2009.01.07 Science in SL: Vic Michalak - The Kira Institute
Starting from a scientific world view - we ask the question, what else is true
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2009.01.07 Science in SL: Vic Michalak

Vic Michalak: The object above the table has panels to illustrate my points...
Vic Michalak: Hope you guys on the other side can read backwards though!! :))
Vic Michalak: Hi everyone.... and welcome to Kira Cafe.... My SL name is Vic Michalak...
Books Janus: hello
Vic Michalak: And I would like to talk to your today about "Science and Second Life"
Vic Michalak: My very first thoughts on this topic were that there can be no real science in Second Life in the same way as in Real Life because this is a communications tool like the Web or e-mail, but of course this is not true.
Vic Michalak: I came to the conclusion that there are at least three ways to approach science and Second Life:
Vic Michalak: (1) The science OF Second Life (how it works). I could describe how Second Life is created on a network of distributed servers and how objects with UUIDs are stored and how the whole is integrated. That would be one way to view science and Second Life...
Vic Michalak: (2) Science ON Second Life (applied science). Second Life is a rich environment in which to do research. I could also describe what science has been conducted here, from the study of avatar identity to the psychology of interactions to the study of economic theory to the ecological experiments in artificial life. That would be another way to view science and Second Life...
Vic Michalak: (3) Science displayed IN Second Life. There is also a wide range of ways in which people use Second Life to display illustrations of scientific principles and objects ranging in Real Life scale from galaxies to subatomic particles (with flexibility in scale and the camera view graphical user interface being two of the advantages of this environment).
Vic Michalak: Considering the mission of the Kira Institute and the Science Circle and other groups, I think I will add a fourth:
Vic Michalak: Let me first elaborate on the third approach - science displayed in Second Life:
Vic Michalak: I was listening to Dr. Temple Grandin the other day on National Public Radio about her book "The Way I See It" about her view of the world as an autistic person with Asperger's, and I caught her remark about how "words are just indexes for images".
Vic Michalak: So, when I say "Roman Empire," from where do I get the image that pops into my head? If you are an expert in this period of history, you may have in your mind a more sophisticated image, but most of us have an image of what we have seen in the popular media, perhaps of Roman troops or Senators in togas.
Vic Michalak: To take this one step further, consider an image of Jesus (most people can conjure up some image regardless of their religious persuasion). But is this image accurate? Certainly if you study what people looked like in the Near Middle East 2000 years ago, the popular images of a northern European Jesus cannot be accurate.
Vic Michalak: Likewise, it is important for us to realize that the way we portray science in Second Life is influenced by our depth of knowledge and conventional abstractions we bring in from Real Life. It is also important to realize that the way we portray science here can influence the images that people carry over into Real Life.
Vic Michalak: For example, when I say "atom," what image do you have? Most people may have an image of the Bohr model, that is of a nucleus of little spheres and electrons orbiting them. But that model is nearly 100 years old. I notice that we still represent molecules in Second Life as colored spheres connected by sticks. This is a simple abstraction that is also easy to build (plus it does not use up too many prims, which is one of the disadvantages of the current limitations of this environment).
Vic Michalak: Now let me address the three questions I asked you to ponder in the description of my talk as illustrations of how I view science and Second Life.
Vic Michalak: Question #1: How is the Dalai Lama's view of science like Second Life? Have you seen those ads on TV about the "Whopper virgins" where they find people who have never tried a Big Mac or a Whopper burger? Well, the Dalai Lama in his book "The Universe in a Single Atom" revealed that when he was young did not get exposed to science. In fact he was cautioned against talking to scientists because he was told that science kills religion.
Vic Michalak: But he found later that the study of Buddhism and science have similar methodologies involving critical investigation. He tried to grasp the models and methodologies he learned about various sciences and thought about their "implications for the understanding of what reality is."
Vic Michalak: He alsoconceded that if science disproved a claim made in religion then the claim would have to be abandoned, and that "at the heart of modern education there must be a command of science and technology." Realizing that the political failure of Tibet was due in part to not modernizing, he insisted on science being taught in schools.
Vic Michalak: He was pleased to see that scientists shared ideas even across polictical boundaries....
Vic Michalak: I see that as a distinct advantage of Second Life...
Talete Flanagan: venite se potete..
Vic Michalak: Question #2: How do we use Second Life? To simply reconstruct Real Life or to reinvent it?
Vic Michalak: We are given a default world by Linden Lab that has downward gravity and blue skies and a world that looks and feels pretty much like Real Life. Then we often proceed to build objects that mimic Real Life. So Second Life becomes a more of less flat surface on which we build things.
Vic Michalak: There are two variations on this. There is the layered flat surface approach used to expand the surface area.
Beragon Betts accepted your inventory offer.
Vic Michalak: And there is the "world in a sphere" approach, which is a little more imaginative.
Vic Michalak: I am thinking that we might also take advantage of this unique world by turning pyrimidal shaped buildings on their points, but building entryways for flying avatars instead of only doors on the ground level, by extending structures underwater (after all, we cannot drown) and by taking advantage of phantom and invisible prims.
Vic Michalak: Has anyone seen George Rickey's kinetic sculptures? They are masterpieces in both engineering and art. Here are a few ideas that came to mind: I was wondering if we could combine the structure of DNA or a rainbow in a kinetic sculpture. I also remember my high school biology textbook and the big arrows that illustrated the water cycle for example, and yet I have not seen the like in Second Life.
Vic Michalak: Question #3: Where are the zonkeys or pizzlies? A zonkey is a cross between a zebra and a donkey and a pizzly is a cross between a polar bear and a grizzly (a natural occurrence, by the way).
Vic Michalak: I hope that the Kira Institute can work to discover new ways to bring together different disciplines for some cross-fertilization of ideas.
Vic Michalak: Those are some of my current views on science and Second Life. [END]
Vic Michalak: I would now like to open the floor up to discussion...
Prospero Frobozz: One thought I had, re: talking across political boundaries.
Prospero Frobozz: We do... but only to an extent.
Oona Pinion: what are we trying to do here - re-create RL in SL?
Prospero Frobozz: There are some countries from which LL cannot allow connections to SL, due to legal restrictions from the US Government ("rogue nations")
Latha Serevi: Even with a translator, language barriers have been hard to cross for me in SL.
Prospero Frobozz: I really can't talk much about that, beinga Linden, and knowing nothing about it, but I wanted to throw it out there as a residual limit.
Alfred Kelberry: pros, like iran?
Prospero Frobozz: Latha : yes! There is, for example, a huge Japanese community in SL that has only limited cross-pollination with the non-Japanese speaking community
Ibis Karu: The US restricts scientists resident here, as well, from interactions in RL with 'rogue nations'.
Pema Pera: yes, Alfred, my astrophysics friends in Iran have trouble getting into SL it seems . . . .
Oona Pinion: science is science
Alfred Kelberry: pros, and these guys are very creative. i love their cosy little sims and shops.
xyryx Simca: Perhaps a handshake of sorts when entering a new sim to determine language translation requirements between affected parties?
xyryx Simca: Forse una sorta di stretta di mano quando si entra in una nuova lingua per determinare i requisiti di traduzione tra le parti interessate?
Alfred Kelberry: pema.. ah, that's sad
Pema Pera: Kira Japan is doing some cross polination while we speak . . . :)
Vico Rabeni: therefore it would be important to have an international language like english or spanish
Vic Michalak: Yes, but the translator is pretty good with Japanese - English.... And a lot of times people stay in groups (isolate) for comfort, but I have not seen any boundaries IN Second Life....
Curious Sciurus: HI Latha....didn't see you there
Talete Flanagan accepted your inventory offer.
Vic Michalak: There are always Real Life realities...
Niccio Decosta accepted your inventory offer.
Soon Zenovka accepted your inventory offer.
Vic Michalak: But those of us fortunate to be here have a rare opportunity to discusss our ideas regardless of where we are...
xyryx Simca: LL can't relocate its corporate headquarters to a more neutral country? =)
xyryx Simca: LL non può trasferire la sua sede centrale a un paese più neutrale? =)
Pema Pera: btw, you may have seen the board near the entrance here: each day we have a language-specific evening; anyone welcome to speak that language as the main vehicle for an hour
Vic Michalak: San Francisco is not a neutral country?
Caledonia Heron: hola :)
Prospero Frobozz: Re: creative builds, not limiting our virtual world to having the "flat surface, gravity is down" structure of RL --> there's probably some psychology to be done there. I think a lot of people have trouble adapting to Second Life *as it is*, and a more foreign metaphor for a space in which you live might make it even harder. Baby steps, perhaps?
Alfred Kelberry: pema, i love this idea
Alfred Kelberry: ola, cal :)
Vic Michalak: Yes, of course... many people might not be comforable in a Picasso world...
Pema Pera: :)
Prospero Frobozz: Or, at least, not at first
Prospero Frobozz: Let them get used to being in a metaverse at all before we push them to the next level
Troy McLuhan: Then we can tell them that there is no spoon
Vic Michalak: But I would challenge us to use this environment to be less gravity-bound so to speak...
Ibis Karu: In any case scientists spend a lot of time unlearning what they 'know' about the world in order to be effective as scientists.
Peter Ivanovic: Excuse me I have to leave
Vic Michalak: Thanks for coming, Peter...
Alfred Kelberry: hey, we can fly, vic :)
Latha Serevi: (geek detail dept, re gravity bound: LL left out "camera tilt" from LSL, so my attempts at making "sideways world" were cruelly limited. It's quite hard to make an avatar stand with its feet to your right and its head to its left. Try it sometime.)
xyryx Simca: There is less adherence to RW comforts in the sims that are dominated by RW artists..my observation only!
xyryx Simca: C'è meno rispetto a RW comfort in the sims che sono dominati da RW artisti .. solo la mia osservazione!
Vic Michalak: Yes... we can do a lot in SL! That is why we have to think beyond just being mortal.... So, what are your views on science in Second Life?
Oona Pinion: science is a description of the real world
Prospero Frobozz: Latha : yes! I wish we had the ability to tilt our camera
Vic Michalak: Latha... good point... but at some time there may be a version of the physics engine that is a bit more flexible so we can have space stations...
Troy McLuhan: Second Life is contained within and is part of the real world. Science applies
Prospero Frobozz: Well, in OpenSim, the physics engine is pluggable, so you could do more wacky things. But, you'd also need a client that lets you adjust your camera, and then the scripting functions to support it
Vic Michalak: Oona... yes... but this is our world here... How do we explain another world of the Earth if we cannot describe and exploit a foreign world like Second Life?
Oona Pinion: i can produce an anti gravity machine in SL
Pema Pera: http://www.ugotrade.com/2008/07/19/astrophysics-in-virtual-worlds-implementing-n-body-simulations-in-opensim/
Pema Pera: talks about our OpenSim work
Pema Pera: getting stars to move around under Newtonian gravity
Vic Michalak: Thanks Pema....
Latha Serevi: You can do all the antigravity tricks you want in SL by sitting on the appropriate vehicle, right now -- everything except for the arbitrarily controllable camera part, which shouldn't be that hard. I've been meaning to have a "sideways dancefloor" party sometime.
Pema Pera: (and a shorter version on http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2008/08/princeton-astro.html)
Vic Michalak: I will be giving genesis a list of places in Second Life where science is practiced or displayed.... I would ask you all to contribute to it if you would... that is one way we can share here.... Be looking for it in the next few days (via Notices)...
xyryx Simca: Is the goal to have Real Science taking place in SL? or just demo'ing here? or discussing it here/educating?
Latha Serevi: Thanks in advance for the science list, Vic -- be sure to pick Troy's brain for that.
Chair - Scarlet Cordoba *: Sorry, this chair is busy.
Pema Pera: both, xy, but for physics OpenSim is more flexible
Prospero Frobozz: What I would LOVE Is if we could figure out a way to make a sim where people could move about with hbar on macroscopic scales, or c on moderate scales, so we could *feel* relativity and/or quantum mechanics. Actually implementing that would be hard.
Vic Michalak: Those were two of my points --- there IS some real science being conducted in SL as well as being displayed....
Pema Pera: a new project, Pros!
Ibis Karu: prospero, remember 'powers of 10'?
Latha Serevi: Prosp, good one. I've wanted a nanotech sim where molecules stick and wobble.
Oona Pinion tries to think of travellign at c with no lag...
Vic Michalak: Prospero... that WOULD be real science!
Pema Pera: yes, Ibis?
Ibis Karu: an old educational video
xyryx Simca: Powers of 10 = Droste Effect sorta?
Vic Michalak: Good ideas Latha and Pros....
Vic Michalak: I always liked that simple video...
Troy McLuhan: The Science Center group maintains a list of science-related places in SL at http://science-center-group.wikispaces.com/Science-Related+Places
Vic Michalak: SL is a great platform to represent different scales.... and the camera view helps
Vic Michalak: Thank you Troy....
Latha Serevi: Speaking of nanotech sims and stuff, this is a truly awesome video of how ATPase (a crucial little molecular machine inside mitochondria) works. http://multimedia.mcb.harvard.edu/anim_ATPase3_flv.html
Vic Michalak: So, again. what do you think of science in SL? ARe there some particularly good examples? I am particularly fond of the RL-SL interface such as NOAA's weather map (data visualization)....
Vic Michalak: Thanks Latha...
Vic Michalak: If it is the one I am thinking of, that was an outstanding CG video...
Vic Michalak: What are some of your favorite science places in SL?
Pema Pera: As for science in SL, we have MICA http://www.mica-vw.org/ , an astrophysics organization, kind of like a virtual astrophysics department
Prospero Frobozz: Has anybody spent much time in Svarga? That's supposed to be a simulated ecosystem, and potentially looks very cool, but I haven't spent enough time to really see it behaving as an ecosystem. (It's also beautiful.)
Prospero Frobozz: I'm also fond of the "live audiences" that NPRs Science Friday has in-world on Fridays at 11AM SLT.
Vico Rabeni: yes
Vic Michalak: I have visited becuase of the unusual architecture and landscaping and was aware of the artificial life aspect, but haave not examined it in detail or asked the creator about how it was modeled (yet)...
Troy McLuhan: The last I heard, Svarga was looking for someone to take on the monthly tier bill
Prospero Frobozz: Yeah
Troy McLuhan: There are at least two other simulated ecosystems in SL
Prospero Frobozz has written the beginnings of an N-body simulator in LSL, and has it solving the 3-body problem, but it's very slow, of course, being all in LSL. Not much of a user interface yet.
Vic Michalak: Yes, I listen to Science Friday on the radio while visiting it in SL while I am working in my office sometimes... I like it that they recognize questoins from SL in RL...
Oona Pinion: scifri is one of the most enagaging things i have experienced - it's not the science per se, but rather the interaction
Troy McLuhan: The BBC radio show The Naked Scientists also broadcasts live into SL and takes questions/comments live from SL
Vic Michalak: Troy... I have heard that... I have one of the other sites written down - it will be on my list...
Vic Michalak: Really? Interesting? Worth visiting...
Pema Pera: one big question is: when can we hop from one virtual world to another?
Troy McLuhan: Oh - the other two simulated ecosystems are: 1) Second Nature 3 at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Second%20Nature%203/150/105/21 and 2) Primula Rasa at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Delphic/51/124/21
Pema Pera: For example, in Qwaq Forums we played with N-body systems
Pema Pera: would be great to visit from SL
Vic Michalak: Aahh.... Have you heard of the Virtual World group that Stanford is working on?
Vic Michalak: They are working on bringing VEs to the Web... but they are in the early phases of this...
Vico Rabeni: or it would be interesting to hop through Google world
Vic Michalak: There is a good paper that talks about Google Earth and IBM's training in SL and speculates on some mashup of some of these media...
Vic Michalak: But they say that you would need an inordinate amount of servers and storage capacity to try to reproduce even a fraction of the Real World in a virtual world environment like this one...
Prospero Frobozz can't help but wonder if the notion of bringing VEs to the web is misguided in a way similar to the idea of "bringing the web to libraries as a way of making the web more generally useful"
Prospero Frobozz: There are a few projects out there to develop standards and protocols for linking virtual worlds together -- the one I'm most familiar with is the OGP, which Linden has been a leader of.
Prospero Frobozz: OThers, including lots of opensim people, are also involved, including some from IBM
Vic Michalak: Yes.... even SL has shown that it is not simply a matter of "build it and they will come" (the business boom of 2007)
Troy McLuhan: There are already lots of open standards being used by SL
Prospero Frobozz: While "build it and they will come" is too optimistic, it is assuredly true that if you don't build it, they won't come :)
Pema Pera: :)
Troy McLuhan: SL is more like, "give them the tools and let them come build it"
Vic Michalak: Yes... SL is constantly improving and adding features that bring more functionality to this world...
Pema Pera: tools and people networks
Pema Pera: both
Vic Michalak: Ahhh.... that is more like it.... nothing comes without work and sweat....
Prospero Frobozz: AS regards science -- long term, I see the primary advantage of SL being community, communication, bringing people together. For doing more experimental things, it will take open source virtual worlds like OpenSim that researchers can play with, as there will never be the kind of market pressure to build or support those things on the part of a company that sells virtual world services to , and I hate this word but I'll use it, "consumers".
Pema Pera: rezzumers
Vic Michalak: :)
Latha Serevi: I'm an open gridder; sadly, it's a real uphill battle to unwind all of LL's wondrous tangled hacks and make things so that non-LL clients and servers can be part of a somewhat SL-compatible ecosystem. I'm feeling daunted about it this week.
Troy McLuhan:
Vic Michalak: I agree with Prospero... the true value of SL is as a communications tool that brings in all the advantages of Web 2.0, traditional clasroom, instructional videoconferecning and the like... plus some unique features...
Prospero Frobozz: To be sure, there is still some distance to go even with *that*.
Pema Pera: Do you see alternative solutions, Latha?
Prospero Frobozz: But those are things I expect will happen with time. I never expect SL itself to have the ability to experiment with the physics engine in a SL sim.
Pema Pera: Why not in your own island, Pros?
Prospero Frobozz: Because to really do that experimentation means playing with the server code, *or* developing at great development cost the hooks and user interface to let people play with it in a flexible manner. IT will never be widely enough desired, or a high enough priority, for LL to implement that-- and, if you're playing with the server code your island is running on, kyou're not in SL any more, you're on your own server.
Pema Pera: those hooks may be useful for other reasons
Latha Serevi: Pema: no alternate solutions, really; just very slow building of much-more-crippled-than-SL simple open VR's, and not getting too impressed with our Frankenstein monster experiments duct-taping things to LL's complicated code. The open metaverse is not at hand yet.
Pema Pera: if nothing else, to make the internal software more modular and more maintainable!
Prospero Frobozz: There's a difference between having the ability to plug in different (say) physics engine modules, however, and giving residents the ability to select, configure, or even create them.
Pema Pera: I'm not too suprised, Latha -- the first software realization has to be thrown away, and replaced -- that is true for anything . . . sooner or later (I am NOT thinking of Vista :-)
Troy McLuhan: Linden Lab used to talk about open-sourcing the SL server code. (The client code is already open source, for the most part.)
Prospero Frobozz: E.g., we could change the strength of gravity with just a little bit of code editing. It woudl be a MUCH larger project to give estate managers the ability to configure the strength of gravity in their own estates.
Prospero Frobozz: Troy : yeah... that's not on the visible horizon at the moment. AT some level, OpenSim has removed the pressure to do that. What's more important now are developing the communications protocols and making *those* open.
Pema Pera: but such modularization might benefit everybody including SL in the long run -- well, just a thought
Vic Michalak: What about graduating the gravity with altitude (Z axis)?
Prospero Frobozz: Yeah, modularization (done right) can help, but there's additional development beyond that to expose teh configurability of modules to the user who doesn't build and assemble the code.
Prospero Frobozz: Vic : that would be harder.
xyryx Simca: So SL will become the scaffolding that enables communication between the travellers and users of all the worlds to come? ;-)
Prospero Frobozz: Perhaps
Prospero Frobozz: That'd be cool -- if SL was the hub where everybody went, and there were other parts of the metaverse that were tuned to different individual ideas, goals, experimentations.
Prospero Frobozz: A win for everybody, kincluding LL :)
Latha Serevi: xyryx: no, it' won't. It's a proprietary cul-de-sac. One we all love, but still.
Prospero Frobozz: Latha : it may be a cul-de-sac, but I think it's premature to judge it that wtay.
Prospero Frobozz: If LL completely abandons OGP or similar effort, then, yeah, I'll agree with you that it's a likely cul-de-sac
Latha Serevi: true, it hasn't imploded yet. but I still can't build something for SL and any other environment, or take anything at all out of SL. W'ere still very vulnerable.
You have offered friendship to Scathach Rhiadra
Vic Michalak: SL is the pioneer..... What we learn here will be the foundation of the 3D Web and later ubiquitous VR (I hope)....
Latha Serevi: The problem isn't LL, it's that there's no "other leg" for us to stand on, not even close.
xyryx Simca: Latha: explain?
Troy McLuhan: One can now build for SL in 3D studio max (and other similar tools), and import everything into SL with one click. Those models can also be used by almost any other 3D program
Vic Michalak: Agreed.... SL is "Mosaic"... There is no "Netscape" let alone "Internet Explorer" (to use the browser metaphor)...
Pema Pera: ah, that's an interesting alternative, Troy!
Latha Serevi: xyryx: LL has built a very capable, complex, extensible, incompatible, proprietary, owned-by-a-corporation VR. It's the 800 pound gorilla of user created VR's, and we have no "other leg" that even qualifies as a 96 pound weakling.
Prospero Frobozz hopes that SL isn't "Mosaic"
Prospero Frobozz: Mosaic, after all, has gone to the dustbin of history
Latha Serevi: Let's call it Netscape, before Microsoft did a slick job of reverse-engineering it into IE.
Prospero Frobozz: I hope that SL continues to grow and exists as an important part of the global interoperable metaverse
Pema Pera: where do you see another leg appearing first, Latha?
Prospero Frobozz: Even Netscape has gone to the dustbin of history, unless you follow the tenuous thread from netscape through mozilla to firefox
Latha Serevi: Pema, the other leg could be a second commercial VR effort; or an opensim type project that gets enough buy-in.
Prospero Frobozz: But I would argue that the thread from SL to OpenSim is at least as strong as the thread from Netscape to Firefox
Latha Serevi: But without two legs, you don't have the motivation to tease out the good interfaces.
Pema Pera: yes
Prospero Frobozz believes that the second leg will be OpenSim
Pema Pera: likely yes
Prospero Frobozz: There are a lot of people -- not "cosumers", but some classic early-adopters -- who are VERY Interested in opensim. I'm thinking educators, in particular.
Vic Michalak: Okay... so metaphors break down, but until IE6 or IE7 you could still see "based on Mosaic" in the About window.... So SL needs to make sure they adapt to meet demands so they become the "browser" or choice for VE...
Latha Serevi: I hope OpenSim could be the second leg, Prospero, but we get excited about OpenSim and forget that it is missing 80% of what SL has. Money, for instance. Scripting. Flexies. Etc, etc, etc.
Prospero Frobozz: As much as I hate to say it, seeing that I work for LL and hate Windows, I more see it that SL may be windows, while OpenSim is Linux. That is, eventually they can communicate with each other fully, and fully network, but SL will remain the choice of corporate types who want a big corporation to back them up, and experimenters and universities working on the edge will hugely adopt OpenSim
Troy McLuhan: Vic I wonder what you had in mind to say about the copyright symbol on your panel there above the table?
ZHAO Anim Overrider - Abranimations Version: Could not find animation 'Msitting1'.
Troy McLuhan: The © symbol
ZHAO Anim Overrider - Abranimations Version: Could not find animation 'Msitting1'
Vic Michalak: The (c) simply means that I expressed some ideas that I hope to implement - nothing to do with LL or SL
Vic Michalak: Some idea of my own... hence the (c) (joke)
Troy McLuhan: Oh
Troy McLuhan: (Sorry my hands move but I'm not typing anymore.)
Prospero Frobozz: YOu know what might be interesting, given that we're talking about science in virtual worlds
Prospero Frobozz: What was the status of "science on the web" in 1994?
Prospero Frobozz: And how does it compare to "science on the web" today?
Pema Pera: the web came out of science
Prospero Frobozz: I know that myself, back in 1994, before going observing, I would make sure to have printed out and brought with me lots and lots of finding charts for things I might observe before going to a telescope. By 2001, I wouldn't necessarily have chosen specific objects, as I could depend on (say) SkyView for making finding charts
Pema Pera: SL came out of videogames
Vic Michalak: Interesting.... I always like to examine development and not just "now"
Prospero Frobozz: Pema : well, sure.
Prospero Frobozz: But.
Prospero Frobozz: What was science doing with the web in 1994 and how has it changed?
Prospero Frobozz: For instance, when the web started, we didn't have arxiv.org or adsabs.harvard.edu
Prospero Frobozz: Nowadays, there's basically no reason to have journals on shelves in your office.
Troy McLuhan: Scientists were using the web to share papers, and still are
Pema Pera: arxiv came very soon, though, in 1994 I believe
Latha Serevi: Hard to capture that one, Propero, but my first take would be: ARPAnet was for connecting science institutions; today's web is for connecting a much broader range of participants to science knowledge.
Troy McLuhan: There are more science bloggers now (none in 1994)
Pema Pera: Frankly, I think the largest barrier for scientists adopting SL is that it came from the game industry, not from science itself (like email and web)
Vic Michalak: No blogs in 1994 :) (but the equivalent)
Prospero Frobozz: Certainly 1994, 1995, when you ahd a preprint you'd still send it to libraries of universities around the country and world; by 2000, there was no point.
Prospero Frobozz: Pema : you think that's a perceptual barrier (i.e. scientists think, eh, it's just a toy), or a real barrier in terms of what is possible and what is available?
JeanPierre Euler: /in 1994 first good preprint servers has started , now they are all in archive.org
Pema Pera: perceptual
Pema Pera: you should see the *eyes* of many of my colleagues if I tell them about working in SL
Pema Pera: the associations with videogames etc
Pema Pera: just impossible to take it seriously
Pema Pera: not everyone -- but many!
Vic Michalak: I think that it is a definite perceptual barrier in most of academia that SL "appears" to be a game (but that is there only frame of reference because of the necessary abstraction)...
Prospero Frobozz personally thinks nowadays that publishing in Nature, if you don't get a preprint on arXiv.org, is similar to not publishing at all. The article remains locked behind a paywall forever. Better to publish in something like ApJ where at least *eventually* it's available to the world.
Pema Pera: not using your own name is a big thing too -- offputting
Pema Pera: for most scientists
Prospero Frobozz: Yeah, I agree there's the perceptual barrier. I think that LL thought they were creating a video game when they first started it, too.
Prospero Frobozz: Pema : fully agreed
Troy McLuhan: Yes, I agree about the inability to use one's own name being off-putting
Books Janus: (must go. Thank you)
Latha Serevi: I think scientists are jumping on to SL pretty well; the science community in SL seems quite lively. Just yesterday the "Astronomy 2009" opening ceremonies in RL showed some images from their SL island, to show what they were doing.
Vic Michalak: Thanks... bye Books.... enjoy your SL!
xyryx Simca: Aah.the Edge Annual Question 2009: What will change everything is light reading after this..http://www.edge.org/q2009/q09_print.html
Prospero Frobozz: I've made some noise inside the lab that we really need to give people the ability to have their real name displayed (e.g. in place of a group tag), but it went to the usual, "yes, we agree, good idea, but this will be part of a project that will need market research and design and yadda yadda", and in other words don't hold your breath.
Troy McLuhan: (Troy McLuhan is the closest I could get to Troy McConaghy, my real name)
Pema Pera: oh yes, Latha, it will get there, eventually, in the next few years for sure
xyryx Simca: Ciao!
Vic Michalak: Many scientists and educators share their e-mail or photo or 1st Life info in their Profiles so that the SL name is just like an e-mail handle...
Troy McLuhan: Yes the IYA sim opening was packed with avs
Pema Pera: great!
Vic Michalak: ciao xyryx!
Prospero Frobozz: Vic : true, but that's obscured in that you have to get the profile up to see it, and your avatar name is what hovers over your head. Also, in my experience, LOTS of people never bother to put their real name in the "1st life" part of their profile, even if they want people to know it. (I've seen that with MICA regulars.)
Troy McLuhan: I also maintain a list of science-related events going on in SL, and the event rate has increased slowly but steadily over the years
Latha Serevi: edge.org is a lot of fun. Here's a fixed link. http://www.edge.org/q2009/q09_print.html This year's question for the member scientists: "What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?"
Troy McLuhan: Thanks Latha
Vic Michalak: We are slowy rising up the technology innovation/acceptance curve.... I hope that the Gartner Group's projection that 80% of Internet users and Fortune 500 companies will have a substantial presence in virtual worlds will come to pass....
Pema Pera: Well, I have to get going, thanks Vic and everybody -- what fun!
Prospero Frobozz: Yes, thank you Vic!
Troy McLuhan: In Canada, use of the Internet was less than 50% of the population in 2000, now it's around 80%
Vic Michalak: Thanks for taking the time to come.... you too Prospero.. and Troy!
Vico Rabeni: I have to leave. Here it is late and I have to go to bed now
Vic Michalak: Sayonara, Pema!
Troy McLuhan: Okay, cheers everyone
Latha Serevi: ^0^HoOoOoOowls^0^
Vic Michalak: Yes... the one thing we cannot change in SL is RL time zones!!
Scathach Rhiadra: night all, thanks Vic
Sus4 Strom: thanks Vic
Vic Michalak: Thank you everyone for coming... please check www.kira.org for future events....
Sus4 Strom: goodnight
Vic Michalak: night....
Curious Sciurus: I'll be back for more meetings here
idanthology Sandalwood: later...take care
Curious Sciurus: have a goodnight everyone

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