Saturday, March 24, 2018

My 10th Rez Day In Second Life


So... what was once my alt avatar has reached it's 10th anniversary. Jae Villa has spent most of the last 10 years off grid, hibernating.

He was created as my way to interact with Jim who had gotten in Second Life after me. Jim became a clothes creator and I became... well to be honest Jae Villa didn't really have a Second Life. He wandered. He dressed up as a Cyberman. He explored different places but made few friends.

So when Jim left Second Life, Jae Villa left too. And I stopped playing altogether. My other avatar, for reasons that are quite beyond my memory, Jae Corinthian was suspended (I think it may have been to do with Linden Labs policies on alts back then) and his main virtual friend went off to real life jail (I know! DRAMA!). So I, like most of the world, forgot about Second Life. The companies and universities that had heralded Second Life as the next stage of evolution for the internet quietly packed up and left...

So fast forward to last year. I was re-reading Ready Player One and I'd just replaced my laptop that ran Linux (and was thus a mystery to me) with a Windows-running laptop. I decided to check out if Jae Villa was still about.

I logged in. He was. I wandered. Alone. Then I started chatting to people. Began to find my feet. I explored and, as I made friends, I began to take them with me on explorations. We found an RP sim (Stoneleigh) and settled down, renting homes. That RP sim collapsed as the owner disappeared due to some flooding issues in RL. But those of us who had made it home sought refuge elsewhere... and that's how I ended up in Cyssan.

And that's the thing... Second Life is what you make it. It can be quite fun for a day but after a while of wandering around on your own there's only so much fun that can be found. But friends are easy to come by. Chat to people. Follow event notifications. Go to clubs. Soon enough you'll find a niche, Second Life is basically just a huge collection of niches, and then the real fun begins. Adventures, creation, comradery. And overall... silliness!

With Second Life about to celebrate it's 15th birthday and making some fantastic changes to help keep it fresh... here's to another 10 years! And this time I'll be around for more of it.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress is the latest book from Steven Pinker. He's considered pretty controversial but his outlook seems eminently reasonable.

Based on science, reason and all the good stuff Pinker lays out why keeping the values of the Enlightenment is ever more important as a bulwark against things such as the rise of Trump and Brexit.

All very logical and, unlike today's "Progressive" movement, very firmly grounded in human progress and liberty.

Loved it.