This Thinkers discussion focused on the concepts ‘Alt’, ‘Pairson’ and ‘Twindividual’, referring to various types of avatars. It was one of my favourite sessions.

You: PAIRSON: One resident in SL who is 2 or more people in RL.You: TWINDIVIDUAL: A resident who looks just like its RL self.You: All such things are possible in SL. What do these variations tell us about Self and Other? Why are some people disturbed by such things?LittleToe Bartlett: nice, crap :)Alonzo Karas is OfflineScope Cleaver: This hides so many difficult questions about identity ExtroLem Skall: there is always someone who will be disturbed by something, the question is how prevalent is it?Berny Alvarado: people are disturbed because they dont understand the how about identity separation….Nika Talaj perks up her ears at Berny’s comment, hoping to hear moreLem Skall: it is a question of trust and expectations of trustScarletta Ember: I’ll skip to the 2nd part of the question. I think some are disturbed by Alts and Pairsons because they are accustomed to the first life concept that there is one person to a body.Berny Alvarado: indeedKeiko Yoshikawa: i’m that way, scarlettaScarp Godenot: The trouble with twindividuals is you never know is they are themselves or a parody of someone else…….Scarp Godenot: ifScope Cleaver: Good point ScarpChandra Luna: does it matter, scarp?LittleToe Bartlett: Pairson is a concept I’m not clear onBerny Alvarado: actually we have a lot of levels of inner separation….Scope Cleaver: Yes it does ChandraYou: But is there? Psychologists would point to people with co-consciousness and MPD as evidence of multiple people in one body.Scarletta Ember: Sometimes you have one AV that is being played by multiple people at different times/days.Scope Cleaver: For the same reason you are relived an actor isn’t really a mass murdererChandra Luna: why, scarp?Scarp Godenot: I think if you make a comment about their av that is meant to be somewhat humorous, they might be offended if they are actually trying to be a duplicate of their rl bod.Tom Bukowski: It all really hits on therelationship between identity and embodiment, and how flexible and complex virtual embodiment can be…Lem Skall: can one have a strong connection with a twindividual?Keiko Yoshikawa: exactly, tomLem Skall: I can deal with one, but not sure I can really connectChandra Luna: this is fascinatingYou: Many people make no distinction between their avatar and themselves, of course. SL allows that.Nika Talaj: Are people concerned with embodiment, or with knowing which human they are speaking to?Chandra Luna: i am a twindividualCrap Mariner: I find it most disturbing when someone has an alt that uses their RL name, then hands it off to someone else for experimental purposes.Lem Skall: why Crap?LittleToe Bartlett: why would you be unable to connect with someone who looks like themselves? as opposed to something made up?Chandra Luna: it’s easier for me to interact here knowing my avi looks like i do in RLScarletta Ember: Someone here mentioned trust earlier. I think that with Alts, the average person doesn’t have an issue except the fear that they might run into an alt and not know that it is a person they already know. We present ourselves differently to different people.. many might be concerned of things being revealed to someone that they might not originally have wanted to be revealed to that individual.You: I just saw the COOLEST flying dragon!Crap Mariner: You have no idea if that av sitting next to me is me in another session or if it’s someone pretending to be the RL me.Scarp Godenot: Flexibility of appearance is a great thing in my opinion. You aren’t labeled by standard stereotypes. You can have as many stereotypes as you want! ha haKeiko Yoshikawa: i have a friend here in sl who has 2 avs … i identify her by her first av but not her second avLem Skall: ooops, I was thinking of pairsons, not twindividualsLem Skall: confusedTom Bukowski: lolScarletta Ember: I have 4 AV’s.. one is male though I”m female IRL.Lem Skall: SCarletta, I don’t believe you :PYou: Could it be argued that even a person being themselves is actually only pretending? How accurate IS a person’s subjective viewpoint of his or herself?Scarletta Ember: lol.. fair enough Lem :)Ji Ni: I have a male too hehe, its interesting how people treat you differently.Berny Alvarado: the upload would be differetn each tmeNika Talaj: (hello Ordinal)Ordinal Malaprop: I was sitting on somebody, wasn’t I?Zobeid Zuma: I’ve been in SL over four years, never had an alt. I find myself strangely reluctant to go there.Keiko Yoshikawa: same here, zobeidBerny Alvarado: I created a new identity here…someone differente….Scarletta Ember: The thing about my alts.. I try not to go around people I already know on another AV. I do that becuase of the trust issues that would occur should it come out that I am AV #2.Scope Cleaver: I think it’s 100 percent accurate ExtroScarp Godenot: Self is a continuously changing thing. Adherance to a strict set of rules defining self leads to a boring life I think.Lem Skall: Zobeid, Keiko, I don’t believe you eitherScope Cleaver: I mean even if you are deluded about yourself… well thats you.Nika Talaj: Same here, Scarletta.Scarletta Ember: Lem, luckily most of us are not in the business of caring if we’re believed :PKeiko Yoshikawa: it’s true, lemLaurence Simon: I am horribly deluded about myself in RL, too.Lem Skall: I don’t have any expectations of truth in SL, lower expectations make me tolerate moreZobeid Zuma: I have a lot of experience with alts on text-based mucks, though.Ordinal Malaprop: I will take the chance of sitting down.Nika Talaj: Or, if I have an alt who knows someone I know, I am clear that the two are one typist.You: Trust. I can say that this is my only avatar, but really who else but me knows if that is a lie or not?Scope Cleaver: I think it’s worthwhile to introduce the concept of truth when it comes to those issues.Lem Skall: I think I didn’t make my point clear enough: I don’t care if it’s true or notOrdinal Malaprop: Are you the sort of person who would lie when asked?Tom Bukowski: Yes Extropia, concerns about people being consistently one person are often based on assumptions about authenticity and trust (often very Western notions)… I’m thinking of the anthropologist Marilyn Stratherns’s discussions about “dividual” identity in Papua New Guinea, where a person is sorta the intersection of many relationships…Scarletta Ember: Truth is relevant. My other AVs are roleplay characters to me.. so truth is what I make their rpg profiles.Keiko Yoshikawa: in sl i am keiko and keiko is just an extension of meCrap Mariner: My most recent partner was going through a bad time with her alt’s partner because her main account was partnered to me.Lem Skall: whoa, Crap!Crap Mariner: So, she’s changed which is her main and which is her alt.Scarp Godenot: Friendship implies trust, so it is a violation of friendship to not be trustworthy about who you appear to be I would say….Lem Skall: you lost me thereChandra Luna: well, then is the issue really truth-telling? if it’s important, necessary in SL?You: A person with multiple personality disorder has many alts, one for each personality. Are the many people in the online world the true representation of her consciousness, or is her single RL body the truth?Ordinal Malaprop: Mr Mariner, your most recent partner was very confused.Keiko Yoshikawa: if i’m adventurous i just change shape … into a dragon, for exampleTom Bukowski: wow CrapOrdinal Malaprop: MPD doesn’t actually produce individual real people.Scope Cleaver: It’s important insofar as you are lying or not ChandraZobeid Zuma: My philosophy on the MUCKs was simple. . . Tell anyone who asks, don’t tell anyone who doesn’t ask. Because some people don’t want to know.Crap Mariner: Well, yes, she often is.Chandra Luna: i assume everyone in SL is lying to some degreeScarletta Ember: Too much “truth” can ruin your SL experience at times.Nika Talaj: Extropia, I think alts are a very different issue than MPD.Laurence Simon: I do not consider myself a liar.Scope Cleaver: Ordinal is rigth there isn’t any evidence MPD creates distinct selvesEdward Mathys is OfflineScarp Godenot: Crap that partner alt thing is a trainwreck! ha haScarletta Ember: If I’m playing a male AV.. I really don’t want to go around saying “Hey, I’m female IRL” as that would completely ruin my rpg experience.LittleToe Bartlett: I choose the same policy as irl- I neither believe nor disbelieve… just listen, watch, react.Scarp Godenot: Chandra, what is lying vs role playing.Nika Talaj nods at LittleToeCrap Mariner is really a fax machine in RL pretending to be a filing cabinet in SL.You: If you look at people brains using functional imaging, people with MPD show a marked change in brain activity when they switch personalities. Actors faking MPD do not. So, from the perspective of neuroscience they really are many people in one body.Scope Cleaver: Well you don’t need to lie to protect that ScarlettaOrdinal Malaprop: Extropia: that does not hold at all.You: Why not?Laurence Simon: I have a saying for that “At least one of my personalities is sane”Zobeid Zuma: That’s contestable, Extropia.Ordinal Malaprop: A change in a brain graph does not indicate anything apart from a change in a brain graph.Scarletta Ember: I do if someone asksme flat out if I’m female. But I don’t consider it lieing because I’m in roleplay mode.. but someone else might consider it lieing because their purpose in SL differs from mine.Lem Skall: if no one expected truth in SL, would anything still be a lie?Ordinal Malaprop: All it means is “it isn’t the same as someone who is an actor changing roles”.Scope Cleaver: It’s still extremely controversial you can link brain activity to a self at all rigth now EstroNika Talaj: Scarletta: i think that is the source of much anger about alts, that some people are in SL for different purposes than those with alts.Crap Mariner: Ordinal – Yes,but which is the alt and which is the primary account?Scope Cleaver: Wouldn’t we love that to be true though lolKeiko Yoshikawa: nika: yupCrap Mariner: You are you, ultimately.Ordinal Malaprop: Mr Mariner, what is either?You: True. But all the same there is some evidence that a person with MPD is many people in one body.Scarp Godenot: One of the tenets of the SL code of ethics is that you don’t ask rl questions until you get to ‘know’ the person….. That is interesting. Shows that roleplay is the norm I think.Zobeid Zuma: That brings us back to an old topic. . . Those who see SL as an extention of RL, and those who see it as a new world.Scarletta Ember: Nika: Agreed, but I have no control over someone else’s purpose in SL.. only my own. And while I can recognize that others have a different objective, I don’t let it change my own.Keiko Yoshikawa: zobeid: for me it’s an extensionScarletta Ember: SL has a code of ethics?Lem Skall: yes, the TOSZobeid Zuma: I’ve used it in both ways.Scope Cleaver: lol LemZobeid Zuma: Which sometimes causes conflicts.Scarletta Ember: Well I was moreso replying to Scap.Scope Cleaver: Is the TOS ethical one wouuld wonderLittleToe Bartlett: ethics depend on the circles you travel in… are you here for business? pleasure? real friendship or a bit of drama?Nika Talaj: Scarletta: very true. I think folks who are playing SL as “reality” feel entitled to be judgemental about folks who are using alts to extend their reality.Ordinal Malaprop: Let’s face it: most alts which actually come to the attention of people who know other alts are created purposefully for deception.Scarletta Ember: Ordinal, that isn’t true..Ordinal Malaprop: “I don’t want you to bother me”Scarp Godenot: Well, I have read ‘suggestions’ for getting along. And they are written by LL.Pavig Lok: not asking personal questions isn’t roleplay – it’s respect for privacy… (though that doesn’t mean roleplay isn’t implicated)Ordinal Malaprop: “I want to have sex with somebody else”Scarletta Ember: Ordinal: You are making assumptions about someone else’s purpose in SL.Nika Talaj: Ordinal: really?Lem Skall: some people think that SL should be all augmentationist and can’t accept a different povOrdinal Malaprop: Yes.Laurence Simon: Ordinal, I don’t consider that to be entirely true. Most alts arefor dodging the 25 group limit or dealing with forgotten passwords, I’d say.Nika Talaj doubts.You: I suppose that a person who REALLY wanted to run an alt as a seperate personality would never use the word ‘alt. That kind of gives the game away.LittleToe Bartlett: I think that’s the popular negative image of what alts are, no doubtLaurence Simon: This av holds all the podcaster groups I don’t have room for as Crap Mariner.LittleToe Bartlett: that’s what sells papersLem Skall: you can’t be a true augemntationist and have altsXiamara Ugajin: ummmmm… i am an alt?Crap Mariner: (ssshhhhh don’t give me away, you moron!)LittleToe Bartlett: the truth is more bland, oftenPeacefairy Smalls is OfflineScarp Godenot: My alt is for stealth traveling.Xiamara Ugajin: i wasnt rezzed for any of the reasons you sayScarletta Ember: My alts all have different purposes. This is my normal one, when I feel like playing a guy, I log to him.. when I feel like exploring BDSM.. I go to a different AV.. when I want some peace and quiet to build I go to the other.Ordinal Malaprop: Note the qualification “coming to the attention of people who know the other alts”.Eggy Lippmann is OnlineCrap Mariner: ahhhhhhh kScarp Godenot: Like an alt is a good way to go to your a live ‘review’ of your art and hear the truth. hehNika Talaj: My experience is very similar to Scarletta’s. I have 4 or 5 alts, at least two of which are for privacy while scripting or building.Ordinal Malaprop: I have a few alts, one of whom is known but pretty obvious, and the others of which are not known to anybody who knows me.LittleToe Bartlett: scarp, actually, that’s a bit creepy… lolScarletta Ember: I’ve run into friends on alts.. and anyone that really knows me would figure it out if I’m around them for 5 min. I’m good at roleplay but there are telltale signs if anyone cares to pay attention.Peer Infinity: I use my alts so that I can be in more than one place at the same time, in SL…You: Tom raised an interesting possibility in his book. What if, when the RL person dies, some other person takes over the avatar? A kind of poor man’s Mind Uploading!Lem Skall: Tom, are you here just to take notes? are we being studied? :PCrap Mariner: scarletta – people are pretty oblivious when you get right down to itScarletta Ember: Some are.. some aren’t.Ordinal Malaprop: Those of you whose alts I know, use them to avoid attention :)Tom Bukowski: I’m not the one studying today, hee hee!Keiko Yoshikawa: interesting concept, extropiaZobeid Zuma: One thing I learned in the muck. . . Never bring two alts together in the same room. :)You: Just by being here, you agree to be quoted in an essay I plan to write, eventually. It said so in the event posting.Scarp Godenot: We are all studying Tom….Laurence Simon: good idea, ZZTom Bukowski: I’m just in on the convo… sadly… no time for research at the moment but hopefully that will change soon…Scarletta Ember: I ran into an old friend from sims online.. and figured it out from a 15 min conversation with him. We have different looks.. different names.. but it was obvious.Peer Infinity: oh? Β why not bring 2 alts together in the same room, Zobeid?Scarletta Ember: So not everyone is oblivious to everything else.Zobeid Zuma: It’s way, way too easy to type a response in the wrong window, then everybody knows.Ordinal Malaprop: It will all be eventually uploaded into the group consciousness, I wouldn’t worry too much.Scarp Godenot: Does anybody know someone who lists their alt as their SL partner? I’m betting that is common.Lem Skall: Extro, it will sell very well if my name is in itKeiko Yoshikawa: the av is just a character … to me … and so the rl person is the actorPeer Infinity: hehe, I’ve made that mistake a total of about 3 times ever…Crap Mariner: Yes. Cylindrian doesLittleToe Bartlett: that feels sad… like alzheimers… meeting folks you used to know but they’re not them, anymoreNika Talaj: Scarp: there are many who do that, to lessen harrassment when they are mentors, for example.Scarletta Ember: Its qute common in mmorpg’s to have people trade characters.Ordinal Malaprop: Accounts that have been shared are creepy, yes.Laurence Simon was passed around like a deck of cards at a bridge tournament for a monthOrdinal Malaprop: Particularly if the original account holder is dead.Lem Skall: I still don’t see why anything is creepyYou: I will not be me in a few decades time, whether my primary is an entirely different person, or the person she is not but older. People change. Fact of life.Tom Bukowski: Any Extropia – that point is intense about the possible afterlife of an avatar – Hamlet had a great story about that kind of thing. If I saw The Sojounrer in sl now, for instance, it would be very intense and hard for me I suspect, even though I know it would be another actual-world person controlling itTom Bukowski: *AnywayZobeid Zuma: BTW, we also experimented with “siamese twin” characters that could be controlled by two players simultaneously. That was very fun.Nika Talaj: Ordinal: I don’t see why shared accounts are creepy, if they’re for a purpose.Crap Mariner: If I saw Yrrek Gran around, I’d know it was Kerry’s sister. Still, it would spook me significantly.Scarp Godenot: I think that it would be pretty obvious if you know someone quite well if you encountered a different person running the av.LittleToe Bartlett: lem, in the same way that everything is, none of it really isOrdinal Malaprop: Mr Skall: because you are never actually sure what the behaviour of that person will be. It is not consistent.Tom Bukowski: Exactly Ordinal, for me personally it might be hard, but of course for others it could be empowering, useful, a way to memorialize someone in a whole new wonderful wayLem Skall: why expect consistency?Lem Skall: live in the moment I sayOrdinal Malaprop: I have experience of this, I have used shared avatars.Ordinal Malaprop: Oh god, AR me somebody!Nika Talaj: Ginny Talamasca was the most well-known twindividual I know of; not creepy at all.Lem Skall: I only have a discussion now, it is independent of previous discussionsScarletta Ember: that was the last call designer, right?LittleToe Bartlett: oh, heh… I hadn’t thought of that… I guess I’ve used shared avs tooNika Talaj: Scarletta: yesOrdinal Malaprop: The whole Ginny Talamasca issue is _intensely_ creepy to me!LittleToe Bartlett: I’ve been in the same body as Pav and Ordinal… hehOrdinal Malaprop: I would never, ever contact that av.Crap Mariner: Shared avs also make for easy land management for islands.Scope Cleaver: I think what makes it creepy is that you woudln’t know presumablyYou: Now it would. But, in the future with lifelogging and efficient search software trawling a person’s archived memories, I think you could have a situation where your best pal is another person in RL, but you cannot tell.Nika Talaj glances are her Last Call outfit and smilesScarp Godenot: I admit to coming online as one of my friends avatars….. But I felt the responsibility to not interact with his friends or represent him in a way that he would not approve.Shoshana Epsilon is OnlineKeiko Yoshikawa: scarp: i can totally understand thatLem Skall: oh, but we OWN an accountLittleToe Bartlett: I just always announce who’s driving, right up frontLem Skall: it is a matter of respect towards the accountYou: Scope. If he acts like the Scope I know, why should I care who is behind the avatar? Scope is scope, a particular pattern of behaviour and skills. Copyable in principle, I think.Scope Cleaver: I’d betray Scope if I ever let anyone else take his body!Crap Mariner: I’ve been asked to run someone’s av before for a music show when they couldn’t stream and run SL at the same time. it did not feel right.Nika Talaj: Scarp: agreed. I personally feel a bit creeped out, and even leary about looking into the inventory, when using a friend’s account.Peer Infinity: and then there are shared avatars who exist only for one specific purpose, like building on land with unusual permissions settings…Ordinal Malaprop: LittleToe: I do too. But the only one I would ever do that with is one that is known to be shared.LittleToe Bartlett: well, I hadn’t even considered the shared business avatars, honestlyHelenaSara Sommer is OfflineLem Skall: Scope, rather I would betray myself by giving away one of my accounts, because I own itOrdinal Malaprop: Shared business avatars aren’t real people in the first place.LittleToe Bartlett: pointCrap Mariner: Podcast Lane runs the Podcaster island twin islands. handled by anyone of the group who needs to deal with backups and suchOrdinal Malaprop: People do treat them as being so though.Eggy Lippmann is OfflineYou: I should point out that it is against the TOS to share your account details, so really this idea is not possible. But, hypothetically it is an interesting question.Nika Talaj: I still, however, would love to have more insight into why people get so upset about alts. Particularly alts who are not betraying anyone.Scope Cleaver: I think ti’s okay when it’s well known or figuring in the profileOrdinal Malaprop: God knows what they think when they get somebody else for one IM, then me for the next.Peer Infinity: and then there are people who swap avatars with each other temporarily, to help each other put together outfits…LittleToe Bartlett: nika, it’s the words “but really, I’d never lie to *you*”You: I think it is because people still believe in the discredited idea of a unitary self.Jieux Shepherd is OfflineLem Skall: discredited?Scarp Godenot: Ordinal: Yes, you bring up a good point: real people characters are developed and nurtured and a shared av like in a rl art gallery have never developed a personality of any sort, so they aren’t ‘real’ in the sense of owning a personality.Keiko Yoshikawa: what do you mean, extropia?Nika Talaj: Extropia: you mean in virtual space, or in real world as well?Crap Mariner: Like puppets?LittleToe Bartlett: hahahaaScope Cleaver: She means int eh RW as well I thinkScope Cleaver: But there are huge issues there…You: According to a book on philosophical theorys of the soul and self, a unitary self was discredited, yes. But, in everyday life people cling to the illusion.Scarp Godenot: In SL you ‘are’ the sum of your interactions with others.Zobeid Zuma: Years ago I went through the whole phase of alt paranoia.Ordinal Malaprop: What is a “unitary self” in this context?LittleToe Bartlett snickersScope Cleaver: Are you talking about Parfit’s book Extro?Nika Talaj doesn’t know anyone who ISN’T clinging to that particular illusion.Lem Skall: I may sound like a broken record, but for an augmentationist the av represents a person and that person is unique so they want to be sure it’s that wayZobeid Zuma: Carefully taking notes and watching every clue to catalog who was probably an alt of who. . .Zobeid Zuma: I got over it.You: It had two authors.Tom Bukowski: I think, extropia, I’d phrase it more in terms of the idea that the dominant idea that there is a unitary stable self (dominant in the west that is) has been shown to not be valid in all times and places, but for some people it is still experientally real in some way and so I wouldn’t call it an “Illustion” (that’s me being an anthropologist not a philosopher!)Keiko Yoshikawa: lem: yupYou: It was called ‘The rise and fall of soul and Self’. Goes from Socrates right through to Ken Wilber. Good stuff.Nika Talaj: Lem: I think that’s very close to why folks get disturbed about alts.Scarp Godenot: I would say that ‘you’ as an avatar is viewed quite differently by each of the people you interact with depending on how much and what kind of interaction you have had with them. Much SL interaction is limited.Tom Bukowski: tho you could augument with more than one avie – one for augmenting work, one for augmenting play, etc., right?Laurence Simon should have an “I’m with stupid” T-shirtYou: There is also a book called ‘Multiplicity: the new science of personality’ by Rita Carter. She is a neuroscientist who also debunks the idea of a singular self.Scope Cleaver: But Extro we spoke about how this idea is problematic before, one of which is it assumes a functionalist theory of mind.Lem Skall: Tom, maybe, as long as you never interact with the same peopleLittleToe Bartlett: it can take a long time to learn the most basic rl things about people you ‘see’ here frequentlyNika Talaj: Tom: is it still augmentation if the unitary personality is compartmentalized like that?Tom Bukowski: I’m not sure Nika, lolOrdinal Malaprop: *throws up hands* It all depends on what one means by “singular” and “self”Scope Cleaver: Of course it boils down to what we’re talking about as there are many “selves” in the literature, from the social to the personal.Lem Skall: Ordinal, in the physical world singular is quite clearOrdinal Malaprop: Or not.Tom Bukowski: Depends on what you mean by *throws up hands* lolLem Skall: or yesYou: Question, why do people say things like ‘I was not myself today’? If we are all a singular self, how can such a statement make sense?Ordinal Malaprop: Not when considering such things as “selves”.Scarp Godenot: Tom: The so called stable self is created by fixing a great many choices and referring to those fixed choice lists in interaction. That is why some people are more definable than others I would say……LittleToe Bartlett: I am large. I contain multitudes.Zobeid Zuma: It’s a metaphor.Ordinal Malaprop: I am legion.Crap Mariner: We’re not really a singular self, I’d say.Scope Cleaver: Well thats the age old debate of where the self and world meetLittleToe Bartlett: :)Lem Skall: Ordinal, even in terms of selves, they are strongly connected even if they are multipleScarp Godenot: I am confused.Crap Mariner: Just as Jim Henson wasn’t just Jim Henson, but he was also Kermit and Ernie.Peer Infinity: I am Solipsist Nation :)LittleToe Bartlett: you think walt whitman was a satanist?Ordinal Malaprop: What _are_ they?You: Kermit was real!Laurence Simon: Until Jim’s son Brian took him over. *ugh*Tom Bukowski: I think an issue here is that modern Western culture really does (in most of its variants) really push the single self thing – the whole idea of identity, passports, etc. – and now some technollgies like vws challenge thatOrdinal Malaprop: Kermit is realer than Jim Henson ever was.Scope Cleaver: Well not in the important sense in which I thought we were talking about identity.Scarp Godenot: It is funny that many philosophical discussions always lead to solipsism even though I know of no one who actually believes in it.Scope Cleaver: it’s a slightly more promiscuous definition hehLem Skall: the group beings from Vernor Vinge’s “A Fire Upon the Deep” comes to my mind, THAT’s an interesting conceptLittleToe Bartlett: it seems an indulgence not readily available to the general public, before- unless you hang out in drag barsNika Talaj: Tom: interesting. In what way do other cultures not push a single self image? Even if the ego is not so prominent as in western, societies that regard humans as amalgams of interactions are rare, are they not?Pavig Writer: frankly I don’t believe in multiple selves – perhaps multiple aspects of the self… but to seperate them from one’s actual unity seems absurdScope Cleaver: It can be indeed PavigYou: It goes back further than VWs. Authors of fictional tales dream up whole families and societies, made up of very different people. When you read a book, you never think ‘woah, Jane Austin is pretending she is a man of landred Gentry’.Ordinal Malaprop: Because she isn’t.Ordinal Malaprop: And isn’t pretending to.Lem Skall: hi GwynScope Cleaver: There is a long way to making fictional characters indentities, selves.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Hi all :DSingularity Soler is OnlineLittleToe Bartlett: yes, but that’s for those who’ve the ability to express themselves in that way- this is way more accessableScope Cleaver: Hello GywnScarp Godenot: LittleToe brings up a good point. SL appearance and role play interchangeability is a great thing in that is open the world up to interactions with others that are not possible otherwise.Nika Talaj nods to Gwyn.Lem Skall: if there are multiple selves, then what IS a self?Crap Mariner: two words: Heath LedgerScope Cleaver: Thats the last question we’ll ever answer LemYou: But, you just accept Mr Darcy as Mr Darcy. During the story. The words evoke the scene and the people, NOT the author sat at a typewriter, brow furrowed in concentration.Tom Bukowski: It’s true, Nika, ideas of a singular self aren’t just Western, and the Western tradition is complicated too. For instance, as someone pointed out earlier, psychology in the West has tried to problematize the singular self for a long time – all the way back to Freud; ego, superego and id: three alts of a single person?Scope Cleaver: In a sense your “self” is a thing to which you and only you have access in a very private and personal way :)You: I recognise that red hair. It must be Gwyn!Lem Skall: what about Heath Ledger?Tom Bukowski: Hello Gwyn!Gwyneth Llewelyn: hiya Tom :))Zobeid Zuma: Extropia, you have brought up this comparison several times. Is there anybody here who thinks it’s a valid comparison?Scarp Godenot: Lem: I would say a self is an ever changing construct of an individual. It is a way that one can achieve the illusion of stability.LittleToe Bartlett: know your dosesGwyneth Llewelyn would agree with ScarpNika Talaj: Tom: No. Isn’t simplicity wonderful? *smiles*Gwyneth Llewelyn: haha Nika :DScope Cleaver: A social contruct? :)Crap Mariner: Not an author, but an actor who immersed himself fully in roles. Just as a user could immerse themselves fully in different avs, or an author trying to immerse themselves in their charactersGwyneth Llewelyn: A construct for sure, ScopeLem Skall: Zobeid, I agree with Extro if the character is well developed enoughYou: It is not entirely appropriate, it is just a useful starting point for thinking about the flexibility of self.Scope Cleaver: but having a flexible self wasn’t ever really an issue.Nika Talaj: Scarp: interesting … so one could perhaps view alts as emerging, or disappearing, aspects of a unitary person.Lem Skall: if the character is well developed then it becomes a character in itselfLem Skall: independent of the writerCrap Mariner: Lem – “Kermit lives”Keiko Yoshikawa: interestingOrdinal Malaprop: Ah well, I fear I must be going – a very good evening to you all!Cee Edman nodsTom Bukowski: see you!Lem Skall: bye OrdinalLittleToe Bartlett: good nightGwyneth Llewelyn: “self” is definitely a process, not something written on stone… or we wouldn’t survive our teens :)Crap Mariner salutesScope Cleaver: The issue is whether there is any substantial issue with pairsons and twindividuals.Nika Talaj: Goodnite, Ordinal.Scarp Godenot: As a SL artist, I have come to see Scarp as almost a brand. And want to achieve some sort of consistency for publicity purposes.You: Augmentists often bring up the telephone as proof that immmersionism is flawed. ‘I am not another person on the phone’. But, a phone conversation does not present you with the image of a body other than your own, interacting with other people. That is a key difference, I think.LittleToe Bartlett: scarp- that I agree with, tooGwyneth Llewelyn: We also interact differently over the phone, ExtieNika Talaj: “Satanic Verses” ….. alts on the phone.Ji Ni: I disagree, working on the phone as a cell service rep, i had an alt name, and certainly didnt speak my mind on many occaisions.LittleToe Bartlett: I’ve used alts to explore work I wouldn’t normally with my primary.. or at, least… I used to… I’m pretty diluted, now :PScope Cleaver: You see Extro, even if we agreed at the person on the “phone” was a distinct self, that doesn’t by necessity means, the speaker is someone else entirely.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ah… so how do we know that the person on the phone is the same “self”? :DYou: Well, you CAN run SL in first person and have an avatar that is very close to the RL body. But, you can also see a person that looks nothing like you, and comfortably get into a personality that suits that person, not necessarily your RL personae.Scope Cleaver: I mean the universe can afford many selves… it’s cheapShoshana Epsilon is OfflineLem Skall: it is not the medium (phone or SL) that makes the self different, it is our actionsGwyneth Llewelyn: There you go, Lem.Gwyneth Llewelyn: That’s the pointScarp Godenot: I have a dilemma, should I build stuff with my alt? Or would that confuse the issue of artistic style? Most sl artists I think only build their art with one av.Shoshana Epsilon is OnlineNika Talaj: Lem: agreedLittleToe Bartlett: scarp- see: Light WavesScarp Godenot: yes, good exampleGwyneth Llewelyn: So you’d say, Lem, that “self” is defined by how we act; and other people recognise a “self” because of the intrinsic ways they actCrap Mariner: Hrm… my alt seems to have vanished… does this mean I’m only half here now, fully-focused as the not-real me, or engaged as me through this portal into the world?Lem Skall: Gwyn, that is what the self is to othersGwyneth Llewelyn: Thus, alts are usually the same self β€” except when they role-play πŸ˜‰ (if they’re good actors, you might never figure them out=Lem Skall: my self to othersGwyneth Llewelyn: Yes, I agree, LemScarp Godenot: Light Waves is listed as number one and number two in best sl artist lists. But it confuses everyone. And I think I ‘know’ that he has other alt art too.Nika Talaj: But, perhaps Lem’s view is part of what some find so disturbing about alts.LittleToe Bartlett: heh… I know of at least 5Gwyneth Llewelyn: He has a few, Scarp… :DGwyneth Llewelyn *nods* @ LT :)You: How hard would it be for any person well-read in such things as the technological Singularity, to sit where my primary is now and ‘be’ me, and for you lot to not notice the change?Gwyneth Llewelyn: And how so, Nika?Nika Talaj: That they might be deceived by an alt’s actions.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie: very very hard.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ah…. “deceived”?Gwyneth Llewelyn: MmmhCrap Mariner: Extropia – When others were logged in as the Laurence Simon av, people couldn’t tell it wasn’t the real me.Nika Talaj: This is the term I see used so often by those disturbed by alts – “deceived”Gwyneth Llewelyn: The word “deceive” can only be employed IF you know that an avatar is actually an alt of another avatar.You: This person also happens to have a transcript of my chat logs, and knows my conversational style..Nika Talaj: Or if you susequiently discover it.Peer Infinity: Extie: Β I’ve actually been trying to train for the job of “being” you for several weeks now, but I’m still nowhere near ready…Gwyneth Llewelyn: Extie, it’s not that easy. :)Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe PeerCrap Mariner: A label goes a long way in aiding in deception.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Granted, professional actors do that all the timeCrap Mariner: Or confusion.Lem Skall: Extro, what change? what would be different? what does it matter? would I have a different discussion right now? I do have a different discussion every time I come to these meetings anywayCrap Mariner: Put tap water in an Evian bottle and people think it is EvianGwyneth Llewelyn: What I find funny is that I have some hard time remembering how my RL self writes… lolLem Skall: does style matter?Scope Cleaver: But thinking it’s Evian doesn’t make it evianGwyneth Llewelyn: In a text-only environment, Lem, yes it does!Crap Mariner: And then there’s Andy Kauffman and Bob Zmuda teaming up to create Tony Clifton.LittleToe Bartlett: so, is SL more of a “manipulator’s playground” than other rl situations? Or doesn’t anyone else’s dad have a secret second family in Canada?Scope Cleaver: It’s not an epistemological issue folks it’s ontologicalLem Skall: I don’t think style matters, I amrguing with the reasons, not with the styleGwyneth Llewelyn: Scope: “if it has 4 legs and barks like a dog”…Scarp Godenot: ha ha LTYou: I forget the difference, Scope. Remind me?Gwyneth Llewelyn smiles at LTScope Cleaver: Well you can act like Elvis Preisley, sing like him…Scarp Godenot: ontological is following the life path cycleScope Cleaver: Does that make you the King? :)Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe Scope, touchΓ© :DScope Cleaver: And beside we’re not even touching on conditionals.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Granted, Elvis had several alts…. oopsMoon Adamant is OfflineScope Cleaver: What if I asked Peusdo Extro a question that only her could answerYou: I expect even Elvis was not the King. That is a semi-mythical figure imagined by his many fans. I would think the real Elvis was another person alltogether.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ha! That conspiracy theory is even nicer!Scope Cleaver: Possibly but that only proves my point lolCrap Mariner: ah, yes. Bubba Ho Tep.Scope Cleaver: Everyone knows there is only one King! hahaNika Talaj muses … the real Elvis … another discussion!You: Conspiracy theorists say Paul McCartney was replaced by a lookalike.Pavig Writer wonders if anyone’s ever changed their name to “Real Elvis” by deed polScarp Godenot: Talking about Elvis is a good example of what is a self. Everybody has a different perception of ELvis.Lem Skall: πŸ™‚ pushing LT’s buttonsNika Talaj: Extro: a great example of ‘alt paranoia’ IRLPavig Writer: conspiracy theoriests say the moon was replaced by a lookalike… but i don’t believe everything they say :PZobeid Zuma: Brushy Bill is buried in my town by the way.Scope Cleaver: Yes I agree Scarp, but I think where it’s dangerous is to think and identity is socially constructed by what other perceive it to be.You: You would say that, you are one of THEM!Scarp Godenot: You can prove that higher level conspiracies can’t exist using complexity mathematics.Crap Mariner pulls “Dave” off of the shelf and fires up the DVDLem Skall: Super Dave?Crap Mariner: no, the movie Dave… Kevin Kline poses as the president who’s had a strokeLem Skall: ahYou: Ok, time for the inevitable futuristic scenario. My primary has had her brain exhaustively mapped, and several copies of the resulting perfect software model are running multiple Exties in SL. Are they all the same person?Lem Skall: the prince and the pauperGwyneth Llewelyn: he heZobeid Zuma: For a while, they are.Scope Cleaver: Well Extro you build in the assumption identities are outtriped by it’s physical underpinnings.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Good answer, Zobeid!!Nika Talaj: Ext: at the moment they start, yes. As soon as their experiences diverge, no.Lem Skall: Extro, do they share the new knowledge between them?Crap Mariner: Agreed with NikaLem Skall: in realt time?Scope Cleaver: I am not saying it isn’t, just that it’s still an open questionScarp Godenot: Extropia. They are not the same person, because all interaction through time is emergent and can’t be predicted.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Well, they might β€” a technology that allows brain dumping will allow remote brain sync’ing :)Pavig Writer: one person one self; one self one vote; but that presents a problem for extie now i guess :PGwyneth Llewelyn: hehe Pavig.LittleToe Bartlett: I wouldn’t be the same person if I’d just made that left turn….Gwyneth Llewelyn: One taxpayer, one vote β€” simple for me!Scope Cleaver: Yes you would Little lolLem Skall: the more tax you pay, the more your vote countsScope Cleaver: In a very important sense you wouldGwyneth Llewelyn: Ah, LT, but you could say: *collectively* they’d be ExtropiaGwyneth Llewelyn: one self, multiple sensory channelsScope Cleaver: In a way in which if a truck hit you and you died you wouldn’t.Scarp Godenot: The more money you have the more politicians you can buy….. hehGwyneth Llewelyn: lol oh my, sidetracking into politics…Moe Burt: Goodevening, all.Crap Mariner: Or suffered a consciousness-altering stroke.Pavig Writer: nah the only extropia is the original… probably in a vat somewhere… they’re extropiasScope Cleaver: So the point is there are things that do change identity and other not, the trouble is finding *what*Gwyneth Llewelyn: I’d say that it would be one Extropia with different experiences getting fed from several sources of input.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Nice one, Scope :DLem Skall: the copies are one person if they share the knowledge but they are separate from the originalGwyneth Llewelyn: Lem, yes.You: If none of my copies are ‘me’ after a while, why am I consdiered to be the same Extie from month to month? It is not as if the ‘real’ me is comprised of the same atoms.Scope Cleaver: Yes Lem you got that one right.Gwyneth Llewelyn: The alternative β€” that they don’t share information β€” would indeed make them different personsCrap Mariner suggests striping with parity of the ExtropiasLittleToe Bartlett: and then every few years you could mash them together and make a “super extropia” and then split that one and send it on it’s way… and…Lem Skall: Scope, I got everything right not only that one :PScope Cleaver: People confuse this a lot, saying it isn’t me doesn’t mean it’s not a *person*xyryx Simca is OnlineMarius Netizen: hiGwyneth Llewelyn: Very nice, Scope πŸ™‚ can you expand that a bit?Ego Essex: I’m late, did I miss it all?Gwyneth Llewelyn: Almost, Ego :)Scarp Godenot: We are discussing what is the Ego, Ego.Scope Cleaver: Well since we started this dicussion some of the problems about identity are about just thatEgo Essex: littletoe! I dont see you but i know you’re here!Scope Cleaver: Because for one as we all know being a person entails a lot of important things…LittleToe Bartlett: hello ego :)Scope Cleaver: A moral agent for oneGwyneth Llewelyn: She’s inside the fridge, Ego!Zobeid Zuma: People do change over time and evolve a different identity. Although, it’s usually a slow process.Ego Essex: She’s always getting stuck in things…Lem Skall: she IS the fridgeMarius Netizen: dude, the trash can is awesomeYou: If an uploaded personality is not ‘me’, does my primary have an advantage in thinking of me as a different person to herself? I am her mind child, the eventual product of copying her memes onto a suitable hardware/software platform.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Zobeid, yes, unless there is an illness…Scope Cleaver: So sure Extro could become a person, does that inform us at all about her typist? maybe not.Gwyneth Llewelyn: AhhhGwyneth Llewelyn: No, I’m afraid that’s not possible, ScopeScope Cleaver: Where I think she’s mistaken is to think she’s somehow *her*Scarp Godenot: LT ‘is’ her container in this world. at least for now….. hehEgo Essex: People always say “this is my character, not me” but there’s a reason they chose that “character”Scarp Godenot: HehZobeid Zuma: If you live long enough — and are not frozen in some sort of stasis — you will inevitably become a different person. However, this is not something that our society has ever needed to acknowledge, due to the quirks of the human life cycle.Ego Essex: I remember this one person who was so annoying and on edge and just rude…and she kept saying “well it’s my character”Gwyneth Llewelyn: I mean, as discussed, we attribute “self” to what people say and how they actScope Cleaver: Or that there is a principled way in which you can transform your self into another one…Ego Essex: But she couldn’t seem to stop being her character either.Scarp Godenot: You sould see the trash can dance!LittleToe Bartlett: my character is getting hungryGwyneth Llewelyn: because unless we are able to read their thoughts & feelings… we always “interface” with an aspect of the selfEgo Essex: SEe!Scope Cleaver: Honestly I don’t even trust it’s scientifically possibleScarp Godenot: omg, at least there is plent to eat in here.Gwyneth Llewelyn: in the atomic world: through body language, voiceLittleToe Bartlett: hehYou: What is not possible?Gwyneth Llewelyn: Transforming one ‘self’ into another?Scope Cleaver: Although many books are convincing on the topic of create a self.Peer Infinity: I’m surprised that everyone is still trying to find an objective definition of “self”, rather than just accepting that different people will have their own definitions…Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe PeerScarp Godenot: Gwyn: you can’t transform one self into another because you are already the changing of the self.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Ok, I was just asking β€” I tend to agreeScarp Godenot: hahGwyneth Llewelyn: it’s impossible after a certain age, yesGwyneth Llewelyn: at least without drugs or brain surgery :)Tom Bukowski: Well it’s “emic” versus “etic” – “emic” everyday, insider definitions versus “etic,” analytical definitions – both are good and have their place; the danger is getting them all confused…Scope Cleaver: Like I said Scarp it’s trivial in a sense yes, unless someone can illuminate us on what changes *matters* to a transforming selfMarius Netizen: drugs are awesomeScarp Godenot: apparentlyGwyneth Llewelyn: :DYou: Couple more minutes left, folks.Peer Infinity: I, for example, have a deliberately unusual, and deliberately ill-defined, definition of self…Gwyneth Llewelyn: Specially drugs that change your personality *forever* ;)Gwyneth Llewelyn: Pee: which one would that be?… :)Gwyneth Llewelyn: *Peer sorry :PScope Cleaver: How tight is personality tied to identity?Peer Infinity: :PScope Cleaver: Is it *necessary* for a self to occur?Scope Cleaver: Or is it just another interface to an environment?Nika Talaj: Scope: how would one know if self did NOT occur?Cee Edman: Impossible for it not to occur.Scarp Godenot: I would say person ality is identity.Scope Cleaver: You wouldn’t from a third person perspective obviouslyLem Skall: hehe PeeYou: I remember an experiment, where people were assigned avatars at random, some beautiful and some ugly. Regardless of the RL personality, people embodying beautiful avatars were much more sociable and confident than the uglies.Marius Netizen: aGwyneth Llewelyn has a model of self that is based on “shards” that we fit together and present to others; these are not fixed, but can be moved; we all go through our teens shuffling them around, and certainly when using drugs or alcohol a few of those shards become more apparent than others (we exhibit different sides of our personality)Marius Netizen: ddScope Cleaver: Which is what is so inherently hard about question of identity, the disparity between the first and third person perspectiveNika Talaj: Scope: and there IS no first person, if there is no self, correct?Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe Nika β€” I think you’re right :)LittleToe Bartlett: mmm… becomes a nature v nurture question too? would an adopted child have grown up to be totally different if raised by their biological parents?Peer Infinity: Gwyn: Β I still haven’t found a simple way to explain my definition of “self”, but I can assure you it doesn’t match any of the definitions that have been suggested here today…Zobeid Zuma: I participated in one of those experiments. I was given a goofy triceratops avie. :)Scope Cleaver: Thats a good way to think about it maybe NikiGwyneth Llewelyn: LT: probably not TOTALLY different, but quite different :)Zobeid Zuma: The noobs liked it, most others ignored it.Gwyneth Llewelyn: Peer: what a pity, I hope you find your own definition soon β€” and blog about it ;)Marius Netizen: We all live….in a yellow submarine….Scarp Godenot: Nika: there is a self, it is just a changing representation. There is just no static self.Ralph Radius: Seems like we have a mess: A lot of important, simular ideas and no definitions.Singularity Soler is OfflineYou: OK, that is my time up!Scope Cleaver: But there is a very strong sense in which you know there is a self when you are that self in a way in which others don’t have access.Gwyneth Llewelyn: hehe Ralph β€” as usual!Ralph Radius: just got here!Nika Talaj contemplates Gwyn’s self … and thinks of String Theory …

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  1. Archmage Atlantis says:

    I am truely disappointed that I missed this fascinating session.
    My only wish is that the text were formatted so it was easier to read and follow the flow of the conversation.

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