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Friday, February 27, 2015

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Amanda Dallin

Watching those God awful avatars makes it hard to pay attention to the message. Those are horrid. SL had better looking avies in 2006.

I wish Philip luck, but if they don't improve the look of the avies then their technical advances will be foot notes as others use them to advance VR.

Will

Lets have a company talk while promoting advanced new ways to bring facial expressions with real life body movements all while trying to bring the real life presence of a person into a virtual world.
now lets do this with 1990's God awful avatar looking.Anyone else see the mistake in that..huh?

To stay on topic the hiring process is a two-way road.
Looking from outside in, this looks like another cloud party or facebook buyout bait.

From the outside you can see the business model here is unsound and not only poorly thought out but a future massive sinking ship surrounded by red ink waters with life boats only for the captain & select crew.

the unsinkable Hifitanic sets sail on her maiden voyage.

Wolkenreiter

HiFi is not about realism, but perception... It's a well-known phenomenom of art that it is easier for the human mind to perceive a unrealistic, cartoony human character as a human than a half-assed attempt to create a photorealistic one. Compare http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_Valley
At this point of development, the avatars will probably have to go through so many iterations as technology advances, it would be a waste of time and money to create a GOOD realistic human avatar mesh...

Amanda Dallin

@Wolkenreiter
It's a mistake not to create an attractive avatar now while many people are getting their first impressions of High Fidelity. A poor impression now and many people will never take them seriously. Technology by itself will not make a success.

Metacam Oh

I dont know I kind of like the avatars, but I think you'll be able to create realistic ones from scratch from what I thought?

melponeme_k

The avatars are the way they are because they mimic the cartoony aspects of popular games today (WOW etc). This VR and the other new ones coming down the pike do not want Second Life VR pioneers in their world.

They think or they want investors to think that they can hit upon a mix that will drag the Facebook crowds into VR. But I don't think that will happen. The people in SL are about it but if they want to go chase some pipe dreams, let em at it.

If those hypothetical Facebook millions don't show and they've already alienated the proven VR audience (SL vets), well game over.

Amanda Dallin

If cartoony avatars were the way to go then Lively would have been wildly popular. I think you're right Melponeme. They want investors to think they will hit that mix. It's more about the investor money than the end user.

Argo

A slight change of topic. We all know the Valley has busy monetizing our personal histories. It does not matter if you live in America, Europe or an Asian country your online activities have been carefully noted. This Stasi-like capability is not an accident. After 9/11 wasn't it to these "disrupters" of Silicon Valley that the American NSA turned to learn the new ways? A virtue (some would say error) is that LL did not turn its virtual world, SL, into another advertising surveillance platform. The question is will HF, or for that matter, SL2 have the courage to avoid these ethically questionable practices? Previous commenters, and you too Hamlet, have said that to be successful you must attract the Facebook millions. Can't you be successful without being a data spy?

melponeme_k

"The question is will HF, or for that matter, SL2 have the courage to avoid these ethically questionable practices? "

The winds of popular opinion changed during the creation of SL leaving those developers (Rosedale et. al.) behind the 8 ball. Everyone needs to read Jaron Lanier's two books because he traces the mindset of the developers from the 60s through early 2000s. In the beginning they were greatly influenced by the hippie 60s counterculture. But more disturbingly a great many were influenced by the cultic thinking of groups like EST (Lanier claims his fellow developers got him to attend EST meetings). It is EST and other cultic beliefs like it (Singularity) that now influence Tech.

They no longer believe in free will or free thinking (which SL was based upon to some extent before the change in the winds). They think that a super race (Kurzweil until recently claimed that only the smartest or richest will rule) will ascend to immortality and they gear their tech to achieve this delusion. Hence all the rest of us will be corralled by this tech (becoming advertising cattle) to support their ascendency.

Just writing and talking about it makes my mind boggle.

Anyway the whole platform is built upon advertising money and personal information trading systems. They got us to swallow this mess with the F2P set up. Except nothing is F2P and we have discovered that they make money off of us, who we are. And now in HiFi they even have a way for us to pay more, by supporting their infrastructure costs. Cattle, people. Yippie Kai Yay!

Wagner James Au

"But more disturbingly a great many were influenced by the cultic thinking of groups like EST (Lanier claims his fellow developers got him to attend EST meetings). It is EST and other cultic beliefs like it (Singularity) that now influence Tech."

That's a really interesting idea, what's a good reference for that? Google is not helping much...

melponeme_k

Hi James,

Lanier writes about EST in his last book "Who Owns the Future". On page 214 of the hardcover edition.

"est"...was an expensive workshop that started out with mystical metaphysics....It is hard to overstate how influential this movement was in Silicon Valley. Not EST specifically, for there were hundreds more like it. In the 1980s the Silicon Valley elite were often found at a successor institution called simply "the forum".
Who Owns The Future - Jaron Lanier, pg 214.

I was wrong about Lanier attending a session. He claims he didn't in the book. But he does support that EST was an influence at the time.

The Forum he mentions I can't find record of as a separate movement on its own. The term is now attached to a company that is the outright descendant of the EST movement. It is now called Landmark Worldwide. Landmark offers business seminars based on older EST practices. One of its clients was Lululemon.

On Landmark's website, Peri Steffenhagen of CISCO, endorses Landmark's seminars.

Wagner James Au

Thanks Mel, that's fascinating. Frankly I've never heard anyone at LL or folks in the VR or transhumanist community in general mention EST, but Lanier may hang with a somewhat different crowd.

melponeme_k

"Frankly I've never heard anyone at LL or folks in the VR or transhumanist community in general mention EST, but Lanier may hang with a somewhat different crowd."

That world is tiny and when VR is factored in, tinier still. Lanier knew just about everyone from the early days. I don't think he was making up stories about cultish behaviors in the tech circles.

"Steve Jobs and the folks who followed him at that time at Apple were heavily involved in Werner Erhard's teachings. EST training fit Steve Jobs' style at that time in his life, and those who wanted to be like him followed him in practicing it. Around Apple, they were known at estholes."

http://healthypursuits.hubpages.com/hub/Radical-Honesty-To-Tell-The-Truth-Or-recycling-Werner-Erhard-and-EST

Think about this type of cult movement and you will find its seeds all over tech and how it works today. All this stuff about SHARING. Well that had its roots in EST. Gerhard believed that you had to SHARE to reveal yourself.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/47744120/Werner-Erhard-Est-Communication-in-a-Context-of-Compassion

As Lanier points out, the crowd moved on to other "movements" which now include Singularity. But the attraction to cultish thinking is there and it deeply affects us and the technology we use.

The young techs may not have had experience with EST. But they work with its remnants left over from the previous generation. They don't question why it is there or if it is good faith with the technology they render to the public. Even after Rosedale and the rest become disenchanted with Singularity, its influence will live on in our tech today.

Wagner James Au

"Lanier knew just about everyone from the early days. I don't think he was making up stories about cultish behaviors in the tech circles."

No doubt. On the other hand, Lanier is friends with Philip, and is on Linden Lab's board of advisers (or used to be). I only interact with Singularity folks on occasion, but wouldn't be surprised if they're caught up in EST.

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