Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Around Town

So hey, today I walked around town.

I didn't eat the billboard. But it looked so tasty.

This abandoned building is only a few blocks up from Center City. It's also about thirty stories tall. It's quite ugly.

Much nicer part of town.

Franklin Institute had this tucked away in the back.

A radio station held a small event around city hall.

City Hall is a donut shaped building. You can stand in the center and look out down the two main streets of the city. This is looking up Broad street north.

City Hall is needlessly big.

That smoke stack only looks big because it's closer than the rest of the buildings.


The River Park is crammed on a tiny slice of land between the river itself and some old industrial train tracks. For most of its stretch, the city has planted flowers to hide the fence and the tracks behind it. I guess they haven't gotten around to this part yet.

At night, the crown of this building has ads and junk rotate around the top, Times Square style.

Looking south as the river curves through the city. At night, a few of the bridges light up, too. The city really really likes LEDs.

At night, this entire building lights up. LEDs are installed on every floor. It's usually pretty gaudy.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Last night, a bot descending upon Blackwater gallery. Only for a few moments. Didn't respond to IMs. Logged off shortly after his visit.

Simple landbot? Maybe, but I don't recall any land for sale in that sim. And it's not an infohub, so it could not have been loitering due to being kicked off its home sim. Maybe it was a scout bot. "Scout bot, check to see what and who is in that sim! Report back at 0800 hours!"

Needless to say, Jurin and I were perplexed. The hidden doubt, the small fear in the back of her mind, was that this might be a copybots. Coming so soon after Rezzable's announcement of Bob the BuilderBot, it might even be a test run of their acclaimed creation. If not them, then maybe some clever programmer who decided to mimic it.


Any thoughts on this, CreatorID Absent? You're quite welcome to defend yourself, either you or your owner. It would certainly calm our fears. And to everyone else, if you see this guy, it would be nice to strike up a conversation with him. Her. It.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Oh Rezzable, You Tease

Some time ago, Rezzable (you might know them of Greenies fame) decided the time was right to leave Second Life. Lots of people have delved into the reasons why, but I couldn't care less. Rezzables was just one of a number of people displaying weird and unusual builds. Their selling point was a massive PR campaign and buying out of a lot of famous builders, Starax/Light Waves being the prime example. I got nothing against them, and they got nothing against me.

But then, Rezzable went and discussed releasing what some have called 'Industrial Copybot'. It operates by catching all the objects in a given region, shunting the data into a separate offline file where it can be edited. They promise to erase any sensitive license infringing content from their scans.

They seem genuinely perplexed about the backlash on this. "But we're only using it to back up our own data!" Ok, but why are you releasing it onto the open market then? What do you think will happen when you release what is, in the description of its inner working, Copybot Jr.?

I recall Rezzable being the torch bearer against Copybot many times (with due reason, all their content out there). Why now are they even considering releasing this out there? I think they've gone completely off their rocker. Just read the linked page. They seriously consider charging for this. $75 for the 'Pro' version. Discussing some bugs that need to be fixed (sculpties aren't always picked up by it).

They give the same lame reason the Copybot crowd gave: 'This stuff can be copied whether or not you like it, so why worry if we sell the copier?' "Everyone else is doing it!! Why can't we??"

Really, though, the comments on those posts say everything better than I ever could. Nice one, Greenies.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


A cynic is only a frustrated optimist.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mad Blogging

Talk about being a day late and a dollar short:

Trawling the internet, I found a post concerning 'The Big Bad Blogger Challenge'. The objective? Update every day, for a certain week in June.

Well, truth be told, I was actually a month early. Back in May '09, I attempted to write every single day of the month. Yep. It was a tremendous pain. I don't think I'll ever repeat it. The biggest problem was one that Alicia herself posits: there just simply not enough time. Sitting down, brainstorming, and spitting out a post takes at least a good hour, if not more (and I'm a reasonably fast typer, if you're slower it takes even longer).

On another interesting side note, Alicia claims posts do not need to be thought out and indeed says she herself writes it out spur of the moment and written as if conversation. This is fine, but I personally feel that a post is not a conversation.

Sending up a post is not instantaneous. This allows one the luxury of writing out, proofreading, refining, and making it presentable. It allows you to present the spark of your idea in a concise and well written manner. Readers tend to enjoy posts more; it's easier to follow and allows a clear procession through your point. This applies even to personal blogs (as opposed to 'journalists'), my random thoughts are a much better read after I've run them through a rinse cycle or two.

In addition, this filters out things that are better left unsaid. Sometimes it is just not a good idea or worth the effort to write about the horrors of, I dunno, a leather boot fetish and its effect upon the collective psyche of furry culture. Just the title of that thesis is sure to garner both drama and idiocy. Seriously, does anyone really care about boots? Or what furries think about them?

Of course, I'm no saint. I frequently commit this gravest of blogging sins (sometimes in an alcoholic stupor, too!). I know where she is coming from. But on the whole, I strive to a higher standard. And I would ask anyone also blogging to do likewise. Aside from being common courtesy, it will make one easier to read and strengthen the argument/point/etc of your post.

Unless you're blogging about blogging. Then it's alright.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Lock Down

Ever get the feeling, the urge to change one's style dramatically? One fine morning, you wake and decide, "I feel like wearing a tuxedo and dying my hair purple." "I'm sick of wearing the same shape, skin, and hair."

I so want to do that. Well, actually, I'm fairly content with my shape and skin. My hair, though, is a constant war to find the right fit. There's a few styles I've settled on but (when I have the cash) I keep on hunting for... I don't have a clue.

Oh, and attachments too. For the multitude who've never met me in Second Life, I wear a daisy in my hair. I tried not wearing it and you would have thought I lobbed my arms off. And so it has grown roots into my skull and hasn't been removed since. In a similar vein, I tried to wear glasses and my friends talked me out of it. Some things are just stuck on me.*

Back to hair. I've been blond since I first came into Second Life and played with my appearance. And thus one day I decided the time was ripe to dye it.

There were ground rules. Red was to be avoided. For a time, all my friends were red-heads and the scars have not faded. Obviously, blond was out. And green was off the list because I have a mental association of green hues with vomit. Aside from that, everything was fair game.

I tried black, brown, blue, violet, white, magenta, and other assorted combinations. Everyone shot down each one. Since I have the self esteem of a boiled clam, I went back to blond. So much for change.

The discovery is that my look is pinned. Pinned. I can't change it without making everyone sad.

I knew I should worn a mask.


*An interesting note on my daisy: Being a left hander, I absent-mindedly attached it to the left side of my head. One Hawaiian acquaintance of mine, upon seeing this, asked who the lucky guy was. Apparently, wearing a flower on the left side of your head indicates you're dating/engaged/married, and right side means you're single. She still wants to meet my husband.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What Does It Mean To Be An American?

Students from some college down in Tennessee are traveling cross country to ask anyone they happen to meet one question: What does it mean to be an American?

Of course, they get the usual responses ("Freedom! Liberty! Baseball!"). I'm going to throw in my two cents.

I think being an American is to ask oneself what being an American means. The question itself defines an American. It's something that we can only answer ourselves. Our country is constantly looking at itself in close examination eternally trying to determine just what the hell it is supposed to be.

Everyone has a different answer, and these collectively build up into who we are as a nation. We're a nation of 'answers' to this very question. For some, that's 'Life Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness' and for others it's 'maintaining my culture in this heathen country' and for others it's 'get the hell off my lawn, Greg, because you always chuck your goddamn cigarette butts onto it and that's not funny'.

So, there's your answer. If you ponder this question yourself (if you're an American in the first place) and seek out your answer to it, that's what it means to be an American.



Thursday, July 2, 2009


Uploading your brain into a computer in order to achieve a higher existence and become one with the singularity is an interesting idea. Eternal life would be yours, so long as you avoid the Recycle Bin. At your fingertips would be the immense speed of a bazillion computers or so.

But wait a second.

Where does all my brain data go? Can I really trust Mr. Server hosting it? Would I be charged rent? Sure, I could drift across the internet lazily but then I'd be exposed to all sorts of malicious code out to rend my brain and make me a virtual vegetable. Or even deleted. I am unsure whether or not I'd be able to afford it (both initial investment and presumably some kind of monthly cost to hold my brain data). Oh, what a mess.

It has to go somewhere. Perhaps a giant robot? I'd need a mechanic. And spare parts. A power supply. Preferably a good sensor set (I'd like to continue being able to watch my garden grow, thank you, or taste a ripe tomato and so on). All of those aren't cheap.

Would I even want to 'live' forever? Sure, it sounds nice and all, but at some point wouldn't you grow a little senile? Or bored? Part of the fun of life is the urgency with which we live it. And my non-uploaded friends would wither and die, would I want to watch that?

I suppose my 'data' would be uploaded into some virtual world, but what would be the fun in that? If I knew I could create and do anything I wanted, I think I'd get bored fast. The possibilities would be infinite, but also tiring. "Ok, another Gor roleplay Matrix. Whoop-de-freaking-do." I'm not very imaginative, so I imagine it'd be boring after a while.

And now that I think about, I think the biggest question would be: would I even be myself?

I upload my brain into the computer. But it's not really me: it's just a compilation of my thoughts, behaviors, fears, memories, and so on that the computer recorded. That set of data might have its own consciousness, but it wouldn't be me. I'd still be the sack of meat left behind. Me as the person would only notice my data being downloaded. I'd go on to live the rest of my life pretty oblivious to what virtual me was doing (who thinks she is the real me, when I'm really the real me, although we're both me technically).

I'd still die. My imprint would march on, but Anna Tsiolkovsky would die. Oh bugger. Uploading my brain wouldn't help me achieve immortality in the physical sense. Unless a giant needle inserted into the back of my head was required, I wouldn't notice at all.

I suppose uploading my brain into the singularity would be like having a kid: after it's born, it does its own thing. If you're after a monument, a testament to generations to come, something to show the future who you were and who you were like, then uploading would be nice. But in terms of helping you live forever in a perfect blissful virtual world, keep dreaming. You won't feel a thing.

A copy of me helps little to avoid death in the long run. My body, my own grey matter, with its quirky and faulty neurons making me who I am (or who I aren't, either why) would die and disintegrate.

But hey, my copy would be running around the world, assuring everyone I'm alive and well as I'm wasting away and later rotting in a coffin.

In fact, it might make life horrible for me, because I'd just be some leftover, a shell, a physical ghost of my digitalized self. My clone would continue on, claiming to be me (which is true, to an extant) and everyone would probably just ignore little ol' meat body me.

That's scary.