Resisting Futility

Eight sims remain to complete the Seconderth deep map.  I’ve been averaging two per week, which puts me on track to finish before my RL-imposed deadline of December 1.  But I’m fighting against more than mere Time…  I’m fighting what feels like a lag spike does in-world, and its name is “Why bother?”

Before I go on, be clear about this: I’m not fishing for encouragement.  I’ve got plenty of that, from readers of past Seconderth installments.  Besides, I’m determined that this is not going to be another unfinished project like the many which litter the trail behind me.

Consider, however, the Long View: I’ve been compiling an illustrated narrative about a subject that eventually will no longer exist.  It doesn’t “exist” now, independently of the specialized hardware and software needed to see and hear it… but, metaphysics aside, there will come a time when Second Life cannot be logged into any more, and it will not matter if the terabtyes which describe it are stored somewhere.  There are many potential causes to choose from: it could continue its current slow decline — or the decline could accelerate — until the bills can’t be paid; it could be purchased “for parts” and shut down; its investors could cut their losses and pull out; the management du jour could arbitrarily pull the plug for any reason, or no reason at all, and they’re not obliged to tell us…  The best scenario I can come up with is obsolescence: the next technological generation of virtuality will supersede this one, and we’ll all go there. 

Regardless of how it goes, or how soon, Second Life will pass away.  From electrons were we made, and to electrons we shall return; pixels to pixels, dust to dust.

It’s said that the Internet is forever… or sometimes, “Google never forgets”.  The websites, blogs, and photo collections about Second Life will undoubtedly last far longer than the virtual world itself, let alone the company that owns it.  The Library of Congress has already guaranteed that the Twitter record will survive…  to what end?

I do not flatter myself with the term “historian”; even “chronicler” sounds too presumptuous.  “Virtual archaeologist” is meant for the irony alone: Second Life is not exactly Troy, nor am I Heinrich Schliemann.  And that is my point: in the blink of a historical eye, no one will care what the oldest prim in Second Life was, or who made it, or any of the other things I (and many others!) have pulled out of the pixel-thin ground of the Grid.

39 down, 8 to go… and I will get it done.  Every writer, no matter what they write, throws a dart at immortality and hopes it sticks.  Precious few of them learn the result; I don’t expect to be any different.

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6 responses to “Resisting Futility

  1. Lalo, I suspect…I hope, No…I believe that I can speak for a few of us at the very least that will always treasure this journey you have taken us on. Those young people that logged on today for the first time may not understand, but some of us do and that will have to be enough. I know I'm a sentimental old fool, I remember my first tricycle, bicycle, car, kiss, love affair,child,….and my first virtual world. For me, the journey you have taken me on will always live.
    All I can give you is a heartfelt thank you.
    Fondly, brinda
    Namaste

  2. I've borrowed this from http://www.eldrbarry.net/roos/st_defn.htm for a reason…

    What is a Story?

    Most dictionaries define a story as a narrative account of a real or imagined event or events. Within the storytelling community, a story is more generally agreed to be a specific structure of narrative with a specific style and set of characters and which includes a sense of completeness. Through this sharing of experience we use stories to pass on accumulated wisdom, beliefs, and values. Through stories we explain how things are, why they are, and our role and purpose. Stories are the building blocks of knowledge, the foundation of memory and learning. Stories connect us with our humanness and link past, present, and future by teaching us to anticipate the possible consequences of our actions.

    What is a telling?

    It is the live, person-to-person oral and physical presentation of a story to an audience. “Telling” involves direct contact between teller and listener. It mandates the direct presentation of the story by the teller. The teller's role is to prepare and present the necessary language, vocalization, and physicality to effectively and efficiently communicate the images of a story. The listener's role is to actively create the vivid, multi-sensory images, actions, characters, and events—the reality—of the story in their mind based on the performance by the teller, and on their past experiences, beliefs, and understandings. The completed story happens in the mind of the listener, unique and personal for each individual.

    And that my friend, is you in a nutshell. Even if Second Life ended tomorrow, the stories you've told of it's past will always live on in our collective memories. And for that, like Brinda, I thank you.

    One last thing to consider…stories never really end on the final word of the last page, you can go back to the beginning and start again…and more importantly, even if Second Life story came to an end, there are still plenty of stories out there waiting to be told…

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