Saturday, June 27, 2009

Some Conversations Pt III

... and i am totally jazzed that my build is stimulating such discussions! This was my purpose for this build - to stimulate discussion regarding technology - including virtual worlds - and the need for an examination of application and disbursement; a balance between technology and humanism.

Why? Such beautiful things, virtual worlds, ne?

Imagine a prison... with a person hooked into a virtual world... convinced that they are in fact in "outworld," talking, speaking, living... and in "reality" strapped to a chair in a 10x10 steel room.

Consider a virtual world, complete with feedback, being used to torture a prisoner.

Consider "The Matrix."

Consider other possible evil or morally-decayed uses of such technology.

There is so much dialogue going about the wonderful uses of such tech; virtual surgery, virtual therapy, virtual training, virtual collaboration... yet we have seen what technology, which has no will nor aim nor moral compass, can do in the hands of the unscrupulous, the greedy and the morally bankrupt.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Antimon Kupferberg: yes, I see your idea ...
Antimon Kupferberg: but its not in tech, its what human does with it ... I believe

Miso Susanowa: exactly
Miso Susanowa: but we must think on these applications

Antimon Kupferberg nods of course we have to

Miso Susanowa: or the natural course of big business is to sell indiscriminately

Miso Susanowa: but here its all go go go go
Miso Susanowa: so i wished this installation to ask these questions

Antimon Kupferberg: I am a RL biologist and just preparing an article about potential risks of nanomaterials to workers *shrugs

Miso Susanowa: very dangerous, nano
Miso Susanowa: but so is nuclear fusion and fission *shrugs* we must just take care
Miso Susanowa: what i fear is Gibson's vision; nanotech used to... form children
Miso Susanowa: to make slaves and clones
Miso Susanowa: without a moral framework

Antimon Kupferberg: there is no moral in nano than is in concrete or a piece of bread ...

Miso Susanowa: yes... only in the hand or corp that uses it, agreed
Miso Susanowa: it is a tool

Antimon Kupferberg: it's what you do ... eat or destroy? help or make people suffer ?

Antimon Kupferberg: the problem is, that the main and future technologies are mostly in the hands of few big companies ...

Miso Susanowa: yes exactly
Miso Susanowa: and companies have no morals

Antimon Kupferberg: so where are the people to control? where are WE to control and take influence?

Miso Susanowa: yes

Antimon Kupferberg: ... always the same questions ... *shrugs

Miso Susanowa: there is a struggle going on now
Miso Susanowa: we are seeing the end result of unrestrained industrialization
Miso Susanowa: concentration on the physical without moral or spiritual insight

Antimon Kupferberg: the same with genes , esp crop genes ... mostly now in a hand of Monsanto &Co
Antimon Kupferberg: it is to make the farmers to have to buy new seed again each year instead of raising their own

Miso Susanowa: ugh yes their aggressive corn
Miso Susanowa: that kills the next generation's seed [Terminator technology - see article above]
Miso Susanowa: that is a misuse of a very beautiful technology
Miso Susanowa: which could feed millions
Miso Susanowa: grrrrr

Antimon Kupferberg: this reminds me of a discussion at the radio i just come from ... about science in the movies, ... did you hear about the film "Sleep Dealer"?

Miso Susanowa: ahhh yes i have!
Miso Susanowa: an amazing film effort

Antimon Kupferberg: ok, .. to be honest, I came hear cause I saw the giant plant from above :)

Miso Susanowa: lol! good that is her purpose ^_^

Antimon Kupferberg grins

Miso Susanowa: i spend much time in nature
Miso Susanowa: i admire her forms and her strategies
Miso Susanowa: to cross nanotech with plant genes
Miso Susanowa: could be quite a thing
Miso Susanowa: but very dangerous
Miso Susanowa: nature has strategies not thought of by Man
Miso Susanowa: and we are not so smart as we think

Antimon Kupferberg: yes, we just begin learning ... see the bionics field etc ... or the circling of energy and water and ressource that came to our minds during the very last years

Miso Susanowa: well there is a saying, "nature will find a way"

Antimon Kupferberg: we are scientifically just kids ...

Miso Susanowa: evolution's strategies are so beyond us now we can barely see them

Miso Susanowa: so we must take great care

Antimon Kupferberg: whose strategy? You see a being, a god or something behind?

Miso Susanowa: no... just the strategies that have served genetic evolution for thousands of years

Miso Susanowa: how life has made organisms that can live at 5000 feet below sea level with no light...

Miso Susanowa: wondrous and strange
Miso Susanowa: all from the pressure of Life to live

Antimon Kupferberg: and in volcanoes and salt hot water ...

Miso Susanowa: yes, off sulpher

Antimon Kupferberg: yes, indeed, life is SO great

Antimon Kupferberg: and we are the part of it most dangerous to all the rest perhaps ^^

Miso Susanowa: so us meddling at the genetic level...
Miso Susanowa: yes :)
Miso Susanowa: like as you say Monsanto

Antimon Kupferberg: yes, know what you mean ...
Antimon Kupferberg: but not all what is printed in media is true ... so I know people personally from this kind of companies, and they are all but heatless monsters ... to clear that

Miso Susanowa: ah, but i know some quantum physicists that are very spiritual

Antimon Kupferberg: but they have different opinions of how to feed the world ...

Miso Susanowa: because they see the wonder of the universe
Miso Susanowa: but... they must keep quiet about such things :(

Antimon Kupferberg: I dont share all of them ...

Miso Susanowa: nor do i... but that is the wonder of humanity, ne?
Miso Susanowa: the marvelousness of life

Antimon Kupferberg: oh yes, I believe at the quantum stage spirit and matter meet .. or not? then where ever ? :)

Miso Susanowa: it's just enough that we keep asking, i think
Miso Susanowa: keep our balance

Antimon Kupferberg: good point

Miso Susanowa: we are more than Skinner boxes :)

Antimon Kupferberg: never to stop asking questions ...
Antimon Kupferberg: never think you know everything or even a bit of enough !

Miso Susanowa: companies... wish us to be things
Miso Susanowa: units,
Miso Susanowa: numbers
Miso Susanowa: thus is humanity diminished

Friday, June 26, 2009

Some Conversations Pt II

another dialogue, began with Callidus Waydelich and then joined and expanded by several people:

Callidus Waydelich: Magnificent
Callidus Waydelich: hehe, chief engineer Orillion
Callidus Waydelich: This is truly sci-fi
Callidus Waydelich: there is much here that's been lost on most in the genre today
Callidus Waydelich: I have great appreciation for this work
Callidus Waydelich: there's lots here, like I said, lost on science fiction today
Callidus Waydelich: You've kept its essence
Miso Susanowa: ahhh, ty ^_^
Callidus Waydelich: can't have sci-fi without a philosophical aspect to it
Callidus Waydelich: It's beautiful, it's sad, it's insightful

Miso Susanowa: also, see... he is separated by the wall
Miso Susanowa: from the only living things near him

Callidus Waydelich: I can imagine it getting suddenly humid in here
Callidus Waydelich: like a greenhouse
Callidus Waydelich: but probably cold and uncomfortably sterile in here

Miso Susanowa: so my piece is about
Miso Susanowa: the paradox of virtual worlds
Miso Susanowa: and how i do not wish to ONLY live like this man
Miso Susanowa: sterile, plugged in
Miso Susanowa: isolated from living tissues
Miso Susanowa: and love

Callidus Waydelich: that's grand

Miso Susanowa: im so glad you came

Callidus Waydelich: I anticipated this
Callidus Waydelich: There's alot on SL that's lowbrow
Callidus Waydelich: this is not one of them

Miso Susanowa: to reprogram the earth would be highly dangerous
Miso Susanowa: so his mission might fail
Miso Susanowa: or ruin it worse
Miso Susanowa: a desperate gamble

Callidus Waydelich: This is deep

Miso Susanowa: thank you Callidus :)

Callidus Waydelich: I hope there are others who will appreciate it too
Callidus Waydelich: It's got an important message
Callidus Waydelich: I mean, this makes the social commentaries on Star Trek look like a 1st-grade lesson on courtesy

Miso Susanowa: you know it means much to me, your praise ^_^
Miso Susanowa: i grew up at... 11... reading Ellison, Dick, Disch... Delaney, Spinrad...
Miso Susanowa: the new wave
Miso Susanowa: very socially aware
Miso Susanowa: so i absorbed it all

Callidus Waydelich: I have no idea how that happened, too, I was 5 when I learned to read and it was like my mind was given a hundred times the storage capacity and the most advanced broadband connection available

Miso Susanowa: it was less hardware than... social; what will exposure to this tech DO to us, how will we change
Miso Susanowa: those names... Sturgeon, Bear, Clarke...
Miso Susanowa: Kate Wilhelm
Miso Susanowa: Ursula Le Guin
Miso Susanowa: giant writers with a message
Miso Susanowa: cyberpunk... many missed its message
Miso Susanowa: they thought about the TOYS
Miso Susanowa: not how the toys might be used...
Miso Susanowa: which was cyberpunk's point

Callidus Waydelich: interesting point
Callidus Waydelich: the cyberpunk, that is
Callidus Waydelich: I'd gotten that message but I'd never written it down like that

Miso Susanowa: they were warning us
Miso Susanowa: that to be awash in a field of tech toys
Miso Susanowa: was to turn people into data, and dehumanize us
Miso Susanowa: so you have a split society

Callidus Waydelich: Pandora' box

Miso Susanowa: you know i love tech
Miso Susanowa: but we must think about what it means
Miso Susanowa: and be judicious
Miso Susanowa: this is the end of the industrial revolution
Miso Susanowa: and we are seeing what the outcome of treating people like machines is

Callidus Waydelich: yes

Miso Susanowa: we are biological machines yes
Miso Susanowa: but we are not skinner boxes
Miso Susanowa: we arent JUST mechanics
Miso Susanowa: if we are... we should go back to the trees

Callidus Waydelich: Humanity's not a tool, yes

Miso Susanowa: people are not data
Miso Susanowa: its easy to cut people if your mind thinks of them as numbers
Miso Susanowa: to ignore hunger and pain and poverty
Miso Susanowa: to burn food to keep prices up while people starve

Callidus Waydelich: 1 death is a tragedy, one million is a statistic

Miso Susanowa: its clinical schitzophrenia
Miso Susanowa: all started by henry ford filing the gears on his clocks
Miso Susanowa: to make workers work "faster"
Miso Susanowa: and now we have trash that breaks in a year
Miso Susanowa: and goes into a landfill
Miso Susanowa: when a Maytag washer would last 30-50 years
Miso Susanowa: because it was CRAFTED

Callidus Waydelich nods

Miso Susanowa: Cal... its truly a pleasure to talk about this build
Miso Susanowa: maybe 3 people got it
Miso Susanowa: and none so much as you
Miso Susanowa: thanks :) its totally enjoyable :)

Callidus Waydelich: ah, it's a pleasure to see it

Miso Susanowa: thought and care
Miso Susanowa: and tech... those three together will take us to the stars
Miso Susanowa: and i can waitress in a space station lol
Miso Susanowa: just to look out the windows once in awhile :)

Callidus Waydelich: And I'll leave footprints on the moon

Miso Susanowa: "and dance among the stars"

Callidus Waydelich: Fly me to the moon...

Miso Susanowa: welcome to my installation, Al

Callidus Waydelich: Well, I'll tell you that Miso's work is nothing short of legendary

Al Lurton: love Miso's sound work .. just been introduced to it

Callidus Waydelich: These soundscapes of hers, they've got their tiniest brushstrokes as though it were a painted masterpiece.

Miso Susanowa: Cal, you got the notecard from the main computer yes?

Callidus Waydelich: hmm, not yet, do let me fetch it
Callidus Waydelich: which screen?

Miso Susanowa: over on the biowall

Callidus Waydelich: secured
Callidus Waydelich: Thanks for having me, Miso sweetie

Miso Susanowa: a real pleasure :)
Miso Susanowa: and the lovliness of your compliments
Miso Susanowa: i am so pleased

Al Lurton: bye Callidus

Miso Susanowa: and i am glad to have given you pleasure also
Miso Susanowa: *hugs*

Callidus Waydelich: Til next time!

Miso Susanowa: yessir :)
Miso Susanowa: lets sail soon

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Al Lurton: I love it when people make a comment that really reflects your thinking while creating .. even if its not explicitly in the piece

Miso Susanowa: ah. but Callidus is an old science fiction fan

Al Lurton: for oh so many virtual existence will be the only yet ongoing journey. Immortality once the physical shell is no more

Miso Susanowa: we are part physical
Miso Susanowa: the world is not something to be escaped
Miso Susanowa: the feminine point of view perhaps

Al Lurton: when we die, billions of interconnected neurons will become more intrinsically linked memories stored and interacting enabling us to further celebrate and embrace worldly existence

Miso Susanowa: there is wisdom in the body
Miso Susanowa: we just don't listen very well :)
Miso Susanowa: i am not... enamored of it [tech]
Miso Susanowa: i like it, i use it
Miso Susanowa: but tech doesnt think or feel
Miso Susanowa: and we are seeing the results of that now
Miso Susanowa: and we must change that

Al Lurton: tech will be able to respond to thinking and feeling .. and grow/evolve thoughts and senses
Al Lurton: when it is possible to totally reverse engineer the brain and genomic makeup

Helena Kirkorian: hello Miso :)))

Miso Susanowa: hi :)

Helena Kirkorian: we're exploring here :)

Mariano Essel: very nice place

Helena Kirkorian: just curious

Mariano Essel: : )

Helena Kirkorian: amazing

Al Lurton: 'scientists' will also discover the connectedness between neurons between individuals brain/body self/soul universal consciousness will become integral to our daily existence

Helena Kirkorian: you think this will be the future?

Miso Susanowa: i fear it might be and so i wish this to be part of the dialogue of virtuality

Helena Kirkorian: yes
Helena Kirkorian: i always think we will be plugged in
Helena Kirkorian: like the matrix some sort

Miso Susanowa: it is a warning and a question about thinking only of the virtual worlds

Helena Kirkorian: yes!!!
Helena Kirkorian: we will mix a lot no?
Helena Kirkorian: in the future
Helena Kirkorian: real stuff with virtual stuff

Miso Susanowa: i hope so

Helena Kirkorian: but for example
Helena Kirkorian: the money you have in the bank...
Helena Kirkorian: is virtual money

Miso Susanowa: and can be hacked

Helena Kirkorian: yes!!!

Miso Susanowa: because banks are irresponsible with your details

Helena Kirkorian: yes....

Miso Susanowa: so there nust be balance between commerce and humanity

Helena Kirkorian: a virtual war

Miso Susanowa: yes
Miso Susanowa: we do it now

Helena Kirkorian: it is already possible

Miso Susanowa: with predator drones

Helena Kirkorian: yes!!!

Miso Susanowa: but to the jockeys
Miso Susanowa: it's a video game
Miso Susanowa: and so the horror of war is lessened
Miso Susanowa: and that makes war easier

Helena Kirkorian: we don't seem to have grip
Helena Kirkorian: like it has a mind of it's own

Miso Susanowa: machines have no mind
Miso Susanowa: it is the people running it

Helena Kirkorian: yes....

Miso Susanowa: this is what we must question
Miso Susanowa: a knife

Helena Kirkorian: the man with the button...

Miso Susanowa: can be used to spread butter
Miso Susanowa: or to stab a man
Miso Susanowa: its not the knife
Miso Susanowa: its the hand

Helena Kirkorian: you are right
Helena Kirkorian: this is interssting

Miso Susanowa: thanks :)
Miso Susanowa: yes... sl calls to the mythic, yes?

Helena Kirkorian: yes!!!!!
Helena Kirkorian: well we are investigating in a way
Helena Kirkorian: the thin line between reality and fiction

Miso Susanowa: pioneers

Helena Kirkorian: what is real?
Helena Kirkorian: and who are we?

Miso Susanowa: physics tells us it is all a movie :)

Helena Kirkorian: i am but pixels
Helena Kirkorian: yes!

Miso Susanowa: no
Miso Susanowa: you are a spirit

Helena Kirkorian: yep :)

Miso Susanowa: you are MANIFESTING in pixels
Miso Susanowa: and in your body too

Helena Kirkorian: it is so fascinating to see all this

Miso Susanowa: but we are more

Helena Kirkorian: yes :))

Miso Susanowa: thats why we are human
Miso Susanowa: and not machines

Helena Kirkorian: it is an interface
Helena Kirkorian: we use forms to express
Helena Kirkorian: i love to look at ava
Helena Kirkorian: how people make their ava
Helena Kirkorian: how they express

Miso Susanowa: i call it The Magic Mirror

Mariano Essel: haha interesting

Helena Kirkorian: yes Mariano but it is true hun :)
Helena Kirkorian: your ava is the reflection of the real you?

Miso Susanowa: light descends into matter

Helena Kirkorian: what you are?
Helena Kirkorian: what you wanna be?

Miso Susanowa: it is an art

Helena Kirkorian: yes!!
Helena Kirkorian: ava art!

Miso Susanowa: like the canvas reveals the painter
Miso Susanowa: her mind, her soul

Mariano Essel: the real person is behind it

Helena Kirkorian: yep

Mariano Essel: of course

Helena Kirkorian: my real friends here
Helena Kirkorian: they say...
Helena Kirkorian: there is no difference
Helena Kirkorian: hahaha :)))

Al Lurton: machines will soon be able to represent and nuture our humanity?

Helena Kirkorian: ahahahaha
Helena Kirkorian: yes al

Miso Susanowa: only if we are careful Al
Miso Susanowa: if the enamorization of tech takes hold
Miso Susanowa: it is cyberpunk

Helena Kirkorian: yes.......

Al Lurton: That is the dangerous idea that could well and truly become true

Miso Susanowa: people are not machines

Helena Kirkorian: true

Miso Susanowa: to treat them so is to devolve
Miso Susanowa: to become things

Helena Kirkorian: interesting

Miso Susanowa: that is what cyberpunk was SAYING
Miso Susanowa: but people loved only the surface
Miso Susanowa: they forgot gibsons dark alleys
Miso Susanowa: his people selling kidneys to eat
Miso Susanowa: the grime and decay

Al Lurton: if machine can hold our thoughts, memories and extend them into other thoughts and memories .. how wonderful and terrifying

Miso Susanowa: i know sao paulo
Miso Susanowa: on top it shines
Miso Susanowa: at the foot are cardboard shacks where people sip from puddles
Miso Susanowa: is this right? moral?

Helena Kirkorian: so true Miso!!

Miso Susanowa: that is not the techs problem
Miso Susanowa: it is Mans

Helena Kirkorian: it is our prob
Helena Kirkorian: true!!!
Helena Kirkorian: we cannot put everything on machine!
Helena Kirkorian: WE are responsible
Helena Kirkorian: it's Us

Miso Susanowa: it is only my questions
Miso Susanowa: the dialogue i wish to inject into the go-go future
Miso Susanowa: we must speak of such things

Helena Kirkorian: yes
Helena Kirkorian: and the artist must raise questions

Miso Susanowa: and i am a tech also
Miso Susanowa: so i have the right

Helena Kirkorian: not so much look for answers
Helena Kirkorian: yes!!!
Helena Kirkorian: it is your birth right as an artist

Miso Susanowa: and as a tech
Miso Susanowa: i work with it
Miso Susanowa: i know its limitations

Helena Kirkorian: it is very amazing all this

Miso Susanowa: and it cannot love a baby

Helena Kirkorian: no.....

Miso Susanowa: it cannot hold someone who is crying
Miso Susanowa: that takes humanity

Helena Kirkorian: so true

Miso Susanowa: so tech must AMPLIFY us
Miso Susanowa: not take us over and make us over into its mechanical image

Helena Kirkorian: but we give power to the inanimate
Helena Kirkorian: why?

Miso Susanowa: because it frees us of responsibility of course
Miso Susanowa: to seeing suffering
Miso Susanowa: to fear

Helena Kirkorian: yes obvious reason
Helena Kirkorian: yes....

Al Lurton: in the same way the internet is moving from pull to push .. what is suggested here as in the literature is more of a context rather than content based future Miso. As humans we need to ensure some way to control, maintain and nuture that context?
Al Lurton: as an artist I can ask that question lol

Miso Susanowa: we burn wheat
Miso Susanowa: it is a SIN; that is, it "misses the mark"
Miso Susanowa: yes, we do
Miso Susanowa: that is it precisely

Helena Kirkorian: wow!!
Helena Kirkorian: you must ask questions

Al Lurton: cool maybe I get it in part ㋡

Miso Susanowa: all is context
Miso Susanowa: thats what i know as an artist

Helena Kirkorian: yes......

Miso Susanowa: one shape in one place is sensual and sublime
Miso Susanowa: in another it is pornographic because it suggests control and restriction

Helena Kirkorian: wow!!!

Miso Susanowa: in another it might be prurient
Miso Susanowa: it is context that informs us

Al Lurton: yes definition of control is so important as well

Miso Susanowa: even if only the context in our own associations
Miso Susanowa: yes as an artist i NEED control
Miso Susanowa: but if i control too far... the muse leaves my hand
Miso Susanowa: it is like surfing
Miso Susanowa: one does not control the ocean
Miso Susanowa: if you try you will be very hurt

Al Lurton: We control by making choices .... need to recognise the combined consiousness of all living existence

Miso Susanowa: but you control the board

Helena Kirkorian: but perhaps it is a twisted romantic idea?

Miso Susanowa: through your eyes, your wind sense, your timing

Helena Kirkorian: that machines come alive?

Al Lurton: the surfboard on the ocean?

Miso Susanowa: and you skate on the wave, you ride the interface of sea and sky and gravity and coriolis force

Helena Kirkorian: yep

Miso Susanowa: all things that you cannot control
Miso Susanowa: but you can control the board

Helena Kirkorian: but there is more

Miso Susanowa: and yourself

Helena Kirkorian: there is more then just surface

Miso Susanowa: a surfer doesnt ride a wave

Helena Kirkorian: there must be more then surface alone

Miso Susanowa: she rides the oceans swell
Miso Susanowa: and gravity
Miso Susanowa: and the tide

Helena Kirkorian: you must understand the wave no?

Miso Susanowa: all these are not thinking in her

Miso Susanowa: i lived in california 17 years
Miso Susanowa: i learned to surf there

Helena Kirkorian: yes

Miso Susanowa: but if you THINK
Miso Susanowa: while surfing

Helena Kirkorian: but then you are only talking about technical things

Miso Susanowa: you get really hurt lol

Helena Kirkorian: yes....

Miso Susanowa: like piano

Al Lurton: surfers ride responses from the centre of Earths viscera

Miso Susanowa: if you think while performing

Helena Kirkorian: it is a twisted romantic idea then?

Miso Susanowa: you will make many mistakes

Miso Susanowa: yes

Helena Kirkorian: that we can friend the objects

Miso Susanowa: the romance of tech
Miso Susanowa: is hollow

Helena Kirkorian: yes...

Miso Susanowa: as it is in all OBJECTS

Helena Kirkorian: but you know Miso......

Miso Susanowa: which are things

Helena Kirkorian: i am hollow in here
Helena Kirkorian: look inside my ava
Helena Kirkorian: i am but surface
Helena Kirkorian: pixilated surface

Miso Susanowa: yes

Helena Kirkorian: nothing but electrical impulses
Helena Kirkorian: in fact you could say...
Helena Kirkorian: i am a machine too

Miso Susanowa: that is what i learned from quantum physics :)
Miso Susanowa: not even particles

Helena Kirkorian: a biomachine

Miso Susanowa: nor waves

Miso Susanowa: something
Miso Susanowa: dancing on nothing

Francz Kuhn: but.. in rl are you anything more than matter/energy?

Al Lurton: who controls the pixels Helena?

Helena Kirkorian: i do behind my machine

Miso Susanowa: thats the issue Al

Helena Kirkorian: but who am i??
Helena Kirkorian: a quickly aging biomachine?

Al Lurton: and who controls you Helena?

Helena Kirkorian: even the trees in my garden live longer

Miso Susanowa: or the sum only of all your learning?

Francz Kuhn: that's a thing, not a who

Miso Susanowa: or the synthesis?

Helena Kirkorian: yes......
Helena Kirkorian: it is WILD all this

Miso Susanowa: i am glad you are enjoying this, as am i :)

Helena Kirkorian: i am really enjoying this convo a lot

Miso Susanowa: i have already made a notecard of it lol

Helena Kirkorian: in this day and age where we lost our believes in god

Al Lurton: that is why you need to hug those trees .. wisdom, sense, soul and oneness exists beyond the person who controls the pixels of your av...

Some Conversations Pt I

Here's one of the more interesting dialogues held at my build - *all dialogues public and posted with the permission of the speakers

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Physeter Nicholls: what planetary surface is this?

Miso Susanowa: Earth; look out the main view port.

Physeter Nicholls: If this was a real system, it would be
Physeter Nicholls: mind-bogglingly complex.

Miso Susanowa: Oh no; its just a computer with holos;
Miso Susanowa: virtual screens and the brain interface.
Miso Susanowa: Thats his daughter, in a pod colony on Phobos.
Miso Susanowa: Thats his only life; in a virtual world.
Miso Susanowa: She's growing up without him; only in VW can they meet.
Miso Susanowa: He's also building a new VW cluster and
Miso Susanowa: designing his new avatar, at least his head.
Miso Susanowa: But what choice does he have?
Miso Susanowa: He's a rocket man; "burning up his fuse up here alone"
Miso Susanowa: It's a cold and sterile environment.

Physeter Nicholls: well, HUDs will likely be non-physical, or
Physeter Nicholls: domain-sensitive, especially if there is
Physeter Nicholls: only one operator.

Miso Susanowa: Yep; these are holos :) This is the active screen;
Miso Susanowa: follow the beam... it's the outshoot of this screen-
Miso Susanowa: same with the other side.
Miso Susanowa: These are all virtual screens except the main control
Miso Susanowa: screen, the targeting screen.
Miso Susanowa: See from the back? These are projected holos.
Miso Susanowa: Here's his conversation with his daughter;
Miso Susanowa: the daughter-board of the top view of his home VW
Miso Susanowa: where she is; he is dancing with her while they talk.

Physeter Nicholls: you have life support, nuclear reactor, flight Physeter Nicholls: control, science probes, data processing, simulation

Miso Susanowa: So? We have those already.
Miso Susanowa: We've had MOST of it since the 70s;
Miso Susanowa: this is just... predictable advances.
Miso Susanowa: This is an optical computer - we have them now;
Miso Susanowa: just not in production yet.
Miso Susanowa: Etched glass circuits, quantum computing;
Miso Susanowa: all in the air now, all being developed now.
Miso Susanowa: Nanotech is already HERE -
Miso Susanowa: this is just a little projection.
Miso Susanowa: He's basically a truck driver, a Fed-Ex guy
Miso Susanowa: this is a big... truck.
Miso Susanowa: But this is nanotech, so its dangerous;
Miso Susanowa: hence the isolation. He's in orbit.
Miso Susanowa: Cant go down there; look at the stats-
Miso Susanowa: habitability, instablity, mutations -
Miso Susanowa: those squares are his delivery targets.

Physeter Nicholls: you mean mutagens?

Miso Susanowa: No, hostile animal and plant mutations.
Miso Susanowa: They'd surely evolve in the new environment,
Miso Susanowa: especially in the case of nanotech accidents.
Miso Susanowa: The plants in the pod are themselves mutations
Miso Susanowa: engineered to combat and clean, but dangerous -
Miso Susanowa: all he has is this room;
Miso Susanowa: he cant go in the containment field.
Miso Susanowa: Just a boy and his (robot) dog :)
Miso Susanowa: One of my hiding referents; Harlan Ellison's story.
Miso Susanowa: In the computer interface over his head, there's
Miso Susanowa: a Blade Runner soundbyte is mixed in...
Miso Susanowa: So this all looks nice and scientific and concise
Miso Susanowa: but is it really madness?
Miso Susanowa: Pretty madness, nice orderly madness?
Miso Susanowa: He has his Virtual Realities
Miso Susanowa: but i am asking... would that be enough?
Miso Susanowa: Look at him: emaciated, weak, slumped-
Miso Susanowa: in torture really, bound to the chair...
Miso Susanowa: is this a man? or a machine?
Miso Susanowa: or only a man in virtuality?
Miso Susanowa: A man with a daughter he can only see in virtuality;
Miso Susanowa: share her joys there; share life with her
Miso Susanowa: on a screen... that isn't really there.

Physeter Nicholls: well we both know that VR relationships
Physeter Nicholls: can be deep and rewarding.
Physeter Nicholls: Identity will need to be scrupulously invented
Physeter Nicholls: and reinforced, or they will all go insane.
Physeter Nicholls: Humans cannot thrive in isolation.
Physeter Nicholls: you suggest that love, lifestyle, identity are Physeter Nicholls: enough to hold this all together?

Miso Susanowa: I'm asking us to ask that question;
Miso Susanowa: to engage in that dialogue.

Physeter Nicholls: Technology can help but where are the social
Physeter Nicholls: engineers?
Miso Susanowa: yes, exactly. We will need them desperately.
Miso Susanowa: We've lost a balance of science with
Miso Susanowa: the humanitarian studies.

Physeter Nicholls: What and where is the soul of a man or woman?
Physeter Nicholls: And can this be isolated and sustained in
Physeter Nicholls: a capsule the size of my finger?
Physeter Nicholls: We both know that VR relationships
Physeter Nicholls: can be deep and rewarding.
Physeter Nicholls: Identity will need to be scrupulously
Physeter Nicholls: invented and reinforced, or they will all
Physeter Nicholls: go insane. Humans cannot thrive in isolation.
Physeter Nicholls: Maybe he has beta blockers and reality
Physeter Nicholls: blinders and emotion filters.
Physeter Nicholls: He'd need 'em to survive

Miso Susanowa: Of course
Miso Susanowa: Or he'd open the hatch and breathe in-
Miso Susanowa: any SANE person would...

Physeter Nicholls: My first reaction is the stray mental
Physeter Nicholls: ramblings of this poor astronaut...

Miso Susanowa: Could be an imaginary dialogue in his head :)

Physeter Nicholls: ya... or a real dialog with the plants
Physeter Nicholls: but not perceived as such

Miso Susanowa: They could be... influencing him
Miso Susanowa: like...
Physeter Nicholls: right
Physeter Nicholls: re-education
Physeter Nicholls: adaptive modification
Miso Susanowa: Invasion of the Body Snatchers lol ^_^

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Physeter Nicholls: It's dumb to sent humans into space.
Physeter Nicholls: The ultimte folly, hubris, mistake, waste and macho

Miso Susanowa: No, disagree; opposite -
Miso Susanowa: it's dumb to confine an expanding
Miso Susanowa: civilization to a finite cage.
Miso Susanowa: We're seeing the effects of that now.
Miso Susanowa: There's free resources out there;
Miso Susanowa: we dont need to gouge the earth -
Miso Susanowa: and the sun wouldnt blink at 50,000
Miso Susanowa: pounds of plutonium waste shot into it from a missle;
Miso Susanowa: wouldnt even burp.
Miso Susanowa: Our MAIN problem, right here and now, is population.
Miso Susanowa: It's at the root of all our other problems.
Miso Susanowa: Space solves that. Sure its dangerous!
Miso Susanowa: Thousands of people died on their way to America;
Miso Susanowa: that didnt stop them; or from exploring australia,
Miso Susanowa: or Antarctica... or New Guinea...

Physeter Nicholls: Well, certain breeds are failing to maintain
Physeter Nicholls: the 2% growth rate and others are at 3% -
Physeter Nicholls: it's just shifting demographics.

Miso Susanowa: Thats distribution of resources, and THAT is politics.
Miso Susanowa: We pay farmers to burn wheat while people starve in
Miso Susanowa: Bangaladesh, to keep prices and profits up.
Miso Susanowa: It's SIN Phys; a moral decay-
Miso Susanowa: regression, devolution-
Miso Susanowa: and no, I dont see it must be...
Miso Susanowa: but if we dont talk about it, it may WELL be.
Miso Susanowa: And virtual worlds fit into that dialogue.

Physeter Nicholls: China has the ball now

Miso Susanowa: 3 men went to the moon

Physeter Nicholls: Those 3 guys, they were like demigods,
Physeter Nicholls: worshipped by a nation.

Miso Susanowa: And rightly so.
Miso Susanowa: Apollo 13 was nothing less than heroic -
Miso Susanowa: It should have spurred us ON,
Miso Susanowa: to see what men could do so far from home.
Miso Susanowa: Instead we turned our backs; we sank back.
Miso Susanowa: and now we are seeing what such a small view of Miso Susanowa: the world and life gets us; tribal consciousness
Miso Susanowa: in its' lowest aspects; Darwinian competition.

Physeter Nicholls: The world has shrunk by a factor of 10 since then.

Miso Susanowa: So have peoples souls; their dreams.

Physeter Nicholls: Some dreams arent viable, others are misguided.

Miso Susanowa: Just ask yourself one question:
Miso Susanowa: "is a limited ball of mud, with limited resources, the Miso Susanowa: right home for an expanding civilization?"
Miso Susanowa: Obviously, the answer is no.

Physeter Nicholls: It's manageable with strict regimes,
Physeter Nicholls: early indoctrination.

Miso Susanowa: Yes yes, reductionism,
Miso Susanowa: but that isnt the ANSWER;
Miso Susanowa: Thats... coping. And to expand,
Miso Susanowa: we must get out of gravity's womb,
Miso Susanowa: or sink back into it.
Miso Susanowa: Stewardship is not the answer;
Miso Susanowa: it's a great goal, but it doesn't solve that problem.
Miso Susanowa: And its a main problem; a race problem,
Miso Susanowa: and its looming...

Physeter Nicholls: The right mix of duty, reward, status...
Physeter Nicholls: fear...

Miso Susanowa: *sigh* But whats the point?
Miso Susanowa: Maintaining a small userbase?
Miso Susanowa: Or expanding the network!
Miso Susanowa: Life EXPANDS; that's the Prime Directive.
Miso Susanowa: All beings on this planet follow that imperative
Miso Susanowa: Plants, animals, humans, societys, civilizations...

Physeter Nicholls: Human life is different though,
Physeter Nicholls: so individualistic, so fickle
Physeter Nicholls: yet do dominant, able to kill and modify its
Physeter Nicholls: environment.
Physeter Nicholls: Humans really don't follow the same ecology.

Miso Susanowa: But we need ADVENTURE, Phy; we need challenge,
Miso Susanowa: we need big dreams.
Miso Susanowa: We can't go on in an animal mode-
Miso Susanowa: it's time to step up, or fall back.

Physeter Nicholls: Both will happen, surely.

Miso Susanowa: This is the discussion that needs to be had.

Physeter Nicholls: It's all cycles.

Miso Susanowa: We have been focused on the physical
Miso Susanowa: as the be-all and end-all of existence
Miso Susanowa: "god is dead", etc.
Miso Susanowa: all the end products of the Industrial Revolution
Miso Susanowa: the decay of the... mere physical view
Miso Susanowa: Because we are not Skinner mechanisms
Miso Susanowa: We are not MERE hardware
Miso Susanowa: But thats been the thrust; the... ideological war,
Miso Susanowa: because you can control machines.
Miso Susanowa: So if people are machines only,
Miso Susanowa: you can forget terror, fear, sadness, cruelty
Miso Susanowa: It's just numbers, just units; like some K-Mart...
Miso Susanowa: and thats a grave and terrible mistake to make
Miso Susanowa: regarding human beings.

Physeter Nicholls: So.. we engineer out the "why" gene expression.

Miso Susanowa: And get slaves. Some people would like that a lot.
Miso Susanowa: Clones are going to be a another big issue-
Miso Susanowa: are clones "people" with "rights"?
Miso Susanowa: or just... biomachines, replicants?

Physeter Nicholls: Or, on the other hand, is a pig really
Physeter Nicholls: just a hunk of meat?
Physeter Nicholls: Is a plant just a food source?
Physeter Nicholls: Is the soil just a chemical substrate?

Miso Susanowa: For me its all about abstraction
Miso Susanowa: and how you can manipulate people by feeding them
Miso Susanowa: abstractions...

Physeter Nicholls: We "know" what is right, given a little space
Physeter Nicholls: to relax and reflect...

Miso Susanowa: Of course we are all part of a network-
Miso Susanowa: we might be top of the food chain,
Miso Susanowa: but with no chain we'd fall; that's a network.
Miso Susanowa: And its stupid to keep destroying the network
Miso Susanowa: and thinking we are above it.
Miso Susanowa: The Earth can explode in flames or ice,
Miso Susanowa: sleep 10,000 yrs and be just fine.
Miso Susanowa: The earth will take care of itself
Miso Susanowa: but we mightn't like the way it does it.
Miso Susanowa: Life will go on but will WE?

Physeter Nicholls: Maybe not.
Physeter Nicholls: Neither might entire phyla...
Physeter Nicholls: Tough titty, as we used to say.

Miso Susanowa: But it's us who will get the tough titty
Miso Susanowa: and thats what worries me...
Miso Susanowa: It's like a piano on a hill;
Miso Susanowa: you can stop it the first inch,
Miso Susanowa: maybe the second and third -
Miso Susanowa: but 200 feet down that hill...
Miso Susanowa: you're gonna get run over.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Physeter Nicholls: This guy here, this astronaut, might
Physeter Nicholls: just be the ONE who discovers the next level-
Physeter Nicholls: something unfathomable.

Miso Susanowa: He won't if his mind is not trained to expand
Miso Susanowa: but to contract.

Physeter Nicholls: Maybe the plants will take over his mind

Miso Susanowa: PJ Farmer wrote of that;
Miso Susanowa: so did Thomas Disch and Gibson

Physeter Nicholls: Yeah, I wrote some stories about plant networks.

Physeter Nicholls: To be truly dominant, an organism should be able to Physeter Nicholls: reproduce sexually, vegetatively, and virulently.
Physeter Nicholls: This guy, if he retains his gonads,
Physeter Nicholls: he needs release too;
Physeter Nicholls: sporulation, so to speak...

Miso Susanowa: omg lol

Physeter Nicholls: Humans are pathetic at sporulation.

Miso Susanowa: That's why i'm keeping well away from those tentacles!

Physeter Nicholls: They aren't too interested in me...

Miso Susanowa: It's a chick thing lol

Physeter Nicholls: The astronaut is symbiotic with these, despite the fact they are hermetically separate

Miso Susanowa: He can't touch them; nano is too dangerous
Miso Susanowa: so he's walled off from the only living
Miso Susanowa: things for light-years near him.
Miso Susanowa: He is actually the slave of the organisms...

Physeter Nicholls: interesting

Physeter Nicholls: What i want to see though
Physeter Nicholls: by the end of the day
Physeter Nicholls: is a graphic that represents the plantimal's POV

Miso Susanowa: hmmm
Miso Susanowa: maybe THEY can be at a virtual computer :)
Miso Susanowa: and he's just the... meat puppet :)

Physeter Nicholls: It's hard to think in these alien paradigms

Miso Susanowa: He is the plant's.... pistil?

Physeter Nicholls: A strategy for survival and adaptation
Physeter Nicholls: in a hostile world.
Physeter Nicholls: In some places, they thrive
Physeter Nicholls: in others, they encyst, wait it out
Physeter Nicholls: using every possible strategy to extract
Physeter Nicholls: nutrients, water, conserve them, grow,
Physeter Nicholls: grow grow, retreat, up down,

Miso Susanowa: What happens after he delivers them?
Miso Susanowa: Do they mutate on their own?
Miso Susanowa: Do they take over?
Miso Susanowa: Do they... not wish to let Man back in?

Physeter Nicholls: Oh sure; Man is helpful!

Miso Susanowa: He gots hands *nod*

Physeter Nicholls: Does maize love Man?

Physeter Nicholls: Even in the genetics lab, man is helpful,
Physeter Nicholls: speeding up the evolution...

Miso Susanowa: A good tool for things that are rooted
Miso Susanowa: with no motility and no hands.
Miso Susanowa: slow...

Physeter Nicholls: But patient; forgiving
Physeter Nicholls: and able to communicate with all manner
Physeter Nicholls: of other organisms:
Physeter Nicholls: insects
Physeter Nicholls: annelids
Physeter Nicholls: fungi
Physeter Nicholls: bacteria...
Physeter Nicholls: plants really are holistic.

Miso Susanowa: and opportunistic...
Miso Susanowa: Ivy splits granite;
Miso Susanowa: slowly, but it does...

Physeter Nicholls: yessss
Physeter Nicholls: opportunistic
Physeter Nicholls: patient
Physeter Nicholls: and superior communicators

Miso Susanowa: Ahhh yes, those giant underground fungii
Miso Susanowa: miles in diameter...

Miso Susanowa: Maybe he's alone
Miso Susanowa: No plants...
Miso Susanowa: Just imagining them;
Miso Susanowa: talking to them -
Miso Susanowa: thinking this is what he's doing...
Miso Susanowa: His whole mission...
Miso Susanowa: But he's really in a VW.
Miso Susanowa: We are imaginary!
Miso Susanowa: Two people in his head;
Miso Susanowa: stoned on beta blockers :)
Miso Susanowa: slowly going crazy...
Miso Susanowa: *laughing*

Thursday, June 25, 2009

SLB6 pt. 1

Whew! Finally stability enough to travel around and see some great stuff at SL6B:

White Lebed's The Entertainer

Sabrinaa Nightfire's Home of Light and Color

Kolor Fall's Folding Minds

Freewee Ling's Doing Strange Things In the Name of Art

Bryn Oh's The Last Rainmaker

Lilli Field's beautiful flower field

Holocluck Henly's Catching Up With Yesterday

Rusalka Writer's Ad Astra


Ok, back to makin' stuff

Whew! After wading through the political mush for 3 days, it's time I told you about some of the work I've been doing -

My build, "Rocket Man," a fable about "the future of virtual worlds" perhaps being the only worlds we will have if we continue overloading and polluting our lovely planet, was completed in 5 days - 3 for building and two for graphics and tweaking. Lucky thing too; a co-location server farm in Texas borked badly on the 19th, causing the heart-rending "destination unreachable" screen to panic everyone for two days, leaving close to 5000 sims in limbo and frightening the bejeebers out of people trying to finish their builds. Luckily, love and Phaylen Fairchild prevailed and we were all given until the 22nd to finish (which hardly mattered to me, as this was my deadline as second-round pick irregardless) and we all happily primmed away.

Be sure to get the infocard from the Main Computer, which also includes a fascinating and widely-ranging dialogue with Physeter Nicholls held inside the installation on the backstory and relevant concerns of my piece. Yes, it looks like space, but it concerns raising questions about our technology before we go marching merrily into the plugged-in future.

I'm proud of the nice comments people have been making, seeing as this is my first large build over 15 prims lol.

Also to be noted: I could have jammed a helmet on the Pilot or built my own head, but I decided that Stavin Carter's "NOOB!" is so famous, so widely-used, so much a fixture in Second Life that he richly deserved to be included in The Future Of Virtual Worlds; at least his head. Thanks Stavin!

through July 6th

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

And coming up in the same week was my installation of major pieces for Kelly Yap's Water Show, which opened today. Kelly asked me to be in the show a month ago, right in the middle of my RL moving chaos, but I managed to work up 6 pieces for her consideration. To my amazement she asked for all of them...

Kelly rebuilds her gallery for each exhibition and this one is an stunning work of art in itself - a flowing, rolling beauty of subtle textures and structure that begs to be photographed and adored for itself. Come see work by Raisin Runo, Physeter Nicholls, Pol Jarvinen, Dacob Paine, Ainsworth Gastel, Isobel Gustafson, borges19 Oh , Francis Bagration, Lawndart Curtiss, Morgana Nagorski, Bau Uhr, Fuschia Nightfire, Sabrinaa Nightfire and Alizarin Goldflake's incredible aquarium on the roof. Then, when you are simply awash in art ecstasy, get off on the 3rd floor and dance with wild abandon to Walton Vieria's eclectic mixes in the Space Bar.

Wear a swimsuit, bikini or merfolk tail for the big opening celebration on July 4th at 5SLT and watch the fireworks! And be sure to sit on my anemone and get your picture taken as Botticelli's "Venus" :O (works especially well in a bikini!)

Runs June 25th - August 15th

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Also installed this month were a few select paintings and pieces, including "Confessional" and my Celestial Clock at the S&S Gallery of Fine Arts In Portabello. For some strange reason, Ally and Stefanik also fell in love with my "Remake/Remodel - N00b At Work" which is a gigantic sculpture of a n00b working on designing his first "SL" avatar - not the n00b one he first rezzed in and blinged out, but his first true effort at self-creation. (I keep hoping IBM will want this in a public square some day but erm... I am deluded, as most of my friends know.) Still, it's worth a gander, especially if you wish to scare children.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Ok well that's enough of shameless self-promotion. Oops, wait, one more:

My own small Garden, which hosts my Singing Flowers, some sculptures, and my Temple which is arranged for healing and meditational work with sound. There's no charge or cover fee for using the Temple or playing with the flowers in the Garden and all are welcome. Just stick to the rules for PG Mainland and you'll be fine; that means put on some clothes, 'k? Kthxbai.

The Garden of Sound/Temple of the Radiant Moon

This has been an amazing month for me: moving 2500miles in RL, being 18 months sober (yay!) and giving myself the gift/gamble of rebirthing myself, walking out on a ledge, jumping off and having so many angels and wonderful peeps lift me up and out. Sure, it's shaky, but my Muse speaks to me again and that's worth everything and more.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Child Avatars, Freedom of Expression and Agent Provocateurs

So... after Feathers' show i caught up on the raging debate/hissy that's all over the xstreetsl forums and quite a few blogs. Here's the basic setup:

A few days ago, Marianne McCann visited the new adult-oriented sim Pornopolis erm Zindra, which at the present moment is open to all residents and contains nothing but land; no buildings, no sexgen shops, nothing "adult oriented" (meaning porny bits and so on). All of the information from LL has said that the continent welcomes visitors and explorers of ANY TYPE until the new Rules go into effect July 1. Marianne is a very very old child avatar/advocate, but she is also famous for exploring ANY newly-opened continent (see her blog for more details on that) and so of course went to go see the new land.

There were Lindens; there was a spontaneous dance party. No one seemed upset about Marianne being there, dressed quite conservatively.

And then the jokers started.

The Crap Hits The Fan

If you want to read all the hilarious and hypocritical dialogue/spew, here's a couple URLs:

XstreetSL - Forum 1 - Prokofy's thread

XstreetSL - Forum 2 - The other stupid crap (as if one forum isn't enough)

Basically, what happened (supported by several people who were there and denied/obfuscated/attempting-to-rewrite -history'ing by Miss Valley-girl oops i means Miss Vryl...) is that first, some idiot put on a giant penis avatar.

The second is that Miss Shrill, oops i mean Vryl, decides that Marianne is somehow "intimidating her" and "crashing her rightz" about "free expressions" and decides to... strip naked, pose herself near the CHILD AVATAR and begin masturbating. In public.

What's most concerning me here is that the debate has been skewed towards "omg child avatar activists are coming in to adult spaces and tramplings on our rightz!" instead of the basic facts:

1- someone put on an avatar that is a flagrant TOS violation (public decency) and will STILL be forbidden under the new rules about Adult content.

2 - someone else stripped naked and masturbated herself, also in public, also a flagrant TOS violation, not to mention in bad taste, juvenile, self-gratifying (giggle) and grandstanding.

Yet all of this is turned into a debate about "cild avatrz is tramplin' us'm!"

Here's my post from the Xstreetsl forum (which has gathered a lot of support and praise, i'm proud and happy to say)-

I have a child avatar; i am small most of the time. I am an artist and my reasons for
playing such an avi are probably not the usual ones (CLEAN ONES) but I'll give things a go.

Much of the time I play "Alice," who has an ancient and dense association with cyberspace in both science fiction/cyberpunk literature and films and in cyberspace itself - there were Alices in Alphaworld and earlier worlds. My avatar is a metaphor for the mystery, wonder and freedom of cyberspace ala Donna Haraway's "A Cyborg Manifesto."

Most of the OTHER time I am a Miko, a sworn (and inviolate) Temple Maiden, who creates artwork and attends to a healing Temple (which uses sine waves and tone generation for healing work).

My choice of avatars has much to do with art, sociology and literature; as much as someone choosing to be a "vampire" or someone shy and isolated choosing to play a Sex Gawd/Dess and run around in a bling-encrusted pimp suit when they work at a normal job and might manage to purchase similar RL bling perhaps once in their lives. It is both a creation and an escape.

I agree with the comments made by many about "speech-impeded kids;" I also agree
wholeheartedly that there is a lot of "bad role play" but that is certainly not confined to the child-avi genre. Baby tawkin like dis constantly is both irritating and very uninformed; anyone past the age of perhaps 2 or 3 might misuse words or structure grammar badly, but if they spoke like that they'd need a speech therapist/dentist/tongue surgery.

When I am in my avi, I make it a definite point to stick to both Linden rules and the generally-accepted moral rules of outworld - a child avi definitely does NOT belong in an adult club, bar, bdsm mall or anything similar. Mature areas are difficult because many homes are built in those areas. But if I TP in, take a few seconds to rez and instantly recognize that it is an "adult-themed" (ok why are adults putting up with this label when we all know we're talking about 'sexual speech and activities') area, I immediately TP out and am happy to do so.

I have no desire nor need to engage in cybersex, sexual role play or anything similar on SL. It seems as silly to me as others say roller skating for the pleasure of it seems to others. It's most hilarious when people "role play" having a wedding on SL.
But fine, ok; I AM AN ADULT. If I get into a place I don't like or agree with, I LEAVE. I ignore it; I brush it off.

I definitely disagree with trying to "force" your way onto a sim/continent that is clearly marked Adult Content, as much as I disagree that "adults" should be free to hang around the adoption centers with their freepenis wagging and their latex-almost-clad simulated boobs falling out. The same codes of conduct apply whether Outworld or Inworld; what is inappropriate in one place is certainly inappropriate in the other. It cuts both ways, however; in my own experience I have seen "adult avatars" constantly pushing into PG-areas to "challenge" them, which is also BS. You can't have it both ways.

I have a plot on a PG sim by choice and will eject any rude, boorish or undressed avatar from there with ONE warning. My space and plot are open to the public but I expect the public to abide by the sim designation and act accordingly; this means you aren't any more welcome to roleplay GOR on my land than I am to role play Alice on yours.

I could begin bashing all vampires, pimps, furrys, fairys, elves, cyberpunkx and the rest of the endless genres popular on SL because of the few of each genre I have met who are lame role players, rude or insulting, boorish, provocative or any of the other usual RL reasons for disliking their company, but that would be stupid AND CHILDISH. There are many, many bad game players in SL and otherwheres; blaming an entire subculture for the crass behaviour of a few is certainly not "mature."

So let's separate the issues:
1. Do I have "validity" for my choice of avatar? Yes.
2. Are other people free to choose not to like that choice? Sure.
3. Should the choices of a few determine the overall policy of the many? No.
4. What's the real issue?

The real issue is inappropriate conduct. I am not best pleased with "child avatar
activists" who deliberately provoke by entering clearly-marked (and built and visually explicit) adult areas just as I would have the same problems and reservations with them doing so in RL.

If you are "role playing" a child, please determine your parameters; if you are playing a 6-7-8 and up avatar, try to speak like a real 6-7-8 yr old, and dress accordingly. Realize that a RL child wouldn't be able to wander freely into a bar, dance club or the like and that it isn't "repression of your choice of avatar" but in fact a condition and set of rules that you put yourself under when you chose to "play" that type of "character."

If you are role playing a child avatar, stay OUT of strip clubs, bars, adult dance clubs, weird shopping malls, "dark" places and "strange" company. You don't belong in a bdsm/GOR/whorehouse sim; if you TP in unknowingly, in 10 seconds you know where you are; TP out IMMEDIATELY and don't go back.

If you want the freedom to play in a child shape, as I do, then you don't need to/have a problem with "pushing the envelope" and should just get an adult avatar and quit trying to play both sides of the line.

Conversely, if you are an "adult avatar" who likes to live in pixel-latex and spank
everyone you come across, stay the h-e-double-hockey-sticks OUT of PG areas, kid's
playgrounds/malls, adoption centers and other plainly kid-infested areas.

If you meet someone like me, who is small, doesn't babytalk and throws quotes from Marshall McLuhan and Donna Haraway at you, try to open your mind and discover what I am transmitting to you semantically; I make it plain that I am no "baby" and attempt to make you realize that there's a lot more going on than what you are "seeing."

However, since I am in that shape, and knowing how that shape calls into question certain issues (which my character is designed to do), there are rules of conduct to be observed in that shape. That shape is not welcome in sexually-themed or open areas, and that's fine by me; in fact one of the reasons I chose such a shape was to make plain my dislike and disinterest in any kind of sexual hinting, come-ons, dialogue, role play, cybersex chat or the rest. I prefer PG rated areas just so I do not have to have my attention drawn to such things; I have better things to do in SL than play a game better played at a local bar or bowling alley or church social (getting a mate).

And if you're an adult avatar, the next time you need a flower girl for your "pretty SL wedding" give me a call; I am in frequent demand for such things and can tell you if I have an opening in my busy schedule ^_^

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

... and that about sums up this ADULT'S perspective on the hysteria and plain old hypocrisy of this stupid debate. Miss V-R-Y-L (hey, i got it right!) might be tasteless, boring and boorish, but she's free to play with herself in her own home in front of a mirror to get her jollies off, in keeping with the TOS rules and regulations... but she isn't free to do it in public spaces by those same rules and regs, child avatars present or not. And she sure isn't welcome to slut around like a cheap tramp in clearly-marked children's sims either; i'd be more than happy to AR her immediately :)

You'd be surprised how often "adults" march into kids' sims, dressed in latex with falling-out breasts, or in butt-floss lingerie and nipple-piercings, or a name like "SuxGood Oh" saying they "want to adopt a child." Really? Then try dressing like a responsible family mother and not like an escapee from a tawdry and bottom-of-the-barrel strip club, hmmm?

Yet these are the first people to throw a fit and scream "repression!" when a child avatar complains (and rightfully so) to one of the adult "monitors" (all legitimate children's areas have them as part of the SL Child safety procedures) and they are asked to put some decent clothes on or leave.

Wah wah wah, we want freedom to do as we please... but not for you. We want freedom to prance around naked... but you can't dress in a nice, mother-approved dress (my mother would LOVE how i dress in SL) and rollerskate around, play on swings or generally engage in fun activities that Walt himself would beam approval on. We aren't perverts for wanting to engage in pixellated sex out in the street, but you are, for wanting to have a nice escape that clearly telegraphs "I am not interested in sex, cybersex, sexual innuendo or sexual comeons" by its' very visual nature.

Get a life, grow up, quit yammering about your "rights" if you don't support them for anyone else.

and here's an amazingly good article in the Alphaville Herald (yes, i know!) by Jessica Holyoke that's fair and balanced (yes, i know!!!) :)

OpEd: But What About The Children?

ps - i'm booked for Flower Girl through July so if you want one it hasta be later ^_^

Forbidden Art - Forbidden Avatar?

Woooooo have I been involved today! On top of hustling to make my SLb6 project with only a week's notice, I have been up to my neck in the hissy-fit surrounding child avatars...

First though, let me tell you how it started. Today I went to the opening of Feathers Boa's "Forbidden Feathers - Art that has been banned or panned." You really should see this show, featuring very strong and communicative art - yes, art. Not a deliberately staged provocation, but pieces that speak deeply to certain hurt places in myself (and I am sure many others). Two pieces in particular - "Take Me Home" and "Leave Me Alone" could have come from my own dark places and I am very grateful to Feathers for portraying such feelings.

As I have said before, my own childhood included abuses both physical and mental. One of the most insidious tools of abuse is SILENCE - all the neighbors knew what was going on (in fact, we had to move once because of it) but "it's their child; I stay out of it" - Natalie Merchant, "What's The Matter Here?"

So silence about such matters furthers abuse and its' consequent destruction and crippling of a child's sense of security and trust. Such things are a matter of high art - to speak about your life; to show things that others might find in common; to bridge the silence gap and encourage people to speak out against repression, cruelty or horror.

I came as Alice in Wonderland. In case you don't know, Alice has a long and dense history as a metaphor/avatar in cyberspace; one of the reasons she was mentioned in "The Matrix." Alice is old enough to have been in nethack, Alphaworld, and hundreds of science fiction and cyberpunk stories (one especial favorite of mine is "Trouble and her Friends" By Melissa Scott) and usually represents the wondrous possibilities of cyberspace; none of those references run around screaming "child abuse" because clearly, Alice in cyberspace is no child. Obvious, ne?

Not so obvious to certain people...

I Scared SaveMe Oh!

Even though many people weren't talking to me, I held my ground (good thing Alice has a long skirt; it hid my trembling knees) in the discussion about "forbidden art" and "repression" and "freedom of expression."

'N that's when SaveMe Oh decided to have a go at me ^_^

Here's some of the nicest parts of that PUBLIC dialogue (no TOS here!)

SaveMe Oh: all are hypocrits here, not only about the mature stuff
SaveMe Oh: take of your clothes and TP in a Linden
Miso Susanowa: then i will have to leave, SaveMe

Feathers Boa: i am glad i'm stirring things up a lil
SaveMe Oh: you are not stirring up anything
SaveMe Oh: we just wondeer what take you so long

SaveMe Oh: censorship is an american national sportd

Then... she has a go at me (I was wearing my Caerleon tag because I had been building at my workspace on NC)

SaveMe Oh: why you invite the caerleons then, they are notorius for banning and censorship
[ because Miss Oh was banned there for... reasons other than art]
Miso Susanowa: not in my experience SaveMe
SaveMe Oh: oh good
Miso Susanowa: i have been well supported by both Georg and Sabrinaa
SaveMe Oh: what a relief
Miso Susanowa: Better, SaveMe? [after i changed my tag to my usual, "Miko," Sworn Temple Priestess]
Miso Susanowa: i'd be happy to translate if you wish it :)
SaveMe Oh: i dont belief a word
Miso Susanowa: then believe my work
SaveMe Oh: next week you appear again like donald duck
Miso Susanowa: and then perhaps a dragon?
Miso Susanowa: a vampire? a mech?
Miso Susanowa: this is, after all, cyberspace
SaveMe Oh: where???

Then she backs off and takes a few cheap shots at Feathers which i needn't give her the digital pixels to reproduce -_-


SaveMe Oh: dont name the word avantgarde when caerleons are around
SaveMe Oh: you could be banned for that
Miso Susanowa: SaveMe, i was gifted workspace on Caerleon, so i use it. If you would like
to gift me workspace for 3 months, i'd use that also
Miso Susanowa: but my beliefs and my mind are my own, as always
SaveMe Oh: if that child avi cames out of your workshop, I rest my case
Miso Susanowa: if you don't know the rich history of Alice as a cyberspace metaphor, may i
suggest reading Donna Haraway's "A Cyborg Manifesto"?
SaveMe Oh: is that the next step?
Miso Susanowa: maybe it would enlighten you

Alizarin Goldflake: i nearly dies of fright the first time SaveMe showed up in my studio
SaveMe Oh: I dont dare it here
Miso Susanowa: well... i have been to prep school so i am not afraid
Miso Susanowa: i got past it

Miso Susanowa: golly... i have disturbed SaveMe Oh! *writes that down in her blog*
Miso Susanowa: quite a feather in my cap
RobertSteven Smythe: what sarcasm I am hearing today
Miso Susanowa: *totally cracks up*
Feathers Boa: a feathers in your cap
Alizarin Goldflake: you girls!!!
Miso Susanowa: *giggles*
RobertSteven Smythe: the love in here is absolutely over powering
SaveMe Oh: sarcasm is the only lasting art form forever
Miso Susanowa: oh... you read Lucius?

SaveMe Oh: and sorry, robert, cant fuck you right now
RobertSteven Smythe: hahahaha
SaveMe Oh: im busy
Feathers Boa: but make an appointment
RobertSteven Smythe: I see that
RobertSteven Smythe: lol
Alizarin Goldflake: hehehe
Miso Susanowa: yes, she's busy molesting a child avatar ^_^

SaveMe Oh: I would love to hit the child avi, btw
Karli Daviau: bye feathers.....gotta run....wonderfully true exhibit
SaveMe Oh: is taht allowed?
Juliete3d Quinzet: i will see you soon I hope
Feathers Boa: thanks
Feathers Boa: see you later
Karli Daviau: i'd like to see more like this in sl
RobertSteven Smythe: on the mature sims it is for now
RobertSteven Smythe: SaveMe
RobertSteven Smythe: go ahead strike away
Miso Susanowa: *adjusts glasses* and how duss zat make you FEEL, Mizz Oh?
SaveMe Oh: hitting child avis?
Miso Susanowa: *totally cracks up*

RobertSteven Smythe: bye mIso and I did not mean anything about striking a little avi
Pete Jiminy: lol
Feathers Boa: okies
Miso Susanowa: that's ok... i am here to provoke discussion :)
RobertSteven Smythe: well good for you we need more people to provoke the stagnant sl
Miso Susanowa: hey Alice was mentioned in The Matrix, how hip is THAT?
Miso Susanowa: L O L Giggles <-----------

Miso Susanowa: well, i shall leave also, before i disturb Miss Oh any further ^_^

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

So now let's do a little "deconstruction" on this particular set of dialogues:

1. Miss Oh is all about "freedom of expression" and opines, "censorship is an american national sport," thus showing off her pretensions about fairness, liberality and whatevah.

2. First she has a go at me for wearing my Caerleon tag; a sim where she was banned for being obnoxious and rude, deliberately provoking and... let's face it; "enfant terrible" went out of style sometime in the early 80s.

3. When I hold my own ground (after all, i have been to prep school too; i know a sorority bish when i smell one) she has a go at my avatar... and shows ignorance of any artistic comment, dialogue or message in my appearance, like this, at a show that speaks about child abuse, despite labeling herself as an "artist").

And all this from a person espousing "freedom of expression" and "censorship outrage" at a show designed to show some very dark spaces, many of which happened to a REAL child - Feathers... and happened to me and countless thousands of real children.

As i said, i have been to private school; i'm not afraid of bullies. And sarcasm IS an art; however, the same argument about quality applies to that art as well as the rest of the arts. Slicing and dicing is not good sarcasm; it's just cheap ego shots.

So I hope Miss Oh gets a wonderful dose of her own medicine; it's easy to run down kittens in a Cadillac, but it isn't skillful driving nor very brave. And I don't admire it. And it isn't art :P

Read on next post for Part II

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

SL6B and Forbidden Art

Well, woohoo and wahwah! I was all jumping for joy when I got my acceptance for an exhibit at SL6B - that's the Second Life 6th Birthday Bash. Last year was wild and amazing, many many interesting, thought-provoking, astonishing and downright beautiful installations and exhibits.

Even though my acceptance came late... because i was part of the "second round" when the application process was opened again for three days on the 12th and closed on the 14th. Last year it was tooth-and-nail to get a spot at SLB5 so it's surprising that there seem to be so many unclaimed parcels facilitating this late call for exhibits. It also leaves me one week to plan and build :O

Banned Art?

Or is it that surprising? With the new Content-Oriented Guidelines, those shifting sands of nebulous and subjective opinion about what is "offensive" or "violent" or just downright "we don't like this," there is a growing concern among artists about the censorial aspects of these "guidelines."

Feathers Boa is having a show this Friday, June 19th called "Forbidden Feathers" which features some of her strongest art, dealing with her personal hells in the least sensational and most true exposure of her soul and mind to life's not-always-rosy circumstances. This is art at its best - communication of a personal experience which touches a common chord in others, creates dialogue and questions and makes us realize that no matter how far apart we are ideologically or politicaly, there are common threads that bind us together.

But Feathers' work might not be shown, or be pulled from galleries (as one such piece was, for incorporating a photograph of her, nude, at the age of 22) on grounds of "pornography." A gallery owner may be forced to take down a work incorporating a burning fire and a stake (a commentary on the current hysterical attitude in the US and Britain regarding "childmolesting hacker terrorists") on the grounds of "violence." My own "Confessional" distills some of the damaging and scarring experiences I had in private school when young.

The high purpose of art is not just to be pleasing aesthetically. Admittedly, the delight in shape, form and color helps to brighten and enhance our living experience and is often an end in and of itself; i am not a "theory nazi" (uh oh, Godwin's Law rears its' ugly haid) and quite often enjoy works for their sheer beauty.

But art cannot be confined to mere prettiness or design execution. If it was, we'd never have experienced "Guernica," Woody Guthrie, William S. Burroughs or the satires of Lucius, Euripedes... ok I will stop here; there's no use rewriting Art/Lit History 101. Last year, a beautiful statue (in a very classical mode) by Artfox Daviau was forced to have her breasts removed for *gasp* showing what breasts look like! Stephen Venkman's "Family" project, showing the *totally Disney-approved activities* of a typical SL "Family" (including of course kids) generated a huge controversy and protest on the part of SL Children and led to a quick backpedal-reverse of Linden Policy and the admittance of the SLC children's community (which incidentally, won several awards for their sim designs and themes :P).

So perhaps it is no surprise that there are so many empty parcels for the SL6B "celebration" necessitating this last-minute reopening of the application process. Following the openspaces debacle and the continuing lack of engagement and involvement of the Management layer of Linden Labs with the actual residents of SL, this latest round of dictums and fuzzy guidelines have many of the most engaged and active residents of Second Life questioning the point of participation in a dog-and-pony show designed to play up the pretty aspects of SL over the deeper and more significant aspects of virtual worlds.

Which brings me to the second part of this post, SLB6 itself.

SLB6 - What is the theme?

Here's the blurb straight from the SL blog regarding SLB6 -

"The Birthday theme this year is The Future of Virtual Worlds and we're betting you have some pretty awesome visions to share of the future you're building here. How will Virtual Worlds work? How will they look? How will they be part of everyday life? How will we learn, socialize and evolve in them? How will they affect your beliefs, and be affected by your actions?"

Ok, neat. How will virtual worlds evolve? How will they engage us, facilitate our communication, weave themselves into our life, affect us in the same fundamental ways as radio, television and the internet did? Some cool things to ponder, especially that "how will they affect your beliefs" bit.

Which makes the notecards I have been receiving more than a little puzzling. They talk about being on a rock in space... about alien biology... flora and fauna... the "lack of atmosphere"... "no water but an amazing substance of water-like qualities that we call Glorp" (or something, i forget)... in short, they appear to be about some project/science fiction novel about Worlds In Space, rayguns, robots, babes in skimpy spacesuits (ala "Barbarella") and the entire panapoly of 50's sci-fi movies and Amazing Tales devices. Hardly anything about "virtual worlds" unless you count the "worlds of imagination" as a "virtual world." In fact, the entirety of the communications I have received (perhaps there are others I was not privy to, being a latecomer/admitted person of little consequence) appears to have been cribbed from notes left out of the 1939 World's Fair or maybe leftovers from Epcot (ideological propaganda meatloaf, anyone?)

So I am busy building a fable of a man, encased in biologically-purified stainless steel (or some future analog) playing with his daughter in a virtual space, building another virtual space in a computer cluster somewhere on Phobos and meanwhile monitoring the delivery of nanotech scrubbers to a polluted and uninhabitable Earth from orbit high above...

This is one vision i have of "the future of virtual worlds" which isn't really a "nice" part of the ongoing VW dialogue - that we may be forced to live our lives in such places given the hostile and soul-numbing nature of being encased in metal and plastic, breathing through tubes and confined to strictly-controlled environments for lack of habitable places. Of course, people like Philip K. Dick, Thomas Disch, Orwell and many others have had this shadow-vision long before, but it seems to be lacking in the current VW PR-fest. This perception/fear alone should spark dialogue about our present conditions on this lovely but small and increasingly-strained planet, which would be a wonderful use of the virtual-worlds expansion of thought.

I did have two other "visions of virtual worlds" given the current politics of Second Life and Linden Labs... one of them involved legions of identical Barbies and Kens, marching happily towards a huge and glowing shopping mall, all dressed alike (yet different!) and blinging merrily... the other vision involved a giant playpen, with many boxes representing "virtual worlds" being stuffed down into it by a giant Linden Green hand.

Of course, i expected these "visions of the future of virtual worlds" to be pulled immediately on the grounds of "copyright infringement," that current bludgeon to commentary about the looming Corporatization of both real and virtual spaces. So i am happily doing my space fable and inserting my little message inside it while still building my alternative visions/versions. Maybe someone will lend me space to show those works (the Playpen is only 98 prims; the Linden Army will probably be a lot more but 2048m should handle it). Of course, no one reads my blog so... *laughing*

Make sure to go see Feathers' show this Friday. I'd advise getting there very early; from the amount of duplicate notecards i have received in two days, it's sure to be a well-attended (jammed) event and very involved/stimulating.

And i will work on my totally-infested-by-web-sloppiness writing skills. I promise! Kthxbai.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

RezDay Presents

Woowoo! I got back to SL after my RL move in time for my RezDay! One whole year in SL, finding out what's what, learning to do and to be... and I get two great presents!

The first was a tour of Glyph Graves' INCREDIBLE new exhibit/work/environment/story, "The Dance of Strangers" (SLURL: IBM 2 / IBM Exhibit, IBM 2 (228, 157, 24). I cannot say enough about this exhibit; I am still goggle-brained by Glyph's work in everything: scripting, the organic life of his forms and their biological movements; his work with sound. The storytelling aspect of this piece is entrancing and thought-provoking; the experience reminded me of the thrill and wonder I experienced on my first immersion in Laurie Anderson's show "United States I-IV."

Glyph was kind enough to endure my peppering him with questions about technicalities and gentlemanly in his patience with my over-effulsive verbiage, which is a refreshing change from the sometimes icy and isolative art personas one must endure frequently.

You must see this exhibit! Open to viewing until June 30th. Go! Now!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The second present was an IM telling me that my Celestial Clock was in the first photograph of an article in The Best Of SL Magazine's June '09 issue about New Caerleon, where I have been given workspace by Sabrinaa Nightfire, my Art Angel, to attempt to get over my prim-stingy consciousness and to encourage and expand my horizons by working alongside some of the finest artists in Second Life.

I cannot thank Sabrinaa and the artists of New Caerleon enough for the opportunity to stretch and work out, and their generosity of both personal time and prim-land. It took me a year in Second Life to find a project and people worth working for; maybe I am just slow, or maybe I needed to be awake enough after my long hibernation to find the type of people who are stretching the boundaries and truly exploring the potential of this revolutionary medium. Whichever, I am more alive now than I have been in years, and these folks are a large part of the reason why.

"These battered wings/still kick up dust" - Peter Gabriel, 'Only Us'

[ok, ok, i will lern to rite bettur an' with more polishitude soon, 'k? Kthxbai]

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

First Post

It's been a full year and a day, so I'm keeping to the magickal tradition and declaring myself HERE now, in Second Life, as a Resident (before I was just an explorer I guess).

SL has been part of my rebirthing, having spent the last 12 years as the 4 of Swords, entombed and alone. Beginning last May 31, I began a reawakening of my dormant powers and personality; shaking off the lassitude of droneness and security and leaping out (well, after a few false starts and stumbles) into life again. SL has been a great part of that and I would like to thank the people who have encouraged me and supported me in my clumsy attempts to reclaim my soul and opened this amazing world to me:

Goose Wycliffe - So many words to say and not enough digital pagery; my Aunt Goose for whom I would go to the ends of the digital and physical earth.

Sabrinaa Nightfire - My Art Angel, confidant and coach.

Kelly Yap - My green art-sister-from-another-mothership.

Physeter Nicholls - My boy Muse ^_^

Georg Janick - Mysterious guru and ponderous ponderable.

Winged Heron - My first Patron and art-midwife.

Nehima Yifu - My second Patron and supporter/believer.

June Trefoil - First neighbor, encourager, believer.

New Caerleon - For its trust in me.

... and the many others whom I have met along the way back home.

So now, as Blossom would say, "Let's roll!"