“SL: an experiment in self managing society” an exaggeration?

Im supposed to me working on new clothes and setting up a set list for my DJ show later today but instead i found myself building a new book in iPhoto presenting snapshots of my work and adventures in Second Life. This is to be a coffee table book for family members to browse at christmas during the traditional get together. Fed up am i of being asked what i do only to then have a condescending chuckle in reply to my explanation.

Not only do i show full page snapshots of second life i also have a written explanation at the beginning of every chapter trying to explain what Second Life is and what i get out of it.

After writing these i was suddenly worried wether i’ve made Second Life sound to extravagant in its purpose. Do i really feel this way about Second Life, is it really what i describe it as?

Connecting, sharing, cultural fusion, one world. In the past to be connected to the world meant being wealthy enough to get on a fuel consuming jet plane and physically moving around the planet.

The forefathers of the internet age believed connecting ordinary people to each other through computers would bring a self managing society able to bring stability to humanity without the corruption of power.

While overall this ideal has been pushed aside by capitalism’s insatiable greed, pockets still exist within the connected world exploring the possibilities of a self managing society. Second Life is one such pocket.

Second Life allows an open shared environment for anyone from around the world to meet share and experience ideas. Through art, history and fantasy people are exploring what it means to be human together on earth. Through comparing culture, histories and differences, collaborating to create something new to be shared by all.

Maybe i do believe this but just forget due to the day to day content creation cycle that plays a big part in keeping things going. Maybe this is a reason so many great minds are getting bored of SL? They see the capitalist ideas seeping into Second Life changing the direction of of the platform and decide this is not the experiment they fell in love with.

Am i crazy to think pockets of communities such as the Second Life Platform could give clues to a society post capitalist collapse? Maybe Second Life was such an experiment, if so has it failed? Has it always been about the investors getting their monies worth, or are the platforms many troubles due to a lack of interest to make big bucks?


3 thoughts on ““SL: an experiment in self managing society” an exaggeration?

  1. hmm… What do the little ants in the ant colony do when left to themselves? They build, organize, create a colony. We are a reflection of the basics in nature, down the the cell level. We weave a “body” together, and the body is SL. You ever read about nano technology and creating AI? The best way to program robots is to let them explore, trail and error, and learn for themselves. Put a room of these thinking robots together, and they begin to organize, always searching for more efficient ways of doing things. SecondLife is another step for Humanity in finding a more efficient way to organize. And it’s been wildly successful. Look at Madpeas. They are company with employees sprinkled all over the world. How that is possible for them to create these amazing detailed adventures and be so in-touch with each other? The answer is Virtual Office. … This is the future. Your family may chuckle today about SecondLife, but in the future, meeting and talking with others in a virtual space will be just a natural and accepted as posting on Facebook today. Progress always wins. It’s a mathematical fact. http://content.time.com/time/interactive/0,31813,2048601,00.html

    • The Ant analogy is a scary one, as it means we all have a specific place and job that we should stick to else risk colony collapse . Also there is nothing ‘Basic’ about nature, if it was ‘basic’ then we’d surely have managing the planets health figured out by now. We are also not robots, we make robots to emulate us on a very simplistic level so to watch what robots do then suggest this is a basic example of what humans will do is insane. But you do say something that i agree with “SecondLife is another step for Humanity in finding a more efficient way to organise” you could have just posted this without the rest. :-p Maybe its because we are nerdy geeks but it seems often the case that the technological ideas get in the way whats possibly really happening, and thats the extension of human thought beyond the confines of physical space. Feedback loops that help people make future choices can be made virtually with no impact on the physical world allowing quicker evolutions of thought. Holy crap you just helped me come up with a virtual feedback loop concept! i must check to see if its been written about before.

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