second life

Major Transhumanist Event in Second Life—July 20


JULY 20, 2012           1PM – 4PM EDT

This year’s workshop theme:


WHAT: The workshop is an exchange of scholarly views regarding the varied applications to life-
saving nanotechnologies, including the impact of its use on others, the accessibility of it to all, and
independent means of monitoring its compliance with widely agreed-upon norms.

WHEN: On the 43rd anniversary of the first lunar launch, July 20, 2012, 1PM – 4PM EDT.

WHERE: Terasem Island Conference Center in Second Life (coordinates: 129.195.34). The
workshop proceedings are open to the general, virtual public and are subsequently archived online
for free public access.

WHY: To exchange scholarly views regarding the varied applications to life-saving
nanotechnologies, including the impact of its use on others, the accessibility of it to all, and
independent means of monitoring its compliance with widely agreed-upon norms.

If you are new to Second Life, you may want to familiarize yourself with the meeting environment and the way an SL viewer is used to control your avatar and to interact, through speech and text, with other avatars. We highly recommend that you experiment with SL before attempting to attend the conference. Some very helpful pointers have been provided by our good friend, Khannea Suntzu, via her personal web site. Here is the key information, in Khannea’s own inimitable words:

What is a SLURL?
A SLURL is a Second Life Universal Resource Location. This is the SLURL for this event. It does not get any easier.

What is a Second Life “Event?

How to attend this event? How do I get inside Second Life?
You need a client, of which I recommend Firestorm, and you need to create an account. Then you may need to enable access to mature sims in advance. You need to test if access works – dozens of dumb-asses discover on the day of such conferences they can’t enter specific sims with big meetings/gatherings because they still need to figure out what this whole business with “maturity ratings” is. They are invariably the ones complaining “SL Is Too Complex.”Guess what? so is a bike the first day. Effectively you also need some expertise to work with Second Life. Proper (or even minimal) SL expertise is actually more difficult than learning to operate a smart phone. Don’t prepare means fail. Tolerance towards shambling/clueless SL virgins is diminishing sharply these days, so you will receive very little sympathy when you waste 30 minutes unable to walk. My best suggestion is to train up using Second Life in advance. Getting your bearings will take 4-8 hours of “playful” advance exploration. It will take you about 12 hours to get full situational awareness going in SL. I can reduce this time by tutoring you, and for this tutoring process (which comes with a well-styled avatar) I charge 25,000 Lindens. Actually that’s low. It is a lot of work, and requires a lot of patience on my part.

What is required to follow events in SL?
You need to test your sound functionality inside Second Life. Very few people will actually like explaining anything to you under stressful conditions, how to use a mike, how to set your sound, and how to fine-tune these interface aspects. If you like attending an event in Second Life make sure you know at least several days in advance how to hear sound, how to produce sound, how to NOT produce sound. (There are always clueless people around that leave their mike open, so half the conference can actually hear them devour spaghetti or use angered patriarchal blasphemy to their wife and children. Seriously – this kind of stuff happens.) And, most important, how to not produce reverberation (loud screaming mike echo) while doing so. The best way to do so is in advance, at your leisure. Get a headset. Switch off your mike by default, and understand when (how) it is switched on (and off again).


Avatar Presentation and Code of Conduct
Terasem maintains a strict morality code. This reflects in use of PG styled avatars, sophisticated discourse and interaction, and a zero tolerance to sexually explicit content. If you’d get arrested for it in front of the White House, don’t do it at the Terasem sim, ok?




Avatars in Second Life?

For more on Transhuman Erotic Freedom…

También en español You can refer back to our last post talking about Krishnamurti as an example of two concepts of avatar as they played out in the life of one person. Initially, Krishna was publicly identified as an avatar representing a fixed system of belief, Theosophy. When he renounced this role that he had been thrust into, his willingness to sacrifice the false social foundation of his life to honor the truth he found in his own mind made him into an avatar of the living truth, the only thing humans can achieve or become avatars for.

he word avatar has a much more recent meaning in the universes of virtual reality (VR). There are a number of virtual realities in which vast numbers of people cooperate and compete, design and build, and interact with each other in all manner of visually simulated environments and actions. Best known is probably Second LifeWorld of WarcraftMinecraft, and others built on variations of theme and system architecture. Among these, the avatar concept is most fully developed in Second Life.

In Second Life (SL), you are called a resident. Your presence is represented by a visibly displayed 3-D figure, you as an avatar, at a location within the simulated world that is visible to all participants within visual range. Your avatar has a great many basic and inherited characteristics, as well as the ability to accommodate a virtually unlimited number of visible, functional, and interactive augmentations.

When you view a scene in SL, you see the shapes and surface textures of the avatars that are located within your view. When this data is combined with a representation of terrain, including elevation and vegetation, structures and oceans, a composite scene can be rendered that places three-dimensional images of the avatars in a three-dimensional terrain context.

SL avatars are most often humanoid in form, some in animal or human-animal hybrid forms. and are often equipped with alien, gender-variant, and species-variant erotic organs.

One of the virtues of the use of artificially constructed forms for the avatars is the ability to give the avatars any shape, articulation, and surface texture desired, as well as the ability to animate parts of the avatar body or face, given sufficient scripts and code. At all times the avatar is under the control of a human being through a viewer that connects to the SL servers and provides local interfaces and image generation. Your avatar can walk, run, and fly around, observing an entire simulated patch of earth.

As the resident of the avatar, you have complete control over everything it says and does. You can hear what other people say or communicate by text. You can see the world from the avatar’s viewpoint, or from any other accessible place. You can hear ambient sounds in the simulated environment. The avatar is an extension of your self into the virtual world. As such, the acts of the avatar in dealing with the virtual world and its inhabitants are your acts for which you are ethically, if not legally, accountable, to another avatar and its resident (who can be physically located anywhere in the world).

In the relationship of the SL avatar to its resident we find a metaphor for the relationship of the human avatar to living truth. An avatar in SL can have default behaviors which cause them to be in a state of motion appropriate to each situation, e.g., still when seated and in a constant “dance” when standing. This level of behavior is akin to motor and reflex functions of a human body. The avatar performs a great range of simulated actions under the direction of its resident. The human body similarly performs actions in Real Life (RL) under the direction of higher mind functions. This division of mind levels in humans and avatars is conceptually similar, though the actual human mind content is a universe  greater than the most elaborate of all present day avatars.

A major theme of Transhumanist thought is the future emergence of Artificial Intelligences (AIs) that can simulate human thought faster and more accurately than a biological human. Any part of one’s mind that could be accurately modeled in an AI could, in principle, be immortalized by simulation in an artificial substrate. If this can be done, there would be no problem in endowing an SL avatar with the same human mind function.

We have no idea how far this idea might be carried because the first necessary steps to move beyond mechanical mind to minimal cognitive functionality by a machine are not yet well understood in humans. In the meantime, experimentation with AIs in VR interfaces like SL seems likely to help identify “low hanging fruit,” such as augmenting apparent avatar autonomy, while retaining a control link to the mind of the resident. The definition and implementation of such an interface would itself be a major accomplishment.

Coming up: What would it be like to live inside the world of SL?


Get a Second Life

Have you ever dreamed of flying naked high above a city? Or making love to an eight-foot-tall humanoid? If you’ve netflixed James Cameron’s Avatar some lonely weekday night in the past few months, chances are you have.

Imagine and experience a virtual reality where you are free to privately and anonymously explore your sexuality and gender, to understand all the possibilities without any judgment, limitations, or consequences.

On Friday and Saturday, February 4 and 5, 2011, at The Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis, is sponsoring a 90-minute workshop and two noontime demonstrations all about the alternate universe of Second Life, which claims 15 million registered users worldwide. These events are part of two full days of sexual freedom programming, FREE and open to the general public and anyone going to the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change conference, expected to attract more than 2,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender visitors to Minneapolis Hilton right next door.

The Second Life workshop and demonstrations will make real-time use of this alternate reality. Virtual reality artists will be on hand to escort participants through its lush world of beaches, forests, and cities by providing individuals with custom-built avatars on laptop computers that will showcase the sexual and gender expression potential of the game.

The world of Second Life offers an opportunity that human beings have dreamed of for millennia, but that has been made possible only recently with developments in computer technology. The intersection of 21st century technology and the adult erotic experience has really just begun. Being able to exchange one set of names, faces, bodies, and identities for another, whenever one wishes, and for whatever reason offers us the potential to achieve greater, multi-dimensional understanding of our erotic selves.

For more, take a quick look at our schedule of workshops, presentations, demonstrations, political caucuses, parties, and more, in the Press Room.’s Team COLUMBIA