... This tripartite schema of actual, envisioned, and digitally instantiated emerges due to virtual world representation, and differs from textual production, in that words can express fantasy, but can't create interactive representations (Packer and Jordan) that include multiple voice or typing communication (up to around 40 avatars can communicate on a virtual island in Second Life or Open Simulator, at present) on a worldwide distributed communication network.
Harbin Hot Spring's community has throughout its long history - dating back to Native American use over centuries (Klages), and in many ways since the 1960s - significantly formed in relation to its geothermally-heated waters in the place that is the Harbin valley. People have lived at actual Harbin exploring life there over years, and Harbin has thus influenced personhood, significantly, as well. As much virtual world and social networking academic research has shown, communities form in new ways around digital technologies, just as they have around material technologies through the centuries, e.g. ships, clocks, printing (Boellstorff 2008: 32). And virtual Harbin, group-built and also visited by Harbin residents as well as other visitors from around the world with internet access, gives rise to new kinds of Harbin communities. Virtual Harbin thus gives form to new technologies, influenced by actual Harbin and its waters. In other words, the social and cultural contexts of Harbin, these histories, and these milieus, influence how we humans engage Harbin. Technologies thus emerge (exclusively) from social and cultural processes, but do so, I suggest in this book, in relation to place, in this instance, that is in relation to actual / virtual Harbin Hot Springs emerging from the 1960s and countercultural processes. Numerous individual visions (expressions of subjectivity) of the freedom of the 1960s have given form to life at actual Harbin, as well as the information technologies of virtual Harbin. I engage a variety of these Harbin histories in this chapter.
Virtuality since language's emergence, possibly 150,000 – 200,000 years ago, since the evolution of the larynx (Deacon)? Before? Primate literature ...
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/08/unknown-primate-harbin-hot-springs.html - August 10, 2010)