Whooshup Reorganization

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Second Life Meeting Issues

Hi everyone. Let's try another meeting in Second Life tonight (Saturday Feb 2) at 6:00 PM Pacific Time.

I am trying to sort out all the issues we have and break them into manageable pieces. Please bear with me.

Both webcast classes are in full swing now, so we should be generating good topics both for blog comments and real-time talking. Also, I strongly recommend you listen to the noozit interview I found from last April - it may amaze you where Dreyfus goes with the question "What is the meaning of life?"

OK, here are the issues as I see them, in the Question/Answer format:

Q: Some people want to participate, but cannot do it in Second Life. What are their options?
A: (1) This blog - post or comment. (2) Other blogs or group sites - find one or create your own and we will link to it. (3) Start a phone conference approach, either with Skype, or a free linkup for multiple cell phones - which usually do free long distance (these two options were proposed by James Roome and Beads Land). Bert Dreyfus said he would understand and support that simpler option. (4) Start an IRC (Chat) approach, where everyone would meet in a free, fast chat room. Please use this blog to base or launch such an alternative approach - I will support it however I can.

Q: In Second Life, some people can't get voice to work. How can they be included in the discussions?
A: This is a serious issue - see Brad's post below this one. We talked and experimented a lot with it, and I am convinced we need to clear a space for a text-only discussion period in Second Life, preferably right before doing a voice discussion. So I am proposing we start doing that when we first meet - set aside at least 30 minutes or more for text only. If Farnsworth Roux shows up in that period, we may switch to voice. Also, we may designate another text-only discussion period after the voice discussion. Let's try this and see if it helps.

Q: We have people in Phil 7, Phil 189, and both. How do we talk about the issues relavent to each group?
A: This is a tough one. We could split the group up into at least two sub-groups. But that seems drastic, to split the group before it really has formed itself by meeting several times. My suggestion is to put this issue on hold, until we can actually get a count of who would join one or the other group. Meanwhile, we should try to choose topics that, as best we can, alternately address one or the other class.

Q: Some people want to have a structured discussion, with prepared topics, and others want a free flow. How do we manage the topics and moderate the discussion?
A: I think this is a good point. But I am bad at structure, and worse at moderating, so I could use some help on this one. If you will email or post any topics you would specifically like to cover, I will turn that into a "suggested topic list" and post it on the right side of the blog.

Q: Some Second Life attendees want to use their voice apparatus but are having trouble with it. How can they figure out what they need to do to make it work?
A: If this is you, just find a tutor who is familiar with this feature. I (Dahr) will help if I can. Dean (Hammerer) will also help. I would ask the people who feel they know this complicated set-up to make it known to others and help them get their systems working to the best advantage possible. Dean has added a comment voice FAQ list to the last post which has many good instructions. But it is critical to get "in-world" and try voice out with another understanding avatar. There are many variables.

Q: Some people want to have discussions, but not on Saturday night. They have lives, apparently.
A: We need alternate times. Either we switch from Saturday to another evening, or we run two or more sessions a week. We already started a Wednesday potluck working meet, and that helped shake out these issues. I think we need an informal vote on the schedule people want. Let's see what everybody thinks and change accordingly. If we have a consensus, then we should ask Farnsworth Roux if he can adjust to the new schedule.

One last comment. It is clear that the "board room" in the lodge at Edtech Island complicates the technology problem. This is because it contains many objects which your computer must handle before it can let you have a philosophy conversation. I think we should move the discussion to an open space nearby, and I will try to do that this evening. See you there.

OK that wasn't the last comment, but this is: maybe not everybody else is ready, but I'd like to know whose who. We have at least three identities apiece (real, blogger, and SL names). This is just another authenticity pitch for taking a stand on our virtual being. In the words of Jean Valjean: "24601."


Cathy said...


2 things--you've got a blog for me "youth mission" that's not my blog, just one from a trip I took with youth from my church to new orleans--how can we delete it?

second--on timing, Sunday nights would work well for me, or I'm pretty flexible other nights as well depending on others' availability--Friday and Saturday are just not the best. thanks

Beads Land said...

Listening to the noozit interview, the following question approaches me:

What is the significance of Second Life for those who do not experience meaninglessness in "ordinary life"?

Cathy - I've removed the "blog" link.

Beads Land said...

Still listening to the noozit interview:

Dreyfus points to a significant experiential deficit of Second Life. There is no way to set camera position to the viewpoint of one's avatar (what some might term the "first person shooter" perspective), only in relation to it. That's something that I continue to find very disconcerting, although I could hypothesize as to reasons it might have been intentionally avoided by the SL programmers.

Our experience at Philosophy House last Saturday does seem to be a test case in the potential, if any, for attunement and mood in Second Life. Can we say that there was a mood in that experience to which all people participating were attuned?

Ah, and then there's the I-thou problem. I don't know how possible I-thou is in SL, but my own experience with "virtual" communites dating all the way back to Usenet and IRC, is that I-thou requires more than text (Dreyfus mentions the face-to-face character of I-thou). This throws into question, IMHO, the contention we were treated to by some long-term SLer's at PH (a contention I've heard in other virtual worlds) that text is preferable to voice.

The tail-end discussion, where the observation that there could be worlds where the question "Whether there is a God?" doesn't come up, brings Torg to my attention--although in that Heideggerian system, the question might not come up for the reason that in a given world, the sacred doesn't come up--Nietzsche's world where you can laugh at everything, and yet, as portrayed, nothing is much funny.

Hmm... now I want to go back and review the Cyberpapacy Sourcebook for some further ideas on how the authors there conceive of I-though on the Godnet.

Yates said...

Chey Karl,
I was wondering if anyone has contacted you about starting other modes of communications, such as a chat room or something. I am one of those who cannot use 2nd Life (though I'm still working on it!!) and would really like to get involve with these discussions.
Let me know at your earliest convenience pls. Thank you :)

Karl Tyson said...

Hi Yates,

Thanks for jumping in! Right now it seems that you are one of several people who cannot use Second Life but would like to join discussions. Unfortunately we have not developed options for you yet.

Do you have any specific suggestions? I know some of the regulars here would join you if you suggest a time and program that is accessible.

If you need help finding something like a chat room environment to use, we can probably help there too.