2008.08.31 13:00 - Avatars and beyond

    Table of contents
    No headers

    The guardian for this session was Maxine Walden.  All the comments are hers.

    I was sitting for a few minutes at the Pavilion and then was joined by Threedee in his lion avatar.  The entire conversation of nearly an hour was just between the two of us.
    Feeling fond of this lion and curious about what it was like to 'be' a lion I began perhaps a bit too promptly to ask him these questions

      Maxine Walden: threedee, my favorite lion! nice to see you
      Threedee Shepherd: hi, how are you?
      Maxine Walden: Im fine, and you?
      Threedee Shepherd: excellent, thanks
      Maxine Walden: how does the world look from a lion's viewpoint?
      Threedee Shepherd: hmmm
      Threedee Shepherd: people are friendly, let me ponder a bit more....
      Maxine Walden: sure, did not mean to put you on the spot, sorry
      Maxine Walden: just so interesting all of our points of view
      Maxine Walden: and how choice of AVs might influence that

    While my question may have seemed abrupt it was not too far from an item of interest for Threedee

      Threedee Shepherd: not at all. One thing I intended by this av is to see how the world looked, so that's an excellent question
      Maxine Walden: OK, not too far away from a topic of interest then
      Threedee Shepherd: true :)
      Threedee Shepherd: Well, I feel comfortable in familiar places. I still feel a bit *strange* if I go shopping for a gadget at some new place.
      Maxine Walden: lol, can imagine
      Maxine Walden: even SL folks unfamiliar might seem surprised

    We then began to get into stereotypes, and fantasies

      Threedee Shepherd: also, I sense that deep down many folks harbor stereotypes of a *LION* and I am not sure I want that
      Maxine Walden: but pleasingly so I would imagine
      Maxine Walden: ah, yes, we all probably do have fantasies about lions and other perhaps archtypal figures
      Threedee Shepherd: In part that is why I chose this elder-looking color and keep the claws in :)
      Maxine Walden: from my view we 'see' in those figures what we harbor inside ourselves, in this case 'lionlike' elements
      Maxine Walden: so I might project my own 'lion' elements onto the screen of 'lion' that your AV presents
      Threedee Shepherd: true
      Maxine Walden: but as thoughts occur, what it feels like 'inside' the lion aspect would be interesting
      Threedee Shepherd: We all by adulthood assign cultural baggage to any appearance. So, I assume that I/we also do so when we pick an Av.

    While Threedee was speaking about his lion AV I had been also thinking about how my attitude about my own AV's appearance has just recently been changing

     Maxine Walden: I so agree! In my own case I have been in SL now about 6 mo and have retained this very young girls appearance, not out of full volition that this is how I wish to look, but just that until quite recently it has not been that big a deal re my appearance.
      Maxine Walden: But as I come to value SL as a place where imagination can really take off in creative ways I am aware of wishing to appear differently, value the appearance of my AV more
      Threedee Shepherd nods
      Maxine Walden: interesting shift for me, actually
      Threedee Shepherd: Do you plan to build an alternate appearance?
      Maxine Walden: think I will start conservatively with different clothes and hair style, which may seem minimal to a lion
      Threedee Shepherd: not at all, even to a lion
      Maxine Walden: in terms of quality of difference
      Threedee Shepherd: I do have a human male av and pick clothing
      Maxine Walden: oh?
      Maxine Walden: yes, I recall seeing your human AV
      Threedee Shepherd: not like I have lots of clothing, but I do choose consciously
      Threedee Shepherd: An interesting thing...
      Threedee Shepherd: I am realizing as we chat that I have been more aware of how folks respond TO this lion, than I have been aware of experiencing the world FROM the standpoint of this lion. I will pay more attention to that in future.


    With this last comment Threedee brought our attention to how we can feel so much concern for how others see us rather than how we view ourselves, a comment about aspects of Being

      Maxine Walden: oh, that is very interesting the TO vs FROM, focus of attnetion was drawn to the TO
      Maxine Walden: am so aware how in RL that focus can also abide: who do others view me rather than how it feels to be 'me'
      Maxine Walden: guess that is part of 'being'
      Threedee Shepherd: yes!
      Threedee Shepherd: Also, I *feel* this Av is my *identity* here at PaB, and then feel a bit *out of place* when I appear here as my human Av.
      Maxine Walden: oh, interesting, so you have come to feel more 'you' with this av at least currently
      Maxine Walden: in PaB

    Threedee mentions how our views of ourselves and how we wish to be seen by others changes with circumstances and roles

      Threedee Shepherd: at PaB, certainly. When I do "business" with a potential client we might build for, I go human :)
      Maxine Walden: (just pondering what we are talking about)
      Maxine Walden: when doing 'business' you wish to give another impression
      Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm

    With a simple question I begin to learn a lot about Threedee and his sophistication re virtual reality and then some of his RL background as well.

      Maxine Walden: you are a builder here in SL?
      Threedee Shepherd: I am one of 4 partners (2 of us work in SL) in the compnay 3D Embodiment (3DE). We are SL providers, on a rather small scale, compared to the big companies like Electric Sheep. In RL we do immersive virtual-reality
      Maxine Walden: sorry if that was an intrusive question
      Threedee Shepherd: this is my "retirement" business
      Maxine Walden: wow, can hardly get my mind around what you are describing, in terms of yor 'retirement' business. If I recall you also are a profession ro retired from that position/business?
      Threedee Shepherd: nothing is intrusive :) I have a totally anonymous AV (not in PaB) for that mode
      Maxine Walden: *professor
      Threedee Shepherd: Professor, 36 years, University of Colorado. Biology/Neuroscience/VBisual System
      Threedee Shepherd: Visual
      Maxine Walden: oh, very interesting, biology/neuroscience/ biological visual systems?

    As with colleagues and friends I also share some of my RL background

      Maxine Walden: I am a psychiatrist/psychoanalyst for 35 plus years, teach at the Univ Washington, clinical faculty...we each seem to be in human 'systems'
      Threedee Shepherd: yes. I have a strong interest in psychotherapy from a brain-behavior point of view
      Maxine Walden: but I am very new to this vitual reality which sounds very different from your experience
      Maxine Walden: How psychotherapy changes the brain functioning?

    Sharing some RL background in terms of interest in the mind, we begin to listen to each other, fine tune our different perspectives

     Threedee Shepherd: yes, althyough changes is perhaps a more limited word than I would choose. Molds, is, becomes, words like that. Actually I like to say "being is becomming, and becomming is being"
      Maxine Walden: While I think about it, how do you feel about the more personal data going into the log? I could edit it.
      Maxine Walden: yes, agree with your finer distinction in description re 'molding' ; always a work in progress
      Threedee Shepherd: It is OK with me. I have always shared this information with my students. I hope it opens them to broader perspectives
      Maxine Walden: fine, yes I really feel that way as well

    I then bring a question about mind vs brain which both Threedee and I have likely thought a lot about over time. We briefly mention our concerns about seeming to intellectual in our considerations.  And then Threedee's several points on the matter of mind an brain are expressed with clarity, simplicity and humility

      Maxine Walden: Interesting discussions in academia and elsewhere: mind vs brain. Do you have a position on that?
      Threedee Shepherd: In general, the main reason I do not bring it up in a group, as opposed to bring it up in response, is that I do not want to sound pompous
      Maxine Walden: Know what you mean, actually I have wondered that about how I come across sometimes as I have always moreless tried to be clear/precise/thoughtful in what I say...and apparently that can be daunting/offering to some
      Maxine Walden: *off-putting
      Threedee Shepherd: truth is truth when it is offered, not imposed :)
      Maxine Walden: and whether it is offered or imposed can be as much in the experience of the receiver as the sender, but it is something I always try to keep in mind
      Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm, re mind-brain I have a bit to say
      Maxine Walden: please, I would love to hear
      Threedee Shepherd: first I use the term brain-body, as in embodiment, to clariofy that we are a total organism that meets the world (and invents the world to some extent)
      Threedee Shepherd: Then, I say the brain-body is the organ of the mind, without defining mind beyond the usual colloquial sense of the word.
      Threedee Shepherd: Then I loosely equate mind with consciousness.
      Threedee Shepherd: Finally, after *lots* of reading and thought and teaching about it, I conclude I do not know and perhaps/probably cannot know what consciousness if, other than to say it is NOT super-natural.
      Maxine Walden: I like that, brain-body as the organ of the mind; agree to some extent with mind/consciousness equation
      Threedee Shepherd: *consciousness IS not if

    I offer some added thoughts which come from my interests and experience

      Maxine Walden: I find it useful to factor into the 'mind' not only consciousness but the realms of the unconscious, which for me are very meaningfully that 90% of the iceberg below awareness
      Maxine Walden: Aware not everyone finds that notion useful but it has been and is for me
      Threedee Shepherd: Oh, I purposely left that out, and agree totally that probably less than 1% reaches perception consciousness.

    Threedee brings in the aspect of experience

      Threedee Shepherd: The reason I left it out is that consciousness is something I subjectively experience (and thus cannot hellp but try to explain/understand) whereas pre-conscious is not part of my active experience, only its results are
      Maxine Walden: the impact of unconscious expeirnece/forces on our conscious experience is awesome and something to continue to grab my interest
      Threedee Shepherd: so I haveno problem extending the idea of *mind* as you propose, and cannot *expaliun* that, either :)
      Threedee Shepherd: explain
      Maxine Walden: yes, as if a non-communicating universe between unconscious and conscious minds

    As I re-read the log I wondered if I had mis-stated in suggesting a non-communicating universe between conscious and unconscious minds, but that term I feel does relate to the 'experiencing' self which can only sense the realm of the conscious, even though the unconscious affects emotional, atmospheric and certain fantasy elements
    And sadly I had to keep in time the very concrete element of time

      Maxine Walden: (have to keep in mind amidst this wonderful conversation that I should leave about 5 min before the hour to take the chatlog before a 2pm meeting elsewhere; just to forwarn)
      Threedee Shepherd: We have reasons for acting, I do not dispute that. We have no particular introspective access to those reasons, I suggest.
      Threedee Shepherd: k

    And then in bringing in the dream introduces spme tought about creativity and even genius which I found very interesting to ponder

      Maxine Walden: perhaps the dream can be an introspective access, at least I find that possible sometimes
      Maxine Walden: the remembered dream, of course
      Maxine Walden: the dream as messenger from the unconscious regions
      Threedee Shepherd: I once *fully* thought so about dreams. Recently I have been playinjg with the notion that dreams try our almost random conjunctions to *see* if they make sense, too.
      Maxine Walden: interesting...can you say more?
      Threedee Shepherd: try out, sure
      Threedee Shepherd: creativity, at least from one point of view, is *rubbing together* two ideas that may not at first seem related, and recognizing something new as a result. as an aside genius is going further afield for said ideas to rub. So, perhaps PART of dreaming is to allow such conjunctions to happen in *fantastic*, uninhibited ways, to observe what happens?
      Threedee Shepherd: <aside> we need to point oout for the log that we are the only two people at this session

    Likely Threedee had in mind as well the coming end of the session and the log in his comment about mentioning there were only the two of us in this conversation.  The entwined strands of logging that and this fascinating aspect of the dream demonstrate the multi-leveled strands that often occur in these discussions


    Maxine Walden: oh, very very nice thought, some things I would like to ponder. Really like those thoughts about creativity and genius
      Maxine Walden: yes, the aside, why, that we could talk as we have been? more academic perhaps?
      Threedee Shepherd: no, to "explain" the absence of other voices :)
      Maxine Walden: And I should go in a moment or two...oh, yes, will do that. Make it obvious just us two
      Maxine Walden: Well should go. Great talking and hope to continue as possible. Have really enjoyed it


    We both realized how interesting this discussion had been, how much we shared and could enrich each other.  In the midst of this and the wish to continue I went completely clueless about how to offer 'friendship' in SLin order to be able to more easily continue the conversation.  Threedee does so and the conversation comes to an end


     Threedee Shepherd: I would love to continue our discussion anon. I'll look for you when I'm logged in.
      Maxine Walden: please do, I would also love to continue and I will look for you as well.
      Threedee Shepherd: :) bye for now
      Maxine Walden: remind my, how o I offer friendship?
      Maxine Walden: so I can 'find you'
      Maxine Walden: great done
      Maxine Walden: bye for now

    Tag page (Edit tags)
    You must login to post a comment.
    Powered by MindTouch Core