so what is magic

In Second Life I have had two conversations on what constitutes magic that especially have stuck to my mind.

One of those I had with my neighbour and friend Free, who commented on a set of visual effects I made. That was a tool to animate particles on music, a simple particle organ I called The Wheel [.mov by Eif ty, man. *smiles. I totally do love it by now and I am happy it is there! Recorded at Gallery Diabolus, Benvolio, Second Life 2008. Special credits also to SomaFM free i-net radio!].

After I publicly performed and improvised visuals to music that was streamed in at Free’s place in SL, the ‘wow-effect’ was central to her argumentation when I asked her what made her call my effects ‘magical’. I concluded that was about not knowing how to create such oneself.

Later that year I had the opportunity to attend the NPIRL Garden of Delights artist talk given by Tuna Oddfellow. He and his beautiful assistant Shava Suntzu replied to my question on what constitutes magic that having succeeded to make someone ‘wow’ indicated that you were performing it.

As I had just thrown together components that are openly accessible to everyone and modded free LSL scripts the basic principle seems to be ‘many can, few do’.

coincidences or things alike

I jump on the tram after my late Monday afternoon teaching. It’s the university-airport line towards city center. I take a seat. Behind me folks are speaking english and my attention is captured by a notifiably pleasant male voice talking about Second Life.

I listen. He obviously has spent more time inworld than the ordinary Spiegel investigator. The girls around him leave the tram at central station a few stops after. He thanks them for having come by. I turn around. He looks like Tom Boellstorff–a bit elder than his portrait on the cover of Coming of Age in Second Life–but he looks like Tom Boellstorff.

I have visited Tom’s place in SL and of course immediately was caught by his simple NPIRL hommages to Escher realized in prims. That was in summer 2007 after Lorenz posted the SURL to Ethnografia.

His book found its way to me in a quite unordinary manner in late fall 08. I got to know someone in SL from almost nearby within Europe. Some day, I think, I talked about my studies and about what brought me to SL. He mentioned he had read an anthropologist’s book about SL . Of course I asked which it was and by whom. It was Coming of Age. Of course I immediately interviewed him about his perception of it as he was a native having read academic stuff about himself. It ended the way he some weeks later gave me his exemplar of the book.

Now–it doesnt exactly matter whether this man in the tram wth his native speaker’s eloquent and professional voice and articulation has been Boellstorff or not. What matters is what it triggers.

I hunger to go back to university.


Beyonce would like to be known as “Sasha Fierce”

10/23/2008 1:00 PM, Reuters

Just like the “Seinfeld” episode where George wanted everyone to call him “T-Bone,” Beyonce Knowles would like to be known by a bold new name.

The R&B singer has christened herself “Sasha Fierce” for her new double album, “I Am … Sasha Fierce,” due in U.S. stores on November 18, and has released a lengthy justification for the comical moniker.

“I have someone else that takes over when it’s time for me to work and when I’m on stage, this alter ego that I’ve created that kind of protects me and who I really am,” the former Destiny’s Child frontwoman said in a statement.”

email to a friend

(…) if-then relations are elements of a certain part of logics.

‘culture’ is a system of defined if-then relations.

there exists nothinbg that is ‘logical’.

statements can be logically true or false. thats all.

a logic system cn be characterised by what premises are considered to be true.

a premise is a pre-assumption. (…)

So. One thing about SL [Second Life] certainly is, you have musical talents performing live that for one reason or another didn’t make it into RL mainstream. Nothing about not making it into RL mainstream or whatever stream within lifetime (see Aby Warburg, e.g.)–BUT theres amazing talents to discover. AND–it enables folks who can’t afford a live concert in RL to visit live music gigs.Of course you can argue what does one need live music for. I say it enriches some’s lifes. And no–I am not the only one. I can objectify that.





april 1st in SL

“Ca y est, c’est officiel : Steve Ballmer et Philip Rosedale ont annoncé ensemble la ‘fusion’ des compagnies. L’acquisition par échange d’actions sera accompagnée d’un ensemble de nouvelles ‘améliorations’ technologiques :
– le langage LSL sera remplacé par le Visual Basic ;
– Second Life sera livré avec Vista ;
– la navigation dans Internet Explorer se fera par défaut en 3D, avec une ‘passerelle’ vers le Web classique ;
– la version Linux est abandonnée, la version MacOS devient payante.”

[Notecard passed by a friend.]

so once I was called brethren

This happened when I posted a report in an online forum about successfully beating a massive spider mite invasion on plants without using azadirachtines and pyrethrine containing insecticids.

I am beginning to concretely think about creating pseudonyms for my contacts in SL [Second Life]. That’s a totally difficult part. What’s in a name. Identity. I have to create a system of meaning that encodes the meanings that those people have for me–to preserve their anonymity, to secure their privacy.

[8:19] You: o btw
[8:20] You: i have written some piece in my blog
[8:20] him: ah
[8:20] You: in december it was
[8:20] him: blog
[8:20] You: you are mentioned there so i thought u d be interested to read it
[8:20] him: i don’t have your blog link
[8:20] You: i give you

IM: [8:21] me:
IM: [8:21] me:

IM: [8:21] him: thanks
IM: [8:22] You: i cook anoither coffee brb
IM: [8:22] him: oh that’s long i’ll read that later xD
IM: [8:22] him: ok i read a little so

IM: [8:26] him: for talking about me you talk about me a lot and some really private stuff, so please never put my name in this blog ,-)
IM: [8:27] him: even if all the people that know us would know who you are talking about
IM: [8:27] him: but that was fun for me to read that
IM: [8:31] me: dont worry
IM: [8:31] me: i dont name any name there
IM: [8:32] me: i dont name [our home sim]
IM: [8:32] him: yes it’s ok
IM: [8:32] him: :-)

IM: [8.34] me: i share the link to enable the people i write about to interfere
IM: [8:34] me: on whatever way
IM: [8:34] me: comments there
IM: [8:34] me: IM email
IM: [8.34] me: or if there is something somefeels is missing
IM: [8:34] me: or to correct me
IM: [8:34] him: mm ok but i’m to shy to make comments on website
IM: [8:34] me: see?
IM: [8:34] me: yes
IM: [8:35] me: i never do that
IM: [8:35] me: but you could tell me on IM what you think
IM: [8:35] me: even never talk in forums
IM: [8:35] me: if you want
IM: [8:35] him: oh that i could for sure
IM: [8:35] me: like not wanting to find u r name there
IM: [8:35] me: or of you thjink im writing something wrong or so
IM: [8:35] me: well if you say the same things i just read no i don’t
IM: [8:35] me: or of u think u dont want something there at all
IM: [8:36] me: no you can write about me using my name, but not about so personal stuff like what happened to me
IM: [8:36] me: no i wont name anyone
IM: [8:37] him: ah ok
IM: [8:37] me: one name leads to another on the web

IM: [8:37] me: ..but its hard to create pseudonyms for real people :)
IM: [8:37] me: do you have a preference? *smiles
IM: [8:38] me: actually i wont really even name [our home sim] because […] the term is linked on the net to people
IM: [8:38] me: yes
IM: [8:38] him: but no i prefer to let you chose a nick for me
IM: [8:39] me: as i wont link my flickr there
IM: [8:39] me: hehe dang. ok. .-)

IM: [8:39] him: ok good

fellow travellers

fellow travellersThere is a similarity in between blog rolls and friend lists on SL [Second Life].

Some are stable and some are fluent.

The authors of the former in both online spheres do not remove an entry on their blogrolls or SL friend lists once it is there.

The authors of the latter do remove entries on their blogrolls or SL friend lists.

Over the months that I’ve been away from blogsphere I’ve often wondered about the websites that do still link to my blog over that long time of absence–especially in online terms, which means that one month is longer than one month is.

The blogroll displayed on the left is one of the first blogs I found way back in 2005 when I immersed myself into academic blogsphere whose author kept (and keeps? *smiles) his blogroll fluent.

I felt honoured everytime I clicked there and found I am still linked to–still today.

tnks, man. .-)

mixed reality


Mixed Reality [MR] is a term I’ve come across this summer when I was looking on Google for the representation of the SL life music scene on other internet media than Second Life. A big number of hits was displayed, among MySpace and alike music sharing accounts, static webpages, YouTube and alike video media of course there were blogs.

One entry in one blog that obviously no longer exists, as its URL was broken today, entiteled Mixed Reality caught my attention. Its author whom, as I found out after reading, I had met inworld before [‘inworld’ means within the Second Life online environment, connected to Linden Lab internet servers via Linden Lab software (the client) that is installed on my PC–just in case there one day someone happens to read this who knows even less about information and computer technics than me–like my mom, or so .-]

The article was a reflection about the author’s perception of an event he had been to in SL: a life music simulcast. Simulcasts are events that take place synchronously both in RL and SL–means both offline and online simultaniously. Simulcasts to a certain degree are comparable with life shows on the radio or on television or any other one directional transmission of an event simultaniously to other physical places with all its implications, but simulcasting into an interactive environment, as the Second Life Grid is, of course points to characteristical differences there being as well, between conventional life shows transmitted via conventional (onedirectional) media and simulcasts being broadcasted into SL, where the musicians playing are represented by animated avatars moving on a stage and an additional audience being present communicating with each other _and_ the artists by text via chatline or Instant Messaging [IM] or talking to each other on private voice channels, either in dialogs or conferences, comparable to Instant Messaging: Instant Voicing. Howsoever–‘simulcasting’ requires an own entry.

The organizers of the simulcast the author of that blog entry entiteled Mixed Reality had been to had tried something new that night. In the back of the stage in the venue they had designed in a SL sim the RL event was streamed into, they had installed a video media screen on which a life video stream of the event was displayed for those who have quicktime installed on their computers. So obviousy you had the artists avatar in whatever-instrument-they-play-pose moving on the stage, and above them on a screen a video running that shows the RL person playing on the RL stage. [Wish I had been there–actually!! Reminds me to overurgently install quicktime on my computer.]

Mixed Reality is a term that in its origins seems to draw back on Paul Milgram used within Milgram’s concept of a Virtuality Continuum.

Mixed Reality (…) (also referred to as augmented reality or augmented virtuality) refers to the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. A mix of reality, augmented reality, augmented virtuality and virtual reality (…)”, reads wikipedia on Dec 1st, 2007.

“The conventionally held view of a Virtual Reality (VR) environment is one in which the participant-observer is totally immersed in, and able to interact with, a completely synthetic world. Such a world may mimic the properties of some real-world environments, either existing or fictional; however, it can also exceed the bounds of physical reality by creating a world in which the physical laws ordinarily governing space, time, mechanics, material properties, etc. no longer hold. What may be overlooked in this view, however, is that the VR label is also frequently used in association with a variety of other environments, to which total immersion and complete synthesis do not necessarily pertain, but which fall somewhere along a virtuality continuum. In this paper we focus on a particular subclass of VR related technologies that involve the merging of real and virtual worlds, which we refer to generically as Mixed Reality (MR),” quotes wikipedia Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino from Virtuality Continuum.

Said blog author reflected in said blog entry about how his inworld illusion was spoiled by the video screen installed. He described how the animations of the artist’s SL avatar in comparison to the real person’s representation on the screen within his screen suddenly appeared angled–expressing an alienation from the (visual?) inworld representation of the RL artist. I have made a comparable experience some months ago when voice chat was about to conquer the grid. A friend of mine had a house warming party in his tree in the sky. The SL voice chat feature was just new in a required update shortly before and (almost) everybody I knew was keen of having themselves be heard to their friends. It increased the exchange of information possible with a given sequence of time massively and I enjoy to hear certain people’s voices. Often enough its surprising. Sometimes its not surprising at all. And some dont use voice at all–for several reasons. On this party howsoever, everyone was on voice. You could hear them lighting their cigarettes, the clicking of the keyboard when typing into the chat line, their background noises, or – silences, and I just couldnt help being totally spoiled the illusion of a dancing crowd. [Well I turned off voice then.]

In other regards than the above, Mixed Reality representations in Second Life among individuals serve as means of authentification–are means of communication. The information that is transmitted deals with identity. There howsoever are many different ways people in SL deal with their RL identity–from sharing RL names and pictures up to avoiding any mixing of the identities and keeping them separate as much as possible, programmatically. […]


Oh. Once been here, dont miss Mixed Reality Pong.

What I find remarkable about the concept of Mixed reality which does not signify a binary “either/or” status quo, namely either 0 or 1, or “only one boss reality possible at one point of time” is its dynamic approach. Where and however on Milgram’s diagram you apply your concept of boss reality, it signifies theres ongoing motion as it defines two additional variables pointing at that theres something in between 0 and 1: Augmented Reality and Augmented Virtuality. This indicates not more nor less than that individual perception of reality is something that functions in a fluent kind of movement, rather than in a switch on/off mode, which I seemingly until today am just too dorky to apply. [Apparently I dont need a proof whether cyberspace is stable or not, which is well argued here anyways and allways worth a reread.]