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Tuesday, August 24, 2010


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Arcadia Codesmith

I'm hoping soon we either make a quantum leap in consumer-grade immersive VR, or we make a quantum leap in medical nanotech and life extension so we can stick around for the eventual deployment of consumer-grade immersive VR.

Not that I'm impatient. I've been waiting for decades. I'm just running low on decades.

Adric Antfarm

It was a piece on inspirations, not on the reaction of your inspiration to what they inspired. This post is moot and frankly counterproductive.

People come here off Goggle new to Second Life and this puff piece (it was not hard news) is something we need right now (all of us) with all the negatives and screams of doom around us.

To poke holes in it while glossing over Emerald as anything but a "1000000000 USERS!" phenom until it was a funny Twitter thing is really just sad.

Botgirl Questi

I hope you enjoyed killing another virtual urban legend. What's next? Santa Claus the avatar isn't the REAL Santa Claus?

L. Knoller

Neal Stephenson has a funny beard

brinda allen

@ Arcadia Codesmith

"I'm just running low on decades."
Oh gosh...so true for me.

John "Pathfinder" Lester

Really interesting Metaverse-type innovation to be found in Vinge's "Rainbows End." Intersections between augmented reality and virtual worlds. Hamlet, I think he'd be a great author to interview.

Regarding "Snow Crash," these days I'm most interested in the parts of the novel that people always seem to *forget.*

And one of the things folks always forget is, in my opinion, of critical importance to those of us trying to build the Metaverse in reality... http://bit.ly/91ez0P

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

"I'm just running low on decades."

Me too. I'm more worried about other issues, however.

Without my reply degenerating into a rant, the craving many readers have for Stephenson's Metaverse or Gibson's Matrix bother me. Philip Rosedale fell into that camp.

These works were both warnings about the power of these technologies.

I used to fret about a Cyberpunk future. Not so much now. I doubt will keep our cars running and our lights on 24/7. I'll have to write something from my Peak-Oil, Neo-Luddite point of view at my blog.

But maybe I read too much James Howard Kunstler :)

Arcadia Codesmith

It's debatable whether Stephenson and/or Gibson were so much writing about a dark future as they were describing a dark present. They're both keen observers of the world outside the comfortable walled garden of American/European middle-class existence, and the dystopia they describe is everyday reality for billions of people.

Whether America falls into the same state depends a great deal on whether we have the political will to keep both our physical infrastructure and our social safety nets from collapsing.

I don't see cyberspace in either instance as the cause of the dystopia, though it oculd be argued that it's Huxley's Soma for the 21st century. More intriguingly, it's a tool for the oppressed protagonists to take the fight to the privileged oppressors.

Whether you see that as a threat or an opportunity depends, I suppose, on which side of the razor wire you stand :)

Little Lost Linden

If I asked Neal to let me show him around SL, I would be embarrassed to do it, because the viewer would crash and the lag would make him cringe and he would stomp out and say "SL is absolutely nothing like my vision of virtual reality!"

This is the reason why Linden Lab needs to fix the viewer. So in case Neal ever comes here, it will match his vision of virtual reality.

And that can not happen without working dynamic shadows.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Fair reading, Arcadia, though in Neuromancer in particular the Matrix is a tool to (Iggy puts on his pointy, dorky Theorist cap) ensure a hegemony of corporate world-masters in a nicely noir post-Marxist sendup of late-stage capitalism.

A bit Huxlean, that way of cowing the masses, but we have the console cowboys to stick it to that particular Man. Of course, that's not Case's motive, since he has his own prescription for the Soma, but it's a nice outcome.

It's harder to claim that Hiro is fighting the megacorps. Uncle Enzo is no angel, even though his future is preferable to Rife's.

Hey hey! SL book-club talk with guest Neal Stephenson, Hamlet? Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable would be glad to host it!


lose all the blade runner /tron imagery that both of those authors relied on.

just read "the machine stops..1909"....
so much better, more true. more consise and not a comic book written for those who can only read the pictures...P)

Hypatia Callisto

Snow Crash wasn't a positive vision of virtual reality, though. I loved the story, but seems like folks miss the point of it. It's more a "don't do this" rather than a "do this" story. Nothing whatever utopian about it.

bodzette Coignet

" Santa Claus the avatar isn't the REAL Santa Claus?"

What the heck?!?!?

Say it ain't so....


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