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Scylla Rhiadra

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Everything posted by Scylla Rhiadra

  1. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    The pasties are hilarious! Really cool solution to your "problem," and it looks great! And I think I like the tube dress maybe . . . what is it? Also, where is that tattoo parlour??????????
  2. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    Thank you! It's been really fun learning how to do this stuff!
  3. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    Well, we were actually chatting in-world while I was taking this, so it probably does contain a little touch 'o Maddy. (And a little touch is as much as anyone can handle safely.)
  4. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    This was taken before I started fiddling with its sliders. I'd have posted an "after" shot, but, you know . . . the mods might object?
  5. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    /me looks over, screams, swoons and falls down, wakes up, looks over and screams again.
  6. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    What a really lovely pic! (OMG I AM SO TIRED OF SNOW.)
  7. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    Sara, I'm so sorry! Of course, this has happened at least once to all of us. I for one have learned my lesson, painfully. I now refuse to trust, and to devote my precious time and energy, to faithless men any longer. Instead, I now devote myself to an object worthy of my love, nay, my adoration. I speak, of course, of Firestorm Phototools. Think about it. Has FS Phototools ever stood you up? No, right? Has it ever told you that it was a 32 year old CFO at an up-and-coming tech company, only to reveal later that it was actually an unemployed, middle aged loser who lived in his mother's refurbished garage? HAS PHOTOTOOLS EVER PROMISED TO MEET YOU AT THE MOUNTAIN LION NIGHT CLUB AMUSEMENT PARK AND YOU WERE SO EXCITED YOU WENT OUT AND BOUGHT NEW HAIR AND A NEW DRESS BUT THEN THE B*****D ONLY SHOWED UP TWO HOURS LATE BECAUSE (HE SAID) HIS "KID" NEEDED HELP WITH HIS HOMEWORK SO THAT HE COULD ONLY SPEND 20 MINUTES WITH YOU AND DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE YOUR NEW DRESS AND HAIR BEFORE HE LEFT? No, probably not. At least mine never has. So, return to the Purer Faith. Follow your calling. Embrace Phototools, with all of your heart. Who needs men? They never stand still long enough to take a decent pic anyway.
  8. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    "Be not ashamed women, your privilege encloses the rest, and is the exit of the rest, You are the gates of the body, and you are the gates of the soul."
  9. Scylla Rhiadra

    If you were a teacher how would you use SL?

    Were i Queen of the World, or of SL anyway, and in the position to design from the bottom up a virtual world that would be really serviceable for the sorts of things I mostly teach, it would, feature for students (only) an extremely simplified, intuitive, and limited interface: one that allowed students to move around, shift their cams within reason, communicate with each other, and interact at a simple level with in-world objects. It would be browser based, rather than employing a dedicated viewer platform. And it would permit the teacher to restrict the ability of students to travel outside of the sim (as well as the ability of others from outside to enter, but we have that already). In other words, it wouldn't be SL. The other necessity, of course, is worthwhile content. There used to be a lot in SL that was worth visiting from a humanities-teaching perspective. There's a lot less now than there used to be, as educational institutions have retreated from the platform. I could build something, or commission something to be built, of course, but how worthwhile would that kind of effort be for a presumably singular experience that likely represents a week or two of actual course content? The ship has sailed on this one, I think, and the kind of VR that SL, Opensim, Sansar, and similar projects represent is pretty certainly no longer "the future." What might be is a mixture of VR and AR technologies. Why take students in-world to see an imperfect simulation of an archaeological dig if I can use headsets and a beefed-up version of Google Earth to take them virtually to the actual site?
  10. Scylla Rhiadra

    If you were a teacher how would you use SL?

    I suspect that one of the ways some people envisioned using SL was for distance education and, more broadly, as a way of "scaling up" and cutting costs on classroom teaching, much as the idiotic "MOOC" (massively open online courses, for the uninitiated) were supposed to do a half dozen years ago. But that kind of use of virtual worlds wouldn't actually be about engagement or pedagogy at all. It would be about economics. And as SL isn't scaleable in that way, it was a non-starter to begin with.
  11. Scylla Rhiadra

    If you were a teacher how would you use SL?

    One-size-fits-all generalizations about the effectiveness of pedagogical tools are pretty pointless. An engineer might well want to use autocad. I use PowerPoint slides, and those sparingly. But then, I'm teaching literature and gender studies, not engineering. I think the question being posed here is far too vague and broad. Teaching elementary school kids is very different from teaching high schoolers, and that in turn is long way from teaching undergrads (who, in turn, are different from graduate students). SL is going to be more or less useful to these different kinds of student depending upon how you want to use it. It's potentially a good tool for "engagement," for instance, for older students, but younger students are more likely to find it "fun" and interesting (and are less likely to be unimpressed by the graphics and clunky interface). On top of that, the subject matter is going to matter a great deal. The university courses I knew about that employed SL were mostly media studies courses: Second Life wasn't a tool, but rather the actual subject of the course. I suspect it's probably less likely to be useful for STEM subjects than for humanities ones generally, for reasons some have given here and elsewhere, but it does have some potential for teaching things like history, archaeology (I remember a fantastic sim, now long gone, that was a real-time simulation of a bronze age dig in Turkey). I knew someone who used it to teach Spanish. The biggest problem -- in fact, for me, a deal-breaker, or I might consider using it myself -- is the learning curve.
  12. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    It makes an excellent doorstop too!
  13. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    You need to find something more fun to read than Schiller, too! (Unless it's by your bedside to help put you to asleep, in which case, good choice.)
  14. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    Let me know when you go next. I'll grab my roller skates.
  15. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    /me nods Sounds legit.
  16. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    Pffffft. (You won't even make 18 "likes" with that.)
  17. Scylla Rhiadra

    To what degree do you feel "immersed" in Second Life?

    Well, "artsy explanations" seems perhaps a little dismissive of about 2500 years of philosophical and aesthetic inquiry? The underpinnings of the conception of "willing suspension of disbelief" go back at least to Aristotle's Poetics. But sure, ok: you prefer a biological explanation that essentially discounts the notion of choice and free-will? It's all purely about the science, and we're all just biological machines? You seem to be implying that we are all hard-wired to see the world one way or another. Surely, humans are more complicated than that? Biology and chemistry ("stress") undeniably have a role, but I don't think this kind of mechanistic explanation can adequately explain the pretty complicated relationship that I am enacting -- in fact, choosing to enact -- with you, here and now. If this is true, what is in fact the point of "art" at all? And how might you explain the difference between what I experience when "empathizing" with Shakespeare's Cordelia, or finding myself confronted with a real life version of the same? Or, for that matter, the undeniable differences that mark how people interact in a virtual or onine context? Critical distance isn't about not feeling empathy. It's about being aware of the origin and nature of those feelings.
  18. Scylla Rhiadra

    To what degree do you feel "immersed" in Second Life?

    I think that that awareness is hugely important. It's a key part of the original context for the oft-cited phrase "suspension of disbelief": in its fuller version, from S.T. Coleridge's Biographia Literaria (1817), the expression is "That willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith." The word "willing" is vital, because it emphasizes the importance of choice and self-awareness: we choose to allow ourselves to be immersed, and that choice is also the safeguard that ensures that don't get lost in the illusion. Imagine how traumatic it would be to watch the mayhem and murder in Hamlet, or Macbeth, or King Lear on the stage if we weren't always aware of what you call "the fourth wall": we'd be succumbing to the illusion that we were witnessing real murders. I've met a few people who have become at least somewhat "lost" in that illusion in SL. Not, obviously, in the sense that they forgot they were on a virtual platform, but to the extent that they had surrendered the distance necessary to be able to bring critical analysis and awareness to what was going on around them. </End of Pedantic Digression>
  19. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    Shiny dress! Are you talking about the London Soho? I haven't run across that in SL, but there is a NY version in the same sim as the recreation of the Chelsea Hotel. My alt Laskya used to hang there; I think I have at least one pic here, too, that was taken there. I wonder if Amsterdam is the same one (although presumably updated) that I used to hang at in 2008/2009. I used to roller skate around the red light district, chatting to the hookers there. Fun fun.
  20. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    More Phun with Photoshop! This time, adding film grain to the effect. (I clearly have waaaaaay too much time on my hands this week.)
  21. Scylla Rhiadra

    To what degree do you feel "immersed" in Second Life?

    In general, I agree -- although I do get a bit of a thrill visiting an "Italian village" in SL that evokes, for me, memories of ones that I've visited in RL. But the very fact that the big tech push in SL is, and really pretty much always has been, for a more "realistic" experience (e.g., mesh, animesh, more seamless animations and experiences, and so forth) suggests that someone, anyway, thinks that a more realistic and immersive experience is what we all want. And probably a lot of us do. (I've commented before that it's odd that we have the technology now to imagine new and dramatically different kinds of immersive experience, and yet the best we seem to be able to come up with a sort of second-rate simulacrum of the world we already live in.)
  22. Scylla Rhiadra

    To what degree do you feel "immersed" in Second Life?

    I think this is the only kind of "immersion" that really matters. Arguably, the kind of immersion that leads to a sort of fuzzing of the borders between SL and RL is potentially dangerous. Not because SL isn't "real": it certainly is, and our experiences here, as kali suggests, impact us emotionally and intellectually in very real ways. But SL is different, and when we get lost in the illusion, we lose a sense of those all-important differences. I actually think that SL is more "real" than reading a book or watching a movie, because it's populated with real people, but there is one way in which the analogy holds: if you go to a movie or play or read a book, and forget that you are experiencing art, you are in danger of becoming a kind of Don Quixote, tilting at windmills that you've convinced yourself are ogres. In SL, even the best mesh windmills don't actually power anything, and they hardly ever battle against knights errant.
  23. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    It's not hard to understand why she might be a bit cold.
  24. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    Cornered . . . ? Playing around with saturation, contrast, and sharpen.
  25. Scylla Rhiadra

    How does your avatar look today ?

    My, this certainly is a lovely . . . What is it that she bought again?
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