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lucagrabacr

How long do you guys think until it's the social norm that one's physicality become interpersonally irrelevant?

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I just think it's kind of an appropriate topic to collectively probe in this forum since SL is in a way a medium that can nullify parts of the social notion that one's original biological physical form and location are compulsory considerations in measuring the quality and perceived importance of interpersonal relationships and interactions, romantic or non-romantic, therefore we've all experience it in varying degrees and probably have thought about it.

When will the balance tip? Will it be the moment VR and AR became much more mainstream? Would it require a breakthrough in our overall philosophical understanding of existence as a species - where we no longer associate physical factors as important beyond practical reasons? Or will it never happen at all? Or will it simply be the moment we can immersively experience virtual sexual intercourse? ;) 

I personally wish it to happen, and as soon as possible :D 

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6 minutes ago, lucagrabacr said:

Or will it never happen at all?

I won't say never but there is a major obstacle in the way that will either need to revise thousands of years of dogma or be left behind before that will happen.

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I have no idea if or when what I think you were describing will happen, but if I'm right about what you meant I do believe VR will have a lot to do with it. Was thinking about this today listening to the news on the car radio: Amazon teaming with Walmart, Whole Foods, etc. How online retail was doing way better than real stores you can go to. I can see that; I buy a lot of stuff online just like everyone else. But for some things (oddly enough Amazon's original market) as far as I'm concerned they fall miles short. Books. When I know the author I want Amazon is fine. When I want to browse a section, they suck. I keep having to click and click and move here and move there. In a bookstore I can find, for example, the Science Fiction section and be looking at all the books in range. I can grab one that looks interesting (maybe I remember the author; maybe the title suggests a subject I'd enjoy), pull it off the shelf and read the liner notes and decide aye or nay. Can't do that with the internet.

But: with VR, if it ever lives up to a fraction of the early hype (going back at least twenty years) that could be achieved. Trying to recall the name of that Crichton novel that included VR in a way it is still far short of achieving. Also I fail to see how it can work for I would think most people as a grocery store. Yeah sure, for canned/bottled/boxed goods maybe okay (subject to the same massively awkward browsing I described with books) but bread? Produce? MEAT? Are you really going to buy meat you've not even seen? Not this horse.*

 

*As so often happens, I could not resist dropping a movie line. That one's from Ben Johnson in Brando's "One Eyed Jacks". The rest of the line is: "'Nuff shotgun down there to start a war".

 

ETA ps: The Crichton novel was Disclosure. From 1994, so 23 years. I was close.

Edited by Dillon Levenque
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Very long. SL had never been designed to degender people. Nor High Fidelity, nor Sansar.

Fantasy can not compete with reality. They'll need to implement an avatar aging and sicknesses and exhaustment, etc...

Edited by Morgan Rosenstar
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Doesn't it look like we're heading in the opposite direction? Pretty is more important and less achievable than ever. I suspect VR will make that worse as it raises expectations for what we could look like while eroding what we actually look like. We're the most sedentary humans ever to walk sit on the Earth. Meanwhile AI (to extrapolate your VR sex pondering) looks poised to compete for our affections... and our jobs.

The denizens of Second Life are probably not as tolerant (or as mean) as they sometimes seem nor are they representative of the general population. VR will only be available to a small (and again unrepresentative) slice of humanity, but AI will give all of us a run for our money.

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It won't happen. I don't believe it's in human nature to ignore physicality. We may want it to be, but those of us that tend to pay it *less attention are a very tiny minority in this species.  I say less because, *everyone* pays attention to physical features of others, regardless of how much importance we may attach to such things, we pay attention. If anything mankind is headed in the very opposite direction. We place more emphasis on the physical aspects of people, the world over, than we do anything else. Sometimes it may be due to the fact that one's physical appearance makes up the vast majority of what we "know" about them, or at least have presented to us. Face it, humans judge, all of us..yes, ALL. Physical appearances is absolutely no exception to that.

Making the ability to look however one chooses, or deems "ideal", easier via any method (ie, through VR, and even in the vast world that is plastic surgery, things one can do to alter his/her appearance-even something as common as makeup), isn't going to thrust us forward into a more progressive, well positive at least, mode of thought processes. It just won't happen...humans don't work like that. Anyone can say "I don't care about how someone looks" and other such things all they want, but they're really only lying to themselves. What they see may not play a massive role in their opinions about someone, but everyone thinks, everyone cares(to some extent), everyone processes...all things associated with a person's physical appearance. 

VR, AI, nothing like that is going to alter how humans function on a psychological level as far as how they view themselves, or even others. We'd probably like to think it would happen, we might even want it to...but it won't. Humans evolve, like everything else, but that doesn't mean we evolve in a positive manner on all fronts. Some things just don't change for the better(or ever change). Just take a look at human history and how physicality has been perceived and utilized since the dawn of man...we've certainly not evolved in a positive manner since then, no matter how much we want to pretend we have. 

 

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6 hours ago, lucagrabacr said:

When will the balance tip? Will it be the moment VR and AR became much more mainstream? Would it require a breakthrough in our overall philosophical understanding of existence as a species - where we no longer associate physical factors as important beyond practical reasons? Or will it never happen at all? 

Personally, I think with certain individuals it's already here.

I have friends here I and really wild about; but I have no urge to know them in RL. When I think about them, I visualize them as I know them here; and I am OK with that.

I'm comfortable with seeing people as they prefer to be seen, and it hurts my ability to be their friend not one little bit :-)

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The visual sense is by far the highest bandwidth of our primary senses. Thus it's no surprise to me that most sensory technologies have focused solely on what we see and how to simulate or replicate it. But until such time as we have developed technologies that can hijack the other senses the way VR hijacks our vision, IMO we will not reach a point of 100% disconnection from physicality.

I mean, ask yourself, do these sentences evoke something in you that just cannot be replicated with mere VR or other visual stimuli:

The smell of fresh brewed coffee in the morning waking you up...
The sound of children playing on a warm summer afternoon...
The feel of freshly laundered sheets as you crawl between  them..
The first bite of Mom's very best meal after a long absence from home..

Yes, your mind "went there" as you read them. But did you really experience them? Would you be happy living, even for a short time, in a world where you could not also truly experience them? Once technology hijacks our full sensory perceptions .. and I mean FULLY .. we humans will still always be anxious to get back to our physical bodies at some time or another.

IMO anyway.

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7 hours ago, lucagrabacr said:

When will the balance tip? Will it be the moment VR and AR became much more mainstream? Would it require a breakthrough in our overall philosophical understanding of existence as a species - where we no longer associate physical factors as important beyond practical reasons? Or will it never happen at all? Or will it simply be the moment we can immersively experience virtual sexual intercourse? ;) 

I personally wish it to happen, and as soon as possible :D 

Which bit do you wish would happen as soon as possible? The bit in the tiny font? lol

Judging by the age that you avatar's forum pic looks, you shouldn't be wishing for that at all :o

Edited by Phil Deakins
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50 minutes ago, Darrius Gothly said:

The visual sense is by far the highest bandwidth of our primary senses.....

Not wanting to disagree too much with what everyone else has said, I would say that 'The IMAGINATION is highest bandwidth of our senses'  granted it isn't a primary one.  Imagination uses most of our consciousness , and quite a bit of our unconsciousness, before SL we did it by closing our eyes, now we can do it with our eyes open.

I have deeply loved friends here in SL.  Some that I know are very old and sick, some deformed by surgery and disease, but because I only saw what they wanted to look like I fell in love them before the physicality could affect my imagination.  Now we live on a plane of existence where their vision on me, and my vision of them is unconstrained by the limitations of our physical RL bodies.  That's why SL is so wonderful.  Good question, lucagrabacr.

Edited by anna2358
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1 hour ago, Darrius Gothly said:

 Once technology hijacks our full sensory perceptions .. and I mean FULLY .. we humans will still always be anxious to get back to our physical bodies at some time or another.

IMO anyway.

Some years ago due to a brain injury, my RL body began letting me down. 

For me and people like me, SL is a chance to be "normal" and not the object of pity or bad humor when my speech sounds drunk, I have a "can't walk well" day or being a gifted seven-finger typist is just not enough.

I think it's relative to your situation :-)

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10 minutes ago, AmandaKeen said:

Some years ago due to a brain injury, my RL body began letting me down. 

For me and people like me, SL is a chance to be "normal" and not the object of pity or bad humor when my speech sounds drunk, I have a "can't walk well" day or being a gifted seven-finger typist is just not enough.

I think it's relative to your situation :-)

I hear you, and I'm in a very similar boat. My life has been pockmarked by medical "events" and the associated period of healing afterward. Each one of them has altered or diminished my physicality, at times dramatically. But the act  of "healing" is the body's attempt to restore full physicality. Sometimes it succeeds, sometimes not so much. And yet even when massive chunks of our flesh or brain matter have been carved out or rendered useless, our bodies still fight every day to repair, restore and carry on. It is one of the most wondrous things about being alive IMO.

Second Life is, to me at least, a form of healing. Especially on those days when parts of me that used to work won't or don't, Second Life becomes that place where I can once again stand fully erect, walk for miles, dance until the sun comes up .. and have the same handsome chiseled features I once believed I had in real life. It heals my soul, my spirit and gives me a desire to keep going. It gives me the chance to be with people that don't judge my alterations or imperfections .. they just judge "Me".

And yet still ... I crave touch, smell, sound, taste. I am, even when fully immersed, still a human being, a thinking sensory machine. And without those attendant other senses, the healing is only partially successful.

(Damn this got heavy. Nevuh mind. I need some coffee ...)

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2 hours ago, anna2358 said:

I have deeply loved friends here in SL.  Some that I know are very old and sick, some deformed by surgery and disease, but because I only saw what they wanted to look like I fell in love them before the physicality could affect my imagination.

You fell in love with what they wanted to look like, absent all the other things SL doesn't convey. I might chew with my mouth open, say "like" and "um" every other word, scratch myself unconsciously all the time, smell awful, never make eye contact, and be highly unfaithful. Even if my RL self was as beautiful as my SL self (how dare you imagine that it isn't), you'd probably still find me very different than the Maddy you know here.

As others have said, VR occupies a vanishingly small part of our collective sensory bandwidth, yet still enough to hook us because that vanishingly small part doesn't have to compete with all the noise that would come with the full experience. I think the corrosive potential of technology makes Luca's proposition a very long shot. I really do think it'll work the opposite way. Rather than making us all more tolerant of the imperfections we can't escape, we'll become increasingly enamored with the "perfection" of escapism. We here are already doing that to a limited degree, why wouldn't that continue and expand with the technology? If there's an upside to this, it's one we've already experienced. Many here are escaping lives in which their potential for appreciation is reduced by their imperfections. I can imagine a future in which AI surrogates comfort those who can't obtain it from other humans. There are already chat therapy algorithms helping people battle depression.

Wouldn't it be ironic if the most compassionate and accepting of us...

...aren't us?

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I don't think it will ever become irrelevant except between individuals. Because of FL/RL preferences and prejudices on age, race, gender, STD-free, etc.

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6 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

You fell in love with what they wanted to look like, absent all the other things SL doesn't convey.

Well I don't think I did.  The people I'm talking about were all very up front about their RL situation, that's part of their charm.

Still, the rest of what you say is a reasonable analysis prognosis.

Edited by anna2358
changed a word...

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41 minutes ago, anna2358 said:

Well I don't think I did.  The people I'm talking about were all very up front about their RL situation, that's part of their charm.

Still, the rest of what you say is a reasonable analysis prognosis.

I don't doubt they were upfront, but that's not the point I was trying to make. SL strips away a lot of us that we're not even aware of. If they don't know they do things in RL that bug you, they can't be up-front about it. We sort for companions based on a lot more than just looks, temperament, and intelligence. SL strips away a lot, whether we know it or not.

SL also gives us far more control over our relationships than we have in RL. I turn off the sound on my computer to silence IM notifications and the like. I can't do anything to stop my boarder's knock on my office door from reaching my eardrums. It's easier to focus in SL than in RL.

Those SL differences work to accelerate and amplify relationships here.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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11 hours ago, Darrius Gothly said:

The visual sense is by far the highest bandwidth of our primary senses. Thus it's no surprise to me that most sensory technologies have focused solely on what we see and how to simulate or replicate it. But until such time as we have developed technologies that can hijack the other senses the way VR hijacks our vision, IMO we will not reach a point of 100% disconnection from physicality.

I mean, ask yourself, do these sentences evoke something in you that just cannot be replicated with mere VR or other visual stimuli:

The smell of fresh brewed coffee in the morning waking you up...
The sound of children playing on a warm summer afternoon...
The feel of freshly laundered sheets as you crawl between  them..
The first bite of Mom's very best meal after a long absence from home..

Yes, your mind "went there" as you read them. But did you really experience them? Would you be happy living, even for a short time, in a world where you could not also truly experience them? Once technology hijacks our full sensory perceptions .. and I mean FULLY .. we humans will still always be anxious to get back to our physical bodies at some time or another.

IMO anyway.

This reminds a story that a rl friend told me. She's working as a childminder and one day the nursery school decided to bring the children outside and visit a farm. Things they saw only on pictures and she told me they were scared, really scared. So I asked her what did they scared them and she told me the cows, the chickens, etc... I've been raised in a small farm village, I grew up with cows, pigs, horses, and so on and so on... So when she told me that farm animals scared them, I was speechless. How? There are just cows?

All this to say that yes, there's definitely a difference between to represent something and to have encountering it in real life. Not to mention the lack of empathy and feeling one can have if she knows only a pure representation and how it may lead to dissociative problems.

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I think once AR/VR becomes commoditized there will be a sea change in how people exist. As smartphones have changed our behavior, VR will have the same effect. It seems like there is a lot of research and development being done in both the technology of vr wearables and in creation of vr content. Oh look, Sansar.

This whole vr resurgence started with the oculus rift designers breaking the barrier of vr induced sickness. With that hurdle crossed, the hardware companies of the world jumped on it. If you think the Oculus isn't good enough there are better vr headsets in the horizon with higher resolutions and wider fields of view. There will be lots more AAA content, like Doom, Skyrim and Fallout VR. There's a Spielberg movie coming out, Ready Player One, that should build the hype on vr as well. 

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Um lol I think we will always have to eat, bathe, and use the bathroom which requires movement. So this is a stupid question

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Thanks for the insights and opinions guys, I love reading them all :) although I gotta admit I'm biased to those in favor of my ideals.

My reasoning to maintain such an ideal is that, while I acknowledge the natural / societal psychological effects of one's appearance to their and others' perception of themselves (which have been mentioned or implied in some of the replies), I consider one's "original" physicality to be just as superficial as one that has been artificially supplemented or made from scratch, and in my eyes there's no humanly logical reason to excessively emphasize its perceived importance beyond practical reasons. In my view that kind of unreasonably rigid perspective (it is after all a matter of perspective) might diminish our overall happiness because of the illogical and impractical social notion it imposes. I also apply the same logic when comparing physical and virtual social interactions.

(edit: to make myself more clear on appearance, I didn't mean to say appearance doesn't matter or have any effect to some degree, I meant to say that it doesn't matter to me whether it's artificial or not)

Edited by lucagrabacr

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On ‎8‎/‎24‎/‎2017 at 5:24 AM, Madelaine McMasters said:

Wouldn't it be ironic if the most compassionate and accepting of us...

...aren't us?

Once again you demonstrate why I find you so interesting. (In a mild and perfectly casual way, of course).

I like this. :-)

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On 26/08/2017 at 11:45 PM, lucagrabacr said:

Thanks for the insights and opinions guys, I love reading them all :) although I gotta admit I'm biased to those in favor of my ideals.

My reasoning to maintain such an ideal is that, while I acknowledge the natural / societal psychological effects of one's appearance to their and others' perception of themselves (which have been mentioned or implied in some of the replies), I consider one's "original" physicality to be just as superficial as one that has been artificially supplemented or made from scratch, and in my eyes there's no humanly logical reason to excessively emphasize its perceived importance beyond practical reasons. In my view that kind of unreasonably rigid perspective (it is after all a matter of perspective) might diminish our overall happiness because of the illogical and impractical social notion it imposes. I also apply the same logic when comparing physical and virtual social interactions.

(edit: to make myself more clear on appearance, I didn't mean to say appearance doesn't matter or have any effect to some degree, I meant to say that it doesn't matter to me whether it's artificial or not)

In a perfect world, people would be estimated and considered, based on context. Jobs would be paid equally for males and females and based only on skills. Marriage would be an institutional alliance between two persons to raise a family (hint : adoption is totally legal).

In reality, we're still far from any of these. In my country, there's a general store that decided to untag their toys for girls and boys. They decided that now they're selling toys for kids, no gender anymore (related here : http://culturalinsight.com/2013/12/04/unisex-toys/). But it's still a long road before it becomes "the new norm".

VR can not miraculously change human minds. Humans remain humans with or without avatars. Therefore I don't see how it would become "common" in VR if it's not there in RL beforehand.

Edited by Morgan Rosenstar
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2 hours ago, Morgan Rosenstar said:

VR can not miraculously change human minds. Humans remain humans with or without avatars. Therefore I don't see how it would become "common" in VR if it's not there in RL beforehand.

This..right here...

In so many ways we, as a species, have advanced beyond comprehension, but there are still some very basic areas in which our very nature has barely, or not at all, advanced. In fact, in some ways I'd even venture a guess that we've gone backwards. How we treat, deal with, see, and other things escaping me at the moment...other people, has not advanced as much as we might like. Changing on an individual level does very little for an entire culture, society, species even. Basic human nature doesn't change that simply. Just look at how long it's taken us to get where we are, and we are surely nowhere near ideal. No amount of VR, AI, or anything else artificially created to mimic or even enhance life, is going to change that. While those things can do amazing things for humans, hell I make use of them every single day of my life just to get basic things done, they can't replace or even fully replicate human nature in this manner(well, not in this type of context anyway). 

Then again, no one ever said humans are logical in all ways(or most..probably any, in some cases, lol)..so, it's to be expected, in my opinion, that regardless of how many advances in perception some individual humans make, the species is not likely to follow suit. 

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