baker Blinker's Weblog

First and Second Life at least.

Loose Thoughts… October 28, 2009

Filed under: Jeogeot Chilbo,Kelly Yap Gallery — baker Blinker @ 9:46 am

Attempted a switch of themes for this blog, and after activating several decided to stick with the current one (Rounded). My main complaint still about this theme is that there’s a gap between the header and the main body of texts/links. But the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Coming in a fairly close second were, let’s see, Inove and, maybe especially Silver is the New Black. See how the head and body are much closer in these 2 examples? (note: you have to be logged into WordPress to see the examples).

I am now an official resident of Chilbo. Not sure what that entails, except that I filled out Chilbo Community Land Use Application and also, I *think*, a Chilbo Community Building Project Membership Application. Have to double check on that last one, because I had to fill out 2 versions of the first, I know, for various reasons all of my own fault, basically. More overall SL issues. I have been welcomed by the founder herself, a great honor. Always nice to have an active leader.

Early on in my experiences, I will give some very preliminary insights: I don’t think I could have been a member of the Chilbo group and Yapland group at once, since both create a lot of notecards. Both have active leadership, if you will. Yapland is very art oriented, although Kelly collaborated with a number of other SL organizations such as Bookstacks — there was actually a lot going on there that I let pass me by, being the introvert I am and avoiding crowds whenever possible. And the same would apply to Chilbo, *except* Chilbo is a much more diverse and larger community than Yapland, although it has a strong art component as well. However, if you look at the overall *mainland* sections of the SL Art Galleries Map (each gallery is located through a kiosk provided free by Sasun Steinbeck’s marvelous system) you’ll see the unique nature of both. There are simply not many diverse clusters of art galleries in these locations, with Chilbo and Yapland representing two of the largest, if not the *two largest*. But Chilbo is perhaps a much better fit for me because of all the other things going on there. The Chilbo Road Press acts as an excellent information portal to the community, and provides me, as well, with a type of window to the “outside inner” world. In other words, it keeps me from being totally enclosed in my own mythology, although I want that development to always take priority over shared projects. Just a personal preference — I have a lot of things going on both up front, blog-wise, and also behind the scenes. I think Chilbo may act, then — again for me — as a collective eye drawn to the attention of this and that, which I follow. I believe I respect the basic ideas of Chilbo enough, centered by that strong and active leadership I already mentioned, to trust that this eye is turning in profitable and valuable directions for me as well. I want to share this vision, in other words. Now how active I can be with hands on, virtually speaking, community building within Chilbo itself, the actual town, I’m much more uncertain about. Probably not a lot; my center in that respect is Sunklands presently.

I don’t want to give up renting to become a premium member again either; it seems to me, according to my calculations, that you have to really own at *least* 8192 square meters, a full 1/8th of a sim, for the Linden tier fee system to clearly become more advantageous than renting from the now many excellent and established rental businesses in SL. I’ve dealt with a number of ’em now, with no problem in the least. No land yanked out from under me in the middle of the night. As many people/avatars have correctly pointed out, we’re renting from Linden Labs through their tier system. Actually, the most problems I’ve encountered in “renting” have been from the larger estates such as Azure Islands and Otherland, perhaps queerly. But if you rent on the mainland through established companies, then you should have no problem. The basic (mainland) infrastructure should remain intact — I’ve heard stories to the contrary but I haven’t seen them acted out in person. Estates? Different story, unfortunately, although I think old version Azure Islands and, perhaps especially, the original version of Otherland (which largely remains intact despite a change of ownership, surprisingly) provided the best foundation for what a virtual reality such as Second Life *should* look like, ideally. Mainland, in comparison, is quite a mess, especially outside the oldest regions and even within. The double prim 1024 parcel basis of Nautilus City is, in essence, the idea of homestead regions turned inside out, which I don’t think works at all. The Nautilus City concept, I mean — homesteads are much closer, to me again, to an ideal virtual reality, which needs *space*, dammit (!) between structures. Castles, you know, are fine, unless they, say, take up a whole damn 4096 or 8192 or larger parcel. A lot of this is LL’s fault, of course, and I know much of it is out of their hands now. Much of it, though, is the fault of premium members who don’t understand the concept of, er, (say) *skyboxes*. 🙂 And I’m guilty as well — look at my Rubi builds in the archives of this blog. There’s a balance of SL as a place of experimentation — parcels as simply sandboxes, in essence, and the balance of aesthetics in relation to surrounding parcels. In my defense, I’ve always tried to create a park-like setting for my sometimes semi-monstrous builds. I’ve never really been bashful about planting trees, bushes, and doing a bit of landscaping at least around the edges. And I think my Aotearoa parcel looks pretty good because of the practice — this has been reinforced by my travels around Big Sink recently, especially the western side.

And this brings me back to Chilbo. Despite being a mainland establishment, Chilbo is a very *aesthetically pleasing* place to visit. It seems very well designed, even though the development is mainly organic and not planned (if I’m understanding the history correctly). Each time I visit the town through one of my avatars, I see something new. Despite being only 2 sims, in essence (although it is spreading out, slowly, into neighboring sims to these two oldest as well), there’s a lot to take in — I haven’t figured out how everything is laid out yet, which is a good thing. It means the development is fractal and complex, and seems to speak to the organic nature, again.

I better end this for tonight… more to say about Chilbo soon! Hard to speak about the possible negatives in the light I’m casting it, but maybe I can eventually touch upon, with more community experience, how Chilbo might improve in time, or develop.

And, yes, there is an SL before *this* SL — mythology has not been forgotten in the least. Karoz is right about this. Chilbol is probably just as real as Chilbo. It represents paths less taken, or paths more taken; some of this can be traced back to the founding of the community. But for now, for me, and perhaps for Karoz through me, the focus must be on *present* Chilbo. The role of Chilbo in Second Life and virtual reality in general is itself coming into sharper focus through its anticipated participation in the LL Communiy Partnership Proposal. Virtually speaking, this is damn important stuff, and will speak largely, I believe, to the continued success of SL itself. Can there be a meaningful dialog in this manner between Chilbo and LL, and between other communities and LL? I’m certainly biased, but I also can’t help but think that Chilbo has more to offer than the great majority of “internal” communities to the larger, overarching SL community, because of its more open nature and also the evolution from a mainland backdrop, to name two obvious advantages that spring to mind.

I’ll provide more links and thoughts soon.


Sunklands, Craggen Maw, Wetas, Katipo…

Filed under: Big Sink,Sunklands — baker Blinker @ 2:12 am

Baker Bloch peers over the western border of Pudding Hill into Craggen Maw, but believe me, we won’t be lingering long in that sim, at least in the eastern half, or east of Route 10. In fact, as I’m looking at the map, Route 10 almost cleanly cuts the sim into two equal parts, since it almost exactly follows the se-nw diagonal of this square. Interesting: it’s so precise that I think it had to be planned this way. So back to the eastern side, then. Well, it looks like to me in rechecking, through Baker Bloch again, that it’s all owned by this CClub. I’ll just leave you with 3 pictures, then, and move on to Wetas to the north of this complex that I couldn’t enter.




Smaller businesses in low skyboxes just over the Wetas border.


Not a lot to look at on the ground here, just barren bottomland.


Baker decides to just fly over to the lip of Big Sink coming from the south, or, roughly the center of Katipo, and descend the hill into the sink to take some more pictures and examine in general. Wonder if there’s any land for sale around here? 🙂


The forest directly in front of Baker Bloch above proves to be very thickly treed, too much so in Blochs’ opinion. The structure (gray building with large north window) in the above picture also provides clues to this: apparently it (structure) is a place of meditation, with the lone chair within aligned with the trees themselves. Some sort of tree cult?; probably just wanted to block the view of anything else behind it that may prove just as ugly as the for sale signs on other sides. Hey, wasn’t that video I just linked to by UK Heights about trees? Maybe one of those meaningful patterns or runs?



Sunklands, Pudding Hill

Filed under: Big Sink,Sunklands — baker Blinker @ 2:07 am

Continuing the Big Sink tour, we’re in the center now; the southwest corner of the Pudding Hill sim, on a 1024 up for sale still. And why not: the parcel is bordered on 2 sides by these huge megaprims, one depicting a siloutte city skyline, and another part of some sort of club (CClub, it seems). In contrast, the front borders the nice little pine forest erected by the Hammer of the Gods proprietor once again (this would be in the northwest corner of Brouwer, the sim visited before Pudding Hill in this tour). To the west we have, well actually, another megaprim, a grated fence this time. Not much of a location to be in with these kind of neighbors, although to their slight credit (smile), only one side doesn’t allow entry.

To remind or tell in the first place: Hucka D. claims this very parcel up for sale here, this rather undesirable bit of beige-greenish, flat land at the bottom of our Big Sink, was the sight of one of the most spectacular events ever to happen in SL, Linden or Pre-Linden: the formation of the Vortextra black hole. I’m sure he’ll have more to add to that story in future posts.


And at least there’s some nature across the street to escape to, centered by a nice sculpture called “rotating iris”, by sambroxton String. Not much in the creator’s profile, though — I wonder if he is from a non-English speaking country?


A look back toward Brouwer to the west. Greener pastures! But what’s that crazy rotating megaprim (‘nother one!)? Looks like it’s been erected even since my last post pictures.




Probably a more interesting establishment in Pudding Hill a little up the hill — well, everything is up the hill from that southwest parcel, so let’s specifically say northeast of this southwest corner, near the center of the sim. It’s called the Pudding Club, and the parcel baker is meditating in below is the “Ambient Garden” of same.


Baker Bloch moves inside the main structure of the Pudding Club, home base for a virtual band called SL Heights, which, in the real world, translates to a real band called UK Heights. Ahhh, Baker is checking the notecard for the club and realizes he missed trying the ambient instruments of the garden just visited. He’s made a note to return sometime, then.

Instead of listening to their music inworld, I just decided to pay a quick visit to their website, Hey, not bad music. I especially like, just off the top, that they create ambient music. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised with the garden and instruments and all. More band story here, with a Second Life twist.


Very sad about their drummer dying in his early 40s. Here’s a UK Heights video inspired by his ideas.