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01/25/04 12:14 - ID#30713

Immersive Art World

So you might want to check my SecondLife temp:real journal if you want to know what's going on right now.

I will break it down here for those of you who do not know SL. SL is a 3D, video game engine based, world. In SL you can create worlds, communities, businesses,etc. You develop a real online presescence and can have property, group, vote, design your character, etc.

Recently, I started teaching an online course at UB with Jesse Fabian, using SL, as a place to 3D model and script for class.

Mostly, SL is like livivng in an art community, where everything is built by the inhabitants. Second Life has has nothing to start out with. New land is like an empty landscape.

In the world there are no hitpoint, etc as such that you would typically find in a video game. That is except in the land named Jessie.

Jessie is the only seriously militarized zone in SL. It confuses me why people who like military fantasy games would choose the SL engine. It seems like engines such as unreal, or quake, etc would provide much better military strategy type fun.

Taking inspiration from Anna Schleuner's Velvet Strike project, I began purchasing land in Jessie, erecting monuments to anti-militarism and then abandoning them. Well, at first I tried to inhabit them but was slaughtered. Eventually I began to build a giant fortress toward my protest effort and in order to protect me while building my monuments.

This made the "army" de Secondlife really angry. Eventually, they sent a spy who I trusted. He threatend me and wanted money for protection. All of this angered me in return. Ironically, my emotional response was to crush them but then, even if they lost they would be winning idealogically, by dragging me into their military fantasy.

So I decided to just leave the giant anti-war monument and add images of children of wounded children from real world war. I am so sad that Parts of SL have come to this. I have to say that I am actually starting to prefer there.com and think that when the class is over, I will abandon SL in favor of the isolated protection that there.com capitalist fantasy bubble provides. Its kind of like Disney World vs real life.

I know that I could just avoid the land of Jessie. But knowing its always there, really bothers me. Why did the makers of SL sell out to military fantasy? It is really an interesting question. Was it to make money off the military gaming community? If so that is really pathetic and makes me wish I had never invested money in their dream, in the first place.

The military simulation community has access to so many online games where shooting, fear, and terror tactics rule. Why add it to Second Life? One of the few interactive, online worlds where people have the ability to do other things besides fight.

I understand adding paintball, like in there.com or sports -even sword fighting. But machine guns, al queda style training camps and camo gear is unecessary. Plus the constant threats and emails I am getting for having had a peace sign.

Something idiotic made me trust a spy who I later witness double agenting on me. He ended up stealing my money and causing estrip some serious grief to the point where the person playing him decided to just stop.

The spy tried to sell me the same camophlage helicopter he sold to the army. I told him I thought it was ugly and he seemed angry. I am just honest. If you are playing never trust Nicko Snow or Craig Thompson.

In the end I would like to see an end to militarisation in Secondlife. I think I am going to start a petition. In reality, I think I will just end up leaving, which is sad - I thought it had so much potential and tried to sell the idea to so many other visual artists and academics.

Maybe, I should just try and start my own simulation for non-violent artists.
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Location: Buffalo, NY


01/24/04 05:24 - ID#30712

This is a great picture

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This is a great picture of Michael and I. We both look really happy, especially Michael. Apparently, it was a happy birthday for everyone.
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Permalink: This_is_a_great_picture.html
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Category: friends

01/24/04 03:32 - ID#30711

Zig Zag Man and Birthday

The birthday party went really well. A lot of people came by and people managed to mingle and all get along.

On another note, Sara's friend Bob gave us this picture when we were in San Diego.

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He told me that he wanted it to go around the world. So I am trying to fulfill his wish and bought zigzagman.com

There is a large size version of the picture for printing there. I will add other sizes soon.

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01/23/04 04:56 - ID#30710

Telharmonium

This is the coolest extinct thing ever. It is called a teleharmonium.

In 1897, Thaddeus Cahill, lawyer, engineer, entrepreneur, received a patent titled 'Art of and Apparatus for Generating and Distributing Music Electronically'. His plan was to broadcast music via telephone lines to restaurants, hotels, and private homes. The sounds were to be heard through loudspeakers that he had designed to be attached to telephone receivers.

Cahill attracted investors, formed a company, built the Telharmonium, and, in 1906, moved it to Telharmonic Hall at 39th Street and Broadway, New York City. Technical problems caused the business to collapse in 1908. Revived briefly, the project terminated in 1914.

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Check it more info:





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Permalink: Telharmonium.html
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01/23/04 02:16 - ID#30709

Simon Harak 2000

Well,
I was first introduced to Simon Harak through Holly from (e:strip). She had him come to UB to speak last year at the onset of the war. It was starnge that he was a Jesuit Priest talking about peace at UB and staying at Canisius. I asked him why he did not talk at Canisius - in fact a Jesuit School. And he said not everyone was as concerned about these issues as him.

That really made me question a lot about the Jesuit institution at large. It had a huge influence on me not applying for the long-term job there.

The reason I am writing about this is I was searching for some more information about him and I found a his essay entitled, "The Siege of Iraq"

Note: It was written in 2000 and its only gotten worse since then.

If you want more information of the seige of Iraq please check out the voice in the wilderness website here


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01/23/04 02:06 - ID#30708

Response to Sara Ross's journal

If you like Michael Moore, try listening to Democracy Now on the radio. Amy Goodman loves Michael Moore and I am sure you would love her show. Its also nice because she is really a leader within the progressive community and she is a woman. That seems to be rare, even in the land of the free, home of the brave.

In San Diego you don't even need the internet to listen to it. It is on Free Radio 96.9 FM in San Diego, twice a day from 6am-8am and 3pm-5pm. Although you still can download streaming MP3s from the site if you want to listen to it at other time. The site also has lots of information about current issues.

I think Bush really does need to be challenged on this AWOL issue. How can he send so many of our youth away to fight when he didn't even go himself? Especially for a war that wasn't really defensive. I mean, it would be one thing if foreign troops were invading and a President with no military service sent soldiers to protect. But this war wasn't like that - not even sort of.

If President Bush knew the horrors of war first hand, he would have thought twice about Iraq. Well, I guess at this point we can just be vocal and vote when it comes time for a new president.
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01/23/04 01:03 - ID#30707

Kunis

We ate Sushi and sashimi at Kuni's. I was treally ecited to go and the food was quite tasty. The price was also reaosnable. We ordered a large Sashimi plate which had lots of tasties from ocean.

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My only problem was the ginger. The ginger was chock full of aspartame and I didn't realize till I ate a lot of it at the end of the meal. Right now I can only taste aspartame which is my leats favorite flavor in the whole world.

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God, make the chemical sweetness end . . .
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01/22/04 10:48 - ID#30706

Change of Life 27

So thanks to all my super friends and aquaintences, my birthday is turning out to be quite rad after all. I hope to see you all at the party tomorrow. Its also nice to see more new names on the site list!

On another note, today I got to see some more VR art projects and I am starting to really think it has potential to be something exciting.

Josephine, also cleared up guilty feelings I was having about particpating in art that is not politically based. I really am thinking that working with her could change my life and make me happier.

I had been starting to get stuck in an anti-school funk. Not hat I don't think politically/socially pogressive art is important. After all I dedicate most of my hours to that kind of work. I just always secretly wanted to also work with 3D and VR. After all, its the reason I went to UB in the first place but get swept into a certain unnamed person's world who directed me in a way I really didn't want to go. So I decided for my 27th year I am no longer going to feel guilty about that.
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Permalink: Change_of_Life_27.html
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Category: holiday

01/22/04 01:14 - ID#30705

Happy Birthday to ME

Its my birthday right now. Where is Terry? At the essex with his friends. Where is Mattew, in a bad mood in his room.

This is going to be fun. Time for homework.
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01/21/04 03:09 - ID#30704

Second Life Craziness

This is an excerpt from my Second Life journal that I thought some of you might find interesting. You can continue to read my Second Life journal in the future by clicking on the "My 2nd Life Journal" link in the link list.

I developed the temp:real journal site using the code I wrote for this (e:strip) site. It is nice to re-purpose your projects.

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The most important discovery of the evening was that with the new 1.2.8 version of Second Life, the female sitting position has changed to something that looks more submissive and "feminine." This has outraged some female characters to the point of protest, as you can see in the picture above. Her sign says, "support animation choice." She is also wearing a shirt that says, "I don't sit like that."

I think this is fantastic, however, this is not the first protest I have witnessed in Second Life. Previously, avatars got together to protest the taxation system, which subsequently changed for the better to include things such as group land, and public good projects which spread tax liability throughout a group instead of just on the modeler.

Along the same lines as the new female sitting position, I have heard people starting to complain about the fact that male avatars cannot do female animations and vice-versa. This is a serious point of contention for some people. While, I can completely support the fact that some people want to be a male avatar doing female animations, I have to give Second Life credit for at least making a Gender Change operation so simple. Simple click on the gender of your choice in the appearance update page.

This is radically different from There.com where you are stuck with the gender you picked at the onset of your sign up and where a male avatar cannot even wear a female model's cowboy hat. I know this because I tried to buy a cowboy hat which looked completely genderless to me only to find out that the system would not let me purchase it due to the fact that I had a male avatar and that it was a female cowboy hat.

Also Second Life gives you the choice to have a gender neutral existence. For example, my new happy face or the the ice-cream cone I once was.

But anyways, I still uphold the idea that animation choice is important. At the end of the evening I could not help but feel that I was in a weird place, even for Second Life. It became exceptionally obvious when Jesus showed up selling Soviet sickle and hammer staffs for a dollar. Read whatever you want into that.

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Permalink: Second_Life_Craziness.html
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