Friday, September 21, 2012

hmmmm...a blog

Well, according to several definitions...it's either a 'big load of gossip', 'buy locally owned group', 'better listings on google', or 'web log'. as an acronym...only 'web log' don't fit. 

sooo, /me guessin'...i gotz to do a 'big load of gossip'.

hmmm..so therein lies my quandry...tho, as a woman, i gotta say this disclaimer..i love HEARING gossip..myomy, I do love hearing gossip, any 'ol gossip..use the word gossip as a preface to ur comments to me..i drop my boyfriend in mid..oh, nvm..but, ill drop him, jus' to listen.. on the other hand...i just don't spread gossip...i do spread facts tho...but i totally 'get it' that gossip is just that...and full of non-factual ---feelings--- 

don't get me wrong...i love feelings...i gotz quite a few hangin' 'round....feelings make the world go 'round..ya gotta have 'em, if ya don't..well, don't talk to me, 'cause i love 'em.

speakin' of...LOVE...gawd almighty..i do love...too da r n much.... 

hmmmmmmm...this ain't no 'big load of gossip' is it?

oh well...on to the next 'b.l.o.g.' weblog? yesss...i do recall that being used..oh, way back..a bit.

Suspend...disbelief

I have been doing some thinking on the subject of virtual worlds.

I am not an expert, I don't pretend to be one, and I am what many consider a noob to them. I only found them, starting in sl, around two years ago. I had been off the net for some years due to real life issues.

Prior to that vws were not around in their current iteration.

However, on the subject of this weblog, for that purpose only, whatever time one has found virtual worlds is not important. It is life experiences, and what one has done with those, and how one has used them properly, that is of the most importance.

I have been on the internet since 300 baud modems, half-duplex, and using DOS commands to use them, and printers. It was a complicated process but was also very interesting. But of course they were very limited in use.

Then bulletin board services were much used [even before telnet access via the WWW], newsgroups, and such. Though these are still used by many..other social interactive services suffice for the majority of users who have no idea of their existence anymore. An easy to use, simple interface is the standard and known way of accessing the internet nowadays.

Such has gone the way of DOS for the majority of users as well; those who even remember it now, are a fading group of people. I mean -pure- DOS, not that which is accessed via the windows GUI cmd line, but before windows is even run. Not that many even know what cmd is either anymore.

So, back to, suspending...disbelief.

What do I mean by this? For purposes of this missive, I am referring to opensim as the subject and focus of what vws are all about.

So please attend, please follow along with me, as I attempt to make a point. I will state some of the obvious, simply to set the -stage-...

We all are simply sitting at our computers, as we all know. We all bring with us our own sets of beliefs, knowledge, skill sets...our lives, up to now. If you are 30 you have 30 years of life, 50, 20 years more, 70, even that much more.

However, as anyone who has lived long enough knows. Age does not bring with it the privilege of wisdom. It does not give a person the automatic knowledge that peace and happiness, are a very cherished attribute of life. Age does not automatically mean someone is smarter, better, wiser.

Adding to this equation are people of any age, who always seem to think they know all there is to know. As I said…suspend…disbelief. Who has a child, specifically in their teens, who you listen to, who –knows it all-? [and then there are grandkids..but I digress]

Virtual worlds, and their less graphical predecessors, have one thing in common..and that is that the real people on them are anonymous. Now, if one suspends disbelief, that is true, and it is proper, and it is the way of the internet. Many people thrive on this belief, and do not want it any other way.

However, this is not really the entire truth. Your ISP, thru which you access the world wide web, obviously has all your personal information. Via that portal, we all access the world. When most of us access a website, cookies are obtained. Cookies are little bits of information about you depending upon what the website wishes to know. When you receive emails from many places, invisible tracking images are often imbedded...all these contribute to the workings of the internet..there is nothing necessarily sinister about these things, nothing necessarily wrong with their use..and are used all the time.

I used to download movies and songs using peer-to-peer software. This is now very illegal, I do not do this anymore…because I was very strongly reminded I am not as anonymous as I thought I was when I received a letter from my ISP specifying a filename, a movie, that I had downloaded, was in violation of FCC laws.

I am aware there are more anonymous ways to continue doing this, but I choose not to take the risk with the ever increasing –lack- of anonymity on the internet. In any case, Netflix is around now, and hulu..lol.
You see, I ..suspended..disbelief…
There are even websites that offer additional layers of anonymity. And there are additional ways to attempt to –mask- who you really are from the rest of the internet.

So, for many, we suspend..disbelief..the belief we are secure and that we are anonymous.

We suspend..disbelief..that we are immune to harm simply because, as far as vws are concerned, we can invent a persona, we can invent a backstory, we can fly, we can move the earth, we can –BE – whatever we can imagine. As some like to say, we are Gods..but are we, really? Or do we simply suspend..disbelief?
But yet, we are all simply sitting at our computers, accessing the internet, and vws, via our ISP.
Though of course we are safe from physical harm, our computers are not so immune. Rampant virus attacks and malware make this quite clear. And if a virus can intrude on our lives via our computers, is it terribly difficult to imagine there are other ways to do the same thing?

I once was telling someone I prefer to use the latest beta of Imprudence. She told me she does not like to use beta software. I pointed out, kindly, opensim is beta. Had she suspended..disbelief?

As someone who has been using computers for around 25 years or so….I have used, enjoyed, and thrown away much software. I recall windows 1.0…non multi-threaded, non-multi-tasking, non internet, non much-of-anything. I think it was contained on 3 of the old style 5 ¼ floppy disks. And I was using computers even before then.

Btw, I am old..but not as old as many.

So, virtual worlds. Do we all suspend..disbelief..when we enter them? Do we think we are anonymous?

That whatever we do, whatever we say..it does not matter, really..because we are safe..right?

This isn't meant to be an alarmist weblog, just a treatise on the human condition..really..and as it applies to vws, as I see it, that is all.

Yes, of course, we are safe. Unless we wish to give out personal information ourselves. We can feel reasonably safe from any intrusions upon our personal lives. When we log off opensim, we can go do whatever else it is we do, and leave it behind until we sit back at our computer and log in.

But while here, do we suspend..disbelief.. Or do we, as an opposing viewpoint only, always keep in mind that we are all real people, simply sitting at our computer, with real feelings, real life stories, knowledge and experience. Do we believe that the avatar we see is really beautiful, or a dragon, a mermaid..? Do we forget they are human beings, like ourselves…with feelings?

For the sake of argument only, as in, for an open and sincere debate tool. Do you suspend…disbelief?

"lands of illusions"

So, I've been doing more thinking on virtual worlds. Talking to lots of people, just trying to understand some things..ya know?

Of course..I do know that some people, who have been on them for years, think new people to them are somehow lesser people, or that they don’t know what they are talking about. But these people are in the minority.

I don't really understand that thinking anyways. I mean, so real life experiences count for nothing? They say, ‘hey. I've been on sl for xxx years’…like this is some badge of honor. Maybe I am missing something.

I have often called these vws a game. I've been rethinking why I do that, when so many will respond, ‘no, it is not a game, I've never thought of it as such’. So, I am wondering if I am missing something here also. I have considered that I call them games as a knee jerk reaction to not letting myself become immersed too much in them.
But, I think I have become "immersed". I think I have become ‘hooked’.
So I wonder how this came to be. I am a newbie to vws, by almost any accounts. I have no shame in this, I wear it proudly even. I have my own personal reasons why I didn't find vws earlier than I did. It is unimportant. And I have my own personal reasons for staying in them. Equally, unimportant. But suffice to say….tho I don't keep an accurate tally, I guess it is close to two years now, starting with a few months in sl.

I have often said to people that I think it is a good thing I am new to them, as I see people who have been on them for years, and I have watched, and I have listened. They often say they ‘have seen all, and done all’. And I wonder, also, about that comment. What are they truly saying? Are we in ‘lands of illusions’?

We come into these ‘not-games’, these virtual worlds, these virtual realities…and even tho it is clear we can do things in them we cannot do outside in life. I mean, it is very clear, some still think they are all of a sudden invincible. Behind the mask of supposed anonymity, and within the confines of abilities not found in reality, some seem to ‘twist’, for want of a better word.
I often call it some kind of insanity.
Maybe the DSM V even has it listed, if not, maybe they should. Not all people, by any means to say at all.

I think this malaise even goes further with some people;  some schism is effected that seems to encompass their entire being. Decent moral standards no longer affect them, basic manners fly out the window…they seem to think ‘anything goes’. And, it does, for them.

In these ‘lands of illusions’, anything can go, and for some, it does.

The saving grace, however, is that they also bring out the best in the majority of people. Because, you see, if one can do their worst here, and they do not..is that not a wonder to behold?

I think it is absolutely amazing. People have choices they can make. And for those that can ‘see’ they choose to be decent human beings. In these ‘lands of illusions’, that people can choose to be decent, still…and I think it’s a wonderful testament to humanity.

So, I have to put away my childish supposition that these are mere ‘games’ now, I think. Yes, I think, now, that they are so much more than a ‘game’. Real feelings get hurt, real people show both their good, and their bad, real people are here, in these virtual worlds.

They sweat, they toil, they give, and they take. They put real time into them…’their’ time, real time. To call them mere ‘games’, I see now, lessens this…I was wrong…I beg forgiveness. Yes, I am a part of these ‘lands of illusions’, and, I welcome it with open arms.

good v bad

There are a great many really wonderful and good people who find these virtual worlds.

I have had the pleasure, and honor, to meet so very many of them. And I do cherish this.

Some I have taken to my heart and remember them fondly. Some have joined me as I explore this journey, some moved on to other things, some have left playing in these vws, and some I have lost.

The ones that have joined me, are, of course, the most precious, because, obviously, they feel something -for- me that does make me feel good. I am not sure what this is, but some have told me they appreciate my honest frankness. This I can understand, as I also feel this way about myself. Brutal honesty is not for everyone, but it suits my character. And when something is basic to who you are, and it is basically a good thing, people do see it and gravitate towards it.

Others feel otherwise about why they like me, and have chosen to stay within my close circle of most cherished friends. One whom i cherish the most, says a -black cloud- follows me. I don't really understand this fully, as in my real life I am nothing at all...and I am just a very simple woman who enjoys very simple things in life. Strife, greed, hubris, ego...these things hold absolutely no interest for me.

But I do know those things drive many people to do things that I think are very wrong.

The ones that have moved on I do appreciate. They stayed for a time in my life, they added to it, they gave something of themselves. I do remember them. I believe that ALL people can add something positive to our lives, if we only can see it clearly...even the negative --what I call bad -- people add something. They teach us lessons in life, sometimes, if not most times, good ones needed to survive.

When someone comes into, and out, of our lives...this is ok, because if we cherished our times with them, then we are happy for what they brought to our lives, and we are happy for them to have found something to do that which they enjoy...we hope.

Some have left playing this game of virtual worlds. In some ways I envy them. Because they have re-found something --real-- to do with themselves...I hope. I had a partner in sl and inwz that is one like this. Teejoo is a Dutchman who found a girlfriend to enjoy his life with. I am so happy for this, for him, but at the same time I am envious of his g/f. But that is a small thing. I met Tee in secondlife. I was just wondering around,  dancing and trying to understand this new thing to me. We started spending time together, he didn't push me to have pixel sex & we just, heck, found each other, for a time.

I had been ill for sometime, and he didn't take advantage of my weaknesses...he --added-- to my time, which I did appreciate as being the character of the man he is. I do miss him tho as he was the only person I could say anything to, and he would listen, and he would talk to me, and calm me. And as I can be a spitfire at times, he was my calming force.

Others have come and gone...so many wonderful and unique people I just can't count them all. And some just --disappear-- and that's ok also. I hope they have found something in life that gives them happiness, I really do.

Those I have lost disturb me most greatly tho. It bothers me on several layers. Tho I am not so naive that I still believe we can be all, to all people, I do miss some of those people. The old saying that we can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time..is one I use.

I had a --boss/friend-- in a grid whom I had grown to admire over time, whom I had thought we had an understanding of some sort...we used to talk, share, discuss...I miss that very much as I had really liked her. But this touches on the bad -- to come next in this missive. I miss some others also whom I had considered friends...it saddens me.

The bad people tho...as in real life...they can be so very hurtful. And as in real life, they fool good people who cannot see clearly. I do not blame the good people at all, because good people WANT to see the good in everyone.

And of course there are many people who just don't care..and the many people who just will not look any further than their own noses. I don't fault any of them for these things at all. Sometimes I even wish I was not so inquisitive..life would be so much simpler if I wasn't. But I am not, and I accepted this in me many years ago.

The anonymity of the internet is a part of the problem...because those who can be bad, will be bad...behind the masks...and in virtual worlds the possibility to bring out the bad in people is even more tempting.

However, this is why I most enjoy virtual worlds, because if one can be bad, and easily, and chooses not to, isn't  that such a wonderful thing to behold?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Links List

Just thought my first blog post in this new blog should show a few links.

I follow this website and occasionally post in the comments.

http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/

and also the google+ community of opensim virtual...I think this gets you there:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/113904954583860050633/communities/116284417302234467612

My home base grid is now here:

http://www.hypergrid.org/metropolis/wiki/en/index.php/Hauptseite

Metropolis hypergate @ hypergrid.org:8002:minethere

I sell things I create here:

My RAW files: http://store.payloadz.com/results/results.aspx?m=239383

I listen to these streams:

http://white.neostreams.info:8045/

and here:

http://streaming.countrylegends971.com/_players/coxradio/index.php?callsign=KTHTFM

Sooo, what is YOUR ARC? http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Avatar_Rendering_Cost

My first youtube - Torben Asp in IO Grid Oct 26, 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmQFgG-QScA

https://opensimcity.org

A cool grid: http://www.kitely.com

A very interesting short story-)) http://hermiene.net/short-stories/carcinoma_angels.html

Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts - Taxable Entity Search

https://ourcpa.cpa.state.tx.us/coa/Index.html