I’m in my ninth year of exploring and playing in Second Life™. There are some things I think are still difficult to accomplish within the Second Life framework. One of those is finding interesting and beautiful places to visit, very much like real life. Another is meeting interesting people and being able to see them… not just look at them or see their ‘hello’ face, but seeing them in moments of their life. iRL that is usually only possible with close friends.
There is the Lab’s Destination Guide, web and in-viewer, and now Places Pages. Plus, a number of ‘travel’ blogs. They show us various places in Second Life. But, they still don’t do Second Life justice and it can be tedious going through those sources.
People… meeting interesting people is not really hard, there just isn’t any simple… fast… easy… ok, lazy way to do it. Well, like real life you can go to clubs and parties and join groups. Like iRL you can participate and meet participating people with similar interests. My point is you have to put out some energy and spend some time iRL or SL.
Flickr provides a bowl of vignettes of places and people. There the challenge is finding people that can see those places and moments and capture them. These are moments from SL. They are only clues to where you may find people or places in SL. But, Flickr is a rich source of people and places hidden by the nature of life and the virtual world Continue reading →
Every so often I get on the subject of free speech. Second Life™ is said to be inhabited by more Liberals and Progressives than Conservatives and Traditionalists. But, no one knows, at least I have yet to see an objective study or assessment. I can see that we have more demonstrations of liberalism in SL. But, Conservatives have historically been the silent majority. Thus, the problem figuring out the actual demographics.
Google can’t tell about information requests from China
Second Life is not a free speech area. It is a private area owned by Linden Lab(R). Speech is governed by the ToS. We are free to say whatever within those limits. It is up to the Lindens to decide what speech exceeds those limits. Their decision is final, there is no appeal.
In RL free speech is suffering from fake news that is confusing some people and adding extraneous information some mistake for facts. Part of which is that awful thing ‘Hate Speech’, which is an interesting spin on “Hate” and the prime tool for anti-speech proponents.
I think the recent Berkley riot and threat of riot are examples of people not understanding the US Constitution and the principle of Free Speech nor its importance nor how to protect it nor why. Continue reading →
This video is from the New York Times, taken in Falluja, Iraq August 2016. It is a 360 video. You can drag the view around as it plays. I think it works amazingly well.
For viewing on my 2D screen it is a bit of a pain. I can’t always tell what the point of the clip is and have to pan around to see what it might be. I suppose in VR with directional sound it would be more… useful? Enjoyable? I think as each scene fades in from black that a direction needs to be set so one is looking at the subject of the clip.
Do you know anything about the United Nations Outer Space Treaty, passed in 1967? Did you know it forbids the claiming of territory beyond Earth? Even if you get there, spending billions, you cannot own the land/asteroid. Cutting off any assurance you can recover your costs or gain any reward.
That relegates space exploration to governments and large corporations. Government has once again killed creative incentive.
Bob Zimmerman writing for the Federalist in Jumpstart Space Settlements suggests repealing the treaty and replacing it with the American Homestead Act of the 1800’s. That resulted in the rapid expansion of America into the west.
The keyword is ‘rapid’. The act provided for a return on investment. I suppose few people know that the rail line from the east to the west was incentivized by allowing the rail roads to claim two sections of land on each side of every mile of rail laid.
Land with all the possibilities of hidden wealth is an incredible incentive. The UN Treaty eliminates that incentive. So, for 50-years space exploration has remained in the hands of the governments and wealthy.
In the 1800’s moving west was thought too expensive for the poor. With the promise offered by the Homestead Act that changed. Will we do something similar with space?
You may not realize that US$1.9 billion of NASA’s 2016 budget (US19+ billion) was going to climate study. If my sources can be believed. The 2017 NASA Transition Authorization Act (S. 442 – link) supposedly reallocates the funding. Figuring out exactly how is unclear, at least to me. But, the words ‘climate’ and ‘weather’ do not appear in the text of the bill. Nor are all dollars assigned a place other than NASA.
Following this bill gets bit confusing. Sen. Ted Cruz introduced a bill prepared in the Obama days: S.3346 – National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2016. It got tabled as the 114th session of Congress (2015-16) ran out of time. Continue reading →