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It's not real. Are you real? Is it real? Are you for real?


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I believe you are all real. I don't know any of you very well, but it is very apparent there are many different personalities populating these forums.  

But a friend I met recently at a school reunion said that people he meets online are not real, and I found myself arguing with him.  There were about 14 of us altogether at this reunion. Everyone did not all talk at once, they broke away into smaller groups, pretty much as they did when they were in school.  When the friend said online people are not real, the entire group had quite the discussion.  Computers were not the norm when I was at school. Only about half of the reunion people used a computer for work or at home, but they all had smart phones and all were on FB, which is how we all came together.  Shocking to me was only two people actually considered online friends to be real.  

Are you real? 

I am real.  

 

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If I say someone is not real,it's not in the sense that they don't exist and are not human..It just means they are being fake or putting on a show for whoever they are around or just trying to be someone they aren't to impress others..

There are a lot of people on the internet like that..But at the same time there are a lot like that off the internet..

 

ETA: Let me just add this..I'm not talking about SL,but more all over the internet in general..

Edited by Ceka Cianci
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Well, obviously we are all real people behind the screens. How much our appearance, behaviour and actions inworld reflect that reality is another question. How much a relationship would continue to thrive if taken offline is another question. If you can keep that distinction between SL and RL, good on you, but I find very few remain totally unaffected and switch off when they log out. 

My relationship succeeded when taken offline but it certainly did change. We knew it would. 

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43 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

Well, obviously we are all real people behind the screens.

Oh yeah? (specifically the part, about 35 minutes in, about GPT-2 and the herd of Andean unicorns)

Long before November, the majority of political discourse on the internet will be fake. Never touched by humans. No Russian trollbots need apply - they've been replaced by automation.

No point trying to identify the (deep) fakes, safer to simply assume it's all the product of generative AI.

That newish avatar at the infohub, the one with the unusually good mesh body? What odds do we put on there being a human producing anything it says?

Of the next few hundred, how do we find the one that's "real" ?

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10 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

Long before November, the majority of political discourse on the internet will be fake. Never touched by humans. No Russian trollbots need apply - they've been replaced by automation.

If you mean before November 2019 2018, I think you're spot on. There has been a lot of different doomsday scenario theories what will happen if/when we hit technological singularity but I don't think any of them anticipate what we are actually seeing at the moment.

 

Edited by ChinRey
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I assume everyone I meet in SL is real unless they are an admitted bot or act like one while having nothing in their profile.  If an AI comes in and strikes up an intelligent conversation with me I'll say 'Hooray' and invite them in for tea.

I am real.

Edited by Garnet Psaltery
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   I call where I am sitting real space because the distinction of 'Real Life' has never felt accurate to me. We're real. Every person sitting at their computer, piloting their avatar around and interacting with others, is real.

   I grant that many people come here to pretend, to regularly assume a role other than who they really are. And some may find it much easier to connect to others here; they may suffer from extreme social anxiety, or a crippling introversion. When they come here, what they are leaving behind, even if only partially, is a cage. But I think a lot of people who come here, do so to escape a pretense, to leave behind the mask they show everyone in real space. For good or for ill, they are showing us, here, their true selves.

   My reasons for being here have changed over the years. At first it was a simple fascination with virtual worlds, to inhabit a place that didn't physically exist, and to see things in it, to see how far you could go and what you could find. I fell in love with the learning I felt myself doing here. As time passed, my connection to SL changed from one of spatial exploration, learning and creativity, to an exploration of myself and how far, and in what directions, I could go, personally. Throughout it all, I have been me, extended from my real space into this beautiful world.

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4 minutes ago, Ivanova Shostakovich said:

When they come here, what they are leaving behind, even if only or good or for ill, they are showing us, here, their true selves.

I've always felt that people are more likely to be showing who they wish they were, rather than who they really are. Though I suppose who you want to be is a good indication of who you are.

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27 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

I've always felt that people are more likely to be showing who they wish they were, rather than who they really are.

If you are successfully representing who you wish you were . . . doesn't that mean that you are actually being who you wish to be? Even if it's only here?

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Real life as referred to by your friend at the reunion is really a throwback to Gen X and before. Kids these days don't know what real is. Remember when people called it meatspace? Or maybe that was only on Slashdot. Second Life keeps the trope alive because of the whole SL/RL dichotomy but in general it has much less currency. 

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Just now, Scylla Rhiadra said:

If you are successfully representing who you wish you were . . . doesn't that mean that you are actually being who you wish to be? Even if it's only here?

I don't necessarily think so. You can present, for example, as a super hard man warrior who is a master at swordplay, bare knuckle fighting and seducing supermodels, but that doesn't mean that's who you actually are. 

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I had a very wonderful two year long relationship in SL with the most incredible man ever. When it ended (it will be four years ago on Monday) due to issues beyond our control in the real world, I was devastated. 

I was in mourning for this beautiful thing that had ended, and the loss of this amazing man in my life. I tried to talk to my RL best friend about it. Even though our time together was in SL, the feelings and emotions and love was absolutely real. My best friend of 25 years insisted to me that it wasn't real. 

We are no longer friends.

That isn't the only reason I ended the friendship, but it is a large part of it. 

I'm real. The people I interact with are real. The feelings and emotions are real. 

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My reality is that I am sitting in front of a desk looking at patterns of light within a rectangular enclosure. One pattern has formed which asks if the other patterns have the same reality as I sitting in front of the desk. I push little buttons to form my own patterns.

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37 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

I had a very wonderful two year long relationship in SL with the most incredible man ever. When it ended (it will be four years ago on Monday) due to issues beyond our control in the real world, I was devastated. 

I was in mourning for this beautiful thing that had ended, and the loss of this amazing man in my life. I tried to talk to my RL best friend about it. Even though our time together was in SL, the feelings and emotions and love was absolutely real. My best friend of 25 years insisted to me that it wasn't real. 

We are no longer friends.

That isn't the only reason I ended the friendship, but it is a large part of it. 

I'm real. The people I interact with are real. The feelings and emotions are real. 

Thank you, so much, for sharing this.  I think, feelings and emotions that I've experienced in Second Life have been far more intense, and therefore far more real, than anything I have experienced in real life. A bit like if you eat while blindfolded, you can really pick out individual flavours more.  I found myself so disappointed that my real life good friend was so close minded really. To have my own personal "waste of time" (my interest, hobby, whatever Second Life is to all of us as individuals) dismissed by a real life friend, who I have never criticised or condemned for doing anything that could be considered a waste of time to other people. 

 

What has been great for me during my time in Second Life has been the lack of racism and ageism, people being more open minded and considerate, and although we are only versions of ourselves, pictures on a screen, these avatars that we put together show some aspects of our personality in the same way as a floral dress or jeans and a slogan tee defines who my real friends are/were at that reunion.  

 

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1 hour ago, Amina Sopwith said:

I don't necessarily think so. You can present, for example, as a super hard man warrior who is a master at swordplay, bare knuckle fighting and seducing supermodels, but that doesn't mean that's who you actually are. 

Oh my. Well, one of my reunion buddies has a thing for Marvel superheroes and has been known to wear certain head to toe superhero outfits when expecting visitors (and probably when not expecting visitors). First time I saw him as Spiderman, I admit I found that freakish, mainly because I didn't know Spiderman smoked.  A man in a skin tight suit of any kind, over 50, well some things unfortunately cannot be unseen. 

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