2008.08.07 13:00 - Why it works better here

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    The guardian for this meeting was Storm Nordwind. The comments are Storm's.

    I arrived 25 minutes early at the Pavilion in Rieul. And I was not alone!

    Storm Nordwind: Hello Claire
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Quilty
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Storm.
    Storm Nordwind: Early
    Quilty Bookmite: I'm not really here. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: I see. or not
    Quilty Bookmite: Are you early or late?
    Storm Nordwind: I am very early
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Claire.
    Claire Beltran: Hi <3
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Claire. Just passing through, or here for the meeting in 25 minutes?
    Claire Beltran: I suppose I'm here for the meeting, really.
    Quilty Bookmite: I'm actually washing the dishes in RL.
    Storm Nordwind smiles
    Claire Beltran: But I should probably duck out to get something to eat in the meantime...
    Storm Nordwind: Good idea
    Quilty Bookmite: :-)
    Claire Beltran: Be back shortly ^-^/
    Storm Nordwind: OK. See you then!

    I sat quietly for more than 20 minutes until the bell went. I nudged Quilty. Claire had not yet returned. We started by looking around where we were and comparing it to our new place.

    Storm Nordwind: Still washing? :)
    Quilty Bookmite: Just finished.
    Quilty Bookmite: Do you know anything about the adverts over to my right?
    Storm Nordwind: Not really. Why?
    Quilty Bookmite: just that they look particularly ugly in this setting.
    Storm Nordwind: yes they do. They are on a 32 sqm plot that supports just 7 prims. And they're using 6 of them
    Quilty Bookmite: I see. Seems quite antisocial.
    Storm Nordwind: That's an interesting concept in Second Life :)
    Quilty Bookmite: Even in SL we get spammed. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: Sure we do. In SL more than most places
    Storm Nordwind: It throws the haven we are creating into sharp relief
    Quilty Bookmite: Indeed. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: Maybe it should stay as a reminder of something.
    Storm Nordwind: Well. We have no control unless we rent the space ourselves
    Quilty Bookmite: I think there are rules about advertising and an appeal system. I don;t know what the rules are though.
    Storm Nordwind: Please research it. Though I'm pessimistic about the results
    Quilty Bookmite: OK. I'll see what I can find. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: Cool. Have you visited the site of the new pavilion (or whatever it will be called)?
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes. I must say you've done a brilliant job!
    Storm Nordwind: Thank you! I wasn't fishing for compliments. Only to say there are no ads easily visible from there.
    Quilty Bookmite: This is true.
    Quilty Bookmite: Currently called the White Pagoda, right?
    Storm Nordwind: That was my working name. And the name of the land it is standing on
    Storm Nordwind: I needed something for my inventory, rather than just "Object"!
    Quilty Bookmite: I did get ejected from a nearby parcel of land but other than that it seems very nice round there.
    Quilty Bookmite: And some sort of welcome area nearby.
    Storm Nordwind: Yes. That's possible. We can be put on a white list for that
    Quilty Bookmite: Well, it's not a big problem.
    Storm Nordwind: And yes, the main welcome area for this continent is to the south
    Storm Nordwind: I have designed it to be open to strangers wandering through
    Quilty Bookmite: Good. It should attract more passers bye there.
    Storm Nordwind: Yes. Which of course is a mixed blessing. But I'm sure seekers and the genuinely curious will be drawn to it.
    Quilty Bookmite: Of course. :-)

    I was curious to see whether Quilty had tried the new practices.

    Storm Nordwind: Have you tried any of the new practices Pema has suggested?
    Quilty Bookmite: No. Not yet.
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Quilty Bookmite: I'm still quite attached to my own practice. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: Ha ha! yes I can understand that!
    Quilty Bookmite: It is an interesting practice though.
    Storm Nordwind: Yours?
    Quilty Bookmite: No. I mean PaB.
    Storm Nordwind: Right. I have been startled by the new ones.
    Storm Nordwind: In the positive use of the term
    Quilty Bookmite: Startled in what way?
    Quilty Bookmite: I see. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: Well, I didn't expect them to be so powerful.
    Storm Nordwind: And so different from original PaB practice.
    Quilty Bookmite: what have you tried?
    Storm Nordwind: I have tried both the YSBS practice and the later ESBS practice.
    Storm Nordwind: I gather Pema has suggested other things individually to some people too
    Storm Nordwind: But he has a way with playful experiment like that
    Quilty Bookmite: They involve visualisation, right?
    Storm Nordwind: Not as such
    Quilty Bookmite: Or perhaps a way of thinking?
    Storm Nordwind: At least not visualisation in a visual sense! :)
    Storm Nordwind: They involve 'becoming'
    Storm Nordwind: that is the best way I can describe it
    Quilty Bookmite: That I have a little difficulty with.
    Storm Nordwind: How so?
    Quilty Bookmite: Not that I have any disagreement with the practice.
    Storm Nordwind: Sure
    Quilty Bookmite: What I mean is that my own meditation is more simple than that and I have difficulty adding something to it.
    Quilty Bookmite: Does that make sense?
    Storm Nordwind: I see. Is your own meditation something that you do all the time?
    Quilty Bookmite: I try and do it daily but don;t manage to do it every day.
    Storm Nordwind: I meant continually throughout each day
    Quilty Bookmite: Ah no. It's not that sort of practice. It's just a simple meditation of 20-40 minutes.
    Storm Nordwind: I see.
    Quilty Bookmite: Do you think it makes a difference to practice all day?
    Storm Nordwind: I'm wondering if maybe 5 or 10 minutes at the opposite end of the day to try the new practices, or at least the first one YSBS, would be possible. I don't think it would interefere with your existing meditation
    Quilty Bookmite: Sounds like a good idea.
    Storm Nordwind: As for practising all day, that depends on the sort of meditation. It is possible with some forms and not with others
    Quilty Bookmite: I am not concerned that it will interfere with my practice.
    Quilty Bookmite: It's simply the difficulty of doing something different.
    Storm Nordwind: I see. Well 5-10 minutes is all it would take. A one-off might be worth a try
    Quilty Bookmite: It's taken me a ong time getting used to doing nothing. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: I will try it. thank you.
    Storm Nordwind bows in return

    I'll look forward to anything that comes from that. These practices have made such a difference that I'm excited to see how others have responded.

    Storm Nordwind: Welcome back Claire
    Quilty Bookmite: WB claire.
    Quilty Bookmite: YOu have eaten?
    Claire Beltran: Hi <3
    Claire Beltran: Yup.
    Quilty Bookmite: Good. :-)
    Storm Nordwind: Please excuse me. I'm not sure we have met before. But my memory is quite unreliable. :)
    Storm Nordwind: Have you been to these meetings before Claire?
    Claire Beltran: Yes, twice.
    Quilty Bookmite: I have met Claire before.
    Storm Nordwind: Cool. Saves having to go through the basic explanations. Good for my lazy fingers!
    Quilty Bookmite: I think I have anyway. :-)

    Tahuti arrived again, having materialised before and then disappeared. In the distance I could see Pema arriving too outside his hut.

    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Tahuti.
    Storm Nordwind: Hello again Tahuti
    Tahuti Thor: hello everyone
    Tahuti Thor: comp crashed
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Pema.
    Tahuti Thor: hello storm
    Storm Nordwind: I wondered
    Claire Beltran: So what is today's discussion?
    Storm Nordwind: Well I don't set a topic. A topic may evolve as we talk.
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Pema
    Pema Pera: Hi there!
    Tahuti Thor: hello Pema
    Claire Beltran: Hello, Pema ^-^/
    Pema Pera: Sorry, just stopping by for only one minute
    Pema Pera: I'm with Stim in RL :-)

    We have come to know and love Pema's one minutes. I'm glad he ignores his own time limitations! Stim Morane, another guardian was with Pema in Real Life.

    Storm Nordwind waves to Stim
    Pema Pera: in a coffeeshop in Berkeley, wanted to show him the new place
    Storm Nordwind: Cool
    Pema Pera: Stim is waving back to everyone!
    Storm Nordwind smiles
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Stim.
    Storm Nordwind: A new coffeeshop in RL. Or a new pavilion in SL? ;)
    Pema Pera: an old coffeeshop in RL :)
    Tahuti Thor: hi stim
    Quilty Bookmite: I have an excellent coffee shop near me in RL.
    Pema Pera: Stim smiles at everyone
    Quilty Bookmite: And it's not Starbucks!
    Storm Nordwind: So the topic is coffee then? :)
    Pema Pera: Actually, it is 1:30
    Quilty Bookmite: Could be. :-)
    Claire Beltran: We have hundreds of Starbucks places in my area -_-;

    I wondered whether to bleep out the trade name. But actually I quite like their coffee. Especially when you've been subjected to British Instant Coffee for decades. (A truly foul concoction, not worthy of the name coffee.) Pema made a suggestion to switch venue!

    Pema Pera: how about everyone visiting the new place?
    Quilty Bookmite: Sure.
    Pema Pera: Tahuti, have you seen it?
    Pema Pera: Quilty?
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes. I've taken a look.
    Tahuti Thor: no
    Quilty Bookmite: Happy to go there now.
    Pema Pera: is there a tp option on the board here outside, Storm?
    Storm Nordwind: Not yet
    Storm Nordwind: But I've just put a landmark giver on the table here
    Pema Pera: okay, see you there!
    Pema Pera: Claire
    Pema Pera: would you like to see our new place?
    Pema Pera: We'll be moving there in a week or so
    Pema Pera: just click on the object on the table
    Storm Nordwind: Will you join us Claire?

    And we all materialised around the fountain in our soon-to-be-occupied ... place-with-no-name in Bieup. Actually it does have a name. Rather too many names in fact. Just not one we've all agreed on yet! Claire seemed impressed.

    Claire Beltran: Wow!
    Storm Nordwind: Welcome to our new place. Still preparing it
    Storm Nordwind: Seem to have lost Quilty
    Pema Pera: Well, Stim is waving again, goodbye this time!
    Storm Nordwind: ok. Great to talk with him yesterday too
    Storm Nordwind waves bye to Stim
    Quilty Bookmite: Sorry, crashed.
    Storm Nordwind: By the way you can click your cushion to get a different pose
    Tahuti Thor: i think i have to travel back so i can stand up
    Storm Nordwind: and the brown cushions are kneelers
    Quilty Bookmite: Much better.
    Storm Nordwind: The kneelers are also clickable Pema

    Our Zen chum joined us.

    Pema Pera: Hi Isen!
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Isen.
    Isen Enzo: Yo!
    Isen Enzo: Very snappy, Storm!
    Storm Nordwind: Hey - howsitgoing Isen?
    Pema Pera: I haven't seen your latteman cape yet, Isen, though I've read about it!
    Isen Enzo: You've been busy!
    Isen Enzo: as usual.
    Storm Nordwind: I might need to take a picture this time!

    But Isen never put on his cape because the world around him burst into life.

    Isen Enzo: Where are we?
    Isen Enzo: I just clicked at the pavillion.
    Quilty Bookmite: Claire seems to have been eaten by a cushion.
    Storm Nordwind: We are in the new place I built last Saturday
    Isen Enzo: and poofed here..
    Claire Beltran: XD
    Storm Nordwind: So Claire - you were asking about topics for discussion. Maybe you have one you'd like to discuss?

    I asked this of Claire, but Isen, ever the adventurer had taken off and was exploring the new building, climbing up to one of the lower roofs and... falling straight through the oculus (the eye-like hole in the roof) into the pool below. Quilty was quick to award marks for the dive.

    Isen Enzo: oof
    Quilty Bookmite: Nice dive!
    Quilty Bookmite: I'll give it 5.4.
    Storm Nordwind: I must make some cards for that!
    Quilty Bookmite: :-)

    While Claire was formulating her question, we talked about how we had ads to contend with before. I looked around at 128m draw distance. Then broadened it out to 256m (which is more than my poor network connection can normally cope with). Quilty got up and looked from a height. And then repeated Isen's dive, with rather less subtlety and grace.

    Storm Nordwind: Just looking around Quilty, and I can't see any ads
    Quilty Bookmite: No. Nothing from up here.
    Claire Beltran: Hmm...
    Storm Nordwind: 2.3
    Quilty Bookmite: Inelegant I think. :-)

    Claire gave us out topic.

    Claire Beltran: Well, since Pema and I are going to be meeting in RL soon...
    Claire Beltran: How about the association people make between SL and RL?
    Quilty Bookmite: Cool!
    Storm Nordwind: Sure
    Claire Beltran: How does the difference between the two worlds change the way we interact?
    Claire Beltran: Because there are some necessary differences.
    Tahuti Thor: ive never met anyone off SL
    Storm Nordwind: That depends (in my experience) on your personal temperament and how long you have been in SL
    Tahuti Thor: have met people off internet years ago
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Quilty Bookmite: Me too. Lost touch with most of them.
    Quilty Bookmite: I met my wife online though. :-)
    Tahuti Thor: 3-4+ years ago
    Storm Nordwind: My temperament (and 2 years experience here) mean that I don't distinguish betwen SL and RL, nor with my interactions with others
    Storm Nordwind: I met my fiancee in SL
    Quilty Bookmite: Excellent!
    Storm Nordwind: Exactly 18 months ago
    Quilty Bookmite: Congratulations. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Isen.
    Storm Nordwind: Thank you Quilty
    Isen Enzo: Hey
    Tahuti Thor: i do know one thing.......
    Pema Pera: Last Monday, five of us guardians met for dinner in RL
    Isen Enzo: wow
    Pema Pera: and next week I'll see another ten or so guardians it seems

    A random visitor fell into the pool.

    Quilty Bookmite: 3.5
    Pema Pera: :)
    Storm Nordwind: 2.8

    And disappeared.

    Tahuti Thor: RL experience and interaction is more vivid....more pronounced
    Isen Enzo: long way to go to see this candidate guardian!...

    Quilty asked an interesting question, and instantly regretted it. But Pema rose to the challenge and it brought an interesting comparison for discussion.

    Quilty Bookmite: Any bad experiences Pema?
    Storm Nordwind looks the other way
    Quilty Bookmite: Forget I asked that.
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera thinking about how to answer that
    Quilty Bookmite: All good I hope. :-)
    Pema Pera: I don't think anyone I met was even slightly less interesting to be with than the very high impression I had already gotten from him/her
    Pema Pera: and I say that seriously
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Pema Pera: it is so amazing, the group that self-assembled here
    Isen Enzo: needs to reread that..
    Pema Pera: so different from chat groups I have been in
    Quilty Bookmite: Glad to hear it. RL is usually much more vivid.
    Storm Nordwind agrees
    Pema Pera: in previous groups, yes, there have been some people somewhat less than pleasant, let's say
    Pema Pera: but this is different
    Pema Pera: interesting to ask why . . . . .
    Quilty Bookmite: I must say I agree with you. Nearly everyone I have met in this group is someone I would like to meet in RL.
    Storm Nordwind: Do you find it eaier to rather faster to discern a person's real character (whatever that is) in SL than in RL?
    Tahuti Thor: did the last group assemble willing or unwilling
    Isen Enzo: "tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly, people got to wonder, why, why, why....
    Pema Pera: I've started lots of groups, to talk about science and spirituality, and there would often be a few people who would be grating, dominating, overly cynical and skeptical -- haven't seen anyone like that here . . . .
    Tahuti Thor: or should i say was last group sophistically persuaded to come or not
    Pema Pera: which last group, Tahuti?
    Pema Pera: the last group I organized?
    Storm Nordwind: Perhaps there's an amount of self-selection Pema, as you put the word PLAY in the title?
    Tahuti Thor: previous groups u said
    Pema Pera: ah
    Pema Pera: not that, Storm
    Pema Pera: hhhmmmmmm
    Pema Pera: how to sum up quickly
    Pema Pera: briefl, the last *email* groups
    Quilty Bookmite: The word play almost put me off. :-)
    Pema Pera: attracted always some people who were totally disrepectful
    Pema Pera: and here in SL seeing each other, even as avatars, tempers that
    Pema Pera: I think that is a huge effect
    Pema Pera: flaming is less likely here
    Storm Nordwind: I think I have an hypothesis: you can hide behind email and be a flame-baby if you want. You can't hide here, not with an avatar in a 3D space
    Pema Pera: yes, Quilty, I understand
    Quilty Bookmite: Email is less immediate. People seem less real somehow.
    Tahuti Thor: selling speeches to people mixes good and bad crowd
    Pema Pera: yes, Storm
    Pema Pera: now as to why this works better than the previous two virtual worlds I have started groups in
    Tahuti Thor: when people come willlingly without sophisticated persuasion than they behave (usually) better
    Quilty Bookmite: It somehow seems acceptable (not to me I should add) to flame someone you don't really know.

    So we agreed that the greater immersion of a virtual world makes it more difficult to be destructive, in a similar way perhaps as it would be in Real Life. Email by contrast generates distance and imaginary shields. But we were no closer in deciding why Second Life in particular was most effective.

    Pema Pera: I think the main reason is that here in SL there is a critical mass of creative and energetic residents
    Pema Pera: great entrance examination, to be SL resident!
    Claire Beltran: What is?
    Pema Pera: Those are the two main reasons, I think, of the success of PaB -- as far as I can see, but I'm pretty sure there are far more important reasons that I can't see -- and may get glimpses of only in retrospect, years from now
    Tahuti Thor: what are email groups?
    Pema Pera: groups of people exchanging email, Tahuti
    Quilty Bookmite: I think if you took a random cross-section of SL residents, it wouldn't make such a cooperative group though.
    Pema Pera: Claire, to become an SL resident is like an entrance examination, showing that you are willing to spend time and energy and have creativity
    Storm Nordwind: The entrance exam to the Play as Being group, Claire, is just to be here, in SL.
    Pema Pera: true, Quilty
    Pema Pera: but there is a subset
    Pema Pera: in Qwaq and Videoranch there was none
    Storm Nordwind: It is easier in SL than RL for subsets to gravitate together into the same space
    Pema Pera: yes!
    Quilty Bookmite: :-)
    Pema Pera: one tp away :)

    Our discussion changed for a short time to our avatars before we started to drift away home.

    Tahuti Thor: in RL.....people identify with there avatars ........much like in RL......and so must built a reputation.......and maybe one has to go thru long process of switching login names and faces on here?
    Tahuti Thor: in SL *
    Pema Pera: interesting, yes
    Claire Beltran: I've been using the same avatar since I came here. My only regret is that I can't get it to look more like me.
    Storm Nordwind: There is certainly a period of that for many people Tahuti
    Storm Nordwind: But as Claire says, not for all
    Pema Pera: for me I have no choice :)
    Pema Pera: I started a professional organization in astrophysics
    Quilty Bookmite: I have been trying to do that too Claire.
    Pema Pera: and I'm stuck to my avatar there :)
    Pema Pera: here in SL
    Pema Pera: and I don't have time for care and feeding of multiple avatars :)
    Storm Nordwind: I gave up trying to look like me now. Couldn't do it. So I settled for me 20 years ago!
    Quilty Bookmite: I think I'll stick with my current appearance.
    Pema Pera: for me 30 years ago . . . .
    Claire Beltran: Did you know that the shape I'm wearing is the City Chic Female one that I entered SL with?
    Quilty Bookmite: More hair, Pema? :-)
    Pema Pera: (I actually did have very long hair as a student)
    Claire Beltran: I just modified it over and over until it fit the way I wanted.
    Claire Beltran: And I still do on occasion.
    Tahuti Thor: the email group it was piece of cake for people to have multiple names?
    Storm Nordwind: That works for many people Claire
    Tahuti Thor: email addys
    Storm Nordwind: Easy here too Tahuti
    Quilty Bookmite: I must go. Time to sleep.
    Quilty Bookmite: Take care all.
    Storm Nordwind: Ah yes it's 10. G'night Quilty
    Pema Pera: Night Quilty!
    Storm Nordwind: Are you going too Isen?
    Isen Enzo: excuse me
    Isen Enzo: I must leave for now..
    Pema Pera: bye Isen!
    Isen Enzo: a pleasure
    Isen Enzo: as always.
    Pema Pera: great seeing you again
    Storm Nordwind: Take a landmark and return as you wish!
    Isen Enzo: wonderful job, Storm..
    Isen Enzo: and now away...
    Storm Nordwind: bfn!
    Isen Enzo: blessings
    Storm Nordwind: Namaste
    Tahuti Thor: night Quilty
    Pema Pera: I should be taking off too
    Pema Pera: great seeing you all again!
    Storm Nordwind: Your coffee will be getting cold
    Claire Beltran: So will we be meeting here from now on?
    Tahuti Thor: take care Pema
    Pema Pera: oh, no, body temperature -- I drunk it already, Storm
    Storm Nordwind: k
    Storm Nordwind: No not yet Claire
    Pema Pera: see you all!
    Storm Nordwind: There is some experimental work to be tested first
    Tahuti Thor: zen retreat next time?
    Storm Nordwind: The Pavilion where we were
    Tahuti Thor: ok
    Claire Beltran: Okay.
    Storm Nordwind: There will a tp there when we move
    Claire Beltran: I'm off to do some shopping!
    Claire Beltran: ^-^/
    Tahuti Thor: alright
    Claire Beltran: Bye, everyone
    Storm Nordwind: Cool!
    Tahuti Thor: ttyl
    Tahuti Thor: bye :)

    And I was left alone in the beautiful white discussion space, three perforated roof tiers above me, nine pillars around me, three pergolas leading away, and a symmetry of wisteria and willow outside. I looked at the floor. There were twelve cushions in the inner ring and twelve in the outer, all blue except for three brown ones. The brown kneeling cushions were proving more popular than I'd expected, so I spent a few minutes replacing six of the outer blue sitting cushions with brown kneeling ones before heading home to the Kuan Yin Terraces next door in Mieum.

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