Ojai Orange.com | home | archives | press | contact us

Ojai Orange | The Column of Lasting Insignificance | Books | Wait-A-Minute

April 21, 2007
John Wilcock - April 21, 2007

 

  The column of lasting insignificance
     


also posted:



2011
November 26 2011
November 19, 2011
November 12, 2011
November 5, 2011
October 29, 2011
October 22, 2011
October 15, 2011
October 8, 2011
October 1, 2011
September 24, 2011
September 17, 2011
September 10, 2011
September 4, 2011
August 27, 2011
August 20, 2011
August 13, 2011
August 6, 2011
July 30, 2011
July 23, 2011
July 16, 2011
July 9, 2011
July 2, 2011
June 25, 2011
June 18, 2011
June 11, 2011
June 4, 2011
May 28, 2011
May 21, 2011
May 14, 2011
May 7, 2011
April 30, 2011
April 23, 2011
April 16, 2011
April 9, 2011
April 2, 2011
March 26, 2011
March 19, 2011
March 12, 2011
March 5, 2011
February 26, 2011
February 19, 2011
February 12, 2011
February 5, 2011
February 5, 2011
January 29, 2011
January 22, 2011
January 15, 2011
January 6, 2011

2010
December 25, 2010
December 18, 2010
December 11, 2010
December 4, 2010
November 27, 2010
November 20, 2010
November 13, 2010
November 6, 2010
October 30, 2010
October 23, 2010
October 16, 2010
October 9, 2010
October 2, 2010
September 25, 2010
September 18, 2010
September 11, 2010
September 4, 2010
August 28, 2010
August 21, 2010
August 14, 2010
August 7, 2010
July 31, 2010
July 24, 2010
July 17, 2010
July 10, 2010
July 3, 2010
June 26, 2010
June 19, 2010
June 12, 2010
June 5, 2010
May 29, 2010
May 22, 2010
May 15, 2010
May 8, 2010
May 1, 2010
April 24, 2010
April 17, 2010
April 10, 2010
April 3, 2010
March 27, 2010
March 20, 2010
March 13, 2010
March 6, 2010
February 27, 2010
February 20, 2010
February 13, 2010
February 6, 2010
January 30, 2010
January 23, 2010
January 16, 2010
January 9, 2010
January 2, 2010

2009
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 12, 2009
December 5, 2009
November 28, 2009
November 21, 2009
November 14, 2009
November 7, 2009
October 31, 2009
October 24, 2009
October 17, 2009
October 10, 2009
October 3, 2009
September 26, 2009
September 19, 2009
September 12, 2009
September 5, 2009
August 29, 2009
August 22, 2009
August 15, 2009
August 8, 2009
August 1, 2009
July 25, 2009
July 18, 2009
July 11, 2009
July 4, 2009
June 27, 2009
June 20, 2009
June 13, 2009
June 6, 2009
May 30, 2009
May 23, 2009
May 16, 2009
May 9, 2009
May 2, 2009
April 25, 2009
April 18, 2009
April 11, 2009
April 4, 2009
March 28, 2009
March 21, 2009
March 14, 2009
March 7, 2009
February 28, 2009
February 21, 2009
February 14, 2009
February 7, 2009
January 31, 2009
January 24, 2009
January 17, 2009
January 3, 2009

2008
December 27, 2008
December 20, 2008
December 13, 2008
December 6, 2008
November 29, 2008
November 22, 2008
November 15, 2008
November 8, 2008
November 5, 2008
November 1, 2008
October 25, 2008
October 18, 2008
October 11, 2008
October 4, 2008
September 27, 2008
September 20, 2008
September 13, 2008
September 6, 2008
August 30, 2008
August 23, 2008
August 16, 2008
August 9, 2008
August 2, 2008
July 26, 2008
July 19, 2008
July 12, 2008
July 5, 2008
June 28, 2008
June 21, 2008
June 14, 2008
June 7, 2008
May 31, 2008
May 24, 2008
May 17, 2008
May 10, 2008
May 3, 2008
April 26, 2008
April 19, 2008
April 12, 2008
April 5, 2008
March 29, 2008
March 22, 2008
March 15, 2008
March 8, 2008
March 1, 2008
February 23, 2008
February 16, 2008
February 9, 2008
February 2, 2008
January 26, 2008
January 19, 2008
January 12, 2008
January 5, 2008

2007
December 29, 2007
December 22, 2007
December 15, 2007
December 8, 2007
December 1, 2007
November 24, 2007
November 17, 2007
November 10, 2007
November 3, 2007
October 27, 2007
October 20, 2007
October 13, 2007
October 6, 2007
September 29, 2007
September 22, 2007
September 15, 2007
September 8, 2007
September 1, 2007
August 25, 2007
August 18, 2007
August 11, 2007
August 4, 2007
July 28, 2007
July 21, 2007
July 14, 2007
July 7, 2007
June 30, 2007
June 23, 2007
June 16, 2007
June 9, 2007
June 2, 2007
May 19, 2007
May 12, 2007
May 5, 2007
April 28, 2007
April 21, 2007
April 14, 2007
April 7, 2007
March 31, 2007
March 24, 2007
March 17, 2007
March 10, 2007
March 3, 2007
February 24, 2007
February 17, 2007
February 10, 2007
February 3, 2007
January 20, 2007
January 13, 2007
January 6, 2007

2006
December 30, 2006
December 23, 2006
December 16, 2006
December 9, 2006
December 2, 2006
November 25, 2006
November 18, 2006
November 11, 2006
November 4, 2006
October 28, 2006
October 21, 2006
October 14, 2006
October 7, 2006
September 30, 2006
September 23, 2006
September 16, 2006
September 9, 2006
September 2, 2006
August 26, 2006
August 19, 2006
August 12, 2006
August 5, 2006
July 29, 2006
July 22, 2006
July 15, 2006

 

 


April 21, 2007

ACTING SOMEWHAT IN the role of a foreign correspondent, author Jenni Siski explored the still-expanding cyber world of Second Life (current population: 5.3 million) and reported back to the London Review of Books  that it didn’t seem to her much different from the real world (RL). “It turns out that there is no second life on Second Life, only more of the same old first and only one, but cartoon-shaped….not only does Second Life not offer an alternative existence, it positively encourages a replication of the regular world”, she wrote. At present, membership is free but soon a charge will be made for names to be listed online, adding millions to the coffers of Robin Linden whose “Linden dollars”, exchanged at the LindeX exchange, are SL’s operating currency (about $247L =$1US). An entire 16-acre island costs $1,675 plus monthly rent of $295, but there’s a 40% discount for RL educators and academic institutions.

        Most entrants pay monthly rents ranging all the way up to $195 for a “region”, and then buy whatever they need to build on it or take part in whatever activities are on offer—pretty much everything including a red light district with pole dancers and “filthy fuck puppets”. Because SL entrepreneurs are just as opportunistic and greedy as in the real world, some early land-grabbers have made hundreds of thousands of (real) dollars from this unreal world. A teacher in Germany, Ailin Graft, became SL’s first millionaire by trading virtual property prices.

        Members nominate an avatar possessing whatever characteristics they choose, as their second self, and so “big-breasted, muscle-ripping blondes” and male jocks predominate. “What this place needs is a grumpy old woman” wrote Ms. Diski, who decided to become SL’s single example of an older generation. Nobody spoke to her. “Like the old everywhere, I was invisible and inaudible” she reported, coming to the conclusion that she could be just as delusional in the here and now. “The point of a  virtual existence became less and less clear to me”.

        Alexander Besher,  San Francisco author of the Philip K. Dick Award nominated novel RIM which forecast such worlds back in 1993, was asked what he thought of the concept. Said a skeptical Besher: "They should (all) get a life." 

ANOTHER SKEPTIC IS Jason Lee Steorts who takes off after the best-selling book, The Secret, whose gullible readers have already bought 3.75million copies to learn about “the law of attraction”. This questionable thesis apparently states that whatever dominant thought you can impress on your mind will then enter your life. “Your thoughts become things!” declares the author, Rhonda Byrne, an Australian TV producer of both book and a similarly-named film. In the National Review, Steorts calls her “a promotional genius…(whose) dogmas are tailored perfectly to the sentimental permissiveness of the country in which she has found her greatest success”.

IT SEEMS SAFE TO PREDICT that like it or not the day of the suicide bomber has come to stay. How long will it be before would-be suicides decide that it would be  wasteful to do it alone so why not rid the world of some scumbag at the same time? Judging from current accounts, billionaire publishers and greedy landlords could be among the earliest victims, both of them sharing the sort of mindset in which money is infinitely more important than the lives of less elevated human beings.

“You know ‘that look” women get when they want sex?” asked Steve Martin. “Me, neither”.

WHAT CAN THE peace-loving Quakers do about the war in Iraq?
Well, judging by a recent essay in their Friends Journal, the only thing would be for like-minded people to think hard about how to change the culture. Nailing the reason for the war as a quest for oil, Maya M. Porter points out that our economy has become totally dependent on oil. “And that’s the problem. We buy it, all of us do. Because we have to…...we are not exempt from responsibility. We are part of the consumerist society, like it or not.”

     The only recourse, Ms. Porter suggests. is for groups to get together and try to figure out how to live without oil dependency. “There has to be a way to live that does not require fighting brutal wars to secure the energy necessary to maintain that way of life…We have a responsibility to take a stand, to make an impression on the society at large to change its ways….Like those dedicated Friends who opposed slavery when it was a socially and politically accepted part of their culture, none of us can do this alone”.

THE WILCOCK WEB: The Electric Sheep Company, which designs three dimensional properties in virtual worlds such as Second Life, has made a deal with CBS to create commercials….. That aspirin can be used to revive a dead car battery is one of the 2,209 useful tips in the new Reader’s Digest Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things to be published next week…. Those ludicrous misspellings in television close-captioning have long had their counterpart in movie subtitles where things are likely to get worse. Movie producers are being enticed to outsource subtitling to India and Malaysia where translators are offering cut rates…. Men are always asking what women want in bed, says Kathy Lette. The answer is breakfast…..Yahoo plans to add a singing anchorman to its newscasts who, a spokesman promises, “will leave you tapping your feet”…..High Times magazine is pitching the networks with plans for a reality TV show set in its Manhattan office where, says editor Steve Hager, no toking takes place….Some companies could save as much as a million dollars in printing costs after July 1, reports CFO magazine, when the Securities and Exchange Commission will allow them to distribute their proxy statements via the Web….Women may fake orgasms, reflects Sharon Stone, but men fake whole relationships ….”Has Google replaced Microsoft as the almighty pariah that everyone wants to cut down to size?” asks the Observer’s Richard Wachman …. TelevisionWeek devoted 20 pages of editorial and ads to praising Bob Wright who recently stepped down as NBC’s boss…..You don’t have to be rich to help with one of those far-sighted schemes that lends money to poor people in distant lands to lift them out of poverty because they’re always looking for helpers at www.kiva.org….. Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power--Benjamin Franklin  (1706-90)

APRIL 14/07

=======================================

TOP

     

© 2006-2013 ojaiorange.com | web design by David Buehrens