Extropia’s event (see previous post) reminds me of something that’s been floating around on my project list for a few weeks and has already moved to my “give this idea away because I don’t have room for it” list. I’ve talked to one or two people in-world about it, and there appears to be interest, but those I’ve talked to have likewise not had room for it.

So, why not mention it here then, eh? I think I shall! If you read the idea I’m about to describe, and you like the sound of the project and think you can pull it off, feel free to run with it! Be free, little idea, be free!

So what is this idea? Second Life has a measurable carbon footprint (given all the physical servers, UPSs, HVAC for the server rooms, et cetera), so why not organize an in-world charity/fundraiser that allows people to “adopt” a portion of that carbon footprint. What does that mean, exactly? Maybe an example would help:

Let’s say you use SL, on average, 10 hours per week. Through this project, you could adopt a chunk of the SL carbon footprint proportional to the amount of time you spend in world per year. (Or more, if you were feeling generous.) To adopt, you donate an amount of money calculated to fit that portion of the footprint, and that money is in turn donated to an environmental cause. Voila — “micro-Kyoto Protocol”, SL style! Linden Lab turns green from the grassroots up.

As I said above, I have no room to head the effort, but I love the idea of someone picking it up and running with it. If you happen to be that person, just drop me a line to let me know; I’ll be glad to help out!

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I love watching tennis. I don’t know why. It’s just weirdly satisfying. I like to play tennis too, but given the choice between watching world class competitors battle it out on the court and playing my own unimpressive (though enthusiastic) game, I’ll take the spectator role any day.

Given my affection for tennis spectatorship, I was pleased to learn of the nifty sounding simulation set up in conjunction with the Australian Open tournament. There’s an interesting write up about it on the West Australian’s website. If it works, it’ll be very cool indeed.

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There’s an interesting article (”The New Status Symbol for Colleges? An Island in Second Life“) in today’s Chronicle.com about the private islands of colleges. Sez the article: “Second Life, the increasingly popular virtual world, now boasts more than 100 “islands” dedicated to a variety of educational pursuits. And many of those islands — digital plots of land that can be made invisible to random passers-by, unlike most of Second Life — are owned by colleges and universities, according to The New York Times.

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Linden Lab have open sourced the SL client. From the official announcement: “Freely-downloadable from the Second Life website, the Viewer software enables Residents to control their in-world avatars, interact with each other via Instant Message, create content, buy and sell objects, access multimedia content and to navigate around the virtual environment.” Read more on Reuters. I, for one, am very pleased about this development.

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  • Tonight at 6:00pm SLT, Jesa Li will be the guest speaker at the Bliss Center. Jesa is a bright, articulate woman, so this should be a good event. The title of the event is “Healing with the Faeries at the Bliss Center.”
  • At 5:00pm SLT, there’s a Buddhist Talk in Huchu, hosted by Pepper Laxness. The “Buddhism Listening and Discussion Group” will gather to hear a pre-recorded audio talk on “Practice In Daily Life”, followed by a brief chat. Suitable for all, and all are welcome.
  • If you’d like to take part in organizing the March diversity festival, head on over to Verum’s Diversity Festival Committee Meeting.

In other news, I see that the Rubyists haven’t resumed their Sunday night discussions. I wonder when that might start happening again.

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If you were strolling down the street in my neighborhood and stopped me to ask, “Excuse me. What channels are C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 in this neck of the woods?” I would immediately and with zero hesitation bark out: “24 and 25!” Why do I know this? Why do I carry around these numbers in my head? Because I clearly watch too much C-SPAN. That’s why.

So, as you can imagine, I’m pleased to see that there will be a virtual version of the U.S. Capital when Congress opens this week. Oh yeah! Details available at the Reuters SL News Center.

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Happy New Year, SLake readers! Here’s wishing you a prosperous, joyous, and grief-free 2007. Thanks to those of you who’ve had nice things to say about this new fledgling blog. I’m always open to hearing about events and projects in world, so feel free to send ‘em my way.

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Discussion Group In Action

I host discussion events in Second Life so I meet a lot of people who like to discuss, debate, and generally share ideas. A common complaint I hear about SL from these folks is that while it’s all but impossible NOT to find gambling and strip clubs, it’s decidedly more challenging to find events that are more substantial and compelling. The goal of this blog, SLake, is to bridge that gap and to provide a reliable source of information about events and projects that appeal to the mind and/or spirit. Second Life beyond the poseballs, so to speak.

Second Life is as varied as Real Life. Maybe more so, given the freedom from certain RL constraints. (Flown over a building under your own power lately in RL? Slapped together a castle in an afternoon, perhaps? Waltzed with a dragon?) The range of activities in world are marvelously broad: everything from the silly to the sublime to the sexual to the serious… Now, Slake doesn’t look down on silliness or Slingo or sexual experimentation or gambling or the club circuit — it’s just that, when scanning the bounty of our virtual feast, it’s so easy to find the sweets and difficult to find the meats. Er, so to speak. I mean meaty things like: interesting discussions, book clubs, special interest group meetings, community-oriented activities, collaborative projects, and so on.

If you are interested in such things, we invite you to visit often or to subscribe to our syndication feeds and to comment freely.

If you host events that would interest us, or just know about them, IM Bieneff Bruder in world or send me an email at bieneff dot bruder at gmail dot com. (Properly formatted, of course.) I will post about them here, and if you want to promote your ideas regularly, please inquire about a guest editing position. Invitations for cross-linking are encouraged as well.

Second Life is exciting in part because of its potential to build community. Let’s do it.

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