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Torley

That looks like tawdry vixen, Tringo champion, and SL pioneer Bel Muse in that pic up there. Is that her? :)

Jerry Paffendorf

Dunno, Torley. I grabbed the pic randomly from the Snapzilla stream. Should I anonym-ize it? (Wasn't making a comment on anyone personally, of course, since I don't know who it is. Just a provocative image coupling.)

Bruce Sterling

"No bread? Let them eat prims."

I would guess that the flashpoint comes when somebody
designs something out of prims that actually enables
Gappers to eat. Here's a candidate:

http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/000446.html

You could play on it in Second Life and pump water
with it in the subsaharan Sahel! All you need
is a way to smelt one out -- like, say, a
Neil Gershenfeld fab that spews pig iron
and adobe!

(Of course, that won't stop the locals from gleefully
shooting each other as soon as somebody in Second
Life prims up a working AK-47.)

As for digital entertainment platforms not overlapping
with reality, I suspect that this is a period perception.
It reminds me of the older concept that folks with too
much book-learnin' are scarily detached from the
healthy realities of earning a living. Tried earning
a living on a farm lately? It's all about combine
harvesters the size of brontosaurs and GPS
for the fertilizer allotments. Lacking book-learning
is a swift ticket to the condition of the African girl
on side B there.

I have to wonder what the reaction to SECOND LIFE
would be if somebody simply ported satellite
links and laptops right into a starvation-riddled
refugee camp. Learning to type would be no
picnic, but really, given the utter boredom and
cramped conditions in real-life refugee shelters,
wouldn't SECOND LIFE be hugely popular?
Who on earth would have more fun there
than someone whose first life was utterly dysfunctional?
How much would it cost to just try the
experiment and see?

csven

why smelt? the day will come when metal rapid-prototyping will be commonplace. the Germans have been making some excellent headway in this regard. of course their motivation is probably primarily the lucrative tooling industry - not even a bunch of Chinese kids with tiny fingers can clean up a tool as fast as one can be fabbed clean from the start. it still takes weeks to get a tool from China; with rp it's days.

let's face it, manufacturing as we have known it is an old, clumsy technology. what advances are made are basically minimal. the difference with China was that they were willing to experiment with these minor advancements to gain an advantage. for example, with gas-assist parts. in the U.S. some companies (like my old employer) avoided it. they'd tried it when it first came out. it was difficult... problematic. so they abandoned innovation for short term profit. and now many Chinese have basically reached par in tooling quality (even almost matching the Taiwanese) because of their pioneering attitude. so it's not just an issue of manufacturing leaving the developed world, it was manufacturing stagnant in the U.S. and elsewhere with the occasional good news for the high-cost automotive sector. it's time for a change.

furthermore, as the American economy continues to flounder (and watching Wall Street is no longer a sure indication of how the average worker is doing - too many companies are globally vested), there will be a push into new manufacturing technologies. there has to be. as much as the politicos want to say "just upgrade your skills for the New Economy", we all know a 40 year-old assembly line worker ain't gonna compete with a tech-savvy kid in Russia, so all the supposed money that is going to go to train them is so much wasted effort in the grand scheme of things. they don't get it, and probably won't. the result will be a push for some way to bring manufacturing - even a little - back into the West. either that or we can continue watching as the prisons overflow.

so where does this leave us? it means that 3D in all it's forms will find an outlet. a virtual object could potentially be fabricated using an rp device. and when that kind of power starts to get out, the world will get flatter. and that will be good for the West, because that plane will be higher than what we're heading down to now, imo.

Prokofy Neva

I find this picture really a questionable and tasteless concept, and bordering on atrocity porn, juxtaposing a Tringo player with a RL refugee. I'm reminded of when Socrates was it? stood in the marketplace and masturbated in public, remarking that it was interesting that you could satisfy sexual desire in this way, but it was too bad you couldn't rub on your stomach in the same way and make hunger go away. Yeah, like it would really make sense to spend resources, time, technology on getting wireless hookups of SL type technology going in Darfur in UN camp? Instead of doing things like getting repeaters to work around the camps to help African Union soldiers protect women collecting firewood from rape by the Janjawid? So old fashioned radio technology is what is needed, not fancy 3-D prototyping and interactivity -- lives have to be saved. Like there aren't maybe a few more priorities for people struggling to survive and those helping them than watching things like a Tringo game and a W-Hat installation of a murdered whore, or sitting on a virtual shore on prime real estate looking out to the endless Linden sea? *You won't be able to separate the entertainment functions from the utilitarian functions, and you will dilute the utilitarian mission as a result*. It's just like the problem of skimming books and doing global searches for words now, instead of reading coherently (see the latest New Republic for this point). Honestly, you should be ashamed of yourselves. You've lost touch with reality...and you don't even have such a handle on virtuality...because some people have successfully used virtuality and its creativity to do things like raise money for tsunami victims or bring awareness to issues like women and work in various non-profit projects. You're letting yourself get too breathless about technology, and letting it get way out in front of you.

-Vis

Prokofy Neva wrote: "I find this picture really a questionable and tasteless concept, and bordering on atrocity porn, juxtaposing a Tringo player with a RL refugee."

My only question is, "What the hell is Tringo?"

Jerry Paffendorf

Hi Prokofy,

Your thoughts are always appreciated, but I have to assume that you didn't read the whole post, other comments, or mission of the Second Life Future Salon blog and community. It's disappointing to see your mostly non-constructive comments here and your knee-jerk flame on New Worlds Notes. You say a Socrates anecdote came to your mind. "Don't shoot the messenger" comes to mine. We are simply talking about real processes at work in the world and I'm sorry if we got into territory that upset you.

But to remind you, we are a future foresight group that networks futurists, specialist experts, innovators and people interested in learning about and participating more effectively in a world in rapid motion. We think 1, 5, 10, sometimes 25 years down the road. Telling us we should be ashamed of ourselves for asking how digital worlds could come to assist the developing world and generally make people's lives better and more productive (not only today, but tomorrow and on the road in between) is a bit confusing in this context and not very conducive to an open discussion about serious issues.

Prokofy >"You've lost touch with reality...and you don't even have such a handle on virtuality...because some people have successfully used virtuality and its creativity to do things like raise money for tsunami victims or bring awareness to issues like women and work in various non-profit projects."

If you'd like an interesting look at using "virtuality" for philanthropy, you might download Randal Moss's talk from the first SL Future Salon. (I thought you were there listening to it last Thursday?) Randy spoke about the American Cancer Society's plans to extend their Relay for Life walkathon into Second Life—slated to be the largest in-world fundraiser yet. And I myself recently presented to a major gathering of National Voluntary Health Agencies on emerging applications of digital worlds, simulation, and distributed computing towards philanthropic goals. I note this here to publicly correct you when you imply that the SLFS doesn't cover or isn't aware of the work in these areas. Half of our very first Salon was dedicated to philanthropy in digital worlds and we are actively assisting the development of these kinds of projects (not just speaking hypothetically).

Prokofy >"You're letting yourself get too breathless about technology, and letting it get way out in front of you."

Again, step back and think about what kind of group this is and if you're someone who wants to participate or not. Future Salons are publicly open, forward-looking, future foresight and innovation communities. We aim to sort through the breathlessness and ride the wave of what's becoming possible. We do this through analysis, debate, and by networking talented, motivated people. Prokofy, you're welcome to be one of them, but I must say that I find your public comments here to be ignorant of who we are and what we're doing, as well as of the growing possibilities around 3D platforms not just for playing or "living" in, but as tools for real world access and empowerment across industries and social systems.

But besides all that and in any case, I hope you keep in touch! And thanks as well for keeping the discussion going.

Prokofy Neva

Tringo is an intensely popular game within Second Life which combines features of Tetris and Bingo. It's about the only way that newbies coming into this game/metaverse have to make Lindens, or play money that is convertible to Lindens. The inventor of Tringo was actually able to sell his game to RL software developers after prototyping it in SL. For response to Jerry's point, see my post on Hamlet Linden's blog:

http://secondlife.blogs.com/nwn/2005/04/links_of_the_we_3.html

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