2010.02.23 13:00 - Cults and gelato

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Storm Nordwind. The comments are by Storm Nordwind.

    Greetings and RL weather.

    Bleu Oleander: hey Storm
    Bleu Oleander: how's everything going?
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Bleu!
    Storm Nordwind: I'm doing well thank you. And for you?
    Bleu Oleander: had nuff snow yet?
    Storm Nordwind: I doubt it!
    Bleu Oleander: it's going into the 70's here
    Storm Nordwind: 39 here now
    Storm Nordwind: lots of snow on the ground and a bright blue sky
    Bleu Oleander: very nice
    Bleu Oleander: I do miss a little of that
    Storm Nordwind: Were you once in more snowy climes?
    Bleu Oleander: yes, NYC
    Bleu Oleander: grew up there and NJ
    Agatha Macbeth: Evening all
    Bleu Oleander: hi Agatha
    Storm Nordwind: I see.
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Agatha
    Agatha Macbeth: :)
    Storm Nordwind: When it's even slightly cold next to the coast, it feels much colder than it does here when it's dry and a long way below zero
    Bleu Oleander: yes!
    Storm Nordwind: So no topics as yet, other than the weather! (A familiar one for Agatha). Any burning issues?
    Agatha Macbeth grins
    Bertram Jacobus: hello all ... :-)
    Agatha Macbeth: Hi Berti
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Bert

    Bleu is pleased with the latest addition to the Play as Being village.
    Bleu Oleander: btw, just came from the pub .... really like what you did there Storm
    Bleu Oleander: hi Bert
    Storm Nordwind: So glad you like it Bleu
    Agatha Macbeth: You mean the new sign?
    Storm Nordwind: "New"?
    Agatha Macbeth: New-ish
    Storm Nordwind: Two new signs?
    Bleu Oleander: the pub, it has a nice feeling
    Agatha Macbeth: there are two?
    Bleu Oleander: ha! didn't see the signs
    Storm Nordwind: One on the side and one on a pole
    Agatha Macbeth: Uh uh
    Bleu Oleander: busy with Bella
    Agatha Macbeth: Must have approached from the wrong direction :(

    Agatha is inspired by pub talk to talk about what seems to be a favourite subject!
    Agatha Macbeth: They don't have pubs in the US do they?
    Storm Nordwind: Bella is endearing I find. Sometimes she drops off in the most ungainly positions!
    Bleu Oleander: they do
    Agatha Macbeth: Oh
    Agatha Macbeth: I thought they called them bars
    Bleu Oleander: :)
    Storm Nordwind: They have bars. And wannabe pubs. But nothing quite the same Agatha. You learn to like what's here
    Agatha Macbeth: I can believe it :0
    Storm Nordwind: Brew pubs are the best (IMHO)
    Bleu Oleander: what does a pub have to have to be a real pub?
    Agatha Macbeth: Beer?
    Bleu Oleander: of course
    Agatha Macbeth: Ah
    Agatha Macbeth: As Reggie Perrin used to say 'It doesn't matter what we call things'
    Storm Nordwind: Believe this or not, Agatha, I've found some good American beer here
    Bertram Jacobus: may be some cosyness, too ?
    Agatha Macbeth: You have?
    Bleu Oleander: what's your fav?
    Storm Nordwind: Usually brewed on the premises
    Bleu Oleander: ah
    Agatha Macbeth: Wow
    Agatha Macbeth: Bet they don't have Mild or Bitter tho :)
    Storm Nordwind: No. And I don't go for the Brit's obsession with hops anyway
    Agatha Macbeth: Booo!
    Storm Nordwind: :P
    Storm Nordwind: That's why I made my own beer
    Bleu Oleander: a purist
    Agatha Macbeth: Ah, Home Brew
    Agatha Macbeth goes all wistful
    Storm Nordwind: No Bleu - just someone who likes more than one flavor!
    Bleu Oleander: :)
    Storm Nordwind: I like the complexities of german and Belgian beer
    Agatha Macbeth: Can you get real ale there Storm?
    Storm Nordwind: and could only get that myself if I made it myself
    Storm Nordwind: From the brew pubs, yes sometimes Agatha
    Agatha Macbeth: Hmmm, nice
    Storm Nordwind: They make it there and they drink it there. Little left to ship elsewhere!
    Agatha Macbeth: Truly!
    Agatha Macbeth: Like that lager the Danes hate to leave the country....
    Agatha Macbeth: (Can't remember the name)

    Change in conversation depending on atmosphere.
    Storm Nordwind: So Bert mentions the cosyness of the Five Bells. That's one thing that pub-made beers bring to a place. Nice to have that cosy feel here in the Play as Being village. Perhaps conversation will be different in that atmosphere?
    Agatha Macbeth: You never know :)
    Bertram Jacobus: all things have an effort, so the talks WOULD be different i thnk - no ?

    What else does the village need? Bleu's suggestion catches hold.
    Storm Nordwind: What's missing here in the village do you think? Anything?
    Agatha Macbeth ponders
    Storm Nordwind: Yes I expect so Bert
    Bleu Oleander: music?
    Bertram Jacobus: i have music on my plot. storm made it possible as i asked him :-))
    Bertram Jacobus: (ty again so much) :-)
    Storm Nordwind: Music... hmmm... perhaps I need to give people something that can pipe music onto their personal plot?
    Storm Nordwind: That they can program (without having to ask me)
    Bleu Oleander: sounds nice
    Bertram Jacobus: that would be great storm !
    Storm Nordwind: It's easy to script. I'll add it to my list
    Bertram Jacobus: i already thought about that, but didn´t want to ask you ... not bother ... you and pab do so much already ...
    Agatha Macbeth: PaB rocks!!
    Storm Nordwind: No problem Bert.
    Storm Nordwind: So music... anything else?
    Bertram Jacobus: hello ara ... :-))
    Agatha Macbeth: Hi Ara :)
    Bleu Oleander: hi Ara
    arabella Ella: Hiya everyone!
    Storm Nordwind: Hi ara!
    Agatha Macbeth: Maybe Arabella has an opinion on the subject Storm?
    arabella Ella: ehrm ... maybe knowing the subject would help?
    Agatha Macbeth: :p
    Agatha Macbeth: We were discussing whether the village needs anything new Ara
    arabella Ella: ah

    Bleu has another fine suggestion.
    Bleu Oleander: does it ever rain here?
    Storm Nordwind: Yes it does rain Bleu! :)
    Bleu Oleander: a rainy day might be nice
    Bertram Jacobus: yes bleu - there is rain also ...

    But the rain is only sporadically and not properly implemented as yet. That's two things for me to do! [And now I recall that Adelene had something that might help too... must investigate...]

    Meanwhile Bleu, obviously on a roll, has a third fine suggestion!
    Bleu Oleander: gelato :)
    Storm Nordwind: mmmm!
    Agatha Macbeth: You mean Ice Cream? ;-)
    Bleu Oleander: yes!
    Agatha Macbeth: Aha
    Agatha Macbeth: Be good in summer

    It starts raining in Second Life. A distant rumble of thunder is heard too. Meanwhile Bleu hands round the ice creams.
    Bleu Oleander: oh very nice!
    Bleu Oleander: perfect!
    Bertram Jacobus: :-)
    Agatha Macbeth: Of course for Tarmel it's summer now ;-)

    arabella has a suggestion to increase village use. However, we're all pretty much engrossed in gelato!
    arabella Ella: i personally think that if we wish the village to be used more frequently perhaps some of us could think of activities which could be held there
    arabella Ella: but then there are so many activities already
    arabella Ella: yummy ice cream
    Agatha Macbeth: Danke schön Bert
    Bleu Oleander: thanks Bert!
    Bertram Jacobus: lol - you´re all very welcome, as always :-)
    Agatha Macbeth: (It's snowing outside and I'm eating ice cream)
    Bert takes a photo. He is rather modest about his abilities though, so (just in case) I take one myself, of him.
    Bertram Jacobus: took an ice cream photo. but am a very bad photographer ...
    Bleu Oleander: ha!
    Agatha Macbeth: So in midsummer we'll all be drinking hot chocolate?

    arabella is having problems with seeing people in the pavilion. We descend into techie talk for quite a while. For those who are bored by such discussion, please skip the green section below! Those present who were bored simply tucked into the popcorn that Bleu handed round!
    arabella Ella sighs ... why is it that some people here are clouds again today?
    Bertram Jacobus: people ARE clouds ?
    arabella Ella: yes Bert
    Bertram Jacobus: what does that mean, please ?
    arabella Ella: two people
    arabella Ella: do not rez for me
    arabella Ella: so i see them only as clouds
    Bertram Jacobus: ah ! okay ! sry ... silly me ...
    Storm Nordwind: They used to appear as the default avatar instead (called Ruth)
    Agatha Macbeth: 'See the clouds that drift so far below.....'
    arabella Ella: Storm do you know what I can do please to resolve this?
    arabella Ella: it happened last night too
    Agatha Macbeth: Lag?
    Storm Nordwind: Let me stop the rain first to ease the pressure on your viewer
    Bertram Jacobus: wol saw you also only after maaaaany minutes ...
    Agatha Macbeth: Mmm
    arabella Ella: yes
    Agatha Macbeth nods
    arabella Ella: i could not see ara at all last night
    Storm Nordwind: What does your lag meter say?
    arabella Ella: ehrm ... not sure where to look for lag meter
    Bleu Oleander: where's the lag meter?
    Storm Nordwind: Help > Lagmeter
    Agatha Macbeth: Mine shows all green
    Bleu Oleander: me too
    Bleu Oleander: funny Bert!
    arabella Ella: he he
    Bleu Oleander: buttered?
    Bertram Jacobus: :o)
    Storm Nordwind: mmm nicely salted
    Bertram Jacobus: all as we imagine ... ("illusions") ? ... ;-)
    Agatha Macbeth: How many calories in all this?
    Agatha Macbeth: Hi Cal
    Bertram Jacobus: hey cal ! :-)
    arabella Ella: thanks Storm seems like my network connection wavers at times so that may be it
    Storm Nordwind: yes perhaps ara
    Storm Nordwind: What is your draw distance set to ara?
    Bertram Jacobus: calories ? these tiny beings which make clothes more tight in the nights in the wardrobes ? ... :-)
    arabella Ella: where do i check that Storm please? scuse my ignorance
    Agatha Macbeth: Not in the wardrobe Bert, on me :(
    Storm Nordwind: Edit > Preferences > Graphics tab
    Bertram Jacobus: whaow - so catch them agatha ! :o)
    Storm Nordwind: and check the top right checkbox that says "Custom"
    Bleu Oleander: am loving the popcorn/icecream combo!
    Agatha Macbeth grins @ Bert
    Bleu Oleander: funny, is making me want it in RL :)
    Storm Nordwind: Draw distance is the top right hand slider
    Storm Nordwind: haha!
    Bertram Jacobus: hehe ... :-)
    Bleu Oleander: will have to check the fridge soon!
    arabella Ella: under graphics all i have is window size and setting on medium
    arabella Ella: sorry ... mid
    arabella Ella: for speed
    Storm Nordwind: And a custom checkbox to the right of that?
    arabella Ella: not checked
    Storm Nordwind: check it
    arabella Ella: should it be?
    arabella Ella: ok will do
    Storm Nordwind: and Apply
    arabella Ella: done thanks
    Storm Nordwind: Tell me the two figures on the top right of the new area that's appeared, Ara
    arabella Ella: seems like SL servers have upgraded too over past few days altho i did not upgrade yet
    Bleu Oleander: in the lag meter window, is the client the viewer that I am using?
    arabella Ella: ok
    arabella Ella: 96m draw distance
    arabella Ella: 2048 max particle count
    Agatha Macbeth: Same as me :)
    Storm Nordwind: 96m - that's fine Ara, very low - shouldn't load the network too much
    Storm Nordwind: But I would lower the particle count if you ever notice things getting a lumpy feel to the update
    arabella Ella: ok ty so much Storm
    Storm Nordwind: I have mine set to max (8192) but something in 3 figures might suit you better
    arabella Ella nods
    arabella Ella: have you upgraded Storm yet to new version?
    arabella Ella: as seems like many people are complaining
    Storm Nordwind: Didn't know there was one
    Agatha Macbeth: You can upgrade Storm? ;-)
    Storm Nordwind: hehehe!
    Storm Nordwind: I'm in a constant state of upgrade Agatha!
    Agatha Macbeth wonders what that would look like
    arabella Ella: of course he is
    arabella Ella: :)
    arabella Ella: apparently most of the complaints seem to be about changes in the Search function
    arabella Ella: which seemingly will be of detriment to those who sell stuff here
    Storm Nordwind: Agatha, the first difference you might notice is that I might stop ejecting smartalec avatars
    Agatha Macbeth hides
    arabella Ella: that's brit irony for you Agatha :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Tell me about it...
    arabella Ella: I'm not a brit
    arabella Ella: so i cant
    Agatha Macbeth: Nobody's perfect!
    arabella Ella: oh ... what a disappointment ... i thought some people were perfect
    Agatha Macbeth: Shame the womens' curling team are out of the olympics tho
    Storm Nordwind: Well there was the reporter who asked me once, "What do you say to people who say you're just a bunch of elitist snobs in your organisation?"
    Storm Nordwind: I said, "If we were I wouldn't be talking to you, would I?" :)
    Bertram Jacobus: very snobbish ... ;o)
    Agatha Macbeth: Which organisation?
    arabella Ella: apologies i've lost control of ara :)
    Bleu Oleander: ate too much! gtg and work it off .... bfn everyone
    Storm Nordwind waves
    Agatha Macbeth: Have fun Bleu :)
    Liza Deischer: bye bleu
    Bertram Jacobus: bye bleu
    arabella Ella: bye bleu
    Agatha Macbeth: Hi Liza! Where did you come from?
    arabella Ella: Hiya Liza!
    Bertram Jacobus: hey liza ! :-)
    Liza Deischer: eh.... the same way as I always do
    Agatha Macbeth: Snuck in eh?
    Liza Deischer: i seem to have a way to do that, even in sl :-)
    Agatha Macbeth grins

    arabella has a question on religious cults. This particular area is not currently my forte, though I had a close associate who researched it thoroughly 10 years ago. I have to call up my dusty mental archives!
    arabella Ella: Storm may I ask your opinion on Mother Goddess cults please?
    Storm Nordwind: About what in particular?
    Storm Nordwind: Ancient? Modern? etc
    arabella Ella: modern adoption of ancient cults ... anything you wish ... your opinion
    Storm Nordwind: I'm not sure I've met anyone who has truly adopted an ancient cult like that. Though I know plenty of recreationalists

    "recreationalists" might be a telling slip! I didn't actually mean that word at all (see below for the right word), but the wrong word does have interesting associations!
    Agatha Macbeth is inspecting Ara's bare feet :)
    arabella Ella: i always lose my shoes Agatha
    Agatha Macbeth: Hee hee
    arabella Ella: spent ages the other day getting lovely high heels fitted ... but lost them too and gave up
    Agatha Macbeth: Awww
    Storm Nordwind: Do you mean a female-centered monotheism ara?
    arabella Ella: so back to topic ... what do you mean by recreationists Storm please?
    arabella Ella: yes
    Storm Nordwind: All the evidence I've seen is either ambiguous or points to polytheist beliefs of which female deities had a part
    Agatha Macbeth: I thought mother goddess cults were *way* old
    Storm Nordwind: And I meant "reconstructionalists" - (brain fade)
    Agatha Macbeth: Like thousands of years....
    arabella Ella: yes my error a typo there :)
    Storm Nordwind: The older things get, the less evidence we have and the more it leaves room for speculation (and fantasy)
    Agatha Macbeth: True
    Liza Deischer: ah, I was wondering about that word Storm :-) now I understand
    Calvino Rabeni: Isn't that handy ! More room for fantasy, making it whatever we want :)
    Storm Nordwind: very convenient!
    Agatha Macbeth: That's fantasy for ya Cal :)

    arabella asks further about my opinion, but it's so hard to generalize. Same with Agatha's next questions. Whereas some may be genuine, so many I have met are simply practising wishful thinking. On the other hand, as arabella says below, that can be true of the members of many groups.
    arabella Ella: so your implication is that many of today's mother goddess cults use mainly fantasy?
    Storm Nordwind: My implication that I know many people who are acting out their eager wishes. I do not know all of them
    Agatha Macbeth: Are the modern ones not usually very 'Glastonbury-ish'?
    Storm Nordwind: There are plenty of good things in Glastonbury, as well as the ones that have no grounding at all
    Agatha Macbeth agrees

    Agatha wants a retreat in the Glastonbury area!
    Agatha Macbeth: I love it there
    Agatha Macbeth: Particularly standing on top of the Tor :)
    arabella Ella would love to go to Glastonbury some day
    Bertram Jacobus: i´ll leave. ty all. have a nice time. may all beings be happy please (!) ...
    Agatha Macbeth: Maybe we could have a retreat there? :)
    arabella Ella: bye Bertram
    Liza Deischer: bye bert
    Storm Nordwind waves
    Agatha Macbeth: C ya Bert
    arabella Ella: @Agatha ... you could always offer Pema and Eos to host a retreat in Glastonbury would be lovely

    There's a fundamental prerequisite when embarking in religious reconstruction that unfortunately many people miss out.
    Storm Nordwind: Most people who try to recreate some kind of old religion or cult make the mistake of not even talking with the deity or deities involved. They don't ask what they want or if they want it. It's rather me-centered usually
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, that is good to remember, Storm
    arabella Ella: isnt the idea of me-centeredness applicable to many other cults though Storm?
    arabella Ella: and possibly religions too?
    Storm Nordwind: Sure

    I have to slip away urgently.
    Storm Nordwind must go to another meeting right now in RL. Please excuse him. :)
    arabella Ella: bye Storm and thanks!
    Storm Nordwind: Namaste
    Agatha Macbeth: Night, Stormy
    Liza Deischer: going away too
    Liza Deischer: nite all
    Calvino Rabeni: _/!\_
    arabella Ella: nite Cal
    arabella Ella: nite Liza
    Agatha Macbeth: Bye Liza
    arabella Ella: so Agatha will you ask Pema to hold a retreat at Glastonbury please?
    Agatha Macbeth: Okay :)
    arabella Ella: great
    arabella Ella: I'll be there!
    Agatha Macbeth grins

    The remaining people discuss the cults on the island of Malta for a while before dispersing.
    arabella Ella: so what do you two think about Mother Goddess cults?
    arabella Ella: I'm just curious
    Agatha Macbeth: Not sure to be honest
    Agatha Macbeth: Too old. too much speculation
    Calvino Rabeni: I am in favor of cults in general, barring their possible destructive activities
    arabella Ella: yes
    Agatha Macbeth: But on the whole, I'm totally in favour of them :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Think I'll be running along folks....
    Calvino Rabeni: I assumed you mean't contemporary ones
    Agatha Macbeth: Take care
    arabella Ella: bye Agatha ... nite
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye Aga
    arabella Ella: yes contemporary ones ... the ones i have heard about attempt to revive ancient cults though
    arabella Ella: since we have an ancient Mother Goddess cult here
    Calvino Rabeni: Where is "here"?
    arabella Ella: but it is appreciated more by visitors than by locals who merely consider it as a tourist attraction
    arabella Ella: the little island of Malta in the middle of the Med
    arabella Ella: where we had our last retreat
    Calvino Rabeni: really... don't know why I didn't expect it there
    Calvino Rabeni: So, when was it created, recently?
    arabella Ella: we have quite a few ancient prehistoric temples and some archaeologists believe they were used by a Mother Goddess cult
    arabella Ella: a contemporary cult does not exist here ... just visitors who come to use the sites for their purposes as cults
    arabella Ella: he he
    arabella Ella: cool entrance Bert
    arabella Ella: very cool
    Bertram Jacobus: :o))
    arabella Ella: the Hypogeum which we visited here with the retreat group is one such site
    arabella Ella: although I must admit that not all archaeologists are of the same opinion
    arabella Ella: where the ancient Mother Goddess cult is concerned
    Calvino Rabeni: no reason to consider their opinions especially definitive or insightful, I would think
    arabella Ella: as you probably know it is always difficult to interpret pre historic sites
    Calvino Rabeni: The internal / subjective realities of the present are hard enough to spot, and inferring same from a few relics even more so
    arabella Ella: during the Malta retreat we had a brief meditation session in this underground ancient temple
    arabella Ella: yes of course you are right
    arabella Ella: so many layers of complexity even when considering present day stuff
    Calvino Rabeni: Even something as "living" and documented as buddhism, is probably not seen accurately in other cultural settings than its origin
    arabella Ella: yes very true
    arabella Ella: i am reading an old book on Tibet called Secret Tibet
    Calvino Rabeni: the western understanding of buddhism is in my opinion, more like christianity
    arabella Ella: by Fosco Maraini an Italian who visited Tibet in late 40s
    arabella Ella: it is very interesting and insightful but he draws attention to this too
    Calvino Rabeni: What did he provide, in that book?
    arabella Ella: he also draws parallels between buddhism and christainity
    Calvino Rabeni: Looking for parallels - they are sure to be found of course
    arabella Ella: his experience mainly, some encounters and some backgroun on the origin of Tibetan Buddhism and its different modes of practice and belief
    Calvino Rabeni: It's harder to understand differences - because where do you stand, in order to interpret them?
    arabella Ella: true ... but ... as the world becomes increasingly networked and digized I think we stand a lot more chance (opportunity) to understand cross cultural differences ... PaB is one such platform I believe
    arabella Ella: I'm afraid i must go now ... would be nice to bring up this topic again ... of understanding cultural differences and where we are really situated
    arabella Ella: nite Calvino cya
    Calvino Rabeni: That is interesting to contemplate how the communication technologies may contribut to understanding
    Calvino Rabeni: OK, that sounds good - sleep well
    arabella Ella: thanks bye for now
    Calvino Rabeni: bye
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