March 2, 2004 spout

Living Two Lives


I would say that I’m really living two lives. The first is what you see and today it’s very boring as I’m sitting very still looking at a 14″ LCD panel all day long making almost no noise. When my family comes home, that’ll be more outwardly interesting, but it skips the entire reality of what I’m doing while I live that second life inside the machine.

In the upcoming documentary, Almost Real, Ann Shin explores folks living the extreme virtual life, e.g. monks leading prayer and SM folks doing their thing, all over the Internet (in case you need it, my safety word is yellow” : ). These people are living very real virtual lives, often more real than there normal lives. Is that OK? Is that unnatural? I think it *is* OK. Why should the virtual life inside of our creations be any less valued than our so-called normal” life (which was just created by the Overlords to test their simulation machine : ).

Anyway, it all boils down to one thing: impact. Are you impacted by the things that happen in the virtual world? I know I am. Sometimes it’s negative and sometimes it’s positive, but it can be just as strong as the impact I feel in my normal” life. For me, most of my most meaningful impact happens in the real” world, but as technology advances, I think more and more of that balance will tip, whether that’s OK with you or not.