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Apr 13, 2005



I guess for me to forget about the physical domain, I better get a spirit transplant, like tron. Once completed, let this bag of bones be incinerated and scattered about.

But then I will still left the question, won't I still be physical entity? After all, bits require a physical medium to store and transport. I guess you could convert all of it to energy, after all E=mc^2.

Evan supposing such a transformation into pure energy, won't I still be concerned with a "map" and its topology to find points of interest and know the relationships in that energy space.

I guess I could decompose myself into a primitive cell, and then give up higher orders of conscious, since at the primitive life structure there is no purpose in life, other than surival and reproduction, and is more reactive to the environment that proactive. Isn't that the great distinquisher of mankind, the use of tools to change our enviroment? And isn't a map, one of those tools?


I've built both 3D worlds and a 3D browsable earth, so I've probably already gotten used to the idea of fusing the two. To me, there isn't much need for distinction anymore.

Certainly a hyper-space (like the web) doesn't map so well in 2D/3D, but 3D VWs do very well, and the reasons are pretty important. Mental mapping, way-finding, and their kin are so built-in to our brains, it offers such an easy design win it's hard to avoid.

So to me, 2D/3D VWs are just example of unique maps vs. the common (hard to change, hard to tunnel) one we have in the real world. Except it's not really one space, but many interconnected sub-spaces, just like many VWs. We can, it turns out, tunnel and hyperlink (minus a 'back' button) in the real world too, just not for free. Phones come pretty damn close. Planes aren't too bad (but having just taken a 24hr plane ride, I won't push that idea too hard ;)

Then we have the imminent engagement, if not a marriage, of the real and arbitrary 2D/3D worlds. It's not half as bizarre or even new as it might appear. Keyhole allowed a good deal of user-annotation from before launch. The big element that hasn't made it Google yet is user-defined image overlays, which proved their usefulness a short time later.

In a gaming context, it's pretty simple (conceptually, if not artistically) to make a fantasy map and overlay it on the real world. Real sites take on new meanings visible only to augmented/artificial reality game players, who, when they meet, are shown each other as game characters first, real people second. You can probably imagine where that leads... In some ways, right back to the neighborhood-sized games some of us played as kids.

Even on the more serious side of things, the marriage seems to favor the mobile end of the spectrum, where the main impediment is the shrinking but still-high cost of appropriate hardware. In terms of need, we usually need the annotated earth most when we're out in it, not that it would hurt to have a 3D 1st person overlay of my loft showing where I left my keys. But there are only so many times a day I'd use the net for advance planning vs. on-the-street decision making.

I'd agree the craigslist functionality is low hanging fruit here -- and if the information is pulled vs. pushed into our perceptual space, I don't think visual SPAM and "geo-trolling" will kill it (where as 'push' almost certainly would -- at least email had some time to show its value before SPAM started sucking the life out of it). Virtual personalized billboards on walls, instant coupons to try restaurants as we pass by, and of course the virtual bathroom wall are all in the cards or in the works. Again, 'pull' can succeed but 'push' IMO will not, but that's probably a side point.

Annotating people on the street is more interesting to me, at least in terms of the privacy debate and other interesting uses, if not the spatial aspect. I've already seen/heard of services that tie people, trucks, etc.. to maps. Once there are pictures on the net tying our face to our name, there's nothing much to stop a virtual rolodex or even a virtual dating service from going mobile, with or without our voluntary participation.

Okay. I guess I'm just adding some extra fodder here. I don't think there's too much that's new in terms of the speculative thought, but I'd agree it hasn't been on the popular radar much before now.


Anyway, one question is: should the virtual worlds crew here feel disappointed by the Internet's fascination with real space?

five people share a cafe in cyberspace while their bodies may be, for all they know (cue dramatic music)... on separate continents!

Perhaps the distinction between a *tangible* vs. *abstract* space is a useful one. By this viewpoint - *Meat* space is a tangible place to our biological circuitry whereas most of *cyber* space is arguably much more abstract - a place of hyper this and graph-and-connection that. Only a subset of the tangible spaces would be what we might classify as "trad vw's as we know them:" e.g. an MMO facsimile of some real space.

Then, perhaps the issue becomes one of who should anchor whom? is it better to tether an abstraction to a reality, or vice versa? Might we then see some interesting flip-flopping? In some cases meta spaces overlaying real spaces and real spaces (or some facsimile) overlaying virtual ones?


"overlaying virtual ones?"

In the last sentence, I mean "abstract" (not virtual).


I think you sort of answered your own question without realizing it in your preamble. Specifically with this:

"Now if all this data could be aggregated easily and legally, you could visit a new town, ask your PDA where to the best pizza is, then ask your PDA to find out who's selling any apartments next door to the pizza place, and then surf the local histories of those who have noted the pizza place where you're eating--ambient digital ambiance."

Yes, it's all made possible by the wonders of bit-transfer technology that comprise the Internet, but it makes no sense to do any of this unless you or someone you know is *physically in that town*. Otherwise it's just an interesting bit of trivia, let's move on to the page with the dancing animated hamsters.

I don't want to sound like a crusty old pragmatist, especially on a site where the concept of virtual worlds is taken as not only a given in itself, but that many would probably argue that virtual worlds are in many ways superior to the 'real world'. But the most fascinating uses of the Internet, to me, are not those that treat the Internet as some exotic new terrain, but that rather use the Internet as a new, information-aware sensory organ with which to view our mundane world and its hoary old 'objective reality'.

In that sense (pardon the pun), it's about as useful to publish a Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace as it would be to publish a Declaration of Independence of Infravision. ("We see the world as heat transfer, and there is no room here for your cold laws and regulations.")


In response to Avi's comments: I totally agree about "pull" being favourable to "push", but even "pull" has its dangers. Skinning will allow us to ignore things on the street that we probably shouldn't. E.g. could I just map cute Bandai characters over all the people on the street tagged as "homeless" by my city security system?

Could we imagine a world where we could reap the rewards of "annotation by the multitude" without masking the public-ness of our environment to the point that such things could happen?

See my very recent comment on the original (and now rather old, oops) Skinnable worlds post for other thoughts on this.

I'm also quite in favour of a Declaration of Independence for Cyberspace, as soon as we have a coherent idea and implementation of citizenship in that space, and once it is mirrored around the world and thus somewhat protected from meatspace govts. I see no reason why such a space would not have political independence. But Virtual Worlds need to get much further from escapism, and from games (in the industry sense, anyway, rather than the general one), before that will be feasible.


accelerateur de telechargement
acquisition peer to peer
application compatibility toolkit
ares peer to peer
azaa lite
bajar kazaa lite
best peer to peer
best peer to peer program
codec kazaa lite
comment telecharger kazaa
comparatif peer to peer
configuration kazaa lite
configurer kazaa lite
connection kazaa lite
connexion kazaa lite
definition peer to peer
dernier version
derniere version
derniere version kazaa lite

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