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Archive for July, 2007

I was directed by friend and mentor KJ to view a remarkable series of short videos by  New York filmmaker Josh Levy that ask some very good questions and make some excellent points about SL. As I watched, I wrote down (yes I am an immigrant!) the names of places within SL, and then went for a personal visit to “Better World Island“. 

Better World Hub

My first stop was “Baghdad Streets“. I wandered around and was sickened by what I saw and saddened but the stupidity of it all. I am not, and have never been a supporter of Bush’s folly in Iraq, but living on the back steps of Camp Pendleton, I have  ALWAYS supported our troops. But so many people have died, and so little has been accomplished, it tears at my heart and I despair for the idiocy that is mistaken for patriotisim or “doing the right thing” for others. Still, I was glad to have a more realistic picture of what life is like there. Walking through this picture world of all of the humanity affected by the ugliness that happens in Iraq on a daily basis, I was thankful for all of the blessings I have had in my life -how very lucky we are, and so many Americans take what they have for granted.

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After that sobering visit to Baghdad , I pressed on to “Camp Darfur” where I was confronted by even more death and destruction.

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As I stood transfixed by the devastation in front of my eyes, a friend, Scott Merrick came in world and I was compelled to IM him to join me -I’m so glad he did. Having a friend along made the experience less opressive, although he did make the comment that it felt “claustrophobic” -and indeed it did, as I’m sure the builder intended. This build is heavy on the sensory overload, and chock full of video and touchables which were well worth the time they took to experience fully.

All is not death and gloom on Better World Island however. A visit to the “Center For Water Studies,” the “Gardens of Hope” or “Mystery Island” are all uplifting experiences, and I came away with hope, as I usually do.

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“I keep my ideals because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really  good at heart.”

~Anne Frank

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I’m back from vacation, and am happy to say that the seperation anxiety and actual inability to be in SL, did not actually harm me or distress me (not too much anyway). It is hard to be away, and I suppose that the let-down since NECC and all of the activity that proceeded it, made leaving a little easier. It seems that every time I log-in no one is in world. Has SL lost it’s joie de vivre? I don’t think so, but it is clear that summer is not a time for as much participation -especially in the education community; there are too many residents either traveling with their families, or 0n the conference circuit.

As I explored various sites today, I found a little gem at Google Video that I found to be interesting and enlightening. It is a presentation by Philip Rosedale and Chief Technology Officer Cory Ondrejka of Linden Lab. The most amazing thing about the video is the stats that Rosedal provides within his naration -the difference in a few years, in everything from the Linden exchange to the virtual mass in square-footage of SL is staggering! Check out both the video and this SL stats page created by KJ.

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NECC and BFFs

   

 

Well, I’m finally getting around to writing about this incredible experience; I don’t know why it’s taken me so long when KJ and Scott Merrick were blogging from the show. I suppose that’s the difference in long-time bloggers like them, and I newbie like me. I also had a tremendous amount to process, and being the “reflective” person that I am, that sometimes takes some real effort.

First, the most amazing and wonderful part of the entire experience was meeting the people who have become my closest friends, KJ, Victoria, and Kyle, for the very first time. We are living examples of the power of SL and web 2.0. It was amazing to see all of the other people whom I have only known as Avs; funny thing, I can’t seem to put the AVs and their RL counterpart faces together -I wonder if there’s a sociology study there somewhere?

  

  

I guess I could write a run-down of the experience day by day, but others have already done that, so I think I’ll just share some of my favorite pics and leave it at that. Of course, you can go to my flicker and see many more if you wish.

On Saturday, we’re leaving to visit my college roommate and her family, then on to Lake Tahoe for the week. I will take my laptop and try to write, but I’m afraid I won’t have much time in SL 😦  That has become a bone of contention in my home, and a source of distress for me, as I am unable to explore as I would like. I am continually stymied by the amount of information I should be “uploading” both in SL and beyond, as well as the things that need to be disiminated by me professionally. Nevermind the fact that I have only five weeks left to accomplish a laundry-list-the-length-of-both-arms worth of preparation for the start of the 2007-2008 school year, as well as the professional growth I want to complete for myself. ARGH!!!!

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