Internet Addiction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“people can die of mere imagination”

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

You can see the Criteria of Dependence Here

The Criteria for Addiction can be found here

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The new study offers suggestions for future research:

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

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

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

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

Makes sense to me.

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

einstein

 

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Hyperconnectivity

how to tell if your agency is bullshitting you about social media

By • Sep 7th, 2009 • Category: Lead Story

So you’ve finally decided that you need to get into this strange, unfamiliar world of Social Media everyone’s talking about. I haven’t got a bloody choice, you grumble. My boss met the MD of our closest competitor the other day, and he was going on and on and on about Facebook. My boss was caught red-faced when he asked who the author of “the Face book” was.

It feels a little like that time when Spice Girls ruled the world and you were forced into listening to their shrieks about girl power everywhere you went, doesn’t it? Not to make you feel any more vintage than you already feel, but the Spice Girls domination was about 10 years ago.

You find yourself inviting your agency to ask for a presentation on Social Media and a proposal on how your brand can be marketed in this medium. Considering your minimal knowledge of this medium, how do you know if your agency is bullshitting you or not? Well let me, the web designer/advertising suit/ blogger/ digital strategist, tell you how.

1 | The habitual Googler
If you find yourself being shown 50 slides of social media statistics and 3 slides on execution ideas, you know that your agency knows as much as you do – that the medium is important, but they don’t know what the hell to do in that medium.

2 | The social media channel becomes the solution
A common recommendation goes something like this, “We will set a blog up, a Twitter account, and a Facebook fan page!” They don’t identify the problem you have in this medium, they don’t prescribe the solution as a result of not knowing the problem to begin with, but strangely enough, they have array of social media channels to recommend to you. Ask them this question – what do I do on my blog, Twitter account and Facebook fan page?

And no darling, like how your customers do not rush home to watch your TV commercials airing at 7pm, your customers online will not visit your blog to listen to you talk about you.

3 | Using plural with social media channels

Run the moment your agency says “Twitters”.

4 | Using buzz words
Run EVEN FASTER the moment your agency says “New Media”.  I agree with what consultant Marc Shelkin says about this term – it is used by agencies who haven’t realized that it isn’t new any more and don’t know what to call projects that aren’t print.


Social media marketing isn’t as complicated as empirical formula unlike what Ivory Tower wannabies want you to think.
Source: Preparatory Chemistry

5 | Spewing social media theories
If your agency’s leading man is too busy penning articles about social media and his theories on trade publications and dissing competitors off with words and not actual works, you should evaluate why you’ve engaged this agency in the first place. The problem with the social media theories penned by Ivory Tower wannabies is that in this unique medium, application is crucial for success. Try sending your boss a 3,000-word article from your agency as proof of a successful social media campaign. Let me know if he/ she buys that bullshit.

6 | Quoting the big boys
A common habit of agencies is to quote the likes of Jeremy Owyang, Brian Solis and Peter Kim one slide before the slide where they tell you “We will set a blog up, a Twitter account, and a Facebook fan page!”. Again, ask them this question – what do I do on my blog, Twitter account and Facebook fan page? Special thanks to my partner-in-crime Tania, for this point.

7 | They hire a blogger, and not a communicator, to be your digital strategist
Your 55-year-old Aunt Amy has a blog talking about her two dogs, Snoopy and Miffy. Will you hand her a 100 grand to market your brand online?

Anyone has anymore to add?

The views expressed on this blog are my personal opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer or its clients

YEP ADDING HYPERCONNECTIVITY HERE!

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I’m Back

I have a NEW server. Its very fast. Its very SOPHISTICATED. 16 processors Intel Xeon

I have, for now, 50 GIGABYTES of web storage with the option of UNLIMITED space.

I can HOST UNLIMITED number of Domains. Set up takes 24 hours.

I can have an UNLIMITED number of emails and SUB DOMAINS.

I AM AN INTERNET GOD!……..giggles!

So, dear friends, anything web I am your man. I can register your domain and design your website ALL for a remarkably small amount of money. My Tech Support (I’ve been doing this since 1996) is superb and at the moment is 18/7 until I recruit more staff. Want a job? Full training given. As you know I am also a fledgeling Artist. My videos ain’t bad. I’m a bit shy regarding these last two. BUT gotta try. Here’s my latest : 

Contact Form Above

Thanks

Dude / Philip

P.S. New Video site. 6 hours old  @ Blog dot cyberkulture dot com

Its Later Than You Think

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Digital Art

I was never very good at Art. At school I had all these brilliant ideas, my imagination flew, but when it came to putting pencil to paper, well even my stick men looked stupid. technology has always been a love of mine. At 5 years old my dad would bring me home instruments and magnets to play with. He worked in Smiths Industries making things like tachometers. I’m good at manipulating software. Ah but Photoshop I could never come to grips with. I did an online course and got the basics sorted but the more sophisticated stuff is beyond me.

However I can do a bit. Here is an attempt; This is a background i captured from the 3d world blue mars:

 

Then using Photoshop I captured avatars and removed their backgrounds and put them in and made this :

This is my first attempt at using Photoshop. i have a long way to go. Please right click on the pictures and View Image. They are very big. I have set up a gallery in sl called Don’t Panic. Here is the idea :

They get a website out of it too. It might just be a profile picture or it might be a whole scene. We will see. Meanwhile here is my best attempt so far :

 

What do you think?

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Pissed Off

Cyberculture dot com

What do you get? A Broken Link. And two results one to wiki and one to a book:

A clear explanation and provocative look at the impact of new technologies on world society.

Needing guidance and seeking insight, the Council of Europe approached Pierre Lévy, one of the world’s most important and well-respected theorists of digital culture, for a report on the state (and, frankly, the nature) of cyberspace. The result is this extraordinary document, a perfectly lucid and accessible description of cyberspace-from infrastructure to practical applications-along with an inspired, far-reaching exploration of its ramifications. A window on the digital world for the technologically timid, the book also offers a brilliant vision of the philosophical and social realities and possibilities of cyberspace for the adept and novice alike.

WRITTEN IN 2001 fer gods sake. We were using dial ups …….jeez.!

Cyberculture.org……an ad

Cyberculture.net…….an ad

Cyberculture.wordpress.com ……Taken down by author no longer available,

Really I ask you. Is Cyberculture not a viable term? HUH? What Happened? Idiots just don’t keep up so I’m pissed off. I’ve been at this Internet game for 16 years! Sixteen Fucking Y E A R S. Still I seem to be running backwards to keep up. So I’m Pissed Off……again. Here is my first Irish Secure Internet Site.

First created in 2001. Have a look.!!!! It was updated all the way through 2005 when I went Bust!  <<<<Click! Its on the Way Back machine. The Internet has been crawled since 1996. The way back machine has archived something like 300 Billion Web Pages now >>>

 

The Wayback Machine is an historical archive of preserved web pages.  Type in a URL and start surfing through time!

Most societies agree that it is important to preserve artifacts of their culture and heritage. Without such artifacts, civilization has no memory and no mechanism to learn from its successes and failures. Our culture now produces more and more artifacts in digital form. Internet Archive’s mission is to help preserve those artifacts and create an Internet library for researchers, historians, and scholars. The Archive collaborates with institutions including the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.

The archive of pages goes back to 1996.  The original Wayback Machine interface was released in 2001 with about 10 billion pages.

So There!

So….What to do?

Create Cyberkulture dot com. go see.

YES TYPE IT JEEZ EVERYONE WANTS LINKS WHY THE FUCK CAN’T THEY JUST REMEMBER IT ? ITS CYBERCULTURE SPELT WITH A  K DOT COM! OK?


Anger is an energy! May The Road Rise With.You. I Could Be Wrong I Could Be Right.

  •   Could Be Wrong

  • I Could Be Right!

Playing on BBC 6 Music as I right, oops write. So Appropriate!

Ok Ok Ok Sorry…….well a bit. Because I just set up my FASHION SITE. The most beautiful web site you will ever see. Go Look click here to visit: If You Aint Impressed I’ll …,….Get More Pissed Off! BTW its cyberculture spelt with a k forward slash fashion…tell a mate. AND its all in Latin Because I haven’t edited it yet. Sorry. Put it up 3 years ago WAY ahead of its time….sigh….

Thanks for visiting.

Sorry.

PS. Heres a pic of me and a  pic of my new gf.

 

 

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Cyberculture 2013

UPDATE!

Cyberculture 2013 by

Cyberculture

Home

//

Introduction

————————————-

Cyberculture (Cyberkulture)

Yes I know it is spelt with a c. I spelt it with a k 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

I have been asked why I have gone into so much detail further on about second life. A definition of culture from The Center Of Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) has this definition:

…….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.
.

Dude

Avatars

Avatars

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.

Avatar Profile

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.

Chat Box

Chat In Second Life

See all 6 photos

Chat In Second Life

Source: 21stCN

Chat

Chat

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.

The Junkyard

The Junkyard Blues Club

See all 6 photos
The Junkyard Blues Club

Animation

Animation

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.

Animation Dance

dancingshadow3

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

Junkyard Blues

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.

Culture

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?

Reality

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.

Personally…………

I cannot sign this Dude nor can I sign it Philip its

Dude / Philip

A closer look at my home called Lamu

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Comming of age in second life

Abstract:

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.

Thank you.

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.

  • 88% Yes
  • 13% No
  • 0% I Don’t Know

8 people have voted in this poll.

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