Saturday, August 26, 2006

The new puppet theater

The possibilities for staged theater in Second Life, from Giff Constable at The Electric Sheep Company.

Oh, and, um, here's a book signing, as posted by Amazon employee Jeff Barr.

And yet another great link from New World Notes. Makes you wonder why Coke didn't do its Chilltop ad in Second Life...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Second Life

I just attended the Second Life Community Convention this weekend in San Francisco. It was amazing, mind-blowing.

Mitch Kapor kicked things off with a presentation entitled "The Past as Prologue: What the Triumph of the Personal Computer and the Internet Tell Us About the Future of Second Life." The next two days proved he was more than on to something—with story after story about how this grassroots community has come together to create an astonishingly rich, avatar-based virtual world.

Did you know?

  • Second Life has over 250,000 active Residents.
  • 61 universities teach classes in SL.
  • The American Cancer Society has raised over $40,000 in SL, and hosted an in-world Relay for Life, complete with blimp rides and other experiences impossible in the real world.
  • Toyota Scion, American Apparel, Starwood, and Adidas all have presences in SL.
  • Suzanne Vega and Duran Duran have both performed in SL.
  • Supportive communities are forming in SL for stroke survivors, paraplegics, and other groups.
  • In-world protests have been held in response to policy changes and Resident ejections.

    The Linden Lab sponsors did a tremendous job of bringing together SL experts on art, sex, business, marketing, media, nonprofit, education, and technology.

    Come on in, and check it out.
  • Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Like nothing else in Tennessee

    My friend makeitplain has collected sayings from years of travel. He puts them in jars, stripped of context and attribution, and sells them on his website.

    "[W]isdom is not a book of doctrine, but a journey of conversations...What matters is the brief instant when someone looks into your eyes and shares words with you. Every conversation holds a deeper message that is meant especially for you. Do not question it or reason it away; treat it like a message in a bottle."

    Why design?

    Peter Merholtz of Adaptive Path interviews Michael Bierut of Pentagram and Design Observer.

    Black is the new green

    Great article in today's Worldchanging about terra preta—the extra-rich soil found in Amazonian rain forests, and one potential solution for taking carbon out of the atmosphere.

    Love Worldchanging.

    From Dawn to Decadence

    From Jacques Barzun, a rich, highly readable history of Western civilization, from the Renaissance to the present.

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    De lo habitual

    I went to Ritual in the Mission today with my friend Amy. Great vibe, great coffee. I wonder how they get the foam to look like little Christmas trees?

    Sunday, August 06, 2006

    SF Playreading Meetup

    I am hosting the first ever SF Playreading Meetup at Bliss Bar in Noe Valley, on Wednesday August 16th. Those without acting experience are particularly welcome. See link for details.

    Saturday, August 05, 2006

    East meets West

    I just finished Mark Epstein's Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart, an exploration of Buddhist meditation and Western psychoanalysis. Good stuff.

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Ted talks and sings

    New videos have been posted this morning to TEDtalks, including Jeff Han, at NYU's Media Research Lab.

    Also new, on iTunes: Teddy Thompson singing "Tonight Will Be Fine" (Leonard Cohen).

    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    Making capitalism fully transparent

    Bruce Sterling, in Shaping Things:

    "There are still many aspects missing from the spectrum of services provided by It would be exceedingly useful and healthful to know the full compositon of [a] book. How long will it last before yellowing and falling to bits from acid paper? What (possibly bioaccumulative) substances will subtly boil out of its glue and ink, settling into your body in years to come?...

    Now imagine that we establish an, a social-software entity that hangs around the fringes of Amazon, answering these questions. Questions about objects. What questions? Not the profit-centric questions that obsess Amazon. The real questions."

    An idea with incredible business and social potential.