The Atomic and The Digital World

Sophrosyne Stenvaag Profile picture on BloggerSophrosyne Stenvaag has recently written some of her thoughts on crossing the barrier between the atomic and the digital world, and as any good Extropian and Immersionist, her point is that we should not mix issues of the real (atomic) world with the virtual (digital) world. She argues that it doesn’t make any sense, for instance, to campaign for human rights in a RL country inside the virtual space of, say, the Second Life® world. In her own words:

If you see SL, or any digital world, as its own place, importing a social problem or a political issue is downright rude: it’s like going on vacation to a foreign country and arguing the benefits of your political candidate or party back home. It’s rude, and it’s imperialistic – it’s implicitly saying that your community’s politics are more important than those of the ones you’re visiting.

Her argument extends further to explain that things like governance (or self-governance) in SL are flawed if we use “real” models, since a new medium will require new forms of organisation, and although SL is a prime candidate for “role-playing” existing governance models, it shouldn’t be taken for more than that. SL allows for better, different tools to deal with governance issues, and we should not be stuck with primitive, atomic-world solutions when tackling this issue in SL.

One foot on each side of the chasm

I’ve started to reply to Soph’s one article in a comment, but soon this grew quite over my intended short statement — and it’s also kind of rude to swamp other people’s blogs with too long comments, so I reworded my comment into an appropriate article.

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