As regulars to Thinkers will know, I conclude each session with a little poem. Here are the poems for the topics we debated in 2010 (the ones I remembered to keep a copy of, that is).
LECTURE 2010: I hate to spread hysteria/ but there could be mirror bacteria/ it could be all over your body/ or not, if this theory is shoddy!
RIP DP: A digital person said/ with my patterns in other folks’ heads/ one primary can die/ but I can at least try/ to live on after its dead.
PERFECT ME! You can be who you want to be/ its the virtual world’s key feature/ so why not set your sights quite high/become some perfect creature/ and when you are perfected/ why then your primary/ will look upon the avatar/ ‘who is that? Not me!’.
PAMPSYCHISM: Consciousness is everywhere/ over here and over there/ in rocks and people/ plants and sheep/ but not in Ari, who fell asleep.
CONFLICT OF VRs: The Pope said, ‘stare at screens all day/ you end up getting redeye/ I do not listen, he is a fake/ Not real religion like Jedi!
INTERFACE VALUE: Underneath the gloss and sheen/ is what the product REALLY means/ It is the cyberpunk message, see/ things ain’t what they appear to be/ while you may think you use the tool/ look a little closer fool/ you are a cog in the overall plan/ a part of the system run by The Man!
CAN MMORPGS SAVE THE WORLD:MR Obama I just played WOW/and I demand a better world now/ I want to be happy, I want to be free/ Just like an MMORPG/Oh mr president! This change is harming/I did not mean send me gold farming!
END OF SCIENCE: How can science ever stop/ with more and more knowledge to pile on top/ every answer brings mystery/ that is the lesson from history/ examples of mystery still in the bag/ does God exist? And how to stop lag.
IS GOD REDUNDANT? Hawkings has an idea in his head/ one that will make God dead/ the idea is called the multiverse/but the consequence could not be worse/ for if it is true and the theory is real/ you have to accept as part of the deal/ that infinite copies of this place exist/ with absolutely nothing missed/ which means there are infinite mes/ no wonder some fall down on their knees/ and beg for God to make a return/ Will these mad scientists NEVER learn!!?
EMERALD DEBACLE: Dorothy searched for the Emarald City/ but found it banned, which was rather a pity/ so she tapped three times her ruby shoes/ and ended up in viewer 2/ its interface soon drove her insane/ designed by the scarecrow (who had no brain).
A NEW YOU?: If this poem, you should forget/ no need to worry or to fret/ no need to rant or cry or wail/ Google will remember, wholesale/ and if it should, by chance include/ something personal, something rude/ if people should ask, google is telling/ let that be a warning, Gwyn Lewellyn/ for I am about to dish the dirt/ and reveal the kinky ways you flirt/ it involves a routine with a rubber duck/ and a really novel way to….dance.
I SEE NO FAULT: You say SL is really cool/ well I say that it ain’t/ wake up and see the truth you fools/ the long list of complaint/ the actor man, Ray Winston/ takes a deep, long drag/ and sums up Pirillo’s gripe/ by growling ‘you LAAAAAAAAAG!’.
CRYONICS: I am revived/ and somewhat alive/ but resurrection is shoddy/ I was kept as a head/ but nobody said/ when awake I would have no body/ Now each birthday/ that comes my way/ always falls down flat/ cause I open my prezzie/ and everyone gets me/ the same old thing (a hat).
THAT LOVING FEELING!: Not being in love I ask/ am I deprived of happiness/ if in no warm embrace I bask/ is my self value somehow less/ Oh if that is true/ what am I to do/ I must go out and find my femme/For I do not/ wish to be known/ as the sad, sad avatar called Lem!
THE POWER! A boffin created life from scratch/ the world sat back to watch it hatch/ the machinary whirred, the smoke billowed out/ and how the world began to shout/ ‘oh joy oh joy our wish has come true/ the ultimate dream has now come true/ surely now we live in utopia/ his created life is that girl, Extropia!’
COMETH THE MAN: ‘Tolstoy said the individual/is really of no use at all/ I say without Gwyn and her lovely red head/ Second Life is as good as dead/ So that debunks that Tolstoy stuff/ Now wait for Gwyn to react with ‘pfffft’.
HARD TAKEOFF: Change they say/need not be slow/ wake up one day/ and see things go/ singularity happens in under an hour/ and a million idealogies flower/ some say this is my religious dreaming/ if only they knew what I’m really scheming/ I will make a religion for men that fits/based on the worship of football. And tits.
SACRED CYBERSPACE: I have walked in the virtual world/in the footsteps of this girl/ lived fast and had my thrill/ that’s it, I quit swallowed the blue pill/ but it’s not utopia/ It’s an evolving world an extropia/ enough zeros and ones make the spiritual/ according to DaSilva’s rule.
BETTER OFF BUT MISERABLE: Why do we moan?/ just look at our homes/ more stuff than the last generation/ and, what is more/ they had a world war/ but worse…they had no PlayStations!!!
OMG! A NUDE: Linden Lab’s gotta ban the nude/ they would not want to offend the prude/ but my friend Scarp will teach them a lesson/ not to prohibit artistic expression/ we should not ban work that is edgy or hot/ or else we might lose Scarp Godenot!!
SLnetworking: Oh how will SL even begin/ when all my Facebook friends log in/ I have ten thousand new ones per day/ and many more are on their way/ It seems to me I shall have to filter/ or SL will be thrown of kilter/ so I shall include only people I know/ even SL can handle Zero!
YOUR CHEATIN’ HEART. Oh take me back to Paradise/ where we can make eyes at each other/ like lovers entwined in mutual passion/ let us fashion this affair/ so that folk everywhere will sigh/ and ask ‘why not I’/ and dream of romance/ as we dance together/ forever shall dwell/ Seren my sweetheart/ my love in SL.
GHOSTS: I saw a ghost/ it happened today/ it was a kind of misty gray/ it hovered, glowing on the floor/ my god it made me gasp with awe/ “Oh look, oh look, a ghost!” I said/ at which point, my avvie rezzed:(
ATHEIST? WHY? Why do some not believe in God/ is atheism a little odd/ or is all Creation simply evolved/ well thanks, Charles Darwin: Problem solved.
WELCOME BACK, KIDS! I am only a short little avvie/ I prefer to dress up in pink/ I’m in adult sims/ with sexualised prims/ my god, but I kick up a stink!
GM CROPS: I lived all my life on a GM farm/ I ate its crops, it did me no harm/ I am a happy and healthy farmer/ so do not fret- signed, Geoffery Dahmer.
UFOS Some claim to have seen UFOs/ others say, ‘you saw venus’/ Some see flying objects in second life/ mostly, a flying…..oh look you know what rhymes;)
NARRATOLOGY LUDOLOGY: Do games with good storytelling exist/ or are they just lost out there in the myst/ films say ‘I know what you did last summer’/ while games let us play with a Brooklyn plumber/ from space invaders to Half life 2/ it is still all guns- there’s progress for you!
APOLLO FOR GENERATION Y: We have been to the Moon/ and built the Net/ they say we ain’t seen nothin’ yet/ will robots take over or free us from work?/ will biotech hideous monsters lurk/ will we cure aging and always play/ is fusion, forever fifty years away?
MY FRIENDS ARE STRANGERS Look! I have my millionth friend/ will my friends list never end?/ I get a new one every day/ but who they are I cannot say/ we do not talk, we have not met/REAL friends would send me chocolate.
REMEMBER ME?: The knowledge we’ve accumulated/ is kept on devices that are fated/to be unreadable in a decade’s time/ so if our People should decline/ what will historians know and learn/ only what we repeatedly Burn/ on new CDs Hard Drives and such/ so popular media will stay in touch/ Yes! What we pass on (this will make you proud) is Harry Potter. And Girls Aloud.
ME! REALLY ME!: Oh no here come the RL names/SL will not be the same again/Forget your gorgeous avatar/ we all know who you really are/you should have listened to the ones who matter/ where are you now, you tin-foil hatters?
DISASTER PORN: City in ruins/broken children are screaming/our entertainment.
FASHION: Fashions come and fashions go/ what is behind this ebb and flow/ is it an evolution thing/or is media controlling everything/ I wonder which way would be best/perhaps I should put it to the test/ but not for some days/ for now I must gaze/ at Gwyneth’s impressive chest.
IMPOSSIBLE SCOPE: Is there still a place/ for people like Grace/ who keep their pseudonimity/ Or is RL identity/ of any celebrity/ the new conditionality?
GENERATION GAP: Is there a gap between young and old/ that is what a documentary told/ or does technology draw us near/ here at Thinkers the answer is clear/ the RL clues we use to divide/ on the Web are swept aside/ for who cares who in RL you are/ in here we are all hot young avatars!
MODIFYING: I wandered lonely as a cloud/ that flew on high so far above me/ when all at once I realised how/ to make a poem from modified IP.
FAREWELL, HOME WORLD: You will notice that space/ is a very big place/ so how to colonise it/ should robots go/ or folk like we know/ the answer, somehow, must comprise it/ should we terraform/ or else transform/ the people we are today/ I vote for the change/ for we must arrange/ the Omega Point some day!