, when you can do long-term planning, when you can try and figure out who you really are. And then, once you do that, you can figure out how to present your second self in a legitimate way, instead of just dealing with everything as it comes in — and oh, I have to do this, and I have to do this, and I have to do this. And so this is very important. I’m really worried that, especially kids today, they’re not going to be dealing with this down-time, that they have an instantaneous button-clicking culture, and that everything comes to them, and that they become very excited about it and very addicted to it.
So if you think about it, the world hasn’t stopped either. It has its own external prosthetic devices, and these devices are helping us all to communicate and interact with each other. But when you actually visualize it, all the connections that we’re doing right now — this is an image of the mapping of the Internet — it doesn’t look technological. It actually looks very organic. This is the first time in the entire history of humanity that we’ve connected in this way. And it’s not that machines are taking over. It’s that they’re helping us to be more human, helping us to connect with each other.
The most successful technology gets out of the way and helps us live our lives. And really, it ends up being more human than technology, because we’re co-creating each other all the time. And so this is the important point that I like to study: that things are beautiful, that it’s still a human connection — it’s just done in a different way. We’re just increasing our humanness and our ability to connect with each other, regardless of geography. So that’s why I study cyborg anthropology.
Of course I am a cyborg and with my avatar I am one hell of a cyborg. The blurring of the lines between “Man and Machine” has never been so self evident As machines get more intelligent more skilled these lines will disappear.
Cyberculture Main Stream cyberrealism
Gorillaz are a main stream band who use avatars in their videos, In this video we see a wonderful mixture of the real and the cyber to tell a story. (Stylo 13 million views) I include it here as an example of what I call cyberrealism. Another neologism but one that has been coined before. The cyber is main stream.
The story is a dual between avatars (Gorillaz) and Bruce Willis.The avatars win. Take note of the ending. Avatars are malleable and can adapt to any environment.
So, perhaps that is a little tongue-in-cheek. Watch the video please.
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My Second Life Blog
My Second Life » SL n Stuff
A blog about my personal experiences in second life. It was created on the 18th of November 2012 so is very new. There are pictures and videos. If you visit please leave a comment..
In second life you can have a partner.You meet someone, fall in love and say Hey Lets Show The World We Are A Couple and its permanent. You think This Is The One and I will spend the rest of nt sl life with this person. I met XoXo in the junkyard blues club. I had found it on my second day. Nice friendly atmosphere, I listened to the chat too scared to speak. I looked at their profiles many of them had been here years. They were all very attractive. I was a noob ( A new person with a free shape not attractive. ) In their profiles they all had “Payment info used”. I thought hmmm what is this? Age verified? Then Ha Got it! They had bought lindens with a credit card. Right what I needed was a decent shape avatar. I thought to myself who are the coolest dudes on the planet? The Italians! I put some money on my credit card , a good bit and went hunting for an Italian Avatar. Found one “Donato” Lookin cool Dude. Bought a leather jacket some jeans and boots. AND OF COURSE some sunglasses.
I went back to jyb (Junkyard Blues Club Site Here) Hung out . A few days later I met a girl. We danced once. It was about a week later I was waiting for her when out of the blue this gorgeous avatar asked me to dance. OMG! She was so cool and a bit of a star in jyb! Guess what? I refused said I was waiting for someone could I take a rain check? OMG OMG OMG> My date never turned up. A few days later she was there again ( she was always there) . I said to her it had stopped raining Dance? She said YES!.
XoXo ( won’t use real names ) was awesome we got on really well. We started spending a lot of time together. She was great. Taught me loads of stuff. Bought me clothes. I used to get into a terrible mess so I gave her my password and she dressed me. She also tidied my inventory! Wow I fell for her, she fell for me. Heres a pic:
We were cool. We had a bit of sex. Not much. We were inseparable. We talked about partnering. I was 3 weeks old, she 3 years. I felt it wasn’t appropriate to ask her to be my partner before I was 30 days old. So I waited a week. On my 30th I dressed in my Tuxedo. I had a short speech prepared and a ring, with a posing stand where I could get down on one knee. (I had been practising the timing and the spot for hours so it would be right.) I had the sl partner proposal ready. Btw when you partner it goes in the front of your profile. I went to Tempura, Japanese sim to a spot that had a wonderful backdrop and the sea in front. I summoned her, she came and I proposed. She accepted.
[At this time I was not aware of the time compression that works within sl. You may think me foolish .but I had not been in love for 20 years. Here I was in love with a pretty Avatar. It was a fantasy but I knew there was a person pulling the puppets strings. We exchanged rl information and pictures. She was cool.Was I blinded by the “game”?]
Halcyon days. We looked at houseboats but she said they weren’t private enough so we got ourselves an island in jyb. We put up our national flags, She helped me buy a motorcycle. I put in my profile:
First there was me , my bike and the blues. Then I met XoXo. When she’s not here, well I don’t think I ever understood the blues before.
Something like that. Everyone in jyb congratulated us. Great I was really part of the family. She had a sail boat and we would sail to the jyb dance floor. (I couldn’t use it when she wasn’t around so I bought myself one. ) Some evenings we would just sit on our island on the porch and share videos. It was magic. Then we had an argument. In sl you have a viewer to run the world. The standard one is Phoenix, it is old. The new one is Firestorm. Firestorm was talked about a lot and everyone was using it so I did too. I suggested she did too. She refused. I left it for a bit then something came up and I was a bit firm and told her she was being silly. She was not pleased, I tried talking to her but she got mad and said it obviously wasn’t working between us. I asked her to think about it and she POOFED. (went offline). I was a bit upset but surely once she gave it some thought it would be ok. I got in my boat and moored off the island and waited. She came back an hour later saying she had been on skype with her daughter. I asked her what about us? She said it isn’t working and ; Boom XoXo has dissolved your partnership. Boom XoXo is no longer your friend Boom XoXo has ejected you from her group. Boom. I collected my pelican and my bike, my worldly goods. I was totally overwhelmed. We had said this was long term, we partnered. Fuck. I was destroyed.
I didn’t sleep that much that night. The next day I tried to go to jyb but she turned up. I got in my boat and moored just out of sight and listened to her chat with all her friends, as though nothing had happened. I sat in my boat and I cried and cried and cried. My heart was broken . Rl heart.
I was still upset the next day but I had no home so I looked at the houseboats. They were great so I rented one. Slowly I began to recover and started going back to jyb. I felt foolish. Very.
I recovered slowly. I loved my houseboat I bought peacocks. I started hanging out confidently in jyb. Ahh the blues and the people were appreciating me in my own right. As I have said I am a biker, have been in rl since my 30s. I had my bike.
In sl we each have a profile which can be accessed by right clicking on the avatar. It is made up of three elements, a picture, the groups you belong to (you can have 42) and some text. People will write here their attitude if you like to sl. Mine says :
Latest Motto: Live Fast Ride Hard, Die Laughing.. I’m English we tend to make fun of things we love. I met a Valkyrie she is my gf. she sometimes appears as an Angel
I live by the four Brahma Viharas, (Dwelling Places of God) : Friendliness, Compassion, Equanimity and Sympathetic Joy.
“The moving finger writes and having writ moves on. Nor all your piety nor wit can lure it back to cancel half a line nor all your tears wash out a word of it.”
You can also see if payment info has been used and if the avatar has a partner. The next tab is web where you can put a web site address. I have my own. The next tab is interests where you can put your sl skills, dreams, etc etc. Apart from the front page what is perhaps most interesting is your PICKS. Here you put what turns you on in sl. Clubs, things people. At the bottom is a teleporter to the place you have picked. So dear readers in sl you can perve people and see who they are and what they hold dear in sl.
I went to other clubs of course but I always found myself back at jyb. I used to park my bike on the dock and lie on it.Listening to the music looking cool. YES I know but I did. Look at me. lolol. Great bike. Anyway I started perving the pretty avatars. i was too scared to speak to them. I was feeling pretty negative about myself.Perhaps someone else would ask me to dance. No way would I ask them. I had no friends. XoXo was there. I offered her friendship saying no hard feelings lets at least stay friends….she declined. “I know how to think, I know how to wait…” Adapted from Siddhartha …Hesse. There was this one lady, Xaxa. She was , her avatar was, so beautiful. And very popular, being greeted by everyone when she came onto the dance floor.You may think dear readers that falling in love with an avatar a mere cypher is strange. However a beautiful avatar wearing beautiful clothes, well groomed, nice hair who chats intelligently, has an interesting and well thought out profile is very real. Indicative of an attractive mind. So a persons avatar is a representation of that person. Xaxa had a beautiful profile. She always had a dance partner but had no partner so was safe to talk to, If I dared. I chickened out. She was way out of my league. Then one day there were not so many people around and she was dancing alone.
I perved her picks. WOW she was a biker! I teleported to the crater but there was nothing there. I sent her an im asking if there was a club house and how I went about joining. I told her I had read what she had written and agreed to it. She told me her sister was President. Did I have a problem with that? No way. I have been a champion on Women s Rights since uni. I didn’t flirt she would be never be interested in me. Then I received a Join notice. OMG she was letting me into her club. This was great. We chatted some more. I plucked up my courage ” Its ok you can refuse but I would love to dance with you. Please don’t worry you can say no, I won’t be offended” She said yes.
I won’t bore you with the details of our romance but we fell in love and partnered. She was Dutch. And had done modelling in rl. She became mijn klein muis, my little mouse. She bought land and put it in both our names. We called it Elysium. I blogged about it. I created a story where I was a traveller searching for the Fabled Elysium. You see with Xaxa I thought I had found it. We were so happy and we were living in paradise.
Here is the first entry of the blog>>>>>>>>>>
My quest began from the shores of Ireland, a fair country, but I was a stranger there. England held no allure. As is the English temperament, I set off in my small skiff to find the fabled Isles of The Blessed, Elysium. I had few markers except a good heart, a bold nature and perhaps a dream of finding a home where I could at last rest from my wanderings. After many trials, too numerous to mention (and a siren best forgotten) I sighted smoke. I had read of Mt Toba in my Encyclopedia Geographica…It says this briefly:
The Toba supereruption (Youngest Toba Tuff or simply YTT) was a supervolcaniceruption that is believed to have occurred some time between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago at Lake Toba (Sumatra, Indonesia). It is recognized as one of the Earth‘s largest known eruptions. The related catastrophe hypothesis holds that this event plunged the planet into a 6-to-10-year volcanic winter and possibly an additional 1,000-year cooling episode. This change in temperature is hypothesized to have resulted in the world’s human population being reduced to 10,000 or even a mere 1,000 breeding pairs, creating a bottleneck in human evolution.
Not daunted by this world killer I sailed on. I had heard that Elysium was protected, so the volcano did not surprise me. In my British manner I told myself “It’s only a volcano” I would sail around it. Then I sighted land. My journey had taken 47 days. I secured the skiff at a small dock, raised the flag and lit a fire. Toba grumbled behind me. Here is a pic:
I was weary so I layed by the fire and dreamt a dreamless sleep. My thoughts drifted…was this the fabled isles created by the gods where heroes were reborn? Had I reached my journeys end? Could I at last find peace…….
I awoke just after dawn and despite Toba’s intermittant roars I felt wonderfully rested. I began the day with such high spirits….I felt alive!!! I wasn’t hungry or thirsty which was very strange. The air was ennervating!
I looked around. I was stunned. A white yacht was moored close to me. There was a house but such a house! It looked Italian with its tiled roof and stone walls. There were palms and a waterfall….high cliffs surrounded the isle. This was somebodys home, I dare not trespass, yet it seemed to be empty…I would explore!!! Here is a pic of what I saw:
I wandered up to the house perhaps someone was home? It was magnificent. There was a fearsome looking beast guarding the entry. The gate was locked. I could hear bird song and the splashing of water. A brightly coloured parrot flew around. Then another parrot came and sat on my sholder occasionally looking at me quizzically. Ha! A friend already! I named him JD after a pirate I had crossed swords with. Here is a pic:
The house was so beautiful, the trees gently swaying in the light breeze. Who could own such a palace in the middle of nowhere? Who owned the beautiful white yacht, where was the captain? Then I noticed there was a light surrounding me, it had appeared this morning it seemed ..no it could not be…it seemed to be emanating from me!!! I wandered on towards a cry I had heard before but could not place…..
Peacocks! Two blue ones and a white one. I stood very still not wanting to frighten them. They completely ignored me as if i belonged here? Very strange. I was about to move on when the white one spread her wings. I was struck dumb! I pulled out my camera to take another pic. I succeded!
Where was I? What was this paradise? Who owned it? Is this Elysium?
I would explore more! I wandered straight ahead to the waterfall, More surprises, ridiculous surprises, two white swans,,,on a tropical island,,,I rubbed my eyes, yes they were still there, it was tho some god or godess or magician had conjured the beautiful things from our planet and placed them here,, Yes of course I took a picture! When I get home (whenever that would be,,,my own island perhaps? Like this? The thought of another sea voyage was daunting) when I get “home” I would have proof that a paradise existed, not for mortals perhaps, I took a pic,
I moved to my rightI saw something…A statue? Yes a statue of THE BUDDHA! What was He doing here I thought. It was a genuine statue too not some cheap plaster fake. There was a green ball at my feet I looked down to read the writing Tai something? I leaned closer and touched it. Some force took a hold of me, moving me. My shorts vanished and and and I was dressed in a kimono!?!?!? I had swords! Two of them, one at my waist the other on my back. I had become a samurai! I was moving so gracefully, I had no control, I was dancing. No not dancing..o my god it was Tai Chi! I had watched the chinese in Hong Kong (British colony in those days) I was doing Tai Chi dressed as a Samurai in front of the Buddha …I watched, I was transported. I had lived in Japan, these were katana proper warrior swords. I looked closely, silktop, the hakama (skirt to those less well informed) looked like fine cotton. on my feet I had zouri, warrior class sandles, not peasant sandles, these were laqured. The attention to detail astounded me.Don’t believe me? Look at this:
I did nothing. I thought nothing. My mind rested in a calm I had never really known. My half closed eyes could see the Buddha, the waterfall. There was no sound except the rushing falling of water. The faint peacock cry reminded me of beauty, I too was beautiful. I felt…no I didn’t feel I was empty……my eyes closed everything faded into stillness, there was no time, I had transcended time. I was at peace.
When I came back, how long had it been? Hours? Days? I had no idea. I was floating in front of the Buddha. It was night. I was floating. I WAS FLOATING! About two feet above the ground. Of course I recorded such a phenomenon.
I had found Elysium dear readers with a Goddess called Xaxa. Then I had a low, a bipolar low. I sat on the floor and cried for 4 days and 4 nights without eating or sleeping. I was NOT going to hospital. Oh Lord its bad. I staggered round to a friends house and got fed, got showered took loads of meds and was put to bed. Three days later I was back with Xaxa. Phew Pause:
She was ok with my madness. Was warm and caring. When we were chatting I asked her about her computer. She said her browser was Google. Hmmm Google is a search engine. She was using Internet Explorer …I cringed. I dropped that browser in 1996. I tried to explain Firefox was better. Nope she would not listen. I explained I was a qualified computer teacher with 16 year experience. Nope she had her browser and would not change. Oho…..shades of XoXo. I shut up. A few days later we bought a lovely TV while installing it the manufacturers saif This won’t work with Internet Explorer its crap get Firefox. You know what she said? ” I must get Firefox”. I was so so hurt. She would listen to the TV guy but not to her Partner. The last 16 years of my life were of no value to her. I felt lost. I had nothing to offer. Elysium was about a 1000 prims I had contributed 60. This wasn’t a partnership. I went and sat on my log next to my flag and was very sad. I asked her why the TV guy was more knowledgeable than me? She said she was a proud independent woman and took no orders from a man. She went her own way. BUT BUT BUT ….there was no talking to her. I poofed.
I thought abot this and I thought hmm ok I’ll win her round somehow. I logged back in ..AND Elysium was gone! Only a gully. All my stuff had been returned to my inventory. My office I had so lovingly created. Then I looked in my profile. NO NO NON NO I had no partner! Mijn klein muis was gone.
I didn’t cry this time I bought an Island. With 1500 prims of my owm.
Over the next week we started chatting. I offered her friendship she accepted. We both cried a little, we both agreed we still loved each other cared for each other. I invited her to my island, we got undressed a bit. We chatted. It felt good. I joked “Have you got Firefox yet? Hahahaha”. Oh dear she got all serious and POOFED.
She has a new partner now. Really a nice guy. Xaxa and I are very good friends. She is my Pres , my sister, I’m sargent at arms. No regrets. Muis!