Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pyrola secunda: About virtual Harbin in OpenSim, in an actual, historical sense, This Harbin simulation was on my own computer's hard drive

Harbin ethnography:

... Nakedness in virtual worlds is also fully developed, and will make related workshops in-world fascinating ethnographically.

One of the significant things about virtual Harbin in OpenSim, in an actual, historical sense, before it was stolen with my laptop and knapsack, is that this Harbin simulation was on my own computer's hard drive, and not on a computer server elsewhere. Similarly, my friend, too, had his own virtual island in OpenSim on his own hard drive onto which my avatar, from the software on my own machine, could move; I and my computer were in California and my friend and his computer were in Massachusetts. OpenSim contrasts with Second Life, where your and other people's and organization's virtual islands reside on Linden Lab's Second Life servers, possibly somewhere in the SF Bay Area, where Linden Lab is the system administrator, whereas with OpenSim, you can be your own SysAdmin, if you are skilled at, and enjoy hacking; it's also possible to use OpenSim on its own grid, and pay a small amount, as well as to network OpenSim islands with Second Life islands, – they are interoperable, and share the same library of assets. This possibility for both end users' control of the actual, hard drive location of the simulations, and then the ability to network them - computer-to-computer via TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol – the language of protocols of the whole internet) from wherever any potential laptop is located, allows for end user autonomy. In addition, OpenSim software is free, (but buggy), and it uses the internet's distributedness, which is THE key, remarkable aspect of this worldwide, real time, communication network, so end users can become part of the network directly. In terms of agency, or end user choice, too, that virtual Harbin, as developable software, existed on my own hard drive, and was networkable, makes it an information technology for ongoing envisioning of what's possible virtually in a self selected group – among Harbinites - without the 'structure,' or the rules, of a for-profit company, for example. Open source virtual worlds hold much promise for exploration of freedom, representationally and interactively. Such a virtual Harbin becomes an ongoing exploration of a kind of countercultural, Harbin freedom, and expressions of free speech, of which actual Harbin is the seed.

Multiple, virtual Harbins already exist in some ways, not only in the form of email lists, Yahoo groups, online workshop groups, e.g. HAI groups, and groups on social networking sites such as, but also in the form of eclectic, spiritual networks among people staying in touch away from Harbin property, all connected by Harbin's oneness. ...

( - September 22, 2010)

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