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Wednesday, June 30, 2010


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Nahasa Singh

It's interesting to learn that Saramago took some time away from his lifelong dictatorships coddling and his vitriolic, medieval antisemitic rants, to discuss Second Life.

Hamlet Au

Yeah, I considered mentioning his extreme politics, but they're not why he won the Nobel, and his take on SL seems unrelated to them too.

Scarp Godenot

READING represents "human restlessness" and a Yearning for somplace else....... just sayin'.....

What intellectual pursuit DOESN'T do that?

Luddites ALWAYS use the same arguments: moral defectiveness of the new technology...

Sorry, not buying it.

Nahasa Singh

Hamlet, are you sure his left-wing politics had nothing to do in getting him the Nobel prize ?

Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges deserved the Nobel a thousand times more than Saramago, by literary merits. However, a few kind words towards the Pinochet dictatorship were enough to bar Borges forever from consideration.

Anyway, I see your point. I wouldn't have used the word "great" in the post title, that's all :)

I wonder what Borges would have thought of the virtual worlds... A place where you could build the Babel Library, or a 1:1 map of the world...

Hamlet Au

I hear you on Borges, I love his stuff. As I recall, he didn't really praise the Pinochet regime, but got dinged for not being sufficiently critical of it. But you know what, I took out "great" from the title, people can make up their own mind about Saramago the writer and/or the political firebrand.

Arcadia Codesmith

It's a common theme in science fiction. If virtuality becomes perfectly immersive, and can deliver your heart's desire at minimal cost and effort (be it love, fortune, fame, or hedonistic indulgence), then what motivation remains to strive in the real world?

The stock answer is that even perfect immersion is hollow, and the human soul will cry out for that which is REAL. But we're the first to assert that virtual IS real, sometimes hyperreal.

I don't have the answers, but I don't think Saramago's fears are entirely unfounded. Society is shifting rapidly, and I think we're seeing a good amount of populist backlash against science and education in large part because this shift is being led by the best and the brightest, not by overfed suits that are institutionally allergic to change.


Each person has specific realities and context in real life, Secondlife is an augmented part of the real life. One thing for sure, if you dont like certain things in real life, its unlikely that you will be putting in still more time doing it in a virtual world without a very good reason. :) Rimbaud needed something more than "real life", just like everybody else.

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Wagner James Au
Wagner James "Hamlet" Au
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