Thursday, September 23, 2010

you tell me your blue skies fade to grey, you tell me your passion's gone away

Can you be divorced (at least, on the SL scale) without ever being involved? Apparently, yes. Let that be a cautionary tale for the rest of us.

Who didn't see this coming? (Tip of the hat to Miss Kamenev, who noticed it first.)

"Well, Western civilization, what do you expect when you go barging in the front door of other nations’ homes haughtily telling them how to run their affairs?" He's got a point there. Sadly, the blog seems to have died, though the archives are still up.

I've been pondering this a bit lately--the concept of virtual monuments. Nikk Hewitt's Tribute Island has long since passed away, though I doubt I'm the only avatar who remembers it fondly. But today, news surfaced that the man behind Adric Antfarm has passed on. (I would second Mr. Habana's plea to get in touch with him if you have items of personal relevance--I only knew him in passing, so I'm not the one to ask, but spread the word.)

I suppose it all comes down to the individual, as with most things. There is nothing wrong in mourning deeply, there is nothing wrong in mourning lightly, after all. But I know that some people seem to believe "virtuality" is wholly divorced from "reality", and I believe the two are more intertwined than many might think. After all, our ability to dream, to envision, to plot and plan, to theorize--all of that is in the realm of the virtual, is it not? But that selfsame ability to theorize, to write down, to dream--poem or play, song or patent, even the perfect way to describe the antecedent charging fan on the X5-27A--all of that was invisible, intangible, until written down, scripted, acted, reenacted, copied, pasted, sent in, published...right?

So why do we think it's somehow less "real" if it's virtual? Because nothing virtual stays? That's definitely true, but the same can be said of stone monuments. Through weathering, storms, or simple human ignorance, reality is prone to the same issues as virtuality.

And what we do not see, we have a tendency to forget.

But then, part of that is how we're wired, isn't it? We cherish those around us because they become extended family; it is how our earliest communities worked. We fear those from farther away, because we do not know them; they are strange to us and therefore they are not us, and can be attacked, driven out, refused--because in the earliest tribes, the stranger at the gate deserved nothing.

In this sense, however--in the virtual realms--we are, all of us, strangers at someone's gate. And everyone we meet has that choice before them--accept, or refuse? Virtuality gives us more tools to embrace or deny, but they are no less enhancements of what we already know, how we already interact.

Or, put a slightly different way, while we can be more than we are online or on the grid, we are still what we are--and what we are never changes unless we decide to change.


Josue Habana said...

Hi Emily,

This is a really well put together post... you make a really balanced point and put it so eloquently.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this :)

(And yes.... twas I who managed to get pixel dumped without dating lol).

Emilly Orr said...

I am still amused that there's at least one case of a divorce with no relationship to back it--friendship, yes, which is good, but nothing deeper.

Though friendship can be deep and binding on its own.

But you're more than welcome.