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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Good Friday

 

I’m not putting the whole post here as its not really sl but its an important piece. You can read it here:

12 Worst Ideas Religion Has Unleashed on the World

We all need to change how we think and how we act to our fellow humans. Love and Peace

 

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Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

santahoHo Ho Ho Seasons Greetings to you all. Hope the New Year brings all you need. Wow its 2015! To my age group that’s science fiction territory. WOOT! Anything is possible wow great stuff!!

On part of Siani’s Junkyard Winter Wonderland video to come

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Help

I use the Firestorm viewer for Second Life and it is very good. I have been using it for over a year and just upgraded to the latest release.  Yesterday had what I thought was a disaster. I couldn’t see mesh the 3D modelling of objects. There were just gaps where clothes would be. I thought my graphics card had broken, and it had. I had just updated the drivers. However I didn’t know this and I asked friends what to do. They took me through various settings nothing worked. Then it was suggested I ask the FS Support group in chat. I joined the group and typed my problem into chat. Almost immediately the answer came that I had to roll back my drivers to an earlier release. It was the new AMD drivers that were doing it. So I did a system restore. Everything went back to 4th December. And everything worked.

help

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So my Firestorm does not support certain builds of AMD drivers. I went back to release 13, 14 seems to have problems in its various forms. Finding this out took a matter of seconds. What a great resource to have that Chat. Excellent stuff. I watched it yesterday and picked up some tips. It seems no problem is too small to help, from fiddling with a graphics setting to a complete install. Well done Firestorm. They also have a wiki and JIRA and forums. http://firestormviewer.org

 

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Second Life Cats

One of the most popular pastimes in Second Life is caring for, feeding and breeding virtual animals. Over the years these animals have improved and developed and a whole community of Second Life breeders and traders has emerged.

KittyCatS! ™ are highly interactive cats that can be petted and cuddled. They will follow you and play with you. There are lots of breeds and sizes, including teacup, toy, petite, normal and MegaPuss. There are also special collection cats that will breed one unique baby. It is compelling and addictive and fascinating. http://kittycats.biz.

What is fascinating is the way in which these cats become real. When they are born an imprinting occurs and this sets the scene for reality to step in.

They become attached. They follow you and talk in local chat. They need feeding or they get sick, they sleep a lot. You give them affection, breed them and end up with baby cats. Their lineage is recorded. They develop a personality.

Great fun you should try it!

The SLurl for the shop is :

Visit the Main store: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ScratchN%20Post%20Too/22/68/22

New Stall at: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Just%20Too%20Adorable/149/170/22




The Book is at : http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IFRFR7G/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_E9xbtb119JPH8

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Tails From The Cat Shop Special Offer

TAILS FROM THE CAT SHOP
COUNTDOWN DEAL (USA Only)
6 to 12 June 2014
Buy for a limited time special discount
Follow this link:

http://www.amazon.com/TAILS-CAT-SHOP-Jessika-Jenvieve-ebook/dp/B00IFRFR7G

 

 

bookFantasy meets Reality in Cyberspace, in a world where our online and offline experiences, friendships and even, our identities are excitingly entangled. Avatars are extensions of us, leading lives parallel to our own dull everyday existence. Having a Virtual Life sets you free to dream and some dreams do come true.

Meet the Divine Penny, the Italian-speaking Siamese cat, with the delicate chocolate paws, and find out if Professor Poppett’s poodle recovers from ‘indoor barking syndrome’. Go on an adventure in the alligator infested bayou to hunt for the Golden Kitten and find out why love always wins the day.

 

 

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Having a terrible time

I just spent all my savings on upgrading my computer, primarily so i could be up to date with Second Life. I upgraded to a 64 bit system with 8 gigs of RAM which is probably pretty standard now. Everything works fine EXCEPT SL. The system freezes after a few minutes. So I tried

1. Using recommended graphics drivers as per wiki : no difference. Tried different drivers …no good.
2. Spent hours testing RAM with no difference. Firestorm works with 4 gigs of RAM which makes having 64 bits pointless.
3. Reinstalled Windows and just installed FS, no difference.
4. Posted a jira to FS site no one has answered. This could take months.

Yesterday I spent hours researching, reading forums and posting to them. One thread decided it was my power supply that needed upgrading. Not doing that would mean dismantling the PC. This is very frustrating.

I am able to go into SL providing I have my graphics set to low. I managed to do my shift.

crashdude

I was crashing so much Siani created a body double for me. But this is not funny when it come down to it. My SL experience with low graphics is not good. All I can do is wait for the Jira response. It is very frustrating especially as everything is supposed to be better. Everything else on my computer works fine its just SL.

Not a happy bunny anyone got any ideas?

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50 years on Inequality is still the message

Its been 50 years today since Martin Luther King addressed the American nation. A must listen to BBC compilation is here I decided this video is too important not to be disseminated so I copied it on to youtube!

below is Thomas Pogge’s video on poverty and inequality. The message is clear inequality is the root cause of most of the ills that beset society. THIS CAN BE CHANGED IF THE RICH GIVE UP A FRACTION OF THEIR WEALTH. I HAVE A DREAM!!!!

400 million deaths in the last 22 years killed by poverty. Inequality!

A quarter of the worlds population have over 90% of the worlds income!

I have a dream but the nightmare continues!

Below taken from The Guardian review of The Spirit Level

We are rich enough. Economic growth has done as much as it can to improve material conditions in the developed countries, and in some cases appears to be damaging health. If Britain were instead to concentrate on making its citizens’ incomes as equal as those of people in Japan and Scandinavia, we could each have seven extra weeks’ holiday a year, we would be thinner, we would each live a year or so longer, and we’d trust each other more.

The Spirit Level
: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
(Click for the pdf stats in the Library)
Below are the slides >>>>

inequalitygif
Epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett don’t soft-soap their message. It is brave to write a book arguing that economies should stop growing when millions of jobs are being lost, though they may be pushing at an open door in public consciousness. We know there is something wrong, and this book goes a long way towards explaining what and why.

The authors point out that the life-diminishing results of valuing growth above equality in rich societies can be seen all around us. Inequality causes shorter, unhealthier and unhappier lives; it increases the rate of teenage pregnancy, violence, obesity, imprisonment and addiction; it destroys relationships between individuals born in the same society but into different classes; and its function as a driver of consumption depletes the planet’s resources.

Wilkinson, a public health researcher of 30 years’ standing, has written numerous books and articles on the physical and mental effects of social differentiation. He and Pickett have compiled information from around 200 different sets of data, using reputable sources such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation and the US Census, to form a bank of evidence against inequality that is impossible to deny.

They use the information to create a series of scatter-graphs whose patterns look nearly identical, yet which document the prevalence of a vast range of social ills. On almost every index of quality of life, or wellness, or deprivation, there is a gradient showing a strong correlation between a country’s level of economic inequality and its social outcomes. Almost always, Japan and the Scandinavian countries are at the favourable “low” end, and almost always, the UK, the US and Portugal are at the unfavourable “high” end, with Canada, Australasia and continental European countries in between.

This has nothing to do with total wealth or even the average per-capita income. America is one of the world’s richest nations, with among the highest figures for income per person, but has the lowest longevity of the developed nations, and a level of violence – murder, in particular – that is off the scale. Of all crimes, those involving violence are most closely related to high levels of inequality – within a country, within states and even within cities. For some, mainly young, men with no economic or educational route to achieving the high status and earnings required for full citizenship, the experience of daily life at the bottom of a steep social hierarchy is enraging.

The graphs also reveal that it is not just the poor, but whole societies, from top to bottom, that are adversely affected by inequality. Although the UK fares badly when compared with most other OECD countries (and is the worst developed nation in which to be a child according to both Unicef and the Good Childhood Inquiry), its social problems are not as pronounced as in the US.

Rates of illness are lower for English people of all classes than for Americans, but working-age Swedish men fare better still. Diabetes affects twice as many American as English people, whether they have a high or a low level of education. Wherever you look, evidence favouring greater equality piles up. As the authors write, “the relationships between inequality and poor health and social problems are too strong to be attributable to chance”.

But perhaps the most troubling aspect of reading this book is the revelation that the way we live in Britain is a serious danger to our mental health. Around a quarter of British people, and more than a quarter of Americans, experience mental problems in any given year, compared with fewer than 10 per cent in Japan, Germany, Sweden and Italy.

Wilkinson and Pickett’s description of unequal societies as “dysfunctional” suggests implicit criticism of the approach taken by Britain’s “happiness tsar” Richard Layard, who recommended that the poor mental health of many Britons be “fixed” or improved by making cognitive behavioural therapy more easily available. Consumerism, isolation, alienation, social estrangement and anxiety all follow from inequality, they argue, and so cannot rightly be made a matter of individual management.

There’s an almost pleading quality to some of Wilkinson and Pickett’s assertions, as though they feel they’ve spent their careers banging their heads against a brick wall. It’s impossible to overstate the implications of their thesis: that the societies of Britain and the US have institutionalised economic and social inequality to the extent that, at any one time, a quarter of their respective populations are mentally ill. What kind of “growth” is that, other than a malignant one?

One question that comes to mind is whether the world’s most equal developed nations, Japan and Sweden, make sufficient allowance for individuals to express themselves without being regarded as a threat to the health of the collective. Critics of the two societies would argue that both make it intensely difficult for individual citizens to protest against the conformity both produced by, and required to sustain, equality. The inclination to dismiss or neuter individuals’ complaints may, Wilkinson and Pickett suggest, go some way towards explaining the higher suicide rates in both countries compared with their more unequal counterparts. Those who feel wrong, or whose lives go wrong, may feel as though they really do have no one to blame but themselves.

What Japan and Sweden do show is that equality is a matter of political will. There are belated signs – shown in the recent establishment of a National Equalities Panel and in Trevor Phil lips’s public pronouncements on the central place of class in the landscape of British inequality – that Labour recognises that its relaxed attitude to people “getting filthy rich” has come back to bite it on the rear.

Twelve years in power is long enough to reverse all the trends towards greater social and economic stratification that have occurred since 1970; instead they have continued on their merry way towards segregation. Teenage pregnancy rates have begun to rise after a period of decline; there is a 30-year gap in male life expectancy between central Glasgow and parts of southern England; and child poverty won’t be halved by next year after all (though it wouldn’t make as much difference as making their parents more equal).

There are times when the book feels rather too overwhelmingly grim. Even if you allow for the fact that it was written before Barack Obama won the US presidency on a premise of trust and optimism, its opening pages are depressing enough to make you want to shut it fast: “We find ourselves anxiety-ridden, prone to depression, driven to consume and with little or no community life.” Taking the statistics broadly, they may be correct, but many readers simply won’t feel like that.

However, the book does end on an optimistic note, with a transformative, rather than revolutionary, programme for making sick societies more healthy. A society in which all citizens feel free to look each other in the eye can only come into being once those in the lower echelons feel more valued than at present. The authors argue that removal of economic impediments to feeling valued – such as low wages, low benefits and low public spending on education, for instance – will allow a flourishing of human potential.

There is a growing inventory of serious, compellingly argued books detailing the social destruction wrought by inequality. Wilkinson and Pickett have produced a companion to recent bestsellers such as Oliver James’s Affluenza and Alain de Botton’s Status Anxiety . But The Spirit Level also contributes to a longer view, sitting alongside Richard Sennett’s 2003 book Respect: The Formation of Character in an Age of Inequality , and the epidemiologist Michael Marmot’s Status Syndrome , from 2005.

Anyone who believes that society is the result of what we do, rather than who we are, should read these books; they should start with The Spirit Level because of its inarguable battery of evidence, and because its conclusion is simple: we do better when we’re equal.

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A Year In Second Life

rezday2So today is my rez day, been in second life one year today and all I do is crash. Its been a wonderful year all in all. Changed my Life in many ways.   It gave me an interest  perhaps even a passion. I joined and immersed myself in this online community. I’ve known love and loss, sunshine and tears. Made friendships going beyond second life into the real world. Second Life is a wonderful cybercommunity which I have researched and come up with a tome = http://Cyberculture.co yes dot co not dot com . The dot com , net, biz, info, org are all being squatted. I wrote it as nothing had been written about cybercommunities from the users point of view, one who was involved.

Here is a list of my friends. All of them are special and have had their moments. Some have been lovers.

friends

 

Wow think I have about 100 friends, know all of them well, the ones at the beginning are those on line its 5.30 am my time  11.30 pm sl time Saturday. Bard is spinning and I’m listening via http://Junkyardlive.com I’m hosting at 2am Sunday til 6am. Its the people that make sl so special. Everyone I have met I think yes almost everyone I met at the Junkyard. (fan site here) Its the blues people the blues. This is a special breed blues people. I’m relatively new to the blues but I love it.

anim1“There are happy blues, sad blues, lonesome blues,
red-hot blues, mad blues, and loving blues.  Blues
is a testimony to the fullness of life.”  – Corey Harris

From the Official Junkyard Site‘ when I first arrived in sl I found the Junkyard on my second day. I was immediately drawn to the music and the people. I just hung out there all the time. My goal early on was to become a part of this. I knew from previous rl experience that if i just waited an opening would occur. I’ve done this in rl . So I hung out. I have told you the story of partners which says a lot. In between times there were flings of course. I get on well with women. I guess you would call me gregarious. I explored and joined other clubs sticking to the blues tho Blackhearts a rock club was an exception. How would I sum up my first year in sl? Well I discovered the blues.

Of course the most important thing that happened to me was I met Storm Constantine Love You Babe!!

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