tommyedison

Second LIfe

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Second Life

Basically this is a free MMORPG. The catch is that this game allowes you to retain Intellectual property rights to your creation. The result has been the creation of a fast growing ingame economy in a currency called Linden Dollars which can be exchanged for real dollars.

It's simply amazing! If you want a totally unregulated economy in this day and age, IMO, this thing comes closest.

Business Week Article

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I signed up for it a few weeks ago and played just a little bit, but I'm too busy with my First Life to give it much time. :) It looks like fun though, and the fact that there are people making big bucks from the virtual environment is also very interesting.

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I signed up for it a few weeks ago and played just a little bit, but I'm too busy with my First Life to give it much time.

For that reason, do the existence of these games not creep you all out? That so many people spend hundreds of hours playing The Sims, Grand Theft Auto, or other online RPG's?

I occasionally like to relax after homework and play a sci-fi shooter for an hour or so just like the next guy, but games like these, that require constant dedication and hundreds of hours of playing and the object of which is to create a new simulated life, do they not give anyone here the creeps?

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I occasionally like to relax after homework and play a sci-fi shooter for an hour or so just like the next guy, but games like these, that require constant dedication and hundreds of hours of playing and the object of which is to create a new simulated life, do they not give anyone here the creeps?

A little, I suppose. It reminds me a bit of Robert Nozick's thought experiment about the 'experience machine'.

Random tidbit: A friend of mine used to work at Linden Labs, the company that wrote Second Life. He's one of the smartest people I've ever met -- graduated from college at an absurdly early age, and went to Cal-Tech and picked up an MS in Computer Science while he was waiting to be old enough to get admitted to medical school. The fact that he didn't get into one of the UC medical schools was the event that led former UC Regent Ward Connerly to begin his crusade against affirmative action.

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Random tidbit: A friend of mine used to work at Linden Labs, the company that wrote Second Life. He's one of the smartest people I've ever met -- graduated from college at an absurdly early age, and went to Cal-Tech and picked up an MS in Computer Science while he was waiting to be old enough to get admitted to medical school. The fact that he didn't get into one of the UC medical schools was the event that led former UC Regent Ward Connerly to begin his crusade against affirmative action.

What's your brilliant friend doing now? Did he eventually go to another medical school?

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I tried the game a few months ago, and while I don't care to play the game much my fianceƩ loves it. She's even playing it as I type this message. She always liked games like the Sims, and this game is just like that except that there is a real person behind each character.

I think the open-ended system they've built that allows users to build practically anything and retain rights over it is pretty clever. It lets people create and sell clothes, furniture, houses, or almost anything you can think of. My fianceƩ told me about a friend in the game who built a rocket and would sell rides.

That said, I agree that it's a little creepy how much time and effort people spend in the game. Sure, you can spend hours and hours building something, but it's still something that can only be used in this particular game.

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What's your brilliant friend doing now? Did he eventually go to another medical school?

He did go to another medical school and got his medical degree. He worked as a doctor for several years prior to working as a software engineer at Linden. I think he's now working at another software engineering job in the Sacramento area.

They say that everybody knows *somebody* who makes them feel stupid. I'm a pretty smart guy, but I have no problem admitting that this guy makes me feel slow.

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He did go to another medical school and got his medical degree. He worked as a doctor for several years prior to working as a software engineer at Linden. I think he's now working at another software engineering job in the Sacramento area.

That's interesting - do you know why he decided to become a programmer rather than continue in the medical field? Is he an Objectivist?

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That's interesting - do you know why he decided to become a programmer rather than continue in the medical field? Is he an Objectivist?

No, I don't. We were casual friends rather than close ones, although he did live with a close friend of mine for a few years. I know he moved to Sacramento to be with his wife, who works for the state government. And sadly, no, he isn't an Objectivist.

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Second Life

Basically this is a free MMORPG. The catch is that this game allowes you to retain Intellectual property rights to your creation. The result has been the creation of a fast growing ingame economy in a currency called Linden Dollars which can be exchanged for real dollars.

It's simply amazing! If you want a totally unregulated economy in this day and age, IMO, this thing comes closest.

Business Week Article

Thread necromancy!

If you do visit Second Life, check out The Objectivist Institute, and join the The Objectivists group, currently at about 140 members. The founder of both, Kain Scalia, is a classic Objectivist, not a Libertarian or Kelleyite. Via group notices, you can find when informal chats, lectures, and classes are held. They are infrequent, but I've met a few good people each time I've turned up.

There is also a book club, currently reading through Atlas Shrugged and meeting for weekly discussions. That's held by members of the BrainCrave group. I haven't been to any, but a member of that group could probably help out. I know they were looking for Objectivists to participate in their discussions.

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Random tidbit: A friend of mine used to work at Linden Labs, the company that wrote Second Life. He's one of the smartest people I've ever met -- graduated from college at an absurdly early age, and went to Cal-Tech and picked up an MS in Computer Science while he was waiting to be old enough to get admitted to medical school. The fact that he didn't get into one of the UC medical schools was the event that led former UC Regent Ward Connerly to begin his crusade against affirmative action.

The engineering staff is intimidatingly smart all around. Books like The Mystery of Capital and The Death and Life of Great American Cities change hands when talking about changes to the virtual currency and land systems. Anyone is able and encouraged to question the logic underlying decisions supporting work in which he is asked to participate. Ivory tower mandates are rare, and are met with vocal resistance if they go against the company's stated values. I've been there a few years, and can't imagine working anywhere else.

Check out Netflix' slide deck about their corporate culture for something similarly great.

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