[extropy-chat] EVENT: Thomas Barnett Book Tour in Second Life on 26 October 2005

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Sun Oct 16 16:07:42 UTC 2005

On 10/15/05, Jay Dugger <jay.dugger at gmail.com> wrote:

> Thomas Barnett, author of "The Pentagon's New Map," has a stop on the
> tour for his new book, "Blueprint for Action," in Second Life on
> October 26, 11:30am-1pm PST. Learn more at "A New Map for A New
> World," http://secondlife.blogs.com/nwn/2005/10/a_new_map_for_a.html

I highly recommend Barnett's _The Pentagon's New Map_ as well.

> More importantly, now that SL has free accounts, does this event mark
> a shift to teleconferencing for publicity tours and business meetings?
> I hope not yet--corporate aviation pays my salary.
> Should the next ExI or WTA conference take place on-line?

Second Life and the other virtual 3D worlds are not yet ready for
prime time.  As "Jef Ambassador" I own (virtual) land in Second Life
and have started construction of a futurist museum, but that project
is on hold pending the (overdue) release of in-world html capability.

In-world conferences are being held regularly in Second Life--I
enjoyed Cory Doctorow's visit two months ago.

* The benefits of real-time interaction of attendees and presenters
with a real sense of being there together, overcoming limitations of
* Because the chat is text-based, it supports multiple asynchronous
dialogs and commentary without the disruptive effects of competing
voices in a room, and each participant can easily review what has been
* And [a capability I've dreamed of for most of my life] the potential
to instantly display charts/graphs/diagrams/pictures/video/animations
in mid-air to support points being made in a conversation.

* In-world HTML will provide a huge improvement in the flexibility of
information display, but delivery of this feature keeps slipping.
* Currently a maximum of 40 avatars can be supported in one region,
due to limits on computational capacity of the simulators.  It's
possible, but cumbersome, to work around this by owning adjacent land
in separate simulators and thus support up to 160 participants. 
[Other architectures, such as the peer-to-peer Croquet project, are
another way to improve scalability]
* While audio and video presentations are supported, they are
currently limited to a single feed per location (although effective
work-arounds are becoming available.)

I'm enthusiastic about the potential for virtual worlds to augment and
enhance human interaction, and the Second Life model with its thriving
internal economy seems to be leading the way, but there's still a lot
of work to be done before conferences in the metaverse will overtake
the "real" world.

- Jef

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