2009.05.28 07:00 - Gaps, Anger, and Meaning in a 'Perfect' Virtual World

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Eliza Madrigal. The comments are by Eliza Madrigal.

    This was a LONG and fun session. There were three players (Traviesso, Storm, myself) and a dozen titles to choose from.

    I sat for 20 minutes before Travi arrived, and spent some time listening to the birds. I thought about the attention that has gone into the setting, and appreciated that. Coincidentally, Traviesso arrived thinking of an art project about virtual worlds he'd recently seen. 

    Travieso Sella: hi
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Travi... :)
    Eliza Madrigal: How are you? :)
    Travieso Sella: I'm interesting...
    Eliza Madrigal: yes?
    Travieso Sella: How about you
    Eliza Madrigal: Curious now
    Travieso Sella: I see
    Eliza Madrigal: :) What is interesting?
    Travieso Sella: Well, I suppose I had little sleep and was on sl for a long time last night
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah... yes, little sleep and lots of SL can put you into a funny state of mind
    Travieso Sella: Yes.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: There was once a four day period in which I found myself having all kinds of wonderful conversations in PaB and SL in general, and was not sleeping for the wheels turning
    Eliza Madrigal: all my dreams were SL during that time too :)
    Travieso Sella: I saw an interesting art project that to be held in New ork amongs similar projects of design. The idea was to create the perfect virtual world.
    Travieso Sella: Well, I saw clips
    Eliza Madrigal: What were your thoughts about it?
    Eliza Madrigal: Were there many ideas about what was the 'perfect' world?
    Travieso Sella: sorry I had to go afk for a second. I think it was more of an exploration of like a futuristic place.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Travieso Sella: It was a place where people instead of building like here, people created projects and submitted them to be looked at
    Eliza Madrigal: Wide variety?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Storm :)
    Travieso Sella: and the idea was that every place had some meaning

    Storm arives as if by cue! We discuss the Play as Being pavillion and meaning/intentions when 'creating' a virtual space. 

    Storm Nordwind: Hi all :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Storm, Travi was saying that he saw clips from an art exhibit about creating 'the perfect virtual world'. Your timing is impecccable! :)
    Storm Nordwind: There is such a thing as a perfect virtual world?
    Travieso Sella: You know about as much as I do about it now. Except to say one of the main designers was a production deisgner from the film Minority Report. Hi Storm.
    Eliza Madrigal: There's the question :) What would that mean?
    Travieso Sella: Well, I think it was supposed to represent the perfect world in a virtual space.
    Storm Nordwind: Yes but what makes it perfect?
    Travieso Sella: But it was a take on what second life was doing. So yes, I suppose that is the uestion.
    Eliza Madrigal: There are probably as many perfect worlds as people
    Storm Nordwind: Indeed
    Travieso Sella: Well, they talked about second life, expressing that it has it's flaws and it has its merits. I'm just wondering what those are.
    Storm Nordwind: The flaws and merits of SL?
    Eliza Madrigal: Before Travi arrived, I was here alone thinking about this environment and how much thought and care it obviously took to construct... listening to the birds, etc. :)
    Travieso Sella: this is a rather nice sim
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Storm Nordwind: Well there is the background default of SL. But much is what I added to get the effect I though might be best for Play as Being
    Travieso Sella: what do you mean? like what?
    Storm Nordwind: And I remember a handful of people complained about it when I first built it
    Eliza Madrigal: Context and purpose begins to define the space?
    Eliza Madrigal: I like that it is open, like our conversations!
    Storm Nordwind: I have added the sounds. The trees. The open aspect from one direction. Yes the context and purpose inspired my choices
    Storm Nordwind: Some thought it too open and preferred the enclosed pavilion we had had previously
    Travieso Sella: I see
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, well, walking into it 'anew' I've liked it
    Storm Nordwind: I am very pleased!
    Storm Nordwind: It's spreads its arms out to the LL Welcome Area to the south to invite wanderers over from there
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah.. that's why so many newbies!
    Storm Nordwind: Yes indeed
    Storm Nordwind: And a beacon fire to attract them
    Storm Nordwind: Subtle but effective
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Nice
    Storm Nordwind: But it will attract everyone
    Storm Nordwind: And that again is intentional
    Storm Nordwind: Sorry will NOT attract everyone!
    Storm Nordwind: People more interested in malls and gun battles will doubtless not arrive!
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Eliza Madrigal: well not on most days ;-)

    I get to use the eject button!

    Storm Nordwind: We have an eject button ;)
    Eliza Madrigal has never used that... did mute a person once
    Storm Nordwind: Hmm... actually as a guardian it may be best not to mute them, as everyone else will still hear them
    Eliza Madrigal: But does everyone have the ability to eject?
    Storm Nordwind: Only guardians
    Storm Nordwind: If it's my 'slot' then I take the 'policing' responsibiity, and that means that I have to keep my eyes and ears open all the time
    Storm Nordwind: But at Kira Cafe workshops when a disruptive element has arrived and been tolerated by the workshop leader, I have muted people before now yes! ;)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes.... I'm looking up top and a little figure seems to say that I cannot eject anyone...Oh, but it really says "No Pushing".... Hmmm
    Storm Nordwind: You can do it. Wold you like to try?
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Should test assumptions
    Eliza Madrigal: No one here Id like to eject!
    Storm Nordwind: I won't hold it against you if you eject me. Just don't eject and ban that's all!
    Storm Nordwind: It's good to practise it at least once to give yourself confidence
    Storm Nordwind: Try it on me now. Right click on my avatar > more > eject and select eject from the pop-up. Let's see where I end up and how quickly I can return! :)
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe.. well if you insist :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh my.....
    Travieso Sella: and then there were two
    Eliza Madrigal: feel somewhat terrible ...hehe
    Eliza Madrigal: but smiling... wonder where he went
    Eliza Madrigal: Welcome Back :))
    Travieso Sella: wb
    Storm Nordwind: It knocked me to the next sim
    Storm Nordwind: But it knocked the cushion out too!
    Storm Nordwind: I will replace that
    Eliza Madrigal: hah
    Eliza Madrigal: Powerful button.... will look forward to getting to use it again. hahah
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks Storm

    The Thing About Meaning/Dictating Openness?

    Eliza Madrigal: Travi, I'm curious as to what people might have said they'd like to see in virtual environments which doesn't exist yet?
    Eliza Madrigal: we had a discussion of 'bad hair' here one day... that it might be fun to wake with bad har one has to brush
    Eliza Madrigal: *hair
    Travieso Sella: I don't know all that much about it other than what I talked about so far
    Travieso Sella: Well i do remember a few things
    Eliza Madrigal: yes?
    Travieso Sella: As I said every place is supposed to have meaning. It seemed like aplace where work and play, commerce and everything is integrated
    Travieso Sella: It's not a democracy
    Travieso Sella: But it's where people from all over the world live together
    Travieso Sella: Its one large cit
    Travieso Sella: city
    Storm Nordwind: The thing about meaning is that, like art, the meaning (if any) is in the eye of the beholder
    Eliza Madrigal: yes certainly
    Travieso Sella: I think the idea is that if it meaningful to you then it is a whorthwhile build
    Travieso Sella: unlike say, an sl stripclub I suppose which can be there for I guess just to make money
    Travieso Sella: but perhaps, ther are some that have meaning I dunno
    Eliza Madrigal: each vision requires a vision-er, but the vision takes shape with the sharers in mind... so is collaborative
    Travieso Sella: That is a merit of sl as well, that anyone has the opportinity to take part in the process of designing for the world around us
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, that's the thing that makes virtual environments wonderful I think... and also that there is an openness... can recreate itself (the environment) over and over more quickly... evolve?
    Storm Nordwind: I'm not convinced the openness is an intrinsic feature. I see it as a potential and a tool. I think it's possible to be elite, cliquey and exclusive in SL as anywhere else. We, as a group, choose it to be otherwise, that's all
    Travieso Sella: that is very interesting to see the evolutionary process in that context
    Eliza Madrigal nods. That one person is able to show this here... does seem to 'catch on' though...
    Travieso Sella: I have experienced taht as well, what storm is saying
    Eliza Madrigal: that the potential perhaps takes on energy?
    Storm Nordwind: It's an opportunity I think. I doubt one can dictate openness as that seems contradictory!
    Eliza Madrigal: great point, that.

    Multiple Worlds and Identities

    Eliza Madrigal: Always a potential
    Eliza Madrigal: I noticed while sweeping my rl steps yesterday... that in SL what I've been drawn to is not so different...
    Eliza Madrigal: surprised me.
    Storm Nordwind: You sweep steps in SL? ;)
    Eliza Madrigal: haha...
    Eliza Madrigal: no, but... I would!
    Eliza Madrigal: We do have frameworks it seems... even in SL..patterns.
    Travieso Sella: Yes, I feel like I have not deviated all that much from my rl ways, although at times it has been a stretch
    Travieso Sella: There is alot I stll am wondering about though when it comes to virtual identities
    Eliza Madrigal: yes? What are your thoughts?
    Travieso Sella: Well, I sometimes wonder how closely they match up
    Travieso Sella: I don't think they always do, but it's difficult to express myself here in the ecxact same way
    Travieso Sella: I also find it useful to be able to take on or explore other personas
    Travieso Sella: but that is alot of work perhaps
    Storm Nordwind: I did that for a while
    Travieso Sella: I;m not big into having alts or keeping track of them heh
    Storm Nordwind: But now I do not bother and there really is a seamless transition of SL and RL
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe... knowing a few people who have multiple alts.. I often experience each one very differently
    Eliza Madrigal: *ver*
    Eliza Madrigal: I've a few myself... but mostly Eliza and the wolf are comfortable
    Storm Nordwind: I had five or six alts at one time (I think - I lost count). Now I just use this one unless I'm testing things for other visitors
    Eliza Madrigal: Do you feel that was a matter of seeing the aspects separately and then incorporating....
    Eliza Madrigal: like an integration....
    Eliza Madrigal: or? I think it is a fascinating question, though I know everyone's approach is different.
    Travieso Sella: me? what do you mean?
    Eliza Madrigal: Well, that Storm brached out and then settled back... wonder how often that is the case...
    Storm Nordwind: It can be a fascinating social experiment, especially inhabiting cross-gender avatars
    Travieso Sella: yeah, I agree
    Storm Nordwind: Would you both excuse me now? I have to go do some building work! :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Travieso Sella: ok cya
    Eliza Madrigal: yes of course. Glad you came this morning :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Fun to eject you
    Eliza Madrigal: haha :)
    Storm Nordwind looks outside in RL at the afternoon and in SL at the night!
    Storm Nordwind: Bye for now!
    Eliza Madrigal: walker between worlds
    Eliza Madrigal: There is a concept in the "Subtle Knife" where one cuts through to other dimensions.... feels much like that here at times... especially in discussing alternate identities :)
    Travieso Sella: I don't know. I'm not 100% today. But I'm trying =]
    Travieso Sella: well that can be a very illuminating expeience I suppose ^^

    Blank Slates, Gaps, and Possibilities

    Eliza Madrigal: Good to be a blank slate sometimes ... an open field on which 'anything' in potential can happen.
    Eliza Madrigal: I was watching a teaching earlier at Buddha Center... Eckhart Tolle...
    Eliza Madrigal: He was talking about deep stillness....
    Eliza Madrigal: that words themselves are merely pointers to the space
    Travieso Sella: I will be searching for some deep still ness alot today I imagine
    Eliza Madrigal: Virtual environments can be pointers to help us experience the essential. As can avs I think.
    Eliza Madrigal: hahah. SleepY?
    Travieso Sella: no, just a bit scattered I suppose
    Travieso Sella: BUt the difficulties tend to point me towaaard more open states
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Eliza Madrigal: that is good
    Eliza Madrigal: you're figuring something out under the surface it seems
    Eliza Madrigal: Or maybe I project... hope not to :)
    Travieso Sella: well, I hope you're right
    Eliza Madrigal: When I'm the most uncomfortable and well 'itchy'.. scattered... often a turn is about to come... a clarity, if I sit with it
    Travieso Sella: there are certainly gaps that usually aren't there
    Travieso Sella: in my thinking
    Eliza Madrigal: Hmm
    Travieso Sella: hmm
    Eliza Madrigal: There are people who center their entire meditative practices around noticing 'gaps' in thinking
    Travieso Sella: ah ok
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Intersting groups you have.... "Cheese is the new smurf"? haha
    Travieso Sella: We're the less srious philospher swithin some circles
    Travieso Sella: serious philosophers*
    Travieso Sella: Well, I can be a very serious philosopher but not in all situations
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah.... felt reactive against taking everything so seriously....
    Travieso Sella: that is to say, not all sl discussion groups are um...
    Travieso Sella: yeah, that is how I find myself in that group
    Travieso Sella: But I don't know if it'sa matter of seeriousness now that I think aboutit as much as sincerity
    Travieso Sella: which can be lacking in the virtual world
    Eliza Madrigal: hard to learn in an enjoyable way when one is intense about proving a particular point or being understood even :)
    Eliza Madrigal: And a room full of people who each come with something to prove is oppressive at times :)

    The Purposes of Anger, Rebelling Against a Beige World, and Mindfulness

    Travieso Sella: and some are angry but not about what they're typing about
    Eliza Madrigal: Ahhh
    Travieso Sella: at least that is one aspect I suppose
    Travieso Sella: although anger...
    Travieso Sella: can be redirected in very useful ways
    Eliza Madrigal: Anger is challenging for some of us... finding where it 'belongs'
    Travieso Sella: yeah
    Eliza Madrigal: and if one doesn't know, it seems to slip out in odd ways when not looking
    Travieso Sella: for the most part I find anger to be rooted in lack of understanding
    Travieso Sella: as well as frustration, paranoia, etc.
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm, I can see that. A lack of scope or range can cause one to be easily frustrated
    Eliza Madrigal: with what is happening
    Eliza Madrigal: There is also a matter of 'control'...
    Eliza Madrigal: thinking it is possible to have control
    Travieso Sella: I try to have control over myself and my thoughts
    Travieso Sella: I suppose some of it is worthwhile
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I suppose I'm thinking that one can only have so much control...
    Eliza Madrigal: meaning if someone comes in an intrudes on your thoughts... then getting angry might be a response
    Eliza Madrigal: (not you ... a general you)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Travieso Sella: well, this happens to me I know
    Eliza Madrigal: That person might say "They" made me lose my control
    Eliza Madrigal: "They" made me angry
    Travieso Sella: right, someone 'making' you feel a certain
    Travieso Sella: way*
    Travieso Sella: I suppose
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, thereby abdicating responsibility
    Eliza Madrigal: And if one can't take responsibility, can't change anything... becomes a cycle
    Eliza Madrigal: but I'd certainly love to hear thoughts on when anger is appropriate... skillfull, etc. Probably very specific.
    Eliza Madrigal: is protecting from 'actual' threats
    Travieso Sella: Well, I think when it comes to something like social issues. A sense of outrage is the natural response of someone who has a social conscience.
    Travieso Sella: or any of the big wrongs I think
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Eliza Madrigal: but does anger help one to be more effective?
    Travieso Sella: and to direct that energy, which can be very powerful to something positive is a very useful thing
    Travieso Sella: well it's a form of energy
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, anger can be a flag... an initial surge. I'm not sure it can be 'ultimately' effective though... think it is not an energy meant to be drawn out over long term.
    Eliza Madrigal: Hmm
    Travieso Sella: Well, every individual has their own way of working with this
    Travieso Sella: BUt I think definitely a sense of discontent on some levels and a sense of urgency can be important
    Eliza Madrigal: that perhaps reflects a bias on my part, that I tend to think effective work must have a dominant love element. Sounds clinical when I put it that way though.
    Travieso Sella: dissatisfaction with a situation
    Travieso Sella: hmm
    Eliza Madrigal: love for peace and human life can make one angry/dissatisfied at war... but the war came about as a result of anger in some way... angry at being afraid, etc.
    Eliza Madrigal: not having 'control
    Eliza Madrigal: Hmm is right.... big topic :)
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Travieso Sella: yeah, something I hope to understand more fully
    Eliza Madrigal: me too
    Travieso Sella: I think a sense of social conscience and proactivity is neccessary especially when to be compacent or passive means being part of the problem
    Travieso Sella: but on a spiritual level I think people have another take on things
    Eliza Madrigal sees that, yes (can be part of problem)
    Eliza Madrigal: I've known a lot of reactive people in my life... who felt they could come in and take the peace from others when they felt like it... pain expressed as anger/rage... but recently I've learned that closing off and being overly protective is a kind of anger too :) Razor edges of difference there!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi JeanStephane :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Welcome to Play as Being
    Travieso Sella: hi jean
    Eliza Madrigal: Well! Have you been here before?
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, and not here now! hahah
    Travieso Sella: THis is something I wish to work on much more. And sometimes I think it is at the root of my spiritual endeavors.
    Travieso Sella: and then there is the creative aspect of it as well
    Eliza Madrigal: in what way?
    Travieso Sella: I try to explore my 'more negative feelings' in hopes of finding useful artistic expressive quailities in work that I do
    Travieso Sella: and with the intention of transformation
    Eliza Madrigal: Ohh! Yes!
    Travieso Sella: But negative emotions are often the most counterproductive ones sometimes
    Travieso Sella: If I can guage it that way
    Eliza Madrigal: They can be... too far one way the energy dissapates... too far the other way also...
    Eliza Madrigal: and not moderation either....
    Eliza Madrigal: focus
    Travieso Sella: yeah, mindfullness
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Moderation seems a beige word... think that's what some hear when they hear the word passive....
    Eliza Madrigal: Not alive
    Eliza Madrigal: Why we tend to rebel against 'balance' maybe.... mistaking it for flatline :)
    Travieso Sella: yeah that is an inteeresting point
    Eliza Madrigal: Real balance means bringing all one's colors to the show I think... but allowing them to be illuminated
    Eliza Madrigal: if you see through them, they are alive
    Eliza Madrigal is just thinking aloud
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    Warning: SL Buddhist events commercials ahead. And Travi and I agree that this was a lovely session, touching on many excellent PaB themes!

    Travieso Sella: heh yeah, I think we've had a good discussion today even without a set topic
    Eliza Madrigal: Our thoughts here have sparked some creativity!
    Eliza Madrigal: May we both use that creative energy for good purposes today!!
    Travieso Sella: Yes.
    Eliza Madrigal: Thursay is a busy online day for me. Stim's workshop is later... enjoy that.
    Eliza Madrigal: And then I ring the bell at zen at night.
    Eliza Madrigal: So I have begun taking "Silence Fridays" to compensate - hhah
    Travieso Sella: Mine has become less busy. But rl has become a bit more structured with these things.
    Eliza Madrigal: Taking days off gives me permission to stay here as long as I like, which is nice on days like today. Thank you
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Travieso Sella: It's far better to find places to engage people rather than flotaing through the virtual sea of strippmalls
    Eliza Madrigal: Indeed!
    Eliza Madrigal: though.... I'm a bit of a clothes horse and decent shopper. hahah
    Eliza Madrigal: Not in RL at all... cannot stand malls :)
    Travieso Sella: I'm confused though about thursday. I was attending a group called Xen but I can't find it lately
    Eliza Madrigal: Catfish's group....
    Eliza Madrigal: Hmmm... not sure
    Travieso Sella: yap
    Eliza Madrigal: I haven't seen him online in teachings and such lately
    Eliza Madrigal: so maybe on a break
    Travieso Sella: yeah perhaps
    Eliza Madrigal: Have you attended Teak's talks?
    Travieso Sella: no I don't think so
    Travieso Sella: I've been to some Kannoji ones
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah... marvelous. Go if you get a chance. And Isen talks at Kannonji on Saturday nights often... well, types :)
    Travieso Sella: yes, I like the kannoji talks, I don't attned the meditatioins too often
    Eliza Madrigal: Join at leat one group to get notices I guess. DoKwang has a regular schedule at Buddha Center and Kannonji too.
    Eliza Madrigal: (not to be a commercial)
    Travieso Sella: I'm in kanooji group
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah :)
    Travieso Sella: most groups I don't list on my profile
    Travieso Sella: I'm surprised I left the cheese one out
    Eliza Madrigal: heheh
    Eliza Madrigal: Good title
    Travieso Sella: I suppose that's indicitve of either the evolution of my second life or simply my fear
    Eliza Madrigal: Fear?
    Travieso Sella: Well, I am a bit less forthcoming with infmoration than others on here
    Eliza Madrigal: I see
    Eliza Madrigal: I thought it might be concern about others 'categorizing' you
    Travieso Sella: no, more just about some people finding me and me not knowing it
    Eliza Madrigal: Ahhh!
    Travieso Sella: That's a very unenviabel trait I know
    Travieso Sella: unenviable*
    Eliza Madrigal: No, sounds like experience here
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Travieso Sella: you think so?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Travieso Sella: But that's the only group I'm in of that kind
    Eliza Madrigal: Ive joined many buddhist groups, but mostly because I have to send notices as part of the ringing gig twice a week : )
    Eliza Madrigal: I imagine that one never knows who one may be talking to... if I stop to think abut it. Fun thought mostly.
    Eliza Madrigal: "angels unawares"
    Travieso Sella: I was in, well let's just say a religous group on here
    Travieso Sella: but it became rather bizzare
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Travieso Sella: I'm still trying to extricate myself from it
    Eliza Madrigal: As we said before, each person has their own world they can make here...
    Eliza Madrigal: and some are bizzare! :)
    Eliza Madrigal giggles
    Travieso Sella: I think you are far more positive than I am
    Travieso Sella: which is a good thing I must say
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I ike to focus on the open spaces maybe
    Travieso Sella: I'm feeling ab it better now also
    Travieso Sella: than earlier
    Eliza Madrigal: Glad!
    Eliza Madrigal: Less scattered and more creative I hope
    Eliza Madrigal: I feel very good. have enjoyed the walk with you, figuratively :)
    Travieso Sella: good good
    Eliza Madrigal: A meandering stroll
    Eliza Madrigal: think some work awaits now though... as I'm sure for you :)
    Travieso Sella: yeah, time to face the music
    Eliza Madrigal: hahah
    Eliza Madrigal: and dance
    Travieso Sella: Yes.
    Travieso Sella: okay take care
    Eliza Madrigal: Have a lovely day, and talk to you soon :)
    Travieso Sella: _/!\_

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