... but one-to-one, using instant message as a kind of private channel, which no one else can see.
While looking out over this open, virtual, still-quite-wild & native, northern California landscape, from the top of Dragon Ridge on our different computer screens, I explain to Rose how to use the virtual mini-maps in Second Life, with its nearly 120,000 (?) simulations, 'builds,' or virtual islands, and a little about it. She tells me she's opened it. I point out where we and virtual Harbin Hot Springs are, and how the green and yellow dots represent her and my avatars. I explain how the 1/3 of a circle radius around each of our avatar's dots on the maps represents what we can see, and which way each of our avatars is facing. You suggest to Rose that she search on Okapi Island (SLURL) or Catalhuyuk, Turkey, the 10,000 year old, virtual, archaeological site, and she does and finds it. You mention the 'Teleport' button in voice, and she clicks it. I press the teleport button as well, and a few seconds later our avatars arrive on this UC Berkeley, virtual, archaeological field site, which was developed, academically, to examine ways in which virtual worlds and archaeology intersect. There are a few green dots in the center of the mini-map. Together you fly over the reconstruction of the uninhabited ancient village, and land on a roof. The entrance to an underground room, in what looks like a native American, adobe, building complex. You and Rose go down, and through the clerestories on two sides, the light illuminates what was an ancient living space. To show Rose one more island simulation you suggest she search on 'Sea Turtle Island' on which Music Island and an unprogrammed Quaker Meeting House, among other places, exist. She does this, and you both travel there together. You land among trees, with ocean waves falling upon the shore not too far away. Each of these island simulations was jointly built by numerous individuals interested in constructing virtual objects in Second Life, and representing aspects of actual life. You teleport back to the Dragon Ridge on virtual Harbin's sim and look out over the ridge.
Still interested in doing a virtual Watsu, and with virtual sunset coming on, Rose and I fly east to the virtual Harbin conference center pools, where I've rarely seen people.
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/04/point-reyes-while-looking-out-over-this.html - April 6, 2010)