Sunday, May 15, 2011

Update: Sony has begun to reinstall it's Playstation online network after last month's hacker attack.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The blogger website has been down for maintenance, so I have not been able to post. I apologize for the delay.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Beautiful Example of Second Life building

One of the greatest things about virtual worlds is the fact that you can create anything.  Usually, you get nothing but bare land, or water, and everything else --and I mean literally everything, butildings, plants, trees, furniture, grass, animals -- is created by you.  Some of the artistry of these creations (or builds, as they are often called) is breathtaking.

There is currently a magnificently rendered mansion in Second Life in the region known as Belmondo.  I say currently, because the site appears to be abandoned by the creator, and will most likely disappear as soon as Linden Lab, the owner of Second Life, discovers that the land is abandoned.  I would like to urge you to travel to the Belmondo region in Second Life, and see this for yourself.  If you are not registered for SL, here is a blog post which gives a few photographs of the place.  (And yes, I mean photographs, for those of you who aren't familiar with the reality of being in a virtual world.)  The blog post which is written by Tateru Nino, also has links to more photos.  If you have the ability to travel to Second Life, here is the location of the build.

A tip of the blogger hat to Tateru Nino for pointing this out.

Random question -- 10 May

Random question: What do you think of the proposed purchase of Skype by Microsoft? Do you think it will have a significant effect on the Skype community? Do you think Microsoft will keep the current user -to-user dynamic, or change it?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

College Students Get Their Degree in Second Life

Part of living a life anywhere is getting an education.  Well, here is the story of some college students who earned their degree within the virtual world of Second Life.  This includes the graduation ceremony, and even the graduation party!!!  Many colleges have already tried holding classes in virtual worlds, and sometime in the future, I'm sure it's going to be a lot more prevalent than it is today.

Education is the easiest application to use when convincing someone of the virtues of a virtual life, I suspect.  A lot of people approve of using technology in the classroom.  Well, this is using the classroom in the technology, but the principle is the same:  New educational methods are being used, and being used effectively.

A big thanks to Bernard Broono for pointing me to this link.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Random question -- 5 May

Random question: Have any of you clicked on the "See photos of Bin Laden's body!" link on Facebook? It is reportedly a spam link.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Real Life Psychotherapist treats Second Life addiction

Okay, I hadn't planned to blog on this topic, just yet, but it is important, and it goes to the heart of virtual existence. 

The blog known as New World Notes, overseen by Hamlet Au, posted this today.  Au admits that he doesn't know if the doctor is for real, but he "seems legit".  Virtual world addiction is a serious subject, that deserves close attention.  It's interesting to see that at least one real world practitioner is specializing in the problem.  To the best of my knowledge, it hadn't been a specialty before.

Test blog. This is being published from my cell phone.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dire news for online gamers from Sony

Part of living online is participation in virtual environment games, such as World of Warcraft, and Everquest.  The latter, operated by Sony Online Entertainment, has suffered a security breach by hackers, and apparently personal info of players has been compromised.  This is hard on the heels of last weeks news that the Playstation system, also owned by Sony, was breached, and personal info from that system was taken, as well.

This is not good new, at all, and online players have every right to be concerned.  It will be interesting to see how other MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role playing games) will be affected, and what new security hoops we might possibly have to jump through in the future.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Statement of Existence

Since the purpose of this blog is to examine a life that is online, I'd like to start out with the basics.  If we're talking about a life, it follows that we're talking about existence.  How we see that existence differs from person to person.  Some see their online life in more concrete terms than others do.  I have a very strong sense of my existence online.  Part of the reason for that is my involvement in a virtual world -- Second Life(r), owned and operated by Linden Lab -- but part of it is also my temperament.  I tend to throw myself into anything which I enjoy and in which I can see a benefit.

Today is the fourth anniversary of the creation of Franklin Lubitsch in Second Life, a day known in world as my fourth rezday.  In honor of this occasion, and to get the discussion started, I present the following Statement of Existence.  Some people will agree with it, some won't, and that's okay.  Because so many people worldwide have an online life, and because the numbers are increasing, a debate on the subject is going to be beneficial.  So, here is my explanation of who I am.

A Statement of Existence

My name is Franklin Lubitsch, and I am a real person.  I cannot emphasize that point strongly enough:  I am a real person.

However, some would say that I am not real, because Franklin Lubitsch exists only online.  While it is true that I exist only online, I submit that this does not negate my existence.  This essay is my explanation of my existence.

Let’s look at the facts.  I was created, and I am controlled, by an actual human being.  My thoughts are actually his thoughts, my words are actually his words, my actions are initiated and controlled by him, using a highly advanced computer program.  And, yet …

And yet I, as Franklin Lubitsch, have an actual existence online, especially in the virtual world known as Second Life(r), but also in communities such as Facebook, Twitter, and Plurk.  I have several hundred friends and acquaintances, all but a handful of whom know me only as Franklin Lubitsch.  I interact with them only online (physically with some).  I communicate with them only online (there are a few who I communicate with offline, as well).

More to the point … even though my existence is entirely within the bounds of the Internet, even though I cannot possibly exist outside of the Internet, I have done all of the following:  eaten food, drank beverages (including alcoholic beverages), slept, used the toilet, danced (both by myself, and with some lovely ladies), had sex, held a job, founded and run my own business, been married and divorced, and -- one of the greatest joys of my life -- I have adopted a daughter.

I have what is known as a virtual existence.  Let’s get one thing straight right away.  Virtual does not mean “fake”.  Check the dictionary.  I have a physical body, technically known as an avatar.  This body has all the parts necessary to do everything on the list in the preceding paragraph.  It just so happens that this body is computer generated, but that doesn’t make it any less physical, it just makes it less tangible to anyone who is outside the bounds of the Internet.

This virtual existence is an extension -- or, if you will, an augmentation -- of what some would insist is my “real” or “actual” life; my human life.  While I live my virtual life as immersively as possible within Second Life(r) and other virtual worlds, overall it augments my human life  That means I am not suffering from some kind of split personality disorder.  I am fully cognizant of my humanity.

You may ask about extremes.  You may wonder whether it’s possible that I might throw myself into my virtual identity to such an extent that I neglect family, friends, and the rest of my life.  The answer is yes, of course it’s possible.  But it’s also possible that a corporate executive in the business world can be immersed in a career to the point of neglecting family, friends, and the rest of life.  It’s possible that a performing artist can be immersed in a career to the point of … well, you get the idea, and no doubt you can think of other examples.  I am not defending such an extreme, I am merely acknowledging it.

I am not trying to diminish my humanity.  My offline existence -- which makes up the majority of my total existence -- is a wonderful life, filled with a loving family, good friends, and a wealth of experience which has filled decades, and shows every sign of continuing.

The point of this essay is to show that my virtual existence should not be diminished either.  After four years it is almost as fully formed as my human existence.  It has been filled with joys and sorrows, triumphs and defeats.  It also has amazing potential when you consider the direction being taken by the technology of electronic communication.  I love my virtual life, not for itself alone, but because it is a part of the whole of my human life.  While it cannot possibly stand alone it is, in the end, unique.

My name is Franklin Lubitsch, and I am a real person.

Okay, there you have it.  Let the debate begin.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Welcome !

Hello, and welcome to my new blog.  The purpose of this blog will be to explore, comment on, and discuss various aspects of "living online".  My thesis is that more of us are doing that, and in a variety of ways.  Whether it be posting to friends on Plurk, fighting monsters with friends and associates in World of Warcraft, looking for "likes" on Facebook, or just living a virtual life in Second Life, the result is the same.  There is very little offline communication and interaction doing these things.  It's all online.

I hope you will join in the discussion, or at least check in to see what's new on the 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Someone else's view of living in world

On occasion, or when I can find them, I'll post links to other articles and blog posts regarding life online.  Here is one example:

The virtual is magic