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SL is different things to different people. Trying to put a label on it that will please everyone is futile, but it is interesting to see how different people's opinions are.

Some use it for education - not a game

Some use it to be a vampire - game

Some use it to communicate with those far away - not a game

Some use it to RP - game

and the list goes on and one.

For me, it's a creative outlet that is an extension of my RL. Is it a game to me? Nah, in a game I expect rules and goals. For others, sure it's a game. What I don't understand is the arguing about it. Why can't all perspectives exist, why must this conversation always devolve into "No, I'm right" "No, you're wrong, I'm right" "My way is the right way" "NO, MINE IS"

It is possible to state an opinion without smacking everyone else around with it.

Sigh.

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Shelby Silverspar wrote:


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:


And those who study life (biology) know that human behavior is best explained using the
:)
It really is one big old game of strategy. People who lose this game give up, sit down and play Second Life instead.


Wow, just wow, Ishtara. In your narrow view everyone who enjoys SL has failed at RL? You didn't really mean that, did you? Thats sorta pot-kettle, with your post count here -- perhaps you need to step away from the blogorums and get some fresh air.

 

The statement "people who suck at chess settle for mills or halma" doesn't mean that all people who like to play mills or halma are horrible chess players :) A chicken has two legs, but not all bipedal animals are chicken.

People join SL for many reasons. A large number of SL residents are indeed not very successful in RL, or at least in a particular aspect of RL (such as relationships / mating), and use SL as a surrogate or sometimes as a reality escape. Others have been quite successful in RL back in the day and now use SL to relive those better days. Others again are here to try and make a quick buck.

I believe that the "RL surrogate" approach is the most common. People find it easier to search for a mate in a world where everyone can be young, slim and attractive, or enjoy owning a mansion and a yacht when in reality they're living in a garage or basement. People who are afraid to commit in RL come here to role play their dream wedding, women who can't have children adopt prim babies and child avatars, transsexual people live and socialize as their chosen gender, and unsuccessful musicians perform on virtual stages. If they could have the same success or positive experiences in RL, why do it in SL instead?

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Shelby Silverspar wrote:

SL is different things to different people. Trying to put a label on it that will please everyone is futile, but it is interesting to see how different people's opinions are.

Some use it for education - not a game

Some use it to be a vampire - game

Some use it to communicate with those far away - not a game

Some use it to RP - game

and the list goes on and one.

For me, it's a creative outlet that is an extension of my RL. Is it a game to me? Nah, in a game I expect rules and goals. For others, sure it's a game. What I don't understand is the
arguing
about it. Why can't all perspectives exist, why must this conversation always devolve into "No, I'm right" "No, you're wrong, I'm right" "My way is the right way" "NO, MINE IS"

It is possible to state an opinion without smacking everyone else around with it.

Sigh.

SL is not a game, some people may play within SL but you cant play SL itself.

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:


Shelby Silverspar wrote:


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:


And those who study life (biology) know that human behavior is best explained using the
:)
It really is one big old game of strategy. People who lose this game give up, sit down and play Second Life instead.


Wow, just wow, Ishtara. In your narrow view everyone who enjoys SL has failed at RL? You didn't really mean that, did you? Thats sorta pot-kettle, with your post count here -- perhaps you need to step away from the blogorums and get some fresh air.

 

The statement "people who suck at chess settle for mills or halma" doesn't mean that all people who like to play mills or halma are horrible chess players
:)
A chicken has two legs, but not all bipedal animals are chicken.

People join SL for many reasons. A large number of SL residents are indeed not very successful in RL, or at least in a particular aspect of RL (such as relationships / mating), and use SL as a surrogate or sometimes as a reality escape. Others have been quite successful in RL back in the day and now use SL to relive those better days. Others again are here to try and make a quick buck.

I believe that the "RL surrogate" approach is the most common. People find it easier to search for a mate in a world where everyone can be young, slim and attractive, or enjoy owning a mansion and a yacht when in reality they're living in a garage or basement. People who are afraid to commit in RL come here to role play their dream wedding, women who can't have children adopt prim babies and child avatars, transsexual people live and socialize as their chosen gender, and unsuccessful musicians perform on virtual stages. If they could have the same success or positive experiences in RL, why do it in SL instead?

i came here for the potential of earning money, and then to widen my chances of getting the perfect mate.

if you want to fantasise about your looks or a partners looks thats your prerogative, but it will only ever be in a fantasy, you will never truely live your dream. you will wake up in the morning and be alone.

ps, i dont think all musicians in SL are unsuccessful, they may not be a successful as rebecca black though..

 

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You know what's funny? I came into SL in 2006  after reading an article in PC World magazine, and I really had NO preconceived expectations, except "wow, that sounds cool." I was instantly enchanted, here was an entire world made by creative people, how awesome. I went everywhere, saw so many things, had such fun.

I never expected to meet anyone in SL. I don't use internet dating sites or social sites like FB, and I don't use other online interactive multiuser games, so I guess my initial mindset wasn't that SL would be social... I was looking at it from the artistic perspective. But guess what - not only did I make some really good friends,  I met the perfect guy for me, in SL. He's sitting here next to me, in RL, almost five years later and I still think he is the perfect guy for me. So do all our friends and both our families. We are successful in our RL, have lots of outside interests, activities and friends. I'm a graphic artist, so SL is a wonderful creative outlet for me. I have a small store, it pays for SL for me, and I can't tell you how much my own skills have improved since I started in SL.

I think SL is what you make it, and it changes all the time. Its different for everyone. To say that "all SL users are introverted geeks inhabiting their parent's basements because they can't cut it in RL and think sunshine hurts, or all SL users are _____" just doesn't work at all.

 

 

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Ack!  I can't believe I'm jumping in here when I know it's not good for me but I just wanted to first of all say they are some very talented SL musicians who are rl musicians also, Ishy. 

Moving on the topic from the OP:   Also, I think people confuse the words game and play.  I play in SL, sort of like guided imagery I use to calm myself down when I have to go to the dentist.  Only SL provides a different type of guiding imagery in that it's not in our minds, it's on a screen where we are interacting with our imagination, instead of closing our eyes and then creating an imaginary place that only exists with eyes closed.  With guided imagery I imagine being in a calming place like Hawaii or such and such when I have to undergo dental work for an example. 

A game to me would be something with a score total or a winner; game is competitive.  Play is just fun, no winning, no losing.  I also don't role-play; I just play, meaning fun.  Roleplay involves writing or talking in regards to a certain time period to me.  I don't speak Fairy and I don't speak Mermaid.  So I don't see myself as role-playing. 

Playing for adults seems to get a bad rap in our society for some reason.  But playing is actually extremely healthy for us.  I often times feel embarrassed about admitting I play on SL for some reason.  But on the other hand, war and killing games are very accepted by our society and everyone thinks thats cool, or I would look cool if I told someone I played WoW, but tell them u play a fairy on SL or a mermaid, or a single Mom with two kids whom a cad left, this they don't understand and they think it's weird.  Is there something wrong with this picture?  In some ways, I think very much so. 

Perhaps SL is just misunderstood, or perhaps SL is a place for artists rather than the typical run of the mill shoot to kill as many things as you can type person.  I dunno....  SL is fun and play for me and play is relaxing, but yet playing and/or even SL have some sort of odd stigma as opposed to the myriad of killing games - which society considers cool. 

In short, I feel weird talking about playing on SL to other people and even here on the forums.  I realize I need to get over it tho, and probably will eventually. 

A killing video game dialogue:  How many things did you kill today?  Answer:  Oh about 5012.  Response:  Way to go!  Thumbs up! 

SL dialogue:  What did you do today on SL?  Answer:  I played a Fairy.  Response:  0.o  huh?

SL is very hard to explain to people for some reason? 

 

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Mayalily wrote:

Ack!  I can't believe I'm jumping in here when I know it's not good for me but I just wanted to first of all say they are some very talented SL musicians who are rl musicians also, Ishy.  

Oh, I don't doubt that they are RL musicians. But are they successful? I know that a few well-known RL bands have performed in SL during its heyday in an attempt to ride the media wave, "look, we're part of the next big thing", but musicians who perform in SL on a regular basis do so because this is the only place where they get a gig and find an audience.

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What about those of us who 'play' both SL and WoW?   I am 'me' in both 'games' yet I do very diferent things. If you told me that you played a fairy today in SL, I would surely give you a thumbs up...or maybe a flipper.

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

Water doesn't have a metabolism. A metabolism is a biochemical process by definition (or two biochemical processes actually, catabolism and anabolism). The chemical reactions of H2O don't meet these requirements.

And sterile people are very much alive. After all, they are a conglomerate of living cells, all of which use mitosis to replicate (which the exception of some neurons, that is).

 circular reasoning there, metabolism "is the set of chemical reactions that happen in living organisms to maintain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments." e.g. the definition rests on the definition of what is a "living organism", creating a tautology when used to define life.

point being that chemical processes exist everywhere, and any continuing system that produces changes both to and from a structural definition could be characterized as metabolism depending on the definition of "life". I don't really think water should be in the definition of "life"; but if it is then it's chemical reactions, no matter how simple, would constitute metabolism...

the real crux is defining what level of chemical reactions are required to constitute a definition of life. as you put it sterile people cells reproduce, so they are living, because their lower order functions are living. by that same logic, cities are alive because their lower order structures (people) are alive. Or conversely sterile peoples cells are alive and they are not, and a cities people are alive, but the city itself is not.

add to that the problem of directed modification of the "natural environment" and you have to field another definition of what is naturally occurring (and all the religious subtext of whether life is natural or not). plus anything we come up with has to cover processes which can contain intelligence, even if it doesn't fit in our common experience of what "life" is. by some definitions, virii are not alive (it doesn't actually do anything itself, but rather contains instructions for other things to act on) even though in the common perception they are. The question is much thornier than it appears on the surface.

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Well, that's a different subject because the recording industry kind of went bankrupt when all the free file sharing of music began, if you know what I mean.  No backers, musicians doing their own demos.  Even recording studios have gone under and I know them personally.   Hardly anyone booking for recording studios anymore, plus most went belly up now. 

However, I don't really have time to get into a lengthy discussion about what's happened to the music industry.

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You play both?  Don't you get leg cramps?  My legs are cramping just from thinking about it! 

Anyhow, I think you'd be the only one who thinks my Fairy play is cool.  The rest I know think it's a little weird.  However, after careful consideration of what they think, does it really matter in the great scheme of things? 

A little escapism is quite harmless, even tho my choice of escapism may seem odd to some, it doesn't matter because they are not me and I am not them. 

I haven't met one person in rl yet who will come onto SL with me, but not much I can do about it.  Maybe one day they will... who knows, right?  Never say never. 

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that was the best thing that could ever happen for music.. hehehe =)

music became easier to produce and release when the internet was seen as a great tool to use to promote your own album..

linkin park who self promoted and gave away their music to get noticed..all right around the time napster was in full bloom..

the best thing that could ever happen to music is breaking the hold that the record industry would have on someones music..

a lot of good came from all that file sharing back then..it introduced a lot of music that a lot of people had not heard before..

it also let a lot of groups get noticed that may have been getting snubbed for one reason or another by some recording company...

the best thing about it all was more options for people  wanting to break into the music industry..they didn't have to use one channle anymore..

it was cool to watch all that going on at the time and to look back on it now hehehe *winks*

 

 

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There's good and bad.  Good yes that some musicians have to publish their own music now.  That is good, but also bad because it takes their own money to make the demos, buy the equipment to record the demo, pay all the costs of publishing, hire their own lawyers, play on some street corners or crappy bars for fifty bucks a night per musician.   Most do not have the money to put on a tour.  The most bands touring these days are reunion tours of already well known musicians from the past.  Nothing wrong with that.  But the older established groups are the ones who get what little backing there is, including backing for the cost of touring. 

Also, I should edit my last post about the recording studios, not bankrupt now, bankrupt starting about five years ago to now. 

Also, the recording studios and producers were at the time the more well established musicians from years past.  The ones who made it, but decided to become producers and were the ones who owned the recording studios.  The studios of this time when file sharing happened were grammy award winners with a passion for music; not the scary steal the two hundred grand and disappear into the deep jungles of South America type of producers.  The producers were becoming the good guys.  It's a shame in many ways, too because a lot of established musician were the producers. 

I think the art music fell down like a house a cards.  The only plus, yes more people got to hear it, but is that really a plus?  I don't really know. 

ETA:  One of the greatest guitarists I've ever heard who made it to the megatop for over 30 years just played in a club near me and the cover charge was $12 dollars a person.  $12 dollars to hear him?  0.0   I think he played for the joy of it, but what an unbelieveable price.   This guitarist had two Beatles in one of his bands and they made it to the megatop. 

Also the musicians have to pay for their rehersal studio unless Mom and Dad and the neighbors let them reherse at home.  There is a lot they have to pay for.  I live in one of the mega music biz capitals of the world, and the pay is about $50 dollars a night per musician.  See above with example of the most incredible guitarist I've ever heard offering a cover charge of twelve dollars, and he's also in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. 

 

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as i said..linkin park did it just like so many others did..they were touring and doing concerts and on the radio and all that good stuff on their own..

you don't need a recording studio with all that equipment nowdays to put out good sounding high quality music..

getting noticed gets  the money needed for the rest..

so we have less boy bands nowdays getting grammies..good  hehehe

 

a funny thing about all that file sharing that i noticed..a lot of artists were in favor of it while  the moneygrubbers like metalica and dr dre and others were on the RIAA side of it because it was publicity..metalica was on their way out at the time..they saw it as a good way to get noticed again..dre was just a band wagon jumper..

Alanis morrset and others liked the idea of their music reaching a wider crowd.

 

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Mayalily wrote:
Anyhow, I think you'd be the only one who thinks my Fairy play is cool.  The rest I know think it's a little weird.  However, after careful consideration of what they think, does it really matter in the great scheme of things? 

 

Faerie play weird? Definately not!. It's one of the things I haven't done yet and really do look forward to. I have NO idea what fairies get up to ^.^ but I will figure it out. I wish my shop welcome fairy was a little me, that would be just fantastic.

Have you seen some of the exquistely beautiful SL Faerie Imagery on flicker? By some of these very own forums posters.

Yet another group, such as Tinies, that could have a special period of visitation at SL Birthday events and the like.

Faeries, superb in mythology, supreme in SL :-)

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Radiohead and NIN are two other groups who have had success publishing on the internet.  There are other less well known groups who would have gone unknown to a wider audience had they not crafted a youtube or two to attract attention.

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Void Singer wrote:


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

Water doesn't have a metabolism. A metabolism is a biochemical process by definition (or two biochemical processes actually, catabolism and anabolism). The chemical reactions of H2O don't meet these requirements.

And sterile people are very much alive. After all, they are a conglomerate of living cells, all of which use mitosis to replicate (which the exception of some neurons, that is).

 circular reasoning there, metabolism "is the set of chemical reactions that happen in living organisms to maintain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments." e.g. the definition rests on the definition of what is a "living organism", creating a tautology when used to define life.

point being that chemical processes exist everywhere, and any continuing system that produces changes both to and from a structural definition could be characterized as metabolism depending on the definition of "life". I don't really think water should be in the definition of "life"; but if it is then it's chemical reactions, no matter how simple, would constitute metabolism...

You can't equate "biochemical" with "living". Life is a biochemical process, but not every biochemical process is alive. (All chicken have two legs, but not every creature with two legs is a chicken). One example for a biochemical process is an enzyme breaking down a sugar molecule, but enzymes are not alive. A virus is a biochemical mass as well, but it's not alive either.

My point was that the chemical reactions of water are not biochemical processes. Let's put it this way: Life (or a metabolism, or biochemistry) requires proteins. Water doesn't consist of proteins. It is possible to imagine proteins without carbon, but hydrogen and oxygen alone will never assemble into protein chains. Ergo, water can't be said to have a metabolism and it can't possibly be alive.

 


Void Singer wrote:

the real crux is defining what level of chemical reactions are required to constitute a definition of life. as you put it sterile people cells reproduce, so they are living, because their lower order functions are living. by that same logic, cities are alive because their lower order structures (people) are alive. Or conversely sterile peoples cells are alive and they are not, and a cities people are alive, but the city itself is not.

A city is only an entity in a very abstract sense. Just like countries, cities are nothing but arbitrarily defined areas. The people who happen to live there are individual organisms who can function on their own and are free to migrate elsewhere, and the rest of what we arbitrarily call a city -- the housing and traffic infrastructure --  is nothing but dead matter without any metabolic functionality.

 


 

add to that the problem of directed modification of the "natural environment" and you have to field another definition of what is naturally occurring (and all the religious subtext of whether life is natural or not). plus anything we come up with has to cover processes which can contain intelligence, even if it doesn't fit in our common experience of what "life" is. by some definitions, virii are not alive (it doesn't actually do anything itself, but rather contains instructions for other things to act on) even though in the common perception they are. The question is much thornier than it appears on the surface.

Viruses are indeed not alive. They have neither a metabolism nor reproductive capabilities, they're basically just RNA or DNA fragments that don't do anything at all. Most people have this misconception that viruses are parasites that somehow hijack cells and force them to create more viruses, but they do no such thing. It just so happens that cells assemble proteins for all kinds of purposes based on mRNA sequences and don't distinguish between human mRNA and non-human genetic material. I don't see how this challenges my simple but effective definition of life. The virus RNA is just a non-living piece of genetic code that living cells mistake for mRNA.

As for intelligence (or consciousness, for that matter), that is something very different from life. There is a good reason that we use different words for these states or properties. Not all life is intelligent or conscious, which is why there are no advocators for the ethical treatment of plants, fungi or bacteria. It's simply of no concern. One can't be cruel to a plant. At the same time, it is possible to imagine a process that is both conscious and intelligent but not alive (such as an A.I.). That, too, is no challenge or dilemma for my definition of life. Life per se is not sacred or worthy of protection, only consciousness is (but try and tell that to pro-lifers). Should anybody ever develop an A.I. with a conscious intelligence, it doesn't have to be alive in order to deserve the legal status of a person.

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Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

You can't equate "biochemical" with "living". [...]

 I never said biochemical, but yes I could, because biochemical processes are chemical processes that happen in living things or are caused by living things... it's the "bio" part of the definition.


[...] Let's put it this way: Life (or a metabolism, or biochemistry) requires proteins. [...]


 according to what definition? the point of creating a definition of "life" is not to echo what we already are familiar with, but to include things we haven't seen yet, but might find later. for instance, reproduction need not be a requirement for an entity that can continue it's existence without it.


A city is only an entity in a very abstract sense. Just like countries, cities are nothing but arbitrarily defined areas. The people who happen to live there are individual organisms who can function on their own and are free to migrate elsewhere, and the rest of what we arbitrarily call a city -- the housing and traffic infrastructure --  is nothing but dead matter without any metabolic functionality.

 like bones, or the inert protein structure of living tissues? (the current best research into clone on demand organs involves washing away the cells of organs leaving behind the protein framework, then using live cells to colonize the frame). and we won't get into the fact that a human has roughly as many foreign cells in it's body as it does native ones.


[...] it is possible to imagine a process that is both conscious and intelligent but not alive (such as an A.I.). That, too, is no challenge or dilemma for my definition of life. Life per se is not sacred or worthy of protection, only consciousness is (but try and tell that to pro-lifers). Should anybody ever develop an A.I. with a conscious intelligence, it doesn't have to be alive in order to deserve the legal status of a person.

 perhaps according to you, but the current ethical trend is that anything with a conscious intelligence must perforce be alive. whether that's appropriate or not is of course a point of contention.

 

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Void Singer wrote:


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

You can't equate "biochemical" with "living". [...]

I never said biochemical, but yes I could, because biochemical processes are chemical processes that happen in living things or are caused by living things... it's the "bio" part of the definition.

I think you're too hung up on the "bio" part of biochemistry. The term is a bit unfortunate. Proteins are biochemical compounds and their interactions are called biochemistry, but proteins are not necessarily part of a living organism. Biochemistry does not only happen in living things (but all living things are biochemical organisms).

Take prelife a.k.a. prebiotic biochemistry for example. Before self-replicating protein polymer chains existed, natural selection acted on self-assembling (but not replicating) protein polymers. These non-living biochemical polymers were subject to selective pressure simply because they "competed" for the available carbon resources through continuous copolymerization reactions, until one polymer chain happened to encode self-replicating RNA.

(This kind of prebiotic biochemical process is still happening btw. If life did not already exist on Earth, it could emerge any second).

 



[...] Let's put it this way: Life (or a metabolism, or biochemistry) requires proteins. [...]


 according to what definition? the point of creating a definition of "life" is not to echo what we already are familiar with, but to include things we haven't seen yet, but might find later. for instance, reproduction need not be a requirement for an entity that can continue it's existence without it.

According to our anthropocentric and biocentric definition :) I might as well have said "something without a beak can't be a bird". We don't know any birds without beaks, and since the classification "bird" is something that we humans came up with, we are justified in saying that birds require beaks.

In the same way, life requires proteins simply because we haven't found any living organisms that aren't made up of proteins as of yet. And even if we did, it would be entirely up to us if we called these organisms life or not. It is our language and our definition to do with as we please.

 


 

A city is only an entity in a very abstract sense. Just like countries, cities are nothing but arbitrarily defined areas. The people who happen to live there are individual organisms who can function on their own and are free to migrate elsewhere, and the rest of what we arbitrarily call a city -- the housing and traffic infrastructure --  is nothing but dead matter without any metabolic functionality.

 like bones, or the inert protein structure of living tissues? (the current best research into clone on demand organs involves washing away the cells of organs leaving behind the protein framework, then using live cells to colonize the frame). and we won't get into the fact that a human has roughly as many foreign cells in it's body as it does native ones. 

Those foreign cells aren't part of the human body though. Some of them are parasites, others are useful symbionts (although our immune system doesn't know the difference and tries to kill off all non-human cells). If you compare human city dwellers to parasites and symbionts, you equate the city itself (minus humans) to a living organism, which is where your analogy breaks down. An unpopulated city is all dead bone and no living tissue.

 



[...] it is possible to imagine a process that is both conscious and intelligent but not alive (such as an A.I.). That, too, is no challenge or dilemma for my definition of life. Life per se is not sacred or worthy of protection, only consciousness is (but try and tell that to pro-lifers). Should anybody ever develop an A.I. with a conscious intelligence, it doesn't have to be alive in order to deserve the legal status of a person.

 perhaps according to you, but the current ethical trend is that anything with a conscious intelligence must perforce be alive. whether that's appropriate or not is of course a point of contention.

 

I agree with that, but it's a worrisome trend imho. Every sperm is sacred and recently fertilized eggs even more so, but intelligent conscious minds may be used as cannon fodder in pointless wars or left to freeze to death under some bridge.

It might be virtual worlds such as Second Life that will eventually change our ethical considerations. Our avatars are not alive, but they are nonetheless operated by intelligent, conscious minds. In my opinion, our virtual identities and digital possessions are as protect-worthy as our organic bodies and material belongings. The notion of avatar rights is usually seen as a quirky and ridiculous idea, but those of us who have invested a lot in SL, both financially and emotionally, are very aware that consciousness and intelligence transcend biology.

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when i B rollin down the road thinkin bout gettin Mah game on..i be doin it stylin wiff my swagger waggon hook up as My Be boy BF keeps the eyes on the road lookin not to rock mah lap top moves  laggin me out n shiat..

i be Gamin this mofo like a tru **bleep** games it..don't be fronin mah back side callin it anything else when i come rollin by swaggin..the wagon Oo

IT B IN THE GAME!!!

:P

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Ceka Cianci wrote:

when i B rollin down the road thinkin bout gettin Mah game on..i be doin it stylin wiff my swagger waggon hook up as My Be boy BF keeps the eyes on the road lookin not to rock mah lap top moves  laggin me out n shiat..

i be Gamin this mofo like a tru **bleep** games it..don't be fronin mah back side callin it anything else when i come rollin by swaggin..the wagon Oo

IT B IN THE GAME!!!

:P


OMG! My new role models! I always thought my mini van was bad, now I knows it is. ;)

ETA: or is it dope?

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I agree with that, but it's a worrisome trend imho. Every sperm is sacred and recently fertilized eggs even more so, but intelligent conscious minds may be used as cannon fodder in pointless wars or left to freeze to death under some bridge.

It might be virtual worlds such as Second Life that will eventually change our ethical considerations. Our avatars are not alive, but they are nonetheless operated by intelligent, conscious minds. In my opinion, our virtual identities and digital possessions are as protect-worthy as our organic bodies and material belongings. The notion of avatar rights is usually seen as a quirky and ridiculous idea, but those of us who have invested a lot in SL, both financially and emotionally, are very aware that consciousness and intelligence transcend biology.

Ok, I bolded the part I would like to discuss, for reference, see above or click here: http://community.secondlife.com/t5/General-Discussion-Forum/Do-you-Play-Second-Life/m-p/991971#M14843

I believe that Ishtara's and Void's comments have eventually come to the same conclusion, that our avatars are alive and they do posses worth and are no less important or real than the characters who sit behind the screen operating them.

The reason I believe they have come to this conclusion is because none of us would be here if it were not for our created virtual selves. While it is true that the cancellation or deletion of our accounts would not end our RL existence, such an ending of our virtual selves would I think, kill a part of us that in no way could ever be brought back to life again.

So, like I said, Second Life is an evolutionary process, just like life, that cannot be unanimously agreed upon. While there will be many attempts at defining it, those definitions will be inadequate and incomplete, the arguing of those definitions give rise to more understanding and therefore discussions like this are of benefit.

If I have misunderstood Ishtara or Void, I apologize to both of you, I must say that I am biased towards Void's explanations of life because they more closely mirror my own and I have to profess a slight discomfort in Ishtara's presence, but I am certain she must be used to this, but regardless, when she gets something right, she gets it right.

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re: definition of biochemical/biochemistry
I'm not hung up on it, it's the definition of the term


Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

[...] life requires proteins simply because we haven't found any living organisms that aren't made up of proteins as of yet. And even if we did, it would be entirely up to us if we called these organisms life or not. It is our language and our definition to do with as we please.

 I think you are missing the point. the point isn't to create simple boxes to put things in, it's to create well crafted and flexible categories so that we can not only understand what we already know, but recognize what we don't know when we discover it. if our definitions are too narrow, not only will we likely miss it, but we won't even be looking for it. it'd akin to the difference between between defining only specific notes and looking at looking at other factors like cadence and harmony when defining music. several theoretical bio chemistries have alredy been explored though most are suited to vastly different environments than our own (in general all of them hotter).

and foreign cells provide out bodies with the tools to excel in our environment, even many of the negative one which force our bodies to learn how to deal with worse threats and create more robust systems that can even withstand levels of parasitism (and you missed the analog to the bones and built protein structures which are not alive in and of themselves. I tried and failed to find the original article I read, but time index 7:55 here has a good shot of what the latter looks like)

and I don't see much troubling in bioethics just yet, life in general may be acceptable as "sacred" (some would call it enlightened self interest), the "every individual sperm/cell/critter is sacred" crowd are still relegated to the nut house (thankfully)... if that ever changes then god help us (said with much sardonicism)

 

ETA:
I'm pretty sure that neither of us would be willing to argue for avatars being alive per se, but I think both of us would agree that they can have some value (just as brand recognition has value), although we might not agree on the details of how that value plays out. I can probably go so far as to say each persons own avatar generally has more value that any un specified cell, and probably more than a few few unspecified people =X (see spite can be a joke too)

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Void Singer wrote:

re: definition of biochemical/biochemistry

I'm not hung up on it, it's the definition of the term

Ishtara Rothschild wrote:

[...] life requires proteins simply because we haven't found any living organisms that aren't made up of proteins as of yet. And even if we did, it would be entirely up to us if we called these organisms life or not. It is our language and our definition to do with as we please.

 I think you are missing the point. the point isn't to create simple boxes to put things in, it's to create well crafted and flexible categories so that we can not only understand what we already know, but recognize what we don't know when we discover it. if our definitions are too narrow, not only will we likely miss it, but we won't even be looking for it. it'd akin to the difference between between defining only specific notes and looking at looking at other factors like cadence and harmony when defining music. several theoretical bio chemistries have alredy been explored though most are suited to vastly different environments than our own (in general all of them hotter).

If our definitions are too inclusive, they become pretty meaningless too. If water meets our definition for a living organism, the term "life" becomes pretty pointless imho. We'd have to come up with a new term for carbon-based, self-replicating protein structures.

 


Void Singer wrote:

and I don't see much troubling in bioethics just yet, life in general may be acceptable as "sacred" (some would call it enlightened self interest), the "every individual sperm/cell/critter is sacred" crowd are still relegated to the nut house (thankfully)... if that ever changes then god help us (said with much sardonicism)

 

ETA:

I'm pretty sure that neither of us would be willing to argue for avatars being alive per se, but I think both of us would agree that they can have some value (just as brand recognition has value), although we might not agree on the details of how that value plays out. I can probably go so far as to say each persons own avatar generally has more value that any un specified cell, and probably more than a few few unspecified people =X (see spite can be a joke too)

I agree, and it is the same enlightened self-interest that leads me to favor the protection of consciousness and intelligence over the protection of life. My avatar, which I strongly identify with and have a great emotional attachment too, can be deleted by Linden Lab at any time and for any arbitrary reason, simply because it is not a living being.

It is nonetheless "me" though, my represenation in my living environment of choice. I'd like for my avatar body to enjoy the same kind of legal protection and human rights as my physical body, seeing that they are both operated by the same conscious and somewhat intelligent mind.

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