Archive - Nov 2008
Today, I will be speaking to a couple communications classes at The College of New Jersey entitled Beyond Second Life. The genesis of this talk was a discussion between myself and the professor teaching the class about the relationship between Second Life and other media. I spoke about my role as business editor for the Second Life News Network and the coverage there, and other places of the financial sector in Second Life, particularly the Second Life bank failures and the turmoil in the Second Life stock markets. The description of my talk said that I “will talk about the historical antecedents to Second Life, the relationship between Second Life and competing virtual worlds, and the relationship between Second Life and other online media that reports about and supplements Second Life. A particular focus will be placed on businesses operating within Second Life.”
I am not a big fan of PowerPoint presentations, so instead of creating a PowerPoint presentation to display in Second Life, we talked about different websites that would illustrate my points, together with actions within Second Life that would help illustrate my points.
I will also try to record the presentations using Fraps which is a great video capture tool for Second Life and other online games. Unfortunately, I could not get Fraps to capture my voice, and I wanted to have a third person view of the presentation for the video anyway, so I’ll log in with my wife’s computer and avatar to record the event from her perspective.
I’m still trying to work out the display of web pages in Second Life. I hope to follow the method described in this video, and am working out the details.
I intend to pause at the end of each section to encourage some discussion with the students. I’ll give the presentation twice, but the room is small, so we probably can’t have guests during my talk. However, if you’re interested, you could try IMing Yolanda Zimmer to see if there is room at either 7 AM SLT or 12:30 PM SLT.
Here are pages I've recently bookmarked with ma.gnolia:
As we waited for the press conference to start after the final order had been signed making same sex marriages legal in Connecticut, a local television station interviewed a couple talking about their wedding plans. One of the women spoke about the overwhelming joy she felt about finally being able to get married. It struck me that with all of this talk about the defense of marriage, that I could think of no better way to defend marriage than to give more people a forum to talk about the joy that they have about being able to make a life long commitment to a person they love.
At the podium, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs adopted a phrase that has now become a key part of our political lexicon. “We said, Yes We Can to Marriage Equality,” he stated, and continued, “Yes, We Did.”
He also noted what has gone on in other states and talked about sending a message of hope and inspiration to people across our country that are committed to marriage equality. He noted that Connecticut has a long tradition of treating citizens fairly.
On the walk over to City Hall, one opponent shouted out something like, “Fags on Parade”. The only other opposition I heard was from a man who compared the allowing of same sex marriages in Connecticut to the introduction of the state sales tax back in 1991. I’m not sure I understand the relationship, but I suspect it was his hope that it would bring about such a backlash that we would see a change in political leadership. Somehow, I just don’t see that sort of reaction. Even if we do, we it means we’re still likely to have marriage equality for at least the next seventeen years.
The entrance to city hall was festooned with white balloons and long stem red roses. People passed out bubbles to blow for the folks getting their marriage licenses. Inside the clerk’s office, they still had the old marriage license application forms.
Outside, one woman was holding a sign saying, “Love is Love”. The media loved it and took many pictures. When asked about how she felt about the picture of her holding the sign being show across the country, she noted that she was heterosexual, but that she felt it was important for all people, whether straight or gay, to get out and support marriage equality.
It seemed as if there were efforts by various activists to keep the proceedings on schedule, the news conference at the court house, the application for the marriage license, the individual press availabilities, and so on. Yet the media and the crowds don’t always cooperated, and people would try to herd the crowds to the next location.
One piece of serendipity occurred when Barbara and Robin Levine-Ritterman emerged from the City Hall. It was at the moment that the clocks in New Haven chime ten o’clock and many commented on the bells serving double duty as wedding bells.
Slowly, the crowds dispersed. One person asked a friend, “All right, should we go back to work now?” Off to the side radio news reporters spoke into their microphones describing the festive scene as they talked about this important day.
CT Marriage Equality Day
When asked if he believed in infant baptism, Mark Twain is said to have responded, “Believe in it? Hell, I’ve seen it.” I guess the same can be said about same sex marriage. “I’ve seen it, and it is a wonderful thing.” I think anyone who is concerned about the defense of marriage needs to look at the love and commitment that couples are now able to celebrate in the marriages here in Connecticut. I know that I have come away with a stronger appreciation of my own marriage. You can see pictures and videos here and here.
Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to share some of my other notes and thoughts from the morning later.
… in sickness and in health
Part of my marriage covenant is to stand by my partner is sickness and in health. I’ve gotten more than my share with the sickness part as I stand by Kim in her ongoing battle with Lyme disease. As I was leaving the celebration of CT Marriage Equality Day, I received a phone call from Kim. We are lucky that she has health insurance. Her treatment for Lyme disease this month will only take up a third of her monthly take home salary instead more than 100%.
During my brief time between events, I got an IM from person I’ve been working a bit with. He has just set up a new server running Windows Server 2008. He managed to get a gateway to Freenet6 up and running on his server. I have it running on my Linux server which acts as an IPv6 router for my internal network. With a little testing and tweaking, I mounted a Windows Server 2008 share over IPv6 through these servers to my laptop. This is very cool. Lot’s more testing to be done.
Once I had uploaded the photos and video from my morning, I headed back to downtown New Haven. This time, it was to hear oral arguments in the next phase of the Doninger case. Judge Kravitz questioned lawyers for both sides for around two and a half hours. I have lots of notes to digest and try to make sense out of. Hopefully, I can get this up soon as well.
Back at home, I received an email that Mary Sullivan of Greenwich has passed away. Mary was a wonderful political activist that I first met during Gov. Dean’s Presidential bid. I hope to get a chance to write some of my reflections about Mary later.
I also received an email from another old friend from the Dean campaign. Chad Lupkes is running for chair of the 46th LD Democrats in Washington State. He talks about wanting “"to promote civic participation, especially within the Democratic Party." I hope others consider doing the same.
My Twitterank is currently 137.75. My Twitter Grade is currently 99.7. It would probably be interesting to see how closely Twitter Grade and Twitter Rank. I’m going to guess that they correlate fairly nicely, but my gut feeling is that Twitter Rank is actually a more interesting number.
I like the way the creator has described the project, comparing it to Google’s Page Rank, not revealing the secret sauce and at the same time in a humorous way pointing out why sharing userids and password with third parties is a bad idea and arguing for better authentication methods.
This has raised a big storm amongst various techies, but I’m surprised that so few people really seem to get that this is no different from many other systems that authenticate against Twitter. Again, when I have more time, I’ll explore some of this.
Meanwhile, I’ve visited almost no blogs today, just barely scanned my emails, and written nothing for my novel. I’m going to post this, check out a few blogs, and then probably crash early.