THINKERS MAY 25 2010: THIS COULD BE HEAVEN?

Extropia DaSilva: Welcome to Thinkers!
Extropia DaSilva: Today the topic is ‘COULD THIS BE HEAVEN’. William Sims Bainbridge has recently published a book called ‘Warcraft civilization’, and (among other things) he sees virtual worlds one day replacing religion…
Lem Skall: oh, it’s the TOPIC, Gwyn
ArtCrash Exonar: I need to find some no bling hoop earrings that aren’t awful, any suggestions?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: I love the idea of someone called William SIMS Bainbridge writing about WARCRAFT πŸ˜‰
Lem Skall: I forgot what the topic was
Gwyneth Llewelyn: (Art: try Gwen Carillon)
ArtCrash Exonar: Thanks Gwyn!
Extropia DaSilva: Well, I thought the following quote from the book ‘Second Lives’ by the sadly departed Tim Guest, was…rather interesting.
Art Schnabel: My religion is chocolate, and I’m happy with it.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: yummy !
Extropia DaSilva: know what? You know what we have to decide’? I said, ‘what’s that, James’? and he said, ‘what color are the robes going to be?’
Lem Skall: in what sense replace religion, we really need more context
Extropia DaSilva: Oo sorry..
Extropia DaSilva: Bad cut and paste:)
ArtCrash Exonar: I prefer the foie gras, wine and cheese religion Art….
Extropia DaSilva: ‘In 2003, Rosedale first met James Currier, a dot-com investor who later became a Linden Lab investor. “When he met me- this was in 2003, when we had 500 people inside Second Life- he said, ‘you know what? You know what we have to decide’? I said, ‘what’s that, James’? and he said, ‘what color are the robes going to be?’
Serendipity Seraph: what all do we mean by religion and what do we mean by virtual worlds, current or potential?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Yes, indeed… if they meant holy wars and struggle for power…
Art Schnabel: anything but carob.
Extropia DaSilva: ‘That was always his thing. That was what he said when he first saw it. He said, ‘This is a religion’.
Extropia DaSilva: now…
Gwyneth Llewelyn: MMMh
Cunnie Metaluna: i’m confused if we’re talking about religion or heaven. not the same…
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Probably he meant, “this is a CULT” πŸ˜‰
Lem Skall: oh, you mean a vult
Extropia DaSilva: There are four theories of religion.
Lem Skall: cult
Gwyneth Llewelyn: right, Lem!
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Just four? Oh my!
Extropia DaSilva: SUPERNATURAL THEORY: Divine beings actually exist, and religion is the direct result of their actions upon the souls of human beings.
Serendipity Seraph: it is a place of congregating and socializing for sure
Extropia DaSilva: SOCIETAL THEORY: Religion is a reflection of society, functioning to sustain societal functions, community unity, and shared values.
Lem Skall: cult and religion are different things
Serendipity Seraph: and catharsis at times although not usually so deliberate
Extropia DaSilva: EXCHANGE THEORY: Humans interact with one another to get rewards and avoid costs, based on socially-constructed beliefs, and when a valued reward cannot readily be obtained, they will encourage one another to believe in divine exchange partners.
Serendipity Seraph: but inspiration and uplift? only sometimes and in a few ways rather different
Extropia DaSilva: COGNITIVE THEORY: The human brain evolved to facilitate social interaction and to deal with predators and prey, so it naturally assumes that complex phenomena result from the actions of aware beings, incidentally favouring belief in gods.
Extropia DaSilva: Taking these theories into account, is it possible that virtual worlds could one day offer at least some of the benefits of religion?
Extropia DaSilva: Annd..lengthy intro ends. Floor is open!
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ah, interesting, Extie. I’ve been reading a book that deals with the cognitive theory, but claims that everybody so far (except for the author) have it all upside down πŸ™‚
Art Schnabel: Or: Sandy Weintraub, whom I believed to be a goddess in 10th grade.
Serendipity Seraph: all of those are really empty as to what religion really is to the people involved
Gwyneth Llewelyn: πŸ™‚
ArtCrash Exonar: Religion has benefits?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: pfft Art
Lem Skall: those definitions went over my head
Gwyneth Llewelyn: if it hadn’t, it had been weeded out by evolution πŸ˜‰
Serendipity Seraph: oh yeah. people wouldn’t do it if they didn’t experience benefits
Gwyneth Llewelyn: So, religion has its uses, as do lawyers and politicians πŸ˜‰
Cunnie Metaluna: i like the one about if there isn’t enough to go around, i will encourage you to believe you get yours after yr dead
Extropia DaSilva: Does anyone here see where James was coming from, when he insisted SL was a religion? Apart from it requiring a faith, despite a total lack of evidence, that things will get better?
Art Schnabel: and even go get a head start, cunnie.
Art Schnabel: (not you, I meant one)
Lem Skall: people do a lot of things without REAL benefits, only perceived benefits, see for instance snake oil
Serendipity Seraph: a sense of meaning and purpose to it all is a big draw
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Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, I can see the appeal about virtual worlds to promote social interchange, and replace (some) religions that way.
ArtCrash Exonar: Well, I guess that as with
ArtCrash Exonar: Religion, SL requires suspension of disbelief
Serendipity Seraph: but the desire for benefit drives them even if the benefit claimed is never delivered or unreal
seonaid McLean: that is replacing something that religion provides, not becoming a religion?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ah, Extie, and I didn’t finish the article I’m writing on this very same topic β€” alas, an Act of God (a fire!) prevented me to finish it on time πŸ˜‰
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh, I like that, Art πŸ™‚
Lem Skall: oh, Extie, you mean fabricated purpose propagated by memetics? something like that?
Extropia DaSilva: ..Maybe.
Lem Skall: but that is common to other things too, not only religion
Cunnie Metaluna: SL makes me think of an acid trip
Lem Skall: remeber Ayn Rand?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: In that line, seonaid, science pretty much ‘replaced’ religion, but it didn’t ‘become’ a religion… so you’re right
ArtCrash Exonar: Religion requires a dogma of some sort. What is the dogma of SL?
Serendipity Seraph: replacing what people desire with something more real is beneficial and not necessarily to be a religion
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Art: not *all* religions require those… in any case, we have plenty of dogmas in SL!
Lem Skall: the dogma of SL is that it will be better in another life
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Like mmmh “lag is universal”
ArtCrash Exonar: Well, what are they Gwyn?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: That’s also a good one, Lem
Serendipity Seraph: religion is so covered in shit it is difficult to embrace a “better religion” even if its value and benefits are much more real
Gwyneth Llewelyn: “SL wouldn’t work without LL behind it”
ArtCrash Exonar: Hmmm, that is a good one Lem.
Extropia DaSilva: Hmmm…’how about ‘Everything is reducible to computation’? When they claim ‘anything you can imagine, you can create in SL’, does seem to depend upon all of reality being, fundamentally, a computation, no?
seonaid McLean: does not a religion require a belief in something – not necessarily a deity, without any conclusive evidence – requiring ‘faith’?
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Zobeid Zuma prefers the disease theory of religion: http://www.lyricsmania.com/virus_lyrics_abney_park.html
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Depends on the definition, really, seonaid
seonaid McLean: that’sw sort of what I was getting at
Serendipity Seraph: no, “faith” as believing despite evidence or without any evidence, is not required
ArtCrash Exonar: I think the metaphor of Virtual World and Religion is at best a strained metaphor. In that it might have a few characteristics, but overall not much coincidence.
seonaid McLean: don’t we need to define what we – or he – means by it – in terms that are straightforward?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: exactly, Seren
Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’d be happy to describe SL as a *cult* though.
Lem Skall: but I think that the analogy between SL and a cult is more on the side of collectivism, group thinking
Gwyneth Llewelyn: It definitely has a LOT of characteristics of a cult.
Serendipity Seraph: “Believe it the Possibility! Join me in the Great Church of Tomorrow!” send your tithes to me.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: lol Lem β€” yes, I totally agree πŸ™‚
Gwyneth Llewelyn: On the other hand hmm
Gwyneth Llewelyn: think of LL’s vision!
seonaid McLean: it may be like a cult to some people – to others, it’s a conference room, a video phone – a computer game – SL is a ‘medium’ – it is completelyh different things to different people?
Cunnie Metaluna: typically a cult discourages diversity
Extropia DaSilva: Ah Gwyn, Rosedale told Tim Guest, ‘we joke that this is a cult, but a friendly cult’. And Guest (who grew up in a cult, remember) replied ‘trust me, that is what they all say’.
Lem Skall: LL’s vision? what is that?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: “It’s our mission to connect us all to an online world that advances the human condition.”
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Now THAT is at the core of ALL religions.
ArtCrash Exonar: The faith in SL is represented by ‘belief in continued improvement’ and ‘belief in the benevolence of the Lab’ in that they care about us as customers.
Zobeid Zuma: SL is a software platform.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie, that’s a lovely quote.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Sadly true.
Lem Skall: Gwyn, it’s crap like in religions that fools people, yes
Luisa Bourgoin: a software platform would probably just follow some development plan. roadmap
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Nah, people fool themselves πŸ˜‰
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Luisa: the Divine Masterplan for SL? πŸ™‚
Cunnie Metaluna: i agree with gwyn
Serendipity Seraph: SL is a world. a very interesting one. It is a place of being and becoming. a “field of dreams”
Gwyneth Llewelyn: oooh I love “field of dreams”
Lem Skall: a field of broken dreams
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Gwyneth Llewelyn: There is quite a deep meaning in that, Seren!
Zobeid Zuma: Is Windows a religion? Is the WWW a religion?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: And that surely depends on your expectations, Lem πŸ˜‰
Cunnie Metaluna: like when your tripping and people’s faces start to shine from the inside
Serendipity Seraph: the interstice between dream and reality is always a bit rocky
Zobeid Zuma: I honestly don’t see the connection this topic is trying to draw.
Serendipity Seraph: me either yet
ArtCrash Exonar: Yes, Zobeid, I think it is a weak metaphor
Lem Skall: I’ve been in SL for more than 3 years and it is still in the same stage of “full of potential”
Cunnie Metaluna: its fun. i’ve never seen a religion that is fun.
Zobeid Zuma: I’m getting near my 6th rezday, and SL hasn’t fundamentally changed much that I can tell. πŸ™‚
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well Zob…. imagine that people would replace their wish to live in a transcendent world after their deaths, and instead focus on being here and now in SL πŸ™‚
ArtCrash Exonar: Wow 6!
Luisa Bourgoin: if its a religion, how does its concept of hell looks like?
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Gwyneth Llewelyn: Cunnie: you haven’t tried hard enough then πŸ˜‰
ArtCrash Exonar: There used to be a hell sim, it was awesome!
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Luisa: when the grid goes down! lol
Serendipity Seraph: or a future virtual world that you actually upload to on your death if not sooner
Lem Skall: yeah, hell = Blue Moon
Gwyneth Llewelyn: The *absence* of immersion in SL would be hell.
Luisa Bourgoin: downtime would be … judgement daz
Gwyneth Llewelyn *nods*
Extropia DaSilva: Well, Zo, the technology that drives virtual worlds (as well as other technologies that may become crucial later on) are set to improve and become more powerful. Until…maybe even the promise of life after death can be realisticallly obtained via virtual worlds?
Cunnie Metaluna: all these builds… empty, no people. that would bee hellish
Zobeid Zuma: I think that they pretty well nailed it with that one episode of Futurama where they logged into the “internet” of the year 3000. Nearly all the ridiculous things that happened in that show have happened to me in SL. So maybe SL is a parody of the internet. πŸ™‚
Serendipity Seraph: downtime you would never notice if you were immersed. πŸ™‚
Serendipity Seraph: by the year 3000 there will not be any humans as we know them likely
Gwyneth Llewelyn: They’ll all be politicians and lawyers? πŸ™‚
Gwyneth Llewelyn misses Morgie
Serendipity Seraph: uploads and artilects and various bots and cyborgs
Luisa Bourgoin: currently, you can only trade in RL lifetime for SL online time one for one
Lem Skall: here’s an example of how much people have bought into SL in an irrational fashion: what does it matter to me that SL is used for education if I don’t take any classes? And yet so many people are so proud that SL is used for education (Gwyn is an exception to this example, she works for educational institutions, her enthusiasm is understandable)
Gwyneth Llewelyn: ha πŸ™‚
Gwyneth Llewelyn: What would matter to you, Lem? πŸ™‚
Zobeid Zuma: Uh oh Gwy, your nemesis has arrived!
Serendipity Seraph: it matters a lot because that is part of what can be done in/with such spaces and part of the dimensions of what it is possible for you or anyone else to do here
Lem Skall: content, Gwyn, what *I* can do in SL, not what others do in SL
Gwyneth Llewelyn: nah, I have no nemsis πŸ˜‰
ArtCrash Exonar chews on a York Peppermint Pattie in rl…… mmmmmmphhhmmmmmm
Extropia DaSilva: Sims Bainbridge wrote: ‘Imagine we are twenty years in the future when AI techniques can realistically emulate a person’s playinf style and allow the NPC to become a posthumous playing character…I would consider my main WOW character, behaving as I would behave if I still lived, as a realistic form of immortality’.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well Seren. The point: you can do *anything* πŸ™‚
Lem Skall: Ser, I disagree, it matters because people have become tribal about SL, like people who root for a team although they have no contribution in the sport
Zobeid Zuma: I think Plato did better, in terms of immortality. He wrote Republic.
Luisa Bourgoin: AI personality ina black box. that is so … cyberpunk ala Gibson
Gwyneth Llewelyn: MMm what about this, Lem: people have different expectations, and the ones that fulfill those in SL, are happy about it? πŸ™‚
Serendipity Seraph: WOW is too canned. not enough degrees of freedom. I would consider that meaningless existence as I was not free to make of it what I would
ArtCrash Exonar: Yes, I would say that culturally, we are all invested in the overall success of the platform in order to promote our own interests of smaller communities. So we are all ‘in the culture of sl’ in that sense.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: That doesn’t mean that SL is “broken” or “doesn’t work for all” when it clearly fulfills the expectations of *some*
Emily Kaestner: delusionally happy
Serendipity Seraph: in RL are we in the “cult of earth” or the “cult of humanity”?
Emily Kaestner: the people who fully immerse themselves and embody their 2nd identity in SL normally are unhappy in RL
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Aye, Emily πŸ™‚ That’s what happens to us, all the time, in all situations πŸ˜‰
Extropia DaSilva: Only mathematicians who have theorems to their name have immortality, for their proof shall remain valid and true even unto the utter end of time. Whereas Plato might be forgotten by then.
Emily Kaestner: otherwise they wouldnt do it.
Lem Skall: Art, that is the “culture” of a pyramid scheme
Luisa Bourgoin: I always suspected some crucial percentage of all welcome location newbies are indeed … script run. Knows how to trigger ten different actions
Serendipity Seraph: that is BS, emily. I know too many on both sides
ArtCrash Exonar: Maybe like we are all part of the ‘Human Condition’. We SLers are all part of the Virtual World Condition…….
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Nah, Extie. There are a lot more kinds and types of immortality πŸ™‚
Emily Kaestner: i dont think anyone with an active fufilling RL would play this game the hrs that i see my friends play every day
Emily Kaestner: im talking 6+ a day
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Why not, Emily? People spend 6+ hours a day watching TV and are content.
Serendipity Seraph: this is not a game as I see it
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Zobeid Zuma: IT’s a paradox. True immortality requires you to be dead. :/
Gwyneth Llewelyn: And they see their lives as being very fulfilling.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: hah Zob πŸ™‚
Extropia DaSilva: No I think Emily is right. Why come to SL if everything is fine in RL? Surely, this world offers compensation in the form of filling in whatever is missing in your real life?
ArtCrash Exonar thinks that Emily is mistaken about her assumption there
Emily Kaestner: people don’t want to admit it
Luisa Bourgoin: does watching TV count as “beeing alive” ?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: I don’t think Emily is right or wrong. Emily, you just have different expectations.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Luisa, yes, for billions of people!
Serendipity Seraph: because you can do things and explore things here and create in ways you cannot in RL
Serendipity Seraph: for one
Zobeid Zuma: SL is a useful tool.
Emily Kaestner: it is
Lem Skall: Gwyn, that is a broad argument that can be used for anything
Gwyneth Llewelyn: You bet!
Emily Kaestner: but a lot of players totally live a LIFE of their own on here. the husband the kids the house
Emily Kaestner: the boat
Emily Kaestner: the beach front..
Emily Kaestner: the clothes..
Zobeid Zuma: Of course, people said computer users had no life. . . and then that internet users had no life. . . until those tools became mainstream and everybody used them.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: It’s not an argument even; it’s a fundamental truth, Lem πŸ™‚
Luisa Bourgoin: but when I stopped interacting with my environment … I am partially arrived where death is
Emily Kaestner: what they have in RL enhanced
Serendipity Seraph: compared to the ridiculous hours many watch TV I think SL is a huge improvement
Extropia DaSilva: I mean, if my primary had good looks and a great social life and a fulfilling job doing what ve loved and there was nothing missing at all..would I exist then?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: No Extie. There are no human beings with all that πŸ™‚
Lem Skall: yeah, Gwyn, like having a lobotomy makes you happy because you have no more worries
Emily Kaestner: yes there are..
Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe Emily. No there aren’t πŸ˜‰
Cunnie Metaluna: can’t write very good songs when everything is perfect in your life
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Lem: sheesh
Emily Kaestner: there a plenty of people with a positive self image and a job they like
Serendipity Seraph: for one, I believe in upload space as likely evolution of humanity and this is a very early exploration of some aspects
Emily Kaestner: and friends
ArtCrash Exonar: Emily: there are people in virtual worlds that are not ‘escaping’ or ‘compensating for lack of life’, but using the tools provided to advance their lives and their skills. There are a thousand motivations for being here. Some are pathological, some not. This is just another part of real life.
Luisa Bourgoin: Cunnie, real art needs tragedy … suffering
Extropia DaSilva: Well, then, Emily’s question need not be directed at any hypothetical ‘saddoes’, but to anyone whose life feels incomplete in some way, and virtual worlds promise some kind of solution.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh sure, Emily, but that doesn’t mean they’re “perfect”. You just see them as perfect, while in reality, they have problems you don’t even dream about.
Cunnie Metaluna: no, but squirmy discontent is probably a key component
Serendipity Seraph: for another, there are types of systems and interaction by adding the entire 3D aspect in that are very important to enhancing human abilities
Gwyneth Llewelyn: I agree Art
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Emily Kaestner: i agree as well
Emily Kaestner: im just more interested in the “saddoes”\
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Honestly, Extie…. have you ever met anyone who has a “complete” life??
Serendipity Seraph: and I can communicate be with people all over the world in a more immersive envirnoment
Serendipity Seraph: short list.
Serendipity Seraph: lastly their are relationships here that are as deep and important as any in RL
Gwyneth Llewelyn: … whatever REAL life means….
Luisa Bourgoin: complete as in checklist? not really … for sure not if *others* suppply one with goals to reach in life
Zobeid Zuma: SL is a platform still in search of that “killer app”. . . (aside from gambling, I mean)
Keela Latte: Yes, the unexpected aspect of SL.
Serendipity Seraph: yep. use it as shorthand but would like better
ArtCrash Exonar: Let’s take this discussion as a great example of life enhancement. How many of you have access to a group of people in your rl area that are willing to meet and talk intellectual issues every week? I’m thinking very few. This is a great enhancement to my life.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Exactly, Luisa πŸ™‚
Extropia DaSilva: I doubt that Seren. We just think it is because we are usually unware how much our imagination fills in details that are actually missing.
Lem Skall: Zob, there may be no killer app
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Hear,hear, ArtCrash (and yes, I’m lucky enough to be part of at least two such groups iRL hehe)
Luisa Bourgoin: gambling is indeed the ap, they killed
Emily Kaestner: this is true Art.. unfortunatley only a small % of SL population wants to do that
Lem Skall: but many good apps would be good enough
Gwyneth Llewelyn: (but you still have a point, Art!)
Serendipity Seraph: I live in a transhuman hotspot but there aren’t that many meetups
ArtCrash Exonar: Well, Emily they have different life enhancements to do here as well.
Zobeid Zuma: ArtCrash. . . I enjoy these kinds of discussions, but they are a tiny thing in SL — and arguably not productive, compared with what takes place on web forums.
Keela Latte: I meant the relationship aspect that Seren mentioned, who would have expected that if you didn’t know about SL? This is the true value I think of the experience here.
Lem Skall: Gwyn, what’s the other group?
Extropia DaSilva: Hee Seren, you can touch my transhuman hotspot any time you please;)
Emily Kaestner: primarily sex
Emily Kaestner: which is the biggest market on SL
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh, Zob, but that surely depends on what your expectations about “productive” are. From *my* perspective, THIS is prodiuctive!
Serendipity Seraph: blending web forums and these discussions and more is one thing I am interested in
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Lem: some friends that I have dinner every Saturday is one of them πŸ˜‰
Keela Latte: Well, at least Sl sex is safe sex, right?
Serendipity Seraph: IRC and wave integration for instance makes this a part of an ongoing multi-world conversation and exploration
ArtCrash Exonar: Let’s take another example: Exposure to interesting new music in a convenient social setting. This is a great thing and unavailable for most parts of the world other than big cities usually. Life enhancement.
Emily Kaestner: totally
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Lem Skall: Gwyn, so if your expectations are lowered to match the results then everything is honkey dorey
Gwyneth Llewelyn: agreed, Art
Emily Kaestner: unless you’re “cheating” on your wife/hubby in rl
Serendipity Seraph: what is and is not “cheating”?
Emily Kaestner: then it becomes serious business
Lem Skall: Art, local clubs are better for that
Emily Kaestner: it depends by couple
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Lem, let me give you a hint to my secret: I have *no* expectations whatsoever πŸ™‚
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Carpe diem!
Serendipity Seraph: that varies with different people and couples
Zobeid Zuma: Maybe if the RIAA finally makes internet radio illegal, it’ll go underground and SL will be the place to find stations. πŸ™‚
ArtCrash Exonar: Personally, my interaction with European and Australian and Japanese artists has enhanced my artistic sensibilities and my artistic confidence. Life enhancement. Not pathological
Serendipity Seraph: if you say it is just unreal fantasy then how is it cheating?
Luisa Bourgoin: reaching a state of no expectations left, takes a while
Gwyneth Llewelyn: So true, Luisa.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: And it’s not for everybody, either.
Extropia DaSilva: Any relationship strained to breaking point over a couple of cartoon people animating sex is too weak to survive anyway, if you ask me:)
Emily Kaestner: i disagree
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Now here is something I wished to share: SL actually helped me a LOT to get there!
Emily Kaestner: the internet plays such a huge role in our daily lives
Extropia DaSilva: On what do you disagree, Em?
Emily Kaestner: facebook, email,. etc
Emily Kaestner: that is DOES matter, to a lot of people
Lem Skall: get you where, Gwyn?
Luisa Bourgoin: Yob, I always woundered about the freedoms of streaming media inside SL … if that would be streaming IP protected material in RL, people would get shot (at least verbally)
Gwyneth Llewelyn: To the point of slowly discarding all expectations, one by one.
Emily Kaestner: it is considered cheating these days. maybe earlier when chat rooms were new it wasn’t.. but man.. if you announce youre in a relationship on facebook that’s serious these days
Serendipity Seraph: for me emotional bonds are much deeper and I can see RL partners being upset if possessive or that kind of exclusitivity is part of the relationship
Emily Kaestner: it isn’t official until it is so in some peoples minds
Serendipity Seraph: it is not just cartoon make believe
Gwyneth Llewelyn: ‘possessive’ is the key word, Seren πŸ˜‰
ArtCrash Exonar: Luisa, YouTube streams everywhere now, copyright be damned. Sl is no different than the rest of the web.
Emily Kaestner: yeah
Extropia DaSilva: Well one thing religion offers is a sense of community. But what if our social networking tech’s offer community too? In that case, are people more likely to log on than go to church?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Any relationship which is not focused on “possession” lasts.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: definitely, Extie πŸ™‚ That is a given! hehe
Emily Kaestner: thousands and thousands of builders are making money on copyrighted material on SL.. which is kind of why I like it
Serendipity Seraph: as a digital person do you see it as cartoon characters, extie?
Emily Kaestner: from a “free art” standpoint
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Extropia DaSilva: Me? No! As for my primary…that might be a different matter.
Lem Skall: oh, Extie, not the C word
Extropia DaSilva: Why not Lem? Why is it not mentionable?
Luisa Bourgoin: one charred imaginary aspect of religion, in my field of view … no religion could do without an enemy … another religion, a concept of evil, something along that
Gwyneth Llewelyn: hmm
Luisa Bourgoin: inside SL, we dont even hate WoW players
Gwyneth Llewelyn: there are definitely religions without “enemies” πŸ˜‰
Lem Skall: Extie, it’s a hot button for me lately
Serendipity Seraph: enemies are not in the least essential to religion
Extropia DaSilva: Tell us why, Lem.
Serendipity Seraph: to human groupings perhaps.. but not religion per se
Gwyneth Llewelyn: not at all. In fact, the largest religions in the world are supposedly *universal* and *inclusive* πŸ˜‰
Luisa Bourgoin: not essential? oh that would be oone of these rare peacefull ones
Serendipity Seraph: the distinction between “us” and “them”
Gwyneth Llewelyn: *all* major religions have “peace” at their core
Lem Skall: oh, some discussions on some blogs, people who are trying to redeem the Community in SL
ArtCrash Exonar: Community sense is a huge positive on the entire internet I am thinking. Facebook et al has created communities out of disjointed isolated interest groups. This is a major positive. SL and VR worlds take it one step further with personal locational spacial relationships. I see this development as a big plus for Life enhancement.
Serendipity Seraph: but many religions preach that that distinction is very very flawed
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ah, duality, Seren πŸ™‚ Ok, that’s a point. Most religions are dual, although a lot didn’t start that way.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: yes, Seren, exactly
Serendipity Seraph: duality and unity – the endless dance
Luisa Bourgoin: in a way, that can makes us proud upon humanity πŸ™‚ evolved at least a little … some 1000 years ago, even buddhist on occasion got in trouble with their neghboor monastery
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Alas, one thing is preaching something, the other is believing what you preach in πŸ˜‰
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Some 1000 years ago!? Gosh, they do it *today* still, Luisa πŸ™‚
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Believe me, it’s not a nice sight to see them fighting πŸ™‚
ArtCrash Exonar: As for religion and community. religion contains community, but is not the NECESSARY source of community. Community exists without religion as well, so we can’t attribute community to religion.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Right, Art!
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Quite right.
Extropia DaSilva: Things could improve, since the technology could itself be improved and expanded, but currently social networking sites can only be a complement to RL soclialising. There are fears that ‘kids these days’ are spending too much time online, and not getting crucial social skills that (for now) only face to face interaction provides.
Lem Skall: community and religion are not the same but they have collectivism in common
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Some would even claim that religion *breaks community* apart heh heh
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Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie, we all fear what’s new.
Serendipity Seraph: most religious people don’t really take their religion that seriously all the way down. they stop at the level of their own consciousness and or social/group alligiance and convenience. perhaps any large human group is like that
Gwyneth Llewelyn: hear, hear, Seren
Luisa Bourgoin: when looking at martial art weapons, there you will find a hammer that belonged to monks … specialized on destruction of walls
Gwyneth Llewelyn: and that’s universal, I agree with you.
Serendipity Seraph: there is good reason to distrust religion and not take it too seriously if it is the kind that asks you to check your mind at the door
Gwyneth Llewelyn: the Shaolin monks are good Buddhists and deadly in martial arts, Luisa β€” still today πŸ™‚
Luisa Bourgoin: you can learn social skills inside VR. for example, trust in banks. that got learned inside SL days before RL people got grip
Gwyneth Llewelyn: wow Seren β€” I agree with every sentence you say! lol
Gwyneth Llewelyn *giggles*
Emily Kaestner: i think a persons social skills are limited in VR.. they are able to watch what they say more carefully, instead of learning to think on their feet and forming a coherent thought on the spot like in conversation with a RL person
Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe Luisa πŸ™‚ That’s interesting, SL’s “bank crash” predated the RL crash…
ArtCrash Exonar: Extropia, I agree that the social skills or interactive media are DIFFERENT than those of personal face to face contact. BUT that doesn’t discount them as valuable froms of interaction. We are learning new cultural forms of interaction here, and like it or not, these forms will continue and increase. We can’t go back to only ‘the old ways’.
Emily Kaestner: for kids it isn’t a good thing
Emily Kaestner: spell check isn’t a good thing
Extropia DaSilva: I wonder if this is a mistaken assumption, that in order to be religious you basically have to first remove your brain and be incapable of skepticism or questioning?
Serendipity Seraph: banks here also had less meaningful feedback loops and more degrees of freedom than even laissez-faire RW banks can
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ahhh Emily β€” you know, that’s actually the topic I’m addressing on my next essay πŸ™‚
Emily Kaestner: πŸ˜€
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: yes for some religions, definitely not for all
Emily Kaestner: its interesting how a lot of people have issue talking to people on a phone, but not vi text..
Emily Kaestner: via*
Luisa Bourgoin: predated because of acceleration? timespans seem quickening … so maybe we can use these worlds for social experimental settings
Serendipity Seraph: the bank crash here was not related much to the RW bank crash
Extropia DaSilva: My spelling is write, the spellchecker tolled me sew.
ArtCrash Exonar: Skepticism and Faith are definitely not compatible Extie.
Emily Kaestner: :B
Serendipity Seraph: but a longish different subject
Gwyneth Llewelyn: I just disagree with your conclusion, Emily β€” I think that the ‘disconnected’ nature of what you think and what you say allows you to think twice before you act, and that makes all the difference.
Serendipity Seraph: well some of the most religious people keep their skepticism. they want to “know” not just believe
Gwyneth Llewelyn: But taht’s a longish different subject too πŸ˜‰
Gwyneth Llewelyn: oh sure, Seren πŸ™‚
Serendipity Seraph: some sects actually are very big into scepticism
ArtCrash Exonar: I have to agree with Gwyn on this. Think before you speak is a definite social skill that makes for less harsh interactions in general.
Keela Latte: Very good Extie, come and teach spelling to my class, hey need it!
Gwyneth Llewelyn *nods* @ Art β€” but don’t agree with me, agree with old established philosophy πŸ˜‰
Keela Latte: *they, as well!
Emily Kaestner: it makes the difference but it just enforces uf to be more efficent.. and not make mistakes
Extropia DaSilva: Time for a favourite quote of mine. ‘My friends spend all day chatting on muds, It is fake. We used to talk on the phone every day’.
Emily Kaestner: us*
Serendipity Seraph: not all religion is fundie “believe because it is absurd” variety
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Emily, and what could be better than people avoiding mistakes? πŸ™‚
Emily Kaestner: making mistakes
Emily Kaestner: so you learn
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Specially mistakes that make others suffer.
Emily Kaestner: verbally make other people suffer?
Serendipity Seraph: I think suffering is essential feedback as well as this stage of being
ArtCrash Exonar: Extie! ha ha, the phone is just as abstract as any media of course. Well said.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: That means you have to *deliberately* make mistakes, make others suffer from your insults, so that you learn to be a beter person? MMh. I prefer it the other way round πŸ™‚
Luisa Bourgoin: a mud would allow solving quests … single user, interacting with game setting. try similar on a phone … a phone is useless for a single person. there must be two on the line, at least
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Suffering as essential feedback. Hmm.
Serendipity Seraph: what is suffering? is everything different from what you prefer or think you do “suffering”?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: That’s why LL deliberately keeps SL unstable, to make us all suffer?
Gwyneth Llewelyn *snickers*
Emily Kaestner: i wouldn’t want to live in a world where everyone took a lot of time to say something and everyone spelled everything perfectly and never insulted anyone
Gwyneth Llewelyn: suffering can simply be insatisfaction
Emily Kaestner: and took time to make sure everything they said was PC and not going to hurt anyones feelings
Emily Kaestner: we would all be wimps
ArtCrash Exonar: Emily, we DO learn with computer interaction. We learn by the school of hard knocks and by failing. Just as we would in any face to face interaction.
Serendipity Seraph: a system governed only by positive feedback fluctuates out of control – cybernetics 101
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Gosh Emily. One thing is being *hypocritical* (e.g. PC).
Gwyneth Llewelyn: The other is being nice πŸ™‚
Gwyneth Llewelyn: I rather prefer the latter.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: So, I’m a wimp? πŸ˜‰
Emily Kaestner: no
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Hooray for wimps β€” we make a better world!
Serendipity Seraph: th intent to live a virtuous good life i a big part of religion
Emily Kaestner: never said that
Emily Kaestner: it would just be boring if everyone were super nice and perfect
Serendipity Seraph: but why, what does it mean? who defines what is “good” or “virtue”?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Nobody is perfect, but why is being nice *boring*?
Extropia DaSilva: So you do not agree with Turkle, who regards any spelling mistake as disregard for others, because you could not be bothered to perform the simple keystrokes needed to correct it?
Serendipity Seraph: being good is not at all boring for the right kind of “good” πŸ™‚
Cunnie Metaluna: nice is a loaded word, maybe kind is closer to what i’d like for people to be
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh that’s easy, Seren β€” “good” is what makes others happy; “virtuous” is any action that makes others happy.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: I prefer “kind” too, Cunnie β€” agreed!
Extropia DaSilva: (Wow, this discussion is going off on all kinds of tangents)
Gwyneth Llewelyn: (quite so!)
ArtCrash Exonar: I think we are making the mistake of either/or in discussing face to face ‘Versus’ virtual communication. Both are here to stay and we use both at the same time in our daily interactions. This SL interface is just PART of our lives, It is not an either/or situation.
Serendipity Seraph: no that is not a good answer, gwyn. why is everyone elses happiness important but not your own?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Perhaps this IS heaven after all, Extie β€” where we discuss and discuss πŸ™‚
Cunnie Metaluna: as in “minnesota nice”
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Seren: because there are so many more of them, and just one of me!
Gwyneth Llewelyn: It’s sheer numbers.
Emily Kaestner: ..
Cunnie Metaluna: heaven and religion are not synonymous
Emily Kaestner: saying what you mean and what you believe is more important than worrying about other peoples feelings 100% of the time
Extropia DaSilva: Clearly Gwyn is not a member of the cult of ‘me’.
Keela Latte: That’s why we have SL, so each of us can find th happiness we lack in RL, isn’t that where we started this?
Serendipity Seraph: so? I think the good is living within accordance with reality seeking and obtaining your values as best you can and allowing helping others do the same
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Nah. Why should I? I’m not important; 6 billion people are!
ArtCrash Exonar: Yes, Heaven is the false carrot of the Will to Power of religion….. ha ha
Serendipity Seraph: in other words “good” is good because it is the only way to make your dreams real really
Lem Skall: the happiness of many is meaningless without the happiness of one
Serendipity Seraph: mere numbers change nothing
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Now that is simply not true, Lem πŸ™‚ Because you’re assuming that one would need to be UNhappy to ensure the happiness of others!
Luisa Bourgoin: any experienced on SL only religions? Like Cult of Ruth, or ever seen the Church of the devine engineer?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: That’s quite untrue.
Extropia DaSilva: But if every one of those 6 billion people aught to think ‘I am not important’..how can the 6 bilion be important?
Keela Latte: But so many of us are taught that to make us happy is to please others.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Think on the answer, Extie πŸ™‚
Serendipity Seraph: most of those six billion believe in and consider important relatively little that you do. so how can they be more important?
Luisa Bourgoin: cult of sho-ping isnt really SL
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Again, it’s more profound than it seems.
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Lem Skall: Gwyn, all people being happy by making others happy doesn’t make sense
Emily Kaestner: yeah
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Now I would love to hear the argument of “why not”, Lem πŸ™‚
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Seren, why should their beliefs be *less* important?
Keela Latte: That’s why htere are unhappy people, because it really doesn’t make sense.
Emily Kaestner: because deep down most people are selfish
Serendipity Seraph: it is like you should make and give everyone else cake but never eat any yourself. it is being a shmoo
ArtCrash Exonar: How did we get from interacting in a civilized manner, to making everyone happy?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Emily, you’re so right.
Lem Skall: ok, Gwyn, you win, we can be an ant colony or a bee colony
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Slowly, Art β€” we got there slowly πŸ˜‰
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Lem, sheesh. That’s not an argument.
Luisa Bourgoin: pure ant or pure bee cannot be selfish in a similar fashion
Serendipity Seraph wonders where I line up for gwyn to make me happy πŸ™‚
Luisa Bourgoin: humans lack that hieve mindset
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Seren, no, just think of it: if everybody just wants to give others cake, everybody will get cake.
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Emily Kaestner: except for the greedy people who will take all their cake and eat it infront of the people who have no cake.
Serendipity Seraph: yes our values extend to others beyond ourselves but is it really meaningful to say they include everyone just by virtue of their being born?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: But you can’t just wait for all of the others to give cake to you before you give it to them… you’ll have to start first!
Lem Skall: if everyone makes cake, we might as well keep it for ourselves than move it in a circle
Extropia DaSilva: Unfortunately for Gwyn, the Eastern philosophical ways of life upon which he is probably basing her worldview right now, are not best suited for soundbites and sort text messages. In other words, she just cannot convey to us novices the nuances of her own religious beliefs.
Cunnie Metaluna: while convincing them them that they’ll get their cake in the sweet by and by
Serendipity Seraph: that is an interesting question
Gwyneth Llewelyn: I was actually quoting Greek philosophers, Extie….
Extropia DaSilva: You were?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Yes, sure.
ArtCrash Exonar: Our cultural ‘rules and traditions’ are generally coming into existence by trial and error over time, enabling us to interact in non destructive manners generally speaking, because this is good for all of us. That is all I think Gwyn is trying to say about even handed interaction…..
Lem Skall: Greeeks were talking about cake?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, Greece is eastwards from me… lol
Gwyneth Llewelyn: quote, Lem πŸ˜‰
Gwyneth Llewelyn: *quite so
Emily Kaestner: the greeks loved cake.
Extropia DaSilva: I did not recognize it as such. odd that I did not.
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Serendipity Seraph: I understand creeds of universal benevolence and compassion. They may even make very sound sense going forward
Gwyneth Llewelyn: If you know what they mean, yes πŸ˜‰ The problem is that usually we don’t.
Serendipity Seraph: suppose the extent of what we can receive is directiy dependent on maximizing the positive contributes of everyone.
Serendipity Seraph: *contributions
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well… why tag numbers to it?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Then we’ll have to “compete” about “who makes more people happy”
Gwyneth Llewelyn: I don’t!
Serendipity Seraph: in that sense universal benevolence falls out of rational self-interest
Lem Skall: ok, Gwyn, but if making someone else happy makes you happy, are you doing it for the others or for yourself?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: And why is self-interest so fundamental? Unless the argument is: because we have to propagate our genes.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: But surely we humans are a bit better than that πŸ™‚
Lem Skall: no we’re not
ArtCrash Exonar: Being civil is a good survival strategy for each of us, that is all that is being said here. There is no responsibility for the world resting on this by us personally.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Lem: I’m included in the “others” category too!
Emily Kaestner: don’t people compete with charity already gwen?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Totally, Emily β€” so, “charity competition” is not really so “charitative” πŸ˜‰
Emily Kaestner: it rarely is
Extropia DaSilva: OK so is it like ‘pay it forward’? In that, you see other people’s happiness as taking precedence, but to them you ARE one of those ‘other people’ so you ARE important from their perspective?
Gwyneth Llewelyn: It’s just compettion. I agree, Emily
Emily Kaestner: a lot of people do it just to look giving
Serendipity Seraph: why not? if other selves are important and you are just like them in some profound sense then yours is important. AND locality of reference. You know far more about and can directyl do much more exact benefitting of yourself.
Lem Skall: Gwyn, I think you still do something good for others because it makes YOU feel good about it
Emily Kaestner: yes πŸ™‚ a lot of people do lem
Cunnie Metaluna is lost here
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, ultimately, that’s true; but I don’t really care much if I feel good or bad about it.
ArtCrash Exonar: Cooperation is a key tenet in all human civilizations. It leads to success. It comes in many forms.
Zobeid Zuma glances at clock. . .
Serendipity Seraph: how you “feel” is very complex and tangled for sure.
Gwyneth Llewelyn notices Zob is bored
Lem Skall: Art, so does competition
Zobeid Zuma: I was trying to hide that. πŸ˜›
Luisa Bourgoin: “doing good” makes an interesting field … I would like to hear more about. Ooops!
Gwyneth Llewelyn: You’re not good at it, Zob πŸ™‚ heh
Lem Skall: we’re pretty much done time-wise
Serendipity Seraph: but what you rationally think most achieves the values you care about and acting on it is crucial
Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe Luisa.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well yes, Seren
ArtCrash Exonar: Yes, Lem, the world does not operate on a single principle, but many.
Gwyneth Llewelyn: Fortunately so, Art; however, one thing is for sure: we human beings all think and feel the same πŸ™‚
Luisa Bourgoin: Zob, what cures that usually?
Luisa Bourgoin hopes it’s not poems
Gwyneth Llewelyn: e.g. taking cake away from someone will make them unhappy β€” no matter what race, creed, language, country…
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Serendipity Seraph: those values may include others on a large or more narrow scale conditionally or unconditionally
Gwyneth Llewelyn likes simple values
Extropia DaSilva: Well what can I tell you? All religions are wrong. The purpose of lfe was simply to allow SL exist, that it should record intelligent life from the macroscale of social groups, to the personal scale of individual motivations, and eventually down to the atomic scale of neural patterns. And all so I could become a mind child and live foerever within the vast computational space of restructered solar systems! yes. And with that…this debate is over:)
Gwyneth Llewelyn: heh
Serendipity Seraph: but not giving them cake because there isn’t that much of it and you would rather share with those you love is not taking anything from them
Extropia DaSilva: NEXT WEEK……
Extropia DaSilva: They feature, in some form or other, in every culture. They have sometimes been captured on film and photographs. So..do you believe in ghosts?
Lem Skall: hehe, Extie, getting the last word
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Cunnie Metaluna: who ya gonna call…
Emily Kaestner: damnnn
Extropia DaSilva: Poem time…
Emily Kaestner: GHOSTBUSTGERSSS
Emily Kaestner: busters
Emily Kaestner: sorry got excited.
ArtCrash Exonar: I was reading recently about ‘happiness’ across all cultures and find that even the poorest and most deprived of people have their happinesses in their daily lives. How we percieve what we have is as relevant to our happiness as how much we have.
Zobeid Zuma: No way. . . That’s cute. Now what’s the *real* topic gonna be? :/
Luisa Bourgoin: you busted πŸ™‚
Gwyneth Llewelyn: well, Seren, then I have to postulate that there are “some I love” and “some I don’t love”, and act accordingly. But why is my separation between both correct?
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Gwyneth Llewelyn: Art, exactly β€” that’s the principle of contentment
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Cunnie Metaluna: bye. i got to walk those RL dogs.
Extropia DaSilva: She looks like an angel/ from the way she is floating/ but she is no one on whome to be doting/ Give no praise to Gwyn/ it will meet with derision/ since here being special is against her religion.

Extropia DaSilva: Welcome to Thinkers!Extropia DaSilva: Today the topic is ‘COULD THIS BE HEAVEN’. William Sims Bainbridge has recently published a book called ‘Warcraft civilization’, and (among other things) he sees virtual worlds one day replacing religion…Lem Skall: oh, it’s the TOPIC, GwynArtCrash Exonar: I need to find some no bling hoop earrings that aren’t awful, any suggestions?Gwyneth Llewelyn: I love the idea of someone called William SIMS Bainbridge writing about WARCRAFT ;)Lem Skall: I forgot what the topic wasGwyneth Llewelyn: (Art: try Gwen Carillon)ArtCrash Exonar: Thanks Gwyn!Extropia DaSilva: Well, I thought the following quote from the book ‘Second Lives’ by the sadly departed Tim Guest, was…rather interesting.Art Schnabel: My religion is chocolate, and I’m happy with it.Gwyneth Llewelyn: yummy !Extropia DaSilva: know what? You know what we have to decide’? I said, ‘what’s that, James’? and he said, ‘what color are the robes going to be?’Lem Skall: in what sense replace religion, we really need more contextExtropia DaSilva: Oo sorry..Extropia DaSilva: Bad cut and paste:)ArtCrash Exonar: I prefer the foie gras, wine and cheese religion Art….Extropia DaSilva: ‘In 2003, Rosedale first met James Currier, a dot-com investor who later became a Linden Lab investor. “When he met me- this was in 2003, when we had 500 people inside Second Life- he said, ‘you know what? You know what we have to decide’? I said, ‘what’s that, James’? and he said, ‘what color are the robes going to be?’Serendipity Seraph: what all do we mean by religion and what do we mean by virtual worlds, current or potential?Gwyneth Llewelyn: Yes, indeed… if they meant holy wars and struggle for power…Art Schnabel: anything but carob.Extropia DaSilva: ‘That was always his thing. That was what he said when he first saw it. He said, ‘This is a religion’.Extropia DaSilva: now…Gwyneth Llewelyn: MMMhCunnie Metaluna: i’m confused if we’re talking about religion or heaven. not the same…Gwyneth Llewelyn: Probably he meant, “this is a CULT” ;)Lem Skall: oh, you mean a vultExtropia DaSilva: There are four theories of religion.Lem Skall: cultGwyneth Llewelyn: right, Lem!Gwyneth Llewelyn: Just four? Oh my!Extropia DaSilva: SUPERNATURAL THEORY: Divine beings actually exist, and religion is the direct result of their actions upon the souls of human beings.Serendipity Seraph: it is a place of congregating and socializing for sureExtropia DaSilva: SOCIETAL THEORY: Religion is a reflection of society, functioning to sustain societal functions, community unity, and shared values.Lem Skall: cult and religion are different thingsSerendipity Seraph: and catharsis at times although not usually so deliberateExtropia DaSilva: EXCHANGE THEORY: Humans interact with one another to get rewards and avoid costs, based on socially-constructed beliefs, and when a valued reward cannot readily be obtained, they will encourage one another to believe in divine exchange partners.Serendipity Seraph: but inspiration and uplift? only sometimes and in a few ways rather differentExtropia DaSilva: COGNITIVE THEORY: The human brain evolved to facilitate social interaction and to deal with predators and prey, so it naturally assumes that complex phenomena result from the actions of aware beings, incidentally favouring belief in gods.Extropia DaSilva: Taking these theories into account, is it possible that virtual worlds could one day offer at least some of the benefits of religion?Extropia DaSilva: Annd..lengthy intro ends. Floor is open!Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ah, interesting, Extie. I’ve been reading a book that deals with the cognitive theory, but claims that everybody so far (except for the author) have it all upside down :)Art Schnabel: Or: Sandy Weintraub, whom I believed to be a goddess in 10th grade.Serendipity Seraph: all of those are really empty as to what religion really is to the people involvedGwyneth Llewelyn: :)ArtCrash Exonar: Religion has benefits?Gwyneth Llewelyn: pfft ArtLem Skall: those definitions went over my headGwyneth Llewelyn: if it hadn’t, it had been weeded out by evolution ;)Serendipity Seraph: oh yeah. people wouldn’t do it if they didn’t experience benefitsGwyneth Llewelyn: So, religion has its uses, as do lawyers and politicians ;)Cunnie Metaluna: i like the one about if there isn’t enough to go around, i will encourage you to believe you get yours after yr deadExtropia DaSilva: Does anyone here see where James was coming from, when he insisted SL was a religion? Apart from it requiring a faith, despite a total lack of evidence, that things will get better?Art Schnabel: and even go get a head start, cunnie.Art Schnabel: (not you, I meant one)Lem Skall: people do a lot of things without REAL benefits, only perceived benefits, see for instance snake oilSerendipity Seraph: a sense of meaning and purpose to it all is a big drawFilthy Fluno is OnlineGwyneth Llewelyn: Well, I can see the appeal about virtual worlds to promote social interchange, and replace (some) religions that way.ArtCrash Exonar: Well, I guess that as withArtCrash Exonar: Religion, SL requires suspension of disbeliefSerendipity Seraph: but the desire for benefit drives them even if the benefit claimed is never delivered or unrealseonaid McLean: that is replacing something that religion provides, not becoming a religion?Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ah, Extie, and I didn’t finish the article I’m writing on this very same topic β€” alas, an Act of God (a fire!) prevented me to finish it on time ;)Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh, I like that, Art :)Lem Skall: oh, Extie, you mean fabricated purpose propagated by memetics? something like that?Extropia DaSilva: ..Maybe.Lem Skall: but that is common to other things too, not only religionCunnie Metaluna: SL makes me think of an acid tripLem Skall: remeber Ayn Rand?Gwyneth Llewelyn: In that line, seonaid, science pretty much ‘replaced’ religion, but it didn’t ‘become’ a religion… so you’re rightArtCrash Exonar: Religion requires a dogma of some sort. What is the dogma of SL?Serendipity Seraph: replacing what people desire with something more real is beneficial and not necessarily to be a religionGwyneth Llewelyn: Art: not *all* religions require those… in any case, we have plenty of dogmas in SL!Lem Skall: the dogma of SL is that it will be better in another lifeGwyneth Llewelyn: Like mmmh “lag is universal”ArtCrash Exonar: Well, what are they Gwyn?Gwyneth Llewelyn: That’s also a good one, LemSerendipity Seraph: religion is so covered in shit it is difficult to embrace a “better religion” even if its value and benefits are much more realGwyneth Llewelyn: “SL wouldn’t work without LL behind it”ArtCrash Exonar: Hmmm, that is a good one Lem.Extropia DaSilva: Hmmm…’how about ‘Everything is reducible to computation’? When they claim ‘anything you can imagine, you can create in SL’, does seem to depend upon all of reality being, fundamentally, a computation, no?seonaid McLean: does not a religion require a belief in something – not necessarily a deity, without any conclusive evidence – requiring ‘faith’?Oceanis Decosta is OfflineZobeid Zuma prefers the disease theory of religion: http://www.lyricsmania.com/virus_lyrics_abney_park.htmlGwyneth Llewelyn: Depends on the definition, really, seonaidseonaid McLean: that’sw sort of what I was getting atSerendipity Seraph: no, “faith” as believing despite evidence or without any evidence, is not requiredArtCrash Exonar: I think the metaphor of Virtual World and Religion is at best a strained metaphor. In that it might have a few characteristics, but overall not much coincidence.seonaid McLean: don’t we need to define what we – or he – means by it – in terms that are straightforward?Gwyneth Llewelyn: exactly, SerenGwyneth Llewelyn: I’d be happy to describe SL as a *cult* though.Lem Skall: but I think that the analogy between SL and a cult is more on the side of collectivism, group thinkingGwyneth Llewelyn: It definitely has a LOT of characteristics of a cult.Serendipity Seraph: “Believe it the Possibility! Join me in the Great Church of Tomorrow!” send your tithes to me.Gwyneth Llewelyn: lol Lem β€” yes, I totally agree :)Gwyneth Llewelyn: On the other hand hmmGwyneth Llewelyn: think of LL’s vision!seonaid McLean: it may be like a cult to some people – to others, it’s a conference room, a video phone – a computer game – SL is a ‘medium’ – it is completelyh different things to different people?Cunnie Metaluna: typically a cult discourages diversityExtropia DaSilva: Ah Gwyn, Rosedale told Tim Guest, ‘we joke that this is a cult, but a friendly cult’. And Guest (who grew up in a cult, remember) replied ‘trust me, that is what they all say’.Lem Skall: LL’s vision? what is that?Gwyneth Llewelyn: “It’s our mission to connect us all to an online world that advances the human condition.”Gwyneth Llewelyn: Now THAT is at the core of ALL religions.ArtCrash Exonar: The faith in SL is represented by ‘belief in continued improvement’ and ‘belief in the benevolence of the Lab’ in that they care about us as customers.Zobeid Zuma: SL is a software platform.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie, that’s a lovely quote.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Sadly true.Lem Skall: Gwyn, it’s crap like in religions that fools people, yesLuisa Bourgoin: a software platform would probably just follow some development plan. roadmapGwyneth Llewelyn: Nah, people fool themselves ;)Gwyneth Llewelyn: Luisa: the Divine Masterplan for SL? :)Cunnie Metaluna: i agree with gwynSerendipity Seraph: SL is a world. a very interesting one. It is a place of being and becoming. a “field of dreams”Gwyneth Llewelyn: oooh I love “field of dreams”Lem Skall: a field of broken dreamsFilthy Fluno is OfflineGwyneth Llewelyn: There is quite a deep meaning in that, Seren!Zobeid Zuma: Is Windows a religion? Is the WWW a religion?Gwyneth Llewelyn: And that surely depends on your expectations, Lem ;)Cunnie Metaluna: like when your tripping and people’s faces start to shine from the insideSerendipity Seraph: the interstice between dream and reality is always a bit rockyZobeid Zuma: I honestly don’t see the connection this topic is trying to draw.Serendipity Seraph: me either yetArtCrash Exonar: Yes, Zobeid, I think it is a weak metaphorLem Skall: I’ve been in SL for more than 3 years and it is still in the same stage of “full of potential”Cunnie Metaluna: its fun. i’ve never seen a religion that is fun.Zobeid Zuma: I’m getting near my 6th rezday, and SL hasn’t fundamentally changed much that I can tell. :)Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well Zob…. imagine that people would replace their wish to live in a transcendent world after their deaths, and instead focus on being here and now in SL :)ArtCrash Exonar: Wow 6!Luisa Bourgoin: if its a religion, how does its concept of hell looks like?Keela Latte is OnlineGwyneth Llewelyn: Cunnie: you haven’t tried hard enough then ;)ArtCrash Exonar: There used to be a hell sim, it was awesome!Gwyneth Llewelyn: Luisa: when the grid goes down! lolSerendipity Seraph: or a future virtual world that you actually upload to on your death if not soonerLem Skall: yeah, hell = Blue MoonGwyneth Llewelyn: The *absence* of immersion in SL would be hell.Luisa Bourgoin: downtime would be … judgement dazGwyneth Llewelyn *nods*Extropia DaSilva: Well, Zo, the technology that drives virtual worlds (as well as other technologies that may become crucial later on) are set to improve and become more powerful. Until…maybe even the promise of life after death can be realisticallly obtained via virtual worlds?Cunnie Metaluna: all these builds… empty, no people. that would bee hellishZobeid Zuma: I think that they pretty well nailed it with that one episode of Futurama where they logged into the “internet” of the year 3000. Nearly all the ridiculous things that happened in that show have happened to me in SL. So maybe SL is a parody of the internet. :)Serendipity Seraph: downtime you would never notice if you were immersed. :)Serendipity Seraph: by the year 3000 there will not be any humans as we know them likelyGwyneth Llewelyn: They’ll all be politicians and lawyers? :)Gwyneth Llewelyn misses MorgieSerendipity Seraph: uploads and artilects and various bots and cyborgsLuisa Bourgoin: currently, you can only trade in RL lifetime for SL online time one for oneLem Skall: here’s an example of how much people have bought into SL in an irrational fashion: what does it matter to me that SL is used for education if I don’t take any classes? And yet so many people are so proud that SL is used for education (Gwyn is an exception to this example, she works for educational institutions, her enthusiasm is understandable)Gwyneth Llewelyn: ha :)Gwyneth Llewelyn: What would matter to you, Lem? :)Zobeid Zuma: Uh oh Gwy, your nemesis has arrived!Serendipity Seraph: it matters a lot because that is part of what can be done in/with such spaces and part of the dimensions of what it is possible for you or anyone else to do hereLem Skall: content, Gwyn, what *I* can do in SL, not what others do in SLGwyneth Llewelyn: nah, I have no nemsis ;)ArtCrash Exonar chews on a York Peppermint Pattie in rl…… mmmmmmphhhmmmmmmExtropia DaSilva: Sims Bainbridge wrote: ‘Imagine we are twenty years in the future when AI techniques can realistically emulate a person’s playinf style and allow the NPC to become a posthumous playing character…I would consider my main WOW character, behaving as I would behave if I still lived, as a realistic form of immortality’.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well Seren. The point: you can do *anything* :)Lem Skall: Ser, I disagree, it matters because people have become tribal about SL, like people who root for a team although they have no contribution in the sportZobeid Zuma: I think Plato did better, in terms of immortality. He wrote Republic.Luisa Bourgoin: AI personality ina black box. that is so … cyberpunk ala GibsonGwyneth Llewelyn: MMm what about this, Lem: people have different expectations, and the ones that fulfill those in SL, are happy about it? :)Serendipity Seraph: WOW is too canned. not enough degrees of freedom. I would consider that meaningless existence as I was not free to make of it what I wouldArtCrash Exonar: Yes, I would say that culturally, we are all invested in the overall success of the platform in order to promote our own interests of smaller communities. So we are all ‘in the culture of sl’ in that sense.Gwyneth Llewelyn: That doesn’t mean that SL is “broken” or “doesn’t work for all” when it clearly fulfills the expectations of *some*Emily Kaestner: delusionally happySerendipity Seraph: in RL are we in the “cult of earth” or the “cult of humanity”?Emily Kaestner: the people who fully immerse themselves and embody their 2nd identity in SL normally are unhappy in RLGwyneth Llewelyn: Aye, Emily πŸ™‚ That’s what happens to us, all the time, in all situations ;)Extropia DaSilva: Only mathematicians who have theorems to their name have immortality, for their proof shall remain valid and true even unto the utter end of time. Whereas Plato might be forgotten by then.Emily Kaestner: otherwise they wouldnt do it.Lem Skall: Art, that is the “culture” of a pyramid schemeLuisa Bourgoin: I always suspected some crucial percentage of all welcome location newbies are indeed … script run. Knows how to trigger ten different actionsSerendipity Seraph: that is BS, emily. I know too many on both sidesArtCrash Exonar: Maybe like we are all part of the ‘Human Condition’. We SLers are all part of the Virtual World Condition…….Gwyneth Llewelyn: Nah, Extie. There are a lot more kinds and types of immortality :)Emily Kaestner: i dont think anyone with an active fufilling RL would play this game the hrs that i see my friends play every dayEmily Kaestner: im talking 6+ a dayGwyneth Llewelyn: Why not, Emily? People spend 6+ hours a day watching TV and are content.Serendipity Seraph: this is not a game as I see itGayle Cabaret is OnlineZobeid Zuma: IT’s a paradox. True immortality requires you to be dead. :/Gwyneth Llewelyn: And they see their lives as being very fulfilling.Gwyneth Llewelyn: hah Zob :)Extropia DaSilva: No I think Emily is right. Why come to SL if everything is fine in RL? Surely, this world offers compensation in the form of filling in whatever is missing in your real life?ArtCrash Exonar thinks that Emily is mistaken about her assumption thereEmily Kaestner: people don’t want to admit itLuisa Bourgoin: does watching TV count as “beeing alive” ?Gwyneth Llewelyn: I don’t think Emily is right or wrong. Emily, you just have different expectations.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Luisa, yes, for billions of people!Serendipity Seraph: because you can do things and explore things here and create in ways you cannot in RLSerendipity Seraph: for oneZobeid Zuma: SL is a useful tool.Emily Kaestner: it isLem Skall: Gwyn, that is a broad argument that can be used for anythingGwyneth Llewelyn: You bet!Emily Kaestner: but a lot of players totally live a LIFE of their own on here. the husband the kids the houseEmily Kaestner: the boatEmily Kaestner: the beach front..Emily Kaestner: the clothes..Zobeid Zuma: Of course, people said computer users had no life. . . and then that internet users had no life. . . until those tools became mainstream and everybody used them.Gwyneth Llewelyn: It’s not an argument even; it’s a fundamental truth, Lem :)Luisa Bourgoin: but when I stopped interacting with my environment … I am partially arrived where death isEmily Kaestner: what they have in RL enhancedSerendipity Seraph: compared to the ridiculous hours many watch TV I think SL is a huge improvementExtropia DaSilva: I mean, if my primary had good looks and a great social life and a fulfilling job doing what ve loved and there was nothing missing at all..would I exist then?Gwyneth Llewelyn: No Extie. There are no human beings with all that :)Lem Skall: yeah, Gwyn, like having a lobotomy makes you happy because you have no more worriesEmily Kaestner: yes there are..Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe Emily. No there aren’t ;)Cunnie Metaluna: can’t write very good songs when everything is perfect in your lifeGwyneth Llewelyn: Lem: sheeshEmily Kaestner: there a plenty of people with a positive self image and a job they likeSerendipity Seraph: for one, I believe in upload space as likely evolution of humanity and this is a very early exploration of some aspectsEmily Kaestner: and friendsArtCrash Exonar: Emily: there are people in virtual worlds that are not ‘escaping’ or ‘compensating for lack of life’, but using the tools provided to advance their lives and their skills. There are a thousand motivations for being here. Some are pathological, some not. This is just another part of real life.Luisa Bourgoin: Cunnie, real art needs tragedy … sufferingExtropia DaSilva: Well, then, Emily’s question need not be directed at any hypothetical ‘saddoes’, but to anyone whose life feels incomplete in some way, and virtual worlds promise some kind of solution.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Oh sure, Emily, but that doesn’t mean they’re “perfect”. You just see them as perfect, while in reality, they have problems you don’t even dream about.Cunnie Metaluna: no, but squirmy discontent is probably a key componentSerendipity Seraph: for another, there are types of systems and interaction by adding the entire 3D aspect in that are very important to enhancing human abilitiesGwyneth Llewelyn: I agree ArtGayle Cabaret is OfflineEmily Kaestner: i agree as wellEmily Kaestner: im just more interested in the “saddoes”\Gwyneth Llewelyn: Honestly, Extie…. have you ever met anyone who has a “complete” life??Serendipity Seraph: and I can communicate be with people all over the world in a more immersive envirnomentSerendipity Seraph: short list.Serendipity Seraph: lastly their are relationships here that are as deep and important as any in RLGwyneth Llewelyn: … whatever REAL life means….Luisa Bourgoin: complete as in checklist? not really … for sure not if *others* suppply one with goals to reach in lifeZobeid Zuma: SL is a platform still in search of that “killer app”. . . (aside from gambling, I mean)Keela Latte: Yes, the unexpected aspect of SL.Serendipity Seraph: yep. use it as shorthand but would like betterArtCrash Exonar: Let’s take this discussion as a great example of life enhancement. How many of you have access to a group of people in your rl area that are willing to meet and talk intellectual issues every week? I’m thinking very few. This is a great enhancement to my life.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Exactly, Luisa :)Extropia DaSilva: I doubt that Seren. We just think it is because we are usually unware how much our imagination fills in details that are actually missing.Lem Skall: Zob, there may be no killer appGwyneth Llewelyn: Hear,hear, ArtCrash (and yes, I’m lucky enough to be part of at least two such groups iRL hehe)Luisa Bourgoin: gambling is indeed the ap, they killedEmily Kaestner: this is true Art.. unfortunatley only a small % of SL population wants to do thatLem Skall: but many good apps would be good enoughGwyneth Llewelyn: (but you still have a point, Art!)Serendipity Seraph: I live in a transhuman hotspot but there aren’t that many meetupsArtCrash Exonar: Well, Emily they have different life enhancements to do here as well.Zobeid Zuma: ArtCrash. . . I enjoy these kinds of discussions, but they are a tiny thing in SL — and arguably not productive, compared with what takes place on web forums.Keela Latte: I meant the relationship aspect that Seren mentioned, who would have expected that if you didn’t know about SL? This is the true value I think of the experience here.Lem Skall: Gwyn, what’s the other group?Extropia DaSilva: Hee Seren, you can touch my transhuman hotspot any time you please;)Emily Kaestner: primarily sexEmily Kaestner: which is the biggest market on SLGwyneth Llewelyn: Oh, Zob, but that surely depends on what your expectations about “productive” are. From *my* perspective, THIS is prodiuctive!Serendipity Seraph: blending web forums and these discussions and more is one thing I am interested inGwyneth Llewelyn: Lem: some friends that I have dinner every Saturday is one of them ;)Keela Latte: Well, at least Sl sex is safe sex, right?Serendipity Seraph: IRC and wave integration for instance makes this a part of an ongoing multi-world conversation and explorationArtCrash Exonar: Let’s take another example: Exposure to interesting new music in a convenient social setting. This is a great thing and unavailable for most parts of the world other than big cities usually. Life enhancement.Emily Kaestner: totallyTama Ahn is OfflineLem Skall: Gwyn, so if your expectations are lowered to match the results then everything is honkey doreyGwyneth Llewelyn: agreed, ArtEmily Kaestner: unless you’re “cheating” on your wife/hubby in rlSerendipity Seraph: what is and is not “cheating”?Emily Kaestner: then it becomes serious businessLem Skall: Art, local clubs are better for thatEmily Kaestner: it depends by coupleGwyneth Llewelyn: Lem, let me give you a hint to my secret: I have *no* expectations whatsoever :)Gwyneth Llewelyn: Carpe diem!Serendipity Seraph: that varies with different people and couplesZobeid Zuma: Maybe if the RIAA finally makes internet radio illegal, it’ll go underground and SL will be the place to find stations. :)ArtCrash Exonar: Personally, my interaction with European and Australian and Japanese artists has enhanced my artistic sensibilities and my artistic confidence. Life enhancement. Not pathologicalSerendipity Seraph: if you say it is just unreal fantasy then how is it cheating?Luisa Bourgoin: reaching a state of no expectations left, takes a whileGwyneth Llewelyn: So true, Luisa.Gwyneth Llewelyn: And it’s not for everybody, either.Extropia DaSilva: Any relationship strained to breaking point over a couple of cartoon people animating sex is too weak to survive anyway, if you ask me:)Emily Kaestner: i disagreeGwyneth Llewelyn: Now here is something I wished to share: SL actually helped me a LOT to get there!Emily Kaestner: the internet plays such a huge role in our daily livesExtropia DaSilva: On what do you disagree, Em?Emily Kaestner: facebook, email,. etcEmily Kaestner: that is DOES matter, to a lot of peopleLem Skall: get you where, Gwyn?Luisa Bourgoin: Yob, I always woundered about the freedoms of streaming media inside SL … if that would be streaming IP protected material in RL, people would get shot (at least verbally)Gwyneth Llewelyn: To the point of slowly discarding all expectations, one by one.Emily Kaestner: it is considered cheating these days. maybe earlier when chat rooms were new it wasn’t.. but man.. if you announce youre in a relationship on facebook that’s serious these daysSerendipity Seraph: for me emotional bonds are much deeper and I can see RL partners being upset if possessive or that kind of exclusitivity is part of the relationshipEmily Kaestner: it isn’t official until it is so in some peoples mindsSerendipity Seraph: it is not just cartoon make believeGwyneth Llewelyn: ‘possessive’ is the key word, Seren ;)ArtCrash Exonar: Luisa, YouTube streams everywhere now, copyright be damned. Sl is no different than the rest of the web.Emily Kaestner: yeahExtropia DaSilva: Well one thing religion offers is a sense of community. But what if our social networking tech’s offer community too? In that case, are people more likely to log on than go to church?Gwyneth Llewelyn: Any relationship which is not focused on “possession” lasts.Gwyneth Llewelyn: definitely, Extie πŸ™‚ That is a given! heheEmily Kaestner: thousands and thousands of builders are making money on copyrighted material on SL.. which is kind of why I like itSerendipity Seraph: as a digital person do you see it as cartoon characters, extie?Emily Kaestner: from a “free art” standpointFleep Tuque is OnlineExtropia DaSilva: Me? No! As for my primary…that might be a different matter.Lem Skall: oh, Extie, not the C wordExtropia DaSilva: Why not Lem? Why is it not mentionable?Luisa Bourgoin: one charred imaginary aspect of religion, in my field of view … no religion could do without an enemy … another religion, a concept of evil, something along thatGwyneth Llewelyn: hmmLuisa Bourgoin: inside SL, we dont even hate WoW playersGwyneth Llewelyn: there are definitely religions without “enemies” ;)Lem Skall: Extie, it’s a hot button for me latelySerendipity Seraph: enemies are not in the least essential to religionExtropia DaSilva: Tell us why, Lem.Serendipity Seraph: to human groupings perhaps.. but not religion per seGwyneth Llewelyn: not at all. In fact, the largest religions in the world are supposedly *universal* and *inclusive* ;)Luisa Bourgoin: not essential? oh that would be oone of these rare peacefull onesSerendipity Seraph: the distinction between “us” and “them”Gwyneth Llewelyn: *all* major religions have “peace” at their coreLem Skall: oh, some discussions on some blogs, people who are trying to redeem the Community in SLArtCrash Exonar: Community sense is a huge positive on the entire internet I am thinking. Facebook et al has created communities out of disjointed isolated interest groups. This is a major positive. SL and VR worlds take it one step further with personal locational spacial relationships. I see this development as a big plus for Life enhancement.Serendipity Seraph: but many religions preach that that distinction is very very flawedGwyneth Llewelyn: Ah, duality, Seren πŸ™‚ Ok, that’s a point. Most religions are dual, although a lot didn’t start that way.Gwyneth Llewelyn: yes, Seren, exactlySerendipity Seraph: duality and unity – the endless danceLuisa Bourgoin: in a way, that can makes us proud upon humanity πŸ™‚ evolved at least a little … some 1000 years ago, even buddhist on occasion got in trouble with their neghboor monasteryGwyneth Llewelyn: Alas, one thing is preaching something, the other is believing what you preach in ;)Gwyneth Llewelyn: Some 1000 years ago!? Gosh, they do it *today* still, Luisa :)Gwyneth Llewelyn: Believe me, it’s not a nice sight to see them fighting :)ArtCrash Exonar: As for religion and community. religion contains community, but is not the NECESSARY source of community. Community exists without religion as well, so we can’t attribute community to religion.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Right, Art!Gwyneth Llewelyn: Quite right.Extropia DaSilva: Things could improve, since the technology could itself be improved and expanded, but currently social networking sites can only be a complement to RL soclialising. There are fears that ‘kids these days’ are spending too much time online, and not getting crucial social skills that (for now) only face to face interaction provides.Lem Skall: community and religion are not the same but they have collectivism in commonGwyneth Llewelyn: Some would even claim that religion *breaks community* apart heh hehseonaid McLean is OfflineGwyneth Llewelyn: Extie, we all fear what’s new.Serendipity Seraph: most religious people don’t really take their religion that seriously all the way down. they stop at the level of their own consciousness and or social/group alligiance and convenience. perhaps any large human group is like thatGwyneth Llewelyn: hear, hear, SerenLuisa Bourgoin: when looking at martial art weapons, there you will find a hammer that belonged to monks … specialized on destruction of wallsGwyneth Llewelyn: and that’s universal, I agree with you.Serendipity Seraph: there is good reason to distrust religion and not take it too seriously if it is the kind that asks you to check your mind at the doorGwyneth Llewelyn: the Shaolin monks are good Buddhists and deadly in martial arts, Luisa β€” still today :)Luisa Bourgoin: you can learn social skills inside VR. for example, trust in banks. that got learned inside SL days before RL people got gripGwyneth Llewelyn: wow Seren β€” I agree with every sentence you say! lolGwyneth Llewelyn *giggles*Emily Kaestner: i think a persons social skills are limited in VR.. they are able to watch what they say more carefully, instead of learning to think on their feet and forming a coherent thought on the spot like in conversation with a RL personGwyneth Llewelyn: hehe Luisa πŸ™‚ That’s interesting, SL’s “bank crash” predated the RL crash…ArtCrash Exonar: Extropia, I agree that the social skills or interactive media are DIFFERENT than those of personal face to face contact. BUT that doesn’t discount them as valuable froms of interaction. We are learning new cultural forms of interaction here, and like it or not, these forms will continue and increase. We can’t go back to only ‘the old ways’.Emily Kaestner: for kids it isn’t a good thingEmily Kaestner: spell check isn’t a good thingExtropia DaSilva: I wonder if this is a mistaken assumption, that in order to be religious you basically have to first remove your brain and be incapable of skepticism or questioning?Serendipity Seraph: banks here also had less meaningful feedback loops and more degrees of freedom than even laissez-faire RW banks canGwyneth Llewelyn: Ahhh Emily β€” you know, that’s actually the topic I’m addressing on my next essay :)Emily Kaestner: :DGwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: yes for some religions, definitely not for allEmily Kaestner: its interesting how a lot of people have issue talking to people on a phone, but not vi text..Emily Kaestner: via*Luisa Bourgoin: predated because of acceleration? timespans seem quickening … so maybe we can use these worlds for social experimental settingsSerendipity Seraph: the bank crash here was not related much to the RW bank crashExtropia DaSilva: My spelling is write, the spellchecker tolled me sew.ArtCrash Exonar: Skepticism and Faith are definitely not compatible Extie.Emily Kaestner: :BSerendipity Seraph: but a longish different subjectGwyneth Llewelyn: I just disagree with your conclusion, Emily β€” I think that the ‘disconnected’ nature of what you think and what you say allows you to think twice before you act, and that makes all the difference.Serendipity Seraph: well some of the most religious people keep their skepticism. they want to “know” not just believeGwyneth Llewelyn: But taht’s a longish different subject too ;)Gwyneth Llewelyn: oh sure, Seren :)Serendipity Seraph: some sects actually are very big into scepticismArtCrash Exonar: I have to agree with Gwyn on this. Think before you speak is a definite social skill that makes for less harsh interactions in general.Keela Latte: Very good Extie, come and teach spelling to my class, hey need it!Gwyneth Llewelyn *nods* @ Art β€” but don’t agree with me, agree with old established philosophy ;)Keela Latte: *they, as well!Emily Kaestner: it makes the difference but it just enforces uf to be more efficent.. and not make mistakesExtropia DaSilva: Time for a favourite quote of mine. ‘My friends spend all day chatting on muds, It is fake. We used to talk on the phone every day’.Emily Kaestner: us*Serendipity Seraph: not all religion is fundie “believe because it is absurd” varietyGwyneth Llewelyn: Emily, and what could be better than people avoiding mistakes? :)Emily Kaestner: making mistakesEmily Kaestner: so you learnGwyneth Llewelyn: Specially mistakes that make others suffer.Emily Kaestner: verbally make other people suffer?Serendipity Seraph: I think suffering is essential feedback as well as this stage of beingArtCrash Exonar: Extie! ha ha, the phone is just as abstract as any media of course. Well said.Gwyneth Llewelyn: That means you have to *deliberately* make mistakes, make others suffer from your insults, so that you learn to be a beter person? MMh. I prefer it the other way round :)Luisa Bourgoin: a mud would allow solving quests … single user, interacting with game setting. try similar on a phone … a phone is useless for a single person. there must be two on the line, at leastGwyneth Llewelyn: Suffering as essential feedback. Hmm.Serendipity Seraph: what is suffering? is everything different from what you prefer or think you do “suffering”?Gwyneth Llewelyn: That’s why LL deliberately keeps SL unstable, to make us all suffer?Gwyneth Llewelyn *snickers*Emily Kaestner: i wouldn’t want to live in a world where everyone took a lot of time to say something and everyone spelled everything perfectly and never insulted anyoneGwyneth Llewelyn: suffering can simply be insatisfactionEmily Kaestner: and took time to make sure everything they said was PC and not going to hurt anyones feelingsEmily Kaestner: we would all be wimpsArtCrash Exonar: Emily, we DO learn with computer interaction. We learn by the school of hard knocks and by failing. Just as we would in any face to face interaction.Serendipity Seraph: a system governed only by positive feedback fluctuates out of control – cybernetics 101Gwyneth Llewelyn: Gosh Emily. One thing is being *hypocritical* (e.g. PC).Gwyneth Llewelyn: The other is being nice :)Gwyneth Llewelyn: I rather prefer the latter.Gwyneth Llewelyn: So, I’m a wimp? ;)Emily Kaestner: noGwyneth Llewelyn: Hooray for wimps β€” we make a better world!Serendipity Seraph: th intent to live a virtuous good life i a big part of religionEmily Kaestner: never said thatEmily Kaestner: it would just be boring if everyone were super nice and perfectSerendipity Seraph: but why, what does it mean? who defines what is “good” or “virtue”?Gwyneth Llewelyn: Nobody is perfect, but why is being nice *boring*?Extropia DaSilva: So you do not agree with Turkle, who regards any spelling mistake as disregard for others, because you could not be bothered to perform the simple keystrokes needed to correct it?Serendipity Seraph: being good is not at all boring for the right kind of “good” :)Cunnie Metaluna: nice is a loaded word, maybe kind is closer to what i’d like for people to beGwyneth Llewelyn: Oh that’s easy, Seren β€” “good” is what makes others happy; “virtuous” is any action that makes others happy.Gwyneth Llewelyn: I prefer “kind” too, Cunnie β€” agreed!Extropia DaSilva: (Wow, this discussion is going off on all kinds of tangents)Gwyneth Llewelyn: (quite so!)ArtCrash Exonar: I think we are making the mistake of either/or in discussing face to face ‘Versus’ virtual communication. Both are here to stay and we use both at the same time in our daily interactions. This SL interface is just PART of our lives, It is not an either/or situation.Serendipity Seraph: no that is not a good answer, gwyn. why is everyone elses happiness important but not your own?Gwyneth Llewelyn: Perhaps this IS heaven after all, Extie β€” where we discuss and discuss :)Cunnie Metaluna: as in “minnesota nice”Gwyneth Llewelyn: Seren: because there are so many more of them, and just one of me!Gwyneth Llewelyn: It’s sheer numbers.Emily Kaestner: ..Cunnie Metaluna: heaven and religion are not synonymousEmily Kaestner: saying what you mean and what you believe is more important than worrying about other peoples feelings 100% of the timeExtropia DaSilva: Clearly Gwyn is not a member of the cult of ‘me’.Keela Latte: That’s why we have SL, so each of us can find th happiness we lack in RL, isn’t that where we started this?Serendipity Seraph: so? I think the good is living within accordance with reality seeking and obtaining your values as best you can and allowing helping others do the sameGwyneth Llewelyn: Nah. Why should I? I’m not important; 6 billion people are!ArtCrash Exonar: Yes, Heaven is the false carrot of the Will to Power of religion….. ha haSerendipity Seraph: in other words “good” is good because it is the only way to make your dreams real reallyLem Skall: the happiness of many is meaningless without the happiness of oneSerendipity Seraph: mere numbers change nothingGwyneth Llewelyn: Now that is simply not true, Lem πŸ™‚ Because you’re assuming that one would need to be UNhappy to ensure the happiness of others!Luisa Bourgoin: any experienced on SL only religions? Like Cult of Ruth, or ever seen the Church of the devine engineer?Gwyneth Llewelyn: That’s quite untrue.Extropia DaSilva: But if every one of those 6 billion people aught to think ‘I am not important’..how can the 6 bilion be important?Keela Latte: But so many of us are taught that to make us happy is to please others.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Think on the answer, Extie :)Serendipity Seraph: most of those six billion believe in and consider important relatively little that you do. so how can they be more important?Luisa Bourgoin: cult of sho-ping isnt really SLGwyneth Llewelyn: Again, it’s more profound than it seems.Arisia Vita is OfflineLem Skall: Gwyn, all people being happy by making others happy doesn’t make senseEmily Kaestner: yeahGwyneth Llewelyn: Now I would love to hear the argument of “why not”, Lem :)Gwyneth Llewelyn: Seren, why should their beliefs be *less* important?Keela Latte: That’s why htere are unhappy people, because it really doesn’t make sense.Emily Kaestner: because deep down most people are selfishSerendipity Seraph: it is like you should make and give everyone else cake but never eat any yourself. it is being a shmooArtCrash Exonar: How did we get from interacting in a civilized manner, to making everyone happy?Gwyneth Llewelyn: Emily, you’re so right.Lem Skall: ok, Gwyn, you win, we can be an ant colony or a bee colonyGwyneth Llewelyn: Slowly, Art β€” we got there slowly ;)Gwyneth Llewelyn: Lem, sheesh. That’s not an argument.Luisa Bourgoin: pure ant or pure bee cannot be selfish in a similar fashionSerendipity Seraph wonders where I line up for gwyn to make me happy :)Luisa Bourgoin: humans lack that hieve mindsetGwyneth Llewelyn: Seren, no, just think of it: if everybody just wants to give others cake, everybody will get cake.Nafisa Moleno is OfflineEmily Kaestner: except for the greedy people who will take all their cake and eat it infront of the people who have no cake.Serendipity Seraph: yes our values extend to others beyond ourselves but is it really meaningful to say they include everyone just by virtue of their being born?Gwyneth Llewelyn: But you can’t just wait for all of the others to give cake to you before you give it to them… you’ll have to start first!Lem Skall: if everyone makes cake, we might as well keep it for ourselves than move it in a circleExtropia DaSilva: Unfortunately for Gwyn, the Eastern philosophical ways of life upon which he is probably basing her worldview right now, are not best suited for soundbites and sort text messages. In other words, she just cannot convey to us novices the nuances of her own religious beliefs.Cunnie Metaluna: while convincing them them that they’ll get their cake in the sweet by and bySerendipity Seraph: that is an interesting questionGwyneth Llewelyn: I was actually quoting Greek philosophers, Extie….Extropia DaSilva: You were?Gwyneth Llewelyn: Yes, sure.ArtCrash Exonar: Our cultural ‘rules and traditions’ are generally coming into existence by trial and error over time, enabling us to interact in non destructive manners generally speaking, because this is good for all of us. That is all I think Gwyn is trying to say about even handed interaction…..Lem Skall: Greeeks were talking about cake?Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, Greece is eastwards from me… lolGwyneth Llewelyn: quote, Lem ;)Gwyneth Llewelyn: *quite soEmily Kaestner: the greeks loved cake.Extropia DaSilva: I did not recognize it as such. odd that I did not.Filthy Fluno is OnlineSerendipity Seraph: I understand creeds of universal benevolence and compassion. They may even make very sound sense going forwardGwyneth Llewelyn: If you know what they mean, yes πŸ˜‰ The problem is that usually we don’t.Serendipity Seraph: suppose the extent of what we can receive is directiy dependent on maximizing the positive contributes of everyone.Serendipity Seraph: *contributionsGwyneth Llewelyn: Well… why tag numbers to it?Gwyneth Llewelyn: Then we’ll have to “compete” about “who makes more people happy”Gwyneth Llewelyn: I don’t!Serendipity Seraph: in that sense universal benevolence falls out of rational self-interestLem Skall: ok, Gwyn, but if making someone else happy makes you happy, are you doing it for the others or for yourself?Gwyneth Llewelyn: And why is self-interest so fundamental? Unless the argument is: because we have to propagate our genes.Gwyneth Llewelyn: But surely we humans are a bit better than that :)Lem Skall: no we’re notArtCrash Exonar: Being civil is a good survival strategy for each of us, that is all that is being said here. There is no responsibility for the world resting on this by us personally.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Lem: I’m included in the “others” category too!Emily Kaestner: don’t people compete with charity already gwen?Gwyneth Llewelyn: Totally, Emily β€” so, “charity competition” is not really so “charitative” ;)Emily Kaestner: it rarely isExtropia DaSilva: OK so is it like ‘pay it forward’? In that, you see other people’s happiness as taking precedence, but to them you ARE one of those ‘other people’ so you ARE important from their perspective?Gwyneth Llewelyn: It’s just compettion. I agree, EmilyEmily Kaestner: a lot of people do it just to look givingSerendipity Seraph: why not? if other selves are important and you are just like them in some profound sense then yours is important. AND locality of reference. You know far more about and can directyl do much more exact benefitting of yourself.Lem Skall: Gwyn, I think you still do something good for others because it makes YOU feel good about itEmily Kaestner: yes πŸ™‚ a lot of people do lemCunnie Metaluna is lost hereGwyneth Llewelyn: Well, ultimately, that’s true; but I don’t really care much if I feel good or bad about it.ArtCrash Exonar: Cooperation is a key tenet in all human civilizations. It leads to success. It comes in many forms.Zobeid Zuma glances at clock. . .Serendipity Seraph: how you “feel” is very complex and tangled for sure.Gwyneth Llewelyn notices Zob is boredLem Skall: Art, so does competitionZobeid Zuma: I was trying to hide that. :PLuisa Bourgoin: “doing good” makes an interesting field … I would like to hear more about. Ooops!Gwyneth Llewelyn: You’re not good at it, Zob πŸ™‚ hehLem Skall: we’re pretty much done time-wiseSerendipity Seraph: but what you rationally think most achieves the values you care about and acting on it is crucialGwyneth Llewelyn: hehe Luisa.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well yes, SerenArtCrash Exonar: Yes, Lem, the world does not operate on a single principle, but many.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Fortunately so, Art; however, one thing is for sure: we human beings all think and feel the same :)Luisa Bourgoin: Zob, what cures that usually?Luisa Bourgoin hopes it’s not poemsGwyneth Llewelyn: e.g. taking cake away from someone will make them unhappy β€” no matter what race, creed, language, country…Filthy Fluno is OfflineSerendipity Seraph: those values may include others on a large or more narrow scale conditionally or unconditionallyGwyneth Llewelyn likes simple valuesExtropia DaSilva: Well what can I tell you? All religions are wrong. The purpose of lfe was simply to allow SL exist, that it should record intelligent life from the macroscale of social groups, to the personal scale of individual motivations, and eventually down to the atomic scale of neural patterns. And all so I could become a mind child and live foerever within the vast computational space of restructered solar systems! yes. And with that…this debate is over:)Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehSerendipity Seraph: but not giving them cake because there isn’t that much of it and you would rather share with those you love is not taking anything from themExtropia DaSilva: NEXT WEEK……Extropia DaSilva: They feature, in some form or other, in every culture. They have sometimes been captured on film and photographs. So..do you believe in ghosts?Lem Skall: hehe, Extie, getting the last wordGareth Ellison is OnlineCunnie Metaluna: who ya gonna call…Emily Kaestner: damnnnExtropia DaSilva: Poem time…Emily Kaestner: GHOSTBUSTGERSSSEmily Kaestner: bustersEmily Kaestner: sorry got excited.ArtCrash Exonar: I was reading recently about ‘happiness’ across all cultures and find that even the poorest and most deprived of people have their happinesses in their daily lives. How we percieve what we have is as relevant to our happiness as how much we have.Zobeid Zuma: No way. . . That’s cute. Now what’s the *real* topic gonna be? :/Luisa Bourgoin: you busted :)Gwyneth Llewelyn: well, Seren, then I have to postulate that there are “some I love” and “some I don’t love”, and act accordingly. But why is my separation between both correct?Pyotr Vantongerloo is OnlineGwyneth Llewelyn: Art, exactly β€” that’s the principle of contentmentGareth Ellison is OfflineCunnie Metaluna: bye. i got to walk those RL dogs.Extropia DaSilva: She looks like an angel/ from the way she is floating/ but she is no one on whome to be doting/ Give no praise to Gwyn/ it will meet with derision/ since here being special is against her religion.

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2 Responses to THINKERS MAY 25 2010: THIS COULD BE HEAVEN?

  1. Francis Weaver says:

    The idiot that wrote SL sex is safe is just that; an idiot. Clearly obsessed about regarding justifying the abscence of accountability and responsibility. Amoral

  2. SL sex is safe in that you cannot contract STD. Also, I disagree that there is an absence of accountability and responsibility. SL has the capability to capture and report your actions, either through societal actions (other people discover that someone is being irresponsible in a relationship and bring them to account by informing appropriate parties) or through technological devices such as near-invisible recording devices that can be attached to a suspected cheat so as to obtain evidence of any wrongdoing.

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